Monday, August 17, 2009

Proverbs 26: 24-28

24He who hates disguises it with his lips,
But he lays up deceit in his heart.
25When he speaks graciously, do not believe him,
For there are seven abominations in his heart.
26Though his hatred covers itself with guile,
His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.
27He who digs a pit will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him.
28A lying tongue hates those it crushes,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.


Today's Thought Question:
  1. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

Taking on a trio today--verses 24 to 26--the hater.


"He who hates disguises it with his lips,
But he lays up deceit in his heart.
When he speaks graciously, do not believe him,
For there are seven abominations in his heart.
Though his hatred covers itself with guile,
His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly."

We may think that hatred comes with loud hateful words. But, no, Solomon says that hatred arrives in a costume of pleasantness. The words spoken, as that of the adulteress', drip with sweet graciousness. We may be quite willing to believe what we hear.

"Their tongue is a deadly arrow; It speaks deceit; With his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor, But inwardly he sets an ambush for him."
--Jeremiah 9:8

"Do not believe him," Solomon says, for his heart is not true. The hater speaks sweet words but, all the while, scrutinizes--sizing us up, auditing whatever we have. The Hebrew behind the "disguise" means "revering, respecting...with suspicion implied." [Strong's] With each word, each thought, he lays up "deceit" which, in the Hebrew, also means "oppression" and "error." I have this horrible picture of each word being physically thrown upon the heart, which then starts to sag and collapse under the weight of the wrongs. Oh, the heaviness of sin here!

"So you, too, [scribes and Pharisees] outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."
--Matthew 23:28 (Jesus speaking)

Sadly, haters frame us, leaving us victims of a charade. They act as though they like us, but their crafty deception--as that of a certain serpent--can rob us of ourselves. I find this challenging, because we must look into the very heart of these folks and not be swayed by pretty words. Easy to be judgmental if we are not thinking and acting under the guise of Wisdom. There are too, too many stories in the news about folks who spoke well, seemed loving, "nice," only to end up doing something regrettable, if not abominable.

Solomon concludes this triad of verses by saying that the wicked and their deeds will be revealed before the people. Sometimes, this is true in our earthly days--which is why we have so many horrid news headlines bringing the haters' stories to the world. But, other times, it seems truth goes missing and the wicked go undiscovered. We may not see the reveal in our lifetime, but the One who knows and searches each heart, who knows the presence of wickedness in the innermost places, who reaches out with grace yet is time and again rejected, He will bring such works to light (and cast them into the fire!).

"Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light."
--Luke 8: 16 & 17 (Jesus' parable of the lamp)




Photo: http://www.weeklyreader.com/readandwriting/content/binary/smile.animation.gif


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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Question:

Proverbs 27: 1-9 (of the transcribed proverbs of Solomon)
  1. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

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Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).

5 comments:

B His Girl said...

Hmmm. These all have a strong message/warning. He who digs a pit will fall into it stands out to me.
It reminds me of Haman who had the gallows built for Mordecai.Est 5:14 He was delighted to build them but they were used to hang him. Sometimes things backfire. God does see all though and He will make all the right in the end. B

Sue J. said...

Oh, B...that is a great story! Haman was so evil, yet he hid everything in front of the king. Wasn't God's providence marvelous!? We need to hold on to the fact that our God has everything under his control and that no evil will go unpunished under His reign.

More warnings tomorrow....

Kelly Combs said...

I love B's example. That was a great one.

Are we going to cover the seven abominations? I need to pull out my study Bible and get more info on that one.

Sue J. said...

Although my S.B. doesn't specifically reference these 7 to anything, we have talked about 7 abominations before. Seven is a number that represents completeness, totality, perfection in amount when it comes to Biblical things.

In 6:16, Solomon says that there are "seven [things] which are an abomination to Him [the Lord]." The items mentioned were haughty eyes, lying tongue, [points with] hands, [perversity in his] heart, [signals with] feet, false witness and [spreads] strife.

In Hebrew, the idea of abominations is translated as things detested, hateful, idols.

I would suggest that many of these same ideas are captured in these verses as well. If your S.B. has specific references, c'mon back and share!

KelliGirl said...

Sue,
It's so wonderful to stop back here after far too much time away.

I have a deep disdain for insincerity. (Which doesn't make me the best diplomat at times!) How disappointing it is to witness someone praising a person to her face and trashing her the moment she walks away. Or someone oozing kindness, but you know it's a sham.

As B said, God does see through it all.

I think this text guides us to seek honesty and authenticity, even at the expense of personal gain, popularity and position in society.

BTW, I want to sit in on your and Kelly's Bible study!

Blessings, my friend,
Kelli (the tall one)