An evildoer listens to wicked lips; A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue. Proverbs 17:4
What does it say about us if we are willing to listen to evil thing and to wicked statements? What kind of lesson should we learn from the shame of having listened to someone who says damaging things about others - and their motives are far from pure in saying such things.
Anyone who lives in this world knows that there are plenty of people who speak with wicked lips. It is a liability of living in a fallen world that this is the case. So the fact is that we will hear plenty of wicked things said each wek we are alive. But the proverb does not speak about over hearing wicked things being said. It speaks to those who "listen" to these things. Listen is the word "qasab" and it means to listen carefully to something - to pay attention and to give heed to it. Most of all this kind of listening intends eventually to obey what it is listening to when it hears. This is why we read that an evil DOER listens to wicked lips. It is because they listen with an intent to obey and to be influenced in a bad way.
When we pay attention to those with a "destructive tongue" we have another problem coming in the future. The destructive tongue is one that speaks so as to cause destruction and calamity. The word in the Hebrew has the idea of someone who has a destructive desire toward others. Here is something that unfortunately has run amok in our society. We have people seeking to destroy others with their words. They want to destroy and cause havoc with what they say. Too often this is the level of political discourse in our country. We have both sides desiring to destroy the other with their words. What everyone pretty much knows is that whatever is said is either blown out of proportion, or is a total lie altogether. Thus, when we listen to such things - we will find ourselves eventually lying just like the ones to whom we listen. Thus the proverb warns us that a liar pays attention to these things. Those who constantly listen to lies will in time speak the same way as they are hearing.
These things both begin with what we listen to and pay attention to in our lives. In time what enters our ears will make its way to our hearts - and we know from the Word that what is in our hearts will eventually come out of our mouths. This progression is unavoidable. Therefore we need to heed closely the admonition of Scripture, "Be careful what you listen to!"
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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