In a sinful and fallen world there is something that provokes the wicked when they see a man of true integrity. Today's proverb tells us about "men of bloodshed," and how they hate men of integrity.
Men of bloodshed are those who have shed the blood of humans - they are either very violent men - or most often men who have murdered. When we think of murderers though, we need to see them in two ways. There are those who have crossed the line of literally taking someone's life by murdering them. But there is a second type of which the Scriptures speak that encompasses far more people than one would think. In Matthew 5 Jesus said these words, "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER ' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. (Matthew 5:21-22)
This statement of Jesus shows us that pretty much everyone in the world is guilty of murder. If we've been angry with a brother or sister - called someone a derogatory name - we are guilty of murder before God. We are guilty enough to go into the fiery hell itself. This is where murder begins, in the mind. It is what God told Cain before he murdered Abel. God said to him, "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it." (Genesis 4:7) Cain's murder of his brother Abel began as a thought - an angry, evil thought - which soon hatched into a heinous, murderous action. Sin always begins in the mind - and if we do not master it there - it will yield its wicked fruit in our actions.
Murderous men hate men of character and godliness. The word hate here is the Hebrew word "sane" which means to hate, to consider another an enemy - to dislike, be hostile to, or to loathe another. It is the direct antonym of the Hebrew word "anab" which means to love. John wrote of this very incident between Cain and Abel. He said, "For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous." (1 John 3:11-12)
This passage in 1 John tells us exactly what our proverb today is trying to tell us. The murderer hates the godly man. It should be noted that the word "blameless" does not mean without sin. It speaks of a person of integrity who desires to live a godly, moral life according to God's Word and God's precepts. This world does not love such a man - and the more ungodly they are - the more they hate him. We see this growing every day in our society. Just look at how Christians are portrayed in our world today - especially in the media. The hatred of the media elite and the ungodly in positions of power there drips off our television and movie screens. It is difficult, unless you are watching a movie produced by a Christian, to find positive Christian characters. This is because when a man's deeds are evil - he hates the people who pursue righteousness.
Just an aside . . . we see this proverb lived out daily in the moral and cultural battle that is raging in our own nation today. This is especially true when we see the actions and words of the radical homosexual movement. The more the homosexual movement gains ascendency in our laws and in the movie and television industry - the more you will see this hatred grow. The radical homosexual movement absolutely despises biblical Christianity because the Bible is clear that homosexuality is sin. That will pit them against us - if we choose to remain true to the Word of God and preach the true gospel. But, our place is not to hate the homosexual - or for that matter anyone who hates us because we hold to biblical truth and morality. Our place is to love them even if they hate us and do violence to us in their cause to legitimatize what God calls sin. Remember what this world system did to our Lord - the ultimate blameless man of absolute integrity. He Himself told us if they hated Him, they would hate us as well. But we are NEVER to turn to violence to defend ourselves from such attacks. We must remain true to the gospel and win them by the love of God - and by the grace of His eternal gospel.
The remainder of our proverb today states that the upright are concerned for the lives of the moral and those who walk in integrity. The literal translation of this would say, "But the upright seek his soul." We stand with the godly man of integrity - because we see that life is more than just the 70 or so years we spend on this planet. There is an eternal soul in each man - and that is what we should be most concerned with in life. There will come a day when the wicked will be loosed in a way that we have not seen before in our nation. Regardless of our most recent elections, there is not a moral, godly ascendency going on in our nation. If there was, such moral issues such as abortion, homosexual and heterosexual immorality, decency, and the moral debauchery of our nation would be put on the front burner as the real problems we face as a nation. As it is - we continue to worship the dollar - and when it finally crashes to the ground, which it will, we will face a country that will rip itself apart because we lack basic morality. In that day it will be difficult to stand with the "blameless man" in our nation. In some ways it already is. Franklin Graham has taken several biblical stands for righteousness and he is more and more being ripped apart in the public square. We should stand with him and with other men who stand for biblical righteousness. Even if it becomes increasingly difficult to do so - we need to be concerned with the souls and lives of such men. For according to this proverb . . . that is wisdom.