There are certain things that identify for us a wicked person. Proverbs takes four verses and describes for us in an expanded way what a wicked person looks like - and what his future entails. Let's take a look at this today in a a little longer version of our look at Proverbs.
First of all a wicked person is described in two ways. First he is called a "worthless person." The word used here is very descriptive for it is the Hebrew word "beliyaal" which is one of the terms that is used to describe the devil. His minions are described in Scripture as the sons of Belial. The word means a worthlessness which has its major emphasis on the moral aspect of life. Thus the word came to mean a wicked person. The word is used to describe the hard-hearted in Deuteronomy 15:9 and 1 Samuel 30:22. These are also those who promote rebellion against the authority of God. The wicked therefore are those who hold a moral standard that is worthless for it encourages them and others to rebel against God's authority and choose to be hard-hearted toward the Lord and toward His commandments.
The wicked is also described as being - well - wicked. He is referred to as a wicked man. The word for wicked (awen) means someone who is troublesome, who causes sorrow by his bent toward evil and mischief. He seeks after nothingness and loves falsehood. Strongly embedded in this word is the reality that this man or woman commits iniquity and intentionally misses God's mark of godliness. Once it has been established what kind of person is being spoken of here - Solomon begins putting forth a list of things the worthless and wicked man does. He is not called wicked due to some prejudice - but simply because of the choices that this man makes. Because of the large number of descriptions of his actions, I will number them as we define them.
1. He walks with a perverse mouth - He has a mouth that is filled with perversion and deceitfulness. He has a mouth that speaks without integrity or truth, but rather embraces immorality and deception.
2. Winks with his eyes - This refers to a winking or blinking of the eyes which was always done with a mocking, malicious, or deceitful intent. Proverbs 10:10 says that this is done to devise trouble, while Proverbs 16:30 tells us that a man does this to devise perverse things - and is usually done in combination with a mouth that is speaking of evil and seeking to bring evil to pass. These are signals to others so that they will either join in an evil plan - or that they will know that they are not to interrupt as this wicked man is using his perverse mouth to bring scorn on the godly or upon godly, holy things.
3. Signals with his feet - This literally means he scrapes with his feet. In the Middle East this was a sign that was given from one to another - and it was used among the seamy more criminal aspects of society. This is clearly a sign used by the wicked so that others will join with them in some evil plot.
4. Points with his fingers - Again a reference to a sign used for no good. These are all the kind of things that are used by someone who is planning trouble. The idea here is that this wicked, worthless man is up to something. These things are done for some wicked purpose.
5. He continually devises evil - This guy is always thinking of some scheme or some way to do his evil - or walk in some kind of evil plan of his own making. Note also that this is done with "perversity in his heart." This guy is always in to perverting situations, perverting people, or as I've seen in some - speaking of something perverse at all times.
6. Spreads strife - He is sending out strife - causing serious problems for people in how they relate to one another. Wherever he goes - there seems to be relational problems that follow after him. Paul warns us to stay away from a factious man - a man who spreads strife like this. The mark of the sons of God is that we are peacemakers - not peace-destroyers.
I feel the need to offer a note at this point. Twice in this passage it is said that the wicked are perverse. There is a tendency among Christians, and it is a trap I've fallen into as well, to be tiptoeing around the edges of perversity in their speech. It is unfortunately gaining more acceptance for a believer to have a more perverse mouth. This is true even in pulpits. This is not a good thing - but something that we need to gain control of individually in our lives. Our society is getting more and more coarse in how they speak. We in the church honestly do not need to follow suit by staying a few steps behind them (so that we are not as bad as they are in how we speak). We should be those who shun perversity in our lifestyles, in our actions, and in our speaking. A wise principle to follow in this is to seek to imitate God's speech - so that holiness is our goal rather than just being better than the world around us.
What happens to the worthless/wicked man? Well, it might surprise you to see that God does not promise that the moment he does these things he will be judged. There may be a period of time where he may even prosper. We learn from Psalm 73 that at times the godly may struggle because this is so. But just like we learned from this Psalm, we will learn here in Proverbs that trouble and calamity is coming.
What happens to the wicked man is that calamity comes suddenly upon him. He may continue in his rebellion for years thinking that everything is fine. He may even come to the false conclusion that God does not see his evil - or is unable to stop him in it. Nothing is further from the truth. What is happening is that this man is storing up wrath for himself - that will be revealed one day when his calamity comes. When it does come - it will be devastating and will be in keeping with the revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
We learn here that in an instant this wicked/worthless man is going to be broken. Jesus spoke of how men can either fall on the Rock and be broken before God - or - one day that Rock will fall upon them. On that fateful day they will not be just broken, they will be crushed. Here we read that this instant breaking will be one from which this worthless/wicked man cannot be healed. He will face destruction that will bring terror to him.
Saints of God, know this for certain. The wicked will continue to act wickedly, the godless will continue to be godless, and the judgment of God will continue to build until its breaking point. The reason I say this is because God said this after revealing Himself in one of the most terrifying books in the Bible. Revelation 22 closes the book with a terrifying warning. After men have read about the judgment of God - after they have read of a day where earth and heaven will flee from God in all of His glory as He is revealed in His mighty, terrifying judgments, God has something important to say. After all of this - John knows by the Spirit of God most will continue in their wickedness. They will not heed the words of warning given in this Revelation of Jesus Christ. So he says these words which he hears from the angel of the Lord,
"And he said to me, 'Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.'" Revelation 22:10-12, NASB
The worthless/wicked man will continue in his perversity. He will continue to speak his perverse words, make his perverse plans, create strife with his perverse ways. But there will be a moment - an instant when the judgment of God and the punishment due for his words, plans, and actions will come suddenly. So let us, unlike those to whom Revelation 22:10-12 is addressed. Let us take heed - and order our ways so that the reward we receive is the one given for those who are good and faithful servants of the Lord who shun perversity, perverse words, perverse plans, and a perverse lifestyle.