Tuesday, August 30, 2022
23 Smooth talk from an evil heart
is like the glaze on cracked pottery.
24-26 Your enemy shakes hands and greets you like an old friend while plotting against you.
When he speaks warmly to you, don’t believe him for a minute;
he’s just waiting for the chance to rip you off.
No matter how shrewdly he conceals his malice,
eventually, his evil will be exposed in public.
27 Malice backfires;
28 Liars hate their victims;
flatterers sabotage trust.
-Proverbs 26:23-28 The Message
23 Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
25 when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26 though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28 A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.
Proverbs 26:23-28 ESV
Verse 23 study: Looking at vv. 24-26, the Hebrew text is complex, but the apparent meaning is good surface can hide an opposite nature beneath.
Verses 24-26 studies: This proverb means people with hate in their hearts may sound pleasant enough; don’t believe what they say.
Verses 25-26 studies: The person in v. 24 must be avoided. People will eventually see through their deceptions.
Verse 27 study: Troublemakers make trouble for themselves.
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. -Galatians 6:7 ESV
This is supposed to link to verses 23-26 as a theme of retribution. The emphasis is not on direct divine judgment but on the self-destructive nature of folly looking to destroy others.
Verse 28 study: Hatred is the most extensive breakdown in human relationships.
15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. -1 John 3:15 ESV
Human speech has the potential for evil, and misuse cannot be excused.
5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. -James 3:5-10 ESV