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(#121) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:7-When the Wrong Speak Right

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 17:7: “Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool, Much less lying lips to a prince.”

Since “fools” can be anyone who don’t obey God’s Word, and are, therefore, wicked, then “excellent speech” (wise words, intelligent language, truthful talk) is out of place coming from them. “But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom” (James 3:8-13). Though “a fool” may say good things, perhaps even the truth, it is only by good works those words are confirmed.

God challenges the right of wicked people to even speak God’s Word: “But to the wicked God says: ‘What right have you to declare My statutes, Or take My covenant in your mouth, Seeing you hate instruction And cast My words behind you?’” (Psalm 50:16-17) Jesus Christ spoke to the Jews of His day in the same way when He said: “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). Jesus challenged “demons” in the same way: “Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him” (Mark 1:34). No one who is unwilling to obey God is qualified to teach, preach, or otherwise represent God’s Word to anyone!

This proverb (17:7) more harshly judges a “prince” (ruler, government leader, or dominant figure), from whom everyone expects equity, fairness, and truth, who uses deceitfulness and lies! Politicians who cannot remember what they have promised (or don’t care!) are worse than “fools” who at least try to say the right things! People look to their government for good guidance, hence, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21). Certainly, the less said, the easier it is to remember what has been said! “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23). Trickle-down corruption certainly takes its toll: “For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed” (Isaiah 9:16). As long as people vote in liars, there can never be good government!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #excellent-speech, #fool, #lies, #practical-lessons, #prince, #proverbs, #trickle-down-corruption