THE MAN OF UNDERSTANDING
The Mouth; Wisdom and Wickedness – Proverbs 11:7-14
Jesus said, “Hear and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” Matthew 15:10b-11
In this study there is more in dealing with the mouth and the tongue. This is a very important matter with God, or there would not be so much of Scripture dealing with it. In chapter ten we dealt with “The Mouth of the Wise and the Righteous”.
Verses 7 – 8 – A contrast is given of the hope of the wicked; and the hope of the righteous. It could be highly implied within these verses that the wealth spoken of is unjustly acquired.
From the ESV study Bible notes:
“Proverbs contrasts this with the hope of the righteous (see 10:28) to warn against being fooled by the apparent security in dishonest gain and to assure those who fear the Lord that their hope, manifested in seeking the path of wisdom, will not be in vain (see 23:18; 24:14).”
Verses 9 – 11 – Notice there is still the contrasting of the wicked and the righteous. The contrast is a matter of dealing with the mouth. Even when the righteous are slandered they know how to conduct themselves in the right fashion. Conducting one’s self in the right fashion does not include slandering the slanderer.
The mouth of the righteous blesses people (v. 11)
Verses 12 – 13 – The evil intent of a talebearer is to destroy another’s life, reputation, or character.
From Matthew Henry Commentary:
“Speaking spitefully of a man behind his back: A tale-bearer, that carries all the stories he can pick up, true or false, from house to house, to make mischief and sow discord, reveals secrets which he has been entrusted with, and so breaks the laws, and forfeits all the privileges, of friendship and conversation.”
Verse 14 – It is good for leaders, Christians and for all to have godly counselors. Those who would be godly counselors would also keep watch over their tongues, lips; their mouth.
The ESV Study Bible notes:
“The role of counselors is to aid a person in making wise decisions (cf. 15:22; 24:6). While this is particularly important for those who lead a people, Proverbs also stresses its broader application to people’s decision making in all sorts of situations—cf. 11:5 and the contrasting description of how the wicked falls “by his own wickedness.””
-Tim A. Blankenship