PROVERB PRACTICALS   A Closed Mouth Gathers No Foot, Proverbs 11:9, Audio


Proverbs 11:9,  An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

There is an old saying that goes like this. Either use it or lose it.

This saying applies to many things, it applies to your car, it applies to your house, it applies to your mind, and it even applies to your muscles.

Park your car for an extended period and it most likely will not start.

We read the dates on the milk jug for if we donít use the milk before the date we will lose it.

Stop using your mind in thoughtful things and soon the mind drifts away.

Sit at a desk without exercise most of your life and soon the muscles start turning off.

Muscles need exercise to continue to function in order to be up to their greatest potential.

But one thing I have never heard this saying applied to, this saying that says either use it or lose it, is its application to the mouth.

I do not know of anyone who has approached the point of losing their mouth due to disuse.

I have never heard of a mouth that lost its ability to talk because of lack of exercise.

Some mouths are always in drive for they do not have brakes, some mouths only have a gas petal with foot pressure applied at all times.

Some mouths cannot be stopped and rarely even pause to take a breath.

Remember the old saying that applies to conversation, I tried to get a word in edgewise.

I tried and tried to do so, but could not come in with a word in any other way but to crowbar or chisel it into the flow of words coming at me.

Some folks do not know that a true conversation takes two mouths to produce something meaningful but instead use one mouth and with that one mouth produce words enough for 10 mouths.

Conversation requires times of talking and times of listening.

Have you ever had to listen to someone until it made your ears sore?

A personís ear is not made to listen for an excessive time and a person should not be made to talk for an excessive time either but some folks desire to defy the laws of nature.

Our precious Word of God has much to say about the mouth.

Now in our study of Godís word there is no need to tell God what we know, but there is a need to find out what God knows and to apply it to our mouths.

One of the great truths of scripture concerning the mouth is that God gives a priority concerning its use.

I like priority lists for it shows what is important and what is of lessor importance.

And I think God likes priority lists for the list concerning the mouth is given in James 1:19 where we are told that the first priority is the priority to hear.

James 1:19,  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Now hearing involves the ear but not the mouth!

So first on Godís list concerning speech is the importance of hearing.

In this regard what can you tell God that He does not know?

But what can He tell you that you do not know?

So it is obvious that you learn when you hear.

Also remember when you open your mouth it is to bring out something that you already know.

But when you open your ears it is to something that you may not know.

So hearing is more important than speaking according to our maker.

Why do so many of us continue to ignore this priority and continue to not listen to others when they speak?

So the first priority is to listen, then the next is to speak but not only to speak but to be slow to speak.

In other words we are to avoid quickly formulated speech.

We are to be careful in what we say for what follows is the third priority, be slow to wrath.

Now if you follow the slow to speak order, then wrath loses its ability to rush in and take over.

Wrath becomes sluggish when wise, well thought out words are said.

Wrath desires to continue to sit in its easy chair and continue its nap.

We are not to be blatherers and that is cautioned in the Word of God.

For in Proverbs 10:19 we are told,  In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

Blather is foolish voluble talk.

I said voluble talk, not valuable talk.

Voluble talk is volume talk.

Words coming forth like Niagara.

It is not quality talk but quantity talk.

We are not to think that quantity talk somehow has value simply because it has more words to it.

Some folks hunting possum, go down every rabbit trail of conversation when they should be staying on the possum trail.

But in conversations like this you need a conversation GPS to know where you are.

Most of the wise sayings that are quoted are short pithy statements which communicate great truths.

Our 30th President Calvin Coolidge was known as Silent Cal for he had a reputation of not saying much.

But when he did speak he said a lot.

Listen to some of his wisdom concerning the use of the mouth.

Calvin Coolidge (1872Ė1933) 30th President

You know, I have found out in the course of a long public life that the things I did not say never hurt me.

Four-fifths of all our troubles would disappear, if we would only sit down and keep still.

It takes a great man to be a good listener.

No man ever listened himself out of a job.

Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business. (What a message for our leaders today!)

You can't know too much, but you can say too much.

And lastly not concerning the mouth but a good statement to show what he was:

We do not need more intellectual power, we need more spiritual power. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen.

Our Lord Jesus warned us of volume talk, idle words, when He said in:

Matthew 12:36,  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

King David may have had a problem with idle words for he prayed this prayer in:

Psalm 141:3,  Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

Of course the problem with the mouth is not only the volume of words but in the volume of words there are words that can destroy for as our proverb says:

Proverbs 11:9,  An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

Here we not only have one who uses his mouth to his advantage but we have one who is a hypocrite.

David spoke of this one for in his time the godly man ceased and he referred to the hypocrites who use their speech to get their own way:

Psalm 12:2,  They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.

A double heart produces a double minded man.

What you see is not what is real.

It is like what they call Reality TV.

Believe it or not Reality TV is not real.

It should be called Hypocrite TV for those who show themselves, are not showing themselves, but some made up character designed to keep you watching.

Our favorite dictionary and most oft quoted, Websterís 1828 defines hypocrite this way.

One who feigns to be what he is not; one who has the form of godliness without the power, or who assumes an appearance of piety and virtue, when he is destitute of true religion.

The word hypocrite is from two words in the Greek, one meaning under and the other meaning to sift or decide.

So it is under-sifting, under-deciding.

It means a deficiency in the ability to sift or decide.

When Elijah asked this question, How long halt ye between two opinions, he was asking the question of hypocrites.

One day they lived one way and the other day they lived another way.

They were hypocrites. Hypocrites do not commit to one way or the other.

Elijah asked for commitment:  And the people answered him not a word!

One of the things Iíve learned in life is that people so easily fall into the habits and ways of those with whom they associate.

It is the old "when in Rome do as the Romans do" syndrome.

So people naturally assume the ways and habits of those with whom they live.

Uniforms are used in Christian schools which brings all students to conform to a standard.

For girls the emphasis is on decency and modesty and with the boys the emphasis is on hair length and overall appearance.

Modest skirt lengths are specified, decent hair lengths on boys are important and detailed, jewelry standards are defined which limit gaudy, look at me earrings, bracelets, or rings.

The uniforms are designed to teach our students what proper appearance and modesty is all about.

But the down side is that the wearing of uniforms may reveal hypocrisy.

Yes, I will wear such things in school because everyone is wearing them and it makes me look the Christian part but when Iím not in school Iíll wear what I please.

Halting between two opinions. Not committing to Godís book concerning appearance.

Trying to be in-style fashionistas who adopt the strangest dress customs, and stroll around in them thinking they are something to behold.

Loaded with enhancements to the body, the head, the eyes, the ears, the feet, designed to attract attention to the body when the Word of God clearly tells us our focus is to be the enhancement of the spirit.

If you live with Christians it is so natural to learn what a Christian looks and acts like and to copy that act and look.

But a Christian is one who is made a Christian by an act of God and without that act, that new birth, acting the Christian is simply having two faces, having two minds; in other words donning the mask of hypocrisy.

Jesus Christ had no sweet words for hypocrites for the land was full of those who paraded around Israel wearing robes of self-righteousness but beneath those robes were whited sepulchers hiding dead menís bones.

Our sweet Jesus choose to be salt instead of sugar when he pronounced woes upon the scribes and Pharisee.

Oh, how important it is to get the drift of the scriptures by studying the life of Christ.

As I said you become like those with whom you associate.

Be around Jesus instead of around the world and you will become like Jesus instead of becoming like the world.

But Jesus, in choosing to be salt, called the Pharisees hypocrites for shutting up the kingdom of heaven to men, for devouring widows houses, for making pretence in long prayer, for making duplicates of themselves.

In other words being in the business of reproducing themselves but even to a greater level of self righteousness.

But the tongue is the tool of the hypocrite for with it he can paint any scene he wishes to paint, any view that he can use to capture the simple, to capture the innocent.

The hypocrite, double minded as he is, has perfected the con, the scam, the flattery, the deceit that will bring him the most return on his investment.

His tongue is like a sharp razor, which brings no immediate pain ---- till after.

Such is the hypocriteís mouth which in the end will bring destruction.

James 3:5,6,  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

But our proverb does not end there for there is hope.

Proverbs 11:9,  An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

Why are we born again? Why must God create a new being?

Because the old being cannot be renovated.

The decay is far spent. The wrecker must come to destroy the old being.

The old being is dead in sin.

Knowledge can only be communicated to a new being.

2 Corinthians 5:17,  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Knowledge supplies principle and steadfastness.

Knowledge provides commitment.

Knowledge removes the "halt" to Godís word and casts aside Satanís opinion and defers to Godís word.

As Proverbs 4:13 so aptly encourages,  Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.