PROVERB PRACTICALS showing forth righteousness, proverbs 12:16,17 audio
Proverbs 12:17, He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
In our last lesson regarding Proverbs 12:16 we learned about the thoughtlessness of a fool in expressing his wrath quickly without consideration of its need or purpose.
Before proceeding to Proverbs 12:17, I want to complete that proverb lesson for after discussing the hasty action of the fool we are told of the action of a prudent man, a man who delays response until he is certain of its rightness.
For in Proverbs 12:16, A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.
Our proverb from the New International Version of the Bible reads this way, Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.
A prudent man covers shame, lessens shame, does not puff up and expand shame.
A prudent man is not one to quickly react to anotherís words but takes in words, chews on words, and gives them his taste test.
Perhaps the taste of the words may begin an emotional response but being prudent this man is equipped to govern emotion with reason and wisdom.
Now we know there is a time to be angry, for our Lord himself was angry as he drove the money changers out of the temple.
But we are told to be angry and sin not.
So there is such a thing as a foolís wrath but there is also such a thing as a wise manís wrath.
The wise and prudent man knows this difference and knows when to give anger its freedom to bring righteousness but he also knows when to lock up anger and throw away the key.
And he also knows from our Lordís life that letting passions of anger reign is not a common event.
This prudent man does not cover his wrath in order for it to come later, perhaps in a more controlled or disciplined way after a time of reasoning and judgment, but he covers it that he may have time to conquer and defeat it.
He does not count to ten and then automatically give his temper freedom.
But the prudent man takes time to consider where wrath may lead and the unintended consequences that always follow hasty responses to offenses.
He takes time to think on what God says in His word, time to call upon the fruit of the Spirit with which he has been gifted.
Time to call up love, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness and meekness.
Time to think on His Lordís example of grace and mercy.
Time to consider his own testimony, his own contribution to the work of the Lord and what his actions mean to Godís work.
Time to think of his neighborís shame instead of himself and what the spreading of it would mean to his neighbor.
Time to stop the spread of gossip and rumor which is designed to harm others.
Time to think that every action of his ought to be used to bring others to Christ that they also may move from the foolish man to the prudent man.
And time to remember that a soft answer turneth away wrath.
The prudent man always remembers he is a representative of Christ.
Even in times of stress where wrath may pound on the door, this remembrance must govern.
He is to remember that his responsibility is to not only subdue his own desires but also to make every effort to bring his adversary to a peaceful place for his safety and profit.
For love covers a multitude of sins.
God gives us in his list of what is important his rating on the prudent man who covers shame.
For in Proverbs 16:32, we are told: He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
The world values the kings, the princes, the mighty, the rich, the warrior, but God clearly tells us here that he that is slow to anger is better than all those that the world lifts up in honor.
Godís word for his children is clear in Romans 12:18-21,
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
We are to be a peculiar people walking in Godí truth which in itself will reveal that peculiarity to the world.
Now proceeding to Proverbs 12:17 where we are told:
He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
Every day we have opportunities to be truth tellers or false tellers for every day many words proceed forth from our mouths and every day those words can be words of truth and/or words of falsehood.
And sometimes we believe
we are truth tellers but we so often forget our first born nature.
The nature we were born with is so well equipped to allow words to be brought forth which tend to put ourselves in a good light.
We know that favoritism and bias is something that slants our objectivity when it comes to making the proper observations about others but we donít seem to mind when we favor ourselves in our reporting about ourselves.
For it is easy to be a false witness when it comes to telling the whole story, especially when the whole story may diminish advantage to us.
Is there an involved child who is able to tell the whole story concerning what happened while the teacher was outside the classroom?
Certainly not when the telling will bring the child disfavor from the teacher.
So it is normal, meaning conforming to their nature, for people to be false witnesses when it comes to self-protection and self-advantage.
So this phenomenon is a dependent of a personís nature.
We of course all come into this world with a fallen nature and because of this nature we will fit into the category of false witness who are given to use deceit in their witness.
But God in his goodness brings to us the possibility of another nature, a nature which indeed is able to speak truth.
And God does not leave us alone in this venture but comes and lives with us, by His Spirit, that we may be guided in the speaking of truth.
For only truth is allowed in Godís presence for only truth will fit into the economy of God, the economy where righteousness reigns.
In Proverbs chapter 8 Wisdom is speaking.
Now we know that Wisdom is personified in the person of Jesus Christ so when Wisdom speaks listen to Him, knowing that it is Jesus Christ speaking.
And this is what he says to us in Proverbs 8:7-9, For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
So He plainly speaks to those who are under the conforming hand of God, as that hand brings forth children who are to live according to this pattern of words which are spoken to show righteousness.
Simply put, Godís children are born again with a new nature designed to speak words that reveal God to others for they are of the truth.
Words coming forth from the mouth of Godís children may now be words which reveal Godís nature for they are now capable to show righteousness.
Righteousness is purity of heart which moves a person to an exact conformity to truth for righteousness is the love of truth.
It is a conformity of heart and life to Godís divine law.
It includes all we call justice, honesty, and virtue, with devotion to things that are true and things that are right.
We live in what is called the Church Age, the Age of Grace.
And sometimes living in this age we may diminish our emphasis or teaching on Godís law.
But just because this is the age of Grace does not mean that Godís law is any less important, for God still operates by law.
God commands, all obey.
Jesus made this very clear in Matthew 5:17,18,20, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilledÖÖÖÖÖ. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
That is Godís law and we obey that law by being in Christ, our law keeper, who exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees.
And therefore I can only be righteous by being in Christ Jesus and by being in Christ Jesus my words can show forth righteousness.
And my words show forth righteousness by speaking of excellent things, of right things.
My words will show forth righteousness by speaking Godís Word for Godís Word is truth.
Godís word as it has been given to us, and Godís natural laws speak truth.
Both are given according to Godís wisdom and are always right.
They are within the realm of righteousness always conforming to divine law.
Every administration that Jesus Christ conducts is in righteousness.
In His kingdom there will be no decisions made for political reasons.
There will be no decisions respecting particular men or women.
All decisions will be made in conformity with divine law for God will not permit anything froward or perverse in his presence.
So our proverb encourages us to get ready to fit into the kingdom by speaking truth, by speaking words that show what it is to live in the kingdom of God.
They will be peculiar words that do not fit in this world system for they are words of truth.
They will not fit men, destitute of the principle of integrity and honesty in their witness, men used to living in the realm of deceit.
We live in an age of deceit where words are used to manipulate others.
But the righteous and those appointed to speak righteousness are not to manipulate others with their words but to speak true words, just words, words without hidden meaning or hidden motive.
In relating facts it is easy to relate some facts and in so doing keep to the truth but it is also easy to withhold some facts in order to bring benefit to yourself.
In court we vow to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help us God.
And in keeping that vow we are not to conceal what would bring harm or help to us or others upon its revelation.
We are given a new nature which endows us to be a true witness who speaks fully, clearly and without partiality.
We will be a speaker of truth which shows forth righteousness, telling all the truth, using language not designed to mislead or deceive or even to promote a cause which you suppose to be the right one.
The true witness, whether before a judge or before a neighbor will not shade a matter in ways favorable to himself or others whom he favors.
He will not even use emotion or pity to sway others to his cause or disguise or embellish facts in order to get his way.
He will judge the case of the poor or rich justly and in truth and will not be swayed by social standing.
But this is not to be the case with the false witness who turns truth into a lie by deceit.
In our day of modern communication false witness is rampant.
Think about the false and deceitful witness we are faced with every day as we are bombarded by the merchants who lie to us in order to convince us to buy their product or service.
All kinds of stimuli is used to manipulate the masses of people to do something they had no idea or desire to do.
False values and goals are promoted which in the end move people to spend money on things that do not in the least help.
The merchants use the power of the fear that people have of being different and not keeping up with the times.
But in this, people are being driven to conform by buying the same thing that others buy, or by dressing like everyone else dresses.
They are convinced they do not follow the herd but in every way they are spoken to as part of the herd.
And then on the other hand the merchants play to the buyerís propensity to be a step ahead of the other, the desire to be important, the desire to have greener grass than your neighbor.
Playing to the snobbery gene sells fast cars, expensive jewelry and large homes and causes many to overextend themselves in order to be one up on their neighbor.
And the use of that which awakens the flesh is rampant in advertising messages which overcome logic and reason.
I would venture a guess that billions of dollarsí worth of beauty products languish on bathroom shelves after having been tested and found wanting.
Why are there so many beauty products and so few beauties! (Of course all of you ladies excepted!)
Another deceptive practice of the merchants is to inspire fear, then provide relief.
You have fallen and you canít get up.
But if you are connected to us by something hanging on your neck you will have no fear.
Your neighborís house has been invaded but if your house is wired to our headquarters we can call the police for you and the sign out front will surely scare away all intruders.
Why do you buy what you buy?
Is it based on logic and reason or is it based on the lies and embellishments of merchants?
God equips us with truth. And our use of truth is to show forth righteousness.
We are to be witnesses of God who only operates in righteousness.
And God provides us with wisdom and wisdom warns that the false witness uses deceit to get his way.
We are to be a discerning and discriminating people who try the Spirits whether they are of God.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.