John T. Willis

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Proverbs 15:26-29

The four sayings in Proverbs 15:26-29 contrast various attitudes, words, and activities of the righteous and the wicked.

15:26: Evil plans are an abomination to the Lord,
but gracious words are pure.

15:27: Those who are greedy for unjust gain makes trouble for their households,
but those who hate bribes will live.

15:28: The mind of the righteous ponders how to answer,
but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil.

15:29: The Lord is far from the wicked,
but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Note briefly a few thoughts for spiritual living found in these words.
1. Verses 26-28 contrast what takes place in the heart of the righteous and the wicked. The wicked conceive "evil" plans to carry out against the helpless based on the "greed" of covetousness or self-centeredness which dominates their thinking. On the other hand, the righteous have a passionate "hatred" against offering or accepting bribes, which seem to support and secure a rich person's lifestyle and future; and they think through the best way to speak in any given circumstance.
2. Verses 26 and 28 contrast the speech of the righteous and the wicked. "Evil" words of all kinds gush out of the mouth of the wicked and harm those who hear, while the righteous are very careful to speak "gracious" words which will edify and affirm the hearer.
3. God is ever present to hear and respond appropriately and positively to the prayers of the righteous, but when the wicked pray God stands at a great distance and thus is slow to respond.

John Willis