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Last week Solomon talked about the value of hard work. He talked about being surety for a neighbor and how unwise that may be. While debt is not necessarily a sin, taking on debt that you cannot repay most assuredly is a sin. If you’re in debt, work hard to pay off that debt to get out from under the lender. Solomon told us to consider the hard working ant that labors even though no one is in charge; they do what needs to get done. Solomon also said don’t be lazy. This morning, Solomon continues his warnings against laziness and uses some really harsh words.
Pro. 6:12-15 says, “A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks with a perverse mouth, who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, who points with his fingers; who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil, who spreads strife. Therefore his calamity will come suddenly; instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing.”
Here are some character traits to avoid. Solomon kicks this passage off with a description of a worthless and wicked man. Worthless is also translated scoundrel, naughty, and a man of Belial. Contextually accurate definitions are important when studying Scripture. Belial is a general term in the Old Testament meaning wicked. In the New Testament, the term is synonymous with Satan. Solomon says this is what a person is, no debate or discussion. Worthless means having no real value and wicked means ungodly or evil. That seems extraordinarily harsh. Please understand this is not the intrinsic value of a person. Everyone has value, but Solomon is saying there comes a point that a person is characterized by what he does. Jesus died for any and everyone and He can change the path of any person. He can take the hardest of people and transform them, but it has to be completed in accordance with God’s character. God will not subvert the free will of men. I believe He does all He can to draw people into a relationship with Him through His one and only Son. The people Solomon refers to are not worthless and wicked by happenstance. It is because of what they do. Remember, actions speak louder than words.
How can we spot this type of person? Thankfully, Solomon gives us some clues as to how to identify a worthless or wicked person. There are six indicators for this type of person so they should be pretty easy to spot. First, this person, “Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth.” That’s a curious description. How does one walk with his mouth? It means the manner or habit of life that I so often talk about. Having a perverse mouth is who the person is; it is his character, it is how he is defined. Perverse means a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave unacceptably. Obstinate means stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or chosen course of action despite attempts to persuade one to do so. God, through the writing of this book, tells us that this is the type of behavior they want to engage in. Ungodly behavior is a choice.
The second clue is this person, “winks with the eye.” In this context, it isn’t a friendly gesture. It is a subtle, crafty expression. It is meant to convey a message to an accomplice, a cohort in crime. Third and fourth he “signals with his feet” and “points with his fingers.” Signal here literally means scrape with the feet. The jury is still out on this one, but this phrase seems to give an indication of singling out a victim. Fifth, “with perversity in his heart continually devises evil.” Remember that perversity means a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave badly. The heart is the seat of the soul. This guy is always planning the destruction, plotting evil for the sake of evil. Always looking to see who he can take advantage of. Finally this person, “spreads strife.” Strife is a word we hear on occasion. It means angry or bitter disagreement or conflict. Conflict is not always bad, but here it gives an indication that strife is the goal. We see these kinds of people at work, at school, at family reunions, and yes . . . even at church. When you see them, you might think of going the opposite direction. These people are always ticked off about something or someone and they can’t wait to get you onboard with them. We’ll see next week that God really hates it when this goes on in any context and that would include with people who profess to be believers. These are the outward indicators of wickedness.
Solomon’s conclusion regarding these people is set off by the word therefore. “Therefore his calamity will come suddenly; instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing.” Calamity is an event that causes great and sudden damage or distress. Remember this is a worthless or wicked person. The pain and suffering he causes will be meted out to him. His destruction is certain. It comes without warning; the chances for transformation are no more. All the opportunities to turn to the One that can provide deliverance is gone. “He will be broken.” This is a result of what the person has done. Don’t forget the intentional nature of his behavior. The word broken means to break into pieces like a ship that is wrecked. There’s no hope for repair. The pieces cannot be put back together. There is complete ruin. “There will be no healing.” No healing because of what he has done because that is who he is. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that outward actions are a direct indication of who controls you. People like this do exist, but they shouldn’t exist in the church. Now I’m not talking that they wouldn’t be welcomed in the church and loved on or ministered to. If Jesus lives in your heart, this type of behavior is not just reprehensible; it is a complete mischaracterization of the power of Christ. I’ve often said it and I will say it again. If you’re breathing, there is hope. The only hope is for a complete transformation is giving Christ the freedom to do so. The character traits Solomon has written about are in direct opposition to the fruit of the Spirit which is, “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23) That’s why it’s so painful to see Christians behave in a manner that is contrary to what they claim.
The wicked person who is characterized by his deceit, his malice, his perversity, and his desire to do evil will be broken instantly with no hope for repair. There are people like this around and you may even know someone like this. Perhaps God will give you an opportunity to share the life changing power of Christ with them.