Proverbs (Part 140) - Pro 10:32


32. Pro 10:32 – "The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness." A. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: i. Definitions a. Righteous adj. – 1. a. Of persons: Just, upright, virtuous; guiltless, sinless; conforming to the standard of the divine or the moral law; acting rightly or justly. b. Acceptable adj. – Capable, worthy, or likely to be accepted or gladly received; hence, pleasing, agreeable, gratifying, or welcome. c. In other words, just, upright, and virtuous people who conform their lives to the standard of God's law know what kind of words to speak that will be gladly received, pleasing, and welcomed by their hearers. ii. The righteous pray that the words of their mouth and the thoughts of their heart will be acceptable in God's sight (Psa 19:14). a. We should prove what words are acceptable unto the Lord (Eph 5:10; 1Th 5:21) b. We should do so using His word as our guide. iii. Preachers should seek out acceptable words to speak and write (Ecc 12:10). a. Acceptable words are upright words of truth (Ecc 12:10). b. Acceptable words are sometimes words which function as goads which prod children of God in order to direct them in the right direction (Ecc 12:11). c. Acceptable words also function as nails to keep the saints fastened down and steadfast in the faith (Ecc 12:11 c/w Rom 16:25 c/w 1Co 15:58). iv. Acceptable words of the righteous can be words of counsel and rebuke (Dan 4:27). a. Sometimes words of rebuke which are acceptable with God are not so acceptable with men (2Ti 4:1-2). (i) Men sometimes think that the preacher's sermons are unseasonable, inopportune, or inappropriate. (ii) Season - 15. in season. a. At the right and proper time, opportunely. 16. out of season. a. Unseasonably, inopportunely; 17. in season and out of season: at all times, without regard to what is considered opportune. b. Some people will eventually get tired of it and turn away from the truth to hear what makes them feel good (2Ti 4:3-4). c. The preacher must nevertheless endure that affliction and continue doing the work which God has commissioned him to do (2Ti 4:5). v. Prayers for people in authority for the purpose of being able to lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty are acceptable words to God (1Ti 2:1-3). vi. The righteous have wisdom acquired from the word of God to know what words to speak, and when to speak them, so that they will be acceptable to both God and man. a. A word spoken in due season is a good thing (Pro 15:23). b. A word fitly spoken is a beautiful thing (Pro 25:11). c. Fitly adv. – 1. In a way that is fit; properly, aptly, becomingly, suitably, appropriately. d. Pleasant words are sweet to the soul (Pro 16:24). e. A good word at the right time makes a heavy heart glad (Pro 12:25; Isa 50:4). f. Fools don't have enough sense to know what words are acceptable in delicate situations (Pro 25:20). g. "A time of sorrow also must be mentioned as a time of restraint. Precious words are often wasted at this season. The time of silence is more soothing. We had better restrain our words, till the waters have somewhat assuaged. A voluble comforter adds to the trouble he professes to heal. He is rather a sore than a balm. Great wisdom is required to know when, as well as what, to speak." (Charles Bridges, Ecclesiastes, pp. 60-61) B. but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness. i. Definitions a. Wicked adj. – 1. Bad in moral character, disposition, or conduct; inclined or addicted to wilful wrong-doing; practising or disposed to practise evil; morally depraved. (A term of wide application, but always of strong reprobation, implying a high degree of evil quality.) b. Frowardness n. – Froward quality or condition; perversity; untowardness. c. Froward adj. – 1. Disposed to go counter to what is demanded or what is reasonable; perverse, difficult to deal with, hard to please; refractory, ungovernable; also, in a wider sense, bad, evilly-disposed, ‘naughty’. (The opposite of toward.) 2. Of things: a. Adverse, unfavourable, untoward; difficult to deal with, refractory. d. In other words, evil and morally depraved people speak perverse, unreasonable, rebellious, and contrary words. ii. By contrasting the second half of this proverb with the first half, it can be deduced that the wicked do not know what type of words are acceptable. iii. And since the wicked speak frowardness, and are therefore themselves froward and disposed to go counter to what is reasonable, they not only don't know what kind of speech is acceptable, but they also don't care. iv. Rather than being pleasing and gratifying like the words of the righteous, the froward speech of the wicked is destructive. a. It is used to incite insurrection and overthrow cities (Pro 11:11). b. It is used to conspire to murder the innocent (Pro 12:6). c. It is used to pierce people through and cut them down (Pro 12:18). d. It is used to pour out foolishness and evil things (Pro 15:2; Pro 15:28). e. It is used to cause contention and bring destruction upon themselves (Pro 16:28; Pro 18:6-7). v. We must put a froward mouth far from ourselves (Pro 4:24).
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