When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt…
guilty of crime or sin;
guilt of violating a standard or a law
engendered by sinning against others, including God.
- disrespect, with a possibly implication
of a verbal mocking
i. Prov.30:17 – despising
to obey one’s parents
- To be
regarded by others as unimportant or insignificant
i. Ps.31:18 – the wicked speak contemptuously
(same term) against the “R”
ii. Ps. 123:3-4 – the wicked speak with
scorn and contempt against the godly.
iii. The wicked speak contemptuously
against God and the righteous.
= disrespect; viewed as insignificant or unimportant; of no value.
concept of contempt here has to do with reputation… in the
eyes of others… of onlookers.
point is that when the wicked come on the scene, then comes
a loss of reputation… shame… lack of respect…
i. Shame and scorn follow the wicked
wherever they go.
ii. Shame and scorn follow wicked
behavior wherever it is found.
- When a man
or woman commits a crime against his fellow man, and is caught (which is
also a sin against God) – there naturally follows a loss of respect…
shame… loss of reputation.
- When a CEO
is caught embezzling money from his company, he is publicly shamed… he loses
his reputation… and it is extremely difficult to recover from such a
crime. Even after he gets out of jail, who wants to hire a dishonest CEO?
- When a politician
is caught in immorality, he is publicly shamed… disgraced… embarrassed…
and ridiculed in the press. His reputation is destroyed.
- When a Christian
commits a sin that is discovered… (and be sure your sin will find you
out!)… he or she also loses respect… their testimony is ruined… their
reputation is damaged… they are shamed…
principle is especially true of a person professes faith in Christ.
i. When he sins – everyone in the
office hears about it! (Whether it is drinking, lying, adultery, stealing,
ii. His reputation goes right down the
iii. He is considered a hypocrite…
iv. He loses all respect.
point in this proverb is that there are consequences to our
has a built in consequence: a loss of respect and
- We can
confess our sin and get right with God right away and we
it not so easy with our fellow man… and sadly, sometimes
- There is
a lingering sense of shame… a lingering loss of respect and
- Prov.12:8 - a perverse heart shall be despised
(same word as contempt) That’s what people think of such
behavior. It is looked upon with contempt… as having no respect. IT is
hard for people to SHAKE those ideas… even after there has been
reputation CAN be restored, but that takes time.
which is true on an individual level is true in other realms
wickedness enters into a church, the result can be a
lingering sense of shame… great damage to the testimony of Christ. That
may take time to restore.
wickedness enters into a political party (both sides of the
aisle!) it too can have lingering effects. It can result in shame. There
is no lack of illustrations on that point!
wickedness enters into a marriage – and sin is involved, it
too brings shame and contempt. That can be confessed before God and
restoration occurs immediately… but it is not always the case in earthly
relationships. It takes time for the guilt and shame to diminish and be
wickedness enters into a business, it has the same effect.
It brings shame and guilt. Just ask the men who used to run Enron!
are consequences to wickedness… consequences that relate to the attitudes
of others towards the wicked one.
10:7 – the
name of the wicked shall ROT!
i. Rot = decay, to fall apart from
decomposition, infection… used of rotting plants…
ii. This is quite a warning… wicked
behavior deteriorates our name… our reputation…
iii. It causes it to decay… to become
lower and lower…
- Thus, the
obvious implication of this is: avoid the wickedness and thus avoid
- A loss
of reputation can be a difficult thing to overcome.
- If a pastor
is involved in immorality – it has terrible consequences on the
reputation of the church.
- If a CEO
is involved with illegal activity, it can ruin the company when exposed.
The company loses its reputation.
wickedness is responsible for what others think of us… contempt or
- If we
are dishonest, sleazy, involved in immorality, a gossip, a cheat, etc… --
don’t be surprised if that behavior is followed by CONTEMPT in the minds
and mouths of others.
follows! That’s the point here. If you bring rotten garbage into your
house – it will stink!
- If you
bring rotten behavior in your life… your reputation will stink!
- It is a
built in consequence to our sin.
And with ignominy reproach
- shame, disgrace,
- infamy; low status and public
- being put
on display in mockery; It refers to losing a high social position
and being ruined
4:7 - As
they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change
their glory into shame. (What a fall – from glory to shame or
scorn; condition of shame, disgrace
a taunt hurled at an enemy, casting blame
- Some have
suggested that these terms describe a progression of intensity.
results in contempt… which results in ignominy… which results in full
i. Contempt (inward feelings of others)
ii. Ignominy (the state of being – shameful)
iii. Reproach (overt, public
manifestation of those feelings)
- In other
words, there is a snowball effect resulting from wicked
behavior INVITES this sort of downhill spiral…
behavior brings contempt upon the individual… but the ripple effects
go on and on.
behavior also brings shame to others…
brings shame to their families… to their church… to their country… to
their company… to their organization… their friends… to their coworkers…
- When you
see the mug shots of people on the six o’clock news who have been
arrested for drugs, robbery, murder, sexual abuse, rape, or treason, etc…
those individuals have been publicly shamed.
i. But the shame doesn’t stop there.
ii. With every one of those mug shots,
there are also a lot of embarrassed and ashamed mothers, fathers, brothers,
sisters, friends, and spouses too!
behavior taints all associated with them…
i. None of the politicians running for
office right now are eager to bring Mark Foley to one of their
campaigns stops to speak on their behalf!
ii. None of the politicians running for
office today will likely bring John Kerry in to speak on their
iii. Shameful behavior brings reproach…
and it brings shame to all associated with them.
for the believer
it is far worse.
i. Our wicked behavior brings shame and
reproach on the name of Christ!
ii. Titus 2:10 – good behavior ADORNS the doctrine
of Christ and brings honor to the Lord.
iii. Wicked behavior brings DISGRACE to
the name and reputation of the Lord.
good people keep their distance from the wicked… so as to
avoid any association of evil… and thus bring contempt or shame upon
downward spiral is also seen (in this book) as a contrast to the effects
of godly wisdom.
4:7-9 – a upward
- The way
to turn around from the downward spiral is to begin applying godly
wisdom… and you will be headed in an upward progression… which
ultimately leads to restoring your name and reputation.
- The MAIN
application from this proverb is that if you want to hold on to
your honor and respect, you must maintain your virtue and
- They go
hand in hand…
- If we
lose our integrity – we lose our respect and honor.
- It can
be restored… but it takes a long time.
- It is
far better not to lose it in the first place!