Proverbs 11:9

Hypocrisy vs. Knowledge

Antithetical parallelism: (opposites are being contrasted)

• Hypocrite vs. the just
• A mouth vs. knowledge
• Destruction vs. deliverance

An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour:

1. Hypocrite: godless; profane; impious; irreligious; (the term does not include the concept of hypocrisy)

a. A godless or irreligious man… one who is profane as opposed to sacred… God is not in this man’s life.

b. If this man is “claiming” to be religious, then he is a hypocrite.

c. But the term is broader than that. It also includes the man who is just plain ungodly… and has no concern for God or spiritual things.

2. This proverb considers the MOUTH of this godless man.

a. Lots of things could be said about the mouth of a godless man. (Filthy; vulgar; full of lies; pride; cursing; etc…)

b. But this proverb focuses in on one aspect of his mouth: its destructiveness.

3. Destroys: to destroy, corrupt, go to ruin, decay; spoil; pervert

a. That which comes out of the mouth of the godless man tends to bring RUIN to his neighbor.

b. It has a corrupting effect on his neighbor.

c. I Cor. 15:33 – evil communications corrupt good manners.
• Communications: homilia; speech; communion;
• If the speech is evil, it has a corrupting effect on the ones who hear it.
• Manners: custom, usage, morals, character
• Those whose speech is evil will have an evil, corrupting, destructive, decaying effect on the morals and manners and ultimately on the character of those who listen.

d. God has given us fair warning: the speech and communications of the godless RESULT in the corruption of those who listen.
• A good lesson: don’t listen!
• Why listen to that which is evil or comes from godless men? You KNOW that hearing it will have a corrupting effect on you.
• This is a good reason to be extra discriminating in watching TV or videos… it can have a spiritually damaging effect!
• It can have an awful influence over our morals… and eventually our character.

e. How? We become accustomed to it.
• If you listen to shows with foul language long enough, it is no longer shocking.
• The original repulsion we felt toward it is gone… we become insensitive… spiritually dull…
• After a while, we don’t even blink when we hear that kind of language.
• That is called “being conformed to the world.” (No longer shocked or offended by its shocking and offensive behavior!)
• We might even find some of those offensive terms showing up in our own vocabulary…

f. The answer of course is not to listen to it, when possible.
• Sometimes it is not possible to avoid such language.
• But there is no reason under heaven for the believer to willingly subject himself to it by watching such videos or the ungodly sitcoms!
• Don’t listen to false teachers on the TV or radio—their speech WILL HAVE a corrupting effect on you… God said so.
• Why CHOOSE to listen to that which will have a destructive effect on our spiritual life?
• Why not choose to listen to that which you know is edifying?

4. There is another sense in which the mouth of the ungodly can bring DESTRUCTION to his neighbor.

a. Such speech can have a destructive and corrupting effect on the neighbor. (Prov. 16:29) – A corrupting influence through the enticing words of an ungodly man.

b. It can also bring outright RUIN to his life…

c. The godless man can bring ruin to his neighbor’s life through lies… gossip… slander… deceit…

d. The speech might corrupt the person… or speech can also have a destructive effect on his life.

e. Some men lie about their neighbor—and cause all kinds of trouble for him…

f. He can turn his friends against him…

g. He can cause him to lose his job… bring turmoil to his life.

h. And some godless people LOVE bringing about such trouble for others. It is their “sport”. (Prov. 10:23)

But through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

» The godless man brings about ruin by means of his mouth. The just man brings about deliverance by means of knowledge.

» An ungodly mouth brings destruction. Godly knowledge brings deliverance.

1. Just: speaks of a righteous man; a believer…

2. The ungodly man is characterized by a mouth; the godly man is characterized by knowledge!

3. A large amount of knowledge is by far superior to a large amount of mouth!

4. Delivered: to pull out; tear out; rescue; set free;

a. The meaning of the term implies that the deliverance is like being snatched out of a fire… it implies the DANGER of that which makes deliverance necessary.

5. From what is the just man “rescued”?

a. He is rescued from the destructive mouth of the godless man!

b. He is delivered from the corrupting effect of godless speech!

c. If the just man (godly man) is not careful, he too would come under the influence of the godless man.

d. If he is not careful (if you and I are not careful) godless speech will begin to corrupt our morals and manners! It could eventually affect character!

e. If we are not careful, godless speech can bring about destruction in our lives!

6. How is he delivered? (or, we…)

a. Through KNOWLEDGE…

b. Godly knowledge delivers from ungodly speech…

c. Godly knowledge delivers from the destructive effects of ungodly speech.

d. An IGNORANT man (who is just before God—saved) can be adversely affected by the godless man… but if that does happen, it was because of a lack of knowledge.

e. Knowledge will deliver him.
• Through knowledge they will be able to see through the evil intention of the ungodly and avoid being ensnared by him!
• Prov. 1:4 – the book of Proverbs was written to GIVE this kind of knowledge to the young man… so that he could avoid many of the pitfalls in life. (vs. 5 – if he listens!)
• 10:6 – violence is in his mouth. It is good to KNOW that!
• 10:19 – in many words is sin. It is helpful to KNOW that.

f. Do you want to be delivered from ruin, corruption, and destruction? KNOW what God says about the subject!
• Ecc. 2:13 – wisdom and knowledge by far surpass ignorance!
• Knowing God’s Word DELIVERS the believer from destruction.
• Some folks have been unhappy here because I didn’t make them FEEL good… or excited…
• I don’t want to sound too insensitive, but quite frankly, I don’t really care all that much how the people FEEL.
• My job as a pastor/teacher isn’t to cause you to feel something… or to get you excited…
• Besides, the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. I wouldn’t trust my feelings as far as I could throw them!
• My job is to feed you the KNOWLEDGE of the truth…
• Feelings come and go. Knowledge of the truth is rock solid… stable… unmoving… steady…
• Feelings don’t result in deliverance from corruption. (Feelings often LEAD to corruption!) But knowledge DOES deliver from corruption!
• Knowledge delivers us from the corrupting influence of the godless man and his speech.

g. Increase in spiritual knowledge!
• II Pet. 1:5 – add to your faith knowledge…
• II Pet. 3:18 – grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
• Col. 1:9-10 – Pray that we might increase in the knowledge of His will… and in the knowledge of God.
• Hos. 4:6 – My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge! (vs.1 – indicates that it was the knowledge of God that they lacked—not a lack of math or science…)
• The more we know of God, His Word, and His ways, the more deliverance we will experience.

7. Godless men are all around us. Their speech might have a corrupting influence on us… our morals and character. Their mouth may spew out lies and gossip about us that could bring destruction in our life.

a. How can we deal with that? What are we to do?

b. Solomon tells us that the JUST man is delivered from all this by KNOWLEDGE.

c. Prov. 1:4 – To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

d. No wonder Lady Wisdom cries out, “Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her, for she is thy life!” (Prov. 4:13)