Proverbs 12:13

The Transgression of His Lips

13a The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips

A. Transgressions Are Committed By the Lips

1. Men lie with their lips.

2. Men deceive with their lips.

3. Men brag and boast with their lips.

4. Men curse with their lips.

5. Men blaspheme with their lips.

6. Men gossip with their lips.

7. There are countless ways to transgress with one’s lips.

B. Transgression with the Lips Brings a Snare

1. Sinning with the lips eventually comes back to BITE you…

a. Transgressing lips are a snare… something that traps you…

b. Solomon is saying that when we sin with our lips, we get CAUGHT in a trap of our own making!

c. If we sin with our lips, sooner or later, those words will come back to haunt us…

d. They may come back to “catch” us in a trap.

e. Prov. 26:27 – “Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.”
• Prov. 12:13 is the very same principle as 26:27 – only much narrower.
• 26:27 speaks of a broad principle which is applicable to many areas of life… those who dig a pit shall fall in themselves.
• 12:13 applies that principle to sinning with the lips.
• One who sins with his lips is like a man who digs a pit. Eventually, he will be snared by the pit he himself dug!

C. Biblical Examples of This Principle

1. Men lie with their lips… and are snared.

a. Gen. 12:11-13 – Abraham lied about his wife’s identity.
• Gen. 12:18-20 – Pharaoh rebukes Abraham for his lie! What a sting that must have been—a pagan rebuking the believer for lying! That should never be…
• Abraham lied—and he fell in the pit that he dug for himself. He was CAUGHT in his lie…

b. II Kings 5:20 – Gehazi, Elisha’s servant lied and said that Elisha sent him to Naaman to receive a gift.
• This was a boldfaced lie—in order to get silver for himself.
• II Kings 5:21-27 – Gehazi was snared by the transgression of his lips.
• He lied and at first was successful—for he did get the silver.
• BUT—he was smitten with leprosy! He was snared… by the pit he dug for himself.

2. Men deceive with their lips… and are snared.

a. I Kings 2:23 – Adonijah wanted a concubine SO THAT he could attempt to steal the throne from Solomon.

b. He deceived Bathsheba… but not Solomon.

c. He was put to death for this deception…

d. The transgression of his lips was his undoing… his snare.

3. Men brag and boast with their lips… and are snared.

a. Esther 6:6-10 – Haman in his pride boasted that no one is worthy of more honor than himself and proceeded to tell the king HOW to honor the man whom the king wanted to honor.

b. He didn’t realize it at the time, but he planned a parade of honor for his worst enemy!

c. His words of pride and selfishness came back to haunt him!

d. He was a wicked man who was snared by the transgression of his lips.

4. Men curse with their lips… and are snared.

a. II Sam. 16:5-12 – Shimei cursed David at perhaps David’s lowest point… and Shimei thought that he got away with it.

b. I Kings 2:44-46 – King Solomon remembered the cursings of Shimei and had him put to death.

c. His words of transgression and cursing came back to haunt him in later years.

d. Shimei wasn’t caught in the snare for many years after the transgression with his lips—but he WAS snared eventually!

e. Sometimes we can sin with our lips and seem to get away with it… for a while. But sins with our lips have a way of catching up with us… don’t they?!

5. Men blaspheme with their lips… and are snared.

a. Matt. 27:25 – His blood be upon us and upon our children!

b. These men spoke in blasphemy against the Son of God…

c. Surely those words came back to haunt that generation of Jews… they will haunt many of them forever and ever in the Lake of Fire.

6. Men gossip and speak evil with their lips… and are snared.

a. Ecc. 10:20 – don’t speak evil of someone behind their back.

b. A little birdy somehow seems to get your words to them sooner or later… and you may live to regret having said it.

c. Our words of gossip often come back to haunt us… to embarrass us… to bring us to shame…

7. Men compromise with their lips… and are snared.

a. Matt. 26:74 – Peter compromised with his lips—and he denied the Lord—I know not the man!

b. Vs. 75 – He was caught… and snared… and wept bitterly.

8. The first part of this verse is nearly identical in meaning to Proverbs 18:7 – A fool’s mouth is his (OWN) destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.

a. The wicked man says things he shouldn’t say—and ends up paying for it! It eventually destroys him.

b. He may lose his job because of his loose speech…

c. He may lose his friends… He may even lose his freedom and end up in prison…

13b But the just shall come out of trouble

1. This proverb presents a contrast:

a. The wicked who sins with his lips vs. the just (presumably who does not sin with his lips—at least at time of contrast)

b. The wicked who is snared in a trap; and the just who comes OUT OF trouble.

c. Hence: (1) one who sins with his mouth vs. one who doesn’t
(2) One who gets in trouble vs. one who doesn’t.

2. This proverb states that the wicked man gets himself in much trouble because of his lips… but the righteous man (one who does not sin with his lips) comes OUT OF trouble… he escapes the snare.

a. You can get in a lot of trouble with a big mouth.

b. But if you keep it shut—you will deliver yourself from a lot of unnecessary trouble and heartache.

c. If you tell the TRUTH you will deliver yourself from much trouble.
• The Rabbis used to say that if you always tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said!

d. Prov. 14:3 – lips of the wise shall preserve them…

e. Prov. 21:23 – Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles…

f. We could avoid many traps, snares, and pitfalls in life if we would simply learn to control our tongue. That requires the power of the Holy Spirit.

g. Yield that member to God—and life will be a much more pleasant experience!