Abominable Thoughts vs. Pleasant Words
1. Note the contrasts in this proverb:
a. Thoughts vs. words
b. Abomination vs. pleasant
c. The wicked vs. the pure
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD:
A. The Wicked
1. Solomon speaks here of wicked men… evil men…
2. More to the point, he is speaking here of the SOURCE of the thoughts that are abominable to the Lord.
a. Hence, the wickedness is to be traced to the HEART.
b. The wicked man has a wicked heart.
c. Out of the HEART flows all kinds of wickedness… including evil THOUGHTS (Matt. 15:19-20) and they are defiling.
B. The Thoughts of the Wicked
1. Thoughts Defined:
a. Strong’s: thought; plan; purpose; invention, musing; imagination.
b. The basic meaning has to do with the employment of the mind in thinking…
c. The term does not speak about understanding, but active thinking, planning, devising,
d. Gen. 50:20 – here the root word is used two times.
• It is used of both man and God.
• Joseph said that his brothers “meant” (planned) evil in their earlier treatment of him, but that God “meant” (planned) it for good.
• It was an active plan… their purpose…
2. The active thoughts of wicked men flow from a wicked heart.
a. And before we go looking down at the awful sinners around us, let’s try examining our own hearts.
b. There’s plenty of wickedness right there to be discovered.
c. Prov. 24:9 – The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.
d. We don’t have to do or say anything to sin. Just think an evil thought!
e. You can cut off the tongue of a liar or a gossiper… and perhaps you have hindered his lies or gossip… but you haven’t turned him into a truth teller… you haven’t TAMED his tongue… because it all stems from the heart.
f. The wickedness described here is DEEPER than the mind or mouth… it comes from the fallen heart of men.
3. Believers AND unbelievers have wicked hearts and all of us are capable of wicked thoughts.
a. This is a point that does not need to be stressed for it is self-evident.
b. There was a point TODAY when every one of us here PROVED this to be true.
c. Every one of us struggle with our thoughts and imaginations…
d. Every one of us has thoughts of anger, lust, malice… jealousy, covetousness, pride.
e. Jer. 4:14 – God lamented and cried out to His people: O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?
• Here God appealed to Israel to be clean and avoid the impending Babylonian judgment.
• Perhaps a similar appeal needs to be made to us!
• How LONG shall vain thoughts be allowed to fester in our hearts and minds?
• Are there wicked thoughts… grudges… bitterness… lust… resentment… evil thoughts against another person that need to be washed away?
• There is no time like the present to obey!
C. Abomination to the Lord
1. Abomination Defined:
2. Prov. 6:18 – a heart that devises wicked imaginations (same word as thoughts) is one of the 7 deadly sins… that are abominations to the Lord.
3. Everything about the wicked is an abomination to the Lord! (Cf. 15:8-9) Their sacrifices and their ways are an abomination!
4. Gen. 6:5 – The same term is used here: imaginations. It was the reason for the flood. Such unrepentance of wicked thoughts brought about the worst judgment the world has seen to date.
5. God is aware of every thought and imagination of the heart of every human being on the planet. He is omniscient.
But the words of the pure are pleasant words
A. The Pure
1. Pure: pure; clean (morally, ethically); free from foreign particles or impurities.
2. Ps. 12:6 – The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
3. This term stands in stark contrast to the wicked.
B. The Words of the Pure
1. Notice that in the KJV the words the words appear in italics, indicating that they were not in the original.
a. Something HAD to be inserted by the translators to make the sentence flow in English.
b. Some translators thought it better to insert the word thoughts here… to make parallel with the first part of the verse.
c. The KJV translators added words here because of what follows: they are pure words.
d. There is no way to make Solomon’s words perfectly parallel here… as we have seen often in Proverbs.
e. But since SOMETHING has to be added, and since there is no way to avoid the awkwardness of saying that THOUGHTS are pleasant WORDS.
2. But perhaps we shouldn’t be so concerned about the exact translation here since thoughts and words are both alike to God!
a. God “hears” a man’s thoughts just as loudly as He “hears” spoken words.
b. God hears our words before they are ever formed into words. He “hears” them when they are being thought in the mind!
c. Thoughts ARE words to an omniscient God. We are speaking… communicating… revealing what our heart is like when we think… plan… muse… imagine… and allow our minds to wander.
d. And when we think we are communicating to ONE Being: God Himself.
e. No one else hears… men or angels. But God does. He knows the hearts of men.
f. Thoughts will be ultimately evaluated and judged by God just the same as words.
g. Why? Thoughts ARE words to God. He hears them before they leave the tongue. He hears them in our heart… in our mind…
C. Are Pleasant Words
1. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Ps. 19:14)
2. Pleasant Defined:
a. Strong’s: kindness; pleasantness; delightfulness; beauty; favor; acceptable; favorable.
b. It is a generic term with hundreds of uses…
c. It is sometimes translated the “beauty” of the Lord.
3. Some words are pleasant to men.
a. In general, we should aim to keep our words pleasant… kind… delightful… our speech should be flavored by grace.
b. Of course, there is a time for rebuke and a time for unpleasant words…
c. But in general, our speech towards others should be gracious, kind, good, etc…
d. Nobody wants to be around a person who is constantly negative, tearing down this and that, gossiping, slandering, pointing out faults, etc.
e. Prov. 16:24 – such pleasant words (same term) edify others… like food and health.
4. But the pleasant words Solomon describes are best understood as being pleasant in the sight of God, not man.
a. Solomon is speaking about the LORD’S estimate of things.
b. The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination TO THE LORD.
c. The words of the pure are pleasant words TO THE LORD.
d. God finds the wicked thoughts of men to be an ABOMINATION.
e. God finds the pure words of men to be a DELIGHT… beautiful… lovely… pleasant…
f. Imagine that: God gets pleasure from the words that flow from our mouths! God is delighted… pleased… He sees BEAUTY in it all!
g. By our thoughts and words we can either make God nauseated or bring Him delight!
h. Ps. 37:30-31 – The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. 31The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
• This is what brings delight to God…
• When our mouths speak God’s wisdom… and justice.
• When the law of God is in our heart and our minds are saturated with His Word.
• God is pleased and delighted with such thoughts and words… in our hearts… and flowing out of our mouths.
• Is this true of your life?
5. Our thought lives are more important to God than we might THINK. (No pun intended.)
a. Prov. 23:7 – as a man thinketh in his heart, so IS he!
b. Remember the old saying, “You are what you eat?” The Bible says something a bit different: “We ARE what we think.”
c. What kind of a person are YOU? God’s estimate is this: what do we think about throughout the day? What dominates our thoughts?
• Is your mind dominated by thoughts of sex? Then you are a lustful man.
• Is your mind dominated by money? Then you are a covetous man.
• Is your mind dominated by sports? Then you are a lover of pleasure rather than a lover of God.
• Is your mind dominated by thoughts of advancing at work? Then you are an ambitious man.
• Is your mind dominated by Christ and spiritual things? Then you are a Spirit-filled Christian!
• As a man THINKETH so is he.
• This is God’s estimation of who we are.
• God is either nauseated or delighted by the things we allow to kick around in our heads.
• Be ye transformed by the RENEWING of your mind!
• Mal. 3:16 – they THOUGHT about the Lord and SPOKE about Him one to another! That brings God delight.