Proverbs 17:4

What Evil Doers and Liars Listen To

4a A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips;

1. Wicked doer:

a. Bad; evil; injurious; mischievous; harmful (translated by 13 different English words!)

b. One who is morally corrupt in his behavior.

2. False lips:

a. Trouble of iniquity, wickedness

b. Morally evil and corrupt

c. False, as an idol or false words

d. False lips: refers to speech that is evil, immoral, or untrue

3. Giveth heed:

a. To hear; be attentive; heed; hearken; pay attention; listen.

b. Accept information as true and respond to it.

c. The person who DOES evil things pays attention to the person who SAYS evil things.

d. They are on the same wavelength.

e. One whose heart is wicked will naturally be INCLINED to listen to one who speaks evil… corruption.

f. There is a natural camaraderie.

4. The wicked doer is an expression that describes the kind of corruption or immorality that a person DOES… his PRACTICE.

a. His practice is affected by what he listens to…

b. If he LISTENS to that which is morally evil and corrupt… it will affect his practice… his deeds…

c. That in time affects his lifestyle.

d. Who and what a person listens to… will show in his life over time.

e. Giving heed to evil communication affects one’s behavior.

f. The wicked person LISTENS to that which is in harmony with his character… wicked men LOVE to listen to wicked things.

g. That strengthens his wicked character…

h. He practices corruption and likes to HEAR that others do too.

5. I Cor. 15:33 – it has a corrupting effect…

a. Communication: to converse; talk. Originally the word meant being together in company, companionship.

b. Manner = (ethos) custom, morals, character. This is the word from which the English word ethics is derived.

c. The person with whom one associates… communicates with… talks with… listens to… affects one’s manners.

d. The effect of evil communication = corruption; destruction

e. Good communication does the opposite. Good communication and fellowship doesn’t destroy; it builds up.

f. That’s why Christian fellowship is so important!

6. Wicked doers (those who practice wickedness) are those who listen to corrupt and immoral and false speech.

a. They listen to corrupt speech with delight and great pleasure!
• Such speech supports them in their evil doings…
• They FEED upon such speech…
• It motivates them… encourages them…
• They get new ideas from such speech…
• They feel justified by such speech…
• Without hearing such things from other wicked men, they might be AFRAID to practice their wickedness.
• Without the support they get from such speech they might be too cowardly to act alone…
• They NEED this speech to live the way they do.

b. Wicked doers LISTEN to wicked speech.
• So if you want DON’T want to be a wicked doer, then don’t LISTEN to the false lips!
• Refuse to listen… turn your ears away from those who use corrupt and immoral speech… and promote ungodly ideas.
• It will be GOOD for your behavior.

4b And a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.

1. Liar:

a. The liar is compared to the “wicked doer”.

b. Lie; deception; falsehood; fraud; mislead.

c. Deut. 19:18 – the “false witness.”

d. Jer. 5:31 – used of “false” prophets.

e. Prov. 6:17, 19 – this is something God especially hates. A lying tongue and a false (lying) witness.

2. Giveth ear:

a. To lend an ear; to give an ear; to listen; to hear.

b. This word is almost always found in poetic texts of the Old Testament and is often found in songs.

c. The Song of Moses begins with an exhortation for the heavens to lend its ear (Deut. 32:1).

d. Jeremiah asked for the people of Israel to listen to his prophecy (Jer. 13:15).

e. God’s people often asked the Lord to listen to their prayers.

3. Naughty tongue:

a. evil desire, wicked craving,

b. evil desires that lead to destruction (a destructive tongue)

c. Ps. 52:2 – their tongue deviseth mischief (destruction)

d. Ps. 38:12 – the destruction that comes from an evil tongue… evil speech.

e. This destructive tongue destroys friendships, families, reputations, peace, and anything else in its pathway.

f. The tongue is spoken of in a poetic way of causing destruction… like a sword or a knife that pierces.

g. Such is the nature and power of the tongue…

4. The LIAR listens to destructive speech so that he might get some new information to lie about… to gossip about…

a. Prov. 16:28 – what people say and listen to can be exceedingly destructive.

b. Prov. 13:5 – righteous men ought to HATE lying. We ought to be aware of the destruction that it creates.

c. We ought to rejoice in the truth…

Both Cases Are the Same: one who does evil and speaks evil…

1. Evildoers and evil liars BOTH LISTEN to corrupt speech.

2. Sinners strengthen one another… they encourage one another…

3. They seek out those that are like themselves.

a. Birds of a feather flock together…

b. Like begets like…

c. It takes one to know one…

4. Wicked men feed off each other.

a. Evil speech encourages evil action.

b. Evil action encourages more evil speech.

c. They are not content with the evil in their own minds and hearts… they seek out others to STIMULATE these thoughts and behaviors.

d. II Sam 13 – two evil men fed off each other.
• Vs.1-2 – Amnon wanted to go in unto this woman, but was afraid to do so. He had the desire… but not the courage.
• Vs. 3 – but he had a friend… a subtle, evil friend.
• Vs. 4-5 – the evil friend communicated an evil plan…
• Amnon LISTENED to the plan and carried it out.
• He forced his sister… and now he was a rapist.
• These two men encouraged one another in evil.
• Men who want to DO wicked things LISTEN to wicked men with evil plans.
• Evil communication CORRUPTS good behavior.
• Alone, Amnon had evil thoughts, but DID nothing.

e. By LISTENING to the lies, wickedness, and gossip, we share responsibility with the one speaking the lies.

f. We may not be able to STOP other men from speaking evil… but we certainly should not give them OPPORTUNITY to speak evil by listening.

g. Don’t support evil communication by lending it an ear!

h. If nobody lends the gossiper or the liar an ear, they won’t be able to gossip or lie!

5. Communication and fellowship are extremely powerful.

a. Crooks and liars are comfortable around others who are just like them.

b. They are attracted to those who share their lack of values.

c. Consider how Ahab listened to Jezebel… and where that led.

d. II Tim. 4:3-4 – men have ears for what they WANT to hear. Men who do not want the truth turn their ears away from it… and towards fables!

e. It matters what we listen to.

f. What a great application to MUSIC… what are you listening to? It affects behavior.

g. Apply this to the Internet: what are you bending your ear towards on the internet? What about your kids? Do you know who they are “hearing”?

6. GOOD communication and fellowship are powerful too!

a. If crooks and liars seek the fellowship of one another… we as Christians should too!

b. If immoral people feed on one another… and encourage one another in their immorality, then certainly moral people ought to do the same!

c. What WE listen to will have an effect on our behavior too.

d. Jas. 1:21-22 – be hearers and doers of the Word… and fellowship with others who do the same.