Proverbs 20:26

A Wise King Scatters the Wicked

26 A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.

1. A wise king

a. Wise: Shrewd; crafty; cunning; prudent; learned; discerning; experienced; skilled; perceptive…

b. Solomon was the king of Israel and was writing to his sons—who were part of the royal family… and some of his sons could expect to reign as king one day.

c. Thus, Solomon is preparing his sons for such a day.

d. And, as we’ll see, the wisdom Solomon attempted to pass on to his royal sons is applicable to those of us who may not be of royal blood.

e. You don’t have to be a prince to appreciate the wisdom of Solomon.

2. A wise king acknowledges the threat wicked men pose…

a. Wicked:
• A criminal; guilty one; one guilty of crime; one who violates a standard or a law.
• Kings had to deal with criminals and lawbreakers all the time.
• In Solomon’s day, sometimes kings had to function as judges too. They heard cases and had to sentence the criminal. (As Solomon judged the two women who each claimed the living baby belonged to them…)

b. A king should realize the DANGER of allowing wicked men in his kingdom… in one of his cities… in one of the households of the kingdom.
• Prov. 11:11 – By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
» The wicked, if allowed to remain, results in the overthrowing of a house, a city, and even a kingdom!

• Prov. 17:15 – He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
» Solomon knew that he could not justify the wicked in his kingdom.
» He could not make excuses for wicked behavior on those in his kingdom. It had to be condemned.
» Otherwise, tolerating such behavior would be an abomination to the Lord.

• Prov. 18:3 – When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.
» Here Solomon recognizes that along with putting up with wicked men and wickedness in his domain, comes contempt.
» Contempt: Disrespect, with a possibly implication of a verbal mocking.
→ Prov. 30:17 – (same term) despising to obey one’s parents.
→ To be regarded by others as unimportant or insignificant… of no value.
→ Ps. 123:3-4 – the wicked speak with scorn and contempt against the godly.

3. A wise king knew that by putting up with the wicked, he was inviting contempt… and along with that ignominy and reproach… (shame, disgrace, and dishonor)
• Prov. 24:15 – Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place.
» The wise king realizes that the presence of the wicked in the house of the righteous can SPOIL that resting place.
» Spoil: Devastate; ruin; ravage.
» Resting place: Home; dwelling place.
» The wise king realizes that the presence of the wicked is just as devastating to a home as it is to the kingdom.

• Wise kings were very much aware that wicked men existed… and the danger that a wicked man was to his kingdom… what a threat the presence of wicked men were to the welfare of a home, a city, and even the kingdom.
• Foolish kings may look the other way and tolerate it… or perhaps they might pretend that they don’t even SEE the wicked or the devastation they are wreaking… but not so with wise kings.

3. Think of Solomon’s upbringing in the home of David.

a. Solomon got to see firsthand instances of his father’s wisdom in not tolerating wickedness in his kingdom.

b. Read Psalm 101. David determined NOT to tolerate wickedness in his house… (or his kingdom; his royal court)

c. But Solomon also got to see firsthand some mistakes his father made on those occasions where David DID tolerate bad behavior from some of his sons—especially from Absalom, and all the grief that brought into his household.

Scatters the wicked and bringeth the wheel over them.

1. Scatters:

a. Scatter: Cast away; disperse; spread out…

b. This term is used of the winnowing process: a process which removes the husk and chaff from the fruit of grain,

c. Thus, it came to mean the harming an object as related to the vigorous, even violent action on the husks and grain.

d. This is how Solomon uses the term in Proverbs 20:26.

2. A wise king not only disagrees with wicked men; he not only laments their presence in his kingdom; he DOES something about it.

a. He scatters them.

b. He winnows them… beats them down to powder…

c. He separates the wheat from the chaff…

3. He brings the wheel over them…

a. Threshing: In this process, farmers would run a wheel over the grain to initially crush the husks and eventually separate the husks (chaff) from the wheat grain.

b. Once the wheel runs over it, it is ready for winnowing. (Tossing it in the air to let the wind separate the chaff from the grain.)

c. Winnowing and threshing were part of the same process—only one was much gentler than the other.

d. Solomon uses this to illustrate the responsibility of a king to exercise judgment and justice upon the wicked in the land. (Some forms would be more severe than others.)

e. Thus, wise kings did not tolerate wickedness or wicked men. They executed justice and dealt with them harshly… for the good of the nation.

f. The winnowing and threshing processes separate the wheat from the chaff… it protects and preserves the precious wheat… and it crushes and separates the worthless chaff.

g. Solomon uses this as an illustration of what a wise king does for his domain: In order to protect and preserve those who are righteous, he must crush and remove that which is worthless… the chaff… the wicked.

4. Prov. 25:4-5 – Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

a. Take away: remove; expel; drive out.

b. The wicked can cause much ruin if they are tolerated.

c. But when they are driven out, the king’s throne is established.

d. Establish: Made firm; set in place; made steadfast; solid.

e. Removing the wicked is exactly what this nation needs. It would result in strengthening the moral foundation of society.

f. But no, we tolerate way too many forms of wickedness in this land under the pretence of liberty, freedom, and pluralism.

g. We have liberty gone wild in America… and it’s ruining the nation.

h. Wise kings scatter wickedness… they don’t tolerate it.

i. Prov. 29:16a – When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth.

j. Wise kings don’t allow it to multiply. They deal with it… before that evil spreads and causes havoc… they scatter it… bring the wheel over him… just like you would reject a disease from your body. If it’s harming your body, get rid of it. If it’s harming a nation—get rid of it.

5. Of course there is good application from this in realms other than royal families!

a. Dealing with wickedness is necessary in EVERY realm!

b. It is necessary in a school. (That’s the major problem in public schools today—no discipline…)

c. It is necessary in a home. Parents cannot tolerate disobedience and disrespect in their homes.

d. It is necessary in the local church too. God has designed church discipline to deal with this very issue. He does NOT want us to tolerate evil in the body of Christ. It is to be threshed out… the chaff driven away… so that the wholesome grain might be beneficial.

e. The main point Solomon makes is that such behavior must first be CRUSHED… obliterated… threshed… chased out…

f. THEN comes the establishment of the nation… or of a city, home, church, etc…

g. Severity is often necessary for the stability and strength of any organization, institution, home, church, or society.

h. Only after the wicked have been dealt a severe blow (crushed and scattered) can a government, church, home, or city function properly.

i. Thus, before the Lord establishes His government on earth in the Kingdom, He is first going to thresh out the wicked… and only the righteous shall enter in.

j. Matthew 3:12 – And there will be a final separation… a scattering of the wicked from among the righteous… a final purging or threshing of the floor.