9 The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbour,
But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.
A hypocrite (or ‘hippo’ in our house) is a person who speaks out against a sin, and yet openly or secretly does it unashamedly.
You may know (or be) someone who acts like this:
“Please don’t mow your lawn so early this Saturday,” and yet does it on that fine dawn.
“Would you please trim your trees that hang over our fence?” but has a feral vine-monster in the back yard creeping over the neighbour’s shed roof.
“You should go to church once in a while, it would do you good.” and can be found at the pool most Sunday mornings.
Surely you can think of a neighbour who complains about your children and yet has big issues with theirs!
A neighbour like this is not only incredibly frustrating but is very draining.
How does he bring destruction? Certainly the friendship will be shot to pieces, and more that, a steady barrage of these shameless attacks will bring anyone low. Also, how can you trust in a person who does what he condemns?
The righteous have something much reliable than a hypocritical neighbour; they have truth by knowledge. That knowledge is sure and does not vary depending on the weather. It also delivers. Knowledge about God can ultimately save you and deliver you for eternity.
11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted,
But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
For better or for worse, leaders and people in high positions of power have influence in a society. The righteous leader generally affects their society positively and the wicked, negatively.
These two proverbs work together to argue a point.
The point seems to be that the righteous are a blessing to a city and so the population rejoices when they are well off, and the opposite for the wicked. What happens to a city depends on the leader and the behaviour of its population.
The city rejoices in the well-being of the righteous, because of their blessing.
The city takes joy in the righteous because they have been good to the city. The city has been exalted because of their blessing. The upright man is concerned with his society, even though he might not be a social worker. He is involved in justice, even though his job may not be a judge. He is desirous of reconciliation and mercy, and may not necessarily be a family counsellor.
“He does what he must because he can (or more likely that he cares).” – Portal lovers will get this.
And so the city rejoices and flourishes with the righteous in charge.
The city is also jubilant in the death of the wicked, because they overthrew the place.
Why would the wicked do such a thing? They are abusive of the opportunity to change the city. They speak of positive progress (bad grammar that it was) and change the laws to aggressively expand their land borders, legalise sodomy, worship of a child sacrificial system, or allow for a corrupt court of law. The wicked is concerned with himself. He is going to change the city for himself and not in the interest of his fellow citizens. Such behaviour is disastrous for a society. The dictator will end himself and bring down the country in his demise.
And so the city hosts a celebration when the wicked leader falls. He oppressed the whole city, and so they celebrate together. While the proverb is not saying we are to rejoice in every situation of a person who has done great wrong losing their life, there seems to be call for us taking joy in God putting the highly destructive to death, as He will do sometimes. And so the city rejoices, but also should never allow someone like him to come to power again. Hopefully they get a few good men to choose from. Amen.
Thoughts or questions? Write them down in the comment section below!
Are you offended by what I write, or because of God’s Word?
If it’s because of my writing, I’m sorry. I can be harsh when talking about truth and lies. Hopefully you realise I am trying to be loving as well. I can’t apologise for God’s Word, though. Hopefully you are convicted and call on Christ to be your Saviour and King. Cheers.
Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.