Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Prov.18 progression of destruction

Proverbs 18:6-7: A fool's lips bring strife, and his mouth calls for blows. A fool's mouths is his ruin, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
So, these are two verses out of Prov.18 that I read today. I read that chapter and studied out every use of any indication of speech, words, etc. There is a very significant progression seen in these two verses - (at least I see it). Let me share what I saw today:
It seems that a fool is characterized by his speech. When someone who is a 'fool' begins to let his yapper run, it brings first of all conflict. (fool's lips bring strife). I am looking at this in a verbal conflict way. As you study this word out, it seems to have a quarreling aspect to it. I don't think that it's a far stretch to assume that someone who is foolish with their speech often is involved in arugments and quarrels. The Proverbs seem to be pretty clear that a fool brings this on himself through his speech.
Secondly, the writer of Proverbs says that a fool's mouth calls for blows. How often and quickly do verbal quarrels lead to physical confrontations! It doesn't take much for the fire of passionate foolish talking to get out of control. You see this same word used in the next chapter when the writer says that judgment is prepared for scoffers and blows for the back of a fool. It is physical violence that often erupts from a fool letting his mouth run wild.
In verse seven we see further progression of foolish talking. The fool's mouth actually brings about ruin. It may start in verbal quarreling; which may progress to physical confrontation, but it quickly leads to ruin. Now this destruction could be death, physically. Certainly many murders have been a result of some fool shooting off his mouth inappropriately. But I think ruin happens in so many other ways as well. How soon a relationship is destroyed with foolish talking! Spouses seek divorce, children run away, employees quit their jobs, church members leave a church and on and on the list goes. Many relationships come to ruin because a fool speaks unwisely with his mouth.
Lastly, the fool's lips are a snare for his soul. The word snare is the word for bait or trap. It's the same word used in Joshua 23: ...know with certainty that the LORD your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they shall be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the LORD your God has given you... A quick consultation to the Theological Wordboook of the OT states, A snare metaphorically is something that allures one from his real purpose and then destroys him. That certainly puts a period on this downward progression doesn't it? The fool thinks that his speech is actually going to benefit him in some way (perhaps in control over the situation or person - part of the allurement) and actually it snares his soul. He destroys his very self.
I think this very quick look at these two verses at the very least challenges my thinking on the way I use my speech. Consider your speech today. Are you quick to be foolish? Be forewarned then my friend, there is a certain progression of destruction that is laid out for you in Proverbs 18.

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