Proverbs 10:9-10 – Is honesty the best policy?

Our study of two proverbs in chapter 10 returns to a common style contrasting two ways of life, two ways of living with the conjunction “but”.

Proverbs 10:9He that walketh uprightly [with integrity; innocence] walketh [behave; go] surely [confident; bold; quiet assurance; security]: but he that perverteth [covers up; distorts; is dishonest] his ways [course of life; journey] shall be known [will be found out].”

Proverbs 10:9 offer us a contrast between the character qualities of an upright, honest man of integrity with a dishonest man who lacks integrity.

Notice that an upright man, a man of integrity has the bearing of confidence. He follows the adage, “Honesty is the best policy”.  A good man, one who behaves uprightly, does not need a bombastic bravo personality—his character speaks for itself.  The dishonest man follows a path filled with lies and distortions.  His Integritycircuitous ways are not readily known; however, he will invariably be exposed as a fraud.

Proverbs 10:10, rather than offering us a contrast of polar opposites, gives us insight into the wicked character of two men who are, as some say, “cut from the same cloth”.

Proverbs 10:10 He that winketh [malicious wink] with the eye causeth [deliver; make for; give] sorrow [pain; wound]: but a prating [lips; language; speech] fool [silly; despising wisdom] shall fall [be overthrown; struck to the ground].”

Biden laughThe “wink” of the eye continues as a method of non-verbal communication used by those some describe as “partners in crime”. Their innocent victim is naïve to the motive of the ones who “winketh with the eye”; however, when the fool opens his mouth he is exposed as a fool and will eventually be struck down.

In the immediate, the path of the upright may not promise the temporal pleasures and excitement of sin; however, the path of the righteous is blessed and free from the destructive end of the wicked.

Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith