Knowing the Word of God is Truth (John 17:17), it follows that the Lord places a priority on His people being a “truth speaking” people. Proverbs 21:28 admonishes liars and affirms those who love honesty and sincerity.
Proverbs 21:28 A false [lying; deceitful] witness [testimony in the judicial sense] shall perish [destroy; fail; have no way to flee]: but the man that heareth [obeys; hearkens; understands] speaketh [declare; converse; promise] constantly [ever; perpetual; reliable; strength].
Solomon offers his son an education in God’s system of justice stating that a “false witness”, a liar whose purpose is to deceive and thwart justice, will inevitably be destroyed. Lies and liars are soon exposed and, should such feel they have sinned and escaped justice, I remind them that God has the final word when we read, “all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
While liars sometimes speak truth, a good man of godly character will always speak truth. Solomon describes the truth-loving man as “the man that heareth speaketh constantly” (Proverbs 21:28b). Herein is a great truth for those some describe as having the “gift of gab”. Liars, gossips and slanderers evidence little patience for hearing and place no value on truth. By contrast, the man who has something worth saying listens with patience and, when he speaks, does so with the authority and discernment of a man whose confidence is in his knowledge of God and His Word. Such a man ponders and weighs his words.
Proverbs 21:29 offers us once again a contrast of two familiar characters—the wicked and the upright.
Proverbs 21:29 A wicked [ungodly; guilty; criminal; i.e. in the wrong] man hardeneth [strong in a bad sense] his face [countenance; presence; person]: but as for the upright [right; righteous; just; straight], he directeth [regard; discern; understand; consider] his way [path; road; journey; course of life].
The “wicked man”, one who is unrepentant and habitually follows the way of the way of sin and ungodliness, is described as one whose countenance (meaning his face and person) is growing hard and insensitive to sin. Such a man has no heart for instruction and no patience with parents, teachers or pastors who dare correct him. Like Cain whose countenance God described as having “fallen” (Genesis 4:5-6), the hardened face of the wicked betrays his calloused heart.
The “upright”, in contrast to the wicked, ponders and weighs the destination of the path he follows in light of instruction and God’s Word. Such a man is marked by humility that receives godly counsel and corrects his ways. I close with a wonderful promise for such a man:
Psalm 37:23 – “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith