Proverbs 6:12-15

Proverbs 6:12-15 "A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.  Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy."
Christian Church WNY
Having money matters and the mindset related to money in the first eleven verses, Solomon begins to describe a “naughty person” in verse 12.  Given the context of the preceding verses dealing with Rehoboam’s foolish and lazy friend, it would make sense to envision this wise father now addressing his son’s choice of friends.  In describing a “naughty person” in great detail, it appears that Solomon is not addressing the sinful as much as he his son.  It is a father’s duty to teach his child WHAT to watch out for (e.g. co-signing) as well as WHO to watch out for (e.g. the wicked).  It is a mother’s duty to also teach her child what type of person to evade and avoid.  The description in verses 12-16 is intended to help a young person identify the type of person they should avoid befriending.

For those who know their Bibles, it should be no surprise to find Solomon ascribing seven characteristics to the “naughty person:”

1. A Naughty Person WALKS with a FROWARD MOUTH.

Solomon is not necessarily describing what the wicked say while they’re walking.  He is referring to his way of life, which is often described in terms of “walking.”  Enoch, for example, “walked with God” (Gen. 5:24).  Noah is also described in Scripture in the same terms, that he “walked with God” (Gen. 6:9).  A wicked person can be identified by their mouth.  How a person talks defines how a person walks.  If a person has a perverted mouth, then you can be sure that they have a perverted manner of life.  Proverbs 15:4, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”  Avoid a person who has a naughty mouth because “evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33).

2. A Naughty Person WINKS with his EYES.

When we wink, we’re communicating something secret.  Oftentimes, a wink is seen as something innocent and playful but here in Proverbs 6, it is used to describe something harmful and hurtful.  In Psalm 34, David asked God to protect him from his enemies and prayed, “neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.”  Wicked people communicate deceitfully and secretly with the eyes.  With a wink, wicked people change the meaning of what was said.  Anyone who has watched a movie with bad guys knows the meaning of a wink.  Proverbs 10:10, “He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow.”  Avoid a person who uses winks to communicate for he cannot be trusted.

3. A Naughty Person SPEAKS with his FEET.

You can tell a person’s moral nature by their body language.  You can tell a person’s character by their appearance and behavior.  A naughty person will use any part of their body to communicate their naughty intentions.  A wicked man will use his feet to cheat if he can silently communicate an answer to his partner in crime.  A wicked woman will use her feet under the table to touch a married man so as seduce him into an inappropriate relationship.  Evil souls and criminals will get creative and use any means of communication in order to get what they want.  Practically-speaking, a wicked person communicates his wicked intentions by the places his feet travel and by the direction his feet are pointing.  Avoid a person who is secretive.

4. A Naughty Person TEACHES with his FINGERS.

There is no greater illustration of this fourth description in our modern day than the person who communicates with one finger on their hand – in particular, the tallest finger in the middle of their hand.  I have had the opportunity to “learn” about people over the years, especially on the roads.  On more than one occasion, I have passed a stranger on the highway or on a straight-a-way and when passing them, I see them display one finger.  In that moment, they taught me about their personality and character.  Without saying a word, they taught me that they don’t like being passed.  Without saying a word, they taught me that they have anger in their hearts.  Without saying a word, they taught me that they are proud and contentious.  They taught me that they are the type of person that jumps to conclusions and judgments.  They taught me that they are not the type of person who would want to work things out.  Avoid a person who teaches with his fingers.

5. A Naughty Person has FROWARDNESS in his HEART.

Having described a naughty person’s visible and audible characteristics, Solomon can now describe in verse 14, a naughty person’s invisible and inaudible characteristics.  What comes out of our mouth reveals what goes on in our heart.  In Luke 6:45, Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”  If you hear a froward mouth, then you’ve detected a froward heart.  If you hear perverted words coming out of someone’s mouth, then you’ve detected a perverted source from which those words flow.  Someone who tells a dirty joke has a dirty heart.  Avoid a person with a perverted heart for out of it are the issues of life (Prov. 4:23).


A person who winks with his eyes and speaks with his feet reveals what is going on in his head.  What comes out of our mouth reveals what goes on in our heart and what is happening in our eyes reveals what is happening in our minds.  You can tell how a person feels by how a person talks and you can tell what a person is thinking by how a person is looking.  Solomon wasn’t a mind reader but he was an eye reader.  When you see someone who communicates privately and secretly with their eyes (e.g. winking), then you know that they’re devising mischief continually.  A person who is crafting mischief is a very self-centered person.  Such a soul is always looking for an opportunity to get something from someone.  Such a person should be avoided at all costs for they will eventually see you as an opportunity.

7. A Naughty Person SOWS DISCORD.

Because this person is devising mischief continually, they’re going to eventually sow discord.  A person who is surrounded or involved in drama should be avoided for it reveals a wicked nature.  A person who gossips or slanders another is a naughty person.  A person who intentionally causes trouble between two people or parties is a naughty person.  A person who initiates arguments, debates and fights is a wicked soul.  Regardless of the verbalized motive, anyone who enjoys causing trouble is a wicked person.  Many reporters and media outlets reveal their naughty nature on this point alone.  Avoid a person who does things to cause trouble with people.

Verse 15 is the most important verse in Solomon’s counsel pertaining to a naughty person.  While Rehoboam and all of Solomon’s readers should learn how to identify a wicked person, they must learn what eventually happens to a wicked person.  Because of their wickedness, the wicked will SUDDENLY be broken and that, without remedy.  Because of their naughtiness, the naughty will SUDDENLY have calamity come upon them. When it comes to making friends with the wrong people, young people especially don’t see any harm with befriending morally-questionable people because they don’t see any harmful ramifications.  they don’t see the friend who tells dirty jokes being struck by lightning.  Oftentimes, they see the opposite – they see the friend who tells dirty jokes being struck by school-wide popularity.  Young people don’t see the drug-selling friend getting arrested and put in jail for years. Oftentimes, they see the opposite – they see the drug-selling or stealing friend getting rich.

The wicked should be avoided because eventually, God’s mercy will step back on them.  The naughty should be avoided because at some unknown and undisclosed point, the gauntlet of God’s justice will come down.  When God’s holy gene overcomes God’s mercy gene, punishment will come SUDDENLY and SWIFTLY.  When it comes, you don’t want to be nearby or attached to that naughty friend.  All of us, but especially young people think that if we don’t punished immediately, then we’ll never get punished.  If we get away with one sin, we’ll get away with all our sin.  All of us, but especially young people misunderstand and misinterpret God’s mercy.  We tend to view God’s mercy as God’s ignorance.  We foolishly think that if God doesn’t punish sin, He must not see it or care about it.  In reality, God’s lack of punishment is God’s extension of mercy for the sake of repentance.  Eventually when God sees no intention for repentance, He punishes sin and executes justice.  Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Scripture provides us with many examples of God’s mercy being extended for a long time but once it is clear that there is no intention for repentance, God’s mercy withdraws and God’s holiness initiates justice.  God permitted the wicked behavior of Haman for years and years until his demise came SUDDENLY and that, without remedy.  He carried hatred for the Jewish people in his heart for a lifetime and devised evil against them continually.  That “wicked Haman" (Esther 7:6) prospered as a prince without any sign of God’s wrath until one day, his calamity came SUDDENLY.  The same could be said of wicked men like Amnon, Balaam, Herod and Korah.

There is a distinct difference between consequences of sin and punishment for sin.  The consequences of sin are the natural result of sin whereas the punishment for sin is a decisive response to sin.  For example, the consequences of theft are guilt, lost relationships, lies, instability and loss of trust whereas the punishment of theft is jail time or fines.  The naughty person will experience negative consequences for their naughtiness all their life but it is the punishment for their naughtiness that will be swift and decisive.  At some point, God will punish the wicked SUDDENLY and it will be without remedy.  It will come without notice and will be unstoppable and irreparable.  You don’t want to be present or attached to the naughty in the moment that they discover the holy nature of God.

We must learn to identify the wicked so we can avoid the influence of the wicked.  More importantly, we must understand the imminent end of the wicked so we can avoid sharing in that end.  He that hath ears, let him hear.





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