Proverbs 11:9

Proverbs 11:9 "An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered."
Proverbs 11:9 Lancaster NY Church
As clearly inferred in the previous proverb, there is no vaccine for trouble.  God doesn’t shield the righteous from trouble but He does deliver them out of it.  One of the instigators of trouble in our world is the hypocrite.  If we were honest, we would all have to humbly admit that we each possess an element of hypocrisy.  Hypocrisy is that unfortunate character flaw where we instruct others to do something that we don’t do or where we tell others not to do something that we do.  The hypocrite that Solomon was referring to is the one who excessively and intentionally condemns others while choosing to totally ignore his own lack of character.  This hypocrite brings trouble into lives because he so easily finds fault with others.

When a person doesn’t honestly, humbly and consistently confront his flaws, he becomes obnoxiously self-righteous.  A hypocrite, by definition and nature, ignores his vices and inconsistencies.  This then makes him proud, arrogant, judgmental and condemning.  He easily sees himself as better than everyone else.  Because he sees himself as better than everyone else, he then sees himself as more deserving of praise, attention and promotion than everyone else.  When he doesn’t get the things he feels he deserves, he proceeds to destroy “his neighbor.”  His weapon of choice is his mouth.  Because a hypocrite is visually impaired, he only knows how to speak.  A hypocrite chooses to be visually impaired and as a result, leans on his speech.  Hypocrites talk a lot.  Hypocrites talk to a lot of people.  Hypocrites talk a lot to a lot of people about a lot of people.  Hypocrites seek to destroy others by talking.  Hypocrites are the ones who speak poorly of others for speaking poorly of them.  Hypocrites are the ones who slander others for slandering them.  Hypocrites are dangerous because they are unfair, unjust, unreasonable and unapologetic.  They can make life difficult for their enemies.
 
On the other side of this parable stands the just.  Unlike hypocrites, the just see things fairly and accurately. The just man looks at himself the same way he looks at his neighbor.  The just man judges himself by the same standard with which he judges his neighbor.  A just man doesn’t have one set of standards for himself and another for his neighbor.  The just isn’t blind to his flaws, inconsistencies or errors.  The just sees every side of every argument.  The just takes the time to humbly consider all things, no matter how good or bad that makes him look.  Hypocrites hate the just for this very reason.  Hypocrites hate the fact that the just don’t protect anyone from the truth, especially themselves.  Therefore, hypocrites seek to destroy the just with their mouths.

Unlike hypocrites, the just don’t rely on their words to get them out of trouble.  The just will use their words in the process of defending themselves from lies but they will rely on their knowledge.  Hypocrites will spend their time thinking of crafty accusations or comebacks while the just will spend their time accruing knowledge.  Hypocrites will spend their time coming up with social media posts or scathing texts and emails that they think will ruin someone they don’t like.  Just men and women will spend their time getting to know God, His word and His wisdom that they expect will help them be pleasing to Him.  The knowledge they gain from spending time with God is what will deliver them false accusations and lies.
 
Consider Jesus Christ, who is referred to in the Book of Acts as the “Just One.”  Much of His ministry was plagued with and pestered by hypocrites.  Seven times in Matthew 23, He said unto them, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES!”  They were constantly trying to destroy Him and they always used their mouths.  They never picked up a stone and threw it at His holy head.  They never picked up a noose and wrapped it around His holy neck.  They never picked up a sword and stuck it in His holy heart.  They only knew how to use their mouths.  They told lies about Him and they accused Him of unlawful deeds.  Jesus didn’t spend His time thinking of witty responses.  He didn’t waste His time responding with lengthy letters.  Jesus focused on His relationship with His Heavenly Father, which resulted in a wealth of Heavenly knowledge.  This knowledge would get Him “out of trouble” time and time again.  This knowledge would deliver Him from their efforts to destroy Him.  They could not destroy Him because they could not defeat His knowledge.

In Luke 13, Jesus healed a woman who had been ill for eighteen years.  A ruler in the synagogue saw that He healed this woman on a sabbath day and SAID UNTO THE PEOPLE, there are six days which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.”  This man was doing more than rebuking the woman; he was trying to make Jesus look bad.  Jesus responded to the man by saying,Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?”  Upon saying something so simple and yet so convicting, Luke records that, “when he had said these things, all his ADVERSARIES were ASHAMED: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.”   Because Jesus KNEW the real application of the Sabbath in the Law, He was easily delivered out of the trouble that his adversaries brought to Him.  His response was witty and appropriate but it was His knowledge of the Sabbath as God intended it that gave Him the response.  His adversaries could not refute His knowledge and application of the Sabbath.

Again in Matthew 22, Jesus found himself “in trouble” with his enemies as the Pharisees “took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.”  They sent people to ask Jesus about taxation, which was a controversial topic as it pertained to nationalism and the Jewish Law since the Jewish people were under Gentile rule.  He initially responded with the question, “Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?”  After asking to see money and pointing out the image on the coin, Jesus said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”  Matthew tells us that “when they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.”  Again, Jesus got “out of trouble” by His wisdom; by His knowledge.  The Pharisees thought that they cornered him with their crafty question only to learn that this man knew more about God and the Law than they did.

Knowledge over Chatter.

The great debaters in our world are not the greatest mouths – they are the greatest minds. Thinking is always better than talking.  Learning is always better than yacking.  Knowledge is more powerful than speaking.  Hypocrites are more concerned with what they say while the just are more concerned with what they know.  Hypocrites only concern themselves with what they tell people while the just concern themselves with the truth of the matter.
 
The emphasis of this proverb is mind over chatter.  Focus on increasing your knowledge of God and you won’t have to worry about the slander of hypocrites.  Knowledge of God and His word is the tool that delivers us from lies and foolishness.  Heavenly wisdom will supply the answers when being attacked by hypocrites.  Self-esteem and emotional security are insufficient when being slandered by hypocrites.  Wisdom from above however, will prove irrefutable and irresistible.

Mind over Chatter.

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