There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
You can’t judge a book by looking at the cover.
~Naola B. Bailey
Life is often deceptive and we can fooled by the appearance of things. I learned this lesson the hard way–Things are seldom what they appear to be and I emphasize the word “seldom”. Have you heard of a mineral called pyrite? Pyrite is iron sulfide with the chemical formula FeS2 . It is a very common iron mineral with a metallic luster and inexperienced miners often mistook it for gold; Thus came the term “fools gold.” Pyrite appears to be gold but it has no more value than coal. A fool is a person who is easily taken in or deceived. This is why Solomon begins this Chiasm in verse 8 with the statement, “the folly of fools is deception.” A Chiasm is a Hebrew or Jewish literary device which is very much like a poem. The Chiasm is not concerned with rhyme: it focuses on parallels. Proverbs 14:8-15 is a Chiasm…
A: The prudent and the fool [v.8]
B: Making amends for sins [v.9]
C: Secrets of the heart [v.10]
D: Destruction of the wicked [v.11]
D: The Way of death [v.12]
C: Secrets of the heart [v.13]
B: Retribution for sins [v.14]
A: The Prudent and the Simple [v.15]
Our verse for today [verse 12] is at the heart of the chiasm. By the way, Jesus employed this teaching method. The Prodigal Son is a chiasm. Back to the point: fools are easily deceived and the prudent are wise because they look beneath the surface. They do not judge things superficially because they know that things are seldom what they appear.
The central truth of this chiasm is that the wicked are fools; they have chosen a way that seems right to them but it is leading them to destruction. They are so foolish, said Solomon, that they believe there will be no consequences for their sin. They think because they can bribe a judge that they can get away with sin and it does appear to be true for a while. It is their perception that evil can be gotten away with and that wealth is permanent. Of course, neither premise is true: your sins will find you out and material wealth cannot be preserved. John Henry Jowett said, “The real measure of wealth is how much a man is worth once his money is all gone.”
Let me give you one more illustration concerning the appearance of things. One of a gossip’s favorite idioms is–“Where there is smoke, there is fire.” We heard the liberals voicing this adage on TV recently in reference to Judge Moore…“Where there is smoke, there is fire.” I enjoy correcting liberals, if only they had sense enough to understand the correction, but this adage is not true. You can have smoke without actually having fire. Matter of fact, we now have smoke machines that produce smoke. Then we have the democrats and the media who create cloud after cloud of smoke. The point is: don’t judge a thing by the way it seems. Those who jump to conclusions most often land on a lie.
NOTE: If our study in Proverbs has you feeling like a fool, join the club. We have all been taken in by someone at sometime. This is how we learn but the fool that Solomon is calling out never learns. We’ve all done foolish things but that does not make us fools.
We had an old fashioned prayer meeting last night and I enjoyed it. I am quite sure that we do not pray enough. We had a long list and a lot of cancer related request: we prayed for Jim Tanner, Marla Marshall and several others. I’m having a senior moment and can’t remember all the names but I want to encourage you to pray for Jim and Marla. We also prayed for our President and the Graham family. What a blessing the Graham’s have been to America!
Four Generations of Grahams Below
Billy, Franklin, Will and Will’s son. Three of the four are preachers. Who knows, Will’s son may also preach some day. Joe David met Will personally a year or two ago.
Roy is one of Franklin’s sons: he was receiving guest when Mr. Hardy and I was there. I knew the moment I saw him that he was Franklin’s son.