Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 20:19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler. 20 If one curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
Revealer Of Secrets
Let’s begin with verse 19 and then we’ll see how 20 fits in. Slanderers reveal secrets… To slander would include things like digging up dirt on others and making a character assignation against them with malicious gossip. It may even be something way back in the persons past… This slander may be a total misrepresentation of who the person is today… and it may be that the babbler does not even know all the facts and has set themselves up as judge and jury. They spew out their words like a mad person kills and destroys with seemingly no guilt and unconcerned about the lives they destroy.
Solomon calls this person a simple babbler… Simple, I suspect because they lack the things that Proverbs tells us over and over to pursue… Things like wisdom, knowledge, prudence, discretion… attributes like fearing the Lord, helping the poor, looking out for the good of others and accountability with money and in relationships… the list goes on and on.
And this babbler is someone who just rattles on and on with nothing worthwhile to say… Its a strange thing that this person can jjibber-jabber and yada, yada on and on almost without breathing and yet never touch on any of the many things that Solomon says are important.
And the thing is… he actually does reveals secrets… But they’re not for helping others or building them up or mending relationships… These secrets are weapons of mass destruction that ruins peoples lives and strains relationships and promotes divorce and splits churches and causes children to never speak to their parents for years… This babbler causes pain and feeds distrust and envy and bitterness and encourages others to hold grudges. Solomon says not to associate with them. Being drawn to them… enjoying their fellowship and admiring their ways… has surly led those who do down the very same path.
Now the person in verse 20 who curses his father or his mother is a similar type of individual. The curses he speaks are also slanderous and much of the time he too reveals secrets about his parents. There could be various underling reasons for this… It may be because he has never come to the point of forgiving them for the wrong that they did to him or the wrong he witnessed done to his siblings. It could be their hypocrisy or that they weren’t there when they needed them… Nevertheless, the secrets this person reveals about his parents in their cursing are not for their good. It is not so they might be prayed for or that relationships might be restored. This person has set themselves up as superior over his own parents and is blind to the extent of his own brokenness.
When Solomon says his lamp will be put out in utter darkness. He may have been thinking about the many references to this in the Old Testament. Here’s a couple:
* Exodus 21:17 “Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death.
* Deuteronomy 27:16“‘Cursed be anyone who dishonors his father or his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
And in the New Testament:
* Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Of course the implication is that not honoring your parents… even cursing and not wanting good for these who’s family God chose to place you into… will be to your demise. And the sad thing is in cursing them you are in some way blaming God himself.
In closing the thoughts that come to mind are… I should not be a babbler… If I am going to put others down let me put them down on my prayer list and not reveal their secrets in slander. Gossip can consumes us. I know, I have been there. But the truth is that slander is part of the mission satan wants you and I to be on… That is… sharing bad news. Gods mission is sharing the good news… the best news ever, how Jesus took what was due us because of our sin with his death on the Cross and in exchange gives his righteousness to all who delight in him through faith, and as he was raised God will raise us up no longer under the entropy associated with sin.
Father God thank You for this great gift, In Jesus name amen.