Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil intent. 28 A false witness will perish, but the word of a man who hears will endure. 29 A wicked man puts on a bold face, but the upright gives thought to his ways.
The Fake Faces Of Wickedness
Today’s three verses speak of being a fake… living our lives proclaiming we are one way when we are actually another… maybe even believing it at times… and when we do so we get a false sense of security. That's how we used to walk before we came to find our security in Christ.
Let’s take a closer look at these particular old mission goals mentioned here and their similarities so that we might make sure that we continually fight to turn away from our old motives and ways and continue walking towards Christ.
First we see the gift giver. This is the person who brings sacrifices to God that are not accompanied by a heart of worship and joy… its like a man who brings his wife a bouquet of flowers while having a mistress on the side. It’s an abomination to the Lord when we approach God thinking our own good gifts or deeds make up for our sinful heart of adultery towards him… Gifts and sacrifices won’t cut it. Even if we change our ways it won’t change our bent heart or atone for our sins.
There's only one way for us to be changed and accepted by God. In Matthew 9:13 Jesus said: ...‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
So Jesus calls us to repentance or admitting our sin and turning away from treasuring it towards him and for us to take his wonderful mercy without any of our own good deeds or sacrifices.
Our text says how the wicked persons sacrifice is worse than an abomination when he brings it with evil intent. When one thinks they can fool God with their sacrifices… How bad is that?
It’s like saying “I don’t need Jesus sacrifice on the Cross… My good deeds should be enough… Jesus sacrifice was for nothing”. That my friend is more than an abomination to God.
This first person lied to God… Now Solomon speaks of a false witness to men…This person could be sitting in a doughnut shop or even a courtroom saying they were an eyewitness to some wrong their neighbor was accused of while it was only something he has heard gossip about and now shares it as though it is true. There are many reasons a wicked person may find to lie about another.
Then finally Solomon speaks of someone who bears a false witness to everyone about his own goodness. This could actually be the same two other people we already looked at all wrapped up in a package nice and neat. He may appear to look good on the outside while he portrays a false witness to God bringing his sacrifices and doing his good deeds. He may gossip lies about his neighbor and still put on a facade to the whole world saying he has it all together.
29 A wicked man puts on a bold face, but the upright gives thought to his ways.
The bold face of the wicked man might appear confident and intentional going after his goals courageously valiant and brave but inside down deep he likely knows he is a phony and a fake.
Solomon also tells us how an upright man differs from the wicked. He describes him not as a false witness but calls him “a man who hears” and “gives thought to his ways”.
He is an actual personal hearer instead of second or third handed hearer as through gossip and he is also one who gives thoughts to his ways.
There ya go…. though millions and millions of people have heard about the Messiah who would come to set things right after Adams sin so man could be in fellowship with God, not all have truly heard down deep in their soul; have they?…
But some did. they were given ears to hear how Jesus is good news of great joy… They were given eyes to see how Jesus is beautiful. They were given a heart to delight in Jesus as the greatest treasure in the Universe worth leaving all for. They heard and gave thought to their ways and in joy turned away from sin towards the Lord for the rest of their life.
And in closing consider how Jesus was the perfect sacrifice given with not wicked intention but with joy and good intent for the glory of God and for our good. And even in his death he prospered as he overcame its hold and his days were prolonged and he gives immeasurable and unsearchable riches to many. I’ll close with this reading from Isaiah 53.
Isaiah 53:10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.