(9) Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour…(14)The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.Proverbs 14:9,14
In yesterday’s text we talked about the fact that this passage is a chiasm, and this is effecting how we are addressing each of these texts. You can read more about that here.
A second literary concern also helps us understand this text. There are Chapters 10-14 uses parallelism. They are mostly one sentence contrasts or comparisons.
In verses 9 and 14 you have two kinds of people. Each respective description are describing the same kind of person.
1. The Fool and the Backslider in Heart.
The passage says that the fool makes a mock at sin. This means that the fool takes sins lightly. They don’t view sin as a grave offense against God, and may not even see it as a category at all. The “backslider in heart” speaks of someone who has the fools perspective on sin and God. This phrase is used in the Old Testament to speak of someone who ignores or disbelieves in God. Verse 9 seems to talk about the actions of the foolish/backslider in heart, and verse 14 seems to describe the result of that action. The fools mock sin, and then are “filled with their own ways.” This means that he will be “fully repaid” for his actions. He gets the natural consequences of his actions.
2. The Righteous and the Good Man.
The righteous find favor with God because of their attitude and interaction with sin. The result, found in verse 14, is satisfaction of the best kind. The righteous will receive reward in the same way.
We can tell what kind of person we are, according to this passage, by our attitude toward sin. Here are some questions to ask ourselves:
- Do I take sin seriously, or do I think that sin is “no big deal”?
- Am I allowing an acceptable level of sin in my life? Are there sins I am participating in that no longer bother me?
- When I think about the sin in my life do I compare myself to others, or think “everyone does this”, trying to minimize our guilt?
If the answer is yes to these kinds of questions then know that if you do not deal with these issues you are a “fool and backslider of heart”. At some point you will be “fully repaid” or facing the consequences of this involvement in sin. Choose righteousness! How? Consider the response below.
The challenge today is to name the sins, pray a prayer of repentance, and make a plan to forsake that sin with God’s help, and possibly the help of others in your family or local church.