Proverbs 16:29-30

29 A violent person entices their neighbor

   and leads them down a path that is not good.

30 Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity;

   whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.

 

 Those who use force to get what they want, rather than earning it honestly, both directly and indirectly tempt those around them. Such a person is often given to boasting, and ridicule of those who “play by the rules,” finding great satisfaction in the recruitment of companions in folly. But there is also the indirect temptation of seeing the success of the wicked, which appears to be such an easy path.

 

This was Asaph’s lament in Psalm 73: “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.” Ultimately it is neither the ease of a path nor the pleasures along the way that matter, but only the destination. As we were told only a few verses before this, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”

 

 “Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity; whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.” Here we are given warning signs to watch out for, lest we be led astray. There is no need for innuendo and subtlety when planning something good, but these are often the primary means of communicating that which is better left unsaid. It is not with reason that the fool makes his case,  but with a sneer – appearances are all that matters to him.

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