Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.
Hateful people lie to cover their wickedness (Pr 26:24-26). But God promised to expose them. It is terrible there are such people, but it is worse that they get into churches. The place designed as a refuge of brotherly love can have lurking danger by malicious men.
Wicked men get into most churches. It is a terrible evil, but it happens. Though filled with arrogance, hatred, and selfishness, they creep into churches with false professions of religion. Even the world knows this fact, for many reject Christianity for its hypocrisy. But though such sinners cover their hatred by lies, their evil souls will be fully exposed.
What a great God! What a helpful proverb! God teaches you how to discern liars, and He promises to take care of them for you. Bible wisdom can help you perceive a person with hateful and wicked motives, and faith in God can comfort you that He will fully expose the lying monster. Faith and learning have their rewards. Love such truth and wisdom.
This proverb has a rare context to help its interpretation. Solomon had been describing the dangerous evil of talebearers (Pr 26:20-23). These wicked persons love to spread harmful facts, rumors, tales, and insinuations about others. They hurt others deeply, and they cause contention and strife among the members of any group. They do not know the way of peace themselves, and they also keep others from enjoying peace and security.
They play the hypocrite with their mouths by claiming to be Christians, while their hearts plan games of pretence and revenge (Pr 26:24). Wise men do not believe their fair words, for they know many evil imaginations are in their hearts (Pr 26:25). Wisdom is the power of right judgment, the ability to discern and know things that deceive most other people.
What identifies these wicked imposters? They speak derogatorily about others and spread harmful facts or slanderous innuendos (Pr 26:20-25). Just listen to their speech about others, and you can discover them. They can hardly stop criticizing and sowing discord by negative information. They are backbiters, slanderers, talebearers, and whisperers.
When a person hates others, the Bible says it proves him a child of the devil (Jn 8:44; I Jn 2:9,11; 3:10,15; 4:8,20). When you detect the critical, hateful, and snide spirit of some toward others, you have likely found a child of the devil. Is this judgment too harsh? Remember Jesus and “the apostle of love” provided the cross-references. God is love, and those truly the children of God will show God is in them by their love (I Jn 4:7-16).
Though these haters lie and pretend to be loving Christians, God will expose them to save His true saints. David begged God to save his kingdom from such strange children – hypocrites that use vain speech and false handshakes to pretend love and piety (Ps 144:7-11). There are great benefits for a church to get rid of such false persons (Ps 144:12-15).
Paul told the Corinthian church that God would send heresies into His churches to discover these lying frauds and confirm the identity of His true children (I Cor 11:19). So while heresies are a painful matter to deal with in a church, they are often used to expose the lying hypocrites that cause dissension and strife. The end result is well worth the pain.
God’s distillation process is precious. Distillation is a method used to separate a mixture into its component parts, where the desired component will be at a much higher strength than diluted in the mixture. The God of heaven is constantly at work distilling His faithful churches by removing the impure elements to refine and improve the remainder.
Absalom was Solomon’s brother and David’s son. He lied to Israel about how much he cared for them to steal the throne (II Sa 15:1-6). But God exposed his hatred and left him hanging by his hair in a tree for Joab’s darts (II Sa 18:9-15). Judas conspired in hatred with the Jews against Jesus, and the other apostles had no idea (John 13:21-30). But God exposed his hatred and dashed his bowels over a field (Matt 27:1-10; Acts 1:18-20).
How can you help your church? Never speak negatively about anyone, unless absolutely necessary for those in authority or for scriptural duty. If you cannot say something kind or commending, do not say anything. Make it your goal to promote the reputations of all men, even your personal enemies. This is true Christianity (Matt 5:43-48; Phil 2:1-4).
How can you help your church? If you hear someone criticizing, backbiting, gossiping, or slandering others, stop them by an angry face or warning rebuke (Pr 25:23; Ps 101:5; I Thess 5:14). God hates this sin, and so should you (Pr 6:16-19). A wife may do this even to a foolish husband, if she is discrete and respectful like Abigail (I Sam 25:3,19,36-37).
Jesus Christ is the Head of His churches, and He constantly walks among them, visible to the eye of faith (Rev 3:1). He exposed the lie of Ananias and his wife Sapphira in the church at Jerusalem (Acts 5:1-11). He cut down many selfish and profane souls in the church at Corinth (I Cor 11:30). He promised death to Jezebel and her followers in the church at Thyatira (Rev 2:20-23), and He comforted and exhorted the rest (Rev 2:24-27).
This God you can trust no matter what. Hateful liars claiming to love God and be your friends can be frightening and worrisome. But He has promised to take care of them by exposing them, and He has promised to take care of you by protecting you. He has sent His glorious Son, the King of heaven, to guard and protect you and every true church. Have you committed your life and church entirely to Him? You will never regret it.