“If a ruler pays attention to lies, All his servants become wicked” (Prov. 29:12).
We can see this truth played out in modern and ancient times. Great kings of the past have devastated their kingdoms by listening to lies. The more they listened, the more corrupt their governments became. Eventually, there comes a point of no return and either the kingdom collapses or the king is assassinated.
In more modern times, we can see in our nation administrations at both the state and national level that were devastated by lies. The thing is, such things not only harm the people involved, but also citizens in general. In fact, some of the actions taken by rulers who listen to lies have impacted the country for decades.
These matters, though, are not the focus of this article. Rather, we want to bring Proverbs 29:12 down to a personal, practical application.
When we listen to lies, those around us will be wicked. Why? Because those are the kind of people we will attract and will be attracted to.
This can happen in many areas, some more devastating than others. We can listen to lies in the physical, financial, moral, and spiritual matters. If we listen to the idea that eating all you want of anything you want is a good way to live, it will catch up to us. Our health will be adversely affected and those around us will be unhealthy too. If we pay attention to get rich quick schemes, we will lose our money. And, guess what? The people around us will be broke too.
The other two areas are much more important than health and wealth. If we listen to lies on moral issues, we will be surrounded by immoral people. When we give heed to situation ethics, “free love,” and materialism we will be accompanied by liars, fornicators, and thieves. It will all feed on itself and lead to our ruin.
If we heed false doctrine, we will walk the broad path. Our worship will be vain and our souls damned (Matt. 15:7-14). The people around us will believe the same things and thereby harden us in our false beliefs giving us a false confidence.
While it might be hard at times to discern the truth from lies on health and wealth, it is not hard to determine right from wrong on moral and doctrinal issues. All we need to do is turn to God’s word. It is right and gives us the way to go (2 Pet. 1:3).
Not only must we learn and apply Proverbs 29:12, but we must also burn it into the brains of our children. They need to know the consequences of listening to lies. It might make them feel good for a while. It might make them popular. It might let them do what they want to do. However, it will catch up to them and lead to personal devastation.
Let’s love and listen to the truth and in so doing surround ourselves with good people (Prov. 23:23).