Proverbs of Solomon – Proverbs 29:13

On Monday night’s evening news I saw a video of a SUV upside down at some intersection in North Spokane. The explanation was that there had been a collision with another vehicle. There were no major injuries, but the driver of the SUV had been hanging upside down in her car for some time before the firemen were able to extricate her. Of course, neither driver left home, or work that day, expecting to be in an accident. Both of them were carrying out their business, perhaps stopping here and there to buy gas, get some groceries, drop kids off, leave a bid for a job, pick up supplies or whatever. Perhaps one of them even started that journey an hour or two before the other. They didn’t know each other, but in a circuitous way, they came to that intersection at the same time. Obviously, someone was at fault, but no charges were filed, so I don’t know who caused the accident. If there was genuine fault, we might describe one of the drivers as the poor, unfortunate victim. The other will be issued a ticket, and depending on the investigation, perhaps spend time in jail.
I give you that illustration to get us pointed in the right direction in regard to verse 13 – “The poor and the deceitful man meet together; the Lord lighteneth both their eyes.”
First, let’s consider the TRAVELERS.
One of them is described as “deceitful.” There are eight Hebrew words translated “deceitful” in our Bibles, and most are more common than this one. When I read Bro. Strong’s explanation of this particular word, I was caught off guard. He said, “From unused root meaning to dissever.” “Dissever”???? “Dissever” is a word I’ve never heard before, so I was forced to my Webster’s dictionary. Not surprisingly, it means to “sever”– to cut apart” – perhaps brutally. Somehow, Strong and other commentators conclude that this deceitful man uses usury to crush people. I am not sure of their thought process, but several of my experts agreed with Strong. In other words, this man might be called a “loan-shark” – or maybe he’s simply a liar and a cheat.
The first man in this verse is simply described as “poor.” There are no surprises here – this is exactly what we expect that word to mean. And generally speaking who is more apt to be the victim of a loan-shark – a rich man or a poor man? These two people are studies in contrast no matter how you define or explain the words describing them. They are rich and poor; one is a bully and the other a victim – perhaps his personal victim.
But if I might bring out another Biblical explanation: this poor man may represent a righteous person. The Lord Jesus said in Matt. 5:3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Some people are humble before the Lord and meek before the world, and these things are gifts from God. To realize our spiritual poverty is a very good thing; pride has no place before God. And in contrast, Rev. 21:8 adds – “But the fearful, and unbelieving … idolaters, and all liars (deceivers), shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” I am not misapplying scriptures when I say that the two people in this verse could represent the child of God and the child of the devil.
They both are coming to a CROSSROAD where they will MEET.
“The poor and the deceitful man meet together.” One of the people in Monday’s accident may live in the valley and other in Airway Heights – I don’t know. It is possible their paths crossed several times on various streets before that eventful accident. The crossed Division Street and Sprague, and perhaps had both been on I-90, but they met at Francis. Their two journeys didn’t make them who they were; they were just two people going about their business. Even if they had never looked each other in the eye or had a business relationship, yet they were still the people who they were – one was poor and the other a deceiver or a shark.
And both of them live their lives under the same sunshine, or the same rain, in the same city, breathing the same air. I will come back to this – but they both live their lives under the omniscient sight of the Lord. You might say that they both were governed in their paths by the one and only sovereign God. As negative as it sounds, it was by the providence of God that they met at that specific intersection.
When I looked it up yesterday, the population of the world was 7.754 billion people. It is unlikely that in your lifetime you will meet a 10th of those people – or even a 10th of 1% of those people. It is unlikely, and it is my prayer, that you never violently meet another vehicle at an intersect in north Spokane or anywhere else. But I will guarantee that, with the exception of those few whom the Lord translate, all 7.754 billion of those people will meet together at the place we call “death.” “It is appointed unto men once to die” – Hebrews 9:27. It doesn’t matter how rich or poor two people might be, they will both meet together at the cemetery. One might be currently healthy while the other may have been suffering with a chronic illness for years, but they may meet together in death at the same moment. Gender, race, geography, language, or sexual preference will make no difference as far as this meeting is concerned.Presidents may die and be buried in expensive tombs, and homeless people may die and be cremated, but they will be together in death as equals.
“It is appointed unto men once to die.” As most of you realize, I didn’t fully quote that verse in Hebrews 9. It actually says, “And AS it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment…..” Not only will every child of Adam meet every other child of Adam in death, but after that death, they will all stand before their Creator to be judged. John the Revelator said, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
The LORD GOVERNS every aspect of this meeting.
“The poor and the deceitful man meet together; the Lord lighteneth both their eyes.” If you are like me, when you read the last clause in verse 13, you visualize a certain picture, painted in the colors of scripture. When all of these people from around the world stand before Jehovah to be judged, their eyes will come to see the truth – they will understand probably for the first time in their lives. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” It will not be necessary for God or any of His angels, to read the charges against each of those lost souls. I don’t know how the Lord will do it, but in some way “every mouth (will) be stopped, and all the world (will know how) guilty (they are) before God.”
The Hindu will realize the foolishness of thinking there are thousands of Gods. The Muslim will instantly understand that Jesus Christ was not a prophet like Mohamed. And the Mormon will know that Christ is not Lucifer’s brother. The Catholic will know that Mary is not a co-executrix of salvation. And thousands of Baptists will learn that their little prayer of invitation wasn’t the same as faith in Christ. The Mafia don, will stop deceiving himself about his Roman Catholic salvation. And the loan shark will be knocked to his senses in regard to his treatment of others. The poor man who was too self-consumed to turn to the riches of Christ, will forever be in poverty. And the Indian who refused to bow before the “White Man’s God” will die in darkness of his own religion. Every one of those condemned souls will have their eyes opened. They will see the holiness of God, and they will finally see the filthy blackness of their own hearts. They will see that they have been rebels, and they will remember the invitation which had been extended to them to repent and come to Christ.
And when will this take place? When “the poor and the deceitful man meet together.” That is the common – and most obvious – explanation of the clause “the Lord lighteneth both their eyes.” But there is another explanation which is just as Biblical.
What is the meaning of John 1:4 – “In him – the Word – was life; and the life was the light of men”? What does I Sam. 14 mean when it says that exhausted Jonathan ate a bit of honey during the heat of battle and “and his eyes were enlightened”? What did David mean in Psalm 13 when he said, “How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.” Most of the commentators agree that this statement – “the Lord lighteneth both their eyes” speaks about God’s sustaining grace. John Gill says, “the Lord lighteneth both their eyes with natural life.”
With this in mind, both the deceiver, or the loan shark, and the poor man walk through life under the light of God’s common grace, before they meet together. The Lord Jesus said, “Your Father which is in heaven… maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” – Ps. 145:9. In his message to the people of Lystra Paul testified, God “left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” – Acts 14:17.
The point is, the poor man and the deceitful man of Solomon’s proverb, both bask under the Lord’s general blessings. But one may turn to the Lord and worship him in humility and faith, while the other rejects God’s greater blessings while consuming the lesser. And after they spend their 3 score and 10 years upon the earth, they will meet together before the Lord who will separate them as the shepherd divides the the sheep from the goats, and “then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
“The poor and the deceitful man meet together; the Lord lighteneth both their eyes.”