Chapter 12: The Temporal and the Eternal
One of the most interesting aspects of the book of Proverbs is that it often gives us truth on two levels, the temporal and the eternal. For instance, Proverbs 12:17 tells us that “A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies.” On the surface the proverb seems to be a common truism. On the temporal level we can simply say we know a truthful witness by his honest testimony. But on the eternal level we know by other Scriptures more is at stake here.
In John 8:44-45 Jesus confronted a group of Jewish leaders with some strong words: “You belong to your father, the devil…there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell you the truth, you do not believe me!” On the eternal level of Proverbs 12:17, Jesus is the truthful witness and Satan is the false witness. Our Lord speaks only the truth and Satan speaks only lies. We humans sin because we are sinners, not the other way around. The non-Christian may often tell the truth, but he has based his entire life and worldview on a lie. The Christian may sometimes lie, but he has based his life on the truth of God’s Word. Look for both the temporal and eternal meanings as you study Proverbs.
Copyright 2015 – Robert C. Beasley