A worthless person, a wicked man, walketh with a false mouth. He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers. Frowardness [perversity] is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy (Prov. 6:12–15).
The winks, the hand signals, the shifting and shiftiness. These are the signals of the shady, double dealer, the con man, the slickster. He says one thing but means another. He contracts one thing but meant another. His signature and name are meaningless. he disregards contracts and covenants with ease.
Meanwhile the good ol’ boys, his cohorts, know the language. They catch the signals. They can see the winks and gestures and with this insider information move quickly to adapt and secure their own wealth and advantage. The dupes get the short end.
But would you Consider for a moment why double dealers like this are such a blight on society:
Men need each other. Men must partner to maximize benefit and productivity. Men rely on each other to create products or provide services that they could not do alone. But the cliquish and partial behavior of the winker and manipulator tears at the trust and therefore the common benefit of society. The double speak of the huckster makes everything more volatile for all those who don’t catch the secret signals. As a result , everyone in the entire market must take on more risk to do business with each other. As a result, Risks and liabilities increase. Costs increase. Benefits diminish. The net result is less partnerships, less contracts, less team work, and therefore less productivity and less blessings for the whole.
But, there is still hope for society in spite of this double dealing. Note the prediction of verse 15, “His calamity comes suddenly.” The sudden calamity that occurs to the double dealer restrains the overall damage that he can do to society as a whole. Judgment on the crook is one way God blesses society as a whole. Though the slickster doesn’t see the cliff ahead of him— having marginalized all wise and honest voices, the truly wise see the cliff and refuse to run with him over it. As a result society at large is sheltered from the double dealers duplicity at least to some degree.
But, what if an entire society is comprised of double dealers? What if duplicity and double speak is the very language of the entire economy? What if the nature of business and governance is breaking contracts, cooking books, hiding economic realities through price controls, subsidies, inflation, or engaging in evil economic practices of corporate welfare, insider trading, over taxation, and wealth redistribution?
Consider a society whose entire economic philosophy and policy is established on winking, signaling and double dealing. All the while the insiders with insider knowledge rearrange their finances accordingly, leaving the everyday folks with the bills.
A society with economic policies which institutionalize winking and false signaling can reasonably expect what is promised here in the proverbs: sudden calamity.
Let us pray that God’s kingdom would come, that his will would be done on earth, and that our nation might wake up to the economic games we are playing before its too late. False weights and measures are an abomination to the Lord but his delight is in justice.
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