The Scriptures reveal among other things that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God of truth. He cannot lie, is the grounds of all that is good and beautiful and despises that which opposes Him. Solomon has several insights in this chapter that point to this Biblical theme:
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
But he who hates reproof is stupid.” (V.1)
Here the object of what is loved or hated results in either the acquisition of knowledge or the lack thereof. To acquire knowledge in Proverbs comes from, among other things, the fear of the LORD (1:4-7), the treasuring of His commandment (2:1-8), and the guarding of His instruction (4:5-13). This knowledge instructs us in the way of righteousness always. Thus, to hate this discipline/instruction will leave us foolish like a city without walls, a lamp without oil, and a sword that’s blunt. The vulnerability that results is ominous because such attitudes cause a stupor of soul in those on the precipice of death.
Another Biblical theme which many in the 21st century deny is not that there’s such a thing as religious knowledge, but actual truth that’s objective. This truth is grounded in the God of truth. Consider here again the contrast between the righteous and the wicked:
“17He who speaks truth tells what is right,
But a false witness, deceit.”
18 There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips will be established forever,
But a lying tongue is only for a moment.”
First, we see that what is true has a moral quality of what is right. Thus, to speak the truth is to demonstrate moral righteousness. But a false witness (court room language) depicts what is morally wrong. That is, he depicts what’s not true with the intent to deceive. Thus, truth is equal to what is moral, and falsehood is equal to what’s immoral (V.17).
Second, words can either bring destruction or restoration. The wise use their words to heal those around them, rather than to tear them apart. The fool knows no such thing for when he opens up his mouth a reckless destruction follows; a maimed soul is left in his wake (V.18).
Third, those who speak the truth are not for a moment. This quality of character shows the fruit of righteousness which has no end and thus this soul will never be forgotten. Contrast the duration of a liar and its but for a moment, a vaporous instance. The wicked will be forgotten and in their plight their silence will be eternal (V.19).
Thus, to champion knowledge and truth is righteousness displayed. To squash or despise knowledge and to spin lies, results from the hands of the wicked. Note that what grounds the good from the evil is the God of creation, not the creation itself. (SDG)