Proverbs 10:10 (NKJV)
10 He who winks with the eye causes trouble, And a prating fool will fall.

The sin highlighted in our text today is that of the troublemaker or schemer – the one who plots against others because he boasts in his own strength. He winks with the eye, causing trouble for others perhaps by signaling to his compatriots to execute their plot against the innocent. He has no regard for the law of God but instead delights to air his own opinions. He is a prating fool.

These figures of “winking the eye” and “a prating mouth” are fairly common in Proverbs. For example, Solomon describes the wicked man in Proverbs 6:12-15:

A worthless person, a wicked man, Walks with a perverse mouth; He winks with his eyes, He shuffles his feet, He points with his fingers; Perversity is in his heart, He devises evil continually, He sows discord. Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy.

Notice Solomon’s description of the gestures that characterize the wicked man: his mouth speaks perversely, he winks with the eyes, he shuffles his feet, he points with the fingers – in other words, he is shifty and unreliable, he is a schemer and a plotter, he refuses to accept responsibility for his own sin, pointing at others as though he is the victim. So why do these things characterize him? Because perversity is in his heart. His fundamental problem is that he is alienated from God. Consequently, because he is alienated from God, his actions are evil. He devises evil continually, He sows discord. The one who winks the eye sows discord among brothers, exaggerates faults, and plots destruction.

What all this indicates is that God despises the plotter and the schemer. God despises the one who uses his mouth and his eyes to cause trouble rather than to bless. Consequently, the troublemaker shall fall. God will bring him down – whether through humbling him or humiliating him or exposing him or destroying him.

So what of you? God has given you the gift of eyes – are you using them to plot evil or to accomplish good? God has given you the gift of a mouth – are you using it to cause trouble or to bring peace? Are you shifty? Are you a troublemaker? Do you constantly point the finger at others, portraying yourself as the victim, meanwhile winking at your compatriots who know the truth? If this is you then hear God’s warning: you shall fall. God will bring you down. So cease blaming others and confess your own sin.

Reminded of the high calling that God has placed upon our eyes and our mouths, let us acknowledge that we often misuse them to dishonor God and to injure our neighbor rather than to bless him. And as you are able, let us kneel together as we do so.