Proverbs 22:3 (KJV)

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

Proverbs 27:12 (KJV)

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.

Same verse repeated — you ought to pay attention then!

Two persons presented (we’ve seen them before)

· The Prudent

· The Simple

Notice that both foresee the same evil.

· The trouble is not with right and wrong, good and bad, holy and evil.

· The trouble is not with our eyesight — everyone knows intrinsically what is holy and what is evil.

The trouble is with what we do with what we know.

· The prudent foreseeth the evil and hide from it

· The simple foreseeth the same evil and pass on

I want to approach this passage by examining

· What it means to foresee the evil

· What it means to hide from it and

· What it means to pass on


Proverbs 22:3 (KJV)

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

The Bible says that both the prudent and the simple can foresee the evil.

It’s just what they do about what they see that is different.

What makes people process the same information to come to differing conclusions is a matter of great interest to me.

Think about


There is a shooting in a church in Texas

-One group of individuals sees that evil and blames it on the guns.

They conclude that if guns did not exist, the guy could not have shot the people in the church.

They want to make laws banning guns.

-Another group of individuals sees the very same evil and blame[1] it on the lack of guns.

A good guy with a gun stopped the shooter.

· If more people had had guns

· If someone in the church had had a gun

Then perhaps fewer people would have been killed.


There are people who have needs

-One group of individuals sees the evil and blames it on conservatives.

They conclude that the way to end hunger and need is to regulate all business, free enterprise and wealth creation in order to insure that all the good things get distributed evenly.

They want to tax the businesses and the rich so the government can give the money to people who need it.

-Another group sees the same evil and blames it on liberals.

They conclude that the way to end hunger and need is to free people to reach their full potential.

They understand that every human being has a different capacity for self discipline and wealth accumulation. They believe that when those who have the greatest capacity to succeed in business are freed to do so, they will create job opportunities for others.

They want to keep the hands of the government off of our money so those who have it can spend it for the good of all.


It is appointed unto man once to die.

-One group of individuals foresees the evil of death and concludes there is no hope.

They think of human life as not much different than a dog’s life. They do not believe there is life after death so they believe people ought to live any way they please (so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else too much). Let them eat, drink and be merry, they say, for tomorrow they die.

-Another group foresees the very same evil of death and realize this can’t be all there is to man.

Our passion for life, our sense of something greater, our awareness of how short life is and of little we accomplish in the few years we live here, all of that leads us to believe that there must be something beyond the grave.

We find that “something” in the Bible. Heaven for the saved and hell for the lost.

The Bible gives purpose to life today and hope for life after death.

The differences between the groups cannot be completely explained by:

· Culture

· Education or

· Experience

I can’t explain it right now completely other than to say that the voice of God has something to do with it.

· One person hears the voice of God

· The other ignores it


Proverbs 22:3 (KJV)

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

Strong’s concordance says that the word means:

· To be absent

· To keep close or

· To conceal

One commentary said it means to put oneself in a place of safety.

I want to draw on that and suggest that the prudent man protects himself.

If we were going to apply this to the three illustrations I gave in point one it would be something like this

A. He protects himself from violence and crime

Sometime after the shooting in the Methodist church on the east coast, I saw a short video on protecting yourself from an active shooter situation. It basically gave these three tools of protection, in this order:

· If you can, flee

· If you can’t flee, hide

· If you can’t hide, fight

A prudent person, foreseeing that evil things can happen:

First, does what he can to prevent them from happening to him — he locks doors, creates lighting, installs cameras, etc.

He does what he can to prevent bad things from happening

Secondly, he makes it less likely that evil will happen to him

· He stays away from high crime areas

· He travels with others and when alone, lets others know where he is

Thirdly, he enables himself to resist the evil from happening to him

· He stays aware of his environment

· He learns some self defense skills

· He carries some sort self defense with him

B. He protects himself from poverty and need

This goes to the lesson I taught in my adult Sunday school class this morning from Proverbs 22:7 (KJV)

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

The word rich there just means, “to accumulate and grow.”[2]

Understanding that those who have mastery over their income need not be servants to the richest people, the wisest of us will:

· Work hard

· Plan ahead and

· Save

So that we become free to dedicate ourselves to Christ. We would still work because there is honor in work. But we would not be slaves to others for our care.

One of these days every one of us is going to have a “reduced capacity” to earn an income.

Foreseeing that evil, we need to make some sort of plan.

It’s protecting yourself from that day when you can’t earn anymore.

C. He protects himself from eternal condemnation

Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

The first part of this verse is self-evident.

No one we have ever known or heard of, except One, has escaped it.

Death; we can foresee that it is a fact.

It’s the second part that people sometimes question.

“…after this, the judgment.”

That tells me two things:

· That there is life after death

· That it has a critical aspect to it — judgment

Jesus, the only One who has ever died and rose again to tell us about it, said this,

John 10:9 (KJV)

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

By the way, there is no other door.

John 14:6 (KJV)

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Either Jesus is the only door, or Jesus is no door at all.

It is prudent — it just makes sense to protect yourself from the judgment after death, by coming to know Jesus Christ.


Proverbs 22:3 (KJV)

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

The prudent man hideth or protects himself.

The simple on the other hand, pass on and are punished.

This is interesting to me.

This phrase is the same one we get the phrase when someone dies that they “passed away.”

It means

· to cross over

· to keep going

· to pass by

I want to suggest to you that it has to do with ignoring danger.

The simple foresees the evil.

· He has heard about it,

· He knows it happens, but

· He chooses not to think about it.

A. Crime

He ignores the warnings about certain

· people,

· places or

· activities

He chooses not to protect himself, and therefore he becomes an easy victim.

B. Poverty

He knows that someday he won’t be able to work like he does now, but he ignores it.

· He spends every dime he has, saving nothing for a rainy day.

· He invests nothing into life insurance, or retirement.

He makes no plans and becomes a victim of his old age.

C. Salvation

Many years ago Anita and I knocked on the door of a home in Warrenton, OR. When the lady of the house opened the door, after a few moments of conversation I asked her this question, “I you were to die today, do you know for sure you would go to heaven?”

Her response was, “Well aren’t you the bearer of good news!”

· She did not want to talk about her death.

· She did not want to face the inevitable truth.

· She did not want to think about growing old and dying.

And because of it, we left her house with her unprotected from what is the most certain thing that will ever happen to her.

Let me tell you, Christianity is not about

· how to raise a family and

· how to be a good citizen and

· how to have a happy marriage.[3]

The sole point of Christianity is to answer Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

· The prudent understand that, and they get saved.

· The simple ignore it, and they face everlasting punishment.

[1] I understand that blame is not the correct term here. I use it merely for rhetorical effect. They (myself included) would blame the problem more on lack of God in the schools, lack of morals in our culture, lack of discipline in parenting, etc.

[2] https://steemit.com/christian-trail/@mackmck/you-ll-want-to-be-rich

[3] Those things are by-products of Christianity.



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Marvin McKenzie

Marvin McKenzie

Pastor, self published Amazon Author, avid student of the Bible. teacher of the Word of God in college level . Daily visit with God www.marvinmckenzie.org