The Woe of the Wicked
Job 20:12-14
Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;…


1. His complacency in it. "It is sweet to his mouth." A metaphor taken from natural food, which is pleasing and delightful to the taste, which is seated in the mouth or palate. So is sin to the carnal heart. It is very sweet and refreshing to it. Especially in the first embracing or entertaining of it. The ground hereof is this. It is suitable and connatural to him. We may judge of the delight which a wicked person has in sin, by the measure of a gracious person's delight in goodness. Satan enlarges and advances things to them, and makes them seem greater than they are.

2. His concealment of it. "He hides it under his tongue." This wicked persons do, either by speaking for sin, or by speaking against it. They speak for it by denying it, or diminishing it, or defending it.

3. His indulgence or favourableness towards it. He spares it, and does not forsake it. He spares it, as to matter of search and inquiry; as to matter of resistance and opposition; as to matter of expulsion, and ejection, and mortification. He does not forsake it. He never forsakes his sin, till his sin forsake him, and he can keep it no longer. A man cannot be said to forsake any sin in particular, who does not forsake the way of sin in general.

II. THE EFFECT OF SIN TO A WICKED MAN. "Yet his meat," etc. In the general, "His meat within his bowels is turned." In the particular, "It is as the gall of asps within him." This figure represents the bitterness and the perniciousness of sin. Use and improvement.

1. Beware of being taken with any sinful way or course whatsoever, from the seeming sweetness that is in it.

2. Do not please thyself in the covering and concealing of sin.

3. Or in self-security and presumption.

4. Use Christian prudence to see the plague afar off, to hide yourselves from it.

(T. Horton, D.D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;

WEB: "Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue,

The Sweet Taste of Sin and its Bitter After-Taste
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