The righteous person giving way to the wicked is like a polluted spring and a ruined fountain.
This powerful proverb is one for the conservative church today. Too often, by not speaking up, by failure to avow the truth, and in dozens of other ways, it is demonstrated to be true.
In Palestine, with many areas in which water was at a premium, a spring was a valuable item. To pollute it was a horrible act—a crime that meant the possible death of many who depended on it for the water of life. So, the words to an American today, who has no such vital need, may seem inconsequential. They were not to those in biblical times.
What the proverb is saying to us today is that for a believer to back off from confronting the errors of the wicked is like the act of polluting the source of water upon which people are dependant. Under the guise of charity, love–or what not—the failure to speak up, to expose, and to confute error when it appears in the church is to pollute God’s message. People who drink from a polluted fountain—and there are many today who do—will be infected by it. It carries the danger of sickness and death.
False teachers are nothing new to the church; they have always been a threat. Compromise with evil teaching by God’s people, sadly, has likewise been a problem. In these days, when so much is at stake, the conservative church cannot afford to back off or, as the proverb puts it “give way to the wicked.” Get a backbone; stand for the truth. God bless you when you do!