The Proverbs of Solomon. The wise in heart will receive commandments; But a prating fool shall fall (Proverbs 10:8, ASV). Wisdom, by most, is measured by what a person accumulates in experiences. If you live to be 75 then, presumably, you will be wiser than a 55 years old person because you have experienced much more. This is not an unreasonable interpretation, but it is mistaken. Wisdom is not measured by years of experience, but by the knowledge one gains, coupled with consistent application in difficult circumstances, then add to this the years of experience. If wisdom is connected with knowledge, then what is the source of that knowledge? There are only two sources. One source is God, the other source is not. That’s it. Paul wrote, For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew not God, it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that believe (1 Cor. 1:21). Paul makes a contrast. There is wisdom that comes from man without God with the wisdom that comes from God to man. The wise in heart will hear God and obey, but the foolish person will have little time for God because the Almighty does not perpetuate one ambition in this world. I don’t want to be a fool; how about you? RT
The Proverbs of Solomon He that walketh uprightly walketh surely; But he that perverteth his ways shall be known (Proverbs 10:9, ASV). It’s very important for people to have dignity and integrity in their lives. The word dignity means one is worthy of honor and respect, while integrity means one is honest, having strong moral principles. One’s dignity is sacrificed if the life lived is not worthy of honor or respect. For instance, a person chooses to wallow in pits with hogs engaged in behavior that is destructive to his or her life. This could means drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, greed and many other things. Once this dignity is sacrificed it is exceptionally hard to get back. Associated with dignity is integrity. The strong moral principles that a person should live by, once sacrificed, means the person wanders from one way of thinking to another, like a piece of driftwood on the water. Perhaps in the lives of each of us we have wondered about ourselves whether or not we have cut into or own dignity and integrity, weakening the two pillars in our life that give self-respect. The proverb gives an exhortation that it does not have to be that way, and it won’t be if a choice is made, from the beginning, to choose the Lord’s way. What if I didn’t choose the Lord’s way at the beginning? Then start now. It may be your bad-reputation will follow you, but as you choose to follow the Lord, what was once lost will soon return because people notice the one who walks uprightly, according to a standard not his own. RT
“Blessings are upon the head of the righteous; But violence covereth the mouth of the wicked” (10:6 ASV).
The English Standard Version (ESV) read slightly different, “Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence”, which seems to give clarity to the proverb. The blessings that are on the head come from two sources. First, there is the source of blessing that comes from those on earth that like being around you and are willing to give you their time and, if necessary, their possessions to help you when you are in a pinch. Second, there is the source that is from the Lord. Living righteously is difficult in this evil world; it always has been. Thus, when one is determined to do so, the Lord takes note and blesses that person with the promises of life. This is done because of the response given to His Son Jesus. All spiritual blessing are in Christ and that means, consequently, there are no spiritual blessings that come from the Lord outside of Christ. On the other hand, those of a different spirit, those who have little or no regard for the Lord, they live by a different standard, a standard of their own making, a standard that can generate violence. You won’t know, though, until it is perpetrated against you, someone near you or you read about it in the news. Even if there is no violence, the wicked who reject the Lord (that is, don’t obey), they have their coming day, it’s called Judgment Day. RT
He that gathereth in summer is a wise son; But he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame (10:5 ASV).
It should go without saying there is great productivity in working. It should go without saying, but it can’t. I have heard time and again the generation coming out of high school the last few years have little interest in working and being productive. They have adopted the mindset they are to be given something rather than working for it. If they get it not, they cry foul and blame others for not getting it. Not all who are coming out or have already graduated are of this selfish way of thinking, but there are many who think this way. I have heard, at least three times, employers can hardly keep the younger generation employed. They come in to the work force after being hired with a very good start-up wage, only to leave when the going (job) gets tough or when they learn there is responsibilities day to day that must be met. The proverb deals with this type of thinking. What makes it worse are those who bail out the people who refuse to work. Why not let them learn hard lessons? “It’s so unloving” we are told. How loving is it to bail out the lazy, not teaching them to be responsible? When your child misbehaves make your discipline worth the effort, when he refuses to work let him go hungry. RT
A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death (Proverbs 10:1-2, KJV). Looking at these two verses together, a child (not necessarily a son) makes his parents glad, happy, pleased when the child takes parental counsel and makes application of it for his or her own life. Ideally, of course, the parental wisdom conveyed to the child is not a wisdom of this world, but godly wisdom, a wisdom that teaches a person this worldly influence that is all around us and trying to get us to adopt will not deliver us (or anyone) from the judgment seat of the Lord (Heb. 9:27; cf. 1 John 2:15-16). Parents who fails to teach godly wisdom are parents who not only brings heartache to themselves, but moves the child much closer to spiritual death. RT
A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated (Proverbs 14:17, ESV). We have seen it time and again, the quick-tempered man is the one who puts a wedge between himself and others. It is not because the quick-tempered one is wrong in his thinking or opinion, but that he thoughtlessly reacts or replies with a disposition and words that pushes the one with whom he has conversation against the figurative wall. Whatever good may have otherwise come flew away because the evil device (quick-tempered) got in the way of words that could have been well placed.
The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps (Proverbs 14:15, ESV). The word “simple” is given a better translation “naïve” in the NET. The Contemporary English Version reads, “Don’t be stupid and believe all you hear.” This is the idea, but lest one think more than should be thought, take note of the Lord’s word elsewhere. “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord” (Isaiah 1:18, ESV). Critical thinking is to be an identifying marker of the saints (cf. 1 John 4:1). The saints in Berea challenged Paul by critical thing, and saints should do the same today. Thus, it is not wrong to challenge the integrity and veracity of the Scriptures, but it is wrong when one sees that they do stand the test of critical thinking and then fails to obey the Lord’s New Testament will revealed therein. The apostle Paul went into the Jewish synagogue each Sabbath day to “reason” with the Jew from the Scripture concerning Jesus, and New Testament saints today will reason with another concerning the same.
The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways (Proverbs 14:14, ESV). This is another way of saying one will reap what he sows. The backslider is not one that sins on occasion, for we all do, but sliding back away from the Lord is not our intention. On the other hand, those who sin have put themselves in position to slide down that slippery slope where no traction can be gained. Before long, one’s thinking and life swirls out of control. A good man, however, has the path of righteousness plainly laid before him, and all obstacles are easily seen. Thus, he avoids the slippage. When he does sin – for all sin – then he goes straight to the Lord in penitence because the Lord has not allowed the traction of his feet to be worn away. The Lord’s fruit is sweet.
Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief (Proverbs 14:13, NKJV). There is an old proverb that says laughter is the best medicine. Surely we can see value in this, but is that always the case? Others have said they had to laugh at something because if they didn’t they would cry. In both cases, laughter has associated with it some unfortunate circumstance in life that receives attention. Some, unfortunately, laugh at sin. These people think their sinful action will go unchecked by the Lord. They fail to understand that the Lord has a mind like a “steel trap.” Nothing escapes. One can be sure their sin will find them out.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death (Proverbs 14:12, NKJV). One of the great things about life is the fact the Lord gave to each of us a mind; a mind wherein we can think whatever it is that we want. Many have used their minds to think of great and inventive ideas, while some have had destructive thoughts. Whatever it is that is thought by man, that which is the most important is his standing before the Almighty. It may be that man does not think this is important, but in time, his thoughtless thought will reveal itself in a particular action. This is destructive (of course). The unfortunate thing about those destructive thoughts is just how unaware people are about this way of thinking. One can find the truth, however, if he looks outside himself. Until he does, all that will be found (or thought) is a way that seems right. Not much to hang one’s thinking cap on!