We want to continue in our study in the book of Proverbs. Solomon wrote some three thousand proverbs, not all of them are recorded in the bible. But in the first chapter he tells us the purpose of the proverbs, and that’s a method by which a person might be instructed, in the way of wisdom, in the way of righteousness, judgment, equity, to bring knowledge and discretion.
So as we get into chapter ten, we actually get into the proverbs of Solomon. Up to that, he’s been talking of the value, and the importance of wisdom, of understanding, of righteousness. Now he gives us the proverbs, in which he is extolling still the importance of righteousness, the importance of diligence, the importance of wisdom.
So he gives to us these proverbs, generally in the form of contrast. The first proverb of chapter twelve, he is contrasting the person who loves instruction, with the person who hates reproof. There are some people who are open to instruction. They are doing something wrong, and you say, “Hey man you’re doing that wrong. You ought to be doing it this way”. “Oh thanks! Yeah, I was worried about that!” They love instruction. There are others who hate reproof. “Leave me alone! I know what I’m doing!”, you know, and they hate reproof. So…
Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge: but he that hates reproof is brutish (12:1-2).
Contrast the good man with the wicked man in the second proverb.
A good man obtains favour of the Lord: but a man of wicked devices will be condemned by the Lord (12:2).
So good and evil. They are in constant contrast. I have the choice to live a good life, or I have the choice to live a wicked life, if I so desire. It is tragic that some people have chosen to live a wicked life. But if you have, know this, you’re gonna be condemned by God. “The good man will obtain favour of the Lord, but the man of wicked devices, condemnation.” Again, the contrast to the wicked, and the righteous.
A man shall not be established by wickedness (12:3).
Now that is a permanent kind of a thing. Wickedness you might prosper for awhile. You might seem to be very successful for awhile, but it will catch up with you. You can’t be established by wickedness. You’re building on a foundation of sand, when the storm comes, it’s going to crumble. The whole structure that you have built. You can’t be established on wickedness.
but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. [You’ve been rooted in righteousness, and, and thus, you’ll stand.] A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband (12:3-4):
He’s gonna have quite a bit to say about the virtuous woman in later proverbs. He’s also gonna have much to say about cantankerous women too. But, “A virtuous woman”, he said, “who can find her?”, he said. “Her price is far above rare rubies”. Then he describes the characteristics of a virtuous woman, and, “her children will rise up ultimately, and call her blessed”. It’s been my delight to buy my wife a ruby ring, ruby necklace in acknowledgment of her virtuousness, a virtuous woman. So that, that’s the kind of jewels I like to buy my daughters, and my granddaughters, and when I buy them any kind of jewelry, it’s always rubies. Because of the, “virtuous woman”. “Her price is far above rare rubies”, and so.
but she that maketh ashamed is like rottenness to his bones. [So the contrast to the virtuous woman, and the one that makes ashamed.] The thoughts of the righteous are right: [That seems to be very logical doesn’t it?] but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them (12:4-6).
That is, deliver them from those who would lie in wait.
The wicked are overthrown, and are not: [They come to an end.] but the house of the righteous shall stand. A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be [deceived. So, wisdom contrasted with a perverse heart, “he shall be”,] despised (12:7-8).
You do despise a person with a perverse heart! However the man who has wisdom is always esteemed, commended. Now this is just an interesting proverb, and there’s a lot of truth to it.
He that is despised, and has a servant, is better than he that honours himself, and is lacking bread (12:9).
A man goes around in a lot of pride and all, but he really is lacking bread. He’s worse off than the guy who is despised, but at least he has a servant.
A righteous man regards the life of his beast (12:10):
It speaks about really, a person who is, is a righteous person, is kind towards animals. He considers them as God’s creation. You see a guy who is mean and cruel to an animal, he’s not really a righteous man. “A righteous man regards the life of his beast.”
but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel (12:10).
Even, even the best of the wicked is bad, is what he is saying. “The tender mercies”, which would be the best characteristic of the wicked, “they are cruel”. When you get to the cruel aspects of the wicked, they’re totally cruel. The contrast of the diligent again, with the lazy.
He that tilleth his land [The fellow who goes out and plows] shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding. The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit (12:11-12).
Now we saw that the righteous will stand, they will be rooted, they will not be moved. “The root of the righteous will not be moved.” Here, the root of the righteous will bear fruit, where the wicked desires to trap others.
But the wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble (12:13).
Now the wicked and the just. Now what this is saying is that, the wicked man gets trapped by his own words, so often a person has in bragging about his sin, been caught.
There was a fellow who had gotten into our Agape box, here at Calvary Chapel awhile back, and he, and he stole it. He just carried the thing off! The police called us, and it was dumped off of the freeway here a ways, so he took, he broke the thing open, looked like with a ax or something, or a sledge hammer, and took the money, and the checks were still there. So the police called us and they picked up the checks, and the remains of the Agape box.
Well, few months ago, there was a back-slidden from the church, a lady who was over at the Crazy Horse sitting at the bar. As she was sitting there at the bar, she heard this guy bragging about how he had stolen the offering box from Calvary Chapel. So she slipped out, called the police, and of course they already had the report filed, so the guy was caught. “The wicked is snared by the transgression of his own lips!” You know! So, you start bragging’’ about your evil man, and you get caught!
A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth (12:14):
Now, “the wicked are snared by the transgression of their lips”. But, “a man shall be satisfied with the, with the good by the fruit of his mouth.”
and a recompense of a man’s hands shall be rendered unto him. [The work that you do will bring you a reward.] The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: [Have you ever seen that?] but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. [Then still…] A fools wrath is presently known (12:14-16):
It’s, it’s talking about a guy who is short tempered. Fools wrath is presently known. I mean, you know, he, he makes no, no, no discretion, no attempt to cover. He just blows off at the mouth without even thinking. “A fools wrath is presently known.”
but a prudent man covereth shame. [Keeps it quiet.] He that speaks truth shows forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. [So the contrast between a person who speaks truth, and the person who lies.] There is that which speaks like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health (12:16-18).
Now this, of course is something that we’ve all observed. By your words you can cut a person to pieces. There are some words that just cut like a sword. People use their tongues like a sword, to cut others to pieces. The power of the word, the spoken word, to another person. You can just cut them to pieces with your words. Or, the power to heal, the person who is discouraged, a person who is broken, words can be such healing balm to them. By your words you can bring healing, you can bring comfort, you can bring encouragement. How important it is that, as we speak to others, we speak those words that will edify, that will heal, rather than words that cut and destroy.
The lip of truth shall be established for ever: [Truth will stand, it’ll endure.] but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace there is joy. There shall no evil happen to the just (12:19-21):
Now that’s a difficult proverb to comprehend. Because, we have seen evil happen to the just. But, what he is referring to is the long term effect. If I am just, if I walk before the Lord in faith, what appears to be evil at the moment, God will use for good. God will turn it around for my good. So, often times we say, “Well you know there is no evil for the just, but look what’s happened to him!”, but wait! You see, again we’re guilty of judging the story before we get to the final chapter. Before we see the full cycle. At this point of time, it looks like it’s horrible, at this point of time, I can’t understand it. At this point of time, I’m prone to complain, and challenge God. But when it goes full cycle, and I see the end result, I say, “Oh isn’t the Lord wise? Look what the Lord did! Now I really thought that this was disaster! But the Lord turned the thing around!”, you know, and you see the full cycle, and thus when it comes full cycle, in the final analysis, nothing happens to me but what God does not allow it to happen. If God allows it to happen, there is a good purpose for me in it, or else, God wouldn’t allow it. So, God watches over the just, and no evil shall happen to the just.
but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. [This next one is one that I’ve had quoted to me when I was growing up as a child.] Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord (12:21-22):
You know sometimes when you try to lie your way out of a situation, and then you’re caught. Then they quoted to me, this proverb. “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord.”
but they that speak the truth are his delight (12:22).
The Lord delights in your speaking the truth. Now again, you see, God wants a person to speak the truth, rather than to lie. So God says, “Lying is wrong, speaking the truth is right”. Now do you agree with that or not? You know, it, the Bible really extols what is good, what is right, and in, in the declaring what is right, it says, “The truth is right, you should tell the truth. Telling a lie is wrong”.
Now you don’t really get that naturally do you? You have to be taught that. Why? Because by nature, I’m a sinner. So you don’t have to teach your little kid to lie. “Did you eat that cookie?” “No, I didn’t eat that cookie!”, and here are crumbs all over his mouth, you know. So you have to sit down and teach them that it’s important to tell the truth. You should never tell a lie. Lying seems to come very naturally. But the Bible tells us that we should speak the truth to all men. “Lying lips are an abomination.”
The prudent man [The wise man is contrasted with the fool again, “the prudent man”.] conceals knowledge: but the heart of the fools proclaimeth foolishness. Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: [The heavy heart.] but a good word maketh it glad. The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them. [Then the lazy man.] The slothful man doesn’t roast what he took in hunting: [You go out and kill but you don’t even cook it, you know, you don’t roast it.] but the substance of the diligent man is precious. [So the lazy with the diligent.] The way of the righteous is life (12:23-28);
The contrasting again of righteousness and wickedness, but this one is not a contrast. It’s just a declaration now, sort of a summation of this series of proverbs in which he’s been contrasting righteousness with wickedness. “In the way of righteousness is life.”
and in the pathway thereof there is no death (12:28).
“The path of righteousness is the path of eternal life, in that path there is no death.” Death from a scriptural standpoint, no separation from God.
Now in chapter thirteen, he is contrasting the wise son, with a scornful son.
The wise son will hear his father’s instruction: but a scorner will not hear rebuke. A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence. And he that keepeth his mouth [Solomon has a lot to say about just keeping quiet, “he that keepeth his mouth”,] keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. [The lazy man, the sluggard.] The soul of the sluggard desires, but he has nothing: [He just lies there wishing he had everything, but he won’t go out and work, so he has nothing.] but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. The righteous man hates lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and he will come to shame. Righteousness will keep him that is upright in the way: but the wickedness overthroweth the sinner (13:1-6).
So, righteousness, wickedness, and they are, they are each one worthy of meditation. We don’t have time to meditate on them. I encourage you to that in your own leisure. Now the seventh here is…
There is that that makes himself rich, and yet he has nothing: there is that which makes himself poor, and yet he has great riches (13:7).
Paradoxes. Jesus said much the same thing, when He said, “He who seeks to save his life, will lose it. But he who will lose his life for my sake, shall find it”. There are those who hold onto everything they have. They seek riches. They seek to make themselves rich, and yet they are very poor. Yet there are those who are generous, they give, they may not have much for themselves, but oh are they rich! The, the richness of giving, it’s more blessed to give than it is to receive. The riches that you experience by giving! So, “Those that seek to make themselves rich, having nothing: those that make themselves poor by their generosity, and yet they have great riches”. The thing is, you cannot out give God. It’s just God won’t allow it. He will never be a debtor to you.
The ransom of a man’s life are his riches: but the poor heareth not the rebuke. [I don’t quite catch the, the contrast that he’s bringing there.] The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked will be put out. [So righteousness and wicked again.] Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom (13:8-10).
Pride always brings contention, it brings fighting, it brings this competition. It brings a lot of evil. With pride, comes contention. You can’t be proud without being contentious. It’s one of the marks of pride.
And wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: [It would be interesting to pull those who won the lottery in the first year. Now that’s wealth gotten by vanity. It’s wealth that you got, you didn’t work for, you just sort of lucked into it with the spin of the wheel or whatever. “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished.” There’s proof of that every day, driving home from Las Vegas. They may have you know, hit the jackpot, but before they leave, it’ll all be back in the pot. “Wealth gotten by vanity will be diminished.”
but he that gathereth by labour shall increase (13:11).
You appreciate it when you work for it. Something that you work for, you really appreciate.
Hope deferred [And hope deferred is always a, a very tragic thing. It,] maketh the heart sick (13:12):
You’re hoping that it’ll come through, and you go down to collect, and they say, “Oh we’re sorry, it’s not here. It’ll probably be another couple of weeks”. And it makes your heart sick, hope deferred.
but when the desire comes, [Ah!] it’s like a tree of life. Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed (13:12-13):
I believe this is a reference to the word of God, because it speaks in contrast, the commandments, or, actually not in contrast. Well, it is in contrast, “but he that feareth the commandment”. [But if you despise the word of God, you’ll be destroyed. The word of God is life.] but those who fear the commandments of God they shall be rewarded (13:13).
That is, fear in the sense of reverencing, obedient obeying, or keeping the commandments of God.
The law of the wise is like a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. [Now] A good understanding gives favour: but the way of the transgressors is hard (13:14-15).
If you transgress against God’s law, it will catch up with you. The Bible said, “You can be sure your sins will find you out”. Now Satan is constantly deceiving people, and saying to people much what he said to Eve, “God is trying to hold you back from something that is exciting, and something that is delicious, and something that is desirable, something that is pleasant, something that is good. And God isn’t fair in forbidding you to do those things. Because those things will make you happy. They will bring you pleasure, they will bring you excitement! God is just trying to squelch your good time, and quench you from having a lot of fun!”
No! God is trying to keep you from having a lot of sorrow. For the end result of those transgressions will be bitter. They may be sweet in your mouth, but when you go to digest them, they’re gonna upset, upset your stomach. They’ll be bitter in your stomach. The consequences of transgressing the law of God are hard. You may get by for a while, and some people do. Because they get by with their transgressions, they begin to think that God doesn’t know, or God doesn’t see, or God doesn’t care, or it doesn’t really matter with God. Or worse, some even begin to believe that God approves. But down the road, you’ll discover that, “the way of the transgressor is hard”. When sin begins to take it’s toll on your body, on your life, on your family, on everything that is meaningful to you, you’ll find the way of the transgressor is hard.
If you could just sit in our office and see men sobbing, convulsively sobbing over the grief that they are going through. Because, they decided to have a fling. It was you know, a flirtation, it was fun, it was a escapade, it was exciting! But, the wife found the lipstick on the collar, and began to examine, found out what was going on, and she went to an attorney, and filed for a divorce. Now, this little cutie that he was playing around with, was not anything that he really wanted. He sees his children as they are crying, every time he has to say goodbye. They’re clinging and saying, “Daddy, please don’t go!” His wife won’t have anything to do with him. He wants her back, and he’s sorry. The way of the transgressor is hard! It’s painful! It hurts! Ultimately, it will get you! You think that you’re getting by with sin, you’re not getting by with sin! It’ll catch up with you! The way of the transgressor is hard.
Now every prudent [or wise] man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly. A wicked messenger falls into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health. [The wicked messenger gets into mischief.] Poverty and shame shall be to him who refuses instruction: [You won’t listen, you’ll end up in poverty and shame.] but he who regards reproof shall be honoured. The desire that is accomplished is sweet to the soul (13:16-19):
Isn’t that the truth? You have a desire, and you finally accomplish it, and it’s just sweet to the soul! It’s just good, you just enjoy it! My little granddaughter has been after me for a long time, to build her a playhouse. She wanted a two story playhouse, with a balcony. So, I’ve been taking my days off for several months now, building a two story playhouse with a balcony. I applied the final coat of paint on the outside the other day, built this little dream house for my little granddaughter. Her mother wanted a playhouse, I never got to it. Her aunt wanted a playhouse, I never got to that. So I told her mother, and her aunt, “This is the playhouse that you girls never received”. But, now looking at, all I’ve got to do now is carpet it. That’s this week. Hey, this little gal’s worth it! It’s her playhouse, and I’ll tell ya, to stand there and have her just hold my hand, and say, “Oh grandpa! It’s beautiful! Oh grandpa!”, you know, and oh hey, it’s worth it! The desire that is accomplished is so sweet to the soul, so satisfying, when you complete the project.
but it is an abomination for fools to depart from evil. [They’re just locked into evil.] Now he that walketh with wise men shall be wise: [You want to be wise, get around wise men, walk with wise men.] but a companion of the fools, [Hey] you’ll be destroyed. Evil pursues sinners (13:19-21):
You can be sure your sins will find you out.” They’re pursued by wild beasts. “Evil pursues sinners.”
but to the righteous good shall be [recompensed] repayed. A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children (13:21-22):
That’s what I’m doing, leaving for my children’s children. This inheritance, this little two story house. Interesting verse here.
the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just. Much food is in the tillage of the poor: [But he that is destroyed,] but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment (13:22-23).
So a lot of food in the, in the plowing of the poor. Yet, so much of it is destroyed, many times for lack of judgment. You know we send, or did send, a lot of relief to India. A lot of grains, wheat, rice, and so forth. Yet the people starved to death. It wasn’t because there was the lack of food. There had been plenty of food sent! But, with their Hindu beliefs that the rats may be some ancestor, and they wouldn’t kill the rats, the rats ate the food, or you know, got into it. The people were starving to death, while there was food that was there. So, the lack of judgment, these supplies are destroyed.
He that spares his rod [I used to hate this one!] hates his son: but he who loves his son will chasten him often (13:24).
Solomon’s father was a very poor disciplinarian. He rarely corrected his sons, and as a result, some of them went bad, very bad. So Solomon will have more to say about the importance of not sparing the rod. There’s another proverb, “If you spare the rod, you’ll spoil the child”. “Spare the rod, and spoil the child”, the proverb says. Now my son thought that was a command. When I went to spank him once, he said, “Dad that’s not scriptural!”, the scripture says, “Spare the rod, and spoil the child!” I’m afraid that’s the way some of us look at some of the scriptures.
The righteous eats and is satisfied: but the belly of the wicked shall always want (13:25).
Isn’t it interesting how that a person it seems is never satisfied with material things? There’s always a want, no matter how much you have. Again, we mentioned Milken this morning, and I can’t get over that. He made over a hundred million dollars a year, and yet he began to manipulate stocks so he could make more. There’s never any area of satisfaction in wickedness. You never get to the place where you say, “Well, I’m satisfied. I’ve got enough, I’ll just sit back and enjoy”. The more you get, the more you seem to want. Yet, with the righteous, he heaps to the satisfying of his own soul. The life of righteousness is a life of contentment, a life of satisfaction, and peace.
Now to the women…
Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish plucks it down with her hands (14:1).
A wise woman builds her house, watches over the family, cares for the children. Actually ladies, the Friday morning Bible studies began with this proverb! Kay was reading this proverb, and this was the one that sort of spurred her into starting the Friday morning studies, years ago. As she sought to share her experiences as a mother with the younger girls in the church. The children were all grown and raised, and Kay began to have a little more time. Paul said the older women should teach the younger women how to keep their home, love their husbands, and all. So this proverb, “the wise woman buildeth her own house”, was actually the first scripture she taught from in the Friday morning studies, which started in a home, until the police department kicked them out because so many people were coming. But, wise women building their homes. It takes wisdom.
He that walks in uprightness fears the Lord: [If you’re really upright, you’ll have a respect, a fear, reverence for God.] but the perverse in their ways despise the Lord (14:2).
So you can tell if a man is righteous, or perverse in his attitude towards the Lord. One will reverence the Lord, love the Lord, the other hates the Lord.
In the mouth of the foolish is the rod of pride: but the lips of the wise will preserve him. [Here’s an interesting proverb.] Where no oxen are, the crib is clean (14:3-4):
That is, the barn is very clean if you don’t have any ox. You know, you don’t want to clean the barn? No ox.
but much increase is by the strength of the ox (14:4).
So if you want to have anything, you better have an ox, and you know, clean it up. I mean afterwards, but where there is no oxen the crib is clean, but yet you don’t have much. With the ox, there’s much increase by his strength. You use him to plow and all.
A faithful witness will not lie: [Again, that’s very obvious.] but a false witness will utter lies. A scorner seeks wisdom, but doesn’t find it: but knowledge is easy to him that understandeth (14:5-6).
Used to be, going to school um, I found school very easy. I would come out having taken a test in a particular class, and the kids that were going into class said, “Is the test hard?”, and I’d say, “No, not if you know the answers!”. You ever notice, if you know the answers the test isn’t hard at all. It’s a very simple test, if you know the answers. If you don’t know the answers, yeah, I guess it could be rather hard. All depends on whether or not you know the answers. So it’s hard to say whether or not a test was hard. It all depends on, did you know the answers or not. That’s basically, “knowledge is easy to him that understands”. You know, simple test, cause you knew the answers. Now here’s just instruction. Good instruction.
Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you perceive not in him the lips of knowledge. [When a guy is just uttering foolishness, and you perceive, “hey this guy, he’s just dumb, stupid”, just leave, you know.] The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: [A wise man will seek to understand the way.] but the folly of fools is deceit. For fools mock at sin (14:7-9):
Have you ever heard a person mock at sin? “Oh I’m a sinner!” You know, and they say it in a mocking way.
but among the righteous there is favour. Now the heart knows his own bitterness (14:9-10);
No one knows what you feel like you yourself, even the closest person to you doesn’t really understand many times, the grief or the sorrow that you feel. There’s another proverb that says, “No one knows how the shoe pinches, but the man who wears it”. So no one really knows many times, the sorrow that you’re feeling inside.
and the stranger does not intermeddle with his joy. [Again, they don’t understand the joys or the feelings that you have, the bitterness, or the joy.] The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: [The foolish man built his house upon the sand, and it crumbled.] but the tent of the upright shall flourish (14:10-11).
Now if you’re righteous, upright, hey your tent will flourish! But the house of the wicked, will crumble. Then this important proverb…
There is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (14:12).
Take a look at the path that you’re on. Where is it leading you? What is the end of the path? The wise man will always look down the road to see where it leads. There is a way, there are a lot of people today who are living in deceit, they are deceiving themselves. A way that seems right to them, but the end thereof is death!
You see, if you aren’t living by some philosophy, that seems right to you, the end of that path is death. There is only one path that leads to life, and that is Jesus Christ. “I am the way”, He said, the path, “the truth, the life”. There is a way that seems right to men. So there are people who believe that as long as you’re good, you’ll be alright. Or as long as you do the best that you can, God will accept your best. Or, as long as you are sincere in your religious beliefs, God will accept your sincerity. Seems right to be sincere. Seems right to do your best. It seems right to live by the golden rule, and indeed it is! But, it’s not good enough to bring you into the kingdom of God. If you’re trusting in your own righteousness, you’re trusting in a broken reed. It won’t hold you. It’s a broken crutch, and it’ll cause you to fall. So it is so important that I look down the path that I’ve chosen. Is it a path of self-righteousness? My efforts, my goodness, and my trusting in my efforts? Or, am I trusting in the work of Jesus Christ? There is a way that seems right, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful (14:13);
Now there are some people who seek to cover the sorrow with laughter. A lot of people use laughter to cover the real feelings of sorrow.
the end [though] of that kind of mirth is heaviness. The backslider in heart [And that’s where backsliding always begins, it begins in your heart, “the backslider in heart”,] will be filled with his own ways: but a good man shall be satisfied from himself. The simple believes every word (14:13-15):
Have you ever met a person like that, they’re so gullible? We had a pastor around here who was a real sweet guy, but he was gullible. I felt sorry for him, because these other pastors on staff were absolutely merciless with him. I mean, they’d come in and tell these wild stories. “No! Really?” And they would just carry on with this guy and, and I felt sorry for him because he, he was without guile, and he just would believe these guys. Boy did they give him a bad time!
but the prudent man looks well to his going. [The wise man will examine things out.] The wise man fears and departs from evil: [A wise man will depart from evil.] but the fool will rage and he’s confident [That he’s gonna get by.] Now he that is soon angry [short tempered] deals foolishly: [If you’ve got a short temper, quickly angry, you’re dealing foolishly.] and a man of wicked devices is hated. The simple will inherit folly: but the prudent [or the wise] are crowned with knowledge. The evil will bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous (14:15-19).
No contrast, well, the contrasts are within it. The evil bow before the good, the wicked…
The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich has many friends. [Whether or not they’re true friends is something else!] He that despises his neighbour sins: [That is, his poor neighbor.] but he who has mercy on the poor, is happy. [Do not err, do not make a mistake here, or,] Do they not err [rather] who devise evil? [Yes!] but mercy and truth shall be to those that devise good. In all labour there is profit: but talk is cheap it lends towards penury (14:21-23).
It leads you to poverty. The labour, important of working. A lot of people can talk and, I met a lot of talkers, but they didn’t have much.
The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is their folly. [Wise and foolish.] A true witness will deliver souls: but a deceitful witness speaks lies. The fear of the Lord is strong confidence: [The man who walks in reverence of God, walks with confidence, strong confidence.] and his children shall have a place of safety. [Oh how important to live in that fear of the Lord!] In the multitude of people is the king’s honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince. [Saved by the multitude of people.] He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding (14:24-29):
Now we had the guy who was quick to wrath, he was a fool, soon angry, deals foolishly. But, “he who is slow to wrath is of great understanding”.
and he that is hasty of spirit exalts folly. A sound heart is the life of the flesh (14:29-30).
Interesting. Solomon was a biologist, wrote on the subject. It is true that the heart, of course, is that pump that keeps the blood flowing through your body, and the life of the flesh is in the blood. The blood carries to the cells the nutrients that they need. It also carries to the cells the oxygen that it needs to, for energy, to burn the oxygen. Thus, the blood carries life to every part of your body. The life of the flesh is in the blood, and thus, the heart, the pump that keeps the blood flowing, is the life of the flesh. But here is something, and it is also true, and very interesting.
but envy is the rottenness of the bones (14:30).
Envy will rot your bones! Sound heart, gives you life. Envy, it’ll rot your bones. It’s amazing, how that our attitudes will produce good chemicals, or bad chemicals into our bodies. Your body is, has several little chemistry labs that are creating chemicals that pour into your body under certain conditions. Fear, when you have a tremendous fright, there’s a little chemical lab in your body that begins to produce adrenaline, and it pours the adrenaline into your system. With that adrenaline in your system, man you’re really sort of wired. I mean, you can really run, you can really move with that adrenaline! You really need to work that adrenaline out of your body, it can be damaging to you if you just lie down, you know, and do nothing. That adrenaline is poured into your body to, to make you active, to give you the power to run, and flight, and so forth. Fear creates that. But each emotion creates chemicals in your body that are healthy for you, or are bad for you.
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” Happiness. There was someone who wrote a book on, “Laughing Your Way To Health”. This doctor, he wrote this book on what helpful chemicals are produced in your body when you laugh, and yet the destructive chemicals in your body, when you’re angry, when you’re upset, when you’re envious. All of these emotions create different chemicals that are put into your blood stream that are beneficial to you, or hurtful to you.
Interesting, I’ve not read any scientific articles yet on the subject in the American Journal of Medicine. But I would imagine that if they would go ahead and take tests on a person who is envious, they’ll discover that it creates a chemical that probably leads to bone cancer or something. “It’s rottenness to your bones.” Now if, if, if we live long enough, science will no doubt discover that one day. Yet, here it is in the bible, you know for a long time. They, they’re not caught up with the bible in every area yet. They’re still, they, they’ve found out a lot of things, but they haven’t found out everything yet. And they’re still catching up. So what does that tell you? Don’t be envious.
He that oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker (14:31):
Now it’s interesting, God is interested in the poor, in the welfare of the poor. God made special laws to protect the poor. Solomon as rich as he was, also had an interest in the poor. Many of the proverbs deal with the subject of reaching out, helping the poor. This one of course is opposed to those who would oppress the poor. “He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker”, and it is interesting that the poor are associated with God in the Proverbs.
“To oppress the poor is to oppress God, your Maker.” There’s another proverb, we’ll get to it. “He who lendeth to the poor, lendeth to the Lord.” Again, equating what you’ve done to the poor, to what you do for God. Jesus said, when He came back and brought the nations of the world for judgment, He will say unto them, “I was hungry, and you did not feed me. I was naked, and you did not clothe me. I was sick, and you did not visit me”, and they will say, “Lord when did we see you hungry, and didn’t feed you? When did we see you naked, and did not clothe you?”, and He said, “Inasmuch as you did it not unto the least of these, my bretheren, you did it not to me”. Again, equating Himself with those in need. What you’ve done for those that are in need, you’ve actually done for the Lord. So, “He that lendeth to the poor, lendeth to the Lord”. “He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker.”
but he that honoureth [the poor, or he that honoureth] him [Him being God, his maker.] has mercy on the poor. The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous has hope even in his death (14:31-32).
The wicked are like the chaff, blown away, but the righteous will stand for ever. Even in death, there’s hope for the righteous.
Wisdom rests in the heart of him that has understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known (14:33).
Then, this is an extremely important scripture. I think that it should be written at the top of the Senate, and the House of Representatives, and on every one of their scratch pads.
Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people (14:34).
Now that can be proved historically. You can go back in history as far as you wish, and you will find this is always true. “Righteousness will exalt a nation, but sin will be a reproach to any people.” A nation that follows after righteousness is exalted. A nation that opens the door to sin will be destroyed.
The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causes shame (14:15).
So we’ve come to the end of the Proverbs for tonight. We start off with a very important proverb next week. One that you should put into practice. Try it out all week, see if it works. You’ll have a chance, I’m sure. Every one of you will have a chance to use this next proverb before the week is over. “A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Now, you can either bring peace to the situation, or you can bring it to the boiling point. A soft answer will turn away the wrath. Try it. You know, after all, what’s the use of wisdom if you don’t use it? In Proverbs, there’s wisdom given to us. So let’s put it into practice. Let’s try just a soft answer, rather than you know, giving a nasty, mean retort, just say, “Well, fine if that’s the way you want it”. Give it a try.
For one who loves to expound scripture, I find Proverbs a little difficult, because each one is sort of a whole in itself. I like to take you know, six, seven verses, and tie the things all together, and just with each verse, and, and the Proverbs are so set that there’s, there’s not really much relationship between one, and the next. They don’t really tie together. He talks about so many different things, and they don’t seem to be tied one to another that the type of mind I have sets things out in logic and steps and so forth. So I find going through the Proverbs, not as exciting for me, as when I get into areas where you’ve got the whole thing that you can dig through, and unravel, and, you know. So, but they’re important, and they’re good, and it’s truth that we need to know. So the wise will take heed, and profit thereby, and the fools will forget and go stumbling on.
So may the Lord bless you, and may He help you to plant truth in your heart. To walk in the path of righteousness, in the fear of the Lord, departing from evil, that it might be well with you. That you might receive the blessings of God upon your life. And, that you might walk in fellowship with Him. So this week may you experience the presence of the Lord, and the blessings of God upon your life, as you seek to walk in His pathway, for His glory. In Jesus’ name.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7222