Archive for the ‘Proverbs 10’ Category

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 10:14 Wise men store up knowledge, but he mouth of a fool invites ruin.

Wise men study and store knowledge before they talk. Fools talk without study, and their stores of knowledge, their minds, are empty. Here is the plain difference between a wise man and a fool – one knows what he talks about, and the other talks out of ignorance.

You have seen and heard both men. The wise man is reserved before speaking, and he is careful while speaking. He is cautious in his claims, deliberate in his declarations, and sober in his speech. The fool loves to talk. One-on-one, he can hardly stop, even for air. In a group, he dominates the conversation, as he keeps words tumbling from his mouth.

Wise men, by prudence and reluctance about talking, are safe (Pr 15:2; 16:23; 20:5). A wise man, when asked a question, will seek to study before he answers, unless he is certain of his knowledge on that subject (Pr 15:28; 24:26; 25:11; 29:11). He is committed to learning all that he can, and only then does he offer it to others (Pr 1:5; 9:9; 18:1,15).

Fools, loving the sound of their words, get in deep trouble. They over-commit in financial transactions (Pr 6:1-5); they get into disputes before knowing the facts (Pr 25:8); they whisper foolishly about others (Pr 25:9-10); they expose themselves prematurely (Pr 29:11); and these are only some of their errors. They talk too much while knowing too little. Their many words reveal they are fools, and they are soon destroyed for ignorance.

Wise men lay up knowledge; fools lay out words. Wise men study; fools talk. Wise men are concerned about truth; fools are anxious to be heard. Wise men are quick to hear and slow to speak; fools are slow to hear and quick to speak. Wise men despise fools. Wise men grow in favor with God and men; fools are despised and rejected by both.

Be a wise man with your mouth, and it will bring success. You begin by learning to speak less and listen more (Pr 17:27-28; Jas 1:19). Emphasize study over speech (Pr 15:28; 22:17-21). Make sure you grasp a situation before answering (Pr 18:13; John 7:24). You then make sure each word properly fits the occasion (Pr 15:23; 25:11). And you present each word with graciousness, using only a pinch of salt, if the hearers require it (Col 4:6).

The holy God of heaven is coming to judge men for their words (Matt 12:37). You will give an account for every idle word – those spoken without study or cause (Matt 12:36). And He hates foolish talking and jesting, the mainstay of this generation (Eph 5:3-7). Are you ready to meet this Judge? “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Ps 19:14).

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 10:28 The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked are cut short

The man who obeys God has a bright future. The man who chooses sin will be destroyed. Every man has desires and plans for the future, but only the righteous man will realize blessings and prosperity. The wicked man will not achieve his desire, and then he will go to hell. The lesson is simple. Obeying God works now and later. Sin will never succeed.

Compare length of life that precedes this proverb (Pr 10:27). Righteousness extends life. God guaranteed it (Eph 6:1-3); Solomon confirmed it (Pr 3:2,16; 4:10; 9:11). But the life expectancy of the wicked will be shortened. Solomon declared it (Pr 2:22; 11:19). Experience confirms it. Sinful living and worldly popularity shorten the human lifespan.

Compare marriage (Pr 12:4). Men enter it with great hope and fond expectations. But the wicked man is soon disgusted with his odious tormentor, which is confirmed by the thousands of divorces daily (Pr 11:22; 30:21-23). The righteous man, demanding the fear of the Lord in a spouse, is blissfully glad with his virtuous wife (Pr 19:14; 31:10-31).

Compare children (Pr 10:1; 19:13). The wicked man expects Benjamin Spock’s child care fantasies to yield perfect children. His expectation fails as he sees the arrogant, greedy, lazy, and selfish product of his amoral, effeminate, and permissive approach to parenting. The wise man, trusting God, Solomon, and six thousand years of human history, trains the foolishness out of his son for great parental joy (Pr 22:6,15; 29:15,17).

Examples comparing a righteous man to a wicked man can be multiplied indefinitely, with the wicked man’s expectations always perishing (Ps 34:12-16). Compare Abraham to Lot, Moses to Pharaoh, David to Saul, and Daniel to Belshazzar. But there is another comparison that is much more serious than longevity, marriage, or children. There is the hope and expectation of death. Only the righteous will find anything glad in that event!

Wicked men think they will live forever, or at least leave a perpetual legacy behind them (Ps 49:6-14; 73:1-20). But they are quickly cut off, are forgotten by all, rot in the grave, and drop into the lake of fire (Pr 11:7; Luke 12:16-20; 16:19-26). They expect heaven, or maybe annihilation, but they wake up tormented in hell (Matt 7:21-23; 23:33; 25:31-46).

Righteous men live with the certain promise of eternal life (Job 19:25-27). Their hope is the gladness of heaven, and the reality will far exceed anything they can imagine here (I Cor 2:9). The Lord Jesus Christ Himself saw the joy that was waiting beyond the grave, and the horrible death of crucifixion was little in comparison (Ps 16:8-11; Heb 12:1-3).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

A simple rule of wisdom is to cut your words in half. Many words and much speaking greatly raise the chance of sinning with your lips. Because of this dangerous risk, wisdom teaches you to reduce your number of words and maintain silence longer than usual.

A wise man reflects soberly after speaking a great deal, for he remembers the grave warning of the first half of this proverb. If he spoke quite a few words, he has probably sinned in his speech and appears a fool (Eccl 5:3). In this context, silence is very golden.

The God of wisdom tells you to be faster to hear and slower to speak (Jas 1:19). If you emphasized listening and being skilful at that, you would have little time for talking. If you were slow and reluctant to speak, you would have an excellent spirit (Pr 17:27).

Wisely consider your words before you speak, rather than regret them after they are out. Even if you are not very bright, if you can reduce your words, those around you will assume you are wise – this is a rule from Solomon to boost your reputation (Pr 17:28).

Ah, dear reader, have you not wasted many painful hours reviewing words you spoke? Have you often said, “I wish I’d never said that,” or, “Why did I say that?” Such misery could be reduced, if you would simply refrain your lips from idle or foolish speech. If you would hold your tongue, you would not have to worry about words that escaped.

Wisdom is easy – cut your words in half. Talk less. The tongue is a fire, so douse its sparks by swallowing words (Jas 3:1-12). The tongue is deadly; use it slowly (Pr 18:21).

Words and sin are not an arithmetic, but a geometric, relationship. The words you add beyond necessary speech contain most of your verbal sins; those sins increase rapidly the more and longer you talk (Eccl 10:13). If you swallow those extra words that are unnecessary, easily half your words, you will stop many sins. Cutting your words by 50% will reduce your sins of speech by 90%! Wisdom is easy! Bridle your mouth (Ps 39:1)!

If children cut their words in half, there would be less foolishness, teasing of siblings, and dishonoring of parents. If wives did it, they would be less odious, contentious, and overbearing. If employees did it, managers would find their jobs much easier and production and unity would improve. If angry, bitter, and cruel people did it, there would be much less bleeding of wounded souls. If fools did it, they would be esteemed wise.

Of course, there are people who hardly ever speak, and this proverb does not apply to them. They need to use more words to be gracious and a tree of life to others. If they do not learn to speak, their lives will have little value for anyone, and they are a regular source of disappointment and frustration to others. True wisdom feeds many (Pr 10:21).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 10:13 – Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgment.

Your degree of folly or wisdom is known by your speech. A man with understanding has wise speech that helps others; a man without understanding speaks foolishly and benefits no one. You cannot hide your character for long. You cannot deceive others forever. You will be exposed (Pr 26:26; Eccl 5:3; 10:3). And if your speech indicates you are a fool, the best treatment for you in the wisdom of God is a good beating (Pr 18:6; 26:3).

Notice the proverb closely. The first clause identifies a man with understanding as one who speaks wisely. The second clause gives the instruction to beat the man who does not have understanding. The parallelism of the proverb teaches two principal lessons: (1) your speech proves whether you have understanding or not, and (2) corporal punishment is appropriate for those who speak foolishly and forwardly. The ellipsis – missing words – at the end of the second clause, “and speaks foolishly,” is understood by the first clause.

God and Solomon gave you precious wisdom. Here is advice for life on how to measure the hearts of men and also how to treat them. Good men with wise hearts convey knowledge, godly counsel, and sound wisdom; and they do it in a gracious and loving way. Fools with profane hearts babble about their opinions and little problems in life; they complain about most everything; and they do it in an odious and irritating manner.

What precious wisdom! Wicked persons love to say, “You do not know my heart. I am a good person. I have understanding.” But these are lying excuses to justify their ungodly speech and/or actions. One of the chief lessons of Proverbs is to identify character by speech (Pr 10:19,21,32; 12:13; 14:3,7; 15:7; 16:2; 17:7,27-28; 18:7; Eccl 10:12). The Lord Jesus Christ also emphasized this definite connection (Matt 12:33-37).

Reader! Does your speech prove you a fool or a wise man? It is easy to tell. Can you justify your speech from the Bible? Do you have more friends than you can manage? Do others hold you in high esteem? Do others often seek your advice? If you can answer all four questions positively, you are a wise man. If several of the questions get negative answers, you are a fool! Confess your folly to God. Beg Him for help to control your lips.

Reader! Do others consider you gracious or odious, kind or cutting, helpful or hurtful, cheerful or critical, sober or sarcastic, loving or laughing, judicious or jesting? Honest answers to these contrasts reveal your character. Humble yourself before God. Cut your words in half. Cut your volume in half. Do not speak without something important to say. Study before you speak. Be gracious and positive, always! Praise someone, now!

Your degree of worldliness or spirituality is also known by your speech. It is easy to be an enemy of Jesus Christ – all you have to do is care about the things of this world (Matt 6:24; Phil 3:18-19; Jas 4:4; I John 2:15-17). How can you spot an enemy of Jesus Christ? Listen. They talk about jobs or business, health, politics, or current events. Though you listen carefully, you never hear Christ praised, doctrine exalted, or fervent thanksgiving.

Furthermore, your degree of love or hatred for others is revealed by your words. If you love other saints, which is the greatest evidence of eternal life, you will always be saying good things to them, for them, and about them. The person who is often guilty of backbiting, complaining, slandering, talebearing, or whispering is not only a fool, but also a child of the devil (John 8:44; I Cor 3:3; Titus 3:3; Jas 3:14-18; I John 3:1-19).

Corporal punishment is the best treatment of a person with a foolish tongue (Pr 26:3). If that person is your child, then you can train him in the way he should go with the rod and reproof (Pr 22:6; 29:15). If it is a prospective spouse, end the relationship! If it is a friend, you can easily find new and better friends (Pr 9:6; 13:20; 14:7). Choose wise men with wise speech for your companions, for they will make you better (Pr 22:11; Ps 119:63).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 10:18 He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.

By hating another person you may become a liar or a fool. If you try to conceal your hatred, you end up lying. If you slander the other person and are proven wrong, you are a fool. The only way out is to admit your hateful feelings to God. Ask him to change your heart, to help you love instead of hate.

Here are two easy ways to sin with your speech. You can be a hypocrite and use polite words to deceive people and hide the bitterness and envy in your heart. Or you can spread false and malicious rumors about a person to others. These two sins are in great supply today. Transparent honesty and integrity – clearly visible and known by all – are rare.

Reader, do you see what the wise man Solomon wrote next? He wrote, “When words are many, sin is not absent but he who holds his tongue is wise” (Pr 10:19). It is hard to speak much and not sin – for every sentence raises the chance of sin. So the Preacher gave the wise advice of closing your lips and not talking so much (Pr 17:27-28; Jas 1:19).

When the prophet Isaiah saw the LORD, he was in terror for the sins of his lips (Is 6:1-7). He said, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Is 6:5). A right view of God will cause you to hate your speech (Ps 4:4)!

The blunt apostle James had no mercy for the tongue. He said, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell” (Jas 3:6). He said, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (Jas 3:8).

Your tongue is called your glory for praising God (Ps 16:9; 30:12; 57:8; Acts 2:26). But it also curses men. “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be” (Jas 3:9-10).

You are a fool, if you hide hatred with polite words. Instead of forgiving others and ending conflict, fools cover hatred in their hearts with lies. It is horrible when such evil is in the church. David prayed to be delivered from such hypocrites, whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood and their mouths speak empty pretensions (Ps 144:7-8,11).

You are a fool, if you talk against others. Slander is lying to spread false information or innuendoes about others. Backbiting, talebearing, and whispering are telling the truth about another, but it is information that damages another’s character and reputation. The sin of slander is a violation of the Sixth Commandment against killing, and only very wicked men with evil hearts do it. Limit yourself to saying good things about others.

If you are wise, your tongue is your glory – to praise God and edify others (Ps 30:12; 108:1). It is a precious gift to send worship upward and to feed those around you. If you are a fool, it is your curse – a tool of hypocrisy and murder. It is easy to lie and run others down when they and witnesses are not present to refute you. Be wise (Pr 18:21; Eph 4:29; Col 4:6)! You will give account for every word from your mouth (Matt 12:34-37).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 10:4 Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.

Poverty or riches, the choice is yours! You will make the choice today, tomorrow, and the next day. The man who applies himself diligently to his profession and other duties will be rich, but the man who is a slacker, or sluggard, will be poor. The choice is yours!

A great temptation for men, especially young men, is laziness about work. Solomon often warned against this error, and here he used synecdoche to represent a man by his hand. He used arm (Pr 31:17), soul (Pr 13:4), or the whole man (Pr 22:29) at other times for the same lesson. Success requires energized focus and persistent effort. Get to work now!

Since the hand is a figure of speech for the whole man, do not be distracted by it, as some do with metaphorical language. However, sluggards like to keep their hands in their pockets or folded against their chests (Pr 19:24), which surely brings their lives to ruin (Eccl 10:18). And it is a fact that wise employers note the handshake of an applicant, for they are fearful of the limp, effeminate, weak handshake of a slothful and/or timid loser.

Working for pay or profit is a privilege and blessing (Eccl 9:10). The godly man attacks daily tasks with zeal and force. If he is consistently diligent, all other things being equal, he will quickly and greatly surpass the man who is lazy, slow, and avoids hard work. This is the law of God and nature, and it is a simple lesson to teach children. Diligent work brings financial reward, and it can bring its own emotional reward in a job well done.

A slack hand represents the man who lacks energy or diligence, is inclined to be lazy or idle, remiss, careless, or negligent or lax in regard to his duties. A slacker is a slack person, who shirks work or avoids exertion. This kind of person puts off work as long as he can; he resents real labor; he hates tasks requiring focus and effort. He is a lazy loser.

The slacker always has conceited excuses for his laziness; he will reject sound reasons from even seven men who warn him (Pr 26:16). He has an evil disease – laziness – and will not listen to wisdom. Dear reader, crush your thoughts and believe the proverb!  Solomon learned more in a day than you will learn in a lifetime, and he wrote by the inspiration of the omniscient God, Who knows all things. Hard work wins! Get to work!

What are the slacker’s excuses? He loves sleep (Pr 20:13), which ruins men and women and brings poverty (Pr 6:6-11; 24:30-34). He loves folding lazy hands and huddling under covers in the morning. He loves the snooze button on the alarm. He loves turning back and forth in bed like a door on hinges (Pr 26:14). He hates mornings. He is too foolish and addicted to sleep to realize that extra sleep can make him sleepier (Pr 19:15).

He fears and resents adversity or difficulty (Pr 20:4). He will not plow by reason of the cold. He is always looking for a “snow day” to take the day off. Instead of putting on a coat and working anyway, he loves any excuse to stay home or avoid a difficult job. The blessed God will put extra thorns in his way to teach him or tear him (Pr 15:19; 22:5).

He is intimidated by challenges (Pr 22:13; 26:13). He imagines a lion in the way. His favorite words are, “I can’t do it,” and, “It won’t work.” Long-term business or career plans are overwhelming. He wants something easier; he wants success that will fall in his lap. So instead of tackling the challenge, he does nothing (Pr 26:14-15). But ever since Adam chose hard labor instead of dressing the Garden, there is no easy alternative.

He resents authority and being told what to do by another (Pr 19:10; 27:18; 30:22). This socialist thinks a tribe of all chiefs, or all Indians, would work well. He does not want to be an Indian under a chief. He likes to work for himself. His rebellion keeps him from seeing that all chiefs were once hard-working Indians (Pr 17:2; 22:29).

He is seduced by vain ideas of easier and more exciting ways to make money (Pr 12:11; 28:19). He associates with the discontented and listens to schemes on how they will beat the system (Pr 14:23; 21:5). He is always busy planning his future success. He believes he has figured out life better than Solomon and seven successful men (Pr 26:16).

The diligent man laughs at slackers and mocks their five excuses, goes to work early every single day, and attacks his job with energy and persistence. He knows that life is short; he knows that God made him to work; he looks forward to getting his diligent hands on a project; and he will do it with his might (Eccl 9:10). He will soon rule over the slacker in riches and honor (Pr 12:24; 13:4; 22:29). Guaranteed!

Nothing has changed in 3000 years since Solomon penned these words. And nothing has changed in 2000 years, since Paul wrote his own warnings against slackers (Rom 12:11; I Thes 4:11-12; II Thes 3:6-13). Diligent labor is the law of God and the law of success. It must be taught faithfully and strongly, for the excuses of slackers have not diminished. Parents must train children to work hard and to hate and repudiate the slacker’s excuses.

There are many other excuses that lazy souls use, such as discrimination for age, creed, race, or sex, such as lack of education, lack of intelligence, lack of friends higher in the organization, etc. But the wisest man that ever lived taught here and in other places that hard work will make up for any of these perceived disadvantages (Pr 14:35; 17:2; 22:29).

If you put the fear and love of God first in your life and then work diligently on the job as you should, you will be honored and compensated. Guaranteed! Joseph prospered in Egypt, though having the wrong nationality, a despised business background, and starting as a chained slave. Daniel prospered for 70 years near the top of the Babylonian Empire though of a despised race, enemy nation, hated religion, and starting out as a eunuch!

Christians should be the most diligent workers in any company or on any job. The world should see a living example of focused energy, intense persistence, and cheerful zeal to do anything necessary to finish even unpleasant tasks. Christians should never consider the excuses of the slacker, as they are contrary to sound doctrine (Eph 6:5-8; Tit 2:9-10).

The blessed Lord Christ was exceptionally diligent (Mark 3:20-21; 6:31; John 4:34; 9:4). And the apostles followed His great example (I Cor 4:9-14; II Thess 3:8). In fact, beloved brother Paul boasted in the grace of God that he labored more abundantly than all the other apostles (I Cor 15:10). There are many duties and privileges of service in the New Testament for you. Can you, reader, boast of diligent use of God’s grace in doing them?

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 10:29  The way of the Lord is a refuge for the righteous, but it is the ruin of those who do evil.

There is a right way to live and a wrong way to live. The right way gets Almighty God’s favor and blessings for prosperity and success. The wrong way, the sinful way of most men, brings destruction, dysfunction, and death. Which way are you living? Examine yourself right now, humble yourself, and choose to live the right way with its blessings.

Deism is heresy, and those who reject the God of providence and revelation are heretics. Jehovah of the Bible intervenes daily in the affairs of all men. The creator God is not watching from a distance, as a foolish songwriter has hallucinated. He actively rewards those who obey Him and severely punishes those who reject and disobey Him (Pr 13:13).

Grasp the proverb. “LORD,” in all capitals, is the name of ancient Israel’s God, Jehovah of the Bible, I AM THAT I AM (Ex 3:14; 6:3). Those who follow God and keep His commandments are the upright in the way of the LORD, and He blesses and prospers their lives with strength. But those who reject Him and His revealed will are called the workers of iniquity, and He has righteously committed to destroy them for their sins.

The great God sees and measures all men in infinite detail (Pr 15:3; Heb 4:12-13). It is an axiom of His religion that He rewards those who diligently seek and obey Him (Pr 11:18; Heb 6:10; 11:6; Gen 15:1; Ps 18:20; 58:10-11; Matt 5:10-12; 6:33; Rev 21:3-5). And it is an equal axiom that He punishes those who reject Him and His word (Pr 13:13; II Chr 36:16; Ps 73:15-20; Mat 21:40-46; I Cor 11:30; Heb 10:26-31; 12:28-29; Rev 21:8).

God has revealed Himself by two means – the natural creation and the written Scriptures. So complete and thorough is Jehovah’s creative display in the heavens and earth that men are without excuse, and He judges them severely for not worshipping Him in truth and righteousness (Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:18-32). And in like manner, His written Scriptures are to be reverently obeyed (Deut 29:29; Ps 19:7-11; Is 66:1-2; Matt 5:19-20; II Pet 1:19-21).

God mercifully forgives individual sins, if you repent (Pr 28:13; I Jn 1:9).  But workers of iniquity forsake the right way to live in rebellion and sin. There is no mercy for those who set themselves against the Most High: God hates them; their lives will be miserable; they will be destroyed (Pr 11:31; 13:15; Ps 5:5; 11:5; Matt 7:23; Rev 21:8). If they appear to be getting away with sin, just wait a few minutes (Ps 37:34-38; 49:6-14; 92:7)!

But God’s gracious eyes are over the righteous: He views their lives with approval and blesses them (II Chr 16:9; I Pet 3:12). When they walk in His way, He provides strength from day to day (Ps 84:5-7; Is 40:31; II Cor 4:16). When they separate from false religion to follow Him only, He receives them as dearly beloved sons and daughters (II Cor 6:14-18). He makes things last, repairs holes in financial bags, restores years lost to folly, and protects in danger (Deut 8:1-9; Hag 2:15-19; Joel 2:25; II Tim 4:17). These are a few of His ways, which are called the providence of God, and it is truer than gravity!

Will you examine your ways today? Do you understand the choice this proverb has put before you? Will you live the right way and be blessed? Or will you choose this world’s way and be destroyed? God will not let you play with Him for long before He closes the door of opportunity (Pr 29:1). Get serious today! Choose to be a noble and virtuous prince (or princess) in the earth by living God’s way for favor with both God and men.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it. 

When God blesses a man to be rich, He also gives contentment, happiness, and peace, which amounts to a double blessing. Ordinarily, riches bring a measure of fear, greed, guilt, hoarding, labor, pride, vanity, or worry. Wealth can be more trouble than good. But the blessed God of heaven is able to give riches without their attendant sorrows.

Only fools think riches have no sorrow. Solomon wrote more than the book of Proverbs. He also wrote an inspired philosophy of life called Ecclesiastes, in which he documented the pain and trouble of wealth (Ec 2:17-23; 4:4-8; 5:10-17; 6:1-2). He called the troubles of the rich a sickness and evil disease, and he said this sorrowful condition was common.

Read this rich king’s comparisons. “Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith” (Pr 15:16). “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith” (Pr 15:17). “Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit” (Eccl 4:6). Poverty can be better!

Rich men fear losing their riches: there are competitors to worry about; the propensity to consume takes their profits; they know death ends the good life; they dread the tax man more than a thief; and the thought of a foolish heir wasting their estate is horrifying. Similar factors apply to greed, guilt, hoarding, labor, pride, vanity, and worry.

Some men get rich as a result of time and chance – not from diligence, skill, strength, or wisdom (Ec 9:11). Of course, God rules all time and chance (Pr 16:33; Eccl 7:14). Some men are cursed with riches. Pharaoh is a great example (Ex 9:16). And it is called the prosperity of fools, when God blesses a fool with riches to deceive other fools (Pr 1:32). In both cases God arranged riches to increase, but He did not provide lasting joy or peace.

Promotion comes from the Lord (Ps 75:6-7). When God promotes a man to be rich as a blessing, He is kind enough to also give that man the spiritual gifts to be content, happy, generous, and secure in his wealth (Eccl 2:24,26; 3:13; 5:18-19). Such men are not dependent on their wealth, and they would be just as happy if it all went away from them. In fact, these men happily scatter their wealth by giving it to the poor (I Tim 6:17-19).

What are the lessons? Ambition without God’s blessing will fail (Ps 127:1). Riches bring trouble, so it is dangerous to desire them (Pr 23:4-5; I Tim 6:6-10). The only wealth you want is by God’s blessing, for He gives contentment and peace with it (Ec 5:19; Ps 4:7). A happy and successful life requires more than riches (Pr 16:16; 17:1; 28:6). While the wicked eat the bread of sorrows, the righteous man sleeps sweetly (Ps 127:2; Ec 5:12).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 10:09 – The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out. 

A consistent course of righteousness will keep a man confident, and he will not stumble in life. But rejecting instruction and wisdom, and choosing his own way, will lead a man to trouble and pain; and this perverse rebellion will be revealed to others.

A sincere and faithful man, who walks righteously before God and men, will be secure in his conscience, in the blessings of God, and in safety from trouble  He is single minded with no fear of detection, for he has never practiced deceit or hypocrisy. He neither fears devils or wicked men, for Jesus Christ is his helper and heaven his home. He will not fear the future, for his heart and steps are fixed in God’s word. He knows that God is with him, regardless of what men may think. He knows that difficulties for other men will not defeat or destroy him. He is confident and safe.

But the man who chooses sin and perverts the way of righteousness will fall at once, and all men will know his secret perversity. To disobey is truly to be perverse, for it is corruption of, and rebellion against, God’s wisdom. Perversity is God’s word for disobedience, and we should respect the seriousness of it.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 10:23 A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct, but a man of understanding delights in wisdom.

Wisdom is gentle, good, kind, and loving. Hurting others is never amusing. You should provide comfort, health, peace, and security to those around you. Harming another by words or actions is cruel, foolish, and wicked. Wise men are always gracious and helpful.

Sin is a joke to most today. Mischief that harms others is celebrated. Consequences of sin are ignored, and reprovers are despised. Sin is the delight of many. They cause trouble without fear, guilt, or shame. They jest and joke about evil; they mock the righteous. But such men are fools. Those with understanding know such dysfunctional conduct offends God and men. Wise men know there is honor and reward for sobriety and righteousness.

Solomon warned, “Fools make a mock at sin,” and, “Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom” (Pr 14:9; 15:21). This generation uses sin as content for entertainment. Mischievous boys in school are often the most popular; the bold and flagrant are considered brave and strong; the wildest actors are called stars. Others rap brutishly and foolishly about whores and violence. Men of understanding grieve about such mischief.

The segment of society most susceptible to this disease is young men. They have the folly of youth bound in their hearts, but they have the abilities and liberties to be out and about in mischief. Solomon feared their draw and influence on his son (Pr 1:10-19; 2:10-22; 13:20). Paul warned young men with one single piece of advice that would make them great, if they could do it, “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded” (Tit 2:6).

Compulsory education, a terrible joke of social do-gooders, crams young fools hating learning into classrooms, where out-of-touch teachers present ridiculous topics with no bearing on life. What is the general effect on young men, who should be working a man’s day, at a man’s job, under a man’s rule? Folly, frustration, mischief, rebellion, and sin! They goad each other on in sinful pranks until society reeks of their noxious insanity!

What happens when these fools get home? Television offers profane entertainment at the expense of God and others. Sitcoms, consuming evening programming, are from hell in their disregard for God, morality, sobriety, and other virtues. Even so-called innocent cartoons, with constant efforts to harm and mock others, are foolishly bad. What will you do to protect and direct your children away from such character-corrupting influences?

Young fornicators take advantage of girls, without regard for them, their fathers, or their future husbands. They laugh about their exploits. Young gluttons have eating contests, and roar hilariously when one throws his food back out. Young drunkards laugh about who has the worst hangover from their binge drinking. Others put sugar in the gas of the principal’s car, and celebrate when he must replace his engine. But God is not mocked!

Fools think only of the moment; they miss both tomorrow’s consequences and God’s judgment at death. They neither consider their future nor do anything toward it. The magistrate eventually puts them in prison; their public records then include a felony or two; a bigger fool molests them in a prison shower; they contract a deadly pestilence; and death will bring a reckoning with the infinite God of heaven. What a sport, huh! Ha! Ha!

What kind of person thinks and acts this way? Fools! There is no fear of God before their eyes (Ps 36:1-4; 53:1; Rom 3:18). They rejoice to do evil, and delight in the perversity of the wicked (Pr 2:13). They are the bane of every nation, the calamity and grief of every father, the heaviness and shame of every mother (Pr 10:1; 17:25; 19:13; 29:15). What will you do to protect your children from such character-corrupting influences?

How are they corrected? Easily! “Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools” (Pr 19:29). “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back” (Pr 26:3). “Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beating spurge the inmost being” (Pr 20:30). If severe punishment was executed speedily in the world, there would not be such a overabundance of dishonorable anarchists (Pr 19:25; 21:11; Ec 8:11).

Solomon, when using death as a means of promoting sobriety, told young men, “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity” (Eccl 11:9-10).

Parent, soberly teach your children about life, death, morality, sin, and right treatment of others. Foolish talking, jesting, kidding, and foolish sarcasm are hurtful and unnecessary (Pr 12:18; 26:18-19), and Paul warned God will judge the world because of them (Eph 5:3-5). They are an inconvenient use of speech; giving thanks is much better. Do not allow these things among your children, and they will grow up to be noble and wise.

Parent, a tender regard for all weak things, even baby birds in a nest or mother animals with their young, should be cultivated, but especially doing good to all men (Deut 22:6-7; Ex 23:19; Gal 6:10; I Tim 4:10). Children with physical or mental handicaps or racial or economic differences should be objects of charity and protection, not ridicule and persecution. Wisdom includes kind and protective regard for such things (Pr 12:10).

A man of understanding has wisdom regarding these matters – he sees through the folly of the fool and considers it carefully. He despises a mischievous approach to life. He sees the trouble coming tomorrow for today’s folly. He sees the judgment coming after death. He sees the great reward of righteousness (Pr 21:12; Job 18:5-21; Ps 19:11; 37:34-38; 58:11). He develops a sober and thoughtful outlook. Be wise, reader, and understand!

Moses prayed, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Ps 90:12). What a great perspective on life – to use each day carefully in a wise way before God and men. This should be your prayer and pursuit. God’s blessings and favor are upon the wise, but the way of transgressors is hard (Pr 13:15). Life is short, and you ought to make the best and most of it in the eyes of God and everyone you meet.

Paul warned, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (II Cor 5:10-11). Solomon concluded his book of philosophy, Ecclesiastes, with this same warning (Ec 12:13-14). Life is serious, and you should avoid and influences toward foolish levity.

Jesus ignored the vanity of this life, looking instead at the joy waiting in heaven (Heb 12:1-2; Ps 16:8-11). He had wisdom and understanding to look beyond the folly here for the joy there. Isaac Watts wrote, “The hill of Zion yields, a thousand sacred sweets, before we reach the heavenly fields, or walk the golden streets.” Only the wisdom of faith sees the sacred sweets here and the golden streets there. Open your eyes of faith and wisdom today to see the important, noble, and lasting things that glorify and please God.