Archive for the ‘Proverbs 18’ Category


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 18:13,15,17 – 13) He who answers before listening-that is his folly and his shame
15) The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.
17) The first to present his case seems right , till another comes forward and questions him

In these concise statements, there are three basic principles for making sound decisions:

(1) get the facts before answering;
(2) be open to new ideas;
(3) make sure you hear both sides of the story before judging.

All three principles center around seeking additional information. This is difficult work, but the only alternative is prejudice-judging before getting the facts.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 18:17 The first to present his case seems right, till another comes foreword and questions him.

Any man can sound reasonable, when he speaks first and personally presses for his own cause. The absence of contrary facts or counter opinions, and his emotional and fervent appeals, can give credence to most any claim. Anything sounds good in a vacuum. But all propositions must be tried by opposing arguments to prove their validity. The learned apostle Paul wisely wrote, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thess 5:21).

Politicians are notorious for their spin, extravagant claims, and moving sound bites. But their promises of prosperity should be exposed to public debate and the harsh reality of facts. Trial lawyers make a good living by exposing lies of the guilty and false testimony through contrary witnesses, expert opinions, and validation of evidence. A rich man’s conceit causes him to overstate matters that the wise poor can often detect (Pr 28:11).

Are you sure you are right in a dispute? Do you have an idea you want to pursue? Are you sure a proposition is valid? Are you confused by a testimony that does not match experience? Have you heard arguments you knew were wrong but sounded right? Here is a rule to remember – every cause should be scrutinized hard for validity and truthfulness.

Solomon wrote this proverb to teach his son wise discretion when judging accusations, declarations, and propositions. This is wisdom – the power of right judgment! Truth can withstand intense examination, but most causes are not truth. Challenging unsubstantiated claims will often expose them as false and frivolous. “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going” (Pr 14:15). Skepticism trumps optimism.

Wise men prove all things. They do not care about one side of any argument. Several common expressions imply this proverb, such as conflict of interests, emotionally involved, third party involvement, arm’s length transaction, cross-examination, devil’s advocate, and so forth. Good legal systems are designed to make sure both sides of an argument are heard and that both sides may cross-examine the other side’s witnesses.

Wise men prove all things. The Jews and Romans allowed the accused to defend himself before judgment was passed (John 7:51; Acts 25:16). The Law of Moses required diligent inquisition in all matters of hearsay (Deut 13:12-18; 17:2-7), and it would not accept the testimony of one man in any matter (Deut 19:15). One of the great prerogatives of kings, or any person in authority, is to make such inquisitions (Pr 25:2). Agrippa, Felix, and Festus wisely allowed Paul to defend himself against Tertullus and the Jews (Acts 24-26).

Wise men prove all things. Paul commended the Bereans for checking his preaching by scripture (Acts 17:11). Jesus said to judge righteous judgment, not by appearance (John 7:24). Since every way of a man is right in his own eyes, a multitude of counselors can save you from deception in your own cause (Pr 12:15; 15:22). Rather than hide from examination, wise men expose ideas to challenges and questions of knowledgeable men.

It takes only a little knowledge to believe something, much more knowledge to teach it, but a great deal of knowledge to defend it. Therefore, subjecting a controversy or opinion to careful scrutiny is a wise way to protect yourself from the danger of your own heart (Jer 17:9). Prudent counselors will quickly determine the validity of your bright idea. If you rush ahead with your bright idea, your neighbor may put you to shame (Pr 25:8).

Prudent marriage counselors use only one ear when a person has issues, for they know a marriage has two spouses with two perspectives and two sets of facts. You were given two ears to listen to both sides of such situations. Haste to answer controversial matters after hearing only one side is utter folly (Pr 18:13). If you are hearing complaints of a relationship from only one side, then limit your counsel to the duties of that person only.

Prove all things by God’s word (Ac 17:11; I Thes 5:21). Religious organizations keeping their doctrine from scrutiny are dangerous. Rome did it for 1500 years by outlawing the Scriptures and using Latin in their services. Protestantism does it by denying any English Bible to be Scripture and using Hebrew and Greek from imaginary “originals.” Try every religious claim by scripture you can read (Ps 119:128; Is 8:20; II Tim 3:16-17).

Here is wisdom! Ignore claims until proven by careful research, contrary witnesses, diligent inquisition, or cross-examination. Do not press a new idea, controversy, or opinion without exposing it to challenges and questions by wise counselors or opponents. When arguing a matter, honestly give the counter position as well. If a preacher, include objections to your doctrine to instruct hearers, buttress the truth, and silence adversaries.

Jesus Christ had a cause – the greatest in history – God’s glory, salvation of His elect, and declaration of truth. He was first in His cause, and He opened it to full view of critics and enemies (Jn 18:19-21; 3:1-3; 7:26; 8:2; Mat 4:23; Lu 19:47; Ac 10:36-42). By impeccable honesty and righteousness, no one could prove a single counter argument (Mark 14:55-59). His righteousness condemned them, even the railing thief nearby.

Therefore, He is the Faithful and True Witness (Rev 3:14; 1:5; 19:11). You may fully believe Him and His cause, for it is the purest and most precious you will ever hear or need. Throw all your contrary or doubting arguments and thoughts out – run to Him by faith and believe every word from Him and about Him in the scriptures. You will never be ashamed or confounded, world without end (Is 45:17; Rom 10:11; I Pet 2:6). Amen.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 18.24 – A man of many companions may come to ruin, but here is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Loneliness is everywhere-many people feel cut off and alienated from others. Being in a crowd just makes people more aware of their isolation. We all need friends who will stick close, listen, care and offer help when it is needed-in good times and bad. It is better to have one such friend than dozens of superficial acquaintances. Instead of wishing you could find a true friend, seek to become one. There are people who need your friendship. Ask God to reveal them to you, and then take on the challenge of being a true friend.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe

When you are afraid, what kind of a tower do you want for protection and safety? The LORD is a strong tower in fearful times. You can run into it and be safe, whenever you need it. Nothing can breach it. His name is the LORD, and there is no other place for such protection from danger. Lay hold of this proverb by faith; it will save your life.

It is not merely the LORD’s name that is a strong tower, for His name has no magical properties for wicked men. It is the God by Whose name men know Him that is meant. It is the LORD Himself, with all His glorious attributes and perfections, that is meant. He is the living and true God, Creator of heaven and earth, Father of the fatherless, and Judge of the widow. Yes, it is that God. His name is the LORD. Do you know Him well?

What is His name? What is that LORD with all capital letters? Is it a quaint anachronism of the King James translators? Ah, consider this carefully, you who love the LORD. Those four capital letters stand for the sacred tetragrammaton of Israel. God revealed Himself to Moses as I AM THAT I AM. The Jews regarded this name unspeakable. They wrote it as a tetragram of four consonants, JHVH. It is pointed up with vowels from other Hebrew names of God, Elohim and Adonai, to be written and pronounced as Jehovah! The capitalized LORD means Jehovah, which is the God named I AM THAT I AM.

Is this God a strong tower? There is no other God but Him! The gods of the nations are the devilish imaginations of ignorant pagans. They are stumps, stones, animals, and insects. They must be carried about from place to place. Jehovah ridicules them repeatedly in the Bible, and He considers those who worship them to be just as stupid.

How strong is the tower? Trust ye in the LORD forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength (Is 26:3-4)! Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew Him as the Almighty God, but He revealed Himself further to Moses (Ex 6:3). Hagar named Him, “Thou God seest me” (Gen 16:13). “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation” (Ps 68:5). None have ever been lost who put their trust in Him!

Let David be your example. Call upon the LORD in your troubles, and let Him rescue you (Ps 18:1-6). He was David’s rock, fortress, deliverer, God, strength, buckler, horn, and high tower (Ps 18:2).  David said, “I will love thee, O LORD, my strength” (Ps 18:1).

He rescues the righteous like this: “Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies” (Ps 18:7-11). Do you know this glorious God? Do you delight and trust in Him?

Do you think Allah can do such things? Or the Great Spirit of American Indians? Or the sacred dog of the Egyptians? Or the water bug from heaven of the Ethiopians? Or the sun, moon, or starts, which many have adored? There is only one living and true God – Jehovah. You should know Him. He has made you for Himself (Pr 16:4). Worship Him.

If you do not like making fun of the ridiculous false gods of the heathen, then either you need to read the Bible or find a new religion, for Jehovah takes pleasure in ridiculing the pitiful pretenders of pagan religion. None compare to Him! Check out I Kgs 18:27; Psalm 115:1-8; 135:15-18; Isaiah 40:18-20; 44:9-20; 46:1-9; Jer 10:1-5; and Hab 2:18-20.

“Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.”

Having tired of manmade idols of wood and stone, the world’s pagans have outdone themselves with new inventions. The Muslims worship Allah, the moon god of the Arabians (note the crescent moon on top of every mosque). The Hindus have narrowed down their million gods to the unholy trinity of Shiva (destroyer), Brahma (creator), and Vishnu (preserver). None of these can be compared to God the LORD at all.

Rejecting the ridiculous pagan deities of the Muslims and Hindus, the Russian Communists worshipped an ignorant skinny man named Vladimir Lenin, and the Chinese Communists worshipped an ignorant fat man named Mao Tse Tung. The devils know all these imposters from Allah to Mao, and they laugh all the way to hell about them.

But there is one Man the devils fear more than all gods, angels, and men combined. And it is not Joseph Smith, Muhammed, or Pope Francis I. It is the Man Jesus of Nazareth. When He was on earth in a state of great humility, they ran and worshipped Him repeatedly, and they begged Him not to torment them before their appointed time of judgment. Now exalted at the right hand of God, He is far above all of them, preparing to use them as a footstool and consign them to an eternity in hell.

Nor do real Christians stoop to Babylonian and Roman superstition and pray to Mary. She is neither a tower nor strong. She could not even help herself. Mary needed a Saviour as much as any woman, as she told her cousin Elizabeth (Lu 1:46-49). She knew she was a lowly handmaiden and the object of blessing, not a giver of blessings. Jesus said His mother was no more important than any believer in God (Luke 11:27-28; Matt 12:46-50).

Nor do real Christians pray to saints, for they are dead and buried to this day. They cannot help. They are no tower of safety. They died because they were sinners under God’s curse. Forget their names. The Catholics invent them as fast and frivolously as the Hindus invent new gods. The names of both are worthless. Mother Theresa? She could not climb 20 feet of rope, if her life depended on it. Call on the LORD!

Your parents, pastor, pope, or priest are no better. They cannot help you. They need a strong tower as much or more than you. There is only one name by which any man must be saved; there is only one name that is above every name; there is only one name that is a strong tower. It is the name of Jesus, before which every knee shall bow (Phil 2:9-11).

When a Christian closes his prayers to God “in Jesus name,” he invokes the highest name in the universe (Phil 2:9-11). For you are using the name that means the LORD Jehovah is salvation (Matt 1:21). Now that is a strong tower!  You will be safe in it!

Let it be known forever that Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel, the Christ of God, is Jehovah Himself, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, the Blessed and Only Potentate, Immanuel, the Word of God! He is LORD, and He is Lord of all!

Dear Christian reader, you know the LORD. He is your strong tower. He will save you from any and every danger. “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah” (Ps 62:8). “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Ps 34:7).

Run to Him! There is no help anywhere else. Run to Him by prayer. Run to Him believing. Run to Him in faith. Run to Him now! He will deliver you from all your enemies and troubles in this life and life in the world to come. Run to Him, ye righteous!

But do not run to Him with unconfessed sin, for He will turn you away (Pr 15:8,29; 28:9; Ps 66:18; Is 1:15; Jas 4:3). God is not mocked by such profane prayers or worship; if you have rejected His warnings, He will laugh at your calamity (Pr 1:20-32). He is holy.

No matter what your fears or troubles, in time or eternity, the LORD is your strong tower, and He will save you. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Rev 1:17-18).

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev 19:11-16).

“If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you” (I Cor 16:22-23).

 


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 18:20 From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled: with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. 

Do you want to be happy and successful? You can be! Here is wisdom to find fulfillment and peace in life: learn to talk better (Pr 18:21). The proverb has many figures of speech, but the lesson is simple. If you will improve your speaking, you will be blessed in many ways by God, by others, and even by your own soul (Pr 14:14). Grasp this wisdom!

Your belly here is your heart, soul, spirit, and conscience (Pr 13:25; 18:8; 20:27,30). They are fulfilled and satisfied, when you speak well (Pr 15:23). The fruit of your mouth is gracious and wise words, which is the good trait of speaking correctly (Pr 16:13; 22:11; 24:26; 25:11). You can give yourself pleasure by noble speech. Kind and good words help listeners for sure, but they also bring rewards to the speaker (Pr 12:14; 13:2).

The increase of your lips in this proverb is the improvement that you make to your speech by learning the rules of wisdom for the tongue and lips (Pr 15:28; 16:23). Solomon had much to say on this subject, and you can increase the sweetness and value of your speech by ruling your words for the glory of God and profit of man. This increase, like the fruit in the first clause, will bring blessing, honor, and riches into your life.

How many times have you later said to yourself, “Why did I say that?” If you have a conscience (all good men have strong consciences), then you have grieved for foolish or hurtful words you let escape from your mouth. It is this frustrating pain in life that you can eliminate by learning gracious speech. Solomon knew the chance of sin increased with much speaking, so he recommended fewer words (Pr 10:19; 17:27-28; Eccl 5:1-3). This saying is wise: If you cannot say anything kind and helpful, then say nothing at all.

How many times have others said, “Why did she say that?” Have you left others bleeding from the piercing of the sword in your mouth (Pr 12:18)? Your tongue is for the health and wealth of others, but you often leave them angered, grieving, or confused. Sometimes they tell you about it; most of the time they just suffer in silence. When you find out the pain and damage you have caused, it is a burden on your soul. It is your wisdom and honor to learn words that encourage and instruct others (Pr 10:20-21; 16:24).

God gave you a tongue for more than swallowing food. He named it your glory (Ps 30:12; 108:1). By proper use it can glorify God. You can be a tree of life to others by helpful and encouraging speech (Pr 15:4; Eph 4:29). The person who graciously teaches truth and wisdom to others is rare and precious (Neh 8:12; Luke 24:32; Acts 8:26-35). You can become this person by learning the book of Proverbs (Pr 1:1-4; 22:17-21).

Is it easy to change your speech habits? It is easier to train a cobra to sip milk from a bowl and purr on your lap (Jas 3:1-12). But God gave you Proverbs. Guard your speech. Cut your words in half. Think before you speak. Rule your spirit. Love graciousness. Make every word helpful and kind. Despise harshness. Hate talebearing. Purify your thoughts. Reject foolish indiscretions. Work harder at listening. Build others up.

Does your conscience grieve you when you speak foolishly? It should! It does, if you are a good man with an active conscience. But what will you feel in the Day of Judgment, when you must give an account for every idle word to the Lord of glory (Matt 12:34-37)? No wonder Isaiah cried out in grief about his unclean speech in God’s presence (Is 6:1-7). You can have rejoicing in yourself, regardless of what others think, by good speech (Gal 6:4). You can be satisfied and filled by wise and virtuous speech. God bless your efforts.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 18:3 When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes disgrace.

Sinners bring contempt. If a home, church, or nation accepts a wicked person, contempt of that home, church, or nation will follow. Ignominy, which is dishonor and disgrace, brings reproach. If infamous or shameful conduct is not repudiated, reproach will soon follow. The cure for contempt and reproach is to get rid of sinners.

This proverb is not the easiest to grasp. Many perceive the contempt and reproach to be the action of the wicked person against good men. In their view, the wicked person brings his contemptuous insults and ignominious reproaches against good men and righteous practices. But when Solomon wanted to warn against the contempt and reproach of scorners, he stated it clearly (Pr 9:7-8; 22:10; 23:9). So there is a better interpretation.

When a wicked person arrives, contempt will also come, because contempt is the result and consequence of allowing wickedness. Men will despise the presence of a wicked person. When ignominy – dishonor and disgrace – occurs, reproach will also come, because reproach is the consequence and result of allowing such conduct. Ignominy, or a shameful situation, is not doing the reproaching, but rather being the cause of reproach.

Israel was the glory of all nations, when they obeyed the holy and righteous laws of God (Deut 4:6; I Kings 10:6-9; Zech 8:23; Mal 3:12). But God promised they would become a contemptuous and reproachful byword, if they allowed sin in the nation (Deut 28:37; 29:22-28; I Kgs 9:6-9; Ps 44:13-14; Is 52:5; Jer 24:9; Lam 2:15-16; Joel 2:17; Rom 2:24).

Wisdom and righteousness bring glory and honor to men and nations (Pr 1:9; 3:16,22,35; 4:8-9; 8:12-21; 16:31; 21:21; 22:4). But folly and wickedness bring contempt, reproach, and shame (Pr 3:35; 11:2; 13:5,18; 24:9; 25:8-10; 28:12). Godly men despise vile men (Ps 15:4; Pr 29:27), and God despises them as well (Pr 3:32; 11:20; 15:26; Ps 18:25-27).

A gracious woman, a woman always speaking and acting with grace and wisdom, is perpetually honored, for there is nothing to corrupt her pleasant reputation (Pr 11:16; Eccl 10:1). But the odious woman is contemptuously hated and reproached by all, for her froward speech and actions cannot be disguised or hid (Pr 11:22; 27:15-16; 30:21-23).

Paul severely rebuked Corinth for protecting a fornicator in their church (I Cor 5:1-13). They should have mourned and eliminated this reproach on the name of Jesus Christ, for wickedness should not be named once among the saints (Eph 5:3-7). It is the church or nation that is free from evildoers that will be honored and prospered (Ps 144:9-15).

Solomon was a king, and he trained his son to be a good king. If wicked men or ignominy were allowed to exist in government or society, it would bring contempt and reproach on the nation (Pr 14:35; 20:8,26,28; 29:12). He desired rather for Israel the honor and glory that accompanies righteousness and wisdom (Pr 14:28; 16:10,12; 25:5; 29:4,14).

The lesson of the proverb is this: wicked conduct brings contempt and reproach on God’s name and religion, so wicked doers and wickedness must be repudiated and rejected. If this is not done in homes, churches, and nations, the name and doctrine of God will be blasphemed (II Sam 12:14; Neh 5:9; I Tim 5:14; 6:1; Titus 2:5,8,10; I Pet 2:12; 4:14-16).

Whether in the home, church, or nation, wicked men and disgraceful conduct must be identified and avoided (Psalm 101:3-8; 139:21-22; Rom 13:1-7; 16:17-18; Eph 5:11; II Thess 3:6; I Tim 6:5; II Tim 3:5; Titus 3:10-11). Like Solomon’s prince son, you should use any influence you have to mark and reject evildoers. May Jesus Christ be praised!


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 22:17-18 Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise, apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. 

The words of God are wonderful things! It is your duty to bow down your ears and hear them (Pr 22:17). It is your duty to apply your heart to love them (Pr 22:17). They will bring great pleasure to your soul, and you will be prepared to share them with others.

Keeping God’s words in your heart will be pleasant to your soul. They will be sweeter than honey (Ps 119:103), the rejoicing of your heart (Ps 119:111), and like finding great spoil (Ps 119:162). Jeremiah said they were the joy and rejoicing of his heart (Jer 15:16).

Do you crave God’s words? Job said, “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). How long do you go without food? Do you crave God’s words like you do food?

Is the preaching of God’s words the best part of your week? Or is it going out to eat? Do you go to hear His very words explained? Does your pastor even believe He has God’s words? Does he present them as individual jewels from God’s mouth? Demand them!

Do you have the words of God? There are so many Bibles today, all proclaiming to be the word (singular) of God. But which Bible has the words (plural) of God? Jesus Christ and His apostles had Scripture from which they argued important doctrine from single words (Matt 22:31-33,41-46; John 8:58; 10:33-36; Gal 3:16; 4:9; Heb 8:13; 12:26-27).

Do you love and appreciate the divine library God has given you? Is it as precious to you as much fine gold and as sweet to you as honeycomb (Ps 19:10)? Do you open its pages with awe and reverence, begging God to reveal new things to you (Ps 119:18)? There are 66 books of all kinds in this library, 1189 chapters, 31,102 verses, and 788,280 words!

Only by knowing the certain words of God can we use them to answer others, for Solomon said, “That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?” (Pr 22:21). It is only the certain words of truth that we want to hear, and it only them we want to speak to others.

If you keep these precious words within you, meditating upon them and applying them to your own life and the world around you, they will become fitted in your lips. You will have ready words on the tip of your tongue for those seeking the truth. You will be able to answer their hard questions, for the words of truth will be very familiar to your mind.

God’s true saints have His words fitted in their lips, and they feed many (Pr 10:21; 15:7). They exalt Jesus Christ as the sovereign Lord of all in their hearts, and they are always ready to give an answer to those asking for reasons for their faith (I Pet 3:15). If this is not true of you, reader, where have you failed? Do you need a better teacher, to listen more attentively, to read more often, or to meditate more carefully? Do whatever it takes!