Archive for the ‘Proverbs’ Category


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 30:20 This is the way of an adulteress; She eats and wipes her mouth and says, I’ve done nothing wrong. 

An adulteress is incredible! She has the least amount of conscience and the most amount of pretension. She commits one of the most heinous betrayals possible, yet she can talk and live, as if she has done nothing. She will keep up wifely habits to keep her trusting husband and others from suspecting. Having just described four wonderful things beyond his easy perception, the prophet Agur compared an adulteress to them (Pr 30:1,18-19).

The way an eagle soars on thermal updrafts and dives after prey is marvelous. The way a snake moves without arms or legs on a smooth rock is marvelous. The way a bulky ship sails smoothly through seas without oars or trail is marvelous. And the ease and power with which a man wins a virgin is marvelous. These four things are hard to discern, and so is it hard to believe a married woman can have sex with another man (Pr 30:18-20).

The eating of this proverb does not involve food – it is the sexual acts of the adulteress. She opens her legs to a stranger and enjoys physical pleasures limited to her husband and his bed only. Eating is used here as a euphemism for sexual intercourse, as it was used earlier (Pr 5:15; 9:17; 20:17). While the Bible may use plainer speech in other places, it chooses a euphemism to enhance the proverb here (Ezek 16:17,25-26; 23:16-21).

The wiping of her mouth does not involve a napkin – it is the covering of her tracks to avoid detection. She does everything necessary to hide her liaisons from her husband and others. She waits for her husband to be away (Pr 7:19-20; Gen 39:7-12). She speedily takes care of household duties; she makes the lost time disappear; she hides any signs of her sin; she washes her body and prepares to meet her husband as if everything is fine.

She pretends by her words and actions to her husband that all is well. She dotes on her husband at home and in public. She enters his bed and is intimate with him as if all is well. She plays with her children, speaks with the neighbors, attends church on Sunday, dresses merrily, and continues to wear his wedding ring. There is no compunction, guilt, or remorse. She acts as if she has done nothing wrong at all, in spite of her heinous sin.

The present generation glamorizes adulteresses by movies and serials, performing artists and actresses, romance novels, psychotherapists, and profane marriage counselors. Think “Braveheart,”  “Doctor Zhivago,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Sex and the City,” Princess Diana, etc.! Hollywood never glamorizes marriage! Never! While adultery once brought capital punishment, public flogging, or branding, it is laughed at today and admired as an exciting event. Though a crime on the books of many states, it is not enforced in any state. The whole world eats, wipes its mouth, and says, “I have done no wickedness!”

But there is a God in heaven that hates adultery and adulteresses. It is not an affair: it is not having a lover; it is not a weak moment; it is adultery – the violation of a marriage covenant and wedding (Ex 20:14). Adulteresses received the death penalty in a nation where God wrote the laws (Lev 20:10; Ezek 16:38), and the Jews conspiratorial attempt to trap Jesus and His response do not change God’s civil opinion at all (John 8:1-11).

God designed the woman’s body to prove virginity when entering marriage, and He gave a test under Moses to expose infidelity after marriage (Deut 22:13-21; Num 5:11-31). How far did He go to enforce female chastity? He called for cutting off a wife’s hands for touching another man’s genitals, even if assisting her husband in a fight (Deut 25:11-12). He may have allowed polygamy for hard male hearts, but never polyandry (Ex 21:10-11).

For any adulteress convicted and condemned by this proverb, repentance makes all the difference in the world. The Lord Jesus Christ is as quick to forgive this sin as any other (Luke 7:36-50; John 4:4-42; 8:1-11; I Cor 6:9-11). Jesus received repenting harlots gladly, and they entered His kingdom before religious types (Matt 21:31-32). You can clear yourself altogether from this heinous sin by godly sorrow (II Cor 7:10-11). Glory!

God blessed Bathsheba to be in the lineage of Jesus Christ twice (II Sam 12:24; Matt 1:6; Luke 3:31; I Chron 3:5). Both Tamar and Rahab made the same lineage, though guilty of the sin of adultery also (Matt 1:3,5). While the sins of Mary Magdalene, once possessed by seven devils, are not known, Jesus appeared to her first after His resurrection (Mark 16:9). Rejoice, repentant reader! Your sins are forgiven! Go in peace, and sin no more!

The proverb describes adulterous women, for Proverbs is primarily a book of wisdom and warnings for young men (Pr 1:1-7). But there is an adulterer for every adulteress. Let every man remember God’s justice required the death of the adulteress and adulterer (Lev 20:10). Godly men make covenants with their eyes when they marry – they will not think about sexual intimacy with another woman (Job 31:1). Solomon condemned looking at other women, and he taught men to be content with a wife (Pr 6:24-26; 5:18-20).

There is more than one way to be an adulteress. The very thought of foolishness is sin, so any fantasies of the heart are equal in the sight of God to the actual deed (Pr 24:9; Ex 20:17; Job 31:1; Matt 5:28). A godly woman is chaste in thought and deed (Tit 2:5; I Pet 3:2). There is no more liberty for a woman to read romance novels, watch soap operas, or enjoy Hollywood romance movies than for a man to fantasize with pornography.

There is more than one way to be an adulteress. The holy God of heaven considers friendship with the world by Christians or churches to be spiritual adultery (Ezek 16:1-59; Hos 1:1-3; 9:1; II Cor 11:1-4; Jas 4:4). He is a jealous God, and He will not share His glory, affection, or worship with any others (Deut 4:23-26; Josh 24:19; Heb 12:28-29).

He rejects those who think they can love Him and the things of the world at the same time (Matt 6:24; Phil 3:18-19; I John 2:15-17). He rejects compromised worship like a man would reject his wife remembering or doting on other lovers (Ezek 23:38-39; II Cor 6:14-17). If you love the world, you are flirting or committing adultery with His enemy!

Jesus Christ showed John a vision of a great whore with harlot daughters, who was full of abominations and filthy fornication (Rev 17:1-6). This whore also eats, wipes her mouth, and professes to be innocent and pure, for she is a specific church renowned for spiritual fornication against the God of heaven. Her severe judgment is described in detail (Rev 17:15-17; 18:1-24). What church is she? The city that ruled the world in the days of John (Rev 17:18)! Who are her daughters? The churches that came out of her later!


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 27:26 The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.

Can you do economic analysis? God and Solomon expect you to. If you cannot, or will not, you are heading for financial poverty. You will not be alone, for many in this lazy generation think no more about the future than counting the days to their next paycheck. But your Creator inspired a divine library to help you prosper financially over them.

King Solomon, God’s preacher to you for practical wisdom and success, wrote an extended lesson to warn you about the ever-changing economic landscape (Pr 27:23-27). He knew men must prudently consider their means of income, for financial or business success never stays the same and even the most secure positions are soon lost.

In an agrarian society, maximizing the yield of fields to support an estate required careful examination of all species of livestock and plants used to generate food, clothing, and revenue. In this short section, he listed flocks, herds, hay, grass, herbs, lambs, and goats – a diversified business enterprise for sure. Diversification is prudent, but it is not enough.

For each animal and plant segment of operations, a wise man analyzed its vitality and yield, market prices for its product, and compared these to maximize total revenue with the least risk. This is no small task. Farmers may be lightly esteemed by many, but they are often sharp businessmen, even using futures markets to hedge their business plan.

This proverb identified lambs and goats, two segments of the business. Lambs are only the offspring of sheep, and goats with their peculiarities may not be an exciting venture, but they are both necessary. The lambs produce wool for clothing and grow into sheep, and goats can grow and produce milk on almost nothing, giving value to inferior land.

What is the lesson for you? You must analyze each part of your economic endeavors and alter your plans to maximize profit and minimize risk in a changing world. Is your industry growing or decaying? Is your company competitive within your industry? Is your position valuable in your company? Are your skills in demand and marketable? Could you or someone else add another business? What is the prudent expected return?

Do you know the market value of your house? Are you over-exposed to real estate fluctuations? Is it insured? Have you done everything to minimize taxes? Are your investments wise in light of worldwide economic changes and your government’s fiscal policies? Are you diversified? Are you financially liquid to take advantage of exceptional opportunities that might become available? These are some financial duties from God.

If these questions intimidate or confuse you, then you should consult with some wise counselors, either professionals or your successful friends, and let them help you analyze your economic situation. Solomon taught that there is safety in a multitude of wise counselors (Pr 15:22). With their assistance, you can keep the wisdom of this proverb.

What a blessing – the Christian scriptures! From the origin of the universe to its soon renovation, from the attributes of God to the details of salvation, the Bible deals with your whole life, including economic safety and success. Those ignorant of the Bible think it an outdated and impractical doctrinal textbook, but this proverb should open your eyes.

Thank God for inspiring Solomon to write you about the necessary parts of your life – making a living and building a family estate. Read the related commentaries of the verses surrounding this one (Pr 27:23-27). Exalt God’s word by hearing it preached or explained regularly, and by all means obey the wisdom God has conveyed to you for your profit.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 26:23 Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. 

Are you guilty of one or both of these terrible sins – burning lips that say negative things about others or a wicked heart that thinks such things? If you are guilty of both, you are like a broken piece of pottery covered with the scum from silver refining. What an ugly and worthless person! If you cannot say kind things about others, then say nothing at all.

Here is a simple simile – a stated comparison, by the word “like,” of a man to a clay vessel. An evil man, with a malicious heart and cruel speech, is like a broken fragment of pottery painted over with scum. A good man, with a noble heart and kind words, is like a beautiful work of pottery covered with fine silver, a delightful and valuable object.

What are burning lips? This man has a fire in his mouth, and he regularly burns others with critical and hateful speech. He cannot stay silent for long – he must say something derogatory about others. His lips are set on fire of hell (Pr 4:24; 10:18; 16:27; Jas 3:5-9).

What is a wicked heart? This phrase describes the person whose heart is filled with arrogant contempt and malicious hatred of others, as the context shows (Pr 26:18-28). He does not know God, and he has no affection for others, except to use them for his own selfish ends. He is a murderer at heart, though he may not have committed the crime yet.

Do you have either burning lips or a wicked heart, or do you have both? It is easy to find out. How easily do you argue, backbite, flatter, lie, slander, tattle, or whisper? If you sin in these ways easily, you surely have burning lips. And if you do not grieve after such sins of your lips, then you also have a wicked heart. Reader, examine yourself and repent.

While your lips and heart are not perfectly connected, they are very closely connected. A man may sin once in a while with his lips and have a pure heart, but he will be grieved for it. If a man sins often by attacking others with his words, he shows a violent and wicked heart. Jesus taught that the mouth clearly reveals the heart (Matt 12:34-37).

Many beautiful works of art and household vessels were once made from pottery. A well-formed clay object covered with fine silver could be exquisite in appearance and use. But a potsherd is a broken piece of pottery, and silver dross is the refuse scum from refining.

Wise men examine their hearts and guard their lips – they fear a critical heart and cruel lips that harm others (Pr 6:12-15; 17:20). They will instead choose a pure heart and gracious lips that can win even a king for a friend (Pr 22:11). Reader, examine yourself!


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause, or use your lips to deceive. 

You can hurt others by words. Or you can protect them by guarding your speech. It is easy to harm another person by gossip or slander. By hurting his reputation or testimony, you may inflict great pain or disadvantage on him. Part of godliness and wisdom is to rule your mouth, so you do not injure another person through malice or indiscretion.

Legal situations occur where you might be called as a witness for an accident, crime, or a person’s character. Your duty before God and men is to not testify against anyone without cause – there must be a righteous reason to disclose anything about another person, especially something negative. And you should never lie about him, which is bearing false witness, the ninth commandment of God’s ten to Moses (Ex 20:1-17).

Who is your neighbor? Your neighbor intends many more than just the few who live near you. It includes anyone you meet during your life, even those you might dislike and consider enemies by culture or race (Luke 10:29-37). It includes fellow employees, church members, relatives, fellow students, citizens, your doctor’s staff, and all like them.

A call to court as a witness is rare, but supervisors or managers asking you about fellow employees is not. Are you ready for such an event? You should tell only the truth needed, if confronted. But you should never use the opportunity to damage another employee to advance yourself, either with true events or lies. Solomon condemned it (Pr 30:10).

Never tell negative things about another person, unless necessary for some authority to rightly exercise their office. Even if events are true, it is wrong to spread secrets to others, for you damage their reputation, which can be like murder (Pr 18:8,21; 26:22). What some call gossip – the Bible condemns as sins of backbiting, talebearing, and whispering.

If you know private information about a person, keep it to yourself. Private things you know about others are secrets. Talebearers go around revealing secrets, but faithful men conceal them (Pr 11:13; 20:19). Are you a talebearer or faithful? Talebearers are very destructive (Pr 18:8; 26:20,22). God hates them and their sin (Pr 6:16-19; Lev 19:16).

This sin of talebearing, or tattling (I Tim 5:13), which some call gossip, is backbiting in the Bible. It is backbiting, for you bite a person in the back when you tell secrets about them in their absence (Pr 25:23; Rom 1:30; II Cor 12:20). Faithful men protect those not present by avoiding critical or negative speech about them (Ps 15:3; Pr 25:23).

Talking about others is also called whispering in the Bible, for it is the private sharing of secrets with others through hushed conversation or insinuation (Rom 1:29; II Cor 12:20). Whispering is destructive, as it turns men’s minds against even their friends (Pr 16:28; 17:9). Faithful men are protective and kind – they hate whispering and choose praise instead. They love their neighbors, which is the second greatest commandment of all.

Thus far, the lesson forbids speaking against your neighbor without a good reason. Even true events should be kept secret unless you must reveal them for a righteous cause (Matt 5:22). Telling the truth that hurts a reputation is talebearing, backbiting, and whispering. Though such sins are ignored due to the moral decline everywhere, you can despise them.

But the proverb here also condemns deceiving speech. This is slander – telling lies to get another person in trouble or to damage their character. This is bearing false witness, for you deceive and lie to injure him. Fools slander others (Pr 10:18; 25:18). God will punish false witnesses (Pr 19:5,9; 21:28). Good men will not slander (Pr 14:5; I Tim 3:11).

As the next proverb indicates (Pr 24:29), revenge should never be part of conversation about others. You must not reveal secrets about them or slander them by lies, even if they have mistreated you in the past. God will repay them, if they have wronged you, and He commands you to leave the matter to Him (Lev 19:18; Rom 12:17-21). He will repay.

Though not included here directly, flattery is also sinful speech that harms others, for it feigns and pretends either affection or praise for deceitful purposes. Whores use it to seduce young men (Pr 2:16; 5:3; 6:24; 7:5). It also is destructive (Pr 20:19; 26:28; 29:5). It is another form of lying and bearing false witness, for the praise is not sincere at all.

Consider the proverb’s wisdom! Your tongue – your words – can cut and hurt others, or they can be health and joy (Pr 12:18; 10:20-21; 16:24). God hears or reads your every word, knowing all the intents of your heart, so beware (Ps 139:4; Pr 18:21). It has been well said, if you cannot say something nice about another person, then say nothing at all!

Since men sin so many ways with their mouths, what will you do to stop talkers from injuring others? You should get angry against backbiters and cut them off from their violent game (Pr 25:23). Since men often lie to either injure or seduce, do not be affected by everything you hear, whether against you (Eccl 7:21-22) or for you (Pr 26:24-25).

Words come from the heart, so think only kindly about others, and then only kind words will pass your lips (Luke 6:45). Keep your heart diligently toward this goal (Pr 4:23). Always tell the truth (Pr 12:19,22). Only be critical when necessary for those in authority or for the profit of the hearer or the named (Pr 21:28; 29:24; 9:8; II Tim 4:14-15).

There is one witness always faithful and true and named accordingly (Rev 1:5; 3:14; 19:11). In a day very soon, Jesus Christ will be the only advocate or mediator before God the Judge of all (I Tim 2:5; Rev 20:11-15). He will tell the truth – fully and honestly. He will condemn the wicked (Matt 7:21-23). He will justify the righteous (Heb 2:10-13). Do you know Him? Or much more importantly, does He know you (Gal 4:9; II Tim 2:19)?


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 20:5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

It takes skill to discover what others really think. What wise men think could help you succeed. What fools think could cost you dearly. Only a man of understanding will have the ability and patience to extract personal and secret plans and opinions out of others.

The simile here compares a deep well, where the water lies well below the surface of the ground. In order to obtain the water, significant ingenuity and labor must be put forth to reach so far down and bring the water to the surface. Only the creative and diligent will identify the means and put forth the effort. Most will look elsewhere for easier water.

There are reasons it takes similar skill to draw counsel out of others. First, they may fear letting their opinions be known. Second, they may by godliness and graciousness be modest men, and though gifted, reticent and slow to speak and discuss. Third, they may be planning sinful things, and to admit their thoughts would be to condemn themselves.

There is a positive and negative side to this proverb’s lesson. The positive application is your benefit or need to extract prudent and practical advice from wise counselors for your safety or success. The negative application is your need to discover dangerous plans lurking in the hearts or minds of those that could harm others, themselves, or you.

Good counsel from a multitude of wise advisors is necessary for your success – this is one of the most important rules of wisdom, which Solomon often repeated (Pr 11:14; 12:15; 15:22; 19:20; 20:18; 24:6). It is a very precious thing – like good cologne rejoicing the heart – to get hearty counsel from a friend (Pr 27:9; 24:26; 15:23; 25:11-12).

But obtaining such counsel may be difficult, for true wise men are also godly and sober, not willing to speak until asked properly for the right reasons (Pr 10:19; 15:2,28; 17:27; 29:11). There are also shallow wells and foaming fountains, but they are to be compared to the cackling noise of fools pouring out only folly (Pr 15:28; 29:11,20; Eccl 10:12-14).

If the wise counselor is fearful (it could be for many reasons), you should respectfully assure him that you appreciate any advice he might give, that you will use it discreetly, and that there are no strings attached and no liability or obligation on his part. You should be very cautious to criticize his advice. Let him advise you, not the other way around.

If the wise counselor is modest (it could be either appropriately or excessively), you should remind him that you need him, that he has the years, experience, or reputation for wisdom, and that you are obeying Solomon’s wisdom to ask him. You should provide sufficient background to assist his analysis and thank him well for anything he offers.

A man of understanding will know how to take the elementary advice of the previous two paragraphs and leverage it into a successful interview with either kind of wise counselor – the fearful or the modest. With both counselors, you must be open enough yourself to prove your sincerity. By practicing godly character and holding humble respect for knowledgeable men, you will learn how to draw much pure water from deep wells.

Consider Abigail’s wisdom dealing with her foolish husband and wise David. Her timing, use of gifts, great humility, gentle approach, and prudent conclusions drew water deep from David’s heart to a great victory that day (and a marriage in ten days!). Consider also how the queen of Sheba approached King Solomon to learn his wisdom (I Kgs 10:1-7).

Those in authority must discover the other kind of counsel – the plans of fools or wicked men that they keep hidden for fear of punishment (Pr 25:2; 29:19; Deut 13:12-15; I Cor 1:10-13). This is the work of fathers, masters, husbands, rulers, and pastors. They must create security, plan a wise approach, and explore with wise questions to prime the pump.

Parent, do you often communicate with your children to learn their hearts and minds about the things concerning them most? Do you have the understanding taught in this proverb to draw out their inner fears and thoughts? Can you combine love, knowledge, and authority, in that order, to open your children’s hearts and help them (Pr 23:26)?

Better yet, child, do you go to the well of counsel in your house and get the advice and help you need to succeed? While you may think you know something at 16 or 26, you are in serious need of counsel. Do you know how to draw out sincere and loving instruction from your parents? This is the lesson. Open up to them, and learn from them today.

The Christian God is like no other. His counsel is not hidden away with the ancients, nor buried in endless verbal traditions, nor disguised in obscure hieroglyphics, nor reserved for some priesthood, nor chanted nonsensically in Arabic or Latin. What is needful for you is plainly written in the Bible (Deut 29:29; Ps 19:7-11; 119:128; II Tim 3:16-17).

Jesus Christ is called Counselor for the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that are hidden in Him (Is 9:6; Col 2:3). Do you know Him? Do you love Him? He said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). And, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 11:14 For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure.

Neither you nor your government know how to make good decisions in a vacuum. The protection against bad decisions is to identify a large number of wise men to help make important decisions. If a government proceeds in haste, pride, or by the whims of one man, corruption and trouble will likely follow for that principality. But when a government heeds a broad range of wise men, there is generally profit and safety for all.

God inspired Solomon to write Proverbs to teach young men to be wise (Pr 1:1-5). Here is an important rule of prudence and wisdom. Do not make large decisions without consulting a variety of wise and successful men, who are not emotionally, personally, or financially involved. They can apply their wisdom and experience to your situation without the distracting and distorting influences that may be corrupting your thoughts.

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes. Of course! Have you ever made a bad decision? Of course not! This is a fact of human behavior Solomon had often observed (Pr 14:12; 16:2,25; 21:2). But you are often wrong for many reasons, even though you may not realize it. You are inherently ignorant, emotionally affected, personally biased, educationally distorted, financially motivated, and peer influenced. You are dangerous!

Not every counselor will do! If you choose to check your ideas and decisions with just your friends, most of them will agree with you to keep your friendship and avoid debate. This very thing happened to Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. After the death of his father, he listened to his young friends rather than his father’s aged and wise counselors. Because of this foolish choice, he lost 10 of his nation’s 12 tribes to a rival (I Kgs 12:1-20).

It has been said, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” To counter this perverting effect of authority, those in positions of leadership must rely even more heavily on counselors. If they seek to go it alone, they are taking a great risk with their office and the poor people under them. How many souls, lives, and fortunes would have been saved, if all husbands, fathers, masters, pastors, and rulers had used counselors?

Consider World War II. Counselors could have saved Chamberlain from Hitler’s lies. If Hitler had trusted his military advisors, he would have defeated the Soviets. Counselors tried to save Japan from war with the U.S., but were rejected. And General Patton’s counsel to take out the Soviets should have been considered more. These are decisions that caused many to fall, and these are only a very few associated with only that one war!

Wise readers know God’s sovereign government of nations was the cause, course, and conclusion of World War II, so they need to remember that God in judgment may work above this rule of wisdom by corrupting counselors to bring about His will in nations. He is able and willing to do so, and He has certainly done so in the past (Job 5:12-14; II Sam 15:31; I Kgs 22:19-23; Ps 9:15-17; Isaiah 19:11-14; 29:9-16; I Cor 1:19-20; 3:18-20).

If you desire to grow in wisdom, you will jettison your thoughts and replace them with the opinions of wise counselors. This is a hard choice to make, because you sinfully hate being criticized or corrected. You want to be the wise one that always makes outstanding decisions. You must learn to crush your pride and subject your ideas and plans to the analysis and examination of others. By choosing godly and successful men as your counselors, you can instantly raise the quality and results of your decisions.

The ultimate counselors are those that know the word of God and can apply it to your life and choices (Pr 22:17-21; Job 32:6-22; 33:23-24; Ps 119:98-100; II Tim 3:16-17). Counsel contrary to the Bible is worse than no counsel at all; it is destructive (Is 8:20; I Tim 6:3-5). Do you have godly counselors in your life (Mal 2:7; Acts 8:30-31; Heb 13:7,17)? Are you such a counselor to those that need you (Pr 11:30; 15:4; Heb 5:12-14; I Pet 3:15)? You may find godly counselors in a true church of Jesus Christ.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 4:24 Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 

Rule your speech. Guard your tongue. Mark your words. After keeping your heart with all diligence, from which come the issues of life, Solomon warned you to reject ungodly speech (Pr 4:23). Beginning with the thoughts and intents of the heart, wisdom demands you govern your speech (Pr 4:24), your eyes (Pr 4:25), and your feet (Pr 4:26-27).

It is impossible to have godly and gracious speech without a pure heart, for the content of the heart supplies the mouth (Matt 12:33-35). You can tell a good heart by kind and holy words, and you can tell a bad heart by harsh or carnal words. Jesus said it; believe it. Kings love the perfect man who speaks graciously from a pure heart (Pr 22:11).

This proverb does not warn you to stay away from those with froward mouths and perverse lips, for that advice is given elsewhere (Pr 14:7; 19:27; I Cor 15:33). It warns you to get rid of your own froward mouth and perverse lips. The context is ruling your own heart, lips, eyes, and feet (Pr 4:23-27), not avoiding others with those sins.

Solomon taught his son and told him to listen and submit to his fatherly instruction (Pr 4:20). He then exhorted him to keep his advice directly before him and firm in his resolve (Pr 4:21). And he encouraged him by saying that it would give him life and health (Pr 4:22). Then in order, he told his son to guard his heart, lips, eyes, and steps (Pr 4:23-27).

A foolish mouth will ruin your reputation (Eccl 5:3; 10:12-14). An offensive mouth will cause trouble with men (Pr 12:13; 13:3; 14:7; 18:6-7; 22:10; 24:9). And then you will give account of every idle word in the Judgment (Pr 6:16-19; Matt 12:36-37; Eph 5:3-6).

Kind and wise speech will build your reputation (Pr 15:4; 18:20; 24:26). Appropriate words will enhance your relationship with men (Pr 10:32; 15:23; 16:13; 25:11). And the blessed God is pleased with constructive and helpful words (Pr 12:22; Eph 4:29; Col 4:6).

Improve your speech by cutting your words in half, if you talk more than the average person (Pr 17:27; Jas 1:19). You then must rule your spirit, for it can kindle a fire from hell (Pr 16:32; Jas 3:3-8)! And you have to avoid arguments (Pr 26:4-5; II Tim 2:23).

If you keep your heart at peace with the Lord and man, it will be difficult for you to speak harsh or painful things. If you keep your heart pure with the Lord and man, it will be difficult for you to have foolish or carnal speech. If you fill your mind with noble things, you will have precious material for conversation (Phil 4:8). May God guide your tongue.

 


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 2:13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness

Are you on the right road with your life? Will you stay on it? Most never find the right road, and most who find it end up leaving it. Many who left it want to keep you from paths of uprightness to get you lost with them in the ways of darkness. This proverb is part of a long description of evil men and women that are a threat to your success in life.

Wisdom in your heart and knowledge in your soul are crucial to save you from evil men and women. Do not limit the value of wisdom and knowledge to positive blessings like financial, marital, or professional success, for they are also the vital means to save you from corrupt men and women that by lifestyle, philosophy, and intent hope to ruin you.

Backsliders are a grave danger. Carnal Christians threaten your soul. Evil men do not stay in the way of righteousness, even when taught well. They soon compromise what they were taught in order to pursue sin (Pr 2:12-15). The purpose of wisdom, knowledge, discretion, and understanding is to save you from such wicked men (Pr 2:10-17).

Both testaments of Scripture describe the inherent folly of men, who cannot and will not stay faithful to the old paths in which they were taught. Consider a few Old Testament examples (Judges 2:1-23; I Sam 8:8; Ps 78:40-42; Jer 6:16; I Cor 10:1-11). Consider a few New Testament examples (I Cor 15:12; Gal 1:6-9; 4:9; Phil 3:18-19; II Tim 4:10).

Sows love to wallow in muck. You cannot change a sow by cleaning it and leaving it in a flower garden. It will quickly turn that garden into muck so it can be a sow! A dog will eat its own vomit no matter how many good behavior classes you take it to. Fools cannot stay away from sin for long (Pr 26:11; II Pet 2:20-22). But you can stay away from fools!

It is your duty to learn the wisdom, knowledge, discretion, and understanding of God to avoid compromisers and their sins (Pr 2:10-17). Every man must be solidly established in the word of God to despise and reject any other opinion (Ps 119:128; Rom 16:17-18; II Thess 3:6; I Tim 6:3-5). But this requires learning wisdom (Pr 2:1-9; Col 1:23)!

God hates backsliding! And He severely punishes those doing it (Pr 14:14). When God blesses you with the truth, which is a great benefit, He expects you to use it or lose it (Lu 8:18). For the privilege of knowing the truth, you will be judged with greater severity for turning against it (Lu 12:47-48). Paul severely warned the Hebrew Christians several times about turning back from the truth (Heb 2:1-3; 6:4-6; 10:26-31,38-39; 12:25-29)!

You live in the perilous times of the last days (II Tim 3:1 – 4:5). These 22 verses from Paul to Timothy foretell the rise of an effeminate and compromising brand of Christianity, which is obsessed with pleasure and has only a weak pretense of religion. This warning covers the great majority of “Christians” today, for they will no longer endure sound doctrine. They want teachers who will give them fables rather than truth!

David was committed to not departing wickedly from his God; though he sinned heinously with Bathsheba, he quickly repented when confronted (Ps 18:21). He avoided sinners as much as he could, and he chose the righteous for his friends (Ps 101:3-8; 119:63). To be like him, you must have God’s word firmly before you (Ps 18:22).

A primary purpose of a local church is to keep each other from departing from the living God through the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:12-13; 10:23-25). And it is the duty of parents to indoctrinate their children against it (Ps 78:1-8). For the glory of Jesus Christ and His gospel, you should either convert or reject all backsliders (Gal 6:1; Jas 5:19-20).


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 27:15-16 A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; Restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand

Can you restrain the wind? No! Can you hide the smell of cologne – once it is out? No! All those present know if the wind is blowing or whether you are wearing cologne or not. You cannot hide either of them. And if a man marries an odious woman, neither can he hide her obnoxious ways. Those around him know he has a difficult and painful marriage.

There is a woman in this proverb, indicated by the feminine pronoun “her.” You do not want to meet her – and you surely do not want to marry her! She is the contentious woman from the previous verse that cruelly drives her husband crazy (Pr 27:15). The poor man cannot restrain or disguise her any more than he can hide the wind or the strong scent of his cologne. Everyone knows he is condemned for life with an odious woman.

The Creator God inspired Solomon to write this proverb. He made the woman for the man, and He knew her better than all psychologists and therapists combined (I Cor 11:9; I Tim 2:13-14; II Tim 3:6-7; I Pet 3:7). Since Solomon wrote for the benefit of his son (Pr 27:11), he warned often of the seductive threat of the strange woman and of the marital threat of the odious woman. Both women are worse than death (Pr 30:21-23; Eccl 7:26).

The Bible is a library of divine wisdom. It deals openly with subjects often not discussed due to foolish ideas of etiquette. But God loves His children and tells the truth plainly to save them from pain and trouble. When men talk among themselves, they also tell the truth – they laugh and groan about irritating and nagging wives. Of course, her husband cannot tell her, for she would set him straight and send him to the couch for the night!

What is a contentious woman? She is a talkative woman that must express her opinions, correct details in conversation, question most everything, and make constant suggestions no one asked for. She is an irritating, quarrelsome, and obnoxious person. She cannot think, speak, or act graciously, because she cannot identify or appreciate that virtue; she has an arrogant, haughty, incorrigible spirit that argues, criticizes, and questions.

Few odious women think they are odious. Of course not! That is why they are odious! They cannot recognize that the conduct they think is fine and helpful is actually what angers and disgusts those around them. If you suggest she talks too much, she will defend herself by saying her opinions are helpful and useful – how can she be wrong to offer them? When hearing the Bible preached plainly, she assumes it must be for someone else.

How does this woman give herself away? Her husband is beat. He is neutered, for this wretch stole his confidence, strength, and vitality. She talks too much, so you only need listen for the woman with her mouth flapping. If she is not a yacker, look for the sour face that rarely smiles and never warmly. She has no real friends, for no one desires her painful presence. Her social interaction may only be the evil habit of being a busybody.

No man wants others to know he lives in a marital hell, so he tries to hide the odious and repulsive character of his wife. This is what Solomon said was as difficult as holding the wind or the scent of cologne in your hand. Both will get away from you! Both will be discovered by those around you! It is impossible to disguise or hide the hairy, grunting, and stinking sow when trying to display the gold ring in her nose (Pr 11:22)!

Men use various techniques to hide their disgraceful wives. One man tries to hide his contentious wife by avoiding public excursions with her. He works late, finds hobbies, or just refuses to go out. Another may foolishly try to deceive his friends by complimenting her to them (though they all know better). One man will weakly submit to her overbearing demands and questions to avoid a public squabble. And another will pamper her greedy soul with anything in sight to buy a little peace and tranquility for himself.

Such women do not deserve husbands, and no man deserves such a wife. Since this despised wretch can disguise herself during dating, every man must learn how to spot the telltale marks that reveal her cruel character (Pr 30:21-23). They are simple. She talks too much, has a proud spirit, is forward to speak, has opinions on everything, disagrees in public, gets visibly agitated, complains about circumstances, and questions everything.

Another way to avoid an odious woman is to learn graciousness and virtue and reject all women lacking them, for a great wife has both (Pr 31:10-31). The best way to spot a counterfeit is to know the genuine thing perfectly. The best way to smell an odious woman is to know the sweet nature of a gracious woman. Still afraid? A gracious woman is always adored by all (Pr 11:16). The odious woman only thinks she is respected.

Some men are male versions of the same thing. They talk too much, complain about everything, argue and debate no matter what is said, question accepted opinions and decisions, and so forth. These men should be avoided in all social unions as much as the odious woman should be avoided in marriage. Contentious persons that cause division and strife should be rejected, for they are destructive of peace and pleasure (Pr 22:10).

There are several lessons. First, every man must test a potential wife and believe the opinions of married men about her. Second, every young woman should emphasize graciousness and virtue above other objectives in her life. Third, every man married to a contentious woman needs to find an attic room or wilderness retreat (Pr 21:9,19; 25:24).

Fourth, every woman tending toward the odious character described here should repent before God, her husband, her children, and seek to live graciously. Fifth, you should warn any young man you know who is about to marry an odious woman. Sixth, every man married to a gracious and loving woman should thank God and take her out tonight!

The Bible helps men by warning them about odious women, but it also teaches women how to be gracious and virtuous, if they will learn the lesson and apply it (Pr 31:10-16; I Tim 2:9-10; 5:13-14; Titus 2:3-5; I Pet 3:1-6). However, most pulpits today are too fearful to tell the truth about females in attendance, so practical and useful subjects like this are seldom or never dealt with. They do not want to offend their odious attendees.

True churches are the bride and wife of Jesus Christ; God arranged for His son to marry them, and they will live forever in intimate bliss with Him in heaven. Does this glorious Husband openly delight in you? Or is He ashamed of your offensive ways? He threatened to spew the church of Laodicea out of His mouth (Rev 3:14-19). He threatened to leave the church at Ephesus (Rev 2:4-5). Is He totally happy with your spirit and conduct?

 


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 19:13 A foolish son is his father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping. 

Two horrible things can happen to a man. He can marry an odious woman, or he can have foolish children. Both are disasters and make marriage and children very sober matters. The persons and relationships that should be for help and pleasure become like enemies. It is wisdom to carefully consider these potential threats and avoid them at all costs.

This proverb is priceless. The two matters at stake are very serious – an unhappy marriage or shameful children. Either one tortures and destroys a man over many years. A man enduring both faces daily pain hard to describe in words. But God gave this proverb by King Solomon to save you from both evils, and He reduced it down to one single, simple rule. Glorious wisdom! Incredible mercy and kindness! Keep reading!

Contentious women know how to get a man, a foolish man. They decorate the outside, their physical appearance, by many means, to capture his eyes. They hide and disguise what is inside, their character defects and faults, by a show of grace, respect, submission, and love. These efforts are made until the wedding is over. Then the odious wife makes her appearance (Pr 30:21-23)! And what a hideous and ugly sight she is! Poor fool!

The careless man now has a disease worse than cancer – he has fallen into the torments of hell on earth – he has fallen under a curse worse than death (Eccl 7:26). He must go home to this wretch every day for the rest of his life, and he has to sleep with her! He quickly learns to work extra hours, take up hobbies like hunting, or build a detached workshop to get away from the noise of this nagging and brawling creature (Pr 21:9,19; 25:24).

In public he tries to hide her, but how can he? She is as obvious as a huge sow attached to a small piece of gold jewelry (Pr 11:22). The poor man cannot avoid his great shame, for everyone sees he has married a repugnant and revolting corruption of the fairer sex (Pr 27:15-16). He knows both friends and enemies whisper about his horrible life at home.

A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband, but the woman here is rottenness in his bones (Pr 12:4). So bitter is the pain of the wrong woman that Solomon thought it worse than death (Eccl 7:26). And he listed an irritating wife as one of the great curses of earthly life (Pr 30:21-23). The poor husband cries, “O precious death, take me from her!”

A contentious wife will question, discuss, debate, or oppose most anything. She presumes her ideas are at least as good as his. She constantly talks back. She is proud, stubborn, and self-righteous. She cannot follow; she must lead. She asks too many questions, makes too many suggestions, and does not cheerfully obey. She loves to correct her husband, who never gets facts just right. But she will seldom accept correction herself. She always has a reason why tonight is not a good night! Or why the next morning is not night!

The continual dropping here is a very rainy day (Pr 27:15). You cannot stop it; it keeps on dropping. You cannot stop her noise and resistance. These are not pleasant raindrops on a secure roof; they are the irritating drops of a leaking roof that destroy tranquility and peace. Any man who has tried to sleep near a leaking faucet understands perfectly. She is torture! The foolish son may be cast out; the contentious wife must be endured. The foolish son is in his room; the contentious wife is in your bed! O take me, precious death!

Therefore, let every man take great care how he marries and how his sons marry. Young fools do not know how to judge women, so fathers must help them, lest they are consigned to fifty years with this woman. Fathers, by the very nature of the relationship, you have more experience in marriage to a woman than your son has in the ignorance and folly of childhood and youth. You have been married longer than he has been alive!

It is a shame this rebellious generation thinks they can make this far-reaching decision on their own. So there is an epidemic of dysfunctional marriages, divorces, and adultery. Young man, it is far better to be lonely and frustrated in your own house and bed than to marry an odious woman and have to live and sleep with her for your entire future. There is something worse than being single and lonely – being married to the wrong woman!

If you have married poorly, dear man, repent of your folly and allow no more. Marriage must be managed by the divine rule of subjection, and if you compromise here, the dropping will continue (Gen 3:16; I Cor 11:3,8-12; 14:34-35; Eph 5:22-24,33; Col 3:18; Tit 2:5). If she professes any fear of God, bring her to her Creator’s throne and show her both His wise design and sentence of judgment (I Tim 2:13-14). If this fails, Christian husband, bring her to the church by the Lord’s prescription (Matt 18:15-17; I Cor 6:1-8).

Every man who has a virtuous wife (Pr 31:10-31), gracious and kind, meek and quiet, should first thank his Father in heaven for such protective mercy and then take the good woman out for a meal and praise her a few times. She deserves it. You owe it. God has saved you from a life of soul-sapping, heart-rending, mood-altering, body-denying agony.

Let every woman examine herself in the only honest and true mirror in the world – the Bible (Jas 1:21-26; Ps 19:7-14). After seeing your blemishes and defects, make the required changes for the reward. Reject the foolish fantasies of society and your selfish thoughts about yourself (Ps 119:128; Is 8:20). Read God’s opinion, as you just have. Then prove your own work and rejoice in yourself (Pr 14:14; Gal 6:4-5; I Pet 3:1-6).

A foolish son is also a horrible thing in a man’s life. It can steal the joy and life out of your soul, knowing that you generated and trained an idiot. The Preacher saw foolish sons, for he had foolish brothers, and his son Rehoboam was a fool. Read his pain and learn the sober lesson (Pr 10:1; 15:20; 17:21,25; 23:15-16,24-25; 29:3,15). It is wisdom to learn from the mistakes and pain of others – so pay attention and grasp this lesson.

A calamity is very grievous affliction or adversity; it is deep distress, trouble, and misery. It is a painful disaster. It is the turning of things upside down. It is a catastrophe and tragedy that bleeds the vitality from a father’s heart. This does not overstate the grief caused by a foolish son, for a son instead should be the joy of his father’s heart. And where a father could be thankful and honored, he is instead bewildered and despised.

Fathers! Train the foolishness out of your son, while there is hope (Pr 22:15; 19:18). Here is a calamity you can avoid (Pr 29:17). Save your son! Save yourself! If you neglect his training, he will default to foolishness (Pr 29:15). His training is a commandment (Pr 22:6; Eph 6:4), and the Preacher tells you what will work – the rod and reproof (Pr 29:15; 23:13-14). A loving father will train his son, and he will start early; a hateful father will neglect him to the hurt of them both in the long run (Pr 13:24; 8:33-36).

If you are too busy, too tired, too reserved, too slothful, too interested in other things, or use any other excuse to avoid training him, you will bear your burden. Calamity and shame will come, unless you repent and beg for God’s mercy and the recovery of lost years when you should have done your simple duty (Pr 29:15; 13:15; Gal 6:5; Joel 2:25).

If you have a foolish son, repent and beg God to help you recover him (Joel 2:23-27). Bring your authoritative and loving instruction to bear by whatever means you have. Further compromise will bring greater pain in the future, as with Eli (I Sam 2:29; 3:13). If your son fears God, bring him before his Creator and remind him of his duties (Eph 6:1-3). If he persists and is a church member, bring him before the church (Matt 18:15-17).

Every man who has wise and noble sons should first thank God his Father for such protective and kind mercy and then praise and honor his sons for their faithfulness. There is nothing that should open a father’s wallet as quickly and as wide as a wise and obedient son. Being overbearing all the time will discourage them (Col 3:21; Eph 6:4).

Let every son, of any age, examine himself in the only honest mirror – the word of God (Jas 1:21-26). Are you a joy to your father? Or are there things you know you should be doing better? Correct them! Reject the insolent notions of your wicked generation and your rebellious thoughts of folly. Read God’s opinion about young men, as Proverbs clearly declares. Then prove your own work and rejoice in yourself (Pr 14:14; Gal 6:4-5).

Both dangers to your happiness and success, an odious wife or a foolish son, are solved by one simple rule – the fear of the LORD. If you marry a woman that truly fears the LORD, you will have a jewel for life (Pr 31:30; I Pet 3:1-6). If you teach your son the same fear from early days, he will rejoice your heart (Ps 34:11; Eccl 12:13-14). It is this simple, and the only wise God and history’s wisest king wrote it down for you. Priceless!

Dear Christian reader, what kind of a wife and son are you to your Husband and Father in heaven? Does your Bridegroom rejoice in your constant fidelity, passionate love, and joyful submission? Or are you an odious stench in His house? Is your Heavenly Father pleased with the blessing of adopting you? Or are you a son that needs to be chastened often? Let every reader examine himself to fulfill his Husband’s and Father’s desires.

And further, dear reader, the proverb teaches the disappointment of this world’s greatest privileges and pleasures, even though ordained by a perfect Creator. The very things prized very highly, marriage and children, can so easily bring the greatest miseries. Without His grace, all is vanity and vexation of spirit! Here is the great lesson that God alone must be the portion and the treasure of your soul (Ps 73:25-26; Matt 6:19-21).