In The Word
Read: Proverbs 14:22-15:23
22 Will they who devise evil not go astray?
But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good.
23 In all labor there is profit,
But mere talk leads only to poverty.
24 The crown of the wise is their riches,
But the foolishness of fools is simply foolishness.
25 A truthful witness saves lives,
But one who declares lies is deceitful.
26 In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence,
And his children will have refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
By which one may avoid the snares of death.
28 In a multitude of people is a king’s glory,
But in the scarcity of people is a prince’s ruin.
29 One who is slow to anger has great understanding;
But one who is quick-tempered exalts foolishness.
30 A tranquil heart is life to the body,
But jealousy is rottenness to the bones.
31 One who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker,
But one who is gracious to the needy honors Him.
32 The wicked is thrust down by his own wrongdoing,
But the righteous has a refuge when he dies.
33 Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding,
But among fools it is made known.
34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a disgrace to any people.
35 The king’s favor is toward a servant who acts wisely,
But his anger is toward him who acts shamefully.
Contrast of the Upright and the Wicked
15 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge pleasant,
But the mouth of fools spouts foolishness.
3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.
4 A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit.
5 A fool rejects his father’s discipline,
But he who complies with rebuke is sensible.
6 Great wealth is in the house of the righteous,
But trouble is in the income of the wicked.
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
But the hearts of fools are not so.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But He loves the one who pursues righteousness.
10 There is severe punishment for one who abandons the way;
One who hates a rebuke will die.
11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord,
How much more the hearts of mankind!
12 A scoffer does not love one who rebukes him;
He will not go to the wise.
13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.
14 The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge,
But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.
15 All the days of the needy are bad,
But a cheerful heart has a continual feast.
16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
Than great treasure, and turmoil with the treasure.
17 Better is a portion of vegetables where there is love,
Than a fattened ox served with hatred.
18 A hot-tempered person stirs up strife,
But the slow to anger calms a dispute.
19 The way of the lazy one is like a hedge of thorns,
But the path of the upright is a highway.
20 A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish man despises his mother.
21 Foolishness is joy to one who lacks sense,
But a person of understanding walks straight.
22 Without consultation, plans are frustrated,
But with many counselors they succeed.
23 A person has joy in an apt answer,
And how delightful is a timely word!
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
There are three scriptures in our reading today that I would like us to focus on: Proverbs 15:2, 12, and 22. Each scripture addresses the topic of acquiring wisdom. Proverbs 15:2 reminds us to seek knowledge from the wise, and Proverbs 15:12 says that the scoffer will not go to the wise because he fears the wise will disagree with him. My favorite is Proverbs 15:22, which says that with the input of many counselors plans can succeed. Can you see yourself and your process of decision-making in these scriptures? Do you seek counsel from others, or do you go it alone? I find that many don’t seek counsel because, as in Proverbs 15:12, they’re scared that those they seek advice from will not agree with their decision. Have you ever tried to talk a young man out of buying a car he can’t afford? There is much wisdom in the counsel of many.
I remember as a young man in my teens I was forced to make a life-defining decision that someone at my age should never have to make. In my youth, I felt I knew the answer; but, even at a young age, I knew I should seek the wisdom of those older than myself. In each case, every person I spoke with disagreed with my decision. Each one, understanding the gravity of the situation, implored me to change my course of action, to trust them, and to reconsider my decision. I had a decision to make. Do I listen to the advice that was contrary to my own, or ignore it and go my own way? I listened, and it probably saved my life. Take time to seek counsel; it could save your life also!