1. Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid.
2. A good man obtains favour from the LORD,
but a man of evil devices he condemns.
3. No one is established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
4. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
5. The thoughts of the righteous are just;
the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6. The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the mouth of the upright delivers them.
7. The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
but the house of the righteous will stand.
8. A man is commended according to his good sense,
but one of twisted mind is despised.
9. Better to be lowly and have a servant
than to play the great man and lack bread.
10. Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,
but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
11. Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
12. Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,
but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
13. An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
but the righteous escapes from trouble.
14. From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.
15. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.
16.The vexation of a fool is known at once,
but the prudent ignores an insult.
17. Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness utters deceit.
18. There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19. Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
20. Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
but those who plan peace have joy.
21. No ill befalls the righteous,
but the wicked are filled with trouble.
22. Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.
23. A prudent man conceals knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
24. The hand of the diligent will rule,
while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
25. Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad.
26. One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbour,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27. Whoever is slothful will not roast his game,
but the diligent man will get precious wealth.
28. In the path of righteousness is life,
and in its pathway there is no death.
Comment: We’re back in Proverbs for a while. In the Bible as set up in verses there are 28 verses with two lines per verse. Line one of each verse expresses an opinion (a truth) and the second line speaking about the opposition explains the difference. The two sides of each verse compare what is good, and acceptable to God, versus what is evil and will bring down judgement. no 28. is the exception and doubles the blessing of righteousness!
I suggest that you read each two lines and consider if and how they affect life in general and your life in particular. I will just comment on a couple of examples.
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones. I can hear an extreme feminist calling out about chauvinistic pigs but I can hear those seeking the truth saying that you can change the role players around and read it is as ‘an excellent husband is the crown of his wife etc’. And in my imagination I can feel Solomon patting me on my back and saying ‘That is exactly what I meant!’
Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense. I claim to try to hold in balance the rights of both capitalism and socialism, for there are good points in each. This verse encourages working for what you need and calls it foolishness when people don’t have enough because they lack sense. This includes laziness, gullibility, spending your time on pleasure and not provision. I sense the meaning, as stated in the New Testament ‘if a man won’t work let him not eat’.
If you spend a minute considering the truth and implications of each coupled two lines it would be a half hour well spent. I can’t spend the time for you but only encourage you that I found it a worthwhile exercise.
Prayer: Help me to learn wise ways.