Proverbs 16; 18-33

  • Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD. What does the word ‘word’ refer to here? Sometimes we are left with more than one possible meaning to a piece of what we read in the Bible. Does it mean word in a general sense? As in reading and studying and getting good knowledge and tips for living. Or does it mean word in the sense that the Bible is called the ‘Word of God’? Both ways of looking at it are good. I tend to the second as being the prime intent because the second half of the couplet is about trusting the LORD.
  • Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly. One of my sons claims (with his tongue in his cheek) that when the world was created God made a huge ball of common sense and cut off a slice for each person as they came into the world – given on the condition that at death they put their slice back into the pool. Now the world is so populated that many people don’t get any! That deals with the first line of this couplet. In the second part – does it mean that trying to instruct a fool is folly because you are wasting your time; or, if you take the advice of a fool you are exhibiting real folly? Both I think apply.
  • A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. The damage done by liars and gossip whisperers is enormous. And so common!
  • Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. I guess that this a hyperbolic couplet, but so true. The considered answer of one who gets control of their anger first, before replying, is greater than the powerful bellowed response of the mighty. Self-control and self-discipline are better than bringing a city into subjection. This is surely hyperbolic but written to help us realize that what seems to many unimportant (self management) is high in the order of what we should seek to achieve.

Prayer: I have so much to learn. Please keep me keen to walk the right path.

Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor
than to divide the spoil with the proud.
*Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good,
and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
The wise of heart is called discerning,
and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
*Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
but the instruction of fools is folly.
The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
A worker’s appetite works for him;
his mouth urges him on.
A worthless man plots evil,
and his speech is like a scorching fire.
*A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.
A man of violence entices his neighbour
and leads him in a way that is not good.
Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things;
he who purses his lips brings evil to pass.
Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained in a righteous life.
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
The lot is cast into the lap,
but it’s every decision is from the LORD.

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