Scriptures

Proverbs 14

Introduction

‘The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.’ Proverbs 14:1

The Wise Woman

How many married men come home after a hard day’s work only to be given grief from their wives?

Solomon says the wise woman should work on being constructive and they should understand that most men often receive enough criticism at work without getting it at home too, Ephesians 5:22-23 / Colossians 3:18.

‘Whoever fears the LORD walks uprightly, but those who despise him are devious in their ways. A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them.’ Proverbs 14:2-3

What does devious mean? It means to be sly or cunning, to be twisted, they have evil mind which actually hates God. Solomon says that the fool’s talk gets them into trouble.

‘Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.’ Proverbs 14:4

When a farmer has no oxen for ploughing the fields, his food trough for his animals will be empty. Some people don’t want to get down to real work and get their hands dirty but what they don’t realise is that, that very dirt is providing their income.

If we don’t have other people in our life then our life becomes empty and meaningless. We should serve others and share our faith.

‘An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies. The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.’ Proverbs 14:5-6

Why does a mocker who seeks wisdom never find any? Simply because they are not series about wisdom, Psalm 111:10.

‘Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.’ Proverbs 14:7

Have you ever listened to someone’s worldly idea of wisdom? Most of the time it doesn’t make sense. Solomon says it’s a waste of time to stay in the presence of a fool because they will never say anything worthwhile.

‘The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.’ Proverbs 14:8-9

Why don’t many people become Christians? They don’t realise they have a problem with sin and so because of that they don’t feel they have to deal with their sin. God is pleased with those who are serious and sober when it comes to their sin, they deal with it!

What does goodwill mean? It’s thinking the best about others. For example, when someone shouts at you or crashes into your car, how do you react?

‘Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.’ Proverbs 14:10

There is an inner self which understands its own bitterness as well as its own joy.

Outsiders cannot understand what we are experiencing, this is why we don’t always have to say, ‘I know what you are going through’. We should say this only if and when we have gone through the same thing. If we haven’t, we don’t know!

‘The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death.’ Proverbs 14:11-12

People are always looking for shortcuts in life and even religion, many people rely on their feelings and emotions to guide them in life and religion. A way which, at the time seems like the very best way to go, may end up in death.

Life has its inexplicable aspects, this is why we always need God’s directions, Jeremiah 10:23 / Matthew 7:21-22.

‘Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief. The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good rewarded for theirs.’ Proverbs 14:13-14

Someone with no faith isn’t dependable or consistent, their actions will return to haunt them, Galatians 6:7-8.

‘The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps. The wise fear the LORD and shun evil, but a fool is hot-headed and yet feels secure.’ Proverbs 14:15-16

A naive person is a simple person who lacks the caution and logical abilities of the prudent man. The arrogant and careless person is only concerned about their own talents and abilities.

What does it mean when it says that a fool will be reckless? It simply means they will make a lot of mistakes. Do Christians make mistakes? Yes. So, what’s the difference? Not as many.

‘A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated. The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. Evildoers will bow down in the presence of the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous. The poor are shunned even by their neighbours, but the rich have many friends.’ Proverbs 14:17-20

Here Solomon gives an observation on the reality of life. It’s not the way it ought to be but is the way it often is, Luke 15:11-32.

‘It is a sin to despise one’s neighbour but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy. Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness. All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.’ Proverbs 14:21-23

These verses set forth a basic maxim of life, work produces more than talk does. The wise man believes in work while a fool can talk himself into poverty. We need to practice what we preach; we need to help those in need, Matthew 21:28-41.

‘The wealth of the wise is their crown, but the folly of fools yields folly. A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful. Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.’ Proverbs 14:24-27

The fear of the Lord will keep us from fatal pitfalls, disasters and premature death along the road of life. How can we recognise a false witness for Christ? We recognise them by their fruit, Matthew 7:15-20.

‘A large population is a king’s glory, but without subjects a prince is ruined. Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.’ Proverbs 14:28-29

Have you ever seen a forest fire or a house fire? It goes out of control really fast, that’s what some people’s tempers are like today. The wise man knows that anger cripples their ability to make good decisions. People with quick tempers only add more trouble, James 1:19-20.

What effects does anger have on us and the people around us? It divides people, churches and as a result we make silly decisions.

‘A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.’ Proverbs 14:30

Does anyone know the modern-day word which doctors and scientists now have to deal with? What causes more time off work than anything else? It’s stress and there is a definite connection between inner peace and good health. A lack of satisfaction destroys good health.

‘Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honours God.’ Proverbs 14:31

God has always wanted His people to look after the poor, those who have material possessions should always be looking out to help others who have little or none, Matthew 25:31-46.

‘When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God. Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning and even among fools she lets herself be known. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.’ Proverbs 14:32-34

Righteousness means doing the right thing in any given circumstance, including morals and ethics. Notice that national righteousness and sin are being discussed!

When sin reigns in a nation, bad things are the results. We only have to look at our society today so see that sin is reigning and as a result more bad things are happening.

‘A king delights in a wise servant, but a shameful servant arouses his fury.’ Proverbs 14:35

Solomon reminds us that we can’t work on our own, we need each other. Kings need skilled and competent people for difficult national affairs.

‘Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.’ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Go To Proverbs 15

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."

Ephesians 3:20

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