Proverbs 15


In the last chapter Solomon finished by speaking about the dangers of anger, He continues this theme here in this chapter.

Be Careful What And How You Speak

‘A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.’ Proverbs 15:1-4

Why do angry people very seldom get answers to the questions they might have? All too often angry people are just looking for an excuse to disagree with someone. They aren’t really looking for answers.

No matter who is asking the question, an answer needs to be given, but it just needs to be a gentle answer. Have you ever seen anyone who has a wound where the blood is just gushing out?

I remember when I worked in a residential home and one elderly lady’s womb was flowing with blood, the inside of her womb started to come out and it was almost impossible to stop the blood from flowing.

Solomon says that’s what fools are like, when they speak, they just speak absolute rubbish, nonsense, it just flows through their lips.

In the world we’re living in it seems as though evil and evil intention is winning and those who practice evil look like they are going to get away with their actions but they need to remember that God sees everything, Ecclesiastes 12:14 / Hebrews 4:13.

The tree of life, Genesis 2:8-17, provides a balm and comfort, Revelation 22:1-2. This is what a Christian’s words should do, they should bring comfort and healing to those who are listening.

Some people may think that just because they have never raised their hands to someone, they are better than someone who shouts at someone, but when you think about it, it is no better to assault one verbally, James 3:2-12.

‘A fool spurns a parent’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.’ Proverbs 15:5

Solomon is basically saying that there are some people who hate learning wisdom, especially children, but then there are others who love to learn to be wise.

‘The house of the righteous contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings ruin.’ Proverbs 15:6

What treasure do we have as Christians and where is it stored? The Christian’s treasure is stored in heaven where nobody can steal them, Mathew 6:19-21 / 1 Peter 1:3-4.

‘The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright. The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.’ Proverbs 15:7-8

This is one of the few proverbs that deal with worship. The world needs to remember that it is God who determines where, when and how we worship, Psalm 51:16-17 / Psalm 66:1-4 / Genesis 4:4-10 / John 4:23.

‘The LORD detests the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue righteousness. Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die. Death and Destruction lie open before the LORD—how much more do human hearts! Mockers resent correction, so they avoid the wise. A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.’ Proverbs 15:9-13

There’s a lesson here which is often overlooked and that is just because someone dies doesn’t mean that their sins die with them. Sometimes the effect of people’s sin can go on for a long time, even after when the person who commits the sin dies.

These verses also show how happiness can arise from within a person while verse 13, shows the same thing from without, Proverbs 17:22.

‘The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil. Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.’ Proverbs 15:14-17

There’s a lot of talk about healthy eating in our society today, but wouldn’t it be better for society if it focused on having healthy minds? The things we read, the music we listen to, the films we watch etc.

A lot of the mess we get ourselves into is our own doing. We need to learn to be happy and content, Philippians 4:11-13 / Hebrews 13:5 / 1 Timothy 6:6-10. It’s all about our attitude towards situations, 1 Timothy 6:6.

Just because people eat good food doesn’t necessarily mean that there is love in the house. This has been proven true so many times, yet couples still do things that undermine the marriage while increasing their wealth, i.e. two jobs, etc.

‘A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.’ Proverbs 15:18

The vocabulary of this verse suggests excessive litigation and legal action. The man who is quick to say, ‘I will sue you’, is trouble in any community. Patience is the key, Psalm 37:7-9.

‘The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway. A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother. Folly brings joy to one who has no sense, but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course. Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.’ Proverbs 15:19-22

Some people just can’t see anything but straight ahead and that’s because they have closed their minds to any other road on their journey. It is a sign of wisdom to seek advice and it will usually prove to be a good choice, Proverbs 12:15 / Proverbs 13:10.

‘A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!’ Proverbs 15:23

As Christians we often think we have the answer to most questions in life, Solomon is saying that it’s not so much what you say to someone which is important but how you say it, Colossians 4:6 / 1 Peter 3:15.

‘The path of life leads upward for the prudent to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead. The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.’ Proverbs 15:24-25

The Lord is the protector of those who needs His protection, He protects us from the wicked and powerful land-grabbers, Proverbs 16:18 / 1 Corinthians 10:12.

‘The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in his sight. The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live. The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.’ Proverbs 15:26-28

Here again, we’re reminded to think before we speak. We need to think about our answers before we give one because the words, we speak will affect people, Colossians 4:6 / 1 Peter 3:15.

‘The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.’ Proverbs 15:29-30

Light eyes or bright eyes refer to those with a positive outlook. Someone with a friendly face or someone who brings good news can make almost anyone feel good inside, Romans 10:15.

‘Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.’ Proverbs 15:31-32

Does anyone like being told off? No one likes to be told off but sometimes it is for our own good, sometimes it can be life-giving. The person who neglects discipline harms themselves most of all.

‘Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honour.’ Proverbs 15:33

Here again, Solomon reminds us that humility is important, Philippians 2:3-8, and that wisdom is for a purpose, it is to fear the Lord, Proverbs 10:27 / Proverbs 19:23.

‘Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so, do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.’ Job 5:17

Go To Proverbs 16


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