Proverbs 19


‘Better the poor whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.’ Proverbs 19:1

Wisdom For Walking And Talking A Wise Life

The second part of this proverb seems to indicate that the fool is trying to swindle their way into wealth by speech which takes advantage of others.

What’s best, to be blameless in life or to be wealthy? Remember to be blameless doesn’t mean we are sinless, blameless means to do what God has required for us to be right with Him, Philippians 3:6.

‘Desire without knowledge is not good—how much more will hasty feet miss the way!’ Proverbs 19:2

The impulsive person who acts without thinking will fall into sin. The saying is true, ‘fools rush in where the devil dares to tread’. The apostle Paul was zealous for the right reasons when he persecuted the church but after he received knowledge from Christ, he had even more zeal because of the knowledge he received. Philippians 3:1-6.

‘A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the LORD.’ Proverbs 19:3

The new catchphrase on television is ‘no blame, no claim’, the idea is that lawyers won’t take on a claim case if they don’t think they can win it for you. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own actions. We cannot blame God for our faults, Genesis 3:12-13 / Ezekiel 18:20.

‘Wealth attracts many friends, but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.’ Proverbs 19:4

In a materialistic world, people want to be seen with other people with lots of other materialistic goods, it’s an attraction. Solomon was realistic about wealth. This is not the way it ought to be, even though in reality it is the way it is.

‘A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free. Many curry favour with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts.’ Proverbs 19:5-6

Isn’t it hard to see who your real friends are sometimes? Solomon is probably showing the difficulty a rich man has in distinguishing those who are his friends from those who want to use him and his wealth.

‘The poor are shunned by all their relatives—how much more do their friends avoid them! Though the poor pursue them with pleading, they are nowhere to be found. The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.’ Proverbs 19:7-8

The idea here is that anyone who develops their mind is their own best friend. In other words, we are to look after ourselves both spiritually and physically.

‘A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will perish. It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury—how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!’ Proverbs 19:9-10

What’s Solomon saying here? The ancients believed there should be a correlation between social order and moral order.

‘A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offence.’ Proverbs 19:11

We live in a society that considers it a virtue to be quick to fight for your rights and refuse to allow a personal offence to go unanswered. The Bible teaches Christians are to act otherwise, Ephesians 4:32 / Colossians 3:13.

‘A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favour is like dew on the grass. A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof. Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.’ Proverbs 19:12-14

Do you ever thank God for your husband or wife? We should thank God daily for our husband or wife. Wise men recognise there is a considerable amount of uncertainty in the choice of a wife. Thus, a good wife is accredited to God.

‘Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry.’ Proverbs 19:15

A person who is lazy is always lethargic and bored, they would rather go hungry than feed themselves.

‘Whoever keeps commandments keeps their life, but whoever shows contempt for their ways will die.’ Proverbs 19:16

We’re not sure what these commandments are referring to, it could the be commandments, of the teacher, or the father. Whatever the commandments are referring to, they are to be obeyed. We all have certain traits of our fathers or mothers, good and bad.

‘Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.’ Proverbs 19:17

The obligation to care for the poor is stressed here. God takes care of the needy and repays the man who helps them, Hebrews 6:10 / Matthew 25:31-46.

‘Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.’ Proverbs 19:18

We must discipline our children while there is still time to influence the life of a child. But there must also be a limit to the discipline.

‘A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again. Listen to advice and accept discipline, and in the end, you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.’ Proverbs 19:19-21

What does Solomon mean here? Sometimes we have to let people fall, because if we help them not to make mistakes all the time, they will never learn from their mistakes. God’s purposes are worked out regardless of the plans and purposes of men.

‘What a person desires is unfailing love better to be poor than a liar.’ Proverbs 19:22

The real measure of a person is their character, not what they own.

‘The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.’ Proverbs 19:23

There is a measure of security for the person who fears God. Fear of the Lord can bring sweet, peaceful sleep. Is Solomon saying that Christians will have a trouble-free life? No, he’s saying we will have a better life because of wiser decisions, wiser living, wiser benefits.

‘A sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not even bring it back to his mouth! Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke the discerning, and they will gain knowledge.’ Proverbs 19:24-25

What does He mean when here? This was the custom of the time; this is a lazy person who won’t even feed themselves. A person who has understanding is the person who needs no such process of learning, such as seeing the punishment of others. They can accept and utilise correction directly.

The punishment given to a person provides a learning opportunity for another person. We could learn something even if someone is telling us off for something we have said or done.

‘Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother is a child who brings shame and disgrace. Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.’ Proverbs 19:26-27

People today feel that this is a modern problem only where their kids bring trouble to them but Solomon says it was like this in his day.

If we stray from the truth of God and the wisdom we’re reading about every week, we will have to pay the consequences, Joshua 1:7-8.

‘A corrupt witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil. Penalties are prepared for mockers, and beatings for the backs of fools.’ Proverbs 19:28-29

Someone who spreads evil loves it because evil is their favourite food. Notice that the word penalties is plural, this infers that all types of punishments are available, and will be used, for these types of people.

‘Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.’ Romans 13:1-5

Go To Proverbs 20


"Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."