We continue our study of Proverbs 13 by dealing with the last 13 verses, beginning with verse 13. This portion basically deals with the folly and danger of despising and rejecting the reading, preaching and hearing of God’s Word.
How do we despise the Word of God?
By not reading it and staying away from the preaching of His Word.
By closing our ears and focusing our attention of other things during the preaching of the Word.
Some preachers despise the Word by emphasizing other things, such as promoting their doctrinal agendas or attempting to stir up emotional feelings at the expense of expositing and explaining what the Bible says.
Liberal preachers, of course, despise it by explaining it away as myth.
We preachers despise the Word when we give more attention to our opinions and the opinions of others than we do declaring what the Bible says.
One who despises the Word or God can be sure of one thing. He will be destroyed. Read Proverbs 13:13, 1:20-33 and II Peter 2.
Back in Noah’s day, Noah was a preacher of righteousness and built the ark, warning others of the coming Flood, we read in II Peter 2:4-5. We are warned in II Peter 3 that as people scorned Noah, so people today avoid preachers who, as Noah, warn of the coming judgment of God upon the world.
Instead of despising such preaching, let us take every opportunity in this present Age of Grace to hunger for and soak up the faithful, practical exposition of God’s Word. Amos prophesied in Amos 8:11-13 that in the end times, there would come a famine of the Word of God and people will be desperate to hear it, but will not be able to find it.
In this Age of Grace let us seek after the fear, reverence and love for God’s Word as we are admonished in Psalm 19:7-14
God’s moral, holy standards are not burdensome restrictions. Rather. Proverbs 13:14 reminds us that God’s Word is a refreshing fountain of life. bringing life and refreshment to parched souls and protecting us from the snares of sin and death.
Verse 15 takes us a step further in our knowledge of God and His Word. We not only hear it and know what it says; we also understand what we read as the indwelling Holy Spirit opens up our understanding.
Jesus, God incarnate, had that understanding as a child. Luke 2:52
Daniel, as a young Israelite in Babylon, had it. Daniel 1:9.
The early church had it. Acts 2:41-47
By way of contrast, Proverbs 13:15 warns us that “the way of the transgressor is hard.” The one who brazenly breaks God’s Law is going to experience a lifetime of hardship. I don’t want to learn the lessons of God’s Word the hard way.
Wise men and women deal faithfully with God’s Word by facing it openly and humbly and not ignoring and fighting it; whereas fools ignore it and are in open rebellion to it. Verse 16 declares that rebellion is open and obvious for all to see.
Verse 17 contrasts faithful and unfaithful messengers. A faithful messenger, whether he be a preacher or faithful layman, proves his character, as Eliezer in Genesis 15:2 and Genesis 24 by his faithful discharge of responsibilities entrusted to him. A wicked messenger betrays his trust and falls into mischief, as did Gehazi in II Kings 5:26-27.
Verse 18 challenges me with an easy decision. Receive God’s Word and prosper or reject God’s Word and suffer poverty and shame. These truths are repeated several times in Proverbs.
Verse 19 contrast the desire of the righteous with the desire of the wicked. The desire of the righteous is ultimately perfection which will one day be accomplished in Heaven. On the other hand, the desire of the unregenerate fool is to continue in sin. The thought of giving up sin is hateful to him. He loves his sin.
Verse 20 teaches that those who walk with the truly wise will eventually be wise; but those who walk with fools will be destroyed.
Verse 21 Rebel against God as a fool and you will never be able to escape evil, no matter how fast you run. It will pursue you as a lion until it catches and destroys you. However, the godly who live to serve God will be repayed here and in eternity.
Verse 22 speaks about the inheritance we will one day leave our children and our grandchildren. The godly will leave an inheritance of an example of godly character, as well as some financial inheritance.
Verse 23 teaches that those who work will have food to eat. On the other hand, even a great estate can be eroded and destroyed for lack of judgment and care.
Verse 24 Hints of how we are to discipline our children. It is an important subject that we cannot deal with here. For a detailed study of that, go to my category FAMILY where I deal with it in detail from a biblical perspective.
This 13th chapter of Proverbs concludes in verse 25 with the topic of satisfaction. We who are trusting in Christ, find our satisfaction in Him. If He is our Saviour and Lord, we find our full satisfaction in Him. On the other hand, the wicked are never satisfied, regardless of what they have. Isaiah 57:20-21 describe them as a troubled, restless sea whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace nor satisfaction for the wicked.