Each of us is faced with the option of
1. Seeking to know God’s Word and live for Him or ignore Him and go our own selfish way.
2. Experiencing God’s wisdom and blessing on our lives or ignoring His Word and facing His curse now and throughout eternity
3. Living a blessed life or living a life of failure and misery and ultimately Hell.
In our last session we dealt with our parental responsibilities under God as we studied Proverbs 13:24.
In this session we will conclude our study of Proverbs 13 as we study verse 25 and move into chapter 14. These verses, as well as most of the Book of Proverbs deal with the option of choosing God’s wisdom with its blessings or rejecting His wisdom and facing the consequences.
There was no one better qualified to write this book of Proverbs than King Solomon. Early in his life in a moment of decision He had chosen to know and walk in God’s wisdom and became the wisest man of his day. But in time he despised God’s wisdom and became the world’s greatest fool by choosing to live a reckless life of licentiousness, living with 700 wives and 300 concubines
The book of Proverbs, written by King Solomon under the inspiration of God, is filled with God’s wisdom. The book of Ecclesiastes, also inspired of God and written by King Solomon, as he describes first- hand the folly and futility of ignoring and rejecting God’s wisdom.
Proverbs 14:1 contrasts wise and foolish wives and mothers. Whereas wise women build their homes with their husbands; foolish women are continually destroying their homes and families through their sinful, selfish words, attitudes and actions, evidenced by their disrespect and rebellion towards their husbands and through their selfish ambitions and pursuits to make more money at the expense of mothering their children. My wife worked part time to help with the bills after our children were in high school. Prior to that time, we would not have considered the idea of her working away from home while the children were small and needed her.
Verse 2 reminds us that godliness is evidenced more by our walk than by our talk.
Verse 3 reminds us that the tongue and mouth of a fool is a rod that harms others. It also contrasts the speech of the wise which when touched and controlled by the grace of God, brings healing and blessing to others.
Early in my ministry I ministered to ranchers and farmers. I spent many hours in the fields and barns with them learning spiritual truths. Verse 4 is one of those lessons. It gives the farmer a choice. Do you want clean barns and no cattle, or would you prefer the manure and the mess that comes with caring for cattle? Most farmers and ranchers have no problem with answering that question.
The same lesson applies to our churches. Do we want clean empty churches with little or no problems, or would we prefer churches increased with lots of people who come with their problems?
This verse does not teach us that if we have crowds of people we should plan to put up with messy and filthy buildings. We can teach people to be clean and neat and to take care of the sanctuary and the rest rooms and the rest of the church property and grounds.
Verse 5 confronts us with the question of whether we are faithful or whether we are liars.
Verse 6 teaches us that a scorner cannot find wisdom for the same reason that an unbeliever cannot find God nor understand the Bible. He doesn’t want to.
Verse 7 warns us to turn from listening to fools and ungodly teachers. Jeremiah 10:2 teaches the same thing. “Learn not the way of the heathen.” They will influence you and you will become like them. This warning is to parents of young children and to young people seeking a college education.
Verse 8 deals with wisdom, the main theme of this Book of Proverbs. Wisdom is not just knowing Bible knowledge; but being able to apply it practically so we understand the way in which we should go.
Psalm 27:11 is a prayer I prayed repeatedly as a young person seeking God’s will. True wisdom is being filled with the Holy Spirit so we can know God’s will. Ephesians 5:15-16. The wisdom of the wicked is actually deceitful and leads to folly.
Proverbs 14:9 warns that anyone who mocks and makes fun of sin, thinking he can do wrong and get away with it is a fool. Galatians 6:7 warns that anyone who thinks he can sin and get away with it is deceiving himself and in for a lifetime of sorrow.
Proverbs 14:10 speaks of the anguish and bitterness that each of us experience occasionally. There are times when no one, not even our spouse, can understand the anguish of our hearts.
Read of Hannah’s bitterness in I Samuel 1& 2. Not even her husband understood; but she poured it out to God and He understood and met her deepest need.
Job also experienced this bitterness and misunderstanding by others. But God understood his need and wonderfully blessed him. Read his amazing story in the Book of Job.
Proverbs 14:11 warns the wicked Christ-rejecters that one day their beautiful homes and mansions may be ultimately destroyed. On the other hand, the righteous in Christ are to understand that though they may live temporarily in tents or modest homes, we are better off than the wicked. Sometimes Christians have a problem with understanding this. I encourage you to read Psalm 73 for the answer that brings satisfaction and joy.
I conclude this study with the warning in Proverbs 14:12. Beware of doing something that seems right and even feel right; even though it is in direct contradiction and disobedience to God’s Word. Sin blinds our hearts and numbs our conscience until we may think that evil is actually good. Beware of even starting down the road of compromise with sin.
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