Text quoted from the New American Standard Bible
The contrast between good and evil has been debated over the millinea in every generation and in every house. Within the body of man this contrast eventually makes itself evident. Then a choice is made. God has promised to reward those who make a good choice, and punish those who choose to do the things that are not good.
This chapter takes many different perspectives of where this contrast comes into view. If we are to learn from these lessons, then we must apply ourselves to knowledge and understanding. Knowledge of the will of God. Understanding our parts in fulfilling that knowledge.
Let us go through this chapter and make observations as we proceed. Any good student of the Bible will recognize many of these proverbs, which are just words of wisdom and are also in the form of absolutes. Though the world does not recognize all of them, they do set a precedence for correct social living in our society established by the majority.
Man must choose. It is man's right-thus his choice is his and his alone. Though his actions will bring about consequences that might affect others, it will come to pass by how a man plans his course of action.
The thing spoken of the tongue to which an answer is expected is prayer. Any answer to prayer wether positive or negative come from God.
Few will ever admit that they are inferior beings. Few will acknoledge sin and error in their life. Most people live life the way they want to, and find some sort of way of justification or permisiveness. People with these types of motives will be dealt with by God's word.
As long as the work you do will bring glory to God, then you will be sucessful. When you commit your works to yourself, you are basing them on something of confusion and instability. Our goals must be those of serving God.
Yes God made evil. How else could he show the contrast between good and bad. When people choose to do good, then God is glorified. Those who choose to do evil have their own day coming.
Pride is one of the deadliest of sins. One that we must all constantly guard ourselves from. The one who is proud does not know that his reward is punishment.
Truth and love is the whole foundation of the Law of God. Sin can only be removed by love of the truth and respect for it, serving God out of love. When one is seeking the Lord, they are not seeking evil.
Most christians are well respected, even if they are mocked and persecuted. Most christians are model citizens setting a good example for their community to follow.
Be happy with what you have. Do not seek for wealth and riches. They will destroy you.
Man still has to choose which way to go and how to get there. The Lord is pleased by those who follow in His steps.
God ordains goverments and powers. No king ever lived except God brought him to his throne. Wise kings have brought joy and peace to the people of God.
In all aspects of life, we must be fair to all. Bigotry, hatred, and prejudice are sins of hate, and If we cant love our brother whom we see, how can we love God whom we cannot see. Does this sound familiar to you?
How quickly one forgets their humility when they are given a power. At first there is honor and a sense of duty and responsibility; but then the taste of power will bring on corruption, unless they remember who put them there.
Those who are trying to do right, will gain the approval of powers. We cannot love one who lies and speaks not the truth. Better to speak the truth, than to be spoiled by the polititian's tongue.
King sometimes make mistakes. A word fitly spoken can change courses of action. So many times, when things go wrong, they want to punish someone severly. It is usually the innocent who have to pay this price.
If the king is please with you, you will live. If the king finds favor in you he will do you a favor. Remember how Esther saved her Jewish people? How Haman was disgraced. And, how Mordecai was honored?
Few people ever believe this truth. Most will avoid this wisdom for the sake of riches. We can only think this way out of poverty. For when we cannot give God our money, we have to give God our very selves.
Watch your step. You could save yourself from danger, injury, or death. We also are commanded to flee every form of evil. We must be careful where we go and who we go with.
Too many times, those who are proud, are humiliated in the presence of the humble. The person with the raised eyebrows and noses usually do not see where they are going.
The same principle as with money or moral character.
God's word is His truth. His truth is perfect. His truth is life. His life is everlasting. He has given us everything we need for life, and He has given us everything we need in the way of instruction on how to serve Him. When we demonstrate in our lives our obedience, then we will show that we trust Him.
Wisdom is aquired through experience and knowledge and the application of knowledge to our experience. We will not rush in with the fools, if we will just pay attention and think of our actions and the consequences that they could bring. Though they might think foolish, the wise. They will still respect their speech.
The fool cannot understand why he is punished. The person who has commited himself to understanding will produce for himself life everlasting.
The wise will limit their speech to matters of importance. When one is recognized as being wise, then the ones who listen are wise, but those who reject wise words, will be called fools.
Our speech should be filled with grace and the truth. We cannot afford to speak evil if our speech is judged by our words. If we are to share the good news, then we must not speak otherwise.
Most people rely upon their feelings and their conscience. But, failure to follow the truth, in its entirety, will bring eternal damnation.
If your food and livelihood are dependant upon you keeping a job, then you will work hard at it. If you perceive no needs, then you will not apply yourself to anything.
Evil begats evil. Those who practice it, are always faced with it. It usually comes back upon them. The cursing of man brings about the cursing from God.
Loose lips sink tall ships and relationships. What you say about someone will eventually get to their ears.
Those who dont respect God will not respect the one who does. They make it their mission to destroy all those who do put their trust in God. But since acceptance is a very strong emotion, evil will devise ways to entice one to do evil.
Can we really trust anyone other than God?
In an evil world, the one who stays out of trouble survives. This is accomplished by wisdom and doing things right. Not all people are righteous, thus their gray hair and old age do not bring respect.
One must keep control of every aspect of their character, tongue, and life. We can have anger, but only in a controlled way.
Of everything that happens, it is the Lord who will judge us in the end. We should look to acceptable behavior and pattern ourselves to receive a favorable judgement.
Return to the Old Testament study of Proverbs