Solomon was truly used by the Father to lay out many timeless principles and truths for us that can be helpful and practical in guiding our lives in accord with Jehovah’s instruction. We should seek to learn and grow in godly wisdom, leveraging the Bible and the Holy Spirit to help us along the way. In order to undertake this journey successfully, however, we must not start with too much confidence (or arrogance) in our own knowledge. Instead we must first be humble before the Lord and submit to Him and fear Him. In this way we allow ourselves to learn from our mistakes and accept His correction of a means of changing how we live our lives.
Self control in regards to our “tongue”. What we say and how we say it can edify or destroy. It is powerful. It needs to be controlled. The Lord sees everything and knows all we say, even if someone else we may be talking about does not.
1A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
2The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable,
But the mouth of fools spouts folly.
3The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.
4A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit.
The fool remains a fool because he refuses to acknowledge his folly and accept wise counsel or reproof.
5A fool rejects his father’s discipline,
But he who regards reproof is sensible.
The wicked have trouble coming to peace with their money. They often become too attached to it and even as they gain wealth, they increase in fear and anxiety about losing what they have or gaining more. There is no contentment.
6Great wealth is in the house of the righteous,
But trouble is in the income of the wicked.
The wise share knowledge cheerfully and purposefully, but fools have nothing to share.
7The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
But the hearts of fools are not so.
The wicked have rejected Jehovah. Their sacrifice is not acceptable. It is empty action or hypocritical for show. However our loving Father wants to hear from and help those who submit to Him and love Him through obedience to His instructions.
8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
9The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But He loves one who pursues righteousness.
10Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way;
He who hates reproof will die.
Jehovah is all knowing. There are no secrets. Even the most private motivations for our actions are open to Him.
11Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD,
How much more the hearts of men!
Scoffers do not seek wisdom. In fact they will often avoid it. Thus they remain fools trapped in their own folly.
12A scoffer does not love one who reproves him,
He will not go to the wise.
There are few things harder to suppress than a truly joyful heart. When we have found our joy in the Lord, it can take us through both good and challenging times.
13A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.
Again… we refer back to wisdom and intelligence being characterized by a willingness to admit there is more to learn.
14The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge,
But the mouth of fools feeds on folly.
Again… the cheerful heart based on a relationship with the Lord is a powerful thing. Joy can be found even through adversity. Without the Lord, there is no lasting peace or contentment regardless of circumstance.
15All the days of the afflicted are bad,
But a cheerful heart has a continual feast.
I could not agree more with these next verses. Good perspective for all of us. Find peace and contentment with the Lord rather than earthly striving for gain.
16Better is a little with the fear of the LORD
Than great treasure and turmoil with it.
17Better is a dish of vegetables where love is
Than a fattened ox served with hatred.
Our Lord is slow to anger. It is a righteous trait reflecting the character of the Father. Those who get angry easily will always have reason.
18A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
But the slow to anger calms a dispute.
The lazy create their own obstacles rather than overcome them. Their way will always be tough.
19The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns,
But the path of the upright is a highway.
Wisdom in following the Lord instead of the world brings joy. Lack of it brings hardship and strife.
20A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish man despises his mother.
21Folly is joy to him who lacks sense,
But a man of understanding walks straight.
The wise are not so arrogant as to assume they have all the answers and understand all there is on a subject by themselves. They consult with others and then make decisions. Plans are more successful in this manner.
22Without consultation, plans are frustrated,
But with many counselors they succeed.
Take some time to meditate on the remaining scripture verses yourself. How do they apply in your life?
23A man has joy in an apt answer,
And how delightful is a timely word!
24The path of life leads upward for the wise
That he may keep away from Sheol below.
25The LORD will tear down the house of the proud,
But He will establish the boundary of the widow.
26Evil plans are an abomination to the LORD,
But pleasant words are pure.
27He who profits illicitly troubles his own house,
But he who hates bribes will live.
28The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
29The LORD is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
30Bright eyes gladden the heart;
Good news puts fat on the bones.
31He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise.
32He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.
33The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility.
The last verse is certainly something to dwell on. This is another example of our Father pointing out that “fear of the Lord” is the beginning of wisdom. We must fear and revere the Lord to find the right path. This helps us seek and accept answers from Him and others who know Him. We will not grow in wisdom and gain honor before the Lord if we can not first be humble enough to recognize our limitations and submit to His guidance and instruction. In a way, our journey to God begins with humility.
Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.