1 ¶ Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
Keeping in mind that a house is a family, like a dynasty, we clearly see here that a wise woman is not called to be a carpenter or a bricklayer but is called to build up her family.
Here is the Biblical definition of a house;
Genesis 7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
2Samuel 3:1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.
A wise woman will build up her family, strengthen it, and make it stable. The Christian woman is to guide the family, to direct it.
1Timothy 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
Guide means to teach. Here is a Biblical definition;
Psalm 25:9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
Notice how teach and way are inserted after the colon as synonyms for guide and judgment. This is how you read the Bible to understand it. Beware of preachers on the internet or the radio who can’t read the King’s English. They’ll send you down the wrong path in a heartbeat.
The wise woman builds her family. She establishes it.
Habakkuk 2:12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!
Back in 12:3 I showed how the Bible defines “establish” as to make sure, such as in a covenant, to make it real and true.
It is a foolish woman who destroys her own family, who plucks down her house figuratively with her own hands as many do. There are many women who bring their own sin issues into a marriage that they simply call “that’s just the way I am” and then proceed to poison their children and their husbands with it. I hardly think that a young woman who has been grounded in the word of God, this Book right here for the first eighteen or so years of her life, is going to come into a marriage and motherhood with a lot of foul smelling baggage she unwittingly is going to dump on her family’s collective heads.
Emotional manipulation, the guilt trip (you know, if you loved me you wouldn’t….), and downright selfishness can destroy a child. A mother who runs her house by manipulation and guilt is worse than a preacher who twists the Scripture, as there is no escape from her. When your children are grown see if they get as far away from you as they possibly can and then ask yourself why. If your child at the age of 18 wants to move to Irkutsk, Siberia, “for the lovely weather”, you might should reevaluate your attitude.
I have seen many a family brought low by a foolish woman and so have you. We all know at least one family like that, perhaps we were a part of it at one time. You mothers have a tremendous power and influence over the spiritual growth of your children and even your husband. Look at what the Bible says about the influence a wife has over her husband’s salvation.
1Corinthians 7:13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
1Corinthians 7:16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
2 ¶ He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.
Deuteronomy 9:5, 1 Kings 3:6, and Psalm 9:8 define uprightness as synonymous with righteousness while other verses show it to be synonymous with integrity.
The only way a person can walk upright in this age is not by going to Israel and attempting to follow the Law to the letter but by being saved by Christ and having His Spirit indwelling him or her. That person can know the fear and awe of the Lord, knowing who God really is, the God of the Bible, not men’s imaginations, and can truly understand those great works of creation and salvation even in the limited extent they are able to be understood. The unsaved man often holds God in contempt and in low regard, despising the very thought of an eternal God.
Perverse is rebellious against God. Its first usage is in Numbers 22:32 in the statements that the angel of the Lord made to Balaam, and in such verses as 1 Samuel 20:30; and Matthew 17:17, among others clearly showing its meaning to God. We put the spin of everything in relation to us so perverse has come to mean something that we find disgusting and gross. God finds rebellion against Him to be so.
3 ¶ In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
Again we have a warning about what comes out of the mouth. Dr. Ruckman points out that the picture here is of a man beating another with his words. In spite of the rantings of people like the Pharaoh of the Exodus and Nabal, Abigail’s husband, the lips of the wise, such as Moses and Abigail, shall preserve them.
Gill and Henry don’t disagree with this, just couch it in slightly different terms. The foolish man or woman uses words as a weapon against others. I have often thought about this when it comes to vulgar language and cursing, as verbal violence. A man often curses when he feels powerless and weak. Vulgar language and cursing is a sign of weakness and powerlessness. With regard to words being violence, one of the most common vulgar words used today is an Anglo-Saxon word that comes from German that comes from an Indo-European root which means to strike, to punch, and to hit.
The foolish person uses words as a weapon. I have a book about verbal self-defense which tells you all kinds of ways to defuse verbally violent situations. The wise person knows what to say in response. Foolish people can be emotionally manipulative, controlling, and abusive with their prideful words. It takes wisdom not to be taken in by their foolishness. One of my pet peeves is people who use the left handed compliment or the seemingly harmless, innocuous statement to try to dig at you.
The Christian is not to use words as a weapon.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Titus 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
1Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
I went out street preaching a couple of times, inviting people to church and giving away Bibles. I was excited about it and studied it online and ordered a book about it from Dr. Ruckman’s store. What amazed me was how many fundamentalist street preachers ignored the verses I just quoted and believed that screaming Bible verses in a hostile manner to strange people, even through a megaphone so that you could hardly understand what they were saying, say, at a “Gay Pride” parade or a NASCAR event, was a ministry.
Use your words carefully. Use them to glorify Christ and to point to Him, not to your own carnal pseudo-spirituality. I don’t care who does or doesn’t think I’m a very good Christian. I’m concerned about people turning to Christ from death and destruction.
4 ¶ Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
From a literal perspective if you don’t have any oxen, that beast that pulls your plow and digs up the ground, the crib, where they sleep, is clean, which is used most often if not always as unpolluted, undefiled, empty of filth, or CLEAN, for any Hebrew scholars out there, but if you have an ox you can achieve a great deal by his strength. This goes along literally with many other verses about idleness and poverty.
But, a spiritual application might be found regarding a lack of ministers of the gospel. Empty, abandoned church buildings may not have the division, arguing, and contention of having the body of Christ worshipping in them but with the body of Christ there is much that can be done for God. In other words, a church body can be a pain in the neck and have to be constantly guided and corrected by the Pastor and the Evangelists he chooses but it is with just such a group of frail, sinful, saved people that great work can be done for God. As it is with the ox in the crib. If you don’t have an ox you don’t have to clean up what they leave behind but with them you can get much increase.
Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
5 ¶ A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.
Aside from the obvious, let’s look at some lies a false witness tells today. “Since I got saved I haven’t sinned”, “I consult Jesus Christ before I do anything”, “The only way to know God is through prayer and the Mass”, “All people are God’s children”, “God loves everyone”, “I can tell if you’re saved by how you act and how you dress”. There are many others.
It was false witnesses that accused Jesus Christ (Matthew 26) and Naboth(I Kings 21) in a portent of Jesus (the man, a type of Jesus, had a vineyard, a type of Israel, and Ahab, a type of the Devil, wanted it) so I would imagine that false and faithful witnesses are literally dealing with people who tell lies or the truth about what others have done. I have heard Christian people relate events that I witnessed and lie about them not realizing that I had been there. It’s sort of a shock when you hear someone talk about something that someone did that you saw with your own eyes and heard with your own ears and is not being told truthfully.
Back to the spiritual application, I find that preachers who invent stories or pass on stories they’ve heard and use them as sermon illustrations in a way as if they happened to them personally, cannot be trusted with the gospel and will lie and twist the scriptures. I have sat in meetings or listened on the radio and realized that I had heard the same story told about a half a dozen times in a half a dozen different ways by a half a dozen different preachers and said to myself, he’s lying, and from then on I didn’t trust his take on anything. You’ve all had the same experience, I’m sure. And for the rest of us, don’t pass on emails that make railing accusations about people who can’t defend themselves without at least making an effort to check them out. For every ten right wing emails I get in my inbox, nine of them are bold faced lies just made up or after selectively taking what someone said out of context. You have an obligation to tell me the truth as you know it and you aren’t off the hook because the person who told you was lying. However, I realize that sometimes even if you check out something to the best of your ability you can still be lied to and pass on a lie, as I have done. Realizing that, I don’t get too awfully worked up about it.
One of the dangers about being found to be a false witness is when you are giving your testimony to an unsaved person of some intelligence and you state a lie that he or she knows is a lie, that it ruins any credibility you have. I can remember, before I believed that the King James Bible was God’s final authority in all matters of faith, practice, AND doctrine for Christians that I was arguing against an evolution believing atheist who had grown up in church and I said, “the Bible says”, and he said, “Which Bible? They all say different things.” He had me there and that led me on a long study that resulted in my believing what I believe now, which God confirmed by removing the lust for alcohol from my body and mind at the moment I spoke that belief.
Seek to be a faithful witness. Do not hold the truth in unrighteousness. To paraphrase a child’s statement about what it means to be loved, let Christ’s name be safe in your mouth.
6 ¶ A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.
A scorner mocks you for your faith but first he or she scoffs at the truth of Christ.
2 Peter 3:3 ¶ Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 ¶ But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The modern scientific paradigm, when it comes to the origin of life and all matter, in fact, is lined up with what Marxists call historical or dialectical materialism. In this philosophy and political ideology man is his own god and there is no higher authority than the state. Marxism and atheistic science work hand in hand with the modern government, national and worldwide, to shape society in any way they choose without regard to the rights or demands of a God in whom they have chosen not to believe.
The scorners have limited their ability to find knowledge and wisdom by the demand that they express unbelief in their public writings and their refusal to permit you to even post a brief statement in the front of one of their textbooks that not everyone agrees with atheistic materialism. This was the essence of the recent Dover lawsuit.
Look at your hand, then turn it over. There are two sides to every opinion. The evidence that they say proves there is no God or gods can also reveal that there is. They essentially exist and work as propaganda mouthpieces for a world system that wants you and your children to believe that you are nothing more important than a sea slug. The scorners control the educational establishment and if any one of their number expresses a faith in God he loses his job and his funding. It is a closed shop.
There are scorners in the church, as well; people who are critics of God and His Bible and who choose to ignore everything spiritual God gives us in the letters written to Christians and try to put you back under the Law given to Moses because it’s easier to control you that way.
But, to those who realize that God’s words in His Book are the principal way in which He speaks to His people, knowledge is easy. The scorners have limited by their own willful ignorance their ability to understand what God is doing and what He is permitting to happen and how it is being accomplished and they will remain ignorant until a light is shined on their wicked thoughts.
The scorners in the church don’t even usually know what a Bible is, how powerful it is over sin, or what it means. They can’t cross reference because their preferred Bible version destroys the cross references and they have no idea that the Bible defines its own words or how it’s done. Every question in their minds results in a run to a dictionary or a commentary or a lexicon. Lexicons and dictionaries, by the way, that are based not on Bible language but on pagan writings. There are words used in unique ways in the Bible based on context that are not found in pagan and secular writings that can only be understood in context.
In any event, the scorners, Proverbs 9:7,8 and 13:1. 21:24 shows the nature of the scorner. The one in public school and private university who trusts in matter only and the one in the church who refuses to argue with you because HE has a degree in Greek which YOU don’t. They are ignorant and willfully so and they are angry at you because you refuse to be. Or they just hold you in contempt and think you’re a simpleton. God will deal with them. Arguing with them is pointless as it says in Proverbs.
7 ¶ Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
Not only does God tell you to get away from foolish people when they aren’t speaking from knowledge I would say it also means to avoid people of faith who spew twisted doctrine and display evil intentions when they talk about what’s in the Bible and about God. Often, after I hear, “it’s Bible, man”, I know I’m going to hear some sort of legalistic gibberish or scripture taken out of context to prove someone’s hatred against women or that notorious “other” humans like to hate. I can read the passages where Gentiles get saved, like Acts 8:37, 16:31, and Romans 10: 9, 10 for instance, so when I’m talking with a Christian about getting people saved and he starts adding even one additional condition to the Bible I have to try to correct him with the Bible or I need to just go from his presence. Usually a foolish Christian will just try to talk over you, get louder than you, or just start calling you names.
The most important knowledge a person has or doesn’t have is the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I mean the knowledge of Him that not only recognizes who He is but depends upon and trusts in Him for salvation. I would hardly consider taking advice on spiritual matters from an unsaved person who has no knowledge of the God of the Bible. Certainly, beyond telling me how to fix a flat tire or backup my computer they don’t have much to say worthwhile.
Then the knowledge that a Christian has from a daily walk with Christ, submitting to His Bible and letting God speak to Him through it and through honest Bible preaching, and praying continuously to the Lord. If that person doesn’t manifest the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 then you would do well to look for another, more spirit filled Christian from whom to take advice.
Go from the presence of the unsaved or of the carnal Christian as soon as you perceive that they aren’t speaking from knowledge. Foolishness is a faith killer. For instance, arguing with scorners will weary you and bring you down and arguing with carnal Christians likewise. If they aren’t correctable after you’ve made an honest effort backed up by prayer then just leave them alone and turn them over to God.
8 ¶ The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.
We are travelers on this earth, here only for a short time. It may seem to you young people that you have a long time ahead but it will seem like it has been a short time at the end unless you’ve been suffering under something horrible like a disease or abusive treatment.
It’s important that we understand our way, the way we are to sojourn on this earth. The world, and I’m using the definition of the people that inhabit the earth and its systems (Rev. 3:10), is not our home and we are in it but not to be a part of it or participate in its values, goals, beliefs, religion, or institutions. We are ambassadors of the mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 6:19, 20) and are to shine as lights in this world (Philippians 2:15).
The prudent Christian understands that he or she is an alien in this world system in which we live and that this world system is opposed to God and led by Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4). All of human history is a cauldron boiling and being stirred by Satan to bring all men together away from God’s plan for Adam originally to the false religion of Cain and his spiritual descendants to kingdoms, empires, and eventually one world so that all men and women can rise up to make that final stand against God as dupes of Satan. Just read the Book. It’s all there.
Do you understand your way? Are you wise and prudent? Do you think your way is to take up arms against people who have rejected God and to kill them or to avenge yourself of wrongs and slights, to sue in court, to devour? Is it your way to try to achieve as much success in the world as you can, to be as far in debt as they are, to hunger and strive for the things that the world lusts for or do you understand that you have another way to go?
You talk about bearing fruit. Well, is this the kind of fruit your are bearing as a light in this present, evil world?
Ephesians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Do you follow the talking points of your political party or do you understand your marching orders?
1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
16 ¶ Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
The wisdom of the prudent Christian is to know his way, which is to be Christ’s way. The folly of fools is deceit. Deceit is rampant in our faith. It drives some unbelievers from even considering what we say and many so called Christians will answer for their manipulations and deceit before God. Fools not only deceive others but are deceived themselves,
2Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
The worldly Christian is a fool, not understanding that he is an ambassador for heaven, and that the world offers him nothing that is not temporary and a lie. He doesn’t understand that he is in this world but not of this world. He deceives others with his lusts by telling them that that God wants them to have material riches and that if they have enough faith they will be free from disease, hunger, and want. They can name it and claim it, as they say. They believe if they imitate the world’s way of doing things but sprinkle in a few Christs and Gods in their speech that it’s okay to have an alternate Halloween or have music that imitates the world’s as long as they say God or Jesus every few lines. They think they can pursue riches and seek to be rich because, just look at all the good they can do with it. They read Christian romances and Christian adventure and Christian war novels. They watch Christian movies and admire Christian athletes and politicians, all celebrities who think that the way the world does things is okay as long as you think of Christ while you’re doing them which sort of justifies the church that had a Bible Study in a Hooter’s down in Atlanta, I think it was.
You have a way, and it is to be Christ’s way, not the world’s. Do you understand it?
2Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
9 ¶ Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.
Fools laugh at sin. They wink the eye and make jokes. To them, their sin and the sin of others is a source of jokes and jesting. They don’t realize, of course, that it is sin that is mocking them, but that’s just the way they are. The righteous, and remember, the only reason a person is righteous is because they are saved and it is not their righteousness, because you have none of your own, but Christ’s righteousness in them, don’t mock at sin. They detest it. Once a person who is saved and has the righteous Spirit of Christ in them, even if they do sin, will be saddened and angered by it, and disappointed in him or herself. God is pleased with your rejection of sin.
10 ¶ The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
We can’t know exactly what pain another person is going through. We also don’t know what kind of personal relationship a person has with God, if they have one at all. It’s impossible to fully participate in another’s joys and sorrows, as Dr. Ruckman says. I don’t know what drives a young girl to cut herself or starve herself into anorexia, what false doctrine of perfection that’s been forced on her or the pain and fear she feels. I don’t know what pushes a young man to seek solace in alcohol, obsessive playing of video games, or other things. Only you know what’s going on in your heart, you and God.
In the same respect I can’t fully share in your joy or your walk with the Lord. I don’t know how much you let God speak to you through His Book, or how prayerful you are throughout the day, or the joys you have waiting on the Lord. I am a fool for saying you can’t have much joy because you don’t do things the way I do them or the way the fundamentalist church down the road does them. We don’t have to know everything about each other’s misery or joy in the Lord to care for them. We are called in this;
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
I’ll never say to you who have lost a child, “well, God will make something good happen out of this”. That’s for you to find out and for me to pray for. I’ll mourn with you, though. I’ll never tell you that your time in the morning alone with God isn’t important or valuable because you aren’t having it the way I think you should. I’ll rejoice with you, though, when you tell me about something God has shown you. That’s what we’re called to do, not to be meddlers and busybodies or know-it-alls.
11 ¶ The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
Notice the contrast between house and tabernacle in this verse. This should make it clear as to the meaning of house in this verse by its reference to a tabernacle, such as what the Israelites worshipped in during their trek through the wilderness and in Shiloh. The Tabernacle was where God dwelt with the Hebrews on earth until the Temple was built.
Here in the following verses is the making of tabernacle synonymous with a habitation or where one lives;
Job 5:24 And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin.
Job 18:15 It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because it is none of his: brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation.
Isaiah 33:20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.
There is no temple nor altar of stone today but each believing Christian is the temple of the Holy Ghost.
1Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
So, I think that the contrast between house, tabernacle, and dwelling place is established.
This literal verse to the families of the ancient kingdom of Israel has a tremendous spiritual application to the Christian. Not only shall a family be destroyed by wickedness but a house that is based on Christ, where Christ is the head of the home shall flourish. A family where the Bible is uplifted and read aloud and in silence each and every day with prayer and thanksgiving should blossom and thrive while a family where the blare of the popular music player and the drone of the TV are all that’s heard or seen will suffer. Your home is a type of church where several members of the body of Christ meet each and every day, where the father is a type of Pastor watching over a flock and a mother, like a modern day Deborah, has to do a man’s work if no father is present.
In prophecy, the wicked, from Cain, who was “of that wicked one” (1 John 3:12), down through all false religion to the Beast of Revelation himself, will be that wicked house that shall be destroyed, Satan’s offspring.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
But the family of God will flourish.
Ephesians 3:14 ¶ For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
In whom we have been adopted.
Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
One house, family, or tabernacle will be destroyed forever in a lake of unquenchable fire and one will inherit eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ.
12 ¶ There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
This is one of the most famous Proverbs in the book. It’s a memory verse for many people of God. Mankind is always coming up with a new “conventional wisdom” and mankind’s wisdom always leads to death. The great, advanced, white European countries, in their magnificent sense of right ways went on a killing spree in the Twentieth Century completely unimaginable in the history of humanity. Patriotic, God believing men of so called Christian countries went on a century long frenzy of blood and fury, couched in religious terms, wearing belt buckles that said Got Mit Uns or God With Us, the battle cry of the late Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, taken over by Germany, and singing God Bless America and God Save the King. It was all the right thing to do by someone’s standards and you’d be hard pressed to hear a German, Englishmen, Frenchman, Russian, or American saying that their participation in either World Wars One or Two were the work of the Devil and not God. In the same respect America would never say that Satan duped them into the Korean War or any present day military action. No, our ways are right, to us. The results have been astounding with 100 million murdered in the last century. Samuel Johnson, the second most quoted man in the English language after Shakespeare said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”. It appears to be so for all Gentile nations at all times.
In the 1960’s it began to seem right to “do your own thing”, to follow your own path, to march to the beat of a different drummer. The results were also amazing. Fifty new kinds of STD’s, generations of lost children growing up with no real parents, and millions totally dependent on a bankrupt government for their daily bread. But, what we were doing just seemed to be the right thing to do. It was a new way for us, a more progressive society.
The problem with both of these scenarios is that God wasn’t a part of either except in allowing us to proceed down our way as a part of His judgment on us. What about your way? Is it God’s way? Are you walking the way of death or do you seek God’s true will in everything? I’m not talking about your own human imaginations where you think God has laid something on your heart because it seems good and Godly but where your desire lines up with His words in this Book.
Does your way line up with;
Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
1Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
Man’s ways are false, destructive, and murderous, and even his best of intentions without God are a disaster, given enough time. Anything you do without God is doomed to failure, God granting you mercy for some unknown reason in spite of yourself notwithstanding.
13 ¶ Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
The laughter of the sinner who is delighting in his wickedness is empty and hollow because it hides a deep and abiding pain and confusion. They run to drown their feelings in alcohol and drugs and appear from the outside as if they’re having a great time. This often attracts young people into the life of the partier, who literally runs, after work, to the bars or parties. The seeming fun and happiness is just a covering for misery, fear, and hopelessness. The unsaved person’s laughter hides a heart that is full of pain.
The end result of that kind of life in the world is a heaviness that goes with them to the grave. If God does not draw their willing spirit to Him, they’ll never know true joy. I can tell you also that the Christian who doesn’t know or experience the power of this Bible is often just as downtrodden and joyless as the unsaved person can be. I never experienced joy from the Lord until I believed His Book and began reading it, letting him speak to me through it. I never sang a hymn until the Book began to work on me.
Is your laughter hollow? Is your joy empty and meaningless? Read this Book and meditate on it, pray over its words and ask God for light from it. You’ll see things change.
14 ¶ The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
You know that the heart is wicked in and of itself.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Backsliding carries with it the meaning of a cow pulling back on the rope leading it, struggling against its master, trying hard not to be pulled forward.
Hosea 4:16 For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place.
The Christian who backslides in heart, has already set in his or her heart that they will not obey God. You can be sitting right there in church resisting the leading of the Holy Spirit, refusing to read your Bible, not paying attention to the sermon, daydreaming about being somewhere else, not giving time in your daily life for prayer, and refusing to stand up for Christ in the world. With that attitude you’re filled with your own ways and your life may be consumed by them if you don’t turn around, as will the life of those you love.
Just remember, faithful church attendance, proper dress, door knocking, and singing loud do not mean that your heart isn’t backsliding and resisting the Holy Spirit. Do you hunger to hear God speak to you through His word every day? Do you desire to pray often? Do the fruit of the Spirit reveal themselves in you?
A good Christian will be satisfied from the time he or she shares with the Lord every day, not just two or three times a week at church. As David Peacock says, if the only time you get fed is in church you’re in pretty bad shape. You need to learn to pick up the Bible and feed yourself when you aren’t in church. It is that day to day meeting with God hearing Him speak to you through His word and speaking to Him in prayer, it is the Spiritual life, that gives the physical life of the Christian meaning, conquers the sin you face daily, the disappointment, and the heartbreak.
Psalm 119:143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.
Without the Spiritual life, the physical works you do supposedly for Christ have no meaning. They are empty husks, and you are no better off than a Rotarian or a member of the Elks Club as far as this life is concerned, only you have eternal life, which is incredibly wonderful, but you can have an abundant life right now in the Spirit with the Lord. Just stop resisting Him, stop pulling back.
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
I lusted after alcohol but God took that away from me through His word. I hungered after horror movies and all of the wicked spiritual warfare that focusing on death and destruction entails. You realize that the woman is a type of the church, and the monster or killer is a type of Satan, and in today’s horror movies there is no hero as a type of Christ who saves the church, as in olden days. But, God took that away from me through His word. Just removed both a taste for alcohol and horror movies right from my mind and body with my submission to His word and my delight in it. Money, entertainment, energy, the use of my limited time, etc. etc. He’s changed through my listening to Him. Just receiving what He has to send my way.
You will means nothing. All you do with your will power is pull back on the rope as the Holy Spirit leads you. You have to let Him lead. Put everything about you on the table and say “God, just wipe away what you don’t want in my life. Change me.” Don’t pull back.
Are you a backslider in heart?
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
15 ¶ The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
Back in Proverbs 7:7 and in several verses in Psalms, it shows us that the simple are void of understanding, inexperienced, and naive. 1:22 links them with scorners and fools, although the latter are usually willfully so while the simple have had no light. Here, the simple believes everything he hears. He or she is gullible and without any kind of discernment. They are easily taken in by someone who wishes to corrupt them.
The simple doesn’t know the Bible, won’t read it but as a collection of stories or advice or simple commands. They don’t understand that the Bible is a living Book given to us by a Living God, whose very Spirit breathes through the words on the page. The simple don’t understand that the words sanctify them, set them apart, as Jesus says in John 17:17. So, they get deceived. They can’t rightly divide the word. They don’t understand that the words can change their hearts, give them victory over specific sins, and change their circumstances. But, they have to believe them. It’s not an act of their own will, the result, but a consequence of their humble acceptance of every word as God’s truth for them.
So, when a teacher digs into the Law and says;
Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
The simple one moans and groans. God won’t listen to me. He won’t forgive me. I can’t deal with this addiction. I have no power over it. He’s ignoring me because I’ve sinned. Sometimes they even give up and you don’t see them darken the door of a church meeting place again. Sometimes, they become retreads and “get saved” over and over at meetings, hoping that their lives will change. But, the simple, because they don’t read their Bible except as good stories and good advice, and don’t know its power, also don’t know when they’re being lied to, for the rest of the Psalm says;
Psalms 66:19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
And because of the wicked teacher and his own simplicity, the simple doesn’t know that;
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
The prudent person has read their Bible or listened to it read, over and over, from front to back, several times, and knows that when he or she sins;
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
And turns to God when even the wrong thought comes to their mind. The prudent person knows that he or she didn’t become a Christian by an act of his or her own will;
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And it is not by his or her own will that they are sanctified;
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
The prudent man or woman carefully considers everything they are told and compares it to God’s word for truth and accuracy. He or she knows the difference between a teacher’s opinion or personal convictions and what the Bible says.
In the world, the simple girl will believe anything a boy tells her, and not filter it through the Scriptures. The simple boy will think that beauty means goodness when it doesn’t. The simple Christian thinks that church attendance, Bible reading, prayer, and not cursing or stealing or any big sin is like a business deal with God and He owes them an easy trip through life. Churches are filled with simpletons who are passive spectators in sermons, who don’t care to apply them or think of how the words shine a light on their lives, or who read the Bible as just a holy book, a neat collection of stories and Godly advice, not a living Book with the power to change and judge.
Are you a prudent Christian or one of the simple ones? Look well to your going.
16 ¶ A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
A wise man or woman stands apart from sin, from violent feelings and actions, either physical or verbal. They fear God with a Holy fear, and know that He means business and that their end result is to be like Christ, not like Bruce Willis or John Wayne, and He will accomplish that if they have to be dragged kicking and screaming to it. The wise person departs from evil, whether it be the evil of sinful iniquity as in Genesis 2:9 with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or the evil of malice, bad intent, and hatefulness as in Genesis 50:20 when Joseph identified that his brothers meant him harm but God turned it to good.
But, the fool rants and raves, confident in his own wickedness and in the rightness of his wickedness. In Psalms 14:1 and 53:1 it is said that the fool has said in his heart there is no God. The militant atheist rants and raves that no mention of God should be made in public school save for in a class about myth and fantasy. The homosexual activist demands that his or her lifestyle must be accepted as perfectly normal and okay and wants anyone who refuses to accept that stance to be punished by the law, even to the point of civil and criminal action against a preacher preaching directly from God’s word. The fornicator lives like an animal with whomever they please, producing children, and never regarding that they are to have a commitment for life with their partner and that it is not to be a casual relationship but a marriage before God and under His authority. These people are certain they are right and will scream it from the rooftops, raging and demanding their “rights”.
Then there is the so called “Christian” fool, who relies on the government to enforce religious dogma and the moral laws that God has laid down, as if the bureaucrats were Spirit filled and able to discern between good and evil. There is the fool who wants to unite with the fascist ecclesiastical organization at Rome to worship Baal and Ishtar. There is the fool who doesn’t know what a Bible is and even if they did, doesn’t think it’s necessary, as the only thing they need are creeds and confessions because those Christian fools simply make it up as they go along. Then, there is the Christian fool who thinks of God more as an idea than a real, living person, because he has had no direct experience with Him through His Book or his own spirit, and who despises such things as being “born again” or having a relationship with Christ. Finally, there is the Christian fool who has never experienced the power of the Bible on their lives. They want to submit to its dictates as by their own will and their own love for Christ, but have no clue as to its ability to change their minds, their hearts, and their affections for God’s purposes. These fools, all of them, will rage confidently that they are right and you are wrong, simply because they have no evidence in their own lives of God’s power, only their own will reacting to what they believe to be true. They all have faith in their faith, but not in God.
17 ¶ He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
It’s a common axiom that being quick to anger makes you make errors in judgment and many regrets come from flying off the handle too quickly. However, look at the contrast. There is a colon after the word “foolishly” which turns back the next part of the verse on the first part as a kind of condition or definition. When are anger and dealing foolishly wicked devices and why does Paul say;
Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.
2 Corinthians 2:10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
The hothead, the quick to anger, slow to forgive, a person whose anger becomes wrath and violent vengeance often, who plots his revenge, plays right into the hands of Satan and is held in low regard, looked down upon, or hated. There isn’t a woman reading this who has lived with a man who has beaten them that doesn’t know that a violent, quick tempered man is a fool and a threat to their well being and perhaps their children’s. Proverbs 12:2 shows us who hates the man or woman of wicked devices, who condemns them.
The law might afford a dog one bite but a wicked fool should get none. Young ladies, if a man ever, ever raises a hand to hit you in anger the only recourse you have, besides running from him, is to pray that God deals with him and changes his wicked heart. Of course, the signs are all there when you first meet him. A quick, hot temper, and an unforgiving spirit, a selfish demeanor, and an I’m da man and you best do what I tell you or pay the price should tell you to flee immediately. Now, if you are drawn to that sort of evil person because of low self esteem or some other wicked device on your part you have issues and are in sore need of reading this Bible over and over and talking to God in prayer and to your Pastor AND his wife (at the same time). Believe me, I know many women are drawn to a hot tempered man equating fury with strength as mistakenly as men mistake beauty for goodness.
And men, if you have ever contemplated taking your hand to your wife violently, you need to get on your knees and beg God to forgive you and change you. You’re wicked, an evil man, a fool full of wicked devices. In addition to your violence, I know many men who beat their wives are also adulterers, as they have neither respect for their wives, for their marriage, for women in general, or for God who made women as a type of the church to the husband’s typology of Christ.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Wicked devices include the abiding wrath of Cain who may have thought on his vengeance on Abel for some time. The man of wicked devices will sometimes hide his resentment under a smile, waiting for his chance to get revenge. Perhaps, you’ve experienced a black eye after you’ve forgotten you didn’t make his eggs like mama did, or something worse. Just as no sane employer would hire someone he thought might commit violence in the workplace no woman should think that a marriage to a hot tempered man will be anything but a disaster.
18 ¶ The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
The simple, particularly speaking of those who are willfully ignorant, and who come to no true conclusions about Christ and God, inherit nothing but foolishness and error in this life. This can be said of unbelievers and believers alike who reject the counsels of God. The prudent are crowned with the knowledge of a living and real Christ who interacts with them on a daily basis and who concerns Himself through His Spirit with their simplest needs and desires.
For our purposes, the simple Christian, using a Biblical definition of simple, does not have a relationship with a real person but only with an idea, as he has divorced the grounding of his faith in God through the Bible. He mistakes his conscience for the Holy Spirit’s direction and his own pride and carnal imagination for God laying something on his heart. He neither waits on God’s answer nor rightly divides the word. He takes things invented for the service of God in recent years and substitutes them for the love that Christ gives us for Himself and for our fellow Christians and the fruit of the Spirit which we must pray for and receive, he substitutes the things of the flesh as proofs that a person is saved or is a Spirit filled Christian. The sad thing is that he deceives others.
Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
19 ¶ The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
This will literally be effected at the White Throne Judgment of the wicked, unsaved dead.
Isaiah 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
The gate is the seat of power, it’s where the judges and elders in an ancient city sat to give judgment.
Proverbs 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
2Samuel 19:8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent.
Amos 5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
This sort of gives one an idea of the true meaning of this verse;
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
But, back to the verse at hand. We can look forward to the day when Christ rules over all, in the Millennium and in eternity.
Here are references to the Millennial reign of Christ.
2Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
20 ¶ The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
This is so obvious today that you hardly need to expound on it. Everyone has heard the apocryphal story of a guy winning the lottery and how suddenly he has friends he never knew before and more relatives that love him than he can shake a stick at. Whereas, before, he was just an anonymous face in the crowd who no one gave much thought to. We don’t tend to regard very highly people who can’t do anything for us. No one WANTS to move into a poor neighborhood and have a poor person as their neighbor. It just happens sometimes.
But everyone would certainly like to have that proverbial rich uncle who, when he passes on, leaves them an inheritance. But, remember what Christ said in Matthew 11:8. The people wanted His messenger to come from power and wealth, heard everywhere, but John the Baptist was in the wilderness, wearing animal skins, eating locusts and honey. Jesus Himself didn’t even own a home that was His own as He pointed out in Matthew 8:20 and Luke 9:58.
In the beginning Christianity was a faith that was composed of a great many poor and even slaves as it points out that not many noble or powerful are called in 1 Corinthians 1:26. The world is rich in goods and the true church is despised and rejected by men. There is no advantage to being a Bible Believing Christian, in the world’s eyes. There’s no money in it, if it’s true. We are sojourners on this earth (see 1 Corinthians 4:13). The world respects huge churches and cathedrals with priests dressed in fine robes but not the simple country church with people with no political influence or influence in the greater business world. The rich, by the world’s standards, has many friends, but is bound for a lake of unquenchable fire, while the poor in this typology has little in this world but great riches to come because he owns ALL things and is a friend to the creator of the universe. (Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 3:21-23).
21 ¶ He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
Speaking of the poor neighbor who is hated and despised, here is a literal turn for the Hebrews living in the kingdom of Israel on how they were to conduct themselves toward the poor. There are many restrictions on how the Hebrews were to treat the poor and mistreatment and contempt for them were soundly condemned.
From a literal perspective, if you take this in context with the last verse, the Hebrew was not to hold his poor neighbor in contempt but to have mercy on him. Happy is a promise, as we have seen by its connection with being blessed in Genesis 30:13. We, too, can take this admonition to heart literally as we are told in Romans 15:26; 1 Corinthians 13:3; 2 Corinthians 9:9; Galatians 2:10 and context for all of them, specifically for the poor saints. So, specifically, the Christian church has a responsibility to take care of its poor. There is no excuse for a church to focus on million dollar mortgages, gymnasiums, retreats, and getaways while there are elderly people in the church who can’t pay their power bills or buy food. It is not for us to turn over our poor to Caesar and say, it is enough that we have a warm building in to meet in on Sunday and things to keep the young people occupied.
Who here has a serious and realistic need that they can’t meet and no family to help them with it? Should not the church come to their aid, by all of the admonitions throughout the Bible on how the kingdom of Israel and the church were to treat their members? Charity can specificially be defined as to how a Christian treats and cares for their brethren. So, reading 1 Corinthians 13 takes on a whole new meaning, rather than the empty “love” of the modernists.
22 ¶ Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.
The contrast here shows that those who devise evil should not expect mercy and truth. Those people who plot the machinations of world politics, moving armies around the world, firing weapons that kill promiscuously, and bringing death and destruction on the common man after brainwashing him that what he is doing is an act of patriotism and a noble calling, whether he be North Korean, Iranian, Frenchman, German, American or Chilean is wicked and evil and they can expect nothing from God in the way of mercy and truth.
On the normal scale the person who is always thinking of ways to do wrong, to sin, to lead others down the path to death and destruction, cannot expect mercy and truth from God. You might be sitting here right now thinking of how you can beat the IRS or your employer, your employees, or deceive your spouse or your parents. What you’re thinking is not going unnoticed by God.
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
But, those who plan things that God considers good, He holds out mercy and truth for them. To spread the gospel, to help the poor and elderly, to be kind and loving to people, especially the household of God, are good things and the things we are to be occupied with. Think on these things.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
23 ¶ In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
Work has value but spending all your time running your mouth leads to poverty which Luke 21:4 shows us that penury is the opposite of abundance and in fact, as per the verse in Luke implies more than just being poor, but having nothing. For those so inclined that is the definition given in Webster’s 1828.
God honors hard work, even if the worker receives little in this life but a broken back and a worn out body. The Puritan cliché’s that have come down to us show the early Colonial American Christian’s view of work and idleness as in ; “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”, and “an afternoon’s idleness is like an afternoon’s drunkenness”.
In the New Testament God has specific admonitions about work.
1Thessalonians 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
2Thessalonians 3:12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
And there is one really clear verse about people, women in particular, who like to flap their gums and make trouble.
1Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
I don’t think anyone would disagree that God honors the working man, if the work is gained honestly and does not place any value on the person who spends more time flapping their gums than putting in a day’s labor.
24 ¶ The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
The crown is what you are identified with, and your reward. It defines your life. The crown of the wise is their riches. A wise man’s wealth doesn’t reside in money and all the trappings that go along with it. His riches are his wisdom. Jesus Christ is our wisdom.
1Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
The wise person receives Christ and He is their wisdom and their riches. The fool is capable only of wearing folly as a crown as he rejects the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Psalm 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
25 ¶ A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
A true witness is the one who tells the truth of the gospel to save souls from Hell. But there are many deceitful witnesses who lie and twist the truth of the Bible to obtain their own agenda. There are only two types of religion in the world; the true one is salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the other is “salvation” by following some list of rules and regulations. One, is by faith and one is works.
Satan is so deceptive that even among those who believe in salvation by faith in Christ there are preachers and teachers who keep trying to put the Christian back under the Law, with his or her salvation contingent upon how they follow the parts of the law the preacher or teacher prefers (as no Judaizer agrees with the whole Law) or contingent upon new things that have been added by custom and tradition.
Look at the contrast here. The true witness delivereth souls, something not attributed to the false witness because he speaks lies. You can’t get saved by following a works based religion. You don’t stay saved by following that works based religion. The deceitful witness can’t help but speak lies because it makes them feel more powerful and gives them control over the body of Christ or deceived unsaved people in some respect. I think of the priest who demands that people worship Christ not as the living body of Christ on earth but with himself as the mediator between God and man which is blasphemy.
The true witness saves souls and edifies the saved while the deceitful witness keeps them in bondage to Satan, their own flesh, and the world.
26 ¶ In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Godly fear is not the kind of fear you might have of a worldly king, although Americans know nothing about fearing authority;
Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
2Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
But, the fear of the Lord, the fear of God, Godly fear, is a reverence and an acknowledgment of who and what He is. It is the fear that one has for a parent whom one loves and believes is all powerful. When we realize that God has absolute control over every event and that nothing happens that He does not either cause to happen or permit to happen as He is the sovereign over the whole universe but that THIS king who controls events in Alpha Centauri out in space or in China’s governmental councils also dictates every event you personally will experience today and that He loves us as His very own children. We get angry and are confused and hurt when bad things happen to us because we have NOT committed ourselves to God’s authority by way of Godly fear. We must remember that we are chastised because He loves us like a father lives a child. But, with regard to the verse at hand;
Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
In the following verse, the Bible defines what the active result of the fear of the Lord is in our lives, notice that God defines evil here as pride, arrogancy, and the evil way.;
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
The Bible defines confidence as trust;
Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
Psalm 118:9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
Micah 7:5 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.
Philippians 3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
We have confidence in God and He is our refuge.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.
2Samuel 22:3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
Psalm 62:7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Psalm 91:2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Psalm 94:22 But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.
Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
The fear of the Lord is a strong confidence in the life that Christ promises. The result of the proper fear of the Lord is salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. By receiving Christ the Christian leaves the snares of the second death and will live forever.
28 ¶ In the multitude of people is the king’s honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.
Here is a common warning and very good advice for a king that is often disregarded, and certainly was by the ancient Oriental kings, but also by our more modern leaders in the twentieth century. I’m going to bring it really close to home. By our leader’s approval of a “right” to abortion we, our country, has exterminated 40 million to 50 million potential taxpaying citizens since 1973. This mass murder has gone on under the guise of the right of a women to choose. Some have said that this reduction in potential citizens has harmed our government’s ability to fund its programs. Others, of course, insist that most of these people would have been a drain on government programs. We’ll never know the truth on this side of death but this Proverb explains that a king is benefited by a large following, a large populace, and that when he is in want of people his reign is doomed.
Many historical world leaders have flung their youth into combats that have killed millions of them and diminished or eliminated the ruler’s ability to govern. One hundred million people died in wars in the twentieth century. Entire regions have become depopulated in historical wars. For instance, in the 1600’s one sixth of Germany’s population was killed in a long war. Entire cities were wiped clean of people.
A wise ruler would take care to ensure his people’s prosperity and to ensure the sanctity of the basic family unit as the cornerstone of civilization. The ruler, the government, is there, from a practical point of view for the whole purpose of preserving the family structure, which is the basis of his or her power. When a ruler attacks the family, makes likely the slaughter of multitudes of his own subjects, and encourages the conditions upon which their replenishment is unlikely then he himself is doomed.
The western nations based on people of European descent are not reproducing themselves fast enough to prevent their total absorption into immigrant populations. We have been lead to this point by often well meaning but misguided leadership who did not avail themselves of this important Proverb. What other nations accomplished foolishly by war in the destruction of millions of their own people, we have accomplished by permitting and even encouraging women to murder their offspring.
29 ¶ He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
Here is a contrast between the impulsive, quick tempered and the person who is slow to abiding anger. Being hasty of spirit, or what Matthew Henry calls “unbridled passion” will destroy you. Our culture, through many movies glorifies the impetuous youth, the “Rebel Without a Cause”, the wild child sort of thing. If you meet a young person who seems to be all raw emotion, quick temper, and spontaneity you had better be very wary because what appears to be youthful enthusiasm and passion turns quickly into stupidity and a wasted life. There is little more ridiculous than an old person who can’t control their temper. Prisons are full of people who chose not to control their passions and who acted impulsively. Develop a slow fuse and consider the consequences of your emotional outbursts. Just a warning.
Psalm 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
30 ¶ A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Here, envy is placed in opposition to a sound heart and the sound heart is said to be the life of the flesh. Envy rottens the bones.
Job 5:2 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.
Proverbs 3:31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
Proverbs 23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
Proverbs 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
The root problem of envy is not being grateful to God for what you have and what you are. All of us have experienced envy at some time. You wish you had a face like that, or were as tall as him, or had a ministry like his, or a house like theirs, or a job like that, and you resent that person who has what you don’t. You might even hate the person who got the promotions or the pay raise you were hoping for, even believed you were entitled to, or who got the sale you thought you should have gotten. You envy your competition, your boss, your spouse, your friend. Envy and coveting go hand in hand although envy is also linked to jealousy and hatred.
Christians are supposed to be content with Christ, with having Him, and not be always discontent and uneasy about their lot in life. After all, most of us are not what we would have dreamed of being when we were young because of our own sin, our own unwillingness to do right, and our own shortsightedness. Christianity is the antithesis of what is considered to be the “good life” of the American. We are to be content, not to covet, not to be envious, and to always be grateful for what we have and where we are. The essence of what it means to be an American is to want what the Brad Pitt’s Achilles said in the movie, Troy, in response to the question, “What do you want?”. He said, “what every man wants. More.”
Envy is not only wicked. It will destroy you. The only saw, “keeping up with the Joneses” is not just about wanting to make a better life, its about coveting what someone else has. It is NOT ambition to do better and to be better at what you are, to develop a skill and master it. It is the sin of wanting what someone else has (coveting, lusting after) and hating them for having it. What have you been envious of or who have you envied?
31 ¶ He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
A long time ago American lawmakers and activists recognized that unbridled greed, not accompanied by any guiding Christian principles but only regarding profits as a god, oppressed those who had not and so began a long series of business regulation enacted to protect people from oppression. Unfortunately, the legislators exempted themselves from most of the rules and went overboard with unnecessary regulations that kill job making.
The Proverb here shows that to oppress the poor is to insult and to condemn God. You can’t even begin to say you honor and exalt God if you have no mercy on the poor.
Mark 14:7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always
Paul talks about the poverty in the New Testament church and the inequality among the brethren which, of course, frightens some Americans because it sounds so much like the dreaded “socialism”. It has nothing to do with that. What God calls for is equality in the Church, a voluntary attitude. Socialism is equality from the barrel of a gun.
2 Corinthians 8:7 ¶ Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. 8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. 11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. 12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. 13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: 15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
People are poor for many reasons, none of which matter in this Proverb. What is concerned here is that you realize that oppressing the poor, taking advantage of them, and making their plight worse, is not showing respect for God, but just the opposite. Some people take this to what might be considered an extreme. They think that you purchasing sneakers from a company that uses young children in poor countries and paying them pennies a day for long hours is your own compliance with oppressing the poor. Some believe that your vote for a congressman or senator who votes to give a $20 million dollar fighter plane to a government that has masses living near starvation is your compliance with oppressing the poor. Some people believe that you buying clothing made by slave labor in Communist China rather than American union made products is your compliance in oppressing the poor. You decide. Whatever your answer you’ll answer to God when you stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
32 ¶ The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.
Isaiah 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. 24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
The wicked unsaved, those who reject Christ, have the future in the first passage waiting for them. The righteous, who are only righteous because Christ’s righteousness is imputed to them, have hope in death. What is that hope?
Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
33 ¶ Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.
All through Proverbs so far wisdom and understanding have been linked and the attitude and behavior of fools has been made apparent. Christ is our wisdom. Only a fool would reject that free gift of salvation. Ask the person who will not receive Christ. How will you spend eternity? Most will say they don’t know but since they’re not so bad they shouldn’t have a bad time. Very few people will actually admit that they think they’ll cease to exist as if they had never been born. Most people will just whistle in the dark when the subject comes up.
Here, it is said that wisdom rests in the heart of him that has understanding. A prudent man reveals his knowledge and his wisdom in the right time and at the right place. The fool is ostentatious and is always shooting off their mouth and drawing attention to themselves. In fact, it is the character of fools that makes them hunger to be in the spotlight, to have attention paid to them. The fool needs constant attention and their way is always made known. This is the take that Matthew Henry gives as he begins with “modesty is the badge of wisdom”. A fool makes more effort to show his folly than a wise man does to show his wisdom.
So, let me ask you this. When you are witnessing or “flying your Christian flag” are you doing it to exalt and glorify Christ or just because you crave attention, even bad attention. Is it even a mixture of the two diluting your service for Christ?
Another question might be this. Do you take great delight in talking about a skill or talent you have and being the center of attention and yet don’t seem to have much enthusiasm for talking about Christ? Is your athletic skill or looks or career a great source of personal attention getting and your salvation and testimony almost an embarrassment?
34 ¶ Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
Here is one that should be set over the Capitol Building in Washington. Who knows? Maybe it is somewhere among the hundreds of sayings that grace government buildings. Another verse would be a great accompaniment.
Psalm 12:8 The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.
This Proverb is for all nations at all times. All nations are degraded by their prosperity and their wealth and fall into depravity and wickedness, even by pagan standards, before they fall. Roman Republican virtue can be contrasted with the decadence of Imperial Rome as the Protestant work ethic of parts of Colonial America can be contrasted with the ‘gimme gimme’ attitude of the modern American.
We tolerate things now and watch for entertainment on television things that would not have even crossed the average person’s mind in 1700’s America. Our nation is so slimy, weasily, and sick that, as Ruckman says in his commentary, “if this proverb is true, America has had it”, meaning we’re done for as a nation. Every known perversion and wickedness is practiced here, almost all openly. There is a porn site for every possible fetish, many of which you probably haven’t even heard of. Our leaders can commit adultery and destroy their families, be divorced multiple times, and who knows what else, and still get elected to office so the people are as much to blame as the leaders are.
One reading of Isaiah will show you that America has a lot in common with ancient Israel in its decline. Like the proverbial frog in boiling water, most people don’t realize that we’ve sunk so low morally in comparison with where we stood before. Now, I’m not one of the foolish ones as Ecclesiastes says who talks about the good old days as there never were any good old days. Colonial America drank three times the amount of alcohol per person than we do today. Employees were oppressed by the rich and had no one to turn to for help. Abused women and children had no redress from the law nor protection from society. Old people who could not work and had no family would as likely starve or die without an opportunity for even the poor medical treatment of the time. There were parts of the country where there wasn’t a church for a hundred miles. At one point after the Revolution someone even wrote down that he thought Christianity itself would die out in America within a generation.
However, the one thing that has always characterized Americans until recently was that our standard of ethics was always way higher than our actual morals. We knew when we were wrong and so called revival meetings would bring thousands of saved and unsaved people out to repent of their wickedness. Today, our ethics, our standards have been brought very low , down to meet our actual morals, the way we live, so that we aspire to nothing, or rather to the morals of an alley cat, and I apologize to cats considering the depravity of human beings here.
The church was always the hope of America, the backbone of the nation with regard to sin. When the moral behavior of the church reflected the lack of morals of the greater population America was doomed. Notice;
1Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Paul is talking about professing Christians here departing from the faith.
2Timothy 3:1 ¶ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
Again, read the context and see that Paul is referring to people in the church. America’s downfall is the downfall of evangelical Christianity of fundamentalism. As I have said before, it began when Americans placed more faith in the goodness of government than in the goodness of God, more trust in their own righteousness than in the righteousness of Christ, and more faith in the power of their military and their dollar, than in the power of the Almighty. Your level of intelligence and sophistication in modern day America is based on how much perversion you tolerate and how many lies you can swallow and spit back out at one sitting at Satan’s table. Well, I’ll say this to my fellow Americans, including fundamentalists. You should have paid more heed to the Colonial American saying, “when you sup with the devil you better use a long spoon.” (mention Kotchenruder sermon and Pastor on virtue).
We pitched out tent toward Sodom, as a nation, a long, long time ago. I’d say there’s a good couple of hundred sermons that could come out of this Proverb.
35 ¶ The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.
Now, after all of these Proverbs on wisdom can we, as Christians, not see a spiritual application can be made with this very practical proverb regarding our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and how we will stand before Him one day to give account for what we have done in the flesh?
Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
But the spiritual application is limited as we are not under God’s wrath, even the worst of us who believe and are saved.
1Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Literally, this verse can only be applied to the Jews under the Law as it regards a king and a servant, wrath and shame. An unsaved Gentile was never God’s servant.
Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.