Hey there! Let’s get started in verse 1. This is a verse commonly used in our house, sadly: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (NAS) Well, that’s pretty clear.
Let’s move on to verse 5: “A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.” You know how the “soft” parents will say “I’m gonna count to three! One… two…” and they never manage to reach three? Well, that’s how a child becomes 1.) A fool, and 2.) Learns to disregard his parent’s warnings. That’s trouble!
Verse 7: “The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the fool!” So we’ve finally found the rumor-source, once we decipher the verse. What’s the opposite of wisdom? Foolishness, right? The fools are the rumor-spreaders!
Verse 8 has an interesting story: “The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases Him.” Here’s the interesting story: (Copied from Gen. 4: 2-7) Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” Notice what God says: “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?” This is God’s way of saying that Cain didn’t do what was right. Instead, he withheld from the LORD, not giving Him his first fruits, as the Bible commands.
So, back to the verse in Proverbs. Notice, since Cain withheld, God was not pleased. Now in Proverbs, God is not pleased by the sacrifices of wicked people. Was Cain wicked? If you have read Genesis, you know he was!
Verse 9 is very similar to verse 8, please record your thoughts in your journal.
We will now move to verse 11, and read very carefully: “Death and destruction lie open before the LORD — how much more so the hearts of men!” What is this talking about? Well, we’re going to compare translations again. If you have the NLT, great, but if not, go to http://www.biblestudytools.com and click on “Search the Bible”. Then, type in “Proverbs 15:11” and hit “Find It!”. Then, if the NLT doesn’t come up automatically, select the drop-down box where it says the translation and select New Living Translation. It says: “Even the depths of Death and Destruction are known by the LORD. How much more does He know the human heart!” That clears it up. If He knows all about death and destruction, who’s going where, and what’s going to happen tomorrow, then of course it makes sense that He would know your thoughts, emotions, and everything else about you! I used to think it was creepy; now, I know it’s just the awesomeness of God and His magnificent power. It still amazes me how He was never created; just always existed. But that’s God!
Verse 12: “A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise.” Again: Me do it. We don’t want to ask, “Hey, how do you do this?” It’s naturally in our human nature to want to be the one to do it. But we need help. We can’t do everything. Today, my challenge is for you to accept help from someone when you need it, not necessarily when they offer. If they do offer, take them up on it.
Verses 16-17. They read: “Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth and turmoil. Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” What is he saying? He says it’s better to have Christ than all the new iThings and cars and clothing designs. What will they matter? For life is like a vapor in the wind (James 4:14) and all of your earthly belongings will perish (Luke 12:33-34).
Verse 22: “Plans fail for lack of council, but with many advisers they succeed.” What is this? It’s telling us, AGAIN, to accept others correction. Not just correction, though, but also their opinion, their input. Why is this important? My sister had been pressing me to include input from the others that participate in an ensemble that Ray and I lead. Why did she want them to be included? Because their opinions matter. I included them, and you know what? It was the best song we sang (not to mention it was only the second one we sang, but still the best).
Verse 25: “The LORD tears down the proud man’s house but He keeps the widows boundaries intact.” Why is that? Pride comes before disgrace (Proverbs 11:2), and when disgrace comes, then they are humbled and seek the LORD. Why is God helping the widow like this? Because she’s needy, and the rich man would probably have her tossed off of his land without a second thought.
Verse 28: “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.” You need to think about what you say; and you should always ask yourself these 4 questions: 1.) Is it true? 2.) Will it build this person up [encourage them]? Does it need to be said? Is it said in love? These four things should always be considered before you give an answer or remark to a question.
Verse 29: “The LORD is far from the wicked but hears the prayer of the righteous.” He dwells in the hearts of all who believe in Him. DON’T GET THIS CONFUSED by saying, “Oh, the wicked can’t be saved, the righteous are the elect.” That’s not it at all. The wicked can still get saved, but the LORD doesn’t dwell in them, being that they haven’t believed in Him. Understood?
Verse 30: “A cheerful look gives joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” Why is a cheerful look and good news so important? Well, since the Good News is what we’re supposed to be sharing, can’t that bring health to the bones and joy to the heart?
Verse 33: “The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” If you put Proverbs 11:2 and Proverbs 15:33 together, it would look like this: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with humility comes honor. The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” These verses go along together perfectly. Notice, you must humble yourself before honor comes. John 3:33: “He must become greater, I must become less.” This humbling isn’t easy, I assure you! Have a great day, and I look forward to you reading my post tomorrow!