Howdy! Glad you’re joining me today as we go over Proverbs 16. Open your Bible to verse 3. It says: “Commit all your plans to the LORD, and they will succeed.” Do journal work on this verse.
Verse 4: “The LORD works out everything for His own ends — even the wicked for a day of disaster.” The LORD works out…Man may go against His plans, but God works His plan through what they do. He can override our power and, although we may not do it to help Christ, He will work through it. Here’s a biblical example of this happening: “Because of my chains, most of my brothers in the LORD have been encouraged to speak the Word of God more courageously and fearlessly. It is true that some preach Christ out of anger and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former speak Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in either way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, I continue to rejoice, ” This is God working through the people who preach through selfish ambitions. But what does it matter? Christ is getting preached!
Verse 8: “Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.” As I was telling a friend the other day, justice is not just getting what you deserve, but giving what you owe. So, it’s like this: You see somebody drop ten dollars. Hurray! You just got the rest of the money needed to buy that new video game! But wait – that’s not yours! You are faced with a choice: Take it back to the man who dropped it, or keep it and get the video game. Here is what happens if you give it back: The man says “Thank you!” heartily and walks off. If you keep it: You buy the video game. You play it and you get the highest score in the video game-junkie group that you joined. So what? The right thing to do would be to give it back. That’d be the “righteous deed”. But, if you kept it and bought the video game with it, that’d be the “much gain with injustice”.
Verses 12-13: “Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness. Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth.” Like I said in another post, you give more opportunities to truthful subjects, but you don’t give big responsibilities to foolish or untrustworthy people.
Verse 16: “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!” Why is this? Wisdom is priceless. You can’t buy it. You can’t sell it. You have to learn wisdom. You can sell gold and silver, they’re materialistic things. Wisdom is priceless. You can’t get enough wisdom.
Verse 18: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” There was a character in a skit whose name was Prideful Pete. Obviously, he was prideful. As Prideful Pete said, “I’ve got the muscular frame and the know-how for this race. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a race to win.” Then, the narrator says, “Did you just take the right exit?” Sure enough, Prideful Pete falls in two ways in the skit: 1.) His pride was crushed. 2.) He fell off the cliff. The cliff was supposed to represent his pride falling, though.
Verse 22: “Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it, but folly brings punishment to fools.” To those who have understanding, yes. Why? Because if he knows some of the dangers, he knows where they are and how to avoid them. The evil works of the fools (which don’t avoid the evil dangers) will catch up to them, though.
Verse 25 is interesting. Look at it: “There’s a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” This is exactly what Solomon said in Proverbs 14:12! Mark Cahill said, “If the Bible repeats something twice, then it’s GOT to be important.” This is important. Why? Because man thinks that he can make his own decisions and live his life without turning it over to God, but the truth is that we need God to be the head of our lives in every way.
Verse 27: A scoundrel plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire.” What does it mean that “his speech is like a scorching fire”? Well, everyone knows that fire can burn, and burns can leave scars. Also, a person’s words can wound someone badly, so make up the issue before resentment between you and the offended person appears.
Verse 31: “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” As you probably either know or guessed, the “gray hair” part is talking about age, and the “righteous life” is talking about how you’ve followed Christ through your life. Now, the main point is that as you get older and serve Christ in your life, you develop wisdom – a wisdom in Biblical things, and a wisdom for instruction. So heed the advice of your elders; they are the wisest people on earth. Again – compare what they say with the Bible. If all lines up, you can accept their advice.
Verse 32: “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than takes a city.” This verse is warning of a quick-tempered man who does not know how to control his anger, such as Samson (see Judges 14-16). These men are dangerous, and can cause great harm to others. They tend not to treat their animals well, too.
Verse 33. Let’s look at the NLT version for this one: “We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.” Wow. Again, Christ works through our efforts. We try to do things through our effort, but God makes them fall the way they do. God bless your day.