Proverbs Chapter 10 Continued
Proverbs 10:18 “He that hideth hatred [with] lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, [is] a fool.”
What really is a “fool”? Really, a fool is someone who has undeniable proof before them and still will not believe. They are not able to determine truth but will prefer to believe a lie.
Once in the Canadian Rockies, we were in a spot surrounded on every side by the most fantastic snow-covered mountains that I had ever seen. No two of them were alike in color or shape, and this man said, “only a fool could look at this and say there is no God”. You see, a fool has no understanding at all.
Lying is having no understanding of why we must tell the truth. A person who tells something untrue about someone else and tears down their good name has no understanding and is therefore a fool.
Both the harboring and venting of hatred are wrong and will be punished. Slander, (gossip or lies), is forbidden.
Proverbs 10:19 “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips [is] wise.”
The person who listens learns. Talking too much leads to sin. A loose tongued person is boring and noisy and really not very likely to learn anything new. When you are talking, you cannot listen.
Wisdom is to restrain the tongue since much speech risks sin.
Proverbs 10:20 “The tongue of the just [is as] choice silver: the heart of the wicked [is] little worth.”
As we have said in all these studies, silver is symbolic of redemption. A person, (Christian), who is just and upright, uses his tongue to tell others about the salvation of Jesus. As we have said before, the source of all that we are, good or bad, is in the heart. A person with a wicked heart is continually doing evil.
Tongue and heart are words used as parallel terms because they are inseparably linked.
Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
Choice silver means good words are scarce, precious and valuable.
Proverbs 10:21 “The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.”
The type of food that this is speaking of is spiritual food. In Matthew, we read in Jesus’ own words,
Matthew 4:4 “It is written man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”.
The word of God proceeding from the lips of the righteous feed them spiritually. This is speaking of the salvation message. As we said, in the lesson above, a fool has no understanding and doesn’t want any. He will die in sin.
As sound teaching benefits many, the fool starves himself to death spiritually by his lack of wise teaching.
Proverbs 10:22 “The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.”
Abraham was blessed of God because of his great faith. We see that God will pour out His blessings (not only spiritual, but physical as well), on those that love Him and walk in His ways. In our Genesis study, we saw this of Abraham. I will quote just one verse here to prove the point.
Genesis 13:2, “and Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” Abram (Abraham) had length of days, and a son in his old age (Isaac) because he had faith in God. He had no curse (sorrow) from God only blessings, because he walked uprightly before God.
The term “No Sorrow” means that none of the sorrow that is associated with ill-gotten wealth is associated with wealth provided by the Lord.
Proverbs 10:23 “[It is] as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.”
A fool (someone who lacks understanding), finds pleasure in sin. He is not only happy in the sin, he does evil to others as well. This just contrasted to someone who understands there is a better way.
Proverbs 10:24 “The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.”
In James, we read that God answers the prayer of the righteous.
James 5:16 “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Fear is not of God, those who are continually wicked fear judgment and punishment, because they know they deserve to die.
The righteous receive what they desire, while the wicked receive what they fear.
Proverbs 10:25 “As the whirlwind passeth, so [is] the wicked no [more]: but the righteous [is] an everlasting foundation.”
A “whirlwind” comes up in a hurry, and is gone in a hurry and that is the end of someone evil, as well. They may appear to prosper quickly, but it is soon gone. The righteous is solid as a rock. In fact, they are lively stones building the foundation of Christianity on the earth.
1 Peter 2:4-5 “To whom coming, [as unto] a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, [and] precious,” “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
Proverbs 10:26 “As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so [is] the sluggard to them that send him.”
If you send someone out to do a job, you do not want him being lazy and laying around (sluggard). If you have someone this lazy working for you, it is painful to you just like it is painful to put pure vinegar on your teeth. It makes them burn.
Defined: As the acidity of vinegar causes the unpleasantness and pain to the teeth, and by softening and dissolving alkali of the bone, impairs their texture, and renders them incapable of mastication;
Smoke in your eyes causes you to cry, and I believe that is what is meant here. Truly someone who is supposed to do a job and won’t, will bring you tears. You can imagine how God feels when He calls us to do a job for him and we are too lazy to carry it out.
Defined: As smoke, by irritating the tender vessels, causes the eyes to smart, and prevents distinct vision; so a sluggish messenger is a continual vexation and loss to those by whom he is employed (see Isa 65:5).
Proverbs 10:27 “The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.”
As we studied previously in Proverbs:
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord”
The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. The fear of the Lord is a state of mind in which one’s own attitudes, will, feeling, deeds, and goals are exchanged for God’s.
When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.
The recurring promise of Proverbs is that generally the wise (the righteous who obey God), live longer (9:11), prosper (2:20-22), experience joy (3:13-18), and the goodness of God temporally (12:21), while fools suffer shame (3:35), and death (10:21).
Ecclesiastes 7:17 “Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?”
You see, good lives lived for God sometimes bring long life. One of the commandments is to honor father and mother, and that promises long life. It is pretty easy to see how someone who lives the evil life is certainly in danger of early death. They visit places where killing and cheating is going on (such as beer parlors and gambling places). Fear of God keeps us walking a holy path.
Proverbs 10:28 “The hope of the righteous [shall be] gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.”
In 1 Thessalonians, we see the blessed hope of the believer which brings gladness, because we will live with Jesus; but the wicked have no hope of resurrection to eternal life.
In 1 Thessalonians we read of the rapture.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” “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.” “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:” “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.” “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Proverbs 10:29 “The way of the LORD [is] strength to the upright: but destruction [shall be] to the workers of iniquity.”
The blessings of God are for those who walk in the way of the Lord. Jesus calls himself the Way. The Way of the Lord is the path of the Light on which each Christian can walk uprightly and not stumble and fall.
God’s blessings are for those who obey him and walk in his commandments. The curses (destruction), are for those who work iniquity; who live after the flesh and not after the spirit.
Proverbs 10:30 “The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.”
In the “Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus said in Matthew:
Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek for: they shall inherit the earth”.
Those who are in right standing with God are to reign with Christ. The wicked not only cannot expect good things now but certainly have no future to look to. They are doomed to hell.
Psalms 37:9-11 “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.” “For yet a little while, and the wicked [shall] not [be]: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it [shall] not [be].” “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
Proverbs 10:31-32 “The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.” “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked [speaketh] frowardness.”
We read in Romans 3 of the evil mouth, tongues and throat.
Romans 3:13-14 “Their throat [is] an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips:” “Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness:”
You see this is describing an evil mouth. This mouth is an opening where the issues of the heart come forth. This person has an evil heart. The message from the heart is in the mouth.
Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Proverbs Chapter 10 Continued Questions
- How is a fool described in verse 18?
- What is a fool, really?
- What is better than speaking a multitude of words?
- The tongue of the just is as choice _________.
- The source of all that we are good or bad is where?
- What is meant by “the lips of the righteous feed many?
- What did Jesus tell us in Matthew 4:4 about food?
- Why was Abraham blessed of God?
- What three things was Abram rich in?
- A fool thinks mischief is what?
- Who is a fool?
- What does James 5:16 tell us about the prayers of the righteous?
- What do those who continually sin fear?
- In verse 25, the wicked are compared to what?
- What are the righteous compared to?
- Who is the cornerstone?
- What is a sluggard?
- What does verse 26 mean when it says “as vinegar to the teeth?
- What is indicated by “smoke to the eyes”?
- In verse 27, what prolongs years?
- Why would you expect the sinful man to die early?
- What blessed hope in 1 Thessalonians 4 do we see?
- What is 1 Thessalonians chapter 4:13-18 commonly called today?
- The blessings of God are for whom?
- Curses are for whom?
- In the “Sermon on the mount” what are the meek promised?
- Romans 3:13 tells us what about the evil mouth?
- What does Romans 10:9-10 teach us about the mouth?