Proverbs Chapter 13 Continued
Proverbs 13:14 “The law of the wise [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.”
“The fountain of life”: The Lord is the source of this fountain, which then springs up in the wise man as wise speech and wise laws, the fear of the Lord and understanding.
We see that God’s rules, that wise men live by, bring everlasting life. If we listen to God’s instructions, not only are we promised life eternal, but it helps us live this life successfully, as well. Godly living keeps us away from drugs and excessive alcohol which destroys so many lives today.
Proverbs 13:15 “Good understanding giveth favor: but the way of transgressors [is] hard.”
Good understanding gives us favor with God and man. We are told that God will cause even our enemies to live at peace with us if we live pleasing to God (we read this in Proverbs 16:7).
Proverbs 13:16 “Every prudent [man] dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open [his] folly.”
This prudent man is speaking of a man who carefully considers a thing and makes his decision after having all the facts at hand. A man like this will not make many mistakes.
The fool jumps in without considering the facts. He talks so much he exposes his position, and we see him making one mistake after the other. This vivid language shows that a fool displays folly like a peddler openly spreads out his wares for others to see.
Proverbs 13:17 “A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador [is] health.”
We see in this someone who is called to do a job, and instead of delivering the message sent, carries a false message. He is headed for problems whether he is working for God or man.
An ambassador is someone who represents someone else. A faithful ambassador is one who gives the exact message you would give yourself if you were there. This type of person does you good.
Proverbs 13:18 “Poverty and shame [shall be to] him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honored.”
Those who will not take instruction will have to pay for their own mistakes and will wind up poor and ashamed at their failures.
He that learns from others will be successful and that success will bring honor.
Proverbs 13:19 “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but [it is] abomination to fools to depart from evil.”
When a person strives morally and legally to fulfill his desires, in the end that accomplishment is very sweet to him.
The fool doesn’t strive legally or morally. He enjoys the sinful life and has no desire to change. They do not care that what they are doing is sin. They are living to please the flesh. Living for worldly pleasure is the desire of fools. His relentless pursuit of evil and hatred of good does not ever let him taste the sweet blessings of obedience.
Proverbs 13:20 “He that walketh with wise [men] shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
This is speaking of the power of association which helps to shape character.
We have a tendency to become like the people we associate with. If the people you are with are arrested for a crime, you will be arrested, as well. You will be called an accomplice to the crime because you are with the criminal.
We see someone who is a companion of someone successful and that person will try hard too. I have noticed that we try harder to do just as well as the person we are with. Competition creates success.
Proverbs 13:21 “Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repaid.”
An evil person is constantly looking over his shoulder. He has a guilty conscience. He is constantly expecting punishment for the evil he has committed. There is no peace, only torment.
The righteous are in direct contrast to this. They have a clear conscience, knowing they have done their best. The Bible teaches “give and it shall be given unto you”. This is not just money, but good deeds as well. If you are helping others every chance you get, you will always have help when you need it. You cannot out give God.
This is a basic principle throughout Proverbs and is illustrated throughout the Old Testament which establishes that righteousness brings divine blessing and evil brings divine cursing.
Your reward waiting in heaven is great, but there are rewards here, as well. Jesus said, “In as much as ye have done it to unto the least of these, you have done it unto Me, also”. Your good deeds are recorded in heaven.
Proverbs 13:22 “A good [man] leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner [is] laid up for the just.”
The children of Israel receiving the land of Canaan from those who would not follow God’s ways are a really good example of the last half (of verse 22). For every blessing God promises to the just, there is a curse to those who will not follow God’s ways. A good man is not an alcoholic, he does not practice incest, he is not a liar and he is not a thief.
His eyes are stayed upon God. He walks straight forward, headed for heaven. He is honest and works hard for what he gets. He is a good steward of what God has entrusted to him; and instead of wasting what he makes on worldly things, he saves so that he can help his grandchildren get a start.
The greatest heritage a grandparent can leave is to live uprightly and teach the grandchild to live uprightly. A Christian heritage is the greatest gift we can give our grandchildren. God looks kindly on the children and grandchildren of the Christians.
While good men’s estates remain with their families, the wealth of the wicked does not. In the providence of God, it will ultimately belong to the righteous.
Proverbs 13:23 “Much food [is in] the tillage of the poor: but there is [that is] destroyed for want of judgment.”
“Tillage” here means freshly ploughed ground. It appears here that a poor man can find the food that he needs by plowing new ground as he is rewarded from the provision from his efforts.
We see that lack of judgment causes destruction. This is referring to those whose efforts are brought to ruin by their deeds of injustice.
Proverbs 13:24 “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”
We see in this Scripture that if we want our children to be successful in life, we must train them well when they are very young. Early childhood teaching requires both parental discipline, including corporal punishment and balanced kindness and love.
If a parent intends to help their child, they must correct them when they are wrong. The best way for the lesson to be remembered is for the correction to be made accompanied with a spanking. If we love our children, we will spank them when they are wrong. One who has genuine affection for his child, but withholds corporal punishment, will produce the same kind of child as a parent who hates his offspring.
We learn that God corrects His children that He loves, as well.
Hebrews 12:6-8 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”
You see, if God loves you, He will correct you when you are wrong.
Proverbs 13:25 “The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.”
In Psalms 37:25 “I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” There seems to be special provision made for the righteous by God.
In Luke, we see this in Jesus’ own words,
Luke 12-31 “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
God will bless those who follow Him. They will not hunger or thirst. There is no such provision made for the wicked. There is a curse that goes with wickedness. In the end, the wicked shall be in want.
Proverbs Chapter 13 Continued Questions
- In verse 14, what is a fountain of life?
- What keeps the Christian away from drugs and alcohol?
- In Proverbs 16:7, we are told that who will live at peace with us if we live godly?
- In verse 16, what is the prudent man speaking of?
- What is this foolish man doing?
- Who is a wicked messenger?
- Who is a faithful ambassador?
- If a person refuses instruction, what two things can he expect?
- Someone who accepts instruction and learns from others shall be successful. What does success bring?
- What two words describe how a Christian will strive?
- A fool who has no desire to turn from sin is living for what?
- Who should you walk with if you want to be wise?
- Who are arrested as an accomplice to crime?
- Why is the evil person constantly looking over his shoulder?
- What did Jesus say about doing for others?
- Who does a good man leave an inheritance to?
- What will eventually happen to the wealth of the sinner?
- What is the greatest heritage we can leave our children and grandchildren?
- What does the word “tillage” mean in verse 23?
- Who in verse 24 hates his son?
- What is the best way for a child to remember a correction?
- What will the Lord do to those He loves?
- In Psalms 37:25, what do we see about the righteous?
- What are we to seek first?
- What is the final fate of the wicked?