Proverbs Chapter 14 Continued
Proverbs 14:19 “The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.”
This ancient custom was for the inferior to prostrate himself before the superior or wait humbly before the great one’s gate seeking favor. Good will humble evil.
This may not be true now, but is certainly the last state of the Christian and the evil. The believers in Christ shall reign with Jesus for 1,000 years, and they will rule over the wicked.
Proverbs 14:20 “The poor is hated even of his own neighbor: but the rich [hath] many friends.”
Social standing is improved with riches, but the good neighbor will have concern for all, regardless of their status.
We see here a selfish situation. One of the best illustrations of this in the Bible is the story of the Prodigal son. When he had plenty of money and was partying every night, he had just worlds of friends; but when the money was gone, his friends left, too, and he found himself feeding pigs for a few pieces of bread to eat.
This Scripture above is not speaking of true friends that stick closer than a brother, but is speaking of friends who are trying to get what they can out of you. A true friend loves you when you are poor as much as when you are rich. Jesus is the greatest friend a person could have.
This sad but true picture of human nature is not given approvingly, but only as a fact.
Proverbs 14:21 “He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy [is] he.”
We read in James what the royal law is:
James 2:8 “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well:”
We have used the Scripture before in these teachings, but it bears repeating again. The good that you do for others, the Lord counts as if you had done it for Him. In Jesus’ own words He said,
“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)
The reward we get for doing for those who cannot repay us is in heaven when we stand before Jesus. As to still being on earth, we have the fruits of the Spirit (as in Galatians 5:22-23).
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” “Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Proverbs 14:22 “Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth [shall be] to them that devise good.”
A person who is constantly figuring up ways to do evil is getting further and further away from God all the time. Their heart is becoming harder and harder. It will be difficult for them to come to the Lord and find life eternal. Those who are seeking to do good God pours out His mercy upon, and they know the truth.
Proverbs 14:23 “In all labor there is profit: but the talk of the lips [tendeth] only to penury.”
We can see in this that those who work reap a reward. It may not be in money, sometimes it is in just the satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best.
But the second person intended above is someone who always talks about work, but never actually gets around to doing anything. He never is rewarded in any way, because he doesn’t do anything. Penury meaning: (extreme want or poverty; destitution, extreme dearth; barrenness or insufficiency).
Proverbs 14:24 “The crown of the wise [is] their riches: [but] the foolishness of fools [is] folly.”
Sometimes we see the reward of the wise in riches. A person who uses wise judgment is better at business than a fool and sometimes is crowned with riches. Perhaps this is speaking more of godly wealth than earthly wealth also.
A fool and his foolish actions bring nothing but shame. This is emphatic language, playing on the word “fool” and showing that the only reward for fools is more folly.
Proverbs 14:25 “A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful [witness] speaketh lies.”
We can see in this someone who witnesses of the Truth (Jesus Christ), brings others to salvation. A true witness is never harmful, but does good. The truth produces justice, on which the lives of people may depend.
We Christians are to witness the truth to the whole world. That was the great commission Jesus gave us. Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
A deceitful witness destroys. The deceitful witness is of Satan himself. He is a liar and is son of the father of lies. Destruction is all he has to offer.
Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.”
(In chapter 1 verse 7), we discussed the “fear of the Lord”. That was the overarching theme of this book and particularity the first 9 chapters was introduced, reverence for God.
This reverential awe and admiring, submissive fear is foundational for all spiritual knowledge and wisdom.
We Christians know on whom we believe and have confidence that He will save us from the wrath to come. We are persuaded that He is able to do all that He has promised, therefore giving us strong confidence.
Hebrews 6:18-19 “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:” “Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;”
You see, Jesus has paid it all for us and made the way open unto God the Father for us. Jesus’ shed blood is our protection and refuge. Our place of refuge is in Jesus.
Proverbs 14:27 “The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.”
We read (in chapter 10:11), that the Lord is the source of this fountain which springs up in the wise man as wise speech, wise laws, the fear of the Lord and understanding.
We read (in Matthew), the only fear that is permissible is of God.
Matthew 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
God is our source of life. Jesus is also the one who condemns to eternal death, as well. He is the only one to fear. When we ask Jesus into our life, we depart from the snares of death.
Proverbs 14:28 “In the multitude of people [is] the king’s honor: but in the want of people [is] the destruction of the prince.”
If you were king of a great number of people, there would be more honor than to be king over just a handful of people. The king over a small group could be easily overthrown.
This is a truism stating that a king’s honor comes from the support of his people as they increase and prosper.
Proverbs 14:29 “[He that is] slow to wrath [is] of great understanding: but [he that is] hasty of spirit exalteth folly.”
The Bible says do not be angry without a cause and also says do not let the sun go down on your anger. Even Jesus got angry, but we must be careful what we get angry about. There has to be true justice involved. God is slow to wrath, but there is coming a day when the wrath of God will fall on those who have rejected Jesus.
I believe this Scripture above is telling us not to get angry about every little thing. That shows that our relationship with God is not what it should be. The Lord wants us to be forgiving and loving to even those who do not deserve it.
James 1:19-20 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
This is similar (to verse 17).
Proverbs 14:30 “A sound heart [is] the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.”
We know the person who has a healthy heart is usually in pretty good shape physically.
I believe this goes further than the physical and is speaking of a heart in tune with God. One of the main things mentioned in Romans 10:9-10 to be saved is to believe in the heart.
Envy and strife go hand in hand. Envy eats you up from within and will totally destroy you.
“The rottenness of the bones” speaks of suffering which is like a painful and incurable condition.
Proverbs 14:31 “He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoreth him hath mercy on the poor.”
God is the one who makes us rich or poor. We have very little to do with it. It offends the Creator when one neglects the poor, who are part of His creation.
In Psalms 10:2 we see, “The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devises that they have imagined.”
The whole meaning of this above is that if we love God, we will be good to the poor. But for the grace of God, the poor one would be us.
Proverbs 14:32 “The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.”
In 1 Thessalonians, we read that there are people who have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 “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.”
You can see that there is no hope for the one who continues in his wickedness and never turns to Jesus and His righteousness. These are the those that are driven away from God by their wickedness.
Then we see the righteous have hope of the resurrection as we read the next 4 scriptures.
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 “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.”
Proverbs 14:33 “Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but [that which is] in the midst of fools is made known.”
Wisdom is not something we go around bragging about. It is a gift from God. Wisdom is hidden deep within us. A fool goes around bragging and looks very foolish for it. A wise man is quiet and someone else notices his wisdom.
Wisdom is quietly preserved in the heart of the wise for the time of proper use, while fools are eager to blurt out their folly.
Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin [is] a reproach to any people.”
The United States was exalted as a nation for many years because we were founded upon Biblical principles. God blessed America because of its rich Christian heritage. Our country in recent years has gotten very far away from godly teaching, and we are becoming a reproach. As a nation, we must return to God quickly and God will help us.
2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
While just principals and actions preserve and even exalt a society, their absence shames a society.
Proverbs 14:35 “The king’s favor [is] toward a wise servant: but his wrath is [against] him that causeth shame.”
We see that many times the king will choose a godly man to take care of things in his country because of the wisdom God has given him. Joseph is a good example of this when he stored food and saved Egypt and his people as well.
Haman, in the book of Esther, was a good example of the king’s wrath falling on someone who brings evil. Haman was hanged by the king when he tried to destroy the Jews (read Esther chapters 3 through 9 to get the whole story).
Another example would be when King Darius’s princes conspired to kill Daniel by having him thrown into the lion’s den. Read the 6th Chapter of Daniel for the details.
Proverbs 14 Continued Questions
- Who will bow before the other, the evil or the good?
- How long will the Christians reign with Jesus?
- The poor is hated of his _________ but the rich has ___________.
- What story in the Bible is a good example of the poor being hated?
- What is the royal law in James 2:8?
- What happens to a person’s heart who is constantly devising evil?
- In all ________ there is profit.
- What is meant by the talk of the lips leading to penury?
- The crown of the wise is their __________.
- This witness that delivers souls is witnessing what?
- What was the great commission Jesus gave to the believers?
- A deceitful witness is of ________ himself.
- Who shall have a place of refuge in God?
- Who made the way open to the Father for us?
- Who are we to fear?
- The king’s honor is great because of what?
- Who is King of all kings?
- The Bible says do not be ________ without a cause.
- Who will God’s wrath fall upon?
- What is the life of the flesh in verse 30?
- In Romans 10:9-10, what must we do to be saved?
- What other sin goes hand in hand with envy?
- In Psalms 10:2, who persecute the poor?
- In verse 32, the righteous has hope in his _________.
- In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, what is the blessed hope of?
- Who goes around bragging all the time?
- In 2 Chronicles 7:14, what does God promise our nation?
- Why has America been so blessed?
- Who is a good example of the king choosing a godly man to help him with his country?
- Who is a good example of what happens to an evil man when his king finds him out?