Proverbs Chapter 14
Proverbs 14:1 “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.”
We can see in this the husband builds the house and the wife makes it a home.
Dad is the head of the family, but mother is the heart that glues it together. I believe a family’s morals are directed by the mother. The mother spends a great deal more time with the children than the dad does. Mother can make it a happy home or a sad home.
We will read and learn a great deal more about this when we get to (chapter 31 of Proverbs).
I will say just one thing more here and then go on. In many of our churches today, there are several times as many women in attendance as there are men. This should not be so, but we cannot deny the facts. Mothers of America, lead your family to church with you.
Proverbs 14:2 “He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but [he that is] perverse in his ways despiseth him.”
In Nehemiah, we see that our walk is not only important to us but is important to the heathen, as well.
Nehemiah 5:9 “Also I said, It [is] not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?”
You see, it is very important that we walk in our salvation after we receive it. There is someone watching you to see if you live the way you preach or teach. The very best sermon you can preach is to walk uprightly before God and man. The perverted person actually is totally opposed to God and His ways. Perversion is unnatural sin.
God tells us to walk the narrow, straight way to Him. The perverse way is crooked and leads to destruction. Perversion is an abomination before God. It is doing all sorts of unnatural things the Bible strictly forbids.
Proverbs 14:3 “In the mouth of the foolish [is] a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.”
In 1 Samuel, we read:
1 Samuel 2:3 “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let [not] arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD [is] a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.”
You see, arrogance and pride try to force our opinions on others and this is wrong.
In Matthew 12:37 we see “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” We see that our good words save us.
In this scripture, the rod is a metaphor for the proud, inflicting tongue in a fool’s mouth, which destroys the fool and others.
Proverbs 14:4 “Where no oxen [are], the crib [is] clean: but much increase [is] by the strength of the ox.”
This is the very same saying as “a clean stable means you have no horses”.
We all know where animals are, there is evidence of their being there. We see here, that even though the animal leaves a mess, it is very important to have him to work. Without the ox to pull the plough, there would be no crops. No crops lead to poverty.
Proverbs 14:5 “A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.”
In court, a false witness can be tried themselves for perjury. There is nothing worse to a neighbor than someone who tells lies about them.
Proverbs 14:6 “A scorner seeketh wisdom, and [findeth it] not: but knowledge [is] easy unto him that understandeth.”
We see that wisdom is for the humble who are eager to be taught. A scorner is not humble and cannot receive instruction in wisdom.
We see in the second part of this scripture, a teachable person who understands can accumulate more and more knowledge. The main thing is to remain humble enough to be taught.
Proverbs 14:7 “Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not [in him] the lips of knowledge.”
Avoid association with all who cannot teach you wisdom.
This is just saying to listen to the words coming out of your friend’s mouth, if they are not godly words and are lacking in knowledge, don’t have him for a companion. You will become like the person you have for a close friend. The minute to leave is the first moment you see that he used bad language.
Doesn’t this kind of go against the idea of staying around people so you can “witness to them”? Witness or become a close friend.
Proverbs 14:8 “The wisdom of the prudent [is] to understand his way: but the folly of fools [is] deceit.”
We see here in the wise person, one who carefully considers the options and takes the best way for him.
The fool is deceived and rushes off into things without considering the consequences. Their way is to cheat every way they can. Be sure your sins will find you out.
Proverbs 14:9 “Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous [there is] favor.”
We see this in our society today. Anything goes is the motto. Sin is being made to look as if it is the best thing to do. Movies of all kinds (X-rated, R-rated, PG-13, and PG), are all full of sin. If you are a Christian, you should not watch any of the above.
You see only a fool would practice sin. Those in right standing with God (righteous), make better choices and in doing so they are in good favor with God.
Proverbs 14:10 “The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.”
We see in this Scripture that the feelings of our own heart are private. It is difficult for someone else to feel grief that is in your heart. If the grief is personal in nature, your grief is deeper than the onlooker’s. The same thing is true with joy. You can share joy with a friend, but it is impossible to feel the greatness of it if it is not happening to you.
Fools ridicule their impending judgment while the wise are promised favor with God.
Proverbs 14:11 “The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.”
The wicked are only interested in building big, fine homes here. They are not thinking of the future at all. This life is one that leads to destruction. Things we accumulate here on the earth we leave behind when we die. We came into the world naked and our going out will be without earthly goods.
The Christian on the other hand knows that his true home is in heaven. Abraham knew this when he gave up his home in Ur of the Chaldees and dwelt in tents. He was looking for a city whose builder was God. We Christians should be looking to the heavenly city (New Jerusalem).
Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.”
The problem with the chosen children of God in their journey was that they did what was right in their own sight. We must not listen to fleshly desire which leads to sin and death. This new teaching (new age movement), tells us if it feels good, do it. That is very dangerous. The flesh (feel good) walk will lead, as I said, to sin and death.
Two ways are offered to people, the narrow gate and the wide gate. The narrow gate is by faith, only through Christ, constricted and precise. It represents true salvation in God’s way that leads to life eternal. The wide gate includes all religions of works and self-righteousness, with no single way in, but it leads to hell, not heaven.
Christ continually emphasized the difficulty of following Him. Salvation is by grace alone, but is not easy. It calls for knowledge of the truth, repentance, submission to Christ as Lord, and a willingness to obey His will and Word.
Proverbs 14:13 “Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth [is] heaviness.”
Sometimes a person is laughing on the outside, but crying on the inside. The laughter is a cover up to keep from crying. The world’s laughter will bring grief. We also can see in this, that worldly fun (drinking, etc.), makes you appear to be happy for the moment, but come tomorrow is the hang-over and grief.
Proverbs 14:14 “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man [shall be satisfied] from himself.”
Backsliding is listening to the lust of our own flesh. We are in a battle of the flesh against the spirit. To walk before God in a pleasing way and be satisfied with our own walk, we must put the flesh under the rule of the spirit.
The term backslider in heart was a term so often used by the prophets and is here used in such a way as to clarify who is a backslider. He belongs in the category of the fool, the wicked, and the disobedient and he is contrasted with the godly wise. It is a word that the prophets used of apostate unbelievers.
Proverbs 14:15 “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent [man] looketh well to his going.”
We see here that a person should not believe every word someone says. We should always check what we are told the same as the Bereans (in Acts 7:10-11).
1 John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
Proverbs 14:16 “A wise [man] feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.”
This verse is a carry-over from the one before. This wise man here fears getting involved with the sins of the world and examines everything he is about to do to see whether it would be pleasing to God or not. The fool has confidence in himself and not in God. His self-confidence encourages him to do things against God’s law and man’s law and gets him into trouble.
Proverbs 14:17 “[He that is] soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.”
This contrast is between the hasty anger that is labeled as folly and the deliberate malice which produces hatred.
A hot-tempered person flies off before all the facts are in and winds up doing foolish things.
In the last of these above, we see this evil person is not just hot tempered and impulsive but actually plans to do evil. The second person commits premeditated sin. He is guiltier than the one who sins in anger.
Proverbs 14:18 “The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.”
The simple are the unlearned whether by choice or by birth. They inherit folly or foolishness because they do not separate good from evil very well. They don’t make good decisions and are led away into sin.
The prudent however, (as we have said before), checks everything out and judges from his accumulated knowledge what is good. He is thought of by others (crowned), to be very intelligent: crowned with knowledge.
Proverbs 14 Questions
- What does every wise woman do in verse 1?
- What does the foolish woman do?
- What is the difference in the call of a husband and wife in the home?
- Which is larger in attendance in our churches today, men or women?
- In verse 2, who is said to fear the Lord?
- A perverse person actually __________God.
- Who is our walk important to beside ourselves?
- What is the best sermon you can give?
- What is perversion?
- What is meant by rod of pride?
- In 1 Samuel 2:3, we are warned against what?
- In Matthew 12:37, we read that we are justified by what?
- What is the condition of the crib where there are no oxen?
- A clean stable means what?
- What would happen to a farmer with no animals?
- What kind of witness does not lie?
- In court, what is lying under oath called?
- Wisdom is for whom?
- Who is a scorner?
- What should you do when you find your friend is foolish lacking in knowledge?
- The wisdom of the prudent is to ________ his way.
- What is going on in our society today that fits the meaning of “fools make a mock at sin”?
- What knows a man’s own bitterness?
- What will happen to the house of the wicked?
- What home are the Christians looking forward to?
- Why did Abraham dwell in tents?
- What is wrong with the “new age” movement?
- What does “even in laughter the heart is sorrowful” mean?
- What causes a person to backslide?
- What does the simple believe?
- In 1 John 4:1, what are we warned to do?
- A person who is soon angry deals __________.
- Which is worse, quick temper sin or premeditated sin?
- What are the prudent crowned with?
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