Proverbs Chapter 15
Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
It takes two people to have an argument. If we will look here, we see that we must answer softly. The worst thing we can do is pout and not talk. Perhaps, we should silently pray a few minutes and then answer quietly. Screaming never accomplishes anything. It just causes a fight.
Angry words bring angry words in return. The first thing you know, there are problems difficult to settle, because everyone has said too much. The best way is to stay calm and talk quietly.
Proverbs 15:2 “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”
The tongue is a mighty weapon. The wise are very careful about what they say. They choose their words carefully. A fool blurts out whatever comes to mind. He takes no thought at all for what he says. He stays in trouble by the words that come pouring from his mouth.
Proverbs 15:3 “The eyes of the LORD [are] in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
In Revelation, we read about the symbolic meaning of eyes (which mean great wisdom). In this verse, I believe, this is speaking of the Lord being omnipresent (being everywhere all the time). He knows everything we do, even if it is done in cover of darkness. God is not out to get us. He sees all the good we do as well.
Proverbs 15:4 “A wholesome tongue [is] a tree of life: but perverseness therein [is] a breach in the spirit.”
Words can destroy or words can heal. The wholesome tongue speaks beautiful words of hope. That tongue speaks life and not death.
The “Tree of Life” is a metaphor referring to temporal and spiritual renewal and refreshment. The wholesome tongue of the preacher brings the good news of the gospel, and if the message is heeded, it brings eternal life.
This perverseness is probably lies being spoken that will do harm to others.
Proverbs 15:5 “A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.”
A fool will not accept instruction, especially from his father.
He is a “know it all” has to make every mistake for himself instead of learning from others mistakes.
A person who takes instructions well will be saved much pain and suffering. He learns from other’s mistakes and doesn’t have to pay for each mistake himself.
Proverbs 15:6 “In the house of the righteous [is] much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.”
In this, we see two ways of getting treasure. The righteous has much treasure, because he has earned it fairly and God has blessed him. The wicked earns theirs in an unlawful way, ill-gotten gain is soon lost.
Proverbs 15:7 “The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish [doeth] not so.”
In Luke we read of two different messages the lips bring.
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.”
We see the heart is where the message originates.
Proverbs 15:8 “The sacrifice of the wicked [is] an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright [is] his delight.”
We see one of the first offerings in the Bible being rejected by God. Cain’s offering was unacceptable to God. Cain even killed his brother because of his jealousy.
External acts of worship, though according to biblical prescription, are repulsive to God when the heart of the worshiper is wicked.
Prayer changes things. God listens to our prayers. We see all the Patriarchs praying to God. Great men of the Bible such as Moses, Joseph, and David all prayed often to God. Even Jesus prayed to the Father.
God likes for us to pray. Prayer is a time for fellowshipping with God. We read in Philippians:
Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
When you pray, what does God hear? Is it the words you use or something else? What does this following scripture mean?
And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weaknesses; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (see Romans 8:26-27).
So does this mean that it is not what comes from our mouths that God hears, but what we pray filtered through the Holy Spirit who searches our hearts for what we really believe and are saying? I believe so.
Proverbs 15:9 “The way of the wicked [is] an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.”
This is speaking of a way of life. A pattern is set to either walk the broad way of wickedness which leads to destruction or to walk the straight and narrow path which pleases God. There are only two paths. We must go on one or the other.
The path of righteousness is the path Christian must take.
Proverbs 15:10 “Correction [is] grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: [and] he that hateth reproof shall die.”
Forsaking the way of life is intended here. Jesus is the Way of truth and righteousness and to forsake Him brings death.
Sin has to be repented of and corrected to get in the way which leads to life. Those who reject repentance and correction (in Jesus), shall die in their sins.
Proverbs 15:11 “Hell and destruction [are] before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?”
We see by this that hell and destruction are fully known of God. God also, can see into the heart of man and knows what is in each person’s heart.
God even knows the desires of each person’s heart. He knows the desires of our heart before we pray. But He wants us to pray.
Proverbs 15:12 “A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.”
This scorner is an arrogant, conceited person who dislikes anyone who tries to correct him. This possibly has to do with not wanting to be taught about God.
And of course, the wise would be telling him about God.
Proverbs 15:13 “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”
I have said so many times that you can look into the eyes of a person and tell what is inside them. If your heart is merry, your eyes will sparkle and there will be a big smile on your face. When the heart is sorrowful, the eyes are dull, and a big frown is on your face.
The spirit of man being broken goes along with the sorrow. Sorrow affects not only our outward look but affects one’s spirit in a negative way, as well.
Proverbs 15:14 “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.”
We see that the heart’s desire of the first person here is to seek even more knowledge. The fool is always hanging on to every foolish thing he hears. He feeds on falsehoods.
Proverbs 15:15 “All the days of the afflicted [are] evil: but he that is of a merry heart [hath] a continual feast.”
We see, that this affliction is not physical, but probably had to do with depression. We see a person whose depression is almost continuous. This person never sees anything good; he looks at the dark side of life.
The contrast here is he of a merry heart sees everything from a positive attitude. Life to him is a continuous joy. The righteous always are at peace.
The joyous inward condition of the wise man’s heart is described as a perpetual feast. Real happiness is always determined by the state of the heart.
Proverbs 15:16 “Better [is] little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.”
We have said in an earlier lesson in Proverbs fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fear of the Lord brings a relationship with God that will get you to heaven. There is no treasure great enough that it would be worth trading eternity with God for.
Wealth many times brings sorrow. Christians should be content with whatever state they are in. Wealth sometimes keeps people away from really close relationship with God. It would be much better to be poor and close to God.
Proverbs 15:17 “Better [is] a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.”
This is telling us again, that pleasant company is far more important at a meal than the food on the table.
A dinner of herbs or vegetables is the typical dinner of the poor.
The ox is speaking of some fairly expensive meat. Herbs here, is speaking of a meal of vegetables. I heard someone say that for many years they didn’t have enough money to buy bacon and eggs for breakfast, and they just had gravy and bread. She said we were happy and didn’t even realize we were missing anything.
Happiness is what we are all looking for, not some special food.
Proverbs 15 Questions
- In verse 1, what turns away wrath?
- What kind of words stirs up anger?
- What is the worst thing we can do in a discussion?
- What does the mouth of a fool pour out?
- Describe a wise tongue?
- Where are the eyes of the Lord?
- What does that tell us about the Lord?
- What is the symbolic meaning of eyes?
- What is the tree of life in verse 4?
- What does the wholesome tongue of a preacher bring?
- What is the difference in a wise man and a foolish man?
- Where is the treasure found?
- The lips of the wise disperse____________.
- Where does the message that comes from the mouth originate?
- When the wicked sacrifice to God, it is an _________ to Him?
- How are we to let our requests be known to God?
- What are the only two paths of life open to us?
- Correction is grievous to whom?
- What 2 bad things are before the Lord?
- What lets us know how much God knows about each of us?
- Who is the scorner in verse 12?
- A merry heart makes what?
- Describe the look of a person with a sorrowful heart.
- What does a fool feed on?
- All the days of the afflicted are _____________.
- What kind of affliction are we talking about, probably?
- Better is little with fear of the Lord than what?
- What reward will fear of the Lord get you?
- Better is a dinner of herbs where _______ is than a stalled ox and hatred.
- What is this telling us is more important than fine food?
- What are we all looking for out of life here on this earth, other than God?