Proverbs Chapter 16
Proverbs 16:1 “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, [is] from the LORD.”
We see here a godly man. One whose heart is stayed upon the Lord. Jesus taught us in His own words in Luke that the Holy Spirit would put in our mouth what we need to say.
Luke 12:11-12 “And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and [unto] magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:” “For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.”
God does not want us for our worldly abilities. He wants us because we are willing to be molded into His image.
Human responsibility is always subject to God’s absolute sovereignty.
Proverbs 16:2 “All the ways of a man [are] clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.”
We see here again, that man’s deeds are not always what the man really is. God looks into our heart and sees what our intents are. He judges the heart and not the deeds. The spirit of man is what we really are.
In other words, while man can be self-deceived, God determines his true motives.
This body is just a house we live in for a short time. Secular humanism teaches that we are the center of everything and that we should follow our own desires, but God says that leads to destruction. The flesh desires are what is right in our own sight. The spirit wants to please God and is truly the thing to do.
Proverbs 16:3 “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”
Every job we do should be done as unto the Lord. Jobs we do on our own are doomed to failure, but jobs done for Him are established forever. The thoughts that are established are the things the Holy Spirit of God has given you.
This scripture tells us that we must totally commit ourselves in the sense of both total trust and submission to the will of God. He will fulfill your righteous plans.
Proverbs 16:4 “The LORD hath made all [things] for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”
God made everything good. God did not make evil. Man has a free will and some choose to be evil, but God did not predestinate them to being evil. It is God’s wish that all would come to the knowledge of God and be saved in Jesus Christ, but some will not accept salvation in Jesus and they will go bad.
Here is an excellent illustration of this found in the book of Romans:
Romans 9:17-23 “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth.” “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?” “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus?” “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?” “[What] if God, willing to show [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:” “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,”
God’s foreknowledge allowed Him to know who the wicked would be.
Revelation 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Proverbs 16:5 “Every one [that is] proud in heart [is] an abomination to the LORD: [though] hand [join] in hand, he shall not be unpunished.”
God does not want us to be arrogant. Those who are proud of self, God turns away from. Pride is what caused Lucifer to lose out in heaven. He thought too highly of himself. He elevated himself in his own opinion up to the level of God the Father. This is the same mistake many Christians are making today. Some would have you believe that you will eventually be equal to God. This will never be. God will always be God, and we will be His servants.
We will even be His adopted children, but we will never be God. “Pride cometh before a fall”. Even if a great number band together hand in hand and believe that they will be God, it will never work. God will punish those who try to elevate themselves too highly (one at a time or a large group).
Proverbs 16:6 “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD [men] depart from evil.”
We see in this purging a step that Christians must take. We are all saved by faith in Jesus Christ, but we must walk in that saved condition. This purging is the doing away with the sins of the old life. God’s mercy and truth teach us a better way of life. It is our obligation to walk in newness of life (the better way). We must destroy (purge), the old habits.
If we truly love the Lord, we will have reverent fear of Him. We will be continually fearful of falling back into evil. This fear will not be because we are afraid of His punishment, but because we love Him and want to please Him.
Proverbs 16:7 “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
A man who is pleasing the Lord is living a peaceable life. He is doing unto others as he would have them do unto him. He is loving his neighbor as himself. This type of life leaves no room for argument. It is hard to be at war with someone who loves you. We see also, that those who love the Lord are blessed of Him.
But, this general rule does not mean that we will not receive persecution from some of those enemies
Proverbs 16:8 “Better [is] a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.”
I have seen so many people who have great wealth that they have acquired at the cost of their neighbors. These people are afraid to go to sleep at night. They have so many enemies that they have stepped on, to get to the top that they are in constant fear of retaliation from some of them.
Thank you, but I do not want any part of that kind of life, always afraid of losing what you have. Unlike the righteousness person in verse seven that if you had any enemies, they would be at peace with you.
Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.”
We see here, that man plans what he wants to do, but God decides whether it will happen or not. One of the best examples of this in all the Bible is found in the 12th chapter of Luke where the rich fool was so selfish and would not do God’s will with the abundance he had. He even tore his barns down and made greater barns to hold all his goods, but we will see what happened in Luke:
Luke 12:20 “But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”
It all comes down to this, our sovereign God overrules the plans of men to fulfill His purposes.
Proverbs 16:10 “A divine sentence [is] in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.”
I believe we see here that the king was the final word in the kingdom. When the king said something, it was carried out as if it were the law. Kings were supposed to judge fairly and in many cases did; but an evil king like Herod let the people worship him as if he were a god, and this is wrong.
A “divine sentence” does not imply any occult practice that is forbidden, but one that is literally a decision from divine wisdom, in the words of the king who represented God. The king was under mandate to seek out and speak God’s wisdom as David (in 2 Sam. 14:17-20), or Solomon (in 1 Kings 3:9-12). Also, Christ as King (in Isaiah 11:2).
Proverbs 16:11 “A just weight and balance [are] the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag [are] his work.”
God will not permit false weights. In all of God’s dealings, we will see exactness; and He expects that from us, as well. God established weights and measures for His people, and He does not like for anyone to change them. Much more is taught on this in Exodus. God detests dishonesty.
Proverbs 16:12 “[It is] an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.”
Social influence for good or bad is in view here.
We know that a king is king because God allowed him to be in that position. There is a great responsibility to anyone in authority. They must live lives of dedication and sacrifice if they are to be a good king. They should set a good example for the rest of the people.
When they don’t, God will remove them. A king, who follows after God’s ways, will be king a long time; but an evil king will be overthrown.
Proverbs 16:13 “Righteous lips [are] the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.”
Everyone loves the truth. A king would especially love it. We learn in our Genesis study how Joseph was quickly elevated to the second in command in the land when he told the king of Egypt the truth about his dream.
Proverbs 16:14 “The wrath of a king [is as] messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.”
The king can speak death to someone he is ruling over if that person gets out of line. The best thing to do if you are subject to him is to please him if you can.
This scripture points to the king’s power of “life or death,” which can be abused or used for good.
Proverbs 16:15 “In the light of the king’s countenance [is] life; and his favor [is] as a cloud of the latter rain.”
When the king is smiling and light hearted, you know there is not to be any executions. Life is in the king’s smile. If you have pleased him, you will flourish in his kingdom, as the crops are more abundant when it rains at just the right time before harvest.
Proverbs 16:16 “How much better [is it] to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!”
We discussed in a previous lesson how all the gold and silver in the world cannot buy you eternal life. We also talked about with wisdom and knowledge, you could acquire gold and silver.
In Proverbs 3: we discussed how divine wisdom yields the richest treasures (described in verses 14-18 as “profit,” “long life,” “riches,” honor,” “pleasant ways,” “peace,” “life,” and “happy”).
Proverbs 16 Questions
- The preparations of the heart in man and the answer of the tongue is from whom?
- In Luke 12:11-12, what did Jesus tell us to take no thought of?
- If God does not want us for our worldly abilities, what does He want us for?
- Man thinks he is alright in his own eyes, but God searches what?
- What teaches a false doctrine of man being the center of everything?
- What should we do if we want our thoughts to be established?
- Who did God make all things for?
- Even the wicked for the evil day means what?
- In Revelation 4:11, why was everything created?
- Everyone that is proud in heart is what to God?
- What caused Lucifer to fall?
- Will we ever be God? Explain.
- What is iniquity purged by?
- What causes men to depart from evil?
- It is an obligation of Christians to do what?
- If we truly love the Lord, we will have ____________ fear of Him.
- If a man please the Lord, who will be at peace with him?
- Better is a ________ with righteousness than __________without right.
- In chapter twelve of Luke, who does God call a fool?
- Who has the final word in an earthly kingdom?
- Who actually causes someone to be king?
- Who established true weights and measures?
- What is it an abomination for a king to do?
- Who did we study about in Genesis that a king made second in command?
- The wrath of a king is a messenger of ___________.
- A king’s favor is as what?
- What is better than gold?