Proverbs 19:1-3 NASB
Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool.
Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge,
And he who hurries his footsteps errs.
The foolishness of man ruins his way,
And his heart rages against the Lord.
Oh, how my heart breaks that so many people have chosen the wrong path, the way that leads to destruction, instead of the way of holiness. Tears are streaming down my cheeks just thinking about it all. So many people are so obstinate and stubborn and so driven by their flesh to the point of stupidity, and it will come back and bite them, most certainly, although in their pride they think they will be untouched.
Because nothing has happened to them, in the way of chastisement, and they have been able to go on in their folly, perhaps for a long while, they falsely think that nothing will happen to them, but that is false logic.
They are lacking in good sense and good judgment because they are being ruled by their pride and their flesh, instead of being ruled by God. And, it isn’t that they lack knowledge, but that they are without understanding, because they have not moved the knowledge they possess from the head to the heart, and it has not been applied to their lives.
And, so they run ahead headlong right into danger because of their pride, and because they truly think that God will do nothing about it. And, that will be their downfall, for the scriptures teach that we will all reap what we sow, either in this life and/or in the next. What goes around comes around, and there will be consequences for our actions, whether good or bad.
Proverbs 19:8-10 NASB
He who gets wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good.
A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who tells lies will perish.
Luxury is not fitting for a fool;
Much less for a slave to rule over princes.
So, if he who gets wisdom loves his own soul, then what does that say about those who never get wisdom, because of their own obstinance and pride? I believe it says that they hate their own souls, and Jesus said that hate is the same as murder. In other words, when people stubbornly go on in their sinful practices, thinking that they are unstoppable, they are hating their own lives, for they are choosing a death warrant over life.
Those who make a practice of lying, deceit, trickery, manipulation, gossip, slander, and the like, will not go unpunished, though many think that they will, because they have believed Satan’s lies that say they can keep on in their sinful lifestyles and still have the hope of heaven when they die.
But, punishment isn’t always reserved for after we leave this life. Many times we face natural consequences for our foolish and sinful choices while we live on this earth. God is very patient and longsuffering, though, and he does allow evil to exist, and his grace often withholds punishment for a long while, giving people the opportunity to come to their senses, and to repent.
But, God also sets limits, and he is the God of truth, and he will do what he says he will do, and he does warn, even the church, of punishment if they do not repent of their sinful ways and return to faithfulness to God.
Proverbs 19:11, 15-16 NASB
A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger,
And it is his glory to overlook a transgression…
Laziness casts into a deep sleep,
And an idle man will suffer hunger.
He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who is careless of conduct will die.
It is good if we can all exercise much discernment and good judgment when we feel we have been wronged by another, and if we are not quick to anger or quick to accuse without knowledge. This is certainly not saying that we should make allowances for sin or that we should excuse away sinful behaviors, but that we should not get angry and get even when we feel we have been wronged. Instead, we need to forgive and restore.
It is not good to be a lazy person. It is good if we have adequate rest from our labors and if we take time alone to get refreshed in our walks with God consistently. But, not one of us should be lazy, i.e. we should not be someone who does nothing or little, and just lives to please self, and does not carry their load nor are they interested in following Jesus in obedience. Thus, if they are careless about their conduct, they will not know true life.
Proverbs 19:19-21 NASB
A man of great anger will bear the penalty,
For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.
Listen to counsel and accept discipline,
That you may be wise the rest of your days.
Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the Lord will stand.
There are many people whose lives are controlled (ruled) by anger, by bitterness, by resentment and by their pride, too. And, if you do try to help them, and they do not learn, you will have to do it again, and again, and again, because they are living their lives on a cul-de-sac, just going around in circles, and never going anywhere, because they will not let go and let God have control.
What all of this comes down to is who is in charge of our lives? Are we being ruled by anger, hatred, unforgiveness, pride, bitterness, lust and the like? Or is Jesus on the throne of our lives? Whose counsel are we following? Our own? That of other humans? That of God? Or, the counsel of Satan who lies to us? Do we make our own plans, even if they are contrary to God’s plans for our lives? Or, are we truly following the counsel of the Lord?
Proverbs 19:22-23, 25 NASB
What is desirable in a man is his kindness,
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.
The fear of the Lord leads to life,
So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.
Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd,
But reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge.
Oh, I “Amen!” that first half of that first sentence! But, kindness is not going soft on sin nor is it lying to people so they won’t be upset with us. It is never kind to lie or to deceive or to knowingly and willfully let people go on in their sins without warning them of the consequences and letting them know that Jesus made a way out for them from their slavery to sin.
Oh, and that is SO true that the fear of the Lord leads to life. But, this fear is not about being afraid of God in the sense that we feel as though he is out of reach or that, as Christians, he is standing up there with a hammer ready to strike every time we fail. He will chastise us, though, if we stubbornly refuse his loving rebukes and we choose to go headlong into our own folly, instead.
The fear of the Lord, thus, is to give him honor, respect, admiration, praise, worship, obedience, and submission. And, it is to walk in his ways and in his truth because we love him, because of what he did for us in dying for our sins so that we could be delivered from our chains (our bondage to sin).
Proverbs 19:27-29 NASB
Cease listening, my son, to discipline,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.
A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice,
And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity.
Judgments are prepared for scoffers,
And blows for the back of fools.
It is so important that we listen to God, that we do what he says, and that we follow his counsel, and that we not race ahead in our own stubbornness in doing what our flesh desires. For, if we forget God and His Word, and we do what our flesh dictates, instead, then we must know that it will not go well for us.
It is critical, as well, that we become truth tellers, for telling lies seems to be so acceptable these days, even among those who call themselves Christians. So many people lie as a matter of practice, and our culture and even some of the church even encourages and promotes this telling of lies.
The thing of it is, not only do we destroy our own lives, and the lives of others, when we choose to go our own rebellious ways and to not listen to our creator, but we are only insuring that judgment of some kind will one day come knocking on our doors. For, again, we will all reap what we sow. So make sure you are sowing what is honorable, what is of God, and what is righteous and holy, and not what is of your flesh, or you will die without hope (See: Gal. 6:7-8; Gal. 5:19-21; Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17).
An Original Work / October 5, 2018
Based in part off Proverbs 27
Better is Love’s chastisement
From a friend,
Than to have your sins coddled
To no end.
Wisdom is seeing danger –
Flees from sin,
Trusting in your Redeemer,
Jesus is your salvation –
Freed from sin –
Giving you life eternal,
Trusting in His provisions,
Simply by giving your life
All to Him.
Living your life for Jesus
Tell of His mighty power,
Lives to save.
Listening to Him speaking
To your heart,
Tell of His grace which gave you
A new start.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 – Lord Jesus, help us all to take Your Words to heart and to believe You, and to not go our own stubborn ways in rebellion against You. Help us to walk with You always in integrity and in purity. Amen.