Proverbs 10:1-16: Live Wisely!
August 10, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Now we come to a section of Proverbs where each verse is focused on a particular proverbial statement. Sometimes it is possible to detect larger themes, but often the overall larger theme is wisdom: the fear of the Lord being the beginning of wisdom. Sometimes the Proverbs are not describing things as they should be, but instead are describing things as they actually are. It is important to not always assume that the description of a pattern of behavior in Proverbs is necessarily an endorsement of that particular pattern of behavior.
Read these Proverbs and ask God to give you the wisdom in these areas that it is describing.
Because “a wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother” (10:1), it is important for us to be the kind of son that would give joy to our parents.
Because “ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value, but righteousness delivers from death” (10:2), we are wise if we do not cheat or steal or manipulate to get what it is not rightly ours, but instead focus on the righteousness of Christ.
Because “the Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked” (10:3), it makes sense for us to believe God and follow what he teaches.
Because “lazy hands make for poverty but diligent hands bring wealth” (10:4), it makes sense for us to be hard working. Similarly, because “he who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son” (10:5), we are wise to work hard, especially when the opportunity presents itself to “harvest.”
“Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked” (10:6), and therefore, once again aim to be righteous. Similarly, because “The name of the righteous is used in blessings, but the name of the wicked will rot” (10:7), therefore aim to be righteous.
Because, “The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin” (10:8), accept God’s commands! Similarly, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out” (10:9), and therefore walk in integrity.
Some forms of communication, whether loose lipped on the one hand or overly secretive on the other, can cause real damage: “Whoever winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin” (10:10). Therefore, be careful how we use our words. Similarly, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence” (10:11); therefore, not only be wise about how we use words, but also be discerning about how other people use words.
We hear that “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs” (10:12). This does not mean that sentiment alone can assuage for moral sin, but that loving community can forgive and forget sins so that restoration and resolution is possible. The key is love; therefore, grow in love for others (cf. 1 Peter 4:8).
Because “Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense” (10:13), we should aim to grow in our ability to discern between what is right and what is wrong, what is best and what is worst, what is good and what is best of all. Similarly, “The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin” (10:14), so therefore be quick to learn and slow to speak.
Be careful with money, for “The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor” (10:15). But at the same time remember there are things far more important than prudence with finances: “The wages of the righteous is life, but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death” (10:16).
Take each of these proverbs, consider their truth, and then pray that God would help you to live your life wisely as a result!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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