Pearls From Proverbs – Chapter Nineteen
We will now look at Proverbs chapter nineteen:
On Life and Conduct
1 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool. Proverbs 19:1 (NASB)
A blameless life is far more valuable than wealth, but most people don't act as if they believe this. Afraid of not getting everything they want, they will pay any price to increase their wealth – cheating on their taxes, stealing from stores or employers, withholding tithes, refusing to give even if there is a great need are some examples. But when we know and love God, we realize that a lower standard of living – or even poverty – is a small price to pay for personal integrity. Do your actions show that you sacrifice your integrity to increase your wealth? What changes do you need to make in order to get your priorities straight?
2 Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who hurries his footsteps errs. Proverbs 19:2 (NASB)
We often move hastily through life – rushing headlong into the unknown. Some people marry without really getting to know the other person. Others try illicit sex or drugs without considering the consequences. Some plunge into jobs without evaluating whether or not they are suitable to that line of work. Enthusiasm is no good without knowledge, and it will not make a bad situation better. Don't rush into the unknown. Be sure you understand what you're getting into and where you want to go before you take the first step. Obviously you cannot tell all that the future will hold – but do your homework – ask the right questions – and be sure you are following God.
3 The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the Lord. Proverbs 19:3 (NASB)
The foolish person makes bad choices and then will blame others – even God.
4 Wealth adds many friends, But a poor man is separated from his friend. Proverbs 19:4 (NASB)
This verse shows the character of many people. Money and popularity attracts many people – but is that true friendship?
5 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape. Proverbs 19:5 (NASB)
God knows when a lie has been spoken – and it will not go unpunished. Speak the truth – but remember to speak it in love.
6 Many will seek the favor of a generous man, And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts. Proverbs 19:6 (NASB)
Fallen human nature is to look out for one self above the needs of others. This is the case here. When there is a “generous man” people will flock to him – not to imitate him – but to get from him. God is generous – O how I wish people would flock to Him.
7 All the brothers of a poor man hate him; How much more do his friends abandon him! He pursues them with words, but they are gone. Proverbs 19:7 (NASB)
Again basic fallen human nature is at work here. If a person does not believe that they can receive anything of “value” from another – they will stay clear of them. But much can be learned from those who have little in earthly possessions.