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Summary: This is a look at Proverbs chapter 14.

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Pearls From Proverbs – Chapter Fourteen

We will now look at Proverbs chapter fourteen:

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

1 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1 (NASB)

Here again the wise and the foolish are contrasted. A wise woman is a great blessing to a family.

The affairs of the family are made to prosper. Debts are paid, portions raised, provision made, the children well educated and maintained, and the family has comfort within doors and credit without – thus is the house built. But many a family is brought to ruin by a foolish woman (or a foolish man for that matter). A person who has no fear of God within them (foolishness) – will live a life that reflects their beliefs – and the path is to their own destruction.

2 He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, But he who is devious in his ways despises Him. Proverbs 14:2 (NASB)

Here are some advantages of having “the fear of the Lord”:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Psalms 111:10 (NASB)

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7 (NASB)

“The fear of the Lord prolongs life.” Proverbs 10:27 (NASB)

“In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence.” Proverbs 14:26 (NASB)

“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life.” Proverbs 14:27 (NASB)

“The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom.” Proverbs 15:33 (NASB)

“By the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil.” Proverbs 16:6 (NASB)

“The fear of the Lord leads to life.” Proverbs 19:23 (NASB)

3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod for his back, But the lips of the wise will protect them. Proverbs 14:3 (NASB)

The King James version speaks of pride in this verse:

“In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.” Proverbs 14:3 (KJV)

Here we see that the way of the foolish brings on their own punishment. It is brought on by their own mouth. But note too that the mouth of the wise protects them. Is this not proof enough that what we say has great importance?

4 Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox. Proverbs 14:4 (NASB)

Herein is a great proverb. I love this verse. Where there is no oxen there is no manure. But guess what? There is no income either.

When a farmer has no oxen, the stable will be clean but he will be unable to make a living. The only way to keep your life free of people problems is to keep it free of people. But if your life is empty of people, it will have no reward. Dealing with people is messy – because each of them produces their own manure. But if you live only for yourself – your life loses its meaning. Instead of avoiding people, we should serve others, share our faith, and work for justice.

5 A trustworthy witness will not lie, But a false witness utters lies. Proverbs 14:5 (NASB)

The character of a person shows through. A liar – lies. A thief – steals. A dishonest person is dishonest. I know that we all make mistakes – but we all need to ask ourselves: “Is that my character showing through or am I acting out of character?”

6 A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none, But knowledge is easy to one who has understanding. Proverbs 14:6 (NASB)

We all know mockers, people who scoff at every word of instruction or advice. They never find wisdom because they don't seek it seriously. Wisdom comes to those who apply God's Word to their lives and seek out godly counselors. If the wisdom you need does not come easily to you, perhaps your attitude is the barrier.

7 Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge. Proverbs 14:7 (NASB)

The company you keep does make a difference. To live in the presence of a fool – will make on foolish. In time they will not be able to discern words of knowledge.

8 The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, But the foolishness of fools is deceit. Proverbs 14:8 (NASB)

Barnes has said of this verse: “The highest wisdom is for a person to understand his own way. The most extreme folly is self-deceit.”

9 Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is good will. Proverbs 14:9 (NASB)

Fools don’t take sin serious. When conviction comes knocking on our door – we need to answer.

10 The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its joy. Proverbs 14:10 (NASB)

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