Open In Site    Close Window

Proverbs 14-17


A Devotional Journey 
    led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
        The entire section between Proverbs 10 and 22 is composed of contrasts, so it is no surprise that in chapter 14 the pattern continues.  The consequences of unconsidered talk are described in verse 3; in verse 7, the dangers of association with those who do not honor God (in both Psalms and Proverbs, the foolish are always considered to be those who reject God)Perhaps the most famous proverb in chapter 14 is in verse 12: There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death (see also 12:15 and 16:25).
        Chapter 15 begins with the famous line: a soft answer turns away wrath  Similarly, in 15:18, we are told: A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.
Another of the famous proverbs in this chapter is found in verse 22: Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.  Similarly, is 15:32: He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding. 
        Chapter 16 makes clear that God is the final evaluator of human conduct (see 16:2), and only He can guarantee success (v. 4) and When a man=s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him (v.7).  Ultimately, only God has control, regardless of our ideas or plans (v. 9).  In fact, ...every decision is from the LORD. (v. 33).
        Chapter 17 emphasizes the importance of thoughtful and disciplined relationships:    He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends (v. 9); Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam ... (v. 14); A friend loves at all times ... (v. 17); A man of knowledge uses words with restraint....Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent... (vs. 27-28).
        Our words and the hearts behind them are crucial to both our blessing and success.  How careful are you with words?  Do you ever pass on gossip or negatively interpret the lives and motives of people you know or see, to others?  Ask God to show you how to use your tongue more wisely.  As Proverbs 12:18 puts it: ...the tongue of the wise brings healing.  Today, begin working to become a healer in that sense.

8 A. Eugene Pearson 2011