Wisdom is delivered to those who are willing to learn. These proverbs come from a loving father to a generation that is strong in their own understanding. Deviation from wisdom will bring a few pains that should help the learning process. Adherence to them should help one grow grey hair and comfort to age well. Forgetting or abandoning wisdom will cost you the inheritance of life. There will be many valuable warnings in the word of God; learn to recognize the signs of danger.
16 The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
Here are the words of understanding, the wisdom of the Proverbs. But continue in faith because God has given his son to buy us a pardon for falling short. When we turn to the messiah of God we are empowered to overcome our failings. But to reject redemption is to embrace the second death.
17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
A party is not an everlasting joy. Living only for entertainment and lust is a field that never gives life. Wine and drugs are tools to turn off pain, motivation, and service to others. In a self serving pleasure there is no value to others, and no paycheck.
18 The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.
When the righteous are threatened, who will we throw out to the enemy? The closest evil thief that we can find. If the boat of pilgrims is sinking, who gets thrown overboard? Oh the one that everyone knows as a troublemaker.
19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
Well many men enjoy living in the wilderness, so a bitter relationship would motivate giving it a try. With a really nasty woman, the man is rewarded by having all the work of living in the wilderness. Alaska will seem like a tropical paradise!
20 There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
Olive oil is part of many wonderful meals, and oil was to fuel lamps in the past. Oil can relieve dry skin and soothe wounds. A home that has this and many other treasures is the product of wisdom. Foolishness will waste assets and lacks the planning to protect investments. The future is barren without wisdom.
21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.
Righteousness is made up of many things that are unpopular today. The bible demands sexual purity, honesty, and peaceful ways. One must be different to stay on course to reach righteousness in this society. Being a Republican or a Democrat will not take you there. The people of God are citizens of his kingdom before the nations of this world. They are a peculiar people but they achieve the real rewards of life and honor.
22 A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.
Many have education, degrees, and credentials but lack common sense. And even more lack the uncommon sense to obey God. Those who are wise souls can overcome the defenses of the proud, the powerful, and the self-important.
23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
Oh does our new president have a world of fun awaiting him as he tweets his daily insults! Being loudly opinionated marks one as having a target on his back. Every president ages faster in this job, but this will be a season of great strain.
24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
Anger and pride are barriers to listening and understanding. To have only scorn for others deprives you of a warning when the opponent is in the right. Marching resolutely into battle where only defeat awaits is the heritage of the haughty. This belongs to both sides of most arguments. Everyone is wrong some of the time.
25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.
We cannot produce food, shelter, and survival without making the effort. Even the wealthy will face the violence of thieves without diligence. Having a day of lazy pleasure will lead to the day of death.
26 He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
The slothful again, the lazy one has wants but never moves to make it happen. A righteous working man has the means for himself and for others as well. He makes that available to people in need because it is God’s will to help.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
One who is generous with ill gotten gains is an offense to God. How much more if the sacrifice is a show to impress others or it is a cover for secret crimes.
28 A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.
One who brings a false accusation against the innocent has signed his own death warrant. God is the judge and always sees and hears only the truth. HE is the ultimate witness and judge. But a witness who hears both sides of events, who accepts wisdom, who tells the truth, is assured of eternal life and an audience for the ages.
29 A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.
One who is evil at heart will not turn from the error of his present bad direction. He will not hear any other point of view, or consider his own errors. But a man of honor can compare the arguments with true wisdom and he can change his direction as needed.
30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord.
What the world considers wisdom or “politically correct” often falls short of the scriptural commandments of God. When science is in error but used to discredit the bible it will eventually be discredited. We do not understand all of science, nor all of the will of God yet. We can understand the mind of Christ when we are willing to surrender to his word. No other human wisdom will stand against that in the end.
31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord.
Horses are magnificent servants of man. They can be trained for war, and remain faithful to their rider even after tasting the horrors of it. For all their courage and strength they are not always able to deliver their man of war from death. God is the ruler of the fate of men and nations. We should heed his word, which is this bible, and it is also his son Yeshua. The word of God in Revelation describes four horses that herald the judgment of God. We need to understand the word, the messiah of God as we enter these days of judgment. These horses bring riders who will not fail in their warfare.