WISDOM REVEALED…Highway 60 in the Salt River Canyon, Arizona
The last study illustrated a road on a dark rainy night in Arizona. What you could not see on that dangerous drive was the horrific drop into the canyon below. This overlook is on the edge of the same road; on a sheer cliff that justifies the slow cautious drive of the former night. There are cars and trucks wrecked in the bottom of this canyon, and memorials to the dead. Wisdom will encourage you to use the light of these lessons to find life. As you grow in wisdom you will understand the revelation of what you have been saved from.
11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
Well chosen words are diplomatic and encouraging, they bring people together to build prosperity. But the evil heart waits to place a trap, and offers bait to draw others to destruction. these want no peace, but wait for blood.
12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
This may seem obvious. Hatred doesn’t leave things alone, it looks for trouble, and usually reaps more of the same. Love is just as active in the opposite direction, protecting the guilty, being a friend. Love absorbs our imperfections with patience.
13 In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.
The words of a wise man survive investigation and give evidence of his wisdom. At the same time a fool cannot hide his crimes, and the rod of correction is sure to find him. These are simple instructions with simple plus or minus results. Any questions?
14 Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
If wise men seek and keep knowledge they prosper by this. But knowledge alone may not overcome foolishness. Foolishness runs right past all the knowledge available and goes too fast for the wet roads in the night. Foolishness has a few seconds of free fall to consider the violent end pending.
15 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.
A rich man is surrounded by wealth, bodyguards, lawyers and doctors. He has his own castle of privilege and protections. The poor are already in the midst of their destruction. The very poor are homeless and hopeless. But everyone can find hope in the salvation of Jesus. There is still a place where miracles change lives for those who have faith.
16 The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.
For Joseph and Daniel being prisoners was not a bar to prosperity. A convicted sex offender became the prime minister of Egypt, and a prisoner of war of Babylon and Persia. They performed their prison jobs as unto the Lord and prospered. Meanwhile their enemies were following evil to be caught in their sins. God has a path that is appropriate for everyone.
17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
There are maps that suggest what lies ahead, and the bible also gives such an outline. The road itself is posted with yellow warnings about downgrades, curves and speed limits. So life has laws and enforcers that hope to slow us enough to keep us from the pit. If we reject correction are we prepared for the cost?
18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
Now life also has people who claim to be honest, and speak softly only to preserve the element of surprise for their victims. And these that also tell a lie to falsely accuse the innocent are also fools. This is different from self destruction because it targets a wound against someone else. This will blame the innocent and offend the judge at the same time.
19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
When there is a conflict there is always a chance that the judge will not share your opinion. Having a lot to say often gives your opponent ammunition against you. One who is telling a lie needs a lot of lies to weave enough web to snare himself. Hold your tongue and let the truth account for itself.
20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.
We like to remember heroes from Hollywood, but few maintained an image of truth like John Wayne. I think God wants us to be slow to anger and honest even more than an actor could be. In real life there are people around us who live in a greedy little world of hatred that only knows how to fight against peace. No one wants to live with such a hater and their world is all bitterness as a sour belly.
If we take care in our passage there is a path to safety that harms no one. The words of wisdom are offered here to shelter you from the depths of sorrow and despair. Follow this road and its warning signs to a city of refuge.
Consider the maps for seamen. If a boat is churning up mud in its wake, it suggests that you are in shallow water. If you slow down the bow will drop and the stern will rise, allowing the prop to clear the rocks below. You can then check the charts for deeper water, or continue at full speed to wreck the boat. Some find destruction in spite of every navigational aid and advice available.