Lectionary Calendar
Friday, June 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 14

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-35

Chapter 14

Continuation of the contrasting of goodness and evil.

Every wise woman ( Proverbs 14:1 )

And wise and foolish contrasted always, too.

Every wise woman builds her house ( Proverbs 14:1 ):

She takes care. She takes pain. She takes effort to really build her house. A wise woman. It, to me, is a very tragic thing that today there is so much pressure upon women to be something other than good wives and keepers of the home. It's almost made a downer to a woman if she's just a good mother and housekeeper. "Oh, you're just a housekeeper? Oh, you know. You don't have a career? Oh, you know."

The other day my wife and daughter signed up for exercise class at the Y.M.C.A. And the woman just kept talking to my daughter and almost ignoring my wife, just, you know, and was just so interested in my daughter. And my wife got upset, she said. She later on said to my daughter, "You know, that woman was extremely rude to me. She was just spending so much time with you, it's just because you're young and I'm old. And I don't appreciate the fact that people just ignore a person when they get older and all and giving you so much time." And Jan sort of said, "Well, Mom, you know," and trying to pass it off. And finally Jan says, "Well, Mom, if you want to know the truth," she said, "On the application where it says occupation I put down writer, you put down housewife. That's why she was paying so much attention, because, you know, career." And the world you know, "Oh, you're a writer. Oh my! You know, blah, blah, blah. Oh, you're a housewife?"

"But a wise woman builds her house." I'll tell you, there's no greater reward in all the world than to see the fruit of a wise woman who has built a house in which there is love and security for the children, who can grow up in that kind of an environment and blossom forward into manhood and womanhood. What a reward and what a blessing! "The wise woman builds her house."

but the foolish plucks it down with her hands. He that walks in his uprightness fears the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despises him. In the mouth of the foolish is the rod of pride: but the lips of the wise will preserve them. Where you have no ox, the corn crib is clean: but with much increase is by the strength of the ox ( Proverbs 14:1-4 ).

You know, don't brag because your corn crib is so clean. It could be that you have no oxen.

A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies. A scorner seeks wisdom, and cannot find it: but knowledge is easy to him that understandeth ( Proverbs 14:5-6 ).

It used to be always after the test in school someone would say, "Well, was it a hard test?" And I'd always respond, "Not if you know the answers." Only hard when you don't know the answers, you know. Then it's tough, because, man, you got to think of something and make up something. That makes a hard test. But if you know the answers, the test isn't hard at all. So, "The knowledge is easy unto him who understands." No problem if you understand it.

Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you perceive that there is no knowledge in his lips ( Proverbs 14:7 ).

Some guy just spouting off, and you perceive the guy's a nut; just walk away. Don't subject yourself to him.

The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit. Fools mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favor ( Proverbs 14:8-9 ).

Oh, how fools love to mock at sin. How much we see today the mocking of sin. "Oh, I suppose I'm a sinner," you know, and people mock at it.

The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger does not intermeddle with his joy. The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tent of the upright shall flourish. There is a way which seems right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death ( Proverbs 14:10-12 ).

So what is the way that seems right to man but ends in death? Is it narrow and is it straight? Or is it broad? Jesus said, "Strive to enter in at the straight gate. Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it. But broad is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, many there are that go in thereat" ( Matthew 7:13-14 ).

"There is a way that seems right unto man." You hear people today say, "Well, all roads lead to God." Not according to Jesus Christ. He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by Me" ( John 14:6 ). All roads may lead to God, but which god? You see, there's only one path that leads to the Father. There's only one way to the Father--that's through Jesus Christ. So, "There is way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death."

If you are walking in any other way other than Jesus Christ, you're walking in a path that's going to ultimate in death. Separation from God. There's only one way, Jesus Christ.

Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness ( Proverbs 14:13 ).

That is, for the man who is walking in the path of death.

The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself. The simple believes every word: but the prudent man looks well to his going. A wise man fears, and departs from evil: but the fool rages, and is confident. He that is soon angry deals foolishly ( Proverbs 14:14-17 ):

How many times we have made foolish mistakes in a fit of anger. We've responded, we've reacted in anger. And we've done foolishly. He that is soon angry, quick-tempered, will deal foolishly. You do foolish things with that quick temper.

and a man of wicked devices is hated. The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous. The poor is hated even of his own neighbor: but the rich hath many friends. He that despises his neighbor sins: but he that has mercy on the poor, happy is he. Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good. In all labor there is profit: but the talk of the lips tends only towards penury. The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly. A true witness delivers souls: but a deceitful witness speaks lies. In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. In the multitude of people is the king's honor: but in want of people is the destruction of the prince. He that is slow to wrath is of good understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalts folly. A sound heart is the life of the flesh ( Proverbs 14:17-30 ):

This is an interesting thing. How did Solomon know that?

but envy is the rottenness of the bones ( Proverbs 14:30 ).

Envy can destroy. Sound heart, it's just life to your flesh.

He that oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker: but he who honors him has mercy on the poor ( Proverbs 14:31 ).

If you really honor God, you'll have mercy on the poor. Now, there is much the Bible says in Proverbs concerning the poor and the attitude that we should have towards the poor. And God's attitude towards the poor. Again, you might look that up through your concordance.

The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope even in his death ( Proverbs 14:32 ).

You bet I do. A living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Wisdom rests in the heart of him that has understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known. Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people ( Proverbs 14:33-34 ).

If I had anything to do about that kind of thing, I would have this over the Capitol, over the Supreme Court, over the White House. I would have this all through Washington, D.C., and in every state capital. This motto, "Righteousness exalts a nation: sin is a reproach to any people." The history of the nation of Israel, oh that we could read it and study it and benefit by it, because it was all written for our examples. God put the whole thing there as an example to us that we might learn. And what is the lesson to be learned from the history of the nation of Israel? Whenever they honor the Lord and sought the Lord, God blessed them and prospered them and they were strong and they subdued their enemies and they lived in happiness and prosperity and peace. Whenever they turned from the Lord and turned to the flesh and lived after the flesh, then they were subjugated by their enemies. They came into bondage and they were destroyed. Oh, how important that a nation be established in righteousness. "Righteousness exalts a nation."

The king's favor is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him those that cause shame ( Proverbs 14:35 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Proverbs 14". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/proverbs-14.html. 2014.
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