Bible Reading: Proverbs 15.12-22
A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise. 13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. 14 The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly. 15 All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast. 16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it. 17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it. 18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. 19 The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway. 20 A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother. 21 Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead. 22 Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.
Isn’t it awesome that God gave us Proverbs! They provide simple instruction to see the consequences of God’s way versus our way. Here in verses 12,14,20,21, and 22 we continue to find the promotion of the importance of wisdom. Verses 16 and 19 describe true mysteries that make no sense to our earthly minds.
In verse 16 and 19 we find three principles that God continually tries to teach us about. The first is that fear is good for you! What? That goes against all of our human nature. But the fear of God is better than anything. The second is that having wealth brings problems. We all think that wealth should remove problems, right? But with wisdom, we know wealth becomes our God. And the third is regarding laziness. Our culture is all about the goal of weekends, vacations and retiring where we can be lazy. But that’s foolish as we know that lifestyle brings mental, physical and spiritual pain.
A scoffer is a know-it-all. Someone who won’t get help or take criticism. (v.12) He misses out on much in life because he relies on himself alone. You will recognize someone who is wise as you will see them seeking knowledge (v.14), pleasing their parents (v.20), walking a straight path (v.21) and seeking counsel (v.22). You can recognize a fool as they happily act stupid (v.14, 21), disrespect their parents (v.20) and their plans just never work out (v.22).
Before I started serving Jesus, my plans never seemed to work out and I consistently had relationship problems. I was one of those people that thought they knew everything. That seems so foolish to me today….how could I think I knew everything when nothing consistently went well?
As we start this new year, pray in earnest for God to send you wisdom through the Holy Spirit. Don’t just rely on yourself to “try and do better”. With God helping you to gain wisdom you will increase your peace, joy and find the contentment that you have always desired.
Memory Verse: There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14.12