The Power of Words

READ : Proverbs 18-21 Several proverbs talk about “a fool.” In each case he shows his folly through his words. A fool is not interested in understanding, but only in giving his opinion. What he says leads to his hurt. He is ready to give an answer to a question before he has really heard what the question is. Words are so important that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (18:21). As someone has said, “Never …

A Gentle Tongue

READ : Proverbs 15-17 Proverbs stresses the proper use of the tongue. A God-controlled tongue gives a “soft answer” and therefore helps in peacemaking. Such a tongue “dispenses knowledge” and “is a tree of life.” Those who hear the speech of a good man benefit from it. His lips “spread knowledge” and are “a delight.” The rest of the Bible speaks similarly. We are taught to be careful how we use that powerful instrument, the tongue. It can do much …

Portrait of a Good Man

READ : Proverbs 12-14 The proverbs describe a good man. He “loves discipline” and “listens to advice.” He is not a know-it-all, but realizes he has much to learn. His thoughts “are just”; that is, his thought life is honest, not like the wicked whose thoughts are “treacherous.” His words are true but also gracious, so that they “bring healing” in the relationships of human beings to each other. He “ignores an insult”; he does not allow the unkind words …

Wisdom Calls

READ : Proverbs 8-11 In chapter 8 and the first part of 9, Wisdom continues to call us to follow her teachings so that we may avoid folly and experience blessings. In the last part of 9, folly is also personified as a woman who calls in the same way, but who calls to the wrong kind of life which ends in death. Both call, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here” (9:4,16). Still today, God calls us to …

My Son, Be Attentive

READ : Proverbs 4-7 Solomon wants to be sure that we take his message seriously. Again and again he calls his pupil to be attentive. He is concerned about the reception of his message because he is convinced that it will make a real difference in the life of the reader. And it will! The major theme of this section is that we are to avoid adultery because of its tragic consequences. In vivid language we are warned about sexual …