The Proverbs of Solomon
10 The proverbs of Solomon.
A wise son makes a glad father,
but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.
Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.
The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
A slack hand causes poverty,
but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot.
The wise of heart will receive commandments,
but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
Whoever winks the eye causes trouble,
and a babbling fool will come to ruin.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses.
On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found,
but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.
The wise lay up knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.
A rich man’s wealth is his strong city;
the poverty of the poor is their ruin.
The wage of the righteous leads to life,
the gain of the wicked to sin.
Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,
but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever utters slander is a fool.
When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die for lack of sense.
The blessing of the LORD makes rich,
and he adds no sorrow with it.
Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool,
but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
What the wicked dreads will come upon him,
but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more,
but the righteous is established forever.
Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
so is the sluggard to those who send him.
The fear of the LORD prolongs life,
but the years of the wicked will be short.
The hope of the righteous brings joy,
but the expectation of the wicked will perish.
The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the blameless,
but destruction to evildoers.
The righteous will never be removed,
but the wicked will not dwell in the land.
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.
Proverbs 10 Commentary
by Hank Workman
For the next 14 chapters of Proverbs we read short snappy statements with depth of wisdom written. These couplets are what we would commonly recognize as proverbs. Ranging in topics they direct toward wisdom for godly living on every stage of our lives. In each chapter it contrasts the wise and the foolish or wicked individual.
“He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool. When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, the heart of the wicked is worth little. The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of understanding.”Proverbs 10:18-21
There are those who like to speak their mind and let the chips fall where they may.
There is absolutely no wisdom to this. Many times their words spoken from their sinful heart are destructive. They do damage, set a forest fire of hurt in another person’s life. The strange thing is those I know who do this often are quite proud of this trait. There is absolutely nothing to be pleased with doing such a thing. It’s a sign of arrogance and foolishness. Humility is the furthest thing from their personhood. Their words tear down rather than build up, which we as the Body of Christ are expected to do.
Over the years, through countless mistakes, I’ve learned and am still learning the importance of when to speak and when to stay silent. There are times we must speak into a situation or give an opinion but must be mindful our words will either be like silver or worth nothing more than dirt. This is not an art form. This is relying on the Holy Spirit through all situations. It’s not allowing our emotions to rule our hearts bubbling out in what we say.
I had a friend who is a police officer and a strong Believer. He told me one time that no matter what call he is out on he is praying. He’s praying for wisdom in the situation and what to say. In fact, I remember being mesmerized by the fact he would sometimes stop mid-conversation, bow his head and ask God to give him the words. Impressive? Well, yes it is. But it showed to me the absolute power of a man’s relationship with Jesus and wanting to have his words be right. He was and is actively growing in his faith and making a difference.
Opportunities for what we say are given to us each and every day. Our thoughts spoken will either be destructive or encouraging. Stop and pray before every opportunity given so you speak the mind of Christ and not the darkened heart of which we so easily are pulled toward.
Proverbs 10 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Up until this point in Proverbs, we have studied the difference between the foolishness of men and the wisdom of God. Here in chapter 10, the reader is introduced to the Proverbs of Solomon. The first 9 chapters established a foundation that Solomon will now build on starting in Proverbs 10. We should read the following chapter remembering what he wants us to know – namely, that man is foolish and God is wise.
This chapter covers many topics with much of it referring back to Moses’ law of morality. One particular theme that caught my attention was in verse 26.
“Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so the slacker is to the one who sends him on an errand.”Proverbs 10:26 HCSB
Many of us have sat around a campfire and experienced firsthand the stinging and burning that occurs when the wind changes direction and smoke fills your eyes. It’s a terrible feeling. I’m assuming that the vinegar statement is referring to cavities or infections of the mouth. Again, not a good feeling.
The critical part of this statement for me is “to those who send him.” For believers today, we have been sent by Jesus Christ. He sends us into the world with a message that both offends and saves humanity. It is a message of hope and love but also surrender and change. If the gravity of Salvation has not sunk deep within our souls, we will not take time to share the Good News. The laziness of man produces pain for the One who saved us.
I find it ironic that Jesus had to specifically command us to go and make disciples. Many people will argue for the fact of doing it because it’s a command. “You must obey the command,” they say. When you think about that, it’s a little bit ridiculous. For someone who has been transformed by the Gospel, telling others about it seems like a pretty natural next step. I think this is exactly why we see such a scathing analogy for those who are lazy about it.