BDBD is Proverb 20:7

A righteous person leads a blameless life. Thus, the term righteous person (saddiq in Hebrew) is defined in the first half of this proverb. Blameless life (hom in Hebrew) is continued integrity and perfect living as revealed by God in the Bible. The Bible presents how God intended life to be when he created it. To live according to the way things are designed is easier and better than to live as opposed to the way life and nature are designed.

A person who works with wood follows the same principle. Trees are made with grain and structure. To make a sturdy and elegant piece of furniture a master carpenter goes with the grain, not against it. A good carpenter works wood properly by recognizing how it grew and what type of tree it was; whether pine, oak, cherry, or some other wood. He takes note of each piece’s knots, twists, and defects and works with them. One could say that such a craftsman is a righteous carpenter.

Living a blameless life, that is according to God’s design finds benefit beyond self. Blessed are the children of the righteous. God blesses them. God blesses his people when he bestows on them some gift temporal or spiritual (Genesis 1:22, 24:35; Job 42:12, Psalm 45:2, 104:24, 35) He holds victory in store for the upright. (2:7) “He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.” (14:26)

BDBD is Proverb 20:6

What is unfailing love? (Hesed in Hebrew. See 19:22.) Many claim to have unfailing love, but what is it? To answer “What is unfailing love?” I need to first know what is love. Is love purely an emotion? Is it an action? Is it physical? Is it mental? Is my spirit involved? Is love butterflies in the stomach as I was told in my youth? All seek to answer the question “What is love?” sometime in their life. Love: all long it all the time. Love: who can understand it?

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:16) “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:10-11) “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” (2 John 1:6)

The way to answer the question “What is unfailing love?” is to practice the love that God revealed through Christ. The way to know what is love is to express love to others as Jesus expressed his love on the cross. Jesus told his disciples on the night he was to be arrested, tried, and the next day die on the cross, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:12-14)

Unfailing love is to be faithful to the covenant made with another no matter what. A faithful one who can find? A faithful husband who can find? A faithful wife who can find? The faithful one is in the life of Christ.

BDBD is Proverb 20:5

The purpose of the heart is another way to say my motives. Every act that I do has a motivator. If I am hungry I eat. If I am tired I sleep. But sometimes I am hungry and tired but do not eat or sleep because I have a desire to do something that is more important to me than eating and sleeping. Laziness has motivations too. I do not get a job because I would rather sit on a couch than work. However, what motivates me often is not this simple. The root cause motivation can easily go unknown as I blame another motivation. I may even blame another saying they made me do it.

My purposes (motivations) are deep waters means that they come from within my soul. Motivators are a mixture of emotions, understanding, beliefs, and character. If I believe water will boil when heated I will set a pan of water on the stove and turn the heat on. Then I will add oats or grits to the boiling water to make a quick meal. The motivation to turn on the stove was a combination of belief and hunger.

What motivates me to do what I do? A person of understanding draws from their soul to determine why they do what they do. Though motives are deep well water, they drop a bucket down the well of self (ego) to determine why they do what they do. I am the cause of what I do, not another. Prayer and meditation are important activities of the righteous. Search and reveal to me Lord the motives of my heart that I may be like Christ.

BDBD is Proverb 20:4

The sluggard is a lazy person who does not plow in season. There is a right and best time for everything and a season for every activity under the sun including a time to plant and a time to uproot. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2) The season for plowing is when the ground can be broken up early enough to allow the seed to become a plant that matures by harvest time. In most of the earth, the time for plowing is short. Miss it and at harvest time there will be nothing to eat.

Jesus used the farmer’s fieldwork as an illustration of the results of planting seeds in four kinds of heart conditions. (Matthew 13:3-9; Mark 4:3-8; Luke 8:5-8) Paul furthered the concept to explain Jesus’ followers’ work, “I, Paul planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:6) Each has a season to accomplish the work that God has given them.

If I miss the opportunities and responsibilities, what will there be for me when he comes again? I don’t want to hear these words, “‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'” (Matthew 25:28-30)

I cannot allow myself to be a spiritual sluggard.

BDBD is Proverb 20:3

Avoiding a quarrel is honorable. After all, any stubborn fool can start a fight. (God’s Word Translation) Jesus confirms the principle of composure while facing hostility. He taught, “Do not resist an evil person.” (Matthew 5:39). “Anthistemi” in the original Greek means “resist” and “withstand”, not “surrender”.

Jesus extends and defines honorable peacekeeping with, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:27-31)

Jesus practically applied honorable strife restraint to his opponents’ stubborn personal hostility (toward himself, his disciples, and his teachings). When pride resisted truth by accusing, “You are demon-possessed,” (John 7:20) Jesus responded, “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” Though they tried to seize him, no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come (John 7:30)

J. Vernon McGee says, “In this age living by this is impractical. Yet, these teachings will definitely be lived in the next age called the Millennium.” Though impractical, through the Spirit of Christ and divine wisdom granted to me, there is a way for me to be like Jesus who lived “resist an evil person”.

BDBD is Proverb 20:2

A king’s authority is unwavering and unquestioned. When a monarch gives a command his word is kept. His subjects and military obey his instruction for if they do not they could anger the king and a king’s wrath is like the roar of a lion. He who angers him forfeits his life. Those who have authority should be respected for the consequences could be life and death.

Authority supported by power is not always a harbinger of fear and punishment. Benevolent supremacy exists in Christ. A Roman centurion came to the Messiah Jesus stating, “Lord, my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” When Jesus stated that he would go with him and heal him the Roman centurion verbally recognized Jesus’ authority. The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (Matthew 8:8-9) Jesus was amazed at his faith. He healed to servant from afar. Jesus’ benevolent supremacy is like the roar of a lion.

BDBD is Proverb 20:1

The effect of alcohol and any substance that alters thoughts and emotions is the warning of this proverb. The more doses partaken the greater the trouble comes. Wine is a mocker and beer is a brawler. “On the day of the festival, even the noble soul becomes inflamed with wine and join hands with the mockers.” (Hosea 7:5) Substances that break down inhibition are not wise and are to be avoided. The more indulgence in one setting and repeated settings bring disaster, shame, and undue burden.

Two considerations are; what to do when one becomes addicted and has brought ruin, and what to do when a loved one has stepped into the same trap? When another has a substance abuse problem I should be sure to not be an enabler of their addiction (Ezekiel 31:11), join a group of souls who have spouses, parents, or children with substance abuse, and pray the the Lord Jesus for salvation from their iniquity. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ” (1 Peter 5:7)

When I am brought to misery by using alcohol and/or drugs I must admit I am powerless over them — that my life has become unmanageable because of my choices. Then I need to believe that God, who is greater than myself could restore me to sanity. Next, I must decide to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood Him at that time. Then I must make a search and fearless moral inventory of myself, admit them to God, myself, and another human being the exact nature of my wrongs, asking God for forgiveness and to free me from the mess I have made. This is the beginning of a life turned around.

BDBD is Proverb 19:26

Children are expected to take care of their parents, especially when they are advanced in years just as parents are to take care of their children, especially when they are young. Robbing a father is not only taking his money and possessions. It can also include not visiting him and keeping his grandchildren from spending time with him.

Driving out one’s mother is not only forcing her into the streets to fend for herself, but it may also be not visiting her and keeping her grandchildren from spending time with her.

Becoming a parent is a unique experience. Since no two children are alike and parents are unique the advice they receive concerning the parent-child relationship can be helpful, but then again may not apply to their unique experience. Both children and parents need to learn how to express love and respect to last a lifetime.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:1-3. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise– “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

BDBD is Proverbs 19:25 & 29

Judgment and punishment are very important to a healthy society and any human organization and group. The result is that the innocent, righteous, and weak are protected from mockers and fools. A mocker is a person who treats others with ridicule or contempt. They frustrate hopes and disrupt order and structure. They are engulfed with and invite hate. Their desire is to see that everyone else is just as miserable and distraught as they are.

The reason a mocker is born is that they have succumbed to their sinful nature. They have followed the stubbornness of their evil heart. (Genesis 6:5, Jeremiah 3:17) The mocker is described in Psalm 73:3-9, “Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.” Surely society must judge and punish them to protect the innocent, righteous, and weak and to prevent others from making the same mistakes. Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence.

BDBD is Proverb 19:24

The laziness and slothful nature of the sluggard are embodied in a comical word image in this proverb. BDBD has defined a sluggard and presents a way to overcome this mindset in 6:6-8, 13:4, and 15:19. Thus far in the previous proverbs that address the sluggard lifestyle choice BDBD considered how and why to avoid it. Yet what do I do when an adult loved one has adopted the sluggard mentality? And what can be done to prevent this trap from capturing my child?

I can learn to help my loved one from how Jesus prepared his apostles to be spiritually productive when he departed. How does God enable a person to become a spiritual adult? Jesus taught by word, by example, by exercising his apostles spiritually, and he bathed them in prayer.

First, Jesus taught his disciples for the Word of God is living and active, a double-edged sword that penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Second, Jesus brought his disciples with him so they could witness his interaction with people. Jesus taught by example.

Third, Jesus exercised his apostles by asking them tough questions like, “Who do you say I am,” and giving them tough assignments like, “You give them something to eat.”

Fourth, he prayed for them as can be seen in John 17:6-19 and Luke 22:32.

Lastly, when they were ready Jesus left them. Yet he did not leave them as orphans for he sent them the Spirit. I know a wealthy elderly lady who many years ago when her sons were of age told them that they must leave the house and truly become an adult. They resented her for that. Yet, years later they thanked her stating that by being on their own they were snapped out of the sluggard mindset. Hunger will eventually force a sluggard to pick food from the dish and put it in their mouth.

BDBD is Proverb 19:23

Fear the Lord is perhaps the most common phrase in Proverbs appearing twelve times. It also is common in other books of the Old Testament, making it one of the most repeated phrases in the Bible. Yet, most people today do not ascribe to it. Those who believe in Christ cannot accept it or understand it probably because “fear the Lord” is found only twice in the New Testament (Acts 9:31, 19:17) though other passages including Jesus’ teaching imply fearing God. Another reason is that to most “Fear the Lord” seems to be at odds with “…God so loved the world…”

Holman Bible Dictionary distinguishes between secular fear and religious fear. It states the former is the natural feeling of alarm caused by the expectation of imminent danger, pain, or disaster. HBD says secular fear rises in the normal activities and relationships of life. Animals also have secular fear.

Religious fear, the HBD defines is the result of awe and reverence toward a supreme power. The HBD declares that religious fear is the human response to the presence of God. Easton’s Illustrated Dictionary states, “In the Old Testament the fear of the Lord is used as a designation of true piety. It is a fear conjoined with love and hope. It is therefore not a slavish dread, but rather filial reverence.

So does any of this help me understand and apply today’s BDBD? Can I induce the fear of the LORD as it has been defined by HBD and EID? The only way I can think of is to concentrate my thoughts and emotions on my Maker and Owner, even sing songs of praise, pray, serve, and read his Word. When I do so then I truly do rest content, untouched by trouble.

BDBD is Proverb 19:22

This proverb requires more thought and research than some others. Is it that a man desires kindness and unfailing love, or does it say that what makes a man desirable is kindness and unfailing love? The Hebrew is, “Taawa adam hesed” meaning “desire man loving-kindness.” Since both are true, either could be the point in the first half of the proverb. Perhaps both truths are the subject of the first half since unfailing loving-kindness is so hard to find. (20:6)

Adding to the mystery of the proverb’s meaning is that the second half seems to be unrelated to the first half. “Rush tob ish kazab” in the original Hebrew is translated as “poor man better man lying.”

The joining precipice with a view to both halves is the life principle of unconditional and unfailing love for this supreme love contains pure honesty and holy kindness. This is why all desire God. The Lord God alone has infallible love. As a hummingbird speeds toward a flower, so I am drawn to God’s unfailing love. Though Jesus was a poor traveling evangelist and Rabbi people from far and wide continually sought him out. I can always depend on Jesus’ unfathomable depths of love. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

BDBD is Proverb 19:21

I plan for the future based on the commands, direction, and advice in the Bible. Making plans is a good lifestyle. It is wisdom exercised and an ingredient to success. My plans could be for the day’s routines and needed chores. Today could be laundry day, shopping day, yardwork day, and baseball practice after school day. My plans include important life events like marriage, having children, occupation, and retirement. These are the plans in my heart and mind (Ieb in Hebrew).

However, I always am aware that things seldom go according to my plans. Even when I plan with contingencies those too may fail. My plans will always fail when they are not in line with the LORD’s purpose for the LORD’s purpose always prevails. Wisdom in plan-making is to seek the LORD’s will and align my plans with his purpose for me. I plan for the future based on the commands, direction, and advice in the Bible.

BDBD is Proverb 19:20

God did not intend for his children to isolate themselves. Part of his creation design is to mimic the relationship between God the Father, Son, and Spirit. He established a loving and respectful relationship between husband and wife. He commanded them to create a family. Groups of families establish a community under God’s authority that is meant to glorify God and enjoy him forever.

Life events can lead a person to seek solitude that is detrimental. This proverb is not about the ills and benefits of a monistic vocation. Rather, it is about how the husband and wife, parents and children, and members of a community are to listen to each other’s advice and accept instruction in loving and respectful relationships. This mimics the holy relationship between the triune God. This is the point of this proverb.

How does a husband and wife establish direction and resolve problems? How are the youth of a community to learn about maturing and becoming an adult? How are members of a community to properly function together? Open dialogue that truly listens to each other builds relationships, matrimony, families, and communities. If I seek wisdom and its benefits I will listen to the advice of mature Christians and accept instruction from the pure in heart.

BDBD is Proverbs 19:18-19

While discipline is the subject of the first proverb, punishment is the subject of the second proverb. Discipline has a goal and purpose; that is to make one better through training. Discipline controls behavior by forming a new beneficial habit. Discipline is the tool of military commanders, sports coaches, mentors, and parents. Discipline can also be self-applied as I discussed in previous BDBDs concerning discipline. (1:2,7, 3:11, 5:12,23, 5:23, 6:23, 10:17, 12:1, 13:18,24, 15:5,10,32) I believe that the person who imposes discipline on another must first impose the same discipline on themselves. Doing so should keep discipline from becoming torture.

Punishment only has a purpose; that is to instill fear as a deterrent and to protect the innocent. Thomas Jefferson said, “Morality… may be instilled into their minds.” Mostly punishment is a penalty imposed for wrongdoing. “The severity of the punishment must… be in keeping with the kind of obligation which has been violated,” wrote Simone Weil. Just as self-discipline is possible, so self-punishment is possible. The latter is not wisdom for Christ Jesus, the spiritual doctor came to the sick to bring the sinner to repentance. (Luke 5:32) Repentance in the presence of God and men is far better than self-punishment.

BDBD is Proverb 19:17

Solomon’s proverb and Jesus’ parable “The Sheep and the Goats” agree that the Lord God, the King of the Universe takes notice when people are kind to the poor. The proverb equates it with lending to the LORD. God rewards kindness to the poor.

Jesus proclaimed that when he comes again in his glory with all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory to judge mankind. (Mathew 25:31) He will separate the sheep and the goats. (Matthew 25:32) Proverbs calls the goats rebellious fools and the sheep the righteous wise. The King will then say to the sheep on judgment day, “Come and take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:34, 40)

The rebellious fools will be told to go away to eternal punishment. “Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these,” they will hear, “you did not do for me.” Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. (Matthew 25:45-46)

BDBD is Proverb 19:16

Humans are born with character, feelings, instincts, a basic perception of right and wrong, as well as a strong nature to commit wrong and resist right. We are conceived with an inconclusive perception of God and a sustaining desire for God. (Matthew 9:36, 14:14, 15:32) We inherit that which is imperfect and willfully contribute to the mess called sin. (John 1:5) We often live groping through the heavy night in the thick of day. There is a way that seems right but in the end, it leads to death. (14:12, 16:25)

Hope exists in darkness. God determines where each person will live so that we will come to know him. The Lord provides the circumstances for us to escape the night and see the light of day. In many ways, he instructs the way to live. “Come to me,” he says, “All you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) He who obeys these instructions guards their life. They that are contemptuous of his ways will die.

BDBD is Proverb 19:15

Laziness, ambition, purpose, energy, and will merit the thought of today’s proverb. Slothfulness is the old English term that describes a person who lacks ambition, purpose, and will. The lazy have extremely low willpower. Having willpower is the mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action. I can deliberately decide to be lazy. This naturally leads to sleeping a lot, perhaps all day.

Physical reasons also exist that can steal a person’s energy and perhaps can physically be cured. But often a lazy person just hasn’t decided to find a purpose for today. The problem is that laziness can quickly and easily develop into a bad habit that leads to hunger pains. The shiftless person goes hungry.

The cure to the slothful mindset is found in the ant. “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest– and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man. (6:6-11) Find a purpose for today, get up, and accomplish it, then you will find satisfaction if you repeat this every day.

BDBD is Proverb 19:14

Death is a part of life as much as breathing. When parents die perhaps the children will receive an inheritance including their parent’s home and all that their parents acquired. Often this divides children, the subject of another proverb. The point of this proverb is parents leave gifts to their children and grandchildren for when they die.

God gives gifts too. Among the best gifts is a prudent wife. A prudent wife is hard to find. She is a precious jewel on top of a pile of limestone, a flower in a field of thorns, and the moon in the night’s starry sky. If a man is to find a prudent wife, she is his because the Lord God has brought her to him. God has brought such a wife to me. A man is to thank God and love her for life.

BDBD is Proverb 19:13

A foolish son in the Bible is one who does not fear nor love God. (28:7) Thus, his lifestyle choices are to his eventual ruin. His parents are grieved and bitter. Calamity follows their broken hearts. (10:1; 17:25) As in previous proverbs on this subject I think of my relationship to God my heavenly father. Are my lifestyle choices as he prescribes in the Word of God? Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commands.” (John 14:15)

The relationship between a husband and wife is also examined in this proverb. (also 27:15) Dissension is a part of all relationships. Differences of opinion come to even the best marriages. Disagreements are not to be ignored. The couple needs to work out the contention through prayer and respectful and loving dialogues.

Many Christian-based books have been written on this. They all agree that closure is needed even though one may not like the conclusion. While the husband can sacrifice his position and will to his wife, a wife can submit to her husband’s position and will. Either way, the discord can come to a close.

However, if the wife relinquishes her position to her husband’s decision one day, and then later starts the quarrel again, she brings an escalated contention to their marriage covenant. Her voice becomes like a constant dripping in the middle of the night. Driving her husband either to anger or he runs to the corner of the roof. (21:9) Is the submission of the bride of Christ final and forever? Or do I submit one day and then relent my submission the next? Choose today whom you will serve. (Joshua 24:15)

BDBD is Proverb 19:12

Solomon again presents a proverb concerning a king (14:28, 35, 16:10, 14, 15) and will do so again in future chapters. This time he compares a king’s rage and his favor. The roar of a lion brings fear to the person in the wild. So does the rage of monarchy rule. Walking on dew-laden grass is soothing to the soles of feet as much as a manicure is. Such is the favor of a monarch.

The reign of King Jesus comes to mind. I can learn here about the rule of the Messiah. My response to this should be obvious. Honor, respect, and love King Jesus. As Peter wrote, “But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.” (1 Peter 4:5-6) And as Paul wrote, “… Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom..” (2 Timothy 4:1)

BDBD is Proverb 19:11

Patience is one of those character qualities that is celebrated and yet hard to master. How to be patient when something is desired? How to be patient when justice is wanted? How to be patient when the end is delayed? This proverb says wisdom gives patience. How?

Since patience is better than pride according to Ecclesiastes 7:8 I can begin to understand this proverb. Pride says, “I can obtain what I desire. I will bring justice. I will end this.” When my flaws either do not succeed in obtaining these, impatience is born and grows. Pride kills patience.

Wisdom is to trust in God. He then through the Spirit provides patience as I wait for him to bring about that which is needed and desired. (2 Corinthians 6:6; Galatians 522) I can look over an offense because I know that God knows the offense and will settle accounts on the day of justice. He may even help the offender accept his error and apologize. Until then I know that God will remain on my side. Thus, overlooking an offense is to my glory.

BDBD is Proverb 19:10

The fool (“kesil” in Hebrew) in the Bible is a person who is unwise, lazy, and ungodly. Their behavior is folly due to their life-perspective and lifestyle choices. They are thoughtless and self-centered. They do not concern themself with nor fear God. They claim that either they do not believe in God or that God is an invention of mankind. (Psalm 14:1; Isaiah 32:6) Luxury living is not fitting for a fool.

This proverb uses this to help the reader understand the second half, “how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!” A slave (common in the ancient world) is a person totally responsible to and dependent upon another person. A slave will eventually develop a mentality that I don’t understand – they often will barely do what they must and usually care little about their part in the project or society. Most usually lacked self-dignity and do not learn to think for themselves because others teach them that their thoughts do not matter. The Bible and history show that a slave who becomes a ruler will usually become a tyrant. (17:2 29:2; Isaiah 3:4)

BDBD is Proverb 19:7

Job, a righteous man was left all alone when disaster struck. His wife and friends deserted him after his riches and prosperity were taken. (Job 2:9-10) Like the man in this proverb, his family hated him and his friends kept their distance. No one helped him.

Who listens to a poor man? Everyone thinks he is an immoral and ridiculous fool. Job, a righteous man was left all alone on a pile of rubble with sores all over his body. He was shunned and disgraced. Thus, a man is often afraid to tell his wife and friends that he was released from his employment. His occupation and standing are usually the essence of a man’s self-identity.

When three men had heard of what happened to Job they came to see if it was true. Instead of being a comfort to Job they tried to convince him that all this happened because of some unknown sin. With many words, he tried to convince them otherwise, but Job’s friends only expressed disdain. A true friend and spouse stand with a man when all falls apart.

BDBD is Proverbs 19:6

One bored pre-teenage day I noticed a book with a long title in the small bookcase in our living room. I had never seen my mother read a newspaper let alone a book. However, I learned that this was hers. It was titled, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. She was a newspaper ad saleswoman. I began reading it. I smile when I think about it because it revealed things about my mother that I subconsciously knew. I was onto her mindset and thus learned how to irritate her when she tried to manipulate me into doing something for her. She eventually realized that if she just asked me I would do it.

The general theme of the book is how to manipulate people by being kind to them – the intent to later influence them to do things that will greatly benefit me at their great expense. This falls alongside this proverb’s theme, “currying favor of the powerful” and “friends for hire”. This is not quick pro quo (a favor for a favor) for the manipulated is not aware of the selfish ploy.

Jesus teaches something similar and yet different than the “favor by manipulation” and “quick pro quo”. He taught, “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” (Luke 16:9) Unselfishly use what God gives me to gain friends with only the hope of eternal dwelling in paradise with God and the friends I make now.

BDBD is Proverb 19:5

The proverb in this verse and the proverb in verse 9 are nearly identical. Repeating in the Bible is a way to stress the importance of adherence. A false witness who pours out lies is one of the six things the Lord hates (6:16-19). A false witness is obviously one who lies except if a false witness lies are believed then it will directly harm another. Lying about another destroys families and society. The road to earthly hell is paved with lies about others.

Lies are very serious because living in a society of fear breeds lies and this will destroy that society. The society under Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini was maintained with lies and false witnesses. Suppressed truth is the fertilizer for suffering and oppression.

How many times will I lie today? Will I participate in gossip? Even a slight deviation from the truth is the same as no truth. Jesus came full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) Will I today? Jesus prays for me, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Lord, may no lies be on my lips today. I intend to be a true witness.

BDBD is Proverb 19:4

The proverb’s observation, “Wealth brings many friends” has been experienced by all human society mostly because we want and expect something from our rich friend. Since the things that money buys can bring momentary happiness to a person’s demeanor and conduct, then these too attract momentary friends. We want to share in the momentary experience that money can create. These are also the reasons why a poor man’s friend deserts him. There is nothing to gain from him.

However, the experience that money can bring can also be the polar opposite. This is true because of the selfish sinful nature. Suspicion, fear, depression, and anxiety can also be a daily experience of wealth and the friends it generates. Since these emotions and thought patterns affect a person’s demeanor – they can repel others – the richer a person is the more they get tired of burying these till they are seen as anti-social, rude, and abstinent. The momentary friends leave them for someone else. At the end of life most extremely wealthy and poor share the same fate, they are exceedingly lonely.

A satisfying life experience can be found that is not tied to an excess or a lack of wealth. Paul wrote, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13) Verse 19:23 reveals the secret to obtaining this content, “The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” (Proverbs 19:23)

BDBD is Proverb 19:3

Decisions I make every moment affect my present and future. It does not matter if they are small or major for even a small decision can have a major impact on my future. Any foolish decision I make can ruin my life. A small devastating foolish decision is easily forgotten. Though the effect is blamed on another including God it is my small forgotten folly that is usually to blame. My past folly is often the cause of trouble and hardship I am and will experience. As this proverb declares the truth, “A person’s own folly ruins his life…”

Blaming others and God is a character quality that is common to all humanity. The remedy for correcting poor habits starts with stepping into the light. Self-awareness and responsibility for my decisions and life choices are part of stepping into the light. The fear of God and accepting I am to blame for my own troubles are the result. If I rage against the Lord God I will only continue the painful habitual life choice that ruin my life.

BDBD is Proverb 19:2

Zeal and enthusiasm are emotions that have not been the subject of a proverb until now. Some English translations have the first half of the proverb as “the soul without knowledge is not good.” While other translations have, “it is not good to have zeal without knowledge.” The second is clearer considering the rest of the proverb, “nor to be hasty (with feet) and miss the way (and sin).”

Zeal here is enthusiastic devotion to a cause, an ideal, or a goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance and growth. Zeal is not bad when I have all the facts and understand them correctly. However, if I do not know everything and thus am not in the truth, then I could bring harm to my loved ones, myself, my friends, and society.

Billy Graham was once asked, “What would you do if you believed that Jesus was coming in seven years?” He answered, “I would study the Bible for six years, and then if I still believe it preach the gospel for one year.” So many prior generations have been fooled by doctrines and political ideologies because they do not study the Bible or walk in the Spirit of God.

An expert is praised until their facts are proven lacking truth. “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.” (18:17, 19:9, 21:28)

BDBD is Proverbs 19:1

Blameless in God’s eyes is to maintain spiritual and moral integrity even if it means sacrificing or not gaining what I desire or believe I need. A person of integrity adheres to the code of conduct taught by Jesus, the apostles, the prophets, and Moses. They are steadfast to the truth.

Jesus was blameless when the devil told Jesus that he could have all the authority and splendor of the kingdoms of the world if he worshipped him. Jesus refused for his desire was to worship God. “Worship the Lord your God,” Jesus answered, “and serve him only.” (Luke 4:5-8)

“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26)

The apostles left everything; family, house, wealth, and occupation to be with Jesus in common daily life. They considered being poor and walking with the Messiah better than these. They were people of integrity. The Jewish religious leaders were fools whose lips were perverse. They mocked and ridiculed Jesus and his poor disciples.

If I am to be a man of integrity I will at times in my life be at least willing to be blameless and walk with the Messiah than having the riches of the world and talk with perverse lips.

BDBD is Proverb 18:24

Having many trusted friends and wise advisors is recommended in the Bible, especially in the book of Proverbs. Yet, having many does not guarantee that I won’t come to ruin as this proverb declares, especially if they are not trusted and wise. Such companions can destroy one another. Sometimes a friend becomes unfriendly and companions become a foul company, as the twelve apostles when they abandoned Jesus when he was arrested. (Matthew 26:56)

The proverb states that there exists a friend who sticks closer than a brother. However, the mystery to solve is who is such a friend? For some, this could be a spouse. (31:10-12) Yet, with divorce so common some qualifications would be needed for a spouse to be such a trustworthy and loving friend, one who does not abandon when my condition and/or future look like an uncertain surety of comfort and ease. Does a friend exist who sticks closer than a brother even better than a wife or husband of noble character?

Christ Jesus is the friend and lover who will never forsake. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end showing them the full extent of his love. (John 13:1) “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

BDBD is Proverb 18:22

The man who finds a wife has found good. When the Lord God created Adam. the man walked around the beautiful Garden of Eden. Surrounded by perfection he realized it was not all good with him. Something was missing. A good companion he did not find though he was surrounded by paradise.
So God created the perfect suitable helper, Eve. The Lord God brought her to him. The Lord God showed favor to Adam by bringing him Eve. (19:14) Adam received favor when the Lord brought him a wife of nobile character. She made the garden perfect living. She was worth more than rubies. (31:10) He was happy.
I am happy because the Lord God brought me a beautiful woman of noble prudent character. I have received great favor from the Lord God.
Jesus‘ bride is the church. He makes us of noble character. I am to be the bride of Christ.

BDBD is Proverbs 18:15

The original Hebrew word for heart and mind in this proverb is “leb”. This is equivalent to the human soul. The original Hebrew word for discerning, intellect, and prudent is “bin”. This is the character of soul that grows in knowledge. The implication in the first half of the proverb is that a person who is discerning has the characteristic of acquiring knowledge their whole life.

The second half of the proverb is the means that makes it possible for them to acquire knowledge; mainly they listen to others. This makes a person wise.

The thought of acquiring knowledge to many is going to a school, college, or university. However, there are other means to acquiring knowledge; read books, listen to people that know truth, and watch educational videos. Then there is the tried-and-true principle of trial and error. That is the main way I learned how to prepare meals, my tongue told my palate to not do that again or eat some more. It is also the means I use to learn web site coding and design for

The main point of the proverb it to continue to educate myself. Some learned items will be worthless such as Solomon’s experiment as recorded in Ecclesiastes and others will be life changing such as the apostles’ common life training with Jesus.

BDBD is Proverb 18:14

The body becoming ill is common to all. Some have had an illness for many years. Others rarely have a bodily illness. Whether it be a virus, an injury, a defect, or the decay of an organ we can endure and most times overcome by the will of our spirit. A person’s spirit sustains them in sickness.
What is our spirit? How can it be broken and/or crushed as this proverb says? (15:13, 17:22) The spirit is invisible to the human eye. We cannot taste it nor physically feel it. However, we are at times aware of another’s spirit though most times we don’t understand it. (John 1:5)
The human spirit is not an abstract concept nor a force. Speaking of Jesus the apostle John wrote, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (John 1:4) The life that John tells us about is not physical life, but spiritual. Our spirit is part of our being as much as our physical body and our soul (mind and emotion). God breaths into humans the breath of life, that is our spirit. (Genesis 2:7; Luke 23:46)
Without the Holy Spirit of God in us, our spirit is unhealthy, broken, and dead. When a person puts their faith, hope, and love in Jesus then the Holy Spirit comes into our spirit bringing it back to health. The Spirit of God fixes a broken spirit. With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Turn to Jesus and live.

BDBD is Proverb 18:13

The proverb today is a simple conversational tip, listen to the person I am talking to. Don’t answer before hearing all they have to say. This is especially true in conversations that are important life events – decisions to be made, troubles experienced, and heartaches and burdens carrying. It is also true when exchanging information and making contracts.

Though these points are known to be true they are not easy to follow. Why? Because ego wants to speak up and show off. I want to be heard and recognized. I want attention. My pride is thinking of an answer when they share their first words. I don’t want to forget the great wisdom that came to me so I interrupt them. Pride speaks before listening to all they want to say. Self-pride cannot wait to speak. A voice answering before listening is like blowing smoke in their face. It is time I quit the habit.

BDBD is Proverb 18:12

What are humility (lowly spirit) and its aspirant pride (haughty spirit) that so much advice and warnings are given concerning them? (3:34, 6:3, 17, 11:2, 13:10, 15:25, 33, 16:5, 18, 19, 17:6, 18:12, 13, 21:4, 24, 22:4, 29:23, 30:13) Their definitions are in the comments for Proverbs 11:2 at
What are they in me, so that I may know if I am a lowly spirit or a haughty spirit. I do not want to be the cause of my own downfall because my heart is proud as this proverb promises.
The path to humility begins with comparing my character and actions to the humble holy defined in the Bible. When I present myself to God in his holy state how then do I see myself. Self-examination in the light of perfection is not for the faint of heart. Cowards do not step into the light. Yet, it is an important beginning step to redemption. Thus, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Don’t be one who steps into the light only to not understand it. (John 1:5, 8:12)
“Jesus cried out, ‘When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:44-46) Step into the light, know thyself, and be humbled.

BDBD is Proverb 18:11

I have never been rich by the standards of most of my neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family members. Though by some I have had more than they. Still, the point is my wealth is not my fortified city because I do not have wealth. No wealth-laden wall exists to scale in my chauffeurs. An enemy can come in and ravage my life except for the fortitude of the name of the Lord as verse 10 states.

The point of the proverb in verse 11 is that even if I am extravagantly or secretly wealthy it is not assured to always keep enemies and troubles at bay. Many cities and countries thought they had built the perfect wall to keep them safe. Yet, every fortified city and citadel had fallen to a persistent and cunning enemy. Troy was conquered with a horse full of fighting men. Jericho’s imperative walls fell at the sound of trumpets and shouts. Rome’s armies abandoned the city to the Mongols. USSR’s iron wall came down. Tenochtitlan’s water wall was not enough to stop the conquistadors and the neighboring villages. The same is the safety of the wealth of the rich. It cannot always withstand.

However, the proverb promise is true, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

BDBD is Proverb 18:10

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. A strong tower is a high rock building in fortresses and castles where soldiers reside and weapons are kept. When enemies attacked a city the soldiers would choose a weapon, be stationed at a window or opening, and ward off the enemies. A strong tower is the safest place in the entire city. That is why people run to it and are safe.

The name of the Lord (YHWH in Hebrew) in this proverb means that I call on, take refuge in, or use the name of God Almighty. (Genesis 4:26, 12:8, 13:4; 21:33; Exodus 3:15) When enemies ridicule me I call on the Lord Jesus and can be at peace. When sickness comes I can call on the Lord Jesus and find rest. When troubles come of all and any type I can run to the Lord and be safe. This is a promise proverb.

BDBD is Proverb 18:9

Being slack is lacking diligence, due care, or concern about what one needs to do or is doing. It is being negligent in work. This proverb relates being slack with destroying. The object being destroyed is me, my family, my congregation, my friends, and society.

Work can be anything I am doing or need to do. It could be studying or chores. It could be caring for children or elderly parents in my household or occupation. It could be what my supervisor assigns me. It could be prayer, meditation, or Bible study. It could be a charity or an act of kindness. The personalization of what is work for me is to answer the questions, “What do I need or have to do today? What could I do today that is not important or needed for myself, my family, my friends, and society? Am I slacking?”

BDBD is Proverb 18:8

Gossip looks so delicious widening my eyes. It is fragrant and sweet impulsing a deep breath. The mouth moistens waiting impatiently. Gossip has a vibrant palatable texture, tickling the tongue and caressing the nose. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels created in the kitchens of master chefs and bakers. Many wait in lines and will overpay to empty the plate of well-prepared gossip.

Gossip is rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature. A gossip habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts. Gossip embellishes information of often trivial and inconsequential nature. Truth is not important to a gossip, only that they are heard, the center of attention.

“…they go down to a person’s inmost parts” means what happens when rich food is swallowed down quickly and greedily. It is deeply ruinous to the tender bowels of the poor little innocents. We pay the price of eating too much bacon quickly for a long time.

This proverb is repeated again word for word in 26:22 stressing its importance for gossip has four victims; the teller, the hearer, the subject, and society.

BDBD is Proverbs 18:20-21

Controlling words spoken is the subject of many proverbs indicating that it is not easy. Being careful what is spoken and when to speak or keep quiet can be as difficult and bone-jarring as breaking a young stallion. The reason killing tongues remain is that the mouth is attached to wild hearts. Those hearts are anchored to lifeless spirits that make the mouth unclean. (Matthew 15:18-19)

What I say will affect my life. If I wonder how did I get in this situation the answer is probably because my words got me there. I will reap what my tongue sows. Take the blame for the tongue is usually guilty. Then plant new life-giving words.

When I speak I bring life or death. Parents can bring life and death to their children. A child will remember a parent’s brash words throughout their life more than uplifting words. Therefore, speak lovingly often to a son and daughter and perhaps they will remember at least one and eat from a fruitful life. The same goes for words to siblings and parents.

BDBD is Proverb 18:19

Siblings are usually the people who know us the most, sometimes as much as or more than a spouse. A spouse we choose. A sibling we do not. A sibling is often very different than us to the point of being annoying and refreshing at the same time. My interactions with my siblings are often a measure of my character and my faith in God.

Offend a sibling and they will be more unyielding than a fortified city. This is seen in the life of Esau who held a grudge against his younger brother Jacob because of the blessing his father gave him. He wanted to kill Jacob after his father died. (Genesis 27:21) Absalom hated his half-brother Amnon because Amnon had raped and devastated Absalom’s sister Tamar. Absalom held his hate for two years before he killed Amnon. (2 Samuel 13) Absalom became so bitter that he rebelled against his father which led to his early death. (2 Samuel 15-17) A sibling can be the worse enemy or the strongest supporter.

Though most disputes with a sibling are not as violent, disputes are sure to happen. Disputes amongst brothers are like the barred gates of a citadel. This proverb is true with physical siblings as well as spiritual siblings. How to open the barred gates separating siblings? When the ten apostles were indignant with James and John because they had their mother asked for her sons to sit on the left and right of Jesus’ kingdom, “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

BDBD is Proverb 18:18

The Lord is in charge. (16:4, 33) He determines a person’s steps. (16:9, 19:21) He determines everyone’s life course. (21:31) His will prevails over all. Many times everyone seeks to know God’s will in an important decision because we commonly fear a wrong decision will be disastrous. We declare, “I just don’t know what to do. Lord show me your will.”

God knows this. The Urim and the Thummim in the High Priest’s breast piece were given to Israel to determine God’s will. (Exodus 28:30) When not available people cast lots. Nehemiah cast lots to determine who among those returning to Judea would live in Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 11:1) The apostles cast lots to determine who would take the traitor Judas’ place. (Acts 1:26) Gideon placed a fleece on the ground to see if it would get moist to know God if would accomplish victory through him. (Judges 6:33-40)

Similarly, when a dispute erupts tempers rise threatening peace, health, and even life we seek a way to resolve the disagreement in a peaceful manner, especially when no common ground can be found to improve the outlook of the escalating dialogue. Casting the lot was a common way to settle disputes and keep strong opponents apart as this proverb directs. This only works if the two agree to hold the decision.

How do I settle a dispute with another? Even a dispute with another believer in Jesus? (Mark 9:33-34) King Jehoshaphat appointed wise men anointed by God to settle disputes amongst the children of God. (2 Chronicles 19:8) Similarly, I can seek the counsel of someone I know who has faith in Jesus and is wise. (Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3) If pride is involved I can head Jesus’ advice, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:33)

“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7) And, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:17-18)

BDBD is Proverb 18:17

The proverb assumes that guilty people do not tell the truth when defending themselves in official settings. Most of the time when we are guilty of wrong we self-justify to ourselves and others. When the truth gets in the way of our self-justification we either dismiss it or twist it into the opposite -falsehood. We learn this at a young age till our conscience is burned out.

The apparent use of this proverb is for judges. A judge is warned to hear both sides of the case. The proverb also instructs to cross-examine the witnesses and accused. Solomon showed wisdom in a court case by listening to both sides and understanding human nature, especially a mother’s love. (1 Samuel 3:16-28)

This proverb is also applicable to everyday living. Parents learn to determine if a child is telling the truth or not. However, this works best if the parent listens to all their children and deals with them all in love and respect. If a parent is impartial and favors one over the others a parent falls short of being a good parent. Moses instructed the judges who were elders in their families, “…Hear the disputes between your brothers and judge fairly, whether the case is between brother Israelites or between one of them and an alien.” (Deuteronomy 1:16) Jesus’ warning was more stern, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:2) Parents understand that all children eventually lie.

BDBD is Proverb 18:16

A gift is given for many reasons and intents. Giving to a person who already has a lot usually does not have the same reason as giving to a person who has little. Giving to a friend has a different intent than giving to an enemy. Giving because I have a need from the receiver is not the same as giving because the receiver has a need.

The proverb in verse 16 is not a comparative proverb as most others are. Nor does it give a warning or a promise as most others do. Rather it makes a statement of facts. A consistent fact of every human culture is that giving a gift to the great in any society makes way for me to enter into their life and business.

Jesus has unique teachings on giving. He said, “When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets …when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:3-4)

While this proverb speaks about how to get into the circle of the powerful and rich of this world by giving to them, Jesus teaches how to get noticed by God who rewards perfectly and eternally.

BDBD is Proverbs 18:6-7

The words I say can bring a load of trouble. What if I am prone to start a quarrel and strife with my lips? What does it mean when I am repeatedly punished because of what comes out of my mouth? It means I am a fool and hot-tempered. (15:18, 17:19, 20:3)

What drives me to drive every small viewpoint with dashed words like nails into a coffin? My heart is restless, proud, and yet has low self-esteem. A mind that is not calmed by the peace of God moves my speech to speak words of dissension. This is why I have a mouth that is a load of trouble and isolation.

Jesus walked this earth as the son of God chosen and loved by God. (Matthew 12:19-20). He did not quarrel or cry out in the streets. He was at peace with God and brought that peace to others. He blessed the nations and they put their hope in him. His mannerism is an example to me of how to speak to others. He can make my mouth a fountain of calming equanimity.

BDBD is Proverb 18:5

Jesus is the truth (John 14:6) and he distributes justice. He is not partial. He tells me to not be partial when I assess another’s action. (Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17, 16:19) Everyone harbors preconceived judgments and convictions about others based on looks and mannerisms. These tell me only a little about the person. They do not tell me much. Yet, whether I know a lot or know little I am to assess the truth based on the Spirit and truth. It is not good to deprive the innocent of justice.

BDBD is Proverb 18:4

One summer vacation on an ocean beach my young son and I decided to swim to a buoy that appeared to be close to the shore. It was not. After a longer time than expected with persistence, my son and I arrived at our destination. It was then that I wondered what was in the mysterious depths below. Bobbing up and down on the surface I could never know what was in the dark deep waters beneath.

The words in a person’s mouth are compared to deep waters. They are either profound or obscure. They could be treasure or trash. They could be a dauphin or shark. They could be void or contain a school of Cardinalfish.

This is compared to the fountain of wisdom. A fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. The words of wisdom are refreshing and a source of life. They are pleasant to view and hear. Sweet refreshing smells from the mist can put one at ease. The sun flickering on a flowing river is like a cascade of diamonds. Brooks are a rainbow and the waterfalls are like flowing long hair.

Today my words can be the ocean deep or a flowing river.

BDBD is Proverb 18:3

The proverb links wickedness with contempt and shame with disgrace. Other proverbs and verses also have these as a subject usually as a warning. Such as, “Do not treat prophecies with contempt” (1 Thessalonians 5:20), and “Do you show contempt for the riches of God’s kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). There is also Daniel 12:2, “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” There is also Proverbs 3:35, 6:33, 10:5, 11:2, 27:11, Psalm 31:19, and Isaiah 22:18.

All the passages that deal with contempt tell me that I cannot have that emotion towards anyone or anything, not even myself. If I do have contempt then it comes from wickedness inside. If wickedness is not removed from within me then shame followed by disgrace will come.

Contempt is a powerful emotion; a blend of hate and pride with a dash of self-righteousness and disrespect. I can think of only one cure for this potent brew. That cure is the blood of Jesus. By his blood, I have been saved. (Romans 5:9)

BDBD is Proverb 18:2

Everyone has their own opinions. I have my own opinion. Humans were designed to have opinions. Having an opinion is part of learning. This proverb is telling me to show restraint in airing my opinions. The original Hebrew words in the second half of this proverb are “leb gala rasha” which can also be translated as “heart (and mind) uncover (or discover) wicked (man)”. To air an opinion is different than airing God’s truth which is Jesus’s commandment.

While Jesus walked this earth many opinions were aired on who he was. The religious leaders said he was demon-possessed. One day Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (Matthew 16:13-14: Mark 9:28; Luke 9:19) None of these opinions were from God. Thus, they revealed they were fools because they refused to understand the truth.

Then Jesus asked his disciples to air their opinions on who he was. “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ (Messiah) of God.” (Matthew 16:15-16; Luke 9:20; Mark 9:29) Jesus told the disciples that this was not Peter’s opinion, but a revelation of God. (Matthew 16:17) Before I made this God-revealed confession I too was a uninspired fool.

BDBD is Proverb 18:1

Having friends, children, and especially a spouse should include selfless love, respect, truth, trust, closeness, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23). We learn from Christ that love is laying down our life for another. (1 John 3:16) In giving away we mysteriously receive more. (Matthew 16:24-28; Mark 10:21)

In line with these truths, this proverb rightly states that a person who is selfish is usually unfriendly and will isolate themselves from others; even children and spouse. A selfish loner opposes all sound reasoning. They push away others.

For the selfish loner relationships with others is only a means to selfish gains. The cunning unfriendly person will associate with others because they need them to achieve what they desire. This could be alcohol, drugs, money, possessions, power, glamour, sex, respect, and self gratifications. Slowly they lose their soul. Nothing satisfies them. What they worked so hard to gain illudes them forever.

Selfish isolationists are from all walks of life. They are rich and poor, admired and repulsive, married and single. I cannot judge myself as innocent of the unfriendly selfish life by using these meters. Rather, the Spirit in prayer, meditation, and Bible study can reveal that I need more than change once to be Christ-like. The Spirit of God will reveal to me how I need to continually lay down my life for others like Christ.

BDBD is Proverbs 27-28

Considering just how many proverbs are in this book, I have only remembered the one in verse 28 all my life, “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps his mouth shut (silent).” Not saying that I have kept it, but it usually brings up a laugh from someone else. Talk about miss use of a proverb, that would be a good example. Still, I’ll probably use that as a joke piece again someday.

Why is that funny? Everyone knows of several times when they should have kept their mouth shut and had everyone at least wonder if they were wise or not rather than speak and let there be no doubt that we are fools. We also know of times when we wish someone else would have kept their mouth shut. I show that sometimes I let my emotions make my discerning tongue waggle and wobble. “A discerning tongue is held.”

The proverb in verse 27 defines a tongue of knowledge. It is used with restraint, the reaction of an even temperament. Just when I think I am a decent person the Spirit of God uses a verse like this to show me I am in need of discipline. Not that I want it, but rather that I am still immature and need it. Lord, can I have a recess from this training? Well, once again I leave no doubt about my state of foolishness.

BDBD is Proverb 17:26

Punishment is not the same as discipline. The former is only for the guilty fool. The latter is for the righteous, but not the fool (17:10). It is not good to punish the innocent. Punishing those who follow God’s way with integrity is not wise nor right. Don’t punish those who follow righteousness.

Since these are true, I must be careful how I judge. Jesus taught, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5; Luke 6:42) Do I see clearly? Am I fit to judge anyone but myself? When I do judge be sure I know all the facts and execute judgment according to God’s way.

BDBD is Proverb 17:24

Since wisdom is directly in the view of the discerning wise person, then I chose to keep my eyes fixed on Christ, the author and perfecter of my faith, my life, and my all. (Hebrews 12:2) People will come and go in and out of my life, but Christ Jesus always remains with me. I will look upon him with my heart and mind and live in him.

I do not need to travel here and there to find the Prince of Peace. I do not need to look in secret places and dig holes in the ground to find treasures. The master of the universe and keeper of the soul is not difficult for me or beyond my reach. The Shephard of Israel is not nearly up in heaven so I wonder how to ascend into a higher plain to find him. The Redemption of souls is not beyond the sea or in some far-off land that I must travel to obey.

No. As the Lord declares, “No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” (Deuteronomy 30:14) Jesus promises me, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) “My eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign LORD; in you I take refuge–do not give me over to death.” (Psalm 141:8)

BDBD is Proverb 17:23

Human justice no matter the system has a weakness because humans are involved. Humans are susceptible to temptation, including those involved with court systems. Legal systems are tainted when the magistrate says to themselves, “What is in it for me.”

Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion displayed this well. People in power were threatened by the truth. So they created charges against him, supplied false and confused witnesses, and excluded justices who knew Jesus was innocent. Then Pilate tried to please everyone so as to improve his political standing instead of acting on justice and the truth. When that didn’t work he let the people in power get what they wanted as a bribe for future favor from them. The crowds were willing to believe what was told them because they felt betrayed or were paid to yell, “Crucify him crucify him.” Eventually, Jesus, an innocent man was crucified. Human injustice was overruled when Jesus rose from the dead.

BDBD is Proverb 17:22

A cheerful (joyful) heart has been the subject of several proverbs (14:30, 15:13,30, 16:15, 18:14) as a crushed spirit has been too (3:8, 12:4, 14:30). More people state they are depressed in recent years. They have an inability to concentrate, insomnia, and feelings of extreme sadness, dejection, and hopelessness. They have a weakened will. Is there something that they can do to dissipate their depression? Is there something I can do to disperse depression from another?

What does it mean that a joyful heart is a good medicine? Will my joyful heart in the presence of someone depressed help them release their depression, or does it mean that a person who is depressed has to find something to be joyful about to escape the disease of their depression? Both are good medicine.

What should not be ignored in this proverb is “a broken spirit dries up the bones.” The spirit affects emotions. A broken spirit needs to turn to the only physician that can heal it, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Prayer is good medicine. Pray regularly and keep a prayer journal. In the prayer journal record answered prayers. When depression crawls into the soul look to the prayer journal and see all that God has done.

Many of the Psalms are prayer journals. “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon–from Mount Mizar.” (Psalm 42:5-6) BDBD will soon be moving from the Book of Proverbs to the Book of Psalms.

BDBD is Proverb 17:21

The two factual statements about the emotions a foolish son or daughter brings his father or mother are obvious. No one can deny them. The parent’s self-query is, “Can I prevent this or change the course attitude of my son or daughter?”

Apostle Paul instructs fathers, “Do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” (Colossians 3:21) This is to arouse feelings that are unpleasant in the child. He also wrote, “Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) Exasperate means to make them angry or impatient, to annoy them.

Children are born with characters that can be nurtured into stable mature adolescents and adults or ones that harbor destructive emotions. The child who has not been taught by the parent to bridled emotions and thoughts is often the fault of the parent. The child whose parents are focused on self-gratification and are absent from their life is one that has not practically learned these important emotional life skills. Parents that love their spouse in view of their children are examples of the way to have positive emotions pleasantly affect living as much as when they experience stern love. Actions teach better than words.

Wonder why an adolescent brings grief and no joy? Look to thyself parent.

BDBD is Proverb 17:20

Proverbs has judgments and predictions based on the condition of the heart. The heart in the original Hebrew is “leb” which can be equated with the center of personality including feelings, will, intellect, and imagination. “The heart is as the heart does,” goes an old saying. Thus, a person with a perverse heart does not prosper.

Jesus linked his perverse generation to their lack of belief. A man’s boy was possessed by a demon which caused the boy to have seizures and suffer greatly. He brought his boy to Jesus because Jesus’ disciples could not heal the boy. Upon hearing this Jesus declared, “O unbelieving and perverse generation…” (Matthew 17:17; Luke 9:41). A relationship exists between a heart that is unbelieving and perversity. If I find one in my heart, I will find the other.

Some are trapped by their perverse heart and despair. At times they tried to stop the lifestyle that they despise, only to find that they are unable to. They find that they cannot control their thinking all the time and their heart eventually does what they know that they will later regret. Often people like this self-medicate unsuccessfully hoping to permanently escape a conscious life. There is hope to change the cycle of despair. The answer is a surrendered relationship to loving Jesus. Jesus promised, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

BDBD is Proverb 17:19

When I love something I am inviting it into my life and being. When I love my spouse they are in my life and being. When I love my children they are in my life and being. When I love God he is in my life and being. If I love a quarrel I invite it into my life and being. Thus, I will also bring it companion: sin. A heated argument can easily become an action I will regret, perhaps for the rest of my life.

Similar to this relationship is pride. Building a high gate is saying to my neighbor’s friends and anyone who sees it, “Here lives a person of wealth and power. I am better than you.” A modern equivalent is a person who buys a big pick-up truck even though they seldom use the bed, or a person who wears an expensive line of clothes and shoes. Making a statement by displaying wealth invites destruction according to this proverb, just as someone who quarrels invites sin.

How is this so? Because when people have wealth others seek to steal it. Modesty is in the nature of God and is a wise life choice. Eventually, hard times come and that expensive truck and tennis shoes won’t pay the bills.

BDBD is Proverb 17:18

“Putting up security for our neighbor” and “striking hands” are explained in the comments for 6:3 at That this warning is placed after the proverb in the previous verse is fitting. Though “a friend loves at all times and a brother is born in adversity” one must be very careful when putting up security against someone else’s debt, especially security with one’s life.

Jesus taught, “Love your God… Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31) And “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13)

The Apostle John wrote to the churches, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:16) Then he goes on to speak of charity towards other brothers and sister in Christ. However, striking hands in pledge and putting up security for a neighbor is more than charity for it has a risk that can extend consequences through the rest of my life. I am to love my neighbor with wisdom in tack.

BDBD is Proverb 17:17

A friend and a brother are compared. Or is it that a friend becomes (is born) a brother when their love is displayed no matter the situation or circumstance? This is seen in a few relationships in the Bible, especially in Jesus who stated, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15) And, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Apostle Paul wrote the Romans, “…those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:6) Jesus calls me friend and brother.

No matter what Jesus my friend loves me. No matter what comes my way or what I have gotten myself into my brother Jesus is there in my adversity. When someone brings stress into my life such as this morning, Jesus comes to my aid and comforts me. Even when I make a terrible mistake and sin, Jesus my friend stays with me. He listens to my confession and forgives me. I will probably live with the consequences of my error and yet, Jesus will definitely, always live with me.

BDBD is Proverb 17:16

My intention and will are the points of this proverb. What do I intend? What is my heart’s will? For what I will establishes my intention and my intention is what I seek to fulfill. If I am given money to seek an education to gain wisdom but have no desire to gain it, then I will spend the money on something else. If I am a fool, then I will spend it on something else. (Proverbs 4:5,7) I would be a fool for only a fool does not seek to gain wisdom. (Proverbs 18:15, 23:23) “Wisdom is proved right by her actions.” (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:35)

BDBD is Proverb 17:15

Acquitting means “to free or clear from a charge or accusation.” God does not acquit the guilty. (Exodus 23:7) So how can a Christian say that they are acquitted of all sins? Apostle Paul wrote, “We maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from observing the law.” (Romans 3:28; Galatians 2:16, 3:11, 24) Justify is defined as “to demonstrate or prove to be just, right, or valid.” Jesus declared, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

How then is the law justified when the Son of God sets people free when they have faith in him? Paul wrote, “…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3) God set in the law that acquits a way for justice to be held. Instead of the guilty dying, Jesus died for our sins. “Such a high priest meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.” (Hebrews 7:26-28)

So God gives me a decision. Be acquitted through faith in his holy Son, Jesus. Or be punished with the guilty.

BDBD is Proverb 17:14

Quarrels and disputes are continued for inconsequential viewpoints. I knew a couple, though married more than forty years, would quarrel each time they drove home about which way was the shortest. The difference was less than a minute, whether her way or his depending on traffic. The retired couple were rather serious as if they had a lot of important things to do when they got home. Another couple though married fifty years found differing reasons why each’s books, newsletters, and magazines should be placed in the light stand between their chairs. Though continued for a long time since they bought it and there were many obvious solutions, neither would budge from their reasons.

Spousal feuds like these never have course words or raised voices. Yet, they can last for decades. Are they the sign or cause of a relational separation? Both as this proverb testifies.

A dam holds back a tremendous amount of power stored in the water, a substance we can easily and pleasantly slide our hands into when still. Though a small breach lets the smallest portion of that power through, the water quickly erodes the schism changing it into a devastating breakout. Avoid strife by seeking to reason. Why do I want to win this argument? What drives my ego? What does winning the argument gain? Why is this the only thing we have to talk about? Can I slide my hand into the water rather than let it break out and break apart? Talk to your spouse about why you two keep pecking at the dam. Instead of winning the argument, win a swim in your spouse’s love. Instead of winning the argument, win a swim in your spouse’s love. Surprise them by driving their way home and say, “I will go anyway as long as it’s with you.”

BDBD is Proverb 17:13

The person who believes this proverb will make it change their life just as any other proverb. (Romans 12:17-21) When I believe that if I do good to another and am repaid with evil and yet continue to do good then I am living this verse.

How can I do this when at times every impulse I have is vengeance? I can when I have faith in God that if they do not repent the evil done to me their evil will cease for God will turn the situation around. Eventually evil will never leave the house of my tormenter. Their troubles will overwell them.

Nabal repaid David’s kindness with evil. David’s initial response was to repay Nabal’s evil by attacking him. But when he relented Nabal died, David married his wife and received all of Nabal’s belongings. (1 Samuel 25:21) Years later when David repaid Uriah’s loyalty by sleeping with his wife and then murdering him to cover it up, trouble never left David’s house. (2 Samuel 12:10)

Recently, I have seen God remove from my environment some who I did not repay their evil with evil. Though it is not easy at times I believe God’s word, apply it to my life, and see what God will do.

BDBD is Proverb 17:12

Once upon the frontier time, a young hunter was tracking in the woods when he heard peculiar sounds – yelps and moans that almost sounded human. He followed them to an opening in the canopy where a large tree had fallen. The laying trunk extended what appeared to be several hundred feet into the forest. It had taken down two trees when it fell. At the center of the opening to the blue sky were the remains of a tall splintered stump from which came the yelps. “Was the once proud tree crying in sadness?”

The intrigued hunter climbed upon the laid trunk to get a better view of the stump that sang a dirge. Reaching his apex he noticed that the trunk was hollow. He leaned over to look see what was inside. Surprised was he to see that a black cub had fallen into the tree stump. It was crying for its mother. No sooner had he learned the source of the cries when he heard the approaching quake of the bear robbed of her cub.

Impulsive adrenaline catapulted the hunter that became the hunted into the hollow trunk next to the cub. The mother’s thunderous crash shook what he feared would be his coffin. As the attack against the trunk continued and the cub continued its bellowing cries he calmed and deduced his situation. The solution was obvious – push the cub out of the hollow jail. Though he discovered that a bear cub is not easy to hoist, with persistence he eventually was able to reunite the cub with its mother. He was proud and elated by his heroism until a new reality arrived. Who would push him out of the hollow trunk?

“Better to meet a bear robbed of its cubs than a fool (carried away) with his folly.”

BDBD is Proverb 17:11

A rebellion is not only an open, armed, and organized resistance to a constituted government. It is also an act or a show of defiance toward an authority or established convention. This proverb defines people who seek rebellion as evil people. Even when we were a toddler learning to walk our parents experienced the rebellious nature in us. Cancer cells of rebellion are in all. Left untreated, controlled, and subdued this cancer can kill.

The evil bent on rebellion and unwilling to relent will find a merciless official sent against them. So David dispatched Abishai and Joab to end Sheba’s rebellion against him. (2 Samuel 20:1-22) Solomon gave orders to Benaiah to strike down Adonijah and Joab for seeking to undermine his newly established throne. (1 Kings 2:13-25, 28-34) When Isreal continued to rebel against the LORD he unleashed against them a band of destroying angels. (Psalm 78:49)

The rebellious cells that are a part of my nature can be eliminated before a cruel messenger is sent to punish me. If I allow the Master Physician to apply his blood in me, then the sinful cells will be killed. By his wounds, I have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24)

BDBD is Proverb 17:10

A subtle truth in this proverb is that even the discerning need a rebuke now and then. Even if I have keen insight and good judgment I still need someone to firmly voice fault in my error in word or action. A rebuke expressed with love and fact will subdue me if I am the type that considers the truth, understands it and applies it. If truth doesn’t make an impression after several repeats then I remain a guilty fool. More rebukes will only make a fool hate the messenger. (9:7-8) This is why the prophets and apostles were killed. The listeners remained fools.

BDBD is Proverb 17:9

Cover over an offense is forgiving someone who sins against me. Forgiving another is often not easy. This proverb gives a reason to forgive. Forgiving someone promotes and seeks love. Furthermore, if I do not forgive and the matter is repeated a mental and emotional rift is established. “Whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

When I forgive someone who has offended and hurt me I am acknowledging that what they did was not only inconsiderate but wrong. In my soul, I concede, “I am not going to take offense and retribution. I renounce any and all anger and resentment against my tormentor and the damage they did though I have a right to be angry and avenge.”

Jesus taught me to pray, “Forgive me my debts, as I also have forgiven my debtors.” I would be a hypocrite if I told God this and only wanted the first part to be true. Jesus continued, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:11-12, 14-15)

BDBD is Proverb 17:8

This proverb appears to endorse giving a bribe as does 18:16 and 21:14. The original Hebrew word “shohad” (a transliteration) is translated into English as “gift, reward, present, and bribe”. It comes from the root word “shachad” meaning a donation. The point of a bribe is to pervert the course of justice (17:23) and this is prohibited amongst God’s people (Deuteronomy 16:19-20; Isaiah 1:23; Amos 5:12). A bribe turns a person into a fool and corrupts the heart (Ecclesiastes 7:7; 1 Timothy 6:10).

A bribe is something such as money or a favor offered or given to a person in a position of trust to influence that person’s views or conduct in a way that should not be done in a just society. There are always victims when a bribe is accepted. The primary victims are the giver and the receiver. They give away their emotions, receive a corrupt body, and lose the respect of the Supreme Eternal Judge. Sure, a third person is always harmed in a bribe, the person who is robbed of justice, health, or property.

Spiritual bribes exist. When a preacher and teacher, a shepherd of God’s people do not serve for the benefit of the flock, but for the benefit of their profit. Another spiritual bribe is where God’s people accept the comfort of a couch and a closed mouth over obeying Jesus’ command to share the good news of salvation. Have I been bribed to put down my cross and accept a couch?

BDBD is Proverb 17:7

The person this proverb addresses is anyone who has authority over others. A prince, a noble, a ruler, a supervisor, a manager, a judge, a professor, a teacher, and a parent are to ponder the meaning and application. Do I lie to those under my authority whether in actions or words?

A fool is known to speak crudely and make little sense. So eloquent lips on a fool are as much an oxymoron as the lying lips of a ruler. In God’s judgment, a good and proper ruler is one that speaks the truth. Speaking truth is a common subject in the book of Proverbs and elsewhere in the Bible making it a point that God wants me to take to heart and action. The person that lies to those under their authority will lose their respect once their lies are made known.

BDBD is Proverb 17:6

To live to see one’s grandchildren is a great blessing. (Genesis 48:11; Psalm 128:5-6) This is a state of fact whether it is recognized or not by everyone today. While it is true that for millenniums every human culture experienced this truth just as it did in Solomon’s day when this was written, it is less recognized in modern cultures. This is due in part to the modern search for endless sensual gratification. The result is the erosion of society and self-identification.

To experience one’s parent’s teaching and support in mid-life is a great blessing. (Genesis 47:7) This is a state of fact whether it is recognized or not by most today. While it is true that for millenniums every human culture experienced this truth just as it did in Solomon’s day when this was written, it is less recognized in modern cultures. This is due in part to the modern search for endless sensual gratification. The result is the erosion of society and self-identification.

The last word in the Old Testament states, “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5-6) John the Baptist sought to fulfill this mission in his ministry. (Luke 1:17) Israel’s culture needed to change, just as modern culture needs to change. Do I want it to change? Or do I go with the eroding flow?

BDBD is Proveb 17:5

The way I react to others is a gauge of my relationship with God. If I mock the poor, then I show contempt for my Maker. Mock is “laag” in the original Hebrew meaning to make fun of, to laugh at, and to scorn. Contempt is “harap” in the original Hebrew meaning to reproach, defy, and insult. The reason for the relationship is that God created both the rich and the poor in his image (22:2; Job 31:13-15) James wrote, “With the tongue, we praise our Lord and Father, and with it, we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” (James 3:9-10)

This does not mean that if I show love, respect, and kindness to the poor then I will be closer to God. Rather, if I love and fear the Lord, then I will naturally show love, respect, and kindness to the poor.

God does not forget how I treat others. (21:13) If I gloat over the disaster of either the poor or the rich, then I will be punished. Jesus revealed this through the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. (Luke 16:20-31) Therefore, I should heed this warning and fear the Lord, draw near to him, and ask him to give me a heart like Jesus who loved both the rich and the poor, the satisfied and the desolate. (Luke 4:18)

BDBD is Proverb 17:4

Human nature is to gather around us people who think, talk, and act like us. “A wicked man listens to evil lips; a liar pays attention to a malicious tongue.” A righteous man listens to virtuous lips; a truth-teller pays attention to an honest tongue. Apostle Paul warned Timothy, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

What should the righteous do when the lost wicked support their evil beliefs and selfish intentions with dangerous lies and malicious gossip? Jesus taught his disciples, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)

BDBD is Proverb 17:3

A crucible is a vessel made of a refractory substance such as graphite or porcelain, used for melting and calcining silver at high temperatures. A gold furnace is an enclosure of clay bricks where intense heat is generated by the combustion of coal or wood. Both have such a highly concentrated heat that the silver and gold melt. Dross naturally floats to the top of the liquid metal. The metal is then taken from the crucible or furnace. The dross is removed from the liquid metal. This process is called refining, purifying, and sometimes testing. Refining metal enables its properties to be actualized when in solid form.

Refining silver and gold is equated to the Lord God’s work in hearts. He tests souls in a similar way. He places people in situations meant to remove the worthless impurities in their souls. (15:11; Isaiah 1:25; Malachi 3:3) The Lord tests faith such as in Abraham’s life. The Lord tests hope such as in Sarah’s life. The Lord tests love such as in the apostle’s lives. He exposes the motives so that we willingly allow him to remove them (16:2). He searches the heart and examines the mind to reward according to our conduct and what our deeds deserve. (Jeremiah 17:10)

BDBD is Proverb 17:2

This prophecy proverb would have been shocking in Solomon’s day. No one would even consider their servants anything but subjects let alone ruling over their sons and daughters. Furthermore, nobody would allow them to share the inheritance as one of the brothers.

Yet that is just what happened with Joseph, Jacob’s second youngest son. He was sold into slavery by his brothers and was later placed in jail. Yet he eventually became the second-highest ruler in Egypt answering only the Pharoah. Then Jacob made both Joseph’s half-Egyptian sons equal in stature and inheritance with Joseph’s brothers.

The reason I say this is a prophecy proverb is because of my previous, current, and future status in Christ. This status is shared by all Gentiles who call on the name of Jesus. John 1:11-13 states, “Jesus came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. (That is the Jews.) Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” Through Jesus, I have become a child of God and share the inheritance as one of the brothers.

BDBD is Proverb 17:1

A house that experiences much arguing knows this proverb to be true. A home of peace and quiet is better than a house with strife, even if that house doesn’t have an abundance of food and extravagant decor.

The proverb does not directly say how to have peace probably because the reader is supposed to think about how they add to the quarreling and thus correct their behavior. A starting question is, “Do I show love and respect to the members of my house, especially my spouse?” (15:17)

Hidden in this proverb is a possible cause for the constant petty bickering. The house with plenty of feasting requires more work and time away from the family at home. It also requires more spending money than saving money. A home without a budget will soon have cash flow problems that will result in much quarreling. The number one external cause of quarrels is cash problems.

The core of strife in a home is a spiritual priority problem. The Hebrew word “zebah” in the second half of the proverb means sacrifices and feasting. One of the main types of religious sacrifices was offering a portion of meat to the LORD and sharing the rest with the family. If a married couple doesn’t share a right relationship with God through Jesus and the Spirit, then improper priorities will result in discord and belligerence.

BDBD is Proverb 16:33

Casting a lot in the lap was a way for the people in Solomon’s day to determine their god(s) will. They did not wear pants. They wore long robes called a mantle from the neck to the ankles. They would take small stones or pebbles and cast them in the mantle’s lap to determine their destiny and/or portion. Before that, they would ask a question believing that their god(s) would influence the stone(s) to land a certain way showing them a decision. The Crazy 8 from the 1970s had a similar purpose, though gods were not part of it.

This proverb counters this folly religious practice with the truth, “Every decision is from the LORD.” The second half of the proverb is two Hebrew words, “mishpat YHWH”. “Mishpat” means judgment, cause, ordinance, measure, and law. God, not chance or destiny is in control. Similar truths are stated in verses 1, 3, 4, 9, 19:21, and 21:31.

Similarly, at one time, I would look for ways to determine God’s will in my life, something to help me make a decision. I would look at what was happening to determine God’s will for me. Whether a big or little life decision was to be made I would turn over in my mind different scenarios, I would search my soul for fear of making a foolish decision.

Now I have faith in God in all decisions. I still think about what is the best course, but not fret about it. I make a decision and say to God, “I want your will because I know it is the best. This is what I decided. If it is foolish or not guide me to the best outcome for your glory.” I take full responsibility all the while trusting God.

BDBD is Proverb 16:32

Patience is compared to uncontrolled temper elsewhere in Proverbs and other books in the Bible (14:29, 15:18, 19:11; James 1:19-20; Ecclesiastes 9:18). The commentaries for 14:29 and 15:18 discusses the virtue of patience and the commentary for Ecclesiastes 9:18 discusses the benefit of controlling emotions.

This proverb does not say that going to war and taking cities in wars is wrong, only that patience is better. Valid reasons exist for going to war. When Israel was commanded to take the promised land, Canaan they were told by God to go to war against its sinful occupants. (Exodus 23:23-33) Many cities and nations have falsely used the name of God to go to war. That is wrong.

An interesting observation is that the proverb does not say, “Better a man of peace than a warrior…” Rather it says, “Better a patient man…” Why patience? Patient for what? Patient for God. Deuteronomy 32:35 is quoted in Romans 12:19 and Hebrew 10:30, “‘It is mine to avenge, I will repay’, says the Lord.”

On a personal level when I am in the presence of others I am to remain in control of my temper as Jesus was when he encountered hostility and stubborn refusal to acknowledge and believe the truth. (Mark 3:5, 6:6, 16:14) When others harbor hate, I am to be patient for God to avenge. Maybe, they will be saved.