1 A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.
2 Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death.
3 The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
4A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
5He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
6Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
7 The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.
8 The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
10Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
13On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.
14The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.
15 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city; the poverty of the poor is their ruin.
16The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin.
17Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
18The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool.
19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
20The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
21The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.
22 The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
23Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
24 What the wicked dreads will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous is established forever.
26Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.
27 The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.
28 The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.
29 The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers.
30 The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not dwell in the land.
31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
32The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.
In our own effort, contemplating the wisdom of one of the most capable intellects to ever walk the earth is daunting at best.
But at times, God uses the horsepower of these minds to pen the simplest of truths.
In fact, Proverbs chapter 10 is a prime example of God using a powerhouse like Solomon to deliver such a message.
As is the case in many areas of scripture, God uses the common elements of life to elevate the necessity of wisdom and understanding.
Wisdom and Family
Right away we see how godly wisdom brings encouragement to a family…and the lack thereof brings sorrow. Verse 1 exclaims that “A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother” (ESV).
Even the most basic need of harvesting food is used to assign wisdom. To the son who gathers during the harvest a commendation is given. But, to the one who sleeps during the reaping, shame is assigned and harm comes to the family (vs. 5).
Wisdom and Righteousness
God also supports the necessity of His wisdom in attaining righteousness before Him.The Bible is very clear about this point specifically. Only under His influence and power can one even begin to find righteousness.
Chapter 10 elaborates by pointing out where the blessing of righteousness is found:
- The treasures gained from righteousness deliver from death (vs. 2, ESV).
- Spiritual hunger is satisfied through righteous wisdom (vs. 3, ESV).
- Blessings are given to those on whomrighteousness falls (vs. 6, ESV).
- The memory of the righteous that is left behind will be a blessing to those who hold it (vs. 7, ESV).
- The wage of the righteous, or relational closeness to God, leads to life (vs. 16, ESV).
- Righteousness is found in the desire of those who seek Him, and their desire is granted (vs. 24, ESV).
- The righteous are established forever (vs. 25, ESV).
- Righteousness is found in hope and it brings joy (vs. 28, ESV).
- The removal of the righteous is impossible in the sight of God (vs. 30, ESV).
Righteousness and the Tongue
It’s evident that when delivered by God, righteousness finds a way in to every aspect of our lives. However, chapter 10 places special attention on one area that can prove the nature of our heart…our mouth, tongue, and lips (vs. 10, 11, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 31, 32, ESV).
As is the case in my life, the ability to craft words is both a special blessing and a curse. When guided by God it builds others up. It teaches and upholds truth. It encourages and transforms.
However, when the flesh gains control, these same words degrade and destroy. They bring about hatred and violence. They tear down and diminish our worth…and the worth of others.
The Wisdom of a Righteous God
It is obviously no accident that God used this chapter to stir my passions and focus. Although there are other very strong passages, the elements of family and righteousness stood elevated above the rest.
The reality for those who are His is this: His wisdom develops healthy families and His righteousness infects every recess of our lives…both here and in eternity.
Under His changing power, the culture of our family is renewed. Under His shepherding, those who are His find that their circumstances are enhanced and more easily managed. Under His control, the venom of our tongue is dampened and it becomes a source of joy. By His power, we are reduced and He is exalted.
In this chapter, God’s brilliance was evident in the simplicity of its promises. And let’s face it…we all need a little simplicity!
Keagan Pearson is a father of three and a husband of one. By his submission to Christ, Keagan hopes to encourage others in their commitment to Lord and to their families. In part, this is accomplished through his passion of blogging at www.fatherhoodfactor.com and his passion for teaching in various ministry settings. You can follow Keagan on Twitter @FatherFactor