Where Is God In All Of This? - The Study of the Book of Proverbs (Chapter 15)
God Does Not Miss A Thing
It seems like chaos, confusion, and agitation is everywhere. Turn on the news and the talking heads are arguing everything from politics to sports, nations are fighting amongst themselves, as well as, one against another. Families are in turmoil, children are being abused, schools are under attack, and the churches are silenced. What is going on?
Change has got to happen, but it will only happen when we, as individuals, turn to God’s Word and seek His wisdom and guidance. When the necessary changes start to happen one by one, individual by individual, the affects will begin to be seen.
It begins by seeking Gods Wisdom and then acting on that wisdom.
“A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.” (Proverbs 15: 1-2 NKJV)
A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire. Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise; fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.” (Proverbs 15: 1-2 TMB)
The fastest way to defuse an argument is to refuse to argue. There are some people who are just bent on arguing; it doesn’t matter what the topic, where they are, or who they spar off with. They want to vocalize their point of view and make themselves heard.
It is admirable to stand up for what you believe in; the important thing is, how you do that. In the right place, at the right time, using wisdom, the right tone of voice, and well researched and thought out information. This will bring understanding and peace. But those who just want to argue for argument sake are the leaky faucets that drip nonsense. It’s foolish to even try to converse with someone like that, simply refuse to raise your voice, and walk away.
Where is God in all of this?
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit. A fool despises his father’s instruction, But he who receives reproof is prudent.” (Proverbs 15: 3-5 NKJV)
"God doesn’t miss a thing—he’s alert to good and evil alike. Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim. Moral dropouts won’t listen to their elders; welcoming correction is a mark of good sense.” (Proverbs 15: 3-5 TMB)
Looking around us, it is easy to get discouraged and wonder, where is God? Proverbs 15 tells us that God sees everyone and everything, He hears every word spoken and knows every heart.
John Wooden says, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
However, a godly man or woman knows that God is watching at all times, and knows all things. The godly person will speak kind words to heal the broken and hurting, and will themselves listen and receive sound instruction and correction.
They know that wise and godly words bring life and blessing to those who listen. For those who won’t listen to wisdom, it is plain to see how their lives turn out.
“In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, But in the revenue of the wicked is trouble. The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, But the heart of the fool does not do so.” (Proverbs 15: 6-7 NKJV)
“The lives of God-loyal people flourish; a misspent life is soon bankrupt. Perceptive words spread knowledge; fools are hollow – there’s nothing to them.” (Proverbs 15: 6-7 TMB)
Even the foolish and ungodly try and do good deeds, but in the eyes of God their attempts fail miserably. Why? Because He knows their hearts and intentions. Perhaps it’s to draw attention to themselves, or to draw attention away from the evil in their lives. For some it may be to profit in some way, or to alleviate a guilty conscience. Regardless, the wise are not to be fooled into thinking these kind deeds make evil people good.
God loves those who know the difference between good and evil and are not taken in by the fakes. Through His wisdom we will know the difference between the true and the false, and we must run away from ungodliness and pursue all that is righteous.
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But He loves him who follows righteousness.” (Proverbs 15: 8-9 NKJV)
“God can’t stand pious poses, but he delights in genuine prayers. A life frittered away disgusts God: he loves those who run straight for the finish line.” (Proverbs 15: 8-9 TMB)
Even hell holds no secrets from God
Correction is not always pleasant, it can even be quite painful at times. But the important part of walking on the path of wisdom is to receive correction, even when it is unpleasant, and learning from it. The reward of accepting godly correction will always be a blessing. For those who refuse to receive even the kindest of godly correction, will live a life full of misery and even death.
“Harsh correction is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates reproof will die. Hell and Destruction are before the Lord; So how much more the hearts of the sons of men. A scoffer does not love one who reproves him, Nor will he go to the wise. ” (Proverbs 15: 10-12 NKJV)
“It’s a school of hard knocks for those who leave God’s path, a dead-end street for those who hate God’s rules. Even hell holds no secrets from God – do you think he can’t read human hearts? Know-it-alls don’t like being told what to do; they avoid the company of wise men and women.” (Proverbs 15: 10-12 TMB)
A Godly Life Ascends to the Heights
On this path of wisdom, we see not only the wages of those who won’t listen and do not seek a godly life, but the rewards for those who do. There is no promise that everything will always be hunky-dory and life will never have trials that we must overcome. However, we are given instructions on what to do when those trials come and how to overcome them. Many times it starts within us, in our minds, with our attitudes.
“A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness. All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” (Proverbs 15: 13-15 NKJV)
“A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day. An intelligent person is always eager to take in more truth; fools feed on fast-food fads and fancies. A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song.” (Proverbs 15: 13-15 TMB)
Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, good times and bad. Even life on the road in search of wisdom. A big part of learning wise lessons in life is enduring these twists and turns while keeping your head up, eyes open, and a right attitude. Attitude is truly everything. Any situation can be faced and overcome with the right attitude.
“Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, Than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred.” (Proverbs 15: 16-17 NKJV)
“A simple life in the Fear-of-God is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches. Better a bread crust shared in love than a slab of prime rib served in hate.” (Proverbs 15: 16-17 TMB)L
Learn the good and godly things, stay away from those who do not.
There are good people and bad people everywhere. Wisdom tells us to stay away from those who are not on the road to wisdom and will not listen to good advice. There are many who scoff and make fun of people who aspire to seek wisdom and live good, godly lives, these are the ones we need to avoid.
1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character.”
It is better to stay away from those who refuse to walk on the path to wisdom, than to be led away from godliness and all its blessings.
“A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention. The way of the slothful man is like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright is a highway. A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother. Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, But a man of understanding walks uprightly.” (Proverbs 15: 18-21 NKJV)
“Hot tempers start fights; a calm, cool spirit keeps the peace. The path of lazy people is overgrown with briers; the diligent walk down a smooth road. Intelligent children make their parents proud; lazy students embarrass their parents. The empty—headed treat life as a plaything; the perceptive grasp its meaning and make a go of it." (Proverbs 15: 18-21 TMB)
Seek out successful people.
No one looking to be successful hangs out with those who quit or fail. To be successful, you must seek advice from trusted, capable sources and surround yourself with positive, successful people. It only makes sense; so why would anyone who is on the road seeking wisdom want to hang out with those who are arrogant, self—serving, filled with hate and strife? Turn away from these people and seek out godly, successful people who will encourage you on to more wisdom and blessings.
“Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established. A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is! The way of life winds upward for the wisd, That he may turn away from hell below. The Lord will destroy the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow.” (Proverbs 15: 22-25 NKJV)
“Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed. Congenial conversation – what a pleasure! The right word at the right time – Beautiful! Life ascents to the heights for the thoughtful—it’s a clean about-face from decent into hell. God smashes the pretensions of the arrogant; he stands with those who have no standing.” (Proverbs 15: 22-25 TMB)
Ungodly living will always end up bad.
As was stated earlier, God sees everyone and everything, He hears every word spoken and knows every heart. As you read these next verses in Proverbs 15, think about the people you know, the godly and the ungodly, and see if these verses match up to the lives they are living.
“The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, But the words of the pure are pleasant. He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live. The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil. The Lord is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayers of the righteous.” (Proverbs 15: 26-29 NKJV)
“God can’t stand evil scheming, but he puts words of grace and beauty on display. A greedy and grasping person destroys community; those who refuse to exploit live and let live. Prayerful answers come from God-loyal people; the wicked are sewers of abuse. God keeps his distance from the wicked; he closely attends to the prayers of God-loyal people.” (Proverbs 15: 26-29 TMB)
Seek wisdom and honor through study, obedience, and humility and you will receive blessings above what you can ever think or ask.
“The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, And a good report makes the bones healthy. The ear that hears the reproof of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds reproof gets understanding. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility.” (Proverbs 15: 30-33 NKJV)
“A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle. Listen to good advice if you want to live well, an honored guest among wise men and women. An undisciplined, self-willed life is puny; and obedient, God-willed life is spacious. Fear-of-God is a school in skilled living – first you learn humility, then you experience glory.” (Proverbs 15: 30-33 TMB)
It is clear that we should seek out successful people in all facets of life, but most importantly, in our spiritual life.
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