The Bible says in Proverbs 19:14, “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord.” There are several ways that a person can become rich. The first part of verse 14 mentions the most common in the history of the human race: inheritance. Because America has been a free country with mostly equal opportunity for all, a person with nothing can come to acquire great riches. I have seen people become rich through buying and selling. If you always buy low and sell high, you are on your way: whether it is real estate, stocks, or anything else. Because of the celebrities that get created in our modern society, many of them are made rich because of their singing or acting abilities (that God gave to them.) Because of the popularity of sports, many sports figures are also made rich. Some people also become rich by rising to positions of leadership in companies. In America anyone can rise to the top according to their abilities and opportunities, no matter what is their family or financial background.
But of course, money is not everything. There are many things that are much more important than money: family, friendship, love, health, freedom, safety, and eternal life are all much more important than money. And money cannot buy any of these things. Money especially cannot buy eternal life. As a matter of fact, Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into heaven. That is because when someone is rich, they tend to trust in their riches, and that becomes an impediment to them trusting in God. You must repent and put your faith in Christ to be saved.
Some things can come only from God: forgiveness of sins, eternal life, the knowledge of Christ as savior, true spiritual wisdom. The last part of verse 14 gives one more thing that comes from God: “a prudent wife.” The word “prudent” means to have an understanding about things that results in success, and so it is an emphasis on practical wisdom. There is a lot to be done and a lot to be organized in the governance and maintaining of a household. Much of that falls to the wife. Often a good wife understands what needs to be done to take care of the household and the family. Therefore, a wife like this is a very valuable asset to a man. Where does such a wife come from: she comes from the Lord. After God made Adam, God made a woman and brought the woman to the man. Every man who is blessed of God has the same thing happen to him. “A prudent wife is from the Lord.”
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:15, “Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep, and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.” It is God’s will that we work. We must work in order to accomplish something. Laziness is a sin. Laziness is throwing away the opportunity of life. And of course, laziness will have its consequences. We earn our bread by working, and so it is only right that God gives the consequence as hunger. We have a problem with hunger in the world. There are many reasons for hunger: war, drought, poverty. But there is another reason that is not talked about much in current events or on the news. Some people are hungry because they are lazy. If they would get off the couch and work, they would earn some money and buy some food for themselves and for their families. The New Testament says, “if any would not work, neither should he eat.”
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:16, “He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.” God gave His commandments for a reason. One reason is to give humans a standard of behavior. Some people have no standards. They need the Bible to give them a standard. Another reason that God gave us the commandments is so that we will have good consequences to our lives, and not bad consequences. Obey a commandment and you will be blessed for it. Break a commandment and you will suffer. You are helping yourself when you obey God, and you are hurting yourself when you do not. Of course, the breaking of the commandments leads to death: spiritual death. Spiritual death is eternal separation from God. It says in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The good news is that even though we have sinned and broken the commandments, we can live forever in heaven.
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:17, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” You cannot out-give God. If you do the right thing and help those who come your way who need help, then God will give you extra help. The Lord promises to help us anyway if we put Him first, but He is especially touched when we reach to those less fortunate than we are. Jesus said in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus also said, “Whosoever shall give a cup of water to these who believe in me, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:18, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” Notice the word “while.” A parent has a child for only a while: only a time, and then the child gets older and goes his or her own way in life just like every adult does eventually. If they do not learn obedience when they are young, then when will they learn it? It will be a long hard road if a child is not properly punished when young. This does not mean that the child is physically harmed. But the child must respect the parent. The child must fear the parent just as we must fear God. The child must have negative consequences to negative actions, just as the child must have positive consequences to positive actions. It is the responsibility of the parent to give those consequences, and it is the responsibility of the child to honor the parent. “Honor your mother and your father.”
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:19, “A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.” Anger is a common emotion from human beings. And anger is very dangerous, because an angry person will do things that they would not have done had they not become angry. An angry person will do things that they should not do. Many crimes are committed when people are angry. Many friendships and personal relationships are harmed because of what people say when they are angry. Beware of anger. It says in James 1:19-20, “Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” Why do human beings get so angry so easily: because of selfishness? I want a certain outcome, or a certain behavior, or a certain response from people; and when it does not happen, if I get angry it proves my selfishness. Thank God that Jesus forgives sins.
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:20, “Hear council and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” Information is not only available, it is constantly available. But you must be willing to accept the good teaching when it comes your way. How does learning take place? You must have two things: a teacher who gives information and a student who receives it. We are all students, needing to learn more about life and about God. If you are on this earth, there is always an open invitation to listen and learn. Notice that it says in the last part of verse 20 “that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” God is interested in what we become at the end of our lives. Up to that point, one of the things that is going on is that He is preparing believers to be more like Jesus. When we have become everything that God wants us to be, and when we have had the chance to learn everything that God wants us to learn, and when He is done using us for His glory, He will take us off the earth. Hopefully, if you come to know Jesus as your Savior, at the end of your life you will have a great storehouse of what He has taught you throughout the course of your life. From that standpoint all of your failures are simply learning opportunities. Learn what God wants you to learn and you will have succeeded.
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:21, “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless, the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” God is in control of this world. God is also in control of everyone’s heart. God is in control of the heart of believers and unbelievers. All actions of human beings proceed from their hearts. Thoughts and emotions and desires take place before actions. If you change the heart, then you change the action that will take place. That is why once a person believes in Jesus in the heart, the life is changed. If you believe in God, you should never have a lack of faith or confidence when anyone does anything. God is in control of everyone’s heart. If God wants to change someone’s actions, then He will keep a thought from entering into their heart. That is one of the reasons that we are told in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God: to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:22, “The desire of a man is his kindness, and a poor man is better than a liar.” How can you become more of a kind person? That would be a noble goal. The first part of this verse explains why you are a kind person or why you are not. It has to do with your “desire.” If you have the proper desire, you will desire to help others and to be a blessing to them. We all have an innate self-interest. We need some self-interest in order to survive. But if we have too much self-interest, we will not care at all about others. Our desire is our kindness.
The second part of verse 22 says that “a poor man is better than a liar.” This implies that it is not good to be poor, but if you are poor, you are still better than a liar. This is not talking about your value as a person, but is talking about your circumstances. Liars go to hell. Liars are like their father, the devil. Liars are constantly breaking one of the Ten Commandments. Liars will reap what they sow. Liars are hated. No one trusts a liar. “a poor man is better than a liar.”
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:23, “The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.” Life is going to last a lot longer than just in this current existence. We are talking forever. How do you get eternal life? According to this verse, it starts with “the fear of the Lord.” One reason to fear the Lord is that He gave the law, and He is the Judge. Everyone must answer to Him. Wake up to that fact, turn to Jesus, and you will have eternal life. Your soul will be satisfied. You will find the true meaning to life once you are united with God through faith in Christ. And of course, you are rescued from the grip of evil. Evil has no more power over your soul.
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:24, “A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.” Some people are so lazy that they do not even use their own hands for the purpose that they were given hands. Some things do not change. One of the things that happen to some people who do not turn to God is that they become lazy. Laziness is a type of selfishness. Laziness is the wrong view of life. One of the great purposes of life is to work and to accomplish something. “In the beginning God created…” We are created in the image of God, so we should also do and make. You will not have a fulfilled life unless you accomplish something, and accomplish it for God’s glory. Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him that sent me while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work.” Give your heart to Jesus, and Jesus will guide you into the work that God has for you too.
Copyright; 2017 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved