An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 138 – Self-Righteousness Through The Way Of Righteousness (Proverbs 12:15-28)
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1. Will a foolish person listen to reason when they are wrong?
No: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15).

  • The fool is convinced their way is always right (Proverbs 14:12, Proverbs 14:16, Proverbs 16:2, Proverbs 16:25, Proverbs 21:2, Proverbs 30:12, Luke 18:10-14, and Galatians 6:3).
  • We must never be wise in our own eyes (Deuteronomy 12:8, Proverbs 3:7, and Isaiah 5:21).
  • Wise people will listen to wise, GODLY counsel (Proverbs 1:5 and Proverbs 19:20).

2. What’s at least one difference between a fool and a prudent man?
“A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent [sensible; acting with or showing care and thought for the future; Strong’s # 6175; BDB and New Oxford Dictionary] man covereth shame” (Proverbs 12:16).

  • This is not meaning to hide one’s side in a “cover-up” that is deceptive (Proverbs 28:13).
  • What we are talking about is discretion rather than open flaunting of one’s sinful behavior (Ezra 9:6). Godly people are ashamed of something one does that is wrong, not wanting to “put it on display” (Jeremiah 6:15; 8:12).

3. What do we need to speak to show forth righteousness?
He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit” (Proverbs 12:17).

  • Psalms 15:1-2 and Ephesians 5:9.
  • “A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies” (Proverbs 14:25).

4. Are words powerful enough to be helpful if right and harmful if wrong?
Yes: “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health” (Proverbs 12:18).

  • As weapons: Psalms 57:4, Psalms 64:3, Proverbs 25:18, Ephesians 5:6, and II Timothy 2:17.
  • For good: Proverbs 15:7 and Ephesians 4:29.

5. Is it the truth speaker or the liar that has hope for a good future?
“The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment (Proverbs 12:19). * Liars have a bad ending (Acts 5:1-10 and Revelation 21:8).

6. What is in the heart of those that imagine evil?
“Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy” (Proverbs 12:20).

  • Proverbs 23:6-7 and Proverbs 26:23-28.

7. Is Proverbs 12:21 teaching that nothing bad will ever happen to people that are just (
*note: consider Psalms 37:12-15, Matthew 23:34-35, Matthew 26:1-4, and II Timothy 3:12 when answering this question)?
Proverbs 12:21 says: “There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief” (Proverbs 12:21).

  • The verses given in the wording of the question prove we CANNOT be reading a Scripture that promises no harm will occur to just people (Matthew 5:10-12 and Luke 6:46).
  • Thus, the Scripture must be discussing things in the overall scheme of our existence, which includes eternity (II Corinthians 4:16-5:1).

8. What does the Lord think about liars?
“Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight” (Proverbs 12:22).

  • Proverbs 6:16-19 and Revelation 21:8.
  • Our attitude ought to be the same (Psalms 119:163, Proverbs 13:5, and Ephesians 4:25).

9. Rather than being prudent and using discretion with one’s words, what does a fool do?
“A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness (Proverbs 12:23).

  • Proverbs 15:2, Proverbs 17:27-28, and Ecclesiastes 10:12-14.

10. What are two differences between the diligent man and the slothful man (based on verses 24; 27)?
Basic point, laziness never brings you to a point of success in anything, including providing for yourself: “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute… The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious” (Proverbs 12:24; 27).

Proverbs 21:25-26
and Proverbs 24:30-34.

11. What does heaviness [anxiety] in one’s heart do?
“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad” (Proverbs 12:25).

Psalms 38:6, Proverbs 15:13, Proverbs 17:22, Proverbs 18:14, and Philippians 4:6-7.

12. Regardless of how righteous we are, what do we need to be cautious of?
Being seduced by the way of the wicked: “The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them” (Proverbs 12:26).

  • Psalms 119:115, Proverbs 9:6, Proverbs 13:20, I Corinthians 15:33, and I Thessalonians 5:22.

13. What is in the way of righteousness?
Life, not death (spiritually speaking): “In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death” (Proverbs 12:28).

  • Ezekiel 18:9, Ezekiel 18:20-23, John 5:28-29, Romans 6:22-23, and Jude 21.