An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 144 – Profit In Labor Through Favor Toward A Wise Servant (Proverbs 14:23-35)
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1. Is it better to be a worker or a talker who doesn’t get things done?
Be a worker or suffer penury [poverty]:“In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury” (Proverbs 14:23).

* This applies carnally (
Proverbs 12:24 and II Thessalonians 3:7-13).

* It also applies spiritually (
Matthew 25:14-30, John 6:27, I Corinthians 15:58, and Hebrews 6:10-12).

2. Rather than a crown of true riches (i.e. Proverbs 8:18 and Revelation 2:9; 3:18), what do fools reap?
Foolishness: “The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly” (Proverbs 14:24).

* First off, we know the riches of the wise are not earthly treasures because Solomon has already shown the foolishness of trusting in earthly riches (
Proverbs 11:28 and Proverbs 13:7-8).

* Fools produce folly (
Proverbs 13:16, Proverbs 15:21, Proverbs 17:12, and Proverbs 26:11).

3. Can a true witness be helpful?
Yes: “A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies” (Proverbs 14:25).

* Think about how much we benefit from the Apostles being eyewitnesses of our Savior and His works (
Acts 2:32, Acts 3:15, and Acts 26:22).

* On the other hand, false witnesses can cause much harm (
Psalms 35:11, Proverbs 25:18, Matthew 26:59-66, and Acts 6:9-13).

4. Is it profitable to fear the Lord?
Yes, of course: “(26) In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. (27) The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death (Proverbs 14:26-27).

*
Psalms 112:1, Proverbs 3:7-8, Proverbs 19:23, and Philippians 2:12.

5. Does a king want to be among a multitude of people?
Yes: In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince” (Proverbs 14:28; cf. I Kings 4:20-21).

6. Is it good if one is easily provoked to a point of wrath?
No: “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly” (Proverbs 14:29).

*
Proverbs 14:17, Proverbs 15:18, Proverbs 16:32, Ephesians 4:26, Ephesians 4:31, and James 1:19-20.

7. Is envy a good thing?
No: “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones” (Proverbs 4:30).

* A sound heart is good (
Proverbs 4:23).

* Envy is destructive (
Job 5:2, Proverbs 27:4, Matthew 26:17-18, Acts 17:1-5, Romans 13:13, and James 3:16).

8. Is it pleasing to God for us to oppress the poor?
No: “He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor” (Proverbs 14:31).

*
Psalms 41:1, Proverbs 22:16, Proverbs 22:22-23, Zechariah 7:10, and Luke 6:20.

* The Lord is the maker of all (
Proverbs 22:2).

9. What do the righteous have hope in?
Death either of self or the wicked (I am not sure which this verse is discussing, but both are true): “The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death” (Proverbs 14:32).

* This point could be true in the righteous having hope in the death of the wicked (
Proverbs 11:10 and Proverbs 28:28).

* This point could also be true in the righteous having hope in his own death (
Psalms 116:15 and Philippians 1:21).

10. Where does wisdom rest?
Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known” (Proverbs 14:33).

* Our hearts are places wherein understanding and wisdom meet together (
Proverbs 2:2 and Colossians 3:16).

*Thus, it is imperative to seek understanding with all of our hearts (
Proverbs 15:14).

11. Are nations affected by the actions of the people therein?
Yes, good comes to a nation through righteous people while sin brings reproach: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

*
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance” (Psalms 33:12).

* Also:
“Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness” (Proverbs 25:5).

12. To obtain favor of a king, what kind of servant does one want to be?
A wise servant: “The king's favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame” (Proverbs 14:35).

* I Samuel 18:5.

* The only downside to being a wise servant is if the king is envious and always worrying about being overthrown, though a wise servant would never do such a thing (i.e. Saul;
I Samuel 18:12).

* These things matter for this reason:
“The king's wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass” (Proverbs 19:12).

* Spiritually, Christ is our KING (
John 18:36-37). The application to us spiritually is that we want to be wise servants (Matthew 24:45-51).