Growing with God’s Word in Wisdom and Strength
Proverbs 15:1-33: Today’s reading begins with verses that recount the benefits of gentle answers and kind words and concludes with affirming the importance of having reverence for the LORD.
Reverence for the LORD is an education in itself. You must be humble before you can ever receive honors.
1A gentle answer quiets anger, but a harsh one stirs it up.
2When wise people speak, they make knowledge attractive, but stupid people spout nonsense.
3The Lord sees what happens everywhere; he is watching us, whether we do good or evil.
4Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit.
5It is foolish to ignore what your parents taught you; it is wise to accept their correction.
6Righteous people keep their wealth, but the wicked lose theirs when hard times come.
7Knowledge is spread by people who are wise, not by fools.
8The Lord is pleased when good people pray, but hates the sacrifices that the wicked bring him.
9The Lord hates the ways of evil people, but loves those who do what is right.
10If you do what is wrong, you will be severely punished; you will die if you do not let yourself be corrected.
11Not even the world of the dead can keep the Lord from knowing what is there; how then can we hide our thoughts from God?
12Conceited people do not like to be corrected; they never ask for advice from those who are wiser.
13When people are happy, they smile, but when they are sad, they look depressed.
14Intelligent people want to learn, but stupid people are satisfied with ignorance.
15The life of the poor is a constant struggle, but happy people always enjoy life.
16Better to be poor and fear the Lord than to be rich and in trouble.
17Better to eat vegetables with people you love than to eat the finest meat where there is hate.
18Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace.
19If you are lazy, you will meet difficulty everywhere, but if you are honest, you will have no trouble.
20Wise children make their fathers happy. Only fools despise their mothers.
21Stupid people are happy with their foolishness, but the wise will do what is right.
22Get all the advice you can, and you will succeed; without it you will fail.
23What a joy it is to find just the right word for the right occasion!
24Wise people walk the road that leads upward to life, not the road that leads downward to death.
25The Lord will destroy the homes of arrogant men, but he will protect a widow's property.
26The Lord hates evil thoughts, but he is pleased with friendly words.
27Try to make a profit dishonestly, and you get your family in trouble. Don't take bribes and you will live longer.
28Good people think before they answer. Evil people have a quick reply, but it causes trouble.
29When good people pray, the Lord listens, but he ignores those who are evil.
30Smiling faces make you happy, and good news makes you feel better.
31If you pay attention when you are corrected, you are wise.
32If you refuse to learn, you are hurting yourself. If you accept correction, you will become wiser.
33Reverence for the Lord is an education in itself. You must be humble before you can ever receive honors.
To have reverence for the LORD is a recurring theme throughout Proverbs (see 1:7; 9:10; 14:2, 26, 27; 23:17; 24:21). Proverbs 9:10 says, “To be wise you must first have reverence for the LORD. If you know the Holy One, you have understanding.” In today’s reading, verse 33 likens having reverence for the LORD with receiving an education. Do you equate reverence for the LORD with wisdom? In what ways do you demonstrate your reverence for the LORD?
Lord God, I yearn to grow day by day in your wisdom and to know you and have a deeper understanding of your ways. Teach me by your Word to live in ways that reflect my reverence for you. Amen.
Proverbs 16:1-33: God has the last word.