Proverbs 19

wisdom

Bible Passage: Proverbs 19

Yet again, another chapter in Proverbs full of sayings of wisdom that everyone can learn from, and

sayings that especially we as Christians need to consider and keep in our hearts.

And yet again, I struggle to decide on what to share for a chapter of a book in the Bible that has a

higher number of teachings than the entire series of Sesame Street or something like that…

Ultimately, I’ve decided on two points that caught my attention the most (I could highlight three to

make it a nice number, but I might not have the stamina to write that much)…

Man’s Way vs. God’s Way

There are many plans in a man’s heart. Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel – that will stand…

– Proverbs 19: 21

When it comes to achieving something, everyone has his or her own plan to do it. Our plans and

ideas are usually based on our own judgments, experience, knowledge of the overall situation and,

of course, “gut” feeling. The people of the world will make decisions by following their heart, to

“let it go” and to “just do it”. Some more extreme cases would ignore the advices and warnings

from others or even disregard the well being of others.

As for us, although we can have our plans and ideas, we must remember to always consider the

counsel and the words of our God. We should know that God’s way is the best way (hymn 402) and

His thoughts are higher than ours.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My

thoughts than your thoughts…”

– Isaiah 55: 8-9

God knows what is best for each and every one of us. And more importantly, God’s way would

definitely be the right way (again, refer to hymn 402). Our views and foresight are only very limited

and many a times we cannot really tell if something truly is the best for us, or if it is definitely the

right thing to do…

Therefore, we should always put our trust in the Lord and rely on Him, always praying for His

counsel, wisdom and guidance in everything we do.

The False Witness

A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape…

– Proverbs 9: 5

A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will perish…

– Proverbs 9: 9

These two verses are almost identical, except for the last couple of words. But both of them have

the same content: A person who speaks lies against others will definitely be punished in the end.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour…

– Exodus 20: 16

In the Ten Commandments, much airtime seems to be given to the commandments about idolatry,

Sabbath, murder and adultery. Bearing false witness is number nine on the list, but we know that

that does not make it any less significant than the others in the list.

Telling white lies (which is not a good thing, mind you) is one thing, but to tell lies against another

person that could harm that person’s psychology, reputation and relationships… Now that is just

very uncalled for… A classic example in the Bible is how Jezebel got some random dudes to bear

false witness against him, which led to his unjust stoning and death (1 Kings 21: 13).

Now, I’m sure non of us like the evil Jezebel who would purposely bear false witness against

someone to get him killed or harmed in another way. But we must be very careful with our words,

because we could also do the same by accident.

One very dangerous way in which we could do this can be summed up in one word: Gossiping.

When there are a lot of people together, like for example in the church, there would definitely be

talks about certain individuals or groups of people. Some of these are true, while the others are

false. Either way, where there’s gossip, these things will spread like wildfire, or like an infectious

disease, or like the ice bucket challenge going around the internet. And whether the rumours are

true or false, it will come to a point where many outcomes can happen:

– The person in question becomes embarrassed and avoids contact with others;

– The person in question becomes enraged with the gossip and distances himself from others;

– The reputation of the person in question would take a detrimental hit;

– The person in question begins to lose trust in the people around him (in the church);

– And many, many, many other possibilities…

Whatever the outcome, the ultimate result could be that that person would lose his trust in the

church and even worse, his faith in general… That person might never want to come to church again

and he might lose his trust in God…

If that person does indeed lose his faith in the end, who do we think will be held accountable for

that soul?

Therefore, we have to learn to control our tongue and strive for wisdom in our words. If anything

we hear is false, then we should speak of it with others. If it is true, is there any point or benefit in

saying it?

He who keeps the commandments keeps his soul, but he who is careless of his ways will die…

– Proverbs 19: 16

May God give us His wisdom in our daily lives, that we may know what to do and say in any

situation…

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