Proverbs 14:  Fountain of Life and Path to It

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death. Proverbs 14:27



14:1 A wise woman builds her house; that is, she develops a peaceful setting for family nurture.

1  The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

14:2 Fears the Lord contrasts starkly with despises Him.  Love for upright will naturally coincide with love and respect for the most upright One of all, God Himself.  Love for perversity will likewise result in hatred for Him.  Fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom is the central theme of Proverbs (see 1:7).

2  He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.

14:8 This proverb contrasts prudent and foolish people.  Wise people know what they are doing and why they are doing it.  They have wise reasons for what they do, based on a knowledge of their choices.  Fools, on the other hand, deceive so often that they deceive themselves.  They do not know where they are headed.

8  The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit.

14:12 Only when it is too late does the deluded person discover that he is on the crowded highway to death.  The implication is not that he was tricked, but that he relied too heavily on his own “wisdom” rather than turning in humility to God.  A way… the way:  Many proverbs put their message in terms of two ways – one that leads to life and another that leads to death.

12  There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

 14:19 In an ancient walled city, the gate area would normally be the weakest section of the wall.  The city engineers of ancient Canaan developed complex structures to fortify this point.  Controlling the gate of a city meant controlling the city; submitting at the gate meant an inability to overcome its defenses.  In the end, the wicked will submit at the gates of the righteous.

19  The evil will bow before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

14:21 despises… sins:  Jesus identified the command to love others, and not hate them, as second only to loving God (see Matt. 22:39).

21  He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.

14:22 One of the most significant pairings of words of piety in the Bible is the phrase translated mercy and truth.  Together the words mean “constant faithfulness” or “true loyalty.”  In the NT, the Greek equivalent of this phrase is translated “grace and truth” (John 1:14) and is used of the Savior Jesus.  Those who plot evil know nothing of this characteristic.

22  Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good.

14:26, 27  These proverbs interject the central idea of the Book of Proverbs – the fear of the Lord.  The fear of God provides both protection and a fountain of life, an image that recalls the Garden of Eden.

26  In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge. 27  The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.

14:31 oppresses… honors:  The theme of “as you treat people, so you treat God” is central to Scripture.

31  He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.

** God is the one who devises good.  He bothered to devise a way for sinners to come to Him and be with Him forever.  The way is Jesus Christ, His death on the cross and resurrection.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. “  John, 14:6


 

14 1  The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

2  He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.

3  In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them.

4  Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; But much increase comes by the strength of an ox.

5  A faithful witness does not lie, But a false witness will utter lies.

6  A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands.

7  Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.

8  The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit.

9  Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is favor.

10  The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its joy.

11  The house of the wicked will be overthrown, But the tent of the upright will flourish.

12  There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

13  Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, And the end of mirth may be grief.

14  The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above.

15  The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps.

16  A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.

17  A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated.

18  The simple inherit folly, But the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

19  The evil will bow before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

20  The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor, But the rich has many friends.

21  He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.

22  Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good.

23  In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty.

24  The crown of the wise is their riches, But the foolishness of fools is folly.

25  A true witness delivers souls, But a deceitful witness speaks lies.

26  In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge. 27  The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.

28  In a multitude of people is a king’s honor, But in the lack of people is the downfall of a prince.

29  He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly.

30  A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.

31  He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.

32  The wicked is banished in his wickedness, But the righteous has a refuge in his death.

33  Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding, But what is in the heart of fools is made known.

34  Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.

35  The king’s favor is toward a wise servant, But his wrath is against him who causes shame.