Pathways Through Proverbs
January 14, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 14
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Following Scripture Verses
- Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
- He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.
- In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
- Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
- A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.
- A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.
- Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
- The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.
- Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.
- The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
- The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
- There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
- Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
- The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
- The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
- A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
- He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
- The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
- The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
- The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
- He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
- Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.
- In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
- The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
- A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
- In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
- The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
- In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.
- He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
- A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
- He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
- The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.
- Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.
- Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
- The king's favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.
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This verse has been a great help to me throughout my years of ministry. I believe that we would all admit that there are times when our fellow Christians can drive us crazy. I have watched church members do very foolish things. There have been times when I have been called upon, even in the middle of the night, to handle situations that would never have occurred if the believers involved had been thinking Scripturally. I have spent many hours of my pastoral life cleaning up the messes that Christians have made in the church, with their families, and in the community. Sometimes I have selfishly thought to myself, "This would be a great job if it weren't for the people." It is at those times that the Lord reminds me of this special verse.
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The illustration here is of a farmer who keeps oxen. Because of the nature of these animals, his barn is constantly dirty. He has to spend much of his time cleaning up after his livestock. Perhaps there are times when he wishes that he didn't own them so that he could spend his time in more "profitable" areas. However, if he didn't have them, he wouldn't get any work done at all, for the oxen pull his plow. The same is true for our brothers in Christ. Sure they make mistakes. Sometimes they say things that they shouldn't, and sometimes they make foolish decisions. Sometimes we have to stop doing what we think we ought to do in order to go clean up after them. Should we abandon them? Never! If it weren't for them, would anyone help with the work of the ministry? Would we really be able to do it all by ourselves? The answer has to be "No".
If no one was in my congregation but me, I would have less cleaning to do, but the church would not accomplish as much. I need the oxen, and so do you.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery