We will examine three proverbs in our study of Proverbs 15 today–Proverbs 15:7-9.
The opening verses of Proverbs 15 have so far addressed something we all struggle with—bridling our tongue and making sure the words we say honor the Lord and edify those with whom we speak. Solomon writes:
Proverbs 15:7 – “The lips [speech; words] of the wise disperse [scatter; sow seeds of] knowledge [gained from experience]: but the heart of the foolish [obstinate; silly; having a bent to do evil] doeth not so.”
Solomon once again reminds us that you can judge a man’s character by the words of his mouth. Listen to a man speak long enough and you will learn what manner of man he is. The conversation of a wise man sows seeds of wisdom like a farmer disperses seeds. The fool’s conversation; however, is like himself—obstinate, hardheaded, bent to sow foolishness and reap sorrow.
Continuing our study of Proverbs 15, Solomon introduces two proverbs that give us insight into what the Lord abhors and in what He delights.
Proverbs 15:8 – “The sacrifice [offerings] of the wicked [ungodly; immoral; guilty] is an abomination [loathsome; detestable] to the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God]: but the prayer [intercession] of the upright [righteous; just] is his delight [pleasure; acceptable].”
The motivation of the wicked for offering sacrifices is not addressed in verse 8; however, the Lord knows the heart of the wicked and, though the outward man feigns piety, the sacrifice of the wicked is loathsome to God. The wicked would be wise to heed the prophet Samuel’s warning to King Saul when he disobeyed God, usurped the office of the priest and veiled his disobedience with sacrifices: “…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22).
Solomon reveals in verse 9 that like the sacrifice of the wicked; the path or “way of the wicked” is also “an abomination unto the Lord” (15:9a).
Proverbs 15:9 – “The way [road; journey; course of life] of the wicked [ungodly; immoral; guilty] is an abomination [loathsome; detestable] unto the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God]: but He [the Lord] loveth him that followeth[pursues; chases] after righteousness [morally upright].”
In the New Testament, the apostle Paul describes the “way of the wicked” in Romans 3:10-12.
Romans 3:10-12 – “As it is written, There is none righteous [justified before God], no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth [comprehends], there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way [turned aside from the right way], they are together become unprofitable [worthless]; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
I close by drawing your thoughts to two things the Lord delights in: “the prayer of the upright” (15:8b) and “He that followeth after righteousness” (15:9b).
My friend, what is motivating your life choices? What path are you following—the way of the wicked or the path of the righteous? You are either giving the Lord cause for rejoicing or a reason to detest your hypocrisy.
James 5:16 – “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith