Today’s study in Proverbs focuses on two different themes. The first is positive in its application, the second negative in its observation (Proverbs 19:8, 10). Of course, God will bless the application of Biblical truth.
Proverbs 19:8 addresses one’s attitude toward godly wisdom and its application.
Proverbs 19:8 – “He that getteth [acquire] wisdom [understanding] loveth [have affection; strong emotional attachment] his own soul [life; heart; person]: he that keepeth [guard; watch; protect; preserve] understanding [discretion; reason; insight; discernment] shall find [attain; acquire; get] good [pleasing; pleasant].”
Solomon instructs his son that the “getting” of wisdom [only acquired through disciplined study and instruction in God’s Word] is endemic of those who cherish the joy and enrichment God alone imparts. Solomon promised his son: Good [satisfaction; contentment] is the reward to them who exercise and follow the path of spiritual discernment.
Proverbs 19:10 focuses upon an entirely different theme—two things that are contrary to nature or, if you will allow—Ought not be!
Proverbs 19:10 – “Delight [luxury; daintiness] is not seemly [unbecoming; unsuitable] for a fool [stupid; silly; thickheaded]; much less for a servant [slave] to have rule [dominion; power] over princes [chiefs; governors; commanders].”
1) A fool [hardheaded, unreasonable man] “ought not be” rewarded with a life of ease and riches [that which he has not earned and is ill-equipped to manage].
2) An untrained, unskilled servant “ought not be” promoted to rule over men groomed and skilled for leadership.
Proverbs 19:10 is all too common in a society where a family’s inheritance passes from generation to generation regardless of the moral character and discernment of its recipients. I have observed too many instances where Christian parents and grandparents amassed God’s blessings in the form of wealth, were good stewards throughout their lifetimes, only to leave their children with an inheritance they lacked the moral character and spiritual discernment to bear with humility and discretion. The wealth God gave to wise and discerning parents, their children squandered until it became a curse to their souls. I have sometimes pondered how many of God’s saints will give an account to their Heavenly Father for giving their children the “delight” [i.e. wealth and possessions] they lacked the wisdom and skill to invest for His glory.
I close with proverbs from chapter 30 that address four other things that are contrary to nature and “ought not be”:
Proverbs 30:21-23 – “For three things the earth is disquieted [trembles; agitated; filled with turmoil], and for four which it cannot bear: 22 For a servant when he reigneth [suddenly rises to power; i.e. inepitude]; and a fool [thickheaded; silly fool] when he is filled with meat [prosperous]; 23 For an odious woman [sour disposition; contentious] when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress [becoming the object of the husband’s affections].”
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith