* Please forgive my absence this past week. Hillsdale had a great week of meetings last week with Evangelist Tom Farrell and my time was too constrained for the daily discipline of writing daily musings from the book of Proverbs. I am happy to rejoin you in our study of Proverbs.
I would describe today’s proverbs as “general proverbs” that offer counsel to those who desire the best of life. Proverbs 16:16 states a value system that runs contrary to the world.
Proverbs 16:16 – “How much better [precious; pleasant; favorable] is it to get [acquire] wisdom [godly wisdom; spiritual discernment] than gold! and to get understanding [knowledge] rather to be chosen [selected] than silver!”
It is the fallen nature of man to pursue temporal riches over eternal rewards. In the same way Eve was tantalized by forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6), mankind lusts after gold and silver. Let’s take a practical approach to verse 16 and consider its application to your life.
What is the “end goal” of your life and daily pursuits? Are you numbered among those poor souls who rise from bed, go to work and pursue gold and silver with little, if any thought of God and the eternal destiny of your soul? Solomon challenged his son that godly wisdom, understanding, insight and discernment were of far greater value than the temporal possession of gold and silver.
Proverbs 16:17 – “The highway [course; way; path] of the upright [just; righteous] is to depart [turn] from evil [sin; wickedness]: he that keepeth [guard; watch] his way [journey; course of life] preserveth [guard; put a hedge about] his soul.”
Men pursue many paths in life; however, only one path, one way keeps and preserves a man’s eternal soul—that way is through Jesus Christ and Him alone. Solomon warned his son there are ways and paths men take that seem right; however, “the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). There are many religions, but only one way.
John 14:6 – “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
The way of the upright is to turn from sin and trust Jesus Christ as Savior, the Only Begotten Son of God crucified for our sin, buried and raised from the dead on the third day.
Proverbs 16:18-19 – “Pride [arrogancy] goeth before destruction [calamity; breach in an ocean wall], and an haughty [proud; self-sufficient] spirit before a fall [ruin]. 19 Better [pleasing; good as pure gold] it is to be of an humble [low; modest] spirit with the lowly [humble means, weak, meek], than to divide [apportion; distribute] the spoil [plunder; booty] with the proud [arrogant].”
Pride and humility are the subject of Proverbs 16:18-19. Pride, that spirit of self-sufficiency independent of one’s Creator, sows the seeds of self-destruction. Pride precedes calamity and a “haughty spirit” is too proud to seek counsel and too pre-occupied with self to look to the end of its way.
It is far better to live by humble means than share the lifestyle of the wicked who divide the spoil of ill-gotten gain among themselves with little to no thought of God’s justice.
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith