Proverbs 14: THE ROAD TO DEATH or THE REFUGE IN DEATH? (1)
Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
Proverbs 14:32, “The wicked is banished in his wickedness, But the righteous has a refuge in his death.”
The contrasts are pronounced in this chapter! They underscore two different people who are on two very different roads leading to two very different destinations. Let’s observe several:
- BUILDING OR PULLING DOWN (Prov. 14:1)?
- Solomon begins by contrasting two women. One is wise. The other is foolish. One builds her house up. The other tears her house down with her hands. This is a deliberate action with no middle ground. One is either building or tearing down. Even the neglect of duty is a destructive deliberate act (Jud. 5:23; Matt. 7:26; Lk. 12:47; Jas. 2:14; 4:17).
- This is good practical advice for women today where domestic duties are often shirked, scoffed at, or completely ignored. Houses are also destroyed by unfaithfulness and pride.
- Identify some constructive duties (and destructive behaviors) addressed to women from Titus 2:3-5. __________________________________________________________________________________
- PERVERSE OR PRESERVE (Prov. 14:2, 3)?
The one walking to death is the one who doesn’t practice what he preaches. The upright fears the Lord while wicked is perverse. The fool speaks from pride, but the message of the wise preserve. It does matter how we “walk” and “talk” (2 Cor. 8:7; Col. 4:6; Titus 2:6-10).
- EMPTINESS DOES NOT YIELD INCREASE (Prov. 14:4)!
Where the feeding trough is clean, empty, or unused, it only proves inactivity—no oxen are working. Oxen eat a lot, but they also bring great increase through their great strength. The point is the road to increase is never found on the road of ease (cf. 1 Cor. 15:58).
- FAITHFUL OR FALSE (Prov. 14:5)?
A faithful witness will not change his testimony or be persuaded to cover up what he saw. However, a false witness will conceal the truth or lead others to reach false conclusions. A false witness will not find refuge in his death.
To circulate a false report is to join hands with who (Exod. 23:1)? _____________________________
What is mentioned as an abomination to the Lord in Proverbs 6:19? __________________________
What is a false witness described as in Proverbs 25:18? ________________________________________
Describe the pain of confidence wrongly placed (Prov. 25:19). _________________________________
- WISDOM OF THE PRUDENT OR THE FOLLY OF FOOLS (Prov. 14:6-9)?
The scoffer seeks wisdom and yet never finds it. Why does he not find it? Solomon previously taught that scoffers delight in their scorning (Prov. 1:22). We also have learned that a scoffer cannot be corrected (Prov. 9:7, 8; 13:1). Next, we read that fools “mock” (scoff) at sin (14:9). They make light of sin and therefore make light of the one who judges sin. It is no wonder that such a person cannot find understanding. God gives wisdom to the humble and the spirit of a man must desire to “do” God’s will in order to know and understand it.
Fill in the Blanks:
"If anyone ____________ to ____________ His will, he ____________ ____________ ____________ the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” (Jn. 7:17).
This explains why some are always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 3:7). Scoffers choose to forget understood and obvious truths (2 Pet. 3:3-6).
- THE HOUSE OF THE WICKED VERSUS THE TENT OF THE UPRIGHT (Prov. 14:10-14)!
THE HOUSE OF THE WICKED
THE TENT OF THE RIGHTEOUS
Although the fool mocks at sin, it doesn’t mean his heart is without bitterness (v. 10). He may express laughter and at the same time have sorrow (v. 13). Insecurities can exist within although he doesn’t reveal them. In contrast, the tent of the righteous may not look like much, but he dwells in confidence and with the satisfaction from what is above (Col. 3:1, 2; Heb. 11:13).
The pathway of death is filled with wrong thinking. The refuge in death is founded on right understanding from the Rock, the Son of the Living God, who came from above so that we can one day live with Him.