Proverbs 14: THE ROAD TO DEATH or THE REFUGE IN DEATH? (2)
Bible Recall: POINTS IN PROVERBS
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.”
As noted in the previous lesson, 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 continue to highlight a section of this chapter.
THE SIMPLE OR THE PRUDENT (Prov. 14:15-19)?
- There is on the one hand a simple-minded fool. He believes every word (14:15). There is a danger in both unbelief and belief! It is not “just believe!” but rather, “believe the truth!” (see Jn. 8:31, 32).
- The irony is that the simple-minded believe every word because they have little regard for THE WORD and true knowledge. They love simplicity to the point that they hate knowledge and the demands of (Prov. 1:21).
- Proverbs has wisdom calling out to the simple one to gain a heart of wisdom (Prov. 8:5). Yet, knowledge is key to having wisdom. Anyone who downplays knowledge lies under the condemnation of the gullible and cannot progress to living a fruitful life for Christ regardless of how much passion burns within (2 Pet. 1:3, 5-11; 3:18; Rom. 10:2, 3).
- Question: What kind of women are made captives in 2 Tim. 3:6, 7? Identify certain traits that underscore their status before God? __________________________________________________
- Solomon continues to show this fool’s pathway as one who rages with self-confidence (14:16). Identify our confidence in Proverbs 3:26 and how this is so? Read these passages for answers: Num. 14:8; Psa. 20:7; 23:4; 46:1-5; Jn. 17:11; Phil. 4:7; 2 Thess. 3:1-5.
- Self-confidence versus confidence in God. Ten verses later Solomon affirmed that “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge” (14:26). Paul attributed his boldness of speech to his hope (2 Cor. 3:12). Our hope is tied to the faith which is the revealed word of God (Rom. 5:1, 2; 10:7).
- Should ministers of Christ have great confidence in the things they teach out of the knowledge of God? _____________________________________________________________
- Should ministers have great fear for teaching things that transgress the knowledge of God (2 Jn. 9-11)? _____________________________________________________
- How did Paul teach the things concerning Jesus? Acts 28:31, “preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all ____________, no one forbidding him.” In reality, the simple will inherit folly (Prov. 14:18).
- On the other hand, Solomon speaks of the prudent one in contrast to the simple-minded (14:15, 18). Rather than simply believing anything, he considers well his steps.
- He knows these steps lead to a destination. He desires the pathway that is lit by the word of God (see Psa. 119:104, 105).
- He considers his steps knowing when to conceal knowledge (Prov. 12:23). He doesn’t blurt all that he may know. Unlike the fool who lays open his folly for all to see his error, the prudent man acts with prudence out of knowledge (Prov. 13:16). These two verses show us that there is a time to conceal and a time to act. How might these Proverbs apply regarding this?
- Proverbs 10:19? _____________________________________________________________________
- Proverbs 11:13? _____________________________________________________________________
- Proverbs 26:4, 5?____________________________________________________________________
How important is knowledge to the righteous man? Knowledge is his friend and mentor. By it, he is wise to depart from evil, and through it, he fears the Lord (Pr. 14:16). He will study to know God’s will; he has no confidence in his own thoughts. Unlike the fool who rages on with self-confidence, he will align himself with what God has written and depart from evil.
Solomon looks at knowledge as a crown that the prudent are rewarded with (14:18). In the end, the wicked will bow before the righteous.
“as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Pet. 1:3).
—Steven J. Wallace