10 May A Proverbs A Day // Proverbs 10
The 10th // Proverbs 10
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.”–Proverbs 10:12
We have now moved from the prologue into the heart of the book of proverbs. Solomon’s proverbs are short and brief, often written in one sentence over two lines each. Each proverb is jam-packed with wisdom that can be read and applied in several different ways. As a nerdy bookworm [my husband calls me a wordsmith], I’m having so much fun finding similarities in his writings… for instance, he mentions deer often, and does so, also in Song of Solomon, and I get giddy thinking about how brilliant his writings are!
Chapter 10 is the start of the little pieces of wisdom. They’re straightforward and make total sense. Many of them need no explanation, as if you have eyes that can read, you have a mind that can understand the proverb. Instead of breaking each one apart, I want to focus on the overall ideas that come across in this chapter and how I can apply it to my life. In the following verses, Solomon imparts wisdom onto his readers, but ties them to the long-term effects of the choices we make. In fact, he begins with how our decisions affect those we love. Then he goes on to address our wealth and earthly treasures and overall longevity and health. He also mentions the differences between the mouths of the righteous and the wicked.
In Proverbs 10, Solomon address several things with his proverbs, but there’s one main overarching theme that I’ve noticed throughout.
My words and my legacy.
Solomon speaks a lot about a man’s wealth. In chapter 9, lady wisdom was described as living in a beautiful home built upon 7 pillars. He talks about how she sent her servants out. Lady wisdom is wealthy, prosperous and clearly does not want for anything. In chapter 10, the theme of wealth is prominent throughout. Solomon mentions Earthly treasures and the differences between the treasures built up by with wise and those built up by the foolish. He also talks about the stark contrast in the legacies we leave with our names, or our reputations. He then goes on to emphasize how our mouths, our words are the marks of wisdom and wickedness. It’s through our mouths that we spread our good [or evil] with the world.
Here’s what he says about the legacy we leave through our wealth:
When you walk a straight path and you acquire your wealth the blameless and wise way, you will prosper [10:9] [10:22] and never go hungry [10:3], but being good does not necessarily guarantee richness in the form of money… You may not be paid for your righteousness in earthly wealth, but Solomon says you will be paid with life! [10:16] He mentions the man who gains his wealth through unethical and sinful ways [10:2] are not rich at all [10:16] [10:9] Work ethic is paramount in this life and laziness will never be rewarded. [10:4-5] Bottom line… those who follow the right path will be blessed. [10:6]
The name of the righteous is used in blessings, but the name of the wicked will rot.”–Proverbs 10:7
Here’s what he says about the legacy we leave through our reputation:
The righteous bring joy to the people who love them most, specifically their parents. [10:1] Those who lead a wicked life bring sorrow and grief to their parents, staining not only their own name, but their parents’ names as well. [10:5] When you’ve lived a good and righteous life, your name will be remembered and spoken of highly long after you’re gone [10:7], but those who do not wont be remembered. Those who keep their mouths shut and continue pursuing greatness in situations will have a reputation of gold. On the other hand, those who haven’t, those who have done wrong and have walked a crooked path, whether out loud or secretly, will be found out! [10:9] *People will always end up seeing the true colors of someone… just hold tight and keep the faith!*
Our words matter:
Solomon mentions a chattering fool two times in this chapter [10:8] [10:10] and how they always come to ruin. While reading this chapter, it is evident to me that holding you tongue is a mark of wisdom. Every time we speak, we have a choice to spread encouragement, love and wisdom OR we can stir up conflict [10:12], violence [10:11], malice [10:10] and chatter. Hold your tongue. Keep your mouth shut. When you use it, use it wisely.
LORD, please help me to hold my tongue when I’m tempted to stir up conflict. Help me to remember that there is more at stake than the current predicament. God, when others hurt me, help me to continue reacting in love, in your love. Help me to remember that the wise receive your blessings and those who cause harm will be found out. LORD, thank you for your provisions, for your grace and for your love. May I remember this chapter when faced with the choice to work hard for something or to take the easy way out, to speak kindness or to speak anger, to cause conflict or to walk away in love.