“And more than that, the preacher was wise; he still taught the people knowledge. Yes, he listened, and looked, and set in order many proverbs. The preacher sought to find out pleasing words; and words of truth written by the upright. The words of the wise are like goads; yes, their collected words are like nails driven home; they are given from one Shepherd” (Ecclesiastes 12:9-11 MKJV).
In the middle of the night of April 15-16 of 2007, it was given me to write proverbs. Like a tap of water turned on, they came, one after the other, 78 in all. Then, as fast as they began, they ended, like a tap turned off. There was no premeditation, no expectation and when the end came, there was nothing I could do to continue. They were just there.
Since then the Lord has given me more, when I am quiet, in His way, and when He wills.
The principles of life have many manifestations, each of which can be expressed as a proverb. A proverb can appear simple on the surface, stating the obvious, as even to give the impression that a simpleton speaks. As one contemplates the words and seeks a deeper meaning, however, he or she can be rewarded with counsel and understanding that serve well in many applications of life, should God give to that one.
1251. The timid answer with boldness, but those who look for courage do not find it in themselves.
1252. One who delivers from fear receives great honor and glory.
1253. In the greatest curses are hidden the greatest blessings.
1254. Unbelief darkens the soul and withholds it from all good.
1255. To have faith is to be victorious; nothing is impossible to those who believe.
1256. God is present with those who believe, though He is nowhere to be found.
1257. With faith, all things are possible, but faith is impossible unless freely granted from above.
1258. To walk in the Light is to know that Light reigns supreme at all times in all places, even where darkness is.
1259. Judgment is omnipresent and perfect, and every soul will have his portion.
1260. By their own judgment, fools mock the wise, but by judgment from above, the wise see that, without grace, all men are fools.
1261. As a drunkard craves alcohol, so sin makes insane, and the insane insist upon sin.
1262. A soul’s fulfillment is according to his obedience to the Law of God.
1263. Fools mock themselves as they despise wisdom.
1264. A stubborn fool is beaten with rods yet insists he is righteous until he is destroyed.
1265. In old age, even to his deathbed, a sinner clings to his gods.
1266. Fear of death answers nothing, but hope of life answers all.
1267. Without hope, there is no purpose, but promise will sustain hope, and hope determination, until the promise is fulfilled.
1268. Be kind and considerate to a wicked fool and he will despise you for it; rebuke a wise man and he will thank you. Thus, you tell them apart.
1269. To gather wisdom and take it to the grave speaks of a purpose for it thereafter.
1270. Every man seeks praise, but how many seek correction?
1271. As sowing comes before reaping, so correction comes before praise.
1272. Waving at all though one may be an enemy is better than waving at none lest one be an enemy.
1273. The righteous need not feed on hope forever – for soon the substance comes and satisfies – but the fearful have already received their expectations.
1274. Son, wait for the full ripening; the taste will be much better.
1275. Son, cut away the thoughts of loss and suffering; loss will soon enough make way for reward, when you do what is right.
1276. Correction will do much good, even if it must come by wicked messengers.
1277. When all appears safe to them, the wicked puff themselves up and proceed to be more brazen in their evil doing, not seeing the judgment rushing upon them.
1278. Those who mock and laugh now shall be devoured by mockery, and wisdom will have the last laugh.
1279. Do those who murder their neighbor not know that as they sow, they will reap? Do they not know that as they do, so it will be done to them?
1280. There is a time when judgment lingers, and there is a time when judgment does not hesitate; both are determined from above.
1281. The longer the process and the more change that must be endured, the greater and more glorious will be the end purpose.
1282. Peace to him who endures for righteousness’ sake; it will be worth it.
1283. The righteous have few friends, but these friends are not to be judged in worth according to their number.
1284. With continuous persistence of the righteous, the impossible becomes possible, but with those who choose evil, even possible ambitions come to an end.
1285. The godless achieve their evil ambitions, only to be disappointed.
1286. To steal is to bring a curse into one’s bosom, until the loss of the victim is multiplied in the thief.
1287. Who knows if anything is good or evil until the words are heard from above, “It is done”?
1288. Even those who do little gather a bountiful harvest, according to the desires and intents of their hearts.
1289. There is a labor of great value, and a labor of little worth; men given to do their own pleasure will not know the difference.
1290. Those who choose to do right will find ample reward, though there is a price to be paid; but those who seek to freely receive will find the cost to be more than the worth.
1291. The covetous man does not spare his neighbor, and though he gains somewhat for a time, he suffers the greater loss in the end.
1292. What was, was; what is, is; and what will be, will be.
1293. It is not what one has presently that counts, but what one will have when all is said and done.
1294. Those who attend to the small conquer all.
1295. Man is weak and defenseless by himself, but the weakest with God on his side need fear nothing.
1296. Fatigue is a mighty foe that never tires until one enters rest.
1297. To please man is the greatest folly and treachery to one’s soul, but to please God is to receive the greatest of blessings.
1298. We will often suffer loss and failure, but to accept that these things work for good nullifies them.
1299. Unbelief robs of joy and brings damage, but faith repairs all.
1300. Levity is a loathsome and subtle disease that lays open the soul to the destroyer.
1301. Light and vain persons walk into snares and fall into pits with every step they take and every word they speak.
1302. The thoughts of the righteous bring healing and life, but the wicked hate themselves.
1303. There is no medicine or sustenance as hope, but without faith, hope will not prevail.
1304. Man is his own greatest enemy, because he is his own greatest hero and admirer.
1305. How wise are the children of darkness in their own estimation! But what do they see in the night that makes them so certain?
1306. Green fruit can be filling, but it sets the teeth on edge and brings discomfort to the stomach.
1307. It is said, “Help the weak and defend the helpless.” Should you see an eagle take up a young viper, will you try to save the viper? Should you see a veteran armed police officer take down a young defenseless drug dealer, will you try to defend him?
1308. I have ignored tiny weeds, as though not worth the bother. When I could easily have flicked them up from the soil, I left them instead, until I was compelled to dig deep at the root to remove them.
1309. Fools prefer the noose of destruction rather than the chains of the Law of God on their necks.
1310. The rebellious prefer the pleasurable caresses of a flattering adulteress to the correcting rod of a loving father.
1311. Beware of those who shine the light in your eyes instead of on your path.
1312. Upon arrival at a victory, the spiritual pilgrim meets with disillusionment, a friend who relieves him of unwarranted expectations.
1313. There is not a more outrageous tyrant than unbelief, which plunders the soul of all good.
1314. Scratching a mosquito bite only increases and prolongs the discomfort, but ignoring it, the itch soon disappears.
1315. Peace, glory, and prosperity are to the one who lives not by earthly laws, but by heavenly conscience.
1316. Blessed is the man who is not permitted to do as he pleases; if he accepts it, he will learn.
1317. Do not fear the yoke and the burden, but fear the release to do as you please.
1318. As the false are exposed, so shall the true be made manifest.
1319. Creatures of darkness prefer the night and are comfortable in it; the light disturbs them.
1320. There is ever a reward for doing good, but not when done for reward.
1321. God has ordained obstacles that man might turn his face upward, from where comes his help.
1322. Faith in God and patience with men conquer all.
1323. One who contemns a subordinate has no respect for a superior.
1324. By faith, the righteous will discern an appropriate rebuke, but the wicked condemn the judgment of God.
1325. Even the double-minded are pleased to have another perform unsavory duties they will not do themselves.
1326. Respect generates respect only in those who value it.
1327. Money is of little worth, but souls are priceless.
1328. Common laws are vain among unlike natures, making peace and goodwill impossible.
1329. Without seeing the path ahead, a traveler is slow to proceed to his destination, but given vision, he is more willing.
1330. When all is said and done, only love will remain of value.
1331. Man’s greatest need and challenge is to be his true self.
1332. There is no end to labor; the more accomplished, the more there is that can be done; the earth is ever pregnant with work.
1333. Regret must have a short lifespan; otherwise it becomes a ruthless tyrant, to no good end.
1334. Listen! Man can be persuaded to do anything, provided it is evil, and to believe anything, provided it is a lie.
1335. The greater the lie, the more inclined is man to believe it.
1336. It is said that grown men don’t cry, but many must grow up to be men so that they can cry.
1337. Wisdom cries out that the things of this world are vanity, in that we sleep a third of our time away.
1338. I have seen judgment come swiftly and I have seen it linger; the greater its delay, the greater it is when it falls.
1339. Choice is granted to men, so that they might know they are not their own.
1340. Who is a liar but the one who insists he knows, when he has no basis for his confidence?
1341. Beware! Though the unregenerate one earnestly swears to forgive, he cannot and will not do so.
1342. Men diligently seek after the fruits of peace and prosperity, but they will not pay the price.
1343. Though danger is near at hand, the bee disregards it and continues in its work.
1344. Fear is the precursor of that which is feared.
1345. He who keeps his fear fulfills that which he fears.
1346. Impatience declares, “Not your will but mine be done.”
1347. He who obeys will wait in obedience.
1348. The double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. “I want the best!” he vows, and then changes his mind when the price must be paid.
1349. The unstable are easily discomforted and discouraged from their course.
1350. Impatience is saying, “My will, not Yours, be done.” One willing and desirous to do the will of God will be willing to wait on Him, because he wants what God wants.
1351. Those who seek to please God trust Him and will wait for His timing; those who seek to please themselves will not wait.
1352. Obstacles on the path of life are detours pointing more directly to the truth.
1353. Fear is the substance of that which is feared.
1354. Without darkness, there is no need for light, but with darkness comes the opportunity for the light to shine.
1355. When men speak, shadows form, but when God speaks, it is as bright as the noonday sun.
1356. Man will believe any lie or practice any act as long as he does not have to face his Maker and die.
1357. Here and now is the happening.
1358. There is none so foolish as the one who thinks he is wise.
1359. Bitterness says, “There is no God, but if there is, He is not in full control, and if He is, He does not love and take care of me.”
1360. Bitterness says, “There are forces and circumstances beyond God’s control.”
1361. Bitterness says, “I do not agree with God. He is not right.”
1362. Bitterness says, “There are other gods in my life, and I hate them all.”
1363. The praise of man is like cheap costume jewelry children play with. It appears to have value, and children think to be honored and comely with it, but it does not last, and it does not matter if it is ever lost or disposed of.
1364. There is nothing more precious than God’s praise; it is true and substantial and full of life.
1365. There is none so hated of men as him who declares the sins of others in righteousness, but there is none as him so loved of God.
1366. Which is more important – to eliminate all hunger and poverty, or to lay down the life?
1367. Which is more important – to take a speck out of a child’s eye, or to save a man from hanging himself?
1368. Which is of greater value to God – to preach deliverance to captives, or to sit in a wilderness for forty days?
1369. Which is greater – the faithful housewife at home, or the victorious general of a great army?
1370. Who is greater – the man whom men fear, or the man who fears God?
1371. Which is better – to generate great wealth to give to the poor, or to give away all wealth in obedience to God?
1372. Which is more noble – to act by good reason, or to act by faith?
1373. See how plants grow. First, a seed from above goes into the earth. Then, from the earth the plant begins to grow, yet sustained from above.
1374. How is one to know who he should be, if he doesn’t want to know who he is?
1375. The bitter one accepts no responsibility for the consequences he suffers, not considering they did not come for nothing.
1376. A man without discretion draws blood daily with the words of his mouth.
1377. The liberal person enjoys the little he has, but a miserly one is miserable with abundance.
1378. The sun shines and birds sing for the one who seeks and does good, but the skies are gray and heavy for the selfish soul.
1379. It is vain to have many enemies without good cause.
1380. Like training wheels on a bicycle, so measures of safety are not only there to keep us safe, but to prepare us for greater challenges.
1381. Even men can perform the seemingly impossible with faith, patience, and perseverance.
1382. Lies come forth as truth, otherwise they would not be lies.
1383. To gain access, an enemy conceals himself in a company of friends; so a lie comes accompanied by truths.
1384. As water is most precious to a thirsty soul, so the best that can be given anyone in darkness is the truth.
1385. To be able to give truth, one must first give all that he has to receive it.
1386. I have often found “I don’t know” to be the key of instant entrance to knowledge.
1387. Humility gives favor to the bearer and expands his horizons.
1388. Pride is too fat for entrance through the portal of life.
1389. Outwardly the covetous man may appear satiated, but inwardly, he starves to death.
1390. In Heaven, one works, but not for money.
1391. He who pleases man is certain to displease God.
1392. Selfish and ignorant people contradict themselves in all that they think, say, and do, but those who walk in the light are sure in their steps.
1393. Let the light of truth be spoken, and it will disperse the darkness of lies and deception.
1394. The more people know the truth of a matter, the more fearful are the perpetrators who try to conceal their sins and crimes.
1395. God is to be praised for the power of light and the right to shine.
1396. If you will have favor with God and good success with men, my son, trust God and obey Him. So doing, all things are yours.
1397. If one keeps and stores his seed, he will have no more, but if he sows, he will multiply what he has.
1398. Patience takes time, but if time is of too great value to a man, he will not prosper.
1399. The diversity in any category of nature tells the diversity of men.
1400. When afforded opportunity, men’s hearts tend to evil.
1401. Better to believe the one who says, “I seek after God,” than the one who says, “I seek after truth.”
1402. If you will find God, God is the way – not repentance, not prayer, not Bible study, not meditation nor good works. Your search must begin and end with God.
1403. When one wears white, he should beware that it is more clearly evident when he stains or soils himself.
1404. A garden will be there when you need it, if you were there when it needed you.
1405. One who believes falsehood about his neighbor is a liar and a murderer.
1406. The faithful at the lowest is better than the unfaithful at the highest.
1407. Beware the one who, though he has empty pockets, has a full mouth.
1408. There is hope for one poor in spirit, though he is rich in pocket, but one poor in pocket and rich in spirit will continue to languish.
1409. There is but one way to peace and joy, that being by the path of sorrow and suffering; one way to glory, that being by the path of humiliation; one way to success, that being by the path of failure; and one way to victory, that being by the path of defeat.
1410. As a weed that springs up and soon dies, so that which is vain is short-lived, and that which is easily achieved, soon lost.
1411. Beggarly is the man who expects obeisance; rich is the man who needs no honor.
1412. While it is preferable to be humane to animals, there are dogs that are so vicious that one is left with no choice but to beat and even slay them.
1413. Why sound the alarm against worms, maggots, and fire, when those come only to take away that which is already dead and decaying?
1414. There are those who recoil at the plural use of the word “god,” because they have made an idol of it.
1415. Place a bad apple in a container full of good apples and all will spoil.
There are those who say, “I will remain with that which is corrupt and be an influence for good. I will change it from within.” If one good apple is left in a container that has some bad fruit, will the good apple redeem the bad?
1416. All things are possible to the one who has faith in God and patience with men.
1417. Man’s foolishness can never accept God’s wisdom, so how is it possible that God should accept the foolishness that man calls wisdom?
1418. Covetousness is never satisfied, even if it has everything; liberality is always satisfied, no matter how much it gives.
1419. God appoints the righteous and the wicked to do battle with one another, that both may know the value of goodness.
1420. It is in a man’s heart to partake of that which is forbidden, but God is able to give a heart of desire for what He has bidden.
1421. Remove compulsion from a righteous man, and he will be compelled to serve; remove compulsion from a wicked man, and he will show his rebellion.
1422. The religious are religious because they are lovers of mammon.
1423. True faith is not blind, but seeing that to which others are blind.
1424. A banqueting table where people have gathered to enjoy themselves is a treasure house to one who seeks to serve rather than be served.
1425. Quantity and quality compete with one another, and each must find its place of agreement with the other.
1426. Why would men want to hurt two olive trees bearing fruit? Do they hate olives? Or do they think olives are bad for them?
Why would men want to snuff out two candlesticks shining in darkness? Do they hate light? Or do they think light is bad for them?
1427. Those who know it all are stupid.
1428. There is much to doing things right, and so much more to do when they aren’t done right!
1429. A man’s heart will lead him to where it is.
1430. Men worship other gods for their own sakes, but the Lord God can only be truly worshipped for His sake.
1431. Virtue is more precious than blood, and truth than a son.
1432. When man has conquered himself, he has conquered the world; nothing can defeat him.
1433. Problems are friends in disguise, which are present not to hinder, but to strengthen and to teach.
1434. Fools hide behind their vanity to conceal their emptiness.
1435. See the intellectual man? He proudly chooses to reside in the region of darkness.
1436. The more a man takes pride in his intellect, the harder he will fall when his day comes.
1437. The fall of a man is a necessary tragedy, that he might rise again to life.
1438. All things come and go; to all things there is an end, but there is a good end that endures forever.
1439. Mark the man who refuses to divulge his secret thoughts; he cannot be trusted.
1440. See the one who is fearful of open and honest discussion? He is insecure in his chosen confusion.
1441. Salt may be stored in a shaker, but it is useless until scattered for its purpose.
1442. The light shines best in darkness.
1443. The mark of sin is so etched in the visage of the man and woman on the street as to cause grief and sorrow; cosmetics and fine clothing often magnify, rather than conceal, the evidence.
1444. Vanity exemplifies the corruption and shortfall of the spirit of man.
1445. The dead do not know they are dead; neither can they believe they are dead if someone tells them.
1446. When one demonstrates lack of respect for another’s viewpoint, it must be considered that he suffers from lack of respect for his own.
1447. The blind man stumbles in pitch darkness, crying, “I see! I see!” And against those with eyes, he rails, “Who are you to tell me you see what I don’t? I have eyes, too!”
1448. The same cannot be required of strangers, as of children; neither should it be that strangers are provided for, as are children.
1449. The covetous man furls his brow and rings his hands. He buys too much and buys too little; he buys too soon and buys too late. His sales bring him no peace. But the liberal man’s treasure is replenished faster than he can give it away.
1450. The internet has removed the walls of the family household and business to include the ends of the earth.
1451. A wise man makes pleasure of work, but the covetous makes work of pleasure.
1452. A wise man has pleasure in his labor, but the fool labors to have pleasure and is never satisfied.
1453. Those who face the furnace or yield to the sword for righteousness’ sake will neither be singed nor scratched, but they will incinerate and hew all evil before them, for God has determined it.
1454. The path of truth is a rarely traveled road filled with all manner of obstacles, ending with a sheer drop-off to finish the spiritual pilgrim for good. And there, life begins.
1455. We have no wisdom of our own to decide right from wrong, but the gift of faith makes a way.
1456. Desire for a thing in the world begins to diminish when one acquires what he desired.
1457. There comes a day when peace and satisfaction are established forever, because all things have been taken away.
1458. Don’t look for what others can mean to you, but look to do right by them. In so doing, you will have all your needs and desires met.
1459. All things are in His hands, and His hands are better than ours.
1460. Only the truth can free us from the burden and confusion of philosophy.
1461. A mother for comforting a child in his weaknesses, and a father to challenge him in his strengths.
1462. I have hurt and I have been hurt; it is easier and better to be hurt.
1463. Is it better to bring out the best or the worst in another? One who brings out the worst in a person does great service as a needful expectorant.
1464. One loses that which he keeps selfishly against the common good, refusing to do right; there is no exception.
1465. Those who relish gossip will be evil spoken of, and those who slander will not have a good name.
1466. They will keep distance from the one who bites, and he will be alone.
1467. The duty of man is to avail himself of the grace to avail himself of the grace to do what God has granted him to do.
1468. The judgment of God comes by wicked hands, which are used to deal with wickedness.
1469. Sons of the earth have high regard for the power of the flesh, but sons from above pay it no heed.
1470. Fear causes one to see that which one fears, though it isn’t there.
1471. Let those seeking glory languish, and let those who only seek to do good without recognition be glorified.
1472. Those who speak right words but do not walk in them are deceitful, but more treacherous are they who walk but do not talk. Look, the camel, hare, and coney act clean with the mouth, but they don’t walk accordingly. On the other hand, the pig walks, but does not act clean with the mouth. And none others scream as does the pig when offended. So are they who insist on letting their light shine without the word; these are unclean indeed.
1473. The fruit will always, in due season, reveal the nature of the tree.
1474. The fruit of the tree can never be anything but what begins with the root, no matter how far away the branches extend from the trunk.
1475. Correction is life; without correction, we perish. Better to suffer and live than to escape judgment and die.
1476. Making a mess comes naturally to man; only God is able to correct it.
1477. Those who lack conviction where there is good cause for it are little better than those who have conviction without good cause.
1478. It will never suffice to change circumstances; perspective is the thing.
1479. Milk is best fresh, wine aged; some foods are better raw, others cooked.
1480. Sometimes gentle words prevail; sometimes only deep sorrow penetrates a hard heart.
1481. The wise will know that what they speak must be contrasted with evil, so their hearers will appreciate the wisdom of their words.
1482. Try to feed an angry woman, and she will spit the food in your face.
1483. Vicious and deceptive is the selfish woman in passion. Unless one has wisdom to deal with her, he should run while there is time.
1484. You have heard it said, “I will forgive, but I will never forget.” The truth is, those who never forget, never forgive.
1485. Blessed are those ready to forgive, but cursed are those who never forget.
1486. More precious than a pearl formed from sand by an unclean creature is a son of God formed from dust by adversity.
1487. Precious pearls and sons of God are formed in secret, made from that which is common and despised.
1488. Rejoice in the gifts God has granted to others and not to you; they are for the edification of all.
1489. Having something constructive and pleasurable to look forward to each day is a fountain of youth.
1490. The soul is fed by constant anticipation of giving good things.
1491. What you do, do well, and it will be well with you.
1492. The lifeblood of unrighteousness is quantity, but the lifeblood of righteousness is quality.
1493. When we see only what we want to see, we are blind to reality.
1494. Great men do evil things, and small men do good things.
1495. Greater is the one faithful in little things than the one unfaithful in the great.
1496. Only a skilled, knowledgeable technician can repair a sophisticated car engine; so only God can repair a man’s soul.
1497. We are not called upon to do all the work that can be done, but only the portion appointed us to do.
1498. Words of truth are harsh to those who love themselves, but strong words are precious to the faithful.
1499. It is not a matter of whether a substance is good or evil, but of how it is used. So it is with authorities in power; it is not a matter of whether their positions are good or evil, but of how they exercise their powers.
1500. God has created all things good and for good.