“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.
501. Gallows of good represent the gate to greatness and glory.
502. Weariness of spirit taxes the body and mind more than all the labor they perform.
503. The simple mind complicates but the wise one simplifies.
504. If one will be God’s friend, he must not only prepare to be his enemy’s friend, but also his friend’s enemy.
505. Death is the bondage of trying to be something you are not; life is the freedom to be what you are.
506. Better one should have his burden removed than to run away with it.
507. With problems and trials, the Lord destroys the wicked, but strengthens the righteous.
508. Those who stumble and grope in darkness consider themselves beacons, but beacons banish darkness.
509. Doing the right is as an investment, sometimes short term, more often long, but it is sure.
510. One must first hear the negative side of truth before receiving the positive.
511. Truth and error both disturb the wicked but the righteous is unmoved.
512. He who lives by the Law dies by the Law, but the merciful man will receive grace from God.
513. Trees grow large and healthy, but what kind of fruit do they produce? If strength, wealth, influence and intelligence are virtues, then Satan is a saint.
514. Any cool, grey day is overcome and brightened by the sun that shines within, but when it is cool and grey inside, the brightest of days outside are of little comfort.
515. Where there is division, all things are divided, but when there is unity, all goodness is shared equally.
516. Man is born once from beneath to err, and again from above to be perfected.
517. We spend our days and years in labor until the house is built, not realizing that we are the house being built.
518. One can live expensively at the bottom or inexpensively at the top.
519. Willingness provides the energies to accomplish all things, but the stubborn and willful spend their substance resisting.
520. Servants look to their human masters with reserve, not knowing that if true servants, they have free access, with justifiable freedom and boldness, to the Most High.
521. Well made artificial plants can easily be mistaken for real, and well-crafted friendliness for friendship.
522. One cannot tell by looking whether murky waters are shallow or deep; so it is with those educated in this world’s knowledge and wisdom.
523. Man can do nothing perfectly, and God can never fail.
524. One of the most effective ways I have found of receiving an answer from God for a problem is to publicly, honestly announce that I do not know the answer.
525. Rulership is established by what one gives and not by what one takes; he who freely gives, gives to himself.
526. As dogs urinate on hydrants, so the wicked despise the water of life proffered on every street corner.
527. When the foundation is established, the cribbing is removed; when the building is complete, the scaffolding is taken away.
528. The things of this world do not perish because we set our hearts on them. Rather, we ought not to set our hearts on them because by very nature and purpose, they perish.
529. Heaven beckons for us, not to go there, but that it come here; not in time to come, but now.
530. They enquire so that they might hear what they want to hear, but few will bear to hear the Truth.
531. I know of no better way to deal with the demon of darkness than to dynamically deliver him to the dazzling dimension of delightful disclosure.
532. Being confederate with the religious in their works is like setting up a fruit stand with the beast at the Tree of Knowledge, which brings torment to those who eat of it, but those who partake of the Tree of Life eat freely and are satisfied.
533. Of the abundance of the heart a man speaks. If good words, he is fed and satisfied; if vain, he will vomit what he has eaten.
534. Shall one reject lemons because they are bitter? Or shall he take butter and honey and make lemon butter?
535. As the soothing effect of a healing ointment, and as the refreshing drink of cool water on a hot day, so the decision to do what is required removes the burden of guilt and shame of what is yet lacking.
536. Men choose the comfort of the shade to avoid the sun, only to find themselves deeper in their jungles.
537. He who loves himself despises all others.
538. One that usurps authority will have like subjects.
539. Those who despise dominion seek to rule.
540. The one with few praises and compliments may be more of a friend than it seems.
541. One must receive the opposite of what one wants in order to receive what is desirable.
542. He who criticizes the loudest deems himself to be most incapable.
543. What will a man pay for the truth? Will he know it cannot be sold but that it will cost him his life?
544. The heart is revealed in the fires and exposed in temptation.
545. One’s purpose is not to avoid or to fear, but to overcome challenges.
546. The more knowledge we have, the less do we tend to look to the Lord.
547. Money answers all things on earth, but its answers are drowned out by the voice of the Truth.
548. Truth is so loud as to both create ears to hear and cause some to stop their ears from hearing.
549. Men assume rights and insist they have a right to rights, not considering that the Righteous One alone decides what is right.
550. The body builder lifts weights not for the weights’ sakes but for what the lifting does for his body; so man must consider that all the works of this world are vanity, but for how he is furthered within.
551. The ant prefers the upper smooth surfaces to run from danger but constricting crevices are safer.
552. Where there is hunger, there is life and health.
553. Many desire sunny days but the rain gives the wherewith to enjoy the sun.
554. Early budding brings danger of frostkill, but patience brings a fruitful reward.
555. The rich man is rich in troubles, owns much and yet has so little.
556. The rich man and the poor man enjoy men’s praise but the rich man must strive to retain it while the poor man has nothing to lose.
557. To envy the rich is to look at the outward appearance. To look at the outward appearance is to deceive oneself.
558. The fool looks for immediate rewards but the wise see the rewards that are there.
559. Happy and safe from envious men is the man who has the true riches.
560. As the strength of sin is the Law, so the strength of the man of sin is the Law.
561. Death seals the power, and prepares the way to life.
562. Beware when one says, “I am a reasonable person.” It is a very unwarranted and unreasonable claim.
563. If one has love, he need not be concerned about having wisdom.
564. Bitterness is so established in the heart that only the death of the host will eradicate it.
565. Unbelief requires and gives explanation; faith needs and gives none.
566. As jackals and hyenas linger in the background for a safe time to attack and feed, so false accusers keep hidden their faces for fear of exposure and defeat.
567. When content to be what it is, a blade of grass is as the tallest tree, but the tallest tree, when discontented with its lot, is less than a blade of grass.
568. All good hopes will be fulfilled for the faithful, but vain hopes are not worth keeping.
569. It is not wrong to be wrong if the Lord so wills, but it is wrong to regret being wrong if being wrong was the will of God.
570. "How does one without wisdom know to recognize one with wisdom? Are these things not in the hand of God?"
571. In vain does a man labor to be right, for there is only one right, even God.
572. Sinners are contradictions of light, being children of darkness.
573. Though surrounded by darkness, the light penetrates it and cannot be stopped, but darkness can never penetrate the light and must give place without fail.
574. A son of the flesh is a gift but a son of the Spirit is a miracle.
575. Both destroyer and destroyed are God’s, as are those spared.
576. Many profess righteousness, but the righteous shall seek them out and prove them.
577. God’s wrath is against all pretenders, more so than against the ungodly that do not pretend.
578. To them, the wicked speak for God, and the righteous speak against Him.
579. Fruit tells the kind of tree, and speech is the fruit of the heart, but, in speaking, the wicked and unbelieving say, “You cannot know our hearts.”
580. Day after day, the Lord is merciful and longsuffering; thus the wicked press on, thinking to be immune to judgment.
581. Why men eat themselves is a mystery, yet the greater mystery is why God has mercy on them.
582. The blind man insists that things cannot be seen, not considering that some have eyes to see.
583. Both music and clatter are one to the deaf man.
584. A debate among the wicked tends to error and war, but among the righteous to truth and peace.
585. Goodness and unity are the state of the believing, but the wicked are subject to pride, strife and sorrow.
586. There is no life in the mouth of the wicked, but a river of health flows from the heart of the righteous.
587. A fool is confident in himself until a wise man comes to prove him.
588. A wise man thinks to have all answers until a fool comes to improve him.
589. The soul that lives right is not afraid to die; to him death is the eve of honor and glory.
590. As overworked dough yields a tough bread, so striving about good matters makes them less palatable.
591. The righteous are granted to rest on their couches, but sinners that scorn must be left to toss and turn in their deathbeds.
592. Sinners love their sin, so they fight to keep it.
593. There are two news – those things new in themselves, and those new to the partaking of them.
594. A new thing, even if it does not change, ceases to be new.
595. How the fool craves destruction, as though it were very life, and despises good, as though it were evil.
596. The fool despises that which he lacks, and the wise man craves more of what he has.
597. Ten thousand disagree with one another, yet think they are all right because there are many of them. Then comes the one telling them they are all wrong, and they condemn him because he stands alone.
598. Snow and cold can come unseasonably and so can troubles and unpleasantries.
599. As a beast finds its way by instinct, so creation knows the end of its groaning approaches.
600. The One alone Who can do the impossible conceals Himself behind possibilities.
601. The righteous hold up a mirror to the wicked, who are certain it is clear glass.
602. A fool dares not look in a mirror, lest he should recognize himself.
603. As a blind man who says, “I do not see it, therefore it does not exist,” or a deaf man who says, “I do not hear it, therefore there is no sound,” so the fool scorns what is right and true.
604. The fool stands on a straight path leading directly to the destination and says, “Surely, there must be another way. I shall find it.”
605. Those who will not submit to their true authority forfeit their right of authority to those entrusted to them.
606. It is not so much what one does but how one does it.
607. Peace with all of creation comes when we cease worship of any creature and begin to worship the Maker of all things.
608. Man, in the harness of his heart, pities the flesh and the sinner, but God, in His tender mercies, does not spare.
609. The time of the end is now here. A new day dawns, and who will be here to greet it?
610. There are those who ask themselves what Jesus would do, but I have learned that men can make Jesus do anything.
611. As one needs the negative and the positive to create electricity, so we need both the infirmities of the first Adam and the virtue of the Last Adam to have power with God.
612. If we so honor the One Who is All Wise and forsake one wise only in his own eyes, we shall do well.
613. Proud pretenders of piety presume to please God, thinking their words are of acceptable service to him.
614. There is a hate that loves and a love that hates; both are concealed from the wicked.
615. This is a day in which men go to great pains to save a beached whale or oil-soaked bird but do not think twice to kill a helpless fellow human.
616. Many are they that take God’s Name and promote It to lift themselves up, but who will lift them when they fall?
617. The earth is full of people with needs of every kind; the only need of the sons of God is to meet those needs in due time.
618. The wise and understanding know that all things belong to God.
619. How good it is to have faithful friends that care for one another as themselves.
620. Though he is affable, the covetous man disregards his neighbor.
621. The more choices one has, the less he is disposed to make the better one. Does this not tell that faith in God is the answer?
623. Denying the need for his participation, the evolutionist presumes to let time take the kitchen ingredients and form his meal.
624. We have heard the news that evil comes and are not afraid, if we regard the One Who rules all things.
625. Silently, men work their works and gather their harvests, hoping to keep and enjoy them, not knowing they gather for others.
626. Sound the trumpet and the alarm; prepare and brace yourselves, inhabitants of the land, but if you do not have your Maker’s favor, the warning is in vain.
627. Do you desire your Maker’s favor? Keep His commandments and look to Him for counsel and direction; He will honor those who honor Him.
628. There are those who measure the righteousness of others by their own, not considering that their judgment is corrupt.
629. The more one hears, the more one has to say, not in quantity but in quality.
630. Many desire the goods, but few are willing to pay the price.
631. Those who live in fear suffer and die continuously, but those who trust the Lord never die.
632. Whether one gives carrion or caviar to the swine, it is all the same to them.
633. The wicked choose to reject the good and therefore cannot be persuaded to it.
634. Can you drag clouds down from the sky with your hands? So it is with speaking truth to a fool; a wise man’s counsel is wasted on him.
635. There is a great and difficult time when hopes are deferred, losses and failures are suffered, and fears are continually realized, but then come goodness and peace for those who, in faith, endure to the end.
636. There is no man who can say, “I have done great things by my own power, wisdom and virtue.” He who praises himself has deceived himself and will soon be enlightened.
637. A self-made man is a cheap imitation and a poor excuse for a God-made man.
638. With brazen temper, the enemy approaches, confident of vanquishing his quarry, little knowing there is One mightier than he.
639. They err that judge after the appearance, but those who trust in the Living, yet Unseen, One flourish and prosper.
640. What a privilege and thrill it is to serve the Almighty, Living God, Whose are all authority and power!
641. The closer one walks with God, the farther he will be from man.
642. One should look to where he came from, and not to what has come from him.
643. If a brother offended is harder to win than a walled city, how much more the hypocrite and the fool!
644. Let the docile and friendly fool rule and there will be no peace or mercy.
645. The righteous strive to speak the truth, but only God can make it known.
646. Look for the little boy or girl in a man or woman, and if you can’t find it, be careful; pretension is not there for good.
647. When Christ comes, the world abhors Him as antiChrist; when antiChrist comes, it adores him and receives him as Christ.
648. The righteous are established and nothing will prevail over them though they be moved, but the wicked will be taken away in their confidence.
649. The wicked are bold and brash in their greatness, not considering there is One greater.
650. He who trusts in his own strength is weak indeed.
651. Display your righteousness before the deceived, wicked fool, but know that as the sun rises in the morning, so the light comes to dispel the cover of darkness.
652. Those that choose to lie continue in lies, having deceived themselves.
653. One who does not care for his neighbor does not care for himself, and those who do not feed will go hungry.
654. The wicked will not investigate a matter for fear of his heart being exposed, but the righteous are eager to bring all things to light.
655. Blasphemy beats in the heart of a fool and courses through his veins; he treasures it as his lifeblood.
656. To do good is sufficient reward for the righteous; his pay comes as he works and he need not wait for it.
657. Though an evil eye be plucked out, it continues to see good as evil and evil as good.
658. An ungodly witness prevails for a little while, then is gone and forgotten, but a true and faithful witness will preside over the outcome.
659. Abiding peace and joy are to the faithful, but to the indoctrinated are superficial hope and a fearful expectation.
660. Spare the rod and spoil the child; spare the spoil and increase the need for the rod. Does not God use both good and evil for His purposes?
661. A quiet rebuke is louder than railing, satisfying the need of the one rebuked, and not of the one rebuking.
662. With faith, all things are possible; without it, much is of little worth.
663. Commend a good man for good deeds and he will be encouraged to more. Encourage a wicked doer to a good deed and he will despise both the encouragement and you.
664. Sorrow for unrighteousness corrects the soul, but sorrow for consequence tends to more unrighteousness.
665. If man’s words can so move men as to kill their fellows and conquer empires, how much more can God’s Words overcome the world and give life to all?
666. Murder and violence rule in men’s hearts; in vain do they attempt to be good in their own strength.
667. Man’s goodness is abomination in God’s sight and God’s goodness is abomination to man.
668. The world is upside down and inside out, but messengers of God come to make all things right.
669. With wanton eyes and arrogant mouths, they all cry, “Peace, peace,” thinking to receive it by flatteries; suddenly their lips are torn from their faces, their tongues drop in their mouths, their eyes rot in their sockets, and their necks are broken.
670. How long will God restrain Himself? No longer; it is time.
671. As the fear of God increases, the fear of man decreases.
672. To see the glory of God is in itself the glory of God.
673. Cursed is the one who reneges on an agreement on the basis of a technicality.
674. Cursed is the one who absolves a proven criminal on the basis of a technicality.
675. Cursed is he who deceives his neighbor that he may enrich himself.
676. Cursed is the one who justifies the wicked and vilifies the innocent.
677. The liar and the false witness are sisters to the murderer.
678. As vinegar to a plant, so is false doctrine in the Name of God to simple ears.
679. As a little vinegar to milk, so is a little error to truth.
680. Without rain in season in our hearts, the seed of the Word of God will not germinate, sprout and grow. Without dryness, it will not bear fruit and be harvested.
681. Lies, in any circumstances, are as a malfunction in the operation of a motor, and must be identified and addressed to continue on in efficiency and peace.
682. Lies are as thistles in a garden and must be removed for beauty and fruitfulness to prevail.
683. Vain are the imaginations of fools who proclaim God for their purposes. The more they use His Name, the greater will be their fall.
684. The louder men proclaim the Name of God for themselves, the more people will see their humiliation in the end.
685. Fear of man brings a snare, but fear of God delivers a soul.
686. Many hear but do not do. They gather knowledge as grain and keep it in granaries to display their possessions. So it remains useless if not consumed, distributed, or planted.
687. One who thinks he is wise is a fool, and one who knows he is a fool has entered the gate to wisdom.
688. I would not have seen a certain weed had I not seen another near it. Then I saw it and dug it up by the roots. Whether other weeds are similar or dissimilar, it does not matter; one will be discovered near the company he keeps.
689. Some weeds will return if not completely rooted out.
690. A weed may hide in a lawn until it flowers; it is most conspicuous and endangered when its glory appears.
691. Weeds may escape the gaze of the weeder today or tomorrow, but there is always another day for the weeder to do his job.
692. Small weeds are much easier to deal with; though seemingly insignificant, they soon grow to be difficult.
693. He who believes and obeys God shall in due time eat honey from the carcasses of his enemies.
694. Temperance is the key to prevention of many ills. Many perish by too much as by too little. Surely greed, fear and lust are powerful in their work of destruction.
695. Who is hasty in word at the cost of another? He is no better than a thief, liar or murderer.
696. Will God excuse all sin because He has forgiven? Unless the forgiven walks in faithfulness thereafter, he will be turned back to his vomit and wallowing in the mire.
697. He who expects a harvest at time of sowing will be disappointed.
698. Which is better – to err and correct, if possible to correct, or to do right in the beginning?
699. If you don’t have time to do it right, how will you possibly have time to do it wrong?
700. Many are those who love deceitful mammon above God and do not know it, but those who love the God of Truth rejoice in knowledge.
701. The environment witnesses and records all things for the discerning and thoughtful investigator to discover.
702. Error to correction to perfection: that is the sum of the purpose of the vanity of this world for man.
703. The foolishness and ignorance of the wicked is manifest to all when they scoff and mock what is holy and true.
704. I‘m not afraid of vicious, barking dogs; I shoot them with the gun of the Lord, which is my pen, and with bullets of truth that no armor can withstand. They may drop dead immediately, or scream and howl in anger and pain, even for a long time, or they may quietly crawl away, but they die all the same. I seize the property of their master, Beelzebub, who trains and sends them against me. His time is up.
705. Each creature has its appointed station and time, whether for good or for evil; God appoints all.
706. To confess Jesus Christ as Lord is to acknowledge Him as supremely sovereign at all times over all things, both good and evil.
707. A little wisdom does much good, and a little folly much harm.
708. As the mutants in I Am Legend, so the world is crazed in the disease of religion, and cannot but despise the Antidote.
709. An evil man with much knowledge is as a hurricane of destruction, but a little knowledge from a good man is as a breath of fresh air.
710. Fools eat their fingers while they feed.
711. “I am unrighteous! I am unrighteous!” declares the unbeliever, deeming himself justified by the confession, but he will not obey.
712. Without a single eye, how great is the darkness, and the less one sees, the more he presumes to see.
713. Righteousness will prevail so as to move the enemy to awe.
714. The simple will believe right words of a liar before believing his fruits.
715. True words carry great force but how many live up to them?
716. The one thing man needs most he also hates most, and that is to hear the truth about himself.
717. A close friend has the potential of being a most formidable enemy and vice versa.
718. The more patient one is, the sooner will he receive his desire, and the better the results.
719. Better to do nothing with thankfulness than to be able to do everything with faith.
720. There was a time when it didn’t matter what I did, I couldn’t win. Now no matter what I do, I can’t lose.
721. There are those who suffer for righteousness’ sake and reap reward, and there are those who suffer for their own righteousness’ sake and are punished.
722. No matter how obedient a dog may be, how well groomed, how many tricks it may perform, or how many awards it may have won, when left to its own desire it will perform according to its nature without pang of conscience. So it is with the religious.
723. There is no division of darkness until the light comes.
724. The heathen perish with every move they make, every word they speak, and every breath they take. Their eyes see but they see nothing, their ears hear but they hear nothing; they do not understand that they comprehend nothing. Though they have knowledge, they do not know what to do with it.
725. As a worm in an apple, so the fool enters knowledge and leaves the better part behind.
726. As a beast with a book, so is a fool with knowledge. Wisdom and understanding are far from him.
727. How will strangers and visitors hear in a household and from whom will they learn if not from the preacher of the house? And why are they there if not to hear and to learn?
728. Those who taste knowledge will have an appetite for more, but the fool despises instruction.
729. A stranger comes to teach and to learn, whether he be a wise man or a fool.
730. A wise man will learn from a fool though a fool has little to give, and a fool will receive little though a wise man has much to give.
731. Symmetry is two or more witnesses declaring and giving glory to the Creator.
732. What is waste, if not a fool who will not listen and learn?
733. One that heeds evil counsel destroys that which he possesses.
734. When goodness wields an axe, shelter, food and comfort are provided; when evil takes hold, homes are destroyed with those in them.
735. Harsh words do much evil and kind words much good, yet it is up to the hearer to decide.
736. As Rechab and Baanah, so many presume to do good and please the King of all the earth, but they only serve to anger Him and incur His wrath.
737. A righteous man sees his own faults as well as those of others, but the proud speak of their own virtues.
738. Wise men have much to learn, but fools are full and satisfied.
739. Excess in anything good becomes a burden and a lack; those who are temperate will be satisfied presently.
740. How much is much and how soon is soon? What is too little and too late? Are not all these things relative to one another?
741. Is it good for a man to leave earthly wealth behind for a foolish heir? But if he gives wisdom and nothing else, his son will do well.
742. Children of the lost perish, not knowing it, and those not knowing evil do not appreciate the good they have.
743. Fortunate is the one who, having learned obedience through suffering and sorrow, enters into rest and peace.
744. The wicked frets at the righteous and takes pleasure in his hurt, but the righteous is set only on doing his enemy good.
745. How can one hold water in a sieve, and how shall a fool’s ears retain wise words?
746. A wise man will receive rebuke but even approval is wasted on a fool.
747. Trials and tribulations are ministers of God to bring precious gifts of patience and wisdom. Having delivered their gifts, they depart.
748. The Lord takes a wasted life, makes it new, abundantly fruitful, and the waste is forgotten.
749. A missile lacks the strength to hit the mark if fired directly at a distant target. So direct words spoken to a heart far from Truth are wasted.
750. A wayward heart is as a moving target but the Lord knows how to aim His Words.