“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.
1001. Woe to those who favor the persons of the rich and famous – they shall be despised.
1002. Wicked is the nation and government that forbid good things and promote evil – destruction will surely take its toll.
1003. Woe to the people who are haughty and proud – they shall fall.
1004. Woe to the nation that is proud of itself – it shall soon be humbled.
1005. Woe to the nation that looks for the easy life – it will have hardship.
1006. Woe to the nation that lives to please and entertain itself – it shall mourn soon enough.
1007. Woe to the nation that forsakes God’s Law – it shall be a lawless land of chaos.
1008. Woe to the nation whose laws and decisions on justice and well being are bought and determined by those who seek to profit thereby – it shall be called unjust.
1009. Woe to the nation that does not confess and repent of its past – the past will rise up to haunt it manifold.
1010. Woe to the nation that fears the loud voices of fools and ignores the still, small voice of wisdom – seeking to please man is not good – it will fall into foolish paths.
1011. Woe to the nation that takes away the right of its people to speak freely for good and to defend themselves – fruitful speech will be lost.
1012. Woe to the people whose laws exonerate perversion and condemn those who protest against it – debauchery follows.
1013. Woe to the nation that promotes sexual perversion – it shall be seduced and ravished.
1014. Woe to the nation that punishes the good and rewards the evil – it shall be confounded.
1015. Woe to the nation whose laws can be used by its enemies against its own citizens for evil – it has given away its liberty.
1016. Woe to the people who decide for appearance’ sake and not for substance – they will be blind.
1017. Woe to the people who look to man for salvation and well being – they shall suffer.
1018. Woe to the nation that chooses leaders who flatter and promise for power – it will be subjugated.
1019. Woe to the people whose rulers are chosen by their wealth and popularity – they will be oppressed by vanity.
1020. Woe to the people who favor rulers that make many and great promises – they shall be disappointed.
1021. Woe to the nation whose leaders frame words to deceive their people – it shall believe lies.
1022. Woe to the people whose rulers satisfy themselves – they shall be neglected.
1023. Woe to the nation whose rulers rule to rule – it shall be without rule.
1024. Woe to the nation that honors evil religion for the sake of religious freedom – it shall lose its freedom.
1025. Woe to the nation that is filled with mock religion – it shall be mocked.
1026. Woe to the nation that compels all things to be one for unity’s sake – it shall be divided.
1027. Woe to the nation that fears minorities and treats them as majorities – it will be diminished.
1028. Woe to the people who give freedom to haters of their nation – they shall have no nation.
1029. Woe to the nation whose people must do battle with its government to gain reasonable rights – they have already lost and the wicked rule.
1030. Woe to the nation that gives to the rich and ignores the poor – it shall be poor.
1031. Woe to the nation that oppresses its poor – it shall be oppressed.
1032. Woe to the nation that slays the weak and the defenseless – it shall be weak and defenseless when its slayer comes.
1033. Woe to the nation that makes work for work’s sake and not for practical benefit – its effort will be futile and tend to poverty.
1034. Woe to the nation that poisons its food – it shall grow ill and die.
1035. Woe to the people that forbid God-created raw milk but sanction man-made, harmful substances – they will be ill.
1036. Woe to the nation that oppresses and disregards its food producers – it shall hunger.
1037. Woe to the nation that disregards its air, soil, rivers, lakes, fields, and forests – it shall lose its life.
1038. Woe to the nation that does not eliminate its waste – it shall be polluted.
1039. Woe to the people whose doctors are gods – they shall suffer the fruits of idolatry.
1040. Woe to the nation that treats symptoms rather than causes – it deceives itself to death.
1041. Woe to the nation of gluttons and drunkards – it shall be driven to debt and poverty.
1042. Woe to the nation that wars to gain – it shall lose.
1043. Woe to the nation that is silent at injustice with its neighbors – injustice is at its doors.
1044. Woe to the nation that spends more than it has and does not prepare for a day of want – it shall suffer lack.
1045. Woe to the nation that is indebted to another – it shall be its servant.
1046. Woe to the nation that uses deceitful money – it shall be robbed.
1047. Woe to the nation that does not protect its young – it shall grow old alone.
1048. Woe to the nation that teaches its children that all things are chance – it has contemned its Benefactor.
1049. Woe to the nation that forgets God – it shall be forgotten.
1050. The wise one will receive correction; he will always see the need for more.
1051. One who ceases to receive admonishment has ceased to be wise.
1052. One who refuses to receive correction from a poor child will not receive it from a wealthy man.
1053. Children have much to learn but also much to teach.
1054. Knowledge and preparation help to remove doubt and fear.
1055. The man who measures by money has no rest, and he who has no rest has no money.
1056. The more a man values this world’s substance, the less he appreciates the One Who gave it to him.
1057. If money is regarded as the source of fulfillment, then one must obtain all of it and much more.
1058. There are many who strive for perfection in this world, but they only succeed in excelling over one another in imperfection.
1059. The heart is made tender by trials, but one who hardens himself will be destroyed.
1060. Only one will prevail over all things, and that is the one who lays down his life for the sake of Him Who laid down His life for all.
1061. Many teach, but how many live? Many begin a good work, but by and by become attached to the means, losing appreciation for the end.
1062. He who measures by money will miscalculate – it is a treacherous measure.
1063. The evil that comes to the chosen and faithful works good, bringing great treasure.
1064. The chosen one who does evil does not harm God but himself, for who can harm God? But when he harms himself, he hurts God, for God loves him.
1065. Money is a deceitful yardstick that will warp itself into a loop suddenly and without warning.
1066. One who sets his heart on riches will be troubled, but he who sets his mind on the Source of all things will have peace.
1067. Money cannot break in and steal; it can only rob a man if he opens the door to it.
1068. I am hated and feared by many, but I love them all because the Son of God has made it so.
1069. Can a rich man have peace? Let him forsake his riches for the love of God and he will soon see; if he does not do so, he will never see.
1070. Time is a friend to those who faithfully labor for good, but it is a vexation to the sluggard, the selfish, and the greedy.
1071. Who knows how to handle riches? Does not God use them to handle him?
1072. As one who can never drink enough water to feed himself, so riches never satisfy.
1073. Riches have swifter wings than any falcon, and fly to and fro without warning.
1074. What price the deceitful riches? Peace of mind, satisfaction, comfort, health, true friends, family, and very life.
1075. Money is a no man’s land with movable borders that cannot be known.
1076. How much can you eat each day? Who cares what you wear? How many beds do you need each night? Are houses forever?
1077. He who takes up residence in his scaffolding and forsakes plans to live in the house he is building is not wise.
1078. The good things increase their value when taken away, and value of evil things is recognized when they have done their work.
1079. Because an imitation misrepresents or falls short of the original, men without understanding discredit the original.
1080. There is a time and place to rejoice, and a time and place to grieve;
1081. A time and place to bless, and a time and place to curse; a time to be pleased, and a time to be displeased;
1082. A time to be friendly, and a time to be unfriendly; a time to praise, and a time to rebuke and reprove;
1083. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time to be gentle, and a time to be harsh;
1084. A time to sing for joy, and a time to wail for sorrow; a time to weep for sorrow, and a time to weep for joy;
1085. A time for appropriateness, and a time for inappropriateness;
1086. A time to act, and a time to pause and be still; a time to begin, and a time to finish; a time to complete, and a time to leave undone;
1087. A time to work, and a time to rest; a time to work, and a time to play; a time to work, and a time to pray;
1088. A time to earn, and a time to spend; a time to give, and a time to receive; a time to grant, and a time to withhold;
1089. A time to go forth, and a time to retreat; a time to hurry, and a time to delay;
1090. A time for protection, and a time for vulnerability; a time to be hidden, and a time to be exposed; a time to reveal, and a time to conceal;
1091. A time for sickness, and a time for health; a time to succeed, and a time to fail; a time to stand, and a time to fall;
1092. A time to expand and grow, and a time to be pruned and purged; a time to be exalted, and a time to be humbled;
1093. A time to gather, and a time to scatter; a time to assemble, and a time to disperse;
1094. A time to grasp, and a time to release; a time to open, and a time to shut;
1095. A time to be silent, and a time to speak; a time to see, and a time to be blind;
1096. A time to be foolish, and a time to be wise; a time to understand, and a time to be confounded;
1097. A time for prosperity, and a time for poverty; a time for fatness, and a time for leanness; a time to eat, and a time to fast;
1098. A time to obey, and a time to command; a time to obey, and a time to disobey;
1099. A time for weakness, and a time for strength; a time to yield and submit, and a time to fight and overcome;
1100. A time for pressure, and a time for relief; a time to oppress, and a time to be merciful;
1101. A time for nightmares to become real, and a time for dreams to come true;
1102. A time to judge, and a time to be judged;
1103. A time to be exalted, and a time to be abased; a time for glory, and a time for shame.
1104. A time for children, and a time to be childless; a time for fathers and mothers, and a time for sons and daughters;
1105. There is a time for everything, and a time when there is no time for anything. There is a time and season for all things.
1106. As water wears a rock unnoticed, so a man wanders from the way by degree.
1107. Spilled milk is never redeemed by complaint; it only sours and finally puts forth a putrid stench.
1108. The face and words of a liar conceal the heart and its intent, but the fruits reveal it in due time.
1109. The simple one believes in men and all that they say.
1110. The proud and rebellious one says, “All things said and done against me are offensive, unjustified, and wrong.”
1111. The flatterer is snared and destroyed by his own words.
1112. The proud one says, “I am humble”; the fool says, “I am wise”; the liar says, “I never lie”; the brutish one says, “I am reasonable”;
1113. The judgmental one is offended when judged; the cruel one pleads that he be shown mercy;
1114. The hateful one hates being hated; the tyrant demands that he be treated justly; the unmerciful one shows himself merciful until he obtains his desire.
1115. For the covetous to show generosity is for a stove to hide its heat.
1116. The selfish expects to be treated generously, not considering that those whose goods he covets also like to receive.
1117. As the hireling shows himself compassionate, the thief gives to take; the preacher preaches for himself; and Naïveté believes them all.
1118. Those who place their faith in the visible are blind.
1119. The flesh is weak and profits nothing; the power in the spirit determines all things.
1120. The battle is in the heavens, and the course of earth is determined there.
1121. Give a rock the spiritual power and it will overcome a glorious king who trusts in himself.
1122. The less a man sees, the more he trusts in what he does see.
1123. Power is not in numbers, might, prosperity, knowledge, age, sex, or size, but in God, Who gives as He wills.
1124. Blessed is the man who puts his trust in God; he will always prevail.
1125. Even in failure, the man of faith overcomes.
1126. Do you look at the outward? Don’t be deceived; get eyes for the beyond.
1127. While it appears the earth is peaceful and quiet, battles rage in the Heavens, where are all things determined.
1128. It is not the mighty but the righteous one who has cause for sure hope.
1129. Faith is the fuel that empowers the engine of creation. Without it, nothing of worth is accomplished; with it, nothing is impossible.
1130. Conformity is a disease; all who are afflicted thereby become ill and draw near to death.
1131. One who for right resists conformity will be spared, but one who conforms to spare himself will perish.
1132. As a plane takes off facing the wind, so must it be for the soul beginning its spiritual journey.
1133. A tide may carry one anywhere, but those who defy the tide know where they are going.
1134. Multitudes conform; so one who flows against the current will find himself contrary to many.
1135. The traffic lanes toward God are almost empty, but full are those that rush away from Him.
1136. The nonconformist for good is as one who drives against the traffic, but if he prevails, he will find God.
1137. For a stick to flow with the river is easy and natural, but to flow against the current is impossible without intervention.
1138. Up is down, and down is up; in is out, and out is in; light is darkness, and darkness is light; truth is error, and error is truth; good is evil, and evil is good; wisdom is foolishness, and foolishness is wisdom. So it is with heaven and earth.
1139. A grotesque spectacle stalks all the earth – men with heads larger than their bodies, and mouths larger than their heads.
1140. I have found an unpleasant thing – men in prosperity forget God, and those in trouble and need do not remember Him.
1141. People will always rally around a man, religion, flag, nation, fortune, fame, and every kind of philosophy, but they will consistently reject the One Who created them.
1142. As a rock is worn by water unnoticed, so a man wanders from the Way.
1143. Lord, we are all as brute beasts without You. You are the only difference, and none of us can take credit for You.
1144. Five minutes can be as half a century, and half a century as five minutes.
1145. As we treat others, so is it indelibly recorded in our hearts and countenances and cannot be concealed.
1146. To the believing, we are as a fresh and delightful breeze and a cool drink of delicious water on a hot day, but to the wicked, as a hurricane or tornado, and a cesspool.
1147. As darkness manifests light, so lies and falsehood give occasion to bear witness to the truth.
1148. Truth is distasteful to the wicked, but pleasant to those who hunger and thirst after what is right and good.
1149. The healthy love the Physician because He has made them well, but those who are sick hate Him because they have not known His benefit.
1150. How is it that those in greatest need despise most the provision available to meet their need?
1151. Little is required of the wicked man, but the righteous man must pay dearly.
1152. One who cannot forgive his enemy is no different from his enemy.
1153. Learning costs, but as a good investment, it also pays.
1154. All enmity towards God is vain, for He has made His enemies for Himself until the appointed time when He does away with them.
1155. Faith is the knowledge that God is in full control of every detail.
1156. Do you doubt yourself or do you doubt God? Is not God over you? Why entertain doubts about yourself when you can exercise faith in God?
1157. The Lord God rewards every man according to his heart, perfectly.
1158. Faith is to know that nothing is in one’s own control.
1159. Better to be in the difficult process of renewal than in the pleasurable process of destruction.
1160. Of what value is life if one cannot live?
1161. Creatures do not save themselves with the Creator’s help, and the Creator does not save His creatures with their help; the Creator does what He wills with all His creatures.
1162. The righteous will be condemned by the world, not for doing wrong, but for being wrong, because to the world righteousness is wrong.
1163. No wrong can be charged against the elect, therefore the world hates them.
1164. The destroyer must be permitted to destroy that which must be destroyed, then the destroyer will be destroyed.
1165. As an arid desert cannot be fruitful, so a fretting and worried heart cannot produce anything good.
1166. Troubles born of evil produce fear and confusion, but tribulation and suffering from God produce revelation and understanding.
1167. A hero’s worshipper is his worst enemy.
1168. Man’s love is hate and God’s hate is love; God’s hate is to be preferred.
1169. Over abundance and lack are equal detriments.
1170. If the dead can be raised, how can anything be too late for God?
1171. Sharpness is increased by a stone, so one is improved by difficulty.
1172. Coarse sandpaper is needed for rough surfaces, so roughness is needed for the rough in spirit.
1173. A leopard appears cuddlesome and attractive, but it is deadly. So there are the cruel in spirit that show themselves refined.
1174. The ox is a brutish beast that is gentle and helpful, and the poor working man is not to be despised.
1175. Cunning is the victim in his devices; he sees no fault in himself.
1176. As a cat lives its life without knowing its own nature, so the victim perpetrates without consideration.
1177. Perpetrators are first their own victims.
1178. Come away from death and hell – do to your neighbor as you would have him do to you.
1179. We choose our enemies and friends, as many as we will.
1180. Shod yourself with your neighbor’s shoes, and then if God should shod you with your neighbor’s feet, you will have enough to judge righteous judgment.
1181. A rod on the back of the wicked will bring protest, until the wicked is wicked no longer.
1182. A man is known by his answer, which is spoken from the heart.
1183. We wrestle with ourselves in the vain hope of overcoming an enemy too great for us.
1184. Is our depravity greater than our Maker? Can He not unmake that which is spoiled?
1185. Can God not do as He pleases and restore at will? Will He not restore if it is His mind to do so? And what can we do if it is not His mind to restore?
1186. Sons of resurrection can only go back with the intent of resurrecting others, never of rejoining the dead.
1187. As a caterpillar becomes a flutterby, so sons of earth become sons of Heaven.
1188. Sons of correction are granted to embrace the grave in order to become sons of the resurrection.
1189. Men seek happiness, but sons of God have much better.
1190. Satan brings out the best in man, and God brings out the worst.
1191. Is a fat wallet wise? If in the back pocket, it is uncomfortable to sit or lay on. If in the front pocket, it cramps the trousers when sitting. When opened, covetous onlookers ponder how they might obtain it.
1192. If a fat wallet is lost, there is more to regret. Are there not better things to be done than to carry and display plenty? So it is with the riches of this world.
1193. Because artificial light can reveal things of darkness, it is assumed the light is of God, not of men.
1194. Creatures that burrow and those that swim, creatures that fly and those that crawl, creatures that love the light and those that hide from it, beasts both subtle and dumb, saints and sinners – God is Lord of them all.
1195. Men will never speak truth, except it benefits them.
1196. Beware and judge discreetly the complaint of victims.
1197. Those who complain the loudest as victims are the greatest of perpetrators.
1198. Trials and tribulations come and go, but God remains.
1199. Men are ever premature or tardy, but God’s timing is always perfect.
1200. Wise rulers seek complements, but the foolish, compliments.
1201. The sting of the bee is painful, but what creature provides the life and sweetness of the bee?
1202. Enemies of the bee are hurt, but friends of the bee are blessed.
1203. As moths conceal themselves from daylight and cannot resist artificial light in the night, so do men.
1204. As I was feeding the birds, I considered that some flew away at my approach much sooner than did others. Some continued to feed while I was near, while others would not dare to do so. Then I considered that those who recognize safety with the hand that feeds them are blessed, while others who do not recognize the provident hand live in continual fear.
1205. My heart is warmed when the birds trust me so as to feed out of my hand. I am not pleased to see others fly away at the least provocation, though no danger threatens.
1206. As moths avoid the sun but are drawn to artificial light, so those without a heart for the True Light are attracted to the works of men.
1207. Once the cement is poured, there is little time to change it before it sets and remains forever as poured.
1208. See a man who knows he is unworthy of reward though he does his duty faithfully? You see a man who believes.
1209. Because the ground is hard and not prepared for sowing, does that mean one should not take the plow to it?
1210. The physician who brings the diagnosis is treated as though he brought the disease.
1211. The bearer of good news is praised, and the bearer of bad news is despised; yet each is only responsible for the report and not the event.
1212. What is a proverb but a means to express the observed realities of existence in thoughtfully chosen words?
1213. With the favored of the Lord, though they are afraid, there is peace and safety, but with the wicked, though they are confident, there is only wrath.
1214. The Lord waits and tries His people as though He is not faithful, but in due time, He proves Himself faithful and compensates them in full.
1215. Blessed is the one who suffers yet remains faithful; he will be rewarded when the time comes.
1216. With the Lord is great treasure, but without Him is perfect poverty.
1217. There is no safety but the Lord, and there is no danger but with the Lord.
1218. With shamefacedness we receive our reward, until it wipes away the tears and makes our suffering and trials more than worthwhile.
1219. Why do you ask, “Where is the Lord?” Where is He not?
1220. Faith is marching in step to the beat of a drum from above.
1221. Truth is not a journey, but a destination that can be arrived at sooner than one may think.
1222. “I no longer believe because of what that so-called believer did or said,” says the bitter one. The truth is that he was only exposed for the belief he never had.
1223. Fools will use all excuses to justify themselves in their unbelief.
1224. “I was offended!” shrieks the proud and wicked one, not considering that the Just One was killed by those offended as was he.
1225. There was a man who lived comfortably as a citizen in a certain country. He heard that he could also prosper in a neighboring country. Investigating, the benefits appealed to him, so he obtained a second citizenship.
Soon after, war broke out between the two nations. It was not easy to tell which way the war would go, but he only cared to be on the winning side. He did not want to risk his life fighting for either of them.
It was not long before he was served a draft notice by each nation to serve in battle. He considered what to do and thought, “I will tell each nation that I belong to the other. That way I can avoid fighting, and keep my choice of citizenship open. I’ll get to live with the victor when it is over.”
The day came when a wooden crate was delivered from one country to the other, with an accompanying letter – “We chanced on a dual citizen of our nations who, though he enjoyed our benefits, refused to enlist with us in our war against you, being also a citizen of your nation. Enclosed, therefore, you will find your half.”
1226. Forgiveness for an offense committed is the greatest gift one can give or receive.
1227. Unforgiveness is the greatest offense one can commit against another.
1228. Forgiveness is as a dam opened up to restore the flow of the river of life.
1229. Unforgiveness destroys, and forgiveness revives.
1230. Who will not forgive but the one who is not willing to live?
1231. Peace is to the man who would rather endure wrong than to repay it.
1232. Those who forgive are forgiven, but those who will not forgive hold it against themselves.
1233. A grudge poisons the soul and kills the one who holds it.
1234. As a cancer eats away at internal organs, so resentment devours the soul.
1235. Cursed is the man who curses another without cause.
1236. Blessed are those who return blessing for curses; they will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
1237. Forgiveness is a precious balm of healing to those who receive it, and the glory and power of a divine healer in those who give it.
1238. As curtains are drawn on a window to conceal, so a schemer will not look one in the eye lest he should reveal the thoughts and intents of his heart.
1239. It is much better to explain to a simple child than to an intelligent man.
1240. High words and high thoughts are for high men, but God regards the lowly and simple.
1241. Beware lest the mote you see in your neighbor’s eye is but a reflection of the beam in your eye.
1242. It is easier to count many words than to make a few words count.
1243. Those who are proud and presume to gather admirers are, by and by, humbled before all.
1244. Only the wise know how foolish they are; only the foolish know how wise they are.
1245. Those who find it easy to say find it hard to live, but those who have suffered are mindful of their words.
1246. Thankfulness is a treasure for which one can be very thankful.
1247. As water poured out finds its way to every nook and cranny, rushes to the lowest levels, and rises to cover the greatest heights, so perfect judgment comes, and none shall escape.
1248. The timid answer with boldness, but those who look for courage do not find it in themselves.
1249. One who delivers from fear receives great honor and glory.
1250. In the greatest curses are hidden the greatest blessings.