“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.
1501. Truth always heals; lies always kill.
1502. One may at times need to go in the opposite direction to reach the destination.
1503. The negligent despise details, but the diligent will rule.
1504. God chastens the wicked and honors the righteous.
1505. When God withholds, man will not see though it is right before his eyes; when God gives, man will readily see though it is hidden behind the farthest mountain.
1506. God honors the prayer of the righteous, but the prayer of the wicked is an abomination to Him.
1507. Blessed is the one chastened, and woe to the one whom the Lord no longer chastens.
1508. Two can never be facing one another in the same rowboat, each with their own oar; they must face the same direction to reach their destination.
1509. Increasing weight of the moneybag tends to tighten the string.
1510. Aging is unpleasant to those who value too highly things that pass away, but those who gather treasure in heaven have continual joy.
1511. He who reads a hug knows the secret of the heart.
1512. The leader is required to lead and, when called to do so, has no excuse for following.
1513. When passion threatens to prevail, it is good to retreat until reason is in power. Then when passion and reason unite in faith, victory is at hand.
1514. Money is the least of rewards for work done, but if that is what the worker favors most, it will be the most he receives.
1515. Those who most deal in fear are the most fearful.
1516. God will not approve of men doing any evil in order to provide for themselves; He requires men to do good, and He will provide for them.
1517. As darkness affords opportunity for the light to shine, so error gives occasion for the truth to be spoken.
1518. There is nothing too hard for God, and therefore never any need for those who are His to despair.
1519. Those seeking after wealth are very poor; the more they gather, the poorer they become.
1520. Better to lose your sight and read truth in Braille than to watch videos of falsehood with good eyes.
1521. Humility is humiliation to the children of pride.
1522. The God you don’t know is better than the Devil you do know.
1523. Men are cruel in their tolerance of sinners, but the Lord is merciful in his intolerance of sin.
1524. Without judgment, the world perishes, but with judgment, it is saved.
1525. A hero exalts himself at the expense of others, but a true witness exalts God for the good of all.
1526. The fearful will ever choose the wrong; as a magnet draws nails, so they choose that which they fear.
1527. When man seeks glory, he shames his Creator, but when God manifests His glory, it is for man’s good.
1528. Rules without teeth are clouds without water in time of drought.
1529. One who will not step on an ant or hurt a fly is neither human nor divine.
1530. How easy it is to see the faults of others; how hard to see our own!
1531. When the Lord opens our eyes to see our faults, how much larger they appear than anyone else’s!
1532. If you make God last, He will make you last. If you make Him first, He will make you first.
1533. He sends the proud away, possessing only themselves, leaving them with nothing, but the humble remain to inherit all things.
1534. Strong rebuke is medicine to the wise, but fools despise a cure.
1535. Tears of the righteous wash away evil, but laughter of the wicked invites it.
1536. Bitterness has no reason or understanding, but forgiveness enlightens and brings wisdom.
1537. Contention compounds itself, but submission brings a peaceful end.
1538. Liars will believe liars, but those seeking truth will find them that speak it.
1539. As the sun is sure to rise and set, so is God faithful.
1540. Those who know the truth are not afraid to speak, but the fearful seek to please man.
1541. The wise are confident of where their security resides, but the foolish must ever scramble for safety.
1542. The wise man is safe wherever he goes, his protection going with him, but the fool can never leave his folly behind.
1543. With his mouth, a man creates peace and war for himself and those around him, whether for good or for evil.
1544. The fool listens and thinks he understands. He goes away and acts without understanding, not considering to seek counsel.
1545. A bed provides a comfortable rest if properly prepared.
1546. Those who serve the destroyer are destroyed, but redeemers enjoy abundant life.
1547. A branch separated from the tree will not live; so it is with those who keep secrets from God and man.
1548. As the root, so the stock; as the seed, so the fruit.
1549. Better to live in peace in a shack debt-free, than in a mansion with creditors using the fancy knocker on the door every day.
1550. The Truth is a bitter pill to the unrighteous and unrepentant.
1551. He will take advantage of his environment who understands it is there for him.
1552. Treasure in the conscience is much better than in the bank, and a good night’s rest as good as a good day’s work.
1553. Aging is dying a slow death, and the renewing of the spirit adds life.
1554. Fear of man is a vicious and formidable opponent, but God’s grace is more than sufficient.
1555. Those who complain to their neighbors about the weather will also complain about their neighbors.
1556. A sip of wine from a barrel is sufficient for a discerning taster to judge the nature of the whole.
1557. With their words, the righteous scatter the wicked and drive seekers to grab hold of their Savior.
1558. With their words, the righteous offend the hypocrite, but correct those who err in their search after God.
1559. Foundation before the structure and dwellers before the dwelling.
1560. As artificial flowers have no fragrance, so man’s repentance has no power.
1561. The selfish one does not and cannot know anything, but the liberalized soul knows all there is to know.
1562. One who receives correction receives honor, but one who refuses correction is brought to shame.
1563. Those who permit their emotions to rule them love death.
1564. Sooner heard is the cry for deliverance from sin than from its consequences.
1565. Good things are in store for those who believe and receive instruction, but evil awaits the rebel.
1566. Children of light bear witness in the opportunity of darkness.
1567. The fearful prefer to keep their thoughts to themselves, but those who love the truth will bare their souls to have it.
1568. To say that those who were sinners have no right to judge sin, is to say that God had no right to execute the Law upon sinners because He paid the penalty for them.
1569. As nuts are covered in shells and grain by chaff, so a spiritual gift is concealed with fault.
1570. Faults accompany gifts to try those for whom the benefits of the gifts are stored up.
1571. Look beyond the faults and weaknesses of companions to receive the benefits of the gifts they have for our profit.
1572. Would you throw away a banana because of the peel? So receive your brother and search out his value beyond his fault.
1573. Man’s vengeance is cruel, but God’s vengeance is with purpose and good intent.
1574. A hasty decision brings sorrow and regret, but a decision with consideration brings reward to be enjoyed.
1575. One who endures chastening has hope of deliverance, but one who despises correction will die.
1576. Man’s correction brings shame and reproach, but the rod of the Lord exalts in due time.
1577. Even dogs know to continue with their owners, even when abused. How much more should man know better than to stray from his Maker?
1578. The beast thrashes after a fatal blow, but a wise slayer is confident the work is done and soon the beast is quiet.
1579. The wicked vehemently insist on their righteousness, so much so as to deceive even the elect, but the darkness is dispersed by and by.
1580. Sinners protest their innocence, but their time is short and their energy limited.
1581. Of work, there can be no end. Our duty is to choose the best to do, and do it to the best of our abilities.
1582. Fools feed on foolishness, but the wise will fear God.
1583. Let determination for good give place to decision, and the battle is won.
1584. Good words without deeds are as clouds without water, promising rain in time of drought.
1585. The scales of creation are balanced in all things.
1586. He gives children understanding and leaves wise men in their lack of it.
1587. The light of thanksgiving scatters the darkness of oppression.
1588. As light and darkness overlap and do battle at dusk and dawn, so Heaven and Hell intermingle on earth.
1589. The hard of heart will not receive correction, to their folly and shame, but the humble will learn and be bettered.
1590. Walking in light is much easier than walking in darkness.
1591. One who seeks gain won’t prosper, but one who seeks good is prosperous.
1592. Hard friends are much easier to bear than gentle enemies.
1593. It would be foolish to despise gold because soiled with mud, so also to reject correction when not acceptably delivered.
1594. Unbelief is an ugly and costly thing, but true faith is glorious and highly rewarding – nothing can overcome it.
1595. Flowery words and expressions are vain; only a believing heart is acceptable to God.
1596. Fearing man, one lives a lie; fearing God, one lives the truth.
1597. Fear brings on what we fear, but faith repels evil, bringing security and peace.
1598. Better to think on God’s love toward us than on our value to Him. Our value is only as good as His desire.
1599. Better to dwell on our Friend than on His enemy.
1600. We are born into this world, and we don’t know how to live.
1601. Labor to the sluggard is a hard taskmaster.
1602. The defeat of evil is to use it for good.
1603. All evil can be defeated only because good is greater.
1604. The essence of good and evil is the intention more than the act.
1605. There is only one way to have might and that is to do right.
1606. True right can only be defined by the Maker of all things.
1607. God’s evil is good, and man’s good is evil.
1608. If we love our enemies, it is good, but oh, how evil it is to hate our friends!
1609. Goodness is to seek our neighbor’s welfare as much as our own.
1610. Goodness is to seek the true God and do His will.
1611. Evil is to do good for ourselves at the cost of doing good for others.
1612. Men who exalt themselves are praised by their fellows for it, but those who humble themselves receive praise from their Maker.
1613. He who refuses to honor good behavior invites evil on himself.
1614. A man and wife combine to form children, as cement and water combine to form concrete. To divorce is to bring a jackhammer to the concrete.
1615. A man strategizes to maximize gain, but the Lord looks on the heart and rewards according to the intent.
1616. One must lose to gain, but if he chooses to gain, he will lose.
1617. A sinner lays up wealth for himself, but the desire of the just is to do right.
1618. The evil suffer unexpected calamity, but God warns the righteous of impending judgment and prepares them.
1619. There is a reward for those who submit to His judgment, but the wicked suffer great remorse in their losses.
1620. The predator comes seeking glory and wealth, not considering that one greater than him stalks and takes his soul.
1621. Best to keep one’s distance from those who unrighteously draw fire, lest you suffer collateral damage.
1622. Failures are the building blocks, and persistence is the mortar, for success.
1623. A man’s reward consists of what he is and not of what he has; what he does with what he has will determine what he becomes.
1624. Notice the flag, flapping in the wind; notice the flagpole, standing upright and strong, regardless of the wind.
1625. The explosion of a ton of explosives gives off but a pitiful whimper in contrast to the power unleashed when but two saints come into the perfection of spiritual unity.
1626. To be proud and stubborn is not good, but to humble oneself and make way for wisdom is salvation.
1627. One who blesses his enemy is in the light, but one who curses his friend is deceived.
1628. Hand cleaner is used to remove grease and grime, and then soap and water are used to remove hand cleaner.
1629. Being in debt to the world is an indication you are not in debt to the Lord.
1630. Obeying the Lord threatens death in this world for the moment, but brings life instead.
1631. Those who lay down their lives for right are rewarded with much more.
1632. The call of obedience unto death is the golden opportunity to multiply what we possess.
1633. The way of the transgressor is hard, but the path of the faithful is blessed.
1634. Satan has the sweetest of roars, and the Lord has the harshest of whispers.
1635. So they ate from the Tree of Idol Meats, lost their reasoning ability, and were unable to recover from their own wisdom. Their minds crazed, and raving as they departed, they perished, knowing more than all.
1636. Children want gifts and loathe chastenings, yet chastenings, above gifts, bring life.
1637. Truth may seem to fade or be delayed, but it never fails.
1638. Too much good is bad, but too much bad is not good.
1639. We each have our weaknesses as well as our strengths, the former not to be underestimated in value.
1640. One who is honest with himself is honest for himself.
1641. The more heavily laden with fruit the branch is, the lower it bends, while light branches bear sparsely.
1642. Some fruits must ripen on the tree, while some can be picked to ripen later.
1643. Some plants begin by a seed, some by a root, and some by a branch or cutting. Some are propagated by the wind, some by insects, some by birds and animals, and some by men, as it pleases God.
1644. Windshield washer fluid is a liquid, like water, and is therefore physically potable, but hardly a suitable substitute for water. It will not quench thirst; so adultery won’t quench loneliness.
1645. Those who divide the sacred from the secular divide themselves.
1646. Like gold in the earth that must be processed to be of value, so knowledge must be worked to be of usefulness.
1647. Man can’t so much as create a hair or even its color, he can only make dead imitations; so religion can never do the saving work of the Living God.
1648. When one does good, it is for others, but when one does evil, it is for himself.
1649. Every act of obedience through faith deals death unto life.
1650. Why do clouds occasionally obscure the sun? So that we can more appreciate the sun.
1651. Why do clouds occasionally obscure the sun? So as to shelter us from the full strength of the sun.
1652. Why do clouds occasionally obscure the sun? So that water can be added to the sunlight to bring forth life.
1653. Why do clouds occasionally obscure the sun? So that those things receiving sustenance from the sun will not wither in it.
1654. How can clouds, being so small, block the sun, which is so large? Because they are so much closer to us than is the sun.
1655. Grace is understanding that Law is not our god; God is our Law.
1656. When we get hungry, we obtain food and eat, and our hunger is satisfied. So grace is not removing the Law or the demand of the Law, but a provision of the substance required to satisfy its demand.
1657. Grace: Removing the Law? No. Removing the need for the Law? No. Filling the need for the Law? Yes. Grace is the glorification of the Law.
1658. If we can love our enemies, we can love ourselves.
1659. A good wife is like a pleasant rain that waters the crops and brings forth life, but a wife ill-gotten and ill-tempered is as a storm that passes through and leaves only damage.
1660. The child who defies discipline grieves the mother, but the child who humbly submits to chastening breaks the father’s heart for thankfulness.
1661. Those who submit to correction receive mercy, but the rebellious invite severe judgment.
1662. Enjoyable work satisfies as does a good meal a hungry man, but work without pleasure is as a false promise, leaving one continually hungry.
1663. Fear of man kills, but fear of God gives life.
1664. Fearing man is trusting in yourself.
1665. Fear of anything besides God is as bad as the thing one fears.
1666. Man’s love is the most formidable of enemies to the human soul.
1667. Giving thanks is the remedy for unthankfulness.
1668. To do the right in God’s sight is life, but to do the wrong is purest folly.
1669. Do the right always, especially when it costs you, because that’s where the treasure is.
1670. Religion is the worship of mammon, a betrayal of all that is good; it is the representation of Judas Iscariot.
1671. So much loss does man impose upon himself by pride; his bitterness is his worst enemy.
1672. Fear of man is a terrible burden, but fear of God lifts up.
1673. It cannot be but that the tragedy of human history repeats itself; it is the lot of the Godless man.
1674. Greed is no respecter of wealth obtained.
1675. If we fear even uncertain danger, we perish, but if we trust a sure shelter in all danger, we live.
1676. Even a weed commands respect when content and not striving to be a tree.
1677. When the weak stand for right, they are invincible.
1678. Bees don’t always bring sweetness.
1679. One who condones any evil, though not partaking, is as one who commits it.
1680. Better to have the enmity of men for the right than their friendship for the wrong.
1681. He who rushes to a red light is foolish.
1682. One should fairly question a man who gives no answers to fair questions.
1683. A tongue may wag, but if it has no ear, it may as well not have its mouth.
1684. Forsake pleasure for wisdom and this world for a better. You’ll discover pleasure enough, and more than you bargained for.
1685. Wisdom knows wisdom and foolishness, but foolishness knows neither.
1686. Apply the patience you think you have for those who don’t need it, to those who do need it.
1687. Not only will the weak try your patience, they will give you patience, if you permit them.
1688. As a strong wind drives away mist, so the truth disperses falsehood.
1689. Man’s heart is set on speed and quantity, neither of which means anything to God.
1690. Who will please God? He who thinks His thoughts and rejoices in His ways.
1691. Rest is wasteful to the ambitious man, but precious to a holy God.
1692. As one treats his servants and family, so he treats himself.
1693. As one treats a stranger, so he treats those he loves.
1694. More only works with heavenly things.
1695. Outward rest while asleep is good; inward rest while awake is very good.
1696. There’s nothing more costly than love of money.
1697. Faith in the truth and confidence of its victory bring peace.
1698. One doesn’t notice the stench of a rotten egg until the shell is broken.
1699. We all need to see ourselves for what we are, to deliver us from seeing ourselves as we aren’t.
1700. The part is relative to the whole, and the whole is relevant to the part.
1701. Better a good conscience with tiredness than a poor one with energy.
1702. Wrong is wrong in whatever form or degree, wherever we find it, and if we have the opportunity and the power to address it, we have not only the right, but the responsibility and privilege, to do so.
1703. Carelessness creates crises, but diligence delivers from destruction.
1704. Man’s wrath is self-serving and deadly, but God’s wrath is righteous and productive to life.
1705. Many are those who work, and few who rest.
1706. Man is destroying his fellow with the love of religion and the religion of love.
1707. We beg God for what we want and receive nothing, yet all we have to do is do what He wants, and we will have more than we want.
1708. We get nowhere seeking our desires and everywhere seeking the Lord’s.
1709. The Kingdom Message isn’t about being loved for your sake, but being hated for Christ’s sake and the Gospel’s.
1710. Pride and unbelief are conjoined twins at the chest, sharing the same heart.
1711. The righteous rejoice that they are freed from the power of sin, but the wicked who claim His salvation rejoice that they are now free to sin.
1712. To know the truth and walk in it is the Sabbath.
1713. The Sabbath is the reward of paying six days in full.
1714. The Sabbath is to recognize and to honor God in the heart of hearts.
1715. He who honors the Authority above will be honored with the Sabbath.
1716. The Sabbath is the Day when every valley is filled and every mountain leveled.
1717. He who knows the Sabbath possesses all things.
1718. God isn’t expecting the impossible from you; His delight is that you expect the impossible from Him.
1719. Those who serve themselves will be served by as many; those who serve others will also be served by as many.
1720. Like a cool glass of water on a hot day quenches thirst and soothes a parched throat, thanksgiving to God for things you don’t like or want is a most wonderful antidote for troubles.
1721. If we stop short of the final destination, we haven’t arrived.
1722. The man on the street can circumcise the flesh, but not even heart surgeons can circumcise the heart.
1723. The mixture of oil and water establishes the glorious Sabbath.
1724. The legalist will not forgive the seventy-eighth time.
1725. The easily offended one refuses correction.
1726. I don’t weed dandelions out of my lawn by hand because I have time; I have time because I weed dandelions out of my lawn by hand.
1727. The Sabbath is the right sacrifice offered at the right time and place to the Only One Worthy.
1728. Objectivity is as foreign to man as worship of God is to a dumb beast.
1729. When one realizes he lacks understanding, he’s being prepared to receive it.
1730. Woe to those who seek fame; they’ll be known by many for their disappointment.
1731. Woe to those who seek the riches of this world; they’ll have nothing to do with them.
1732. Giving thanks in all things fuels the engine of patience.
1733. If Truth doesn’t prevail, remove me from this earth immediately, but if it prevails, let me live; let me speak and fight to my dying breath for the cause of Truth. It will be, and is, a privilege, a duty, and a pleasure.
1734. Quantity is the prize of men, but quality the desire of God.
1735. Without wisdom, pitying the weak breeds destruction.
1736. Obedience to God, apparently costly beforehand, is substantially rewarding afterward.
1737. To obey is rewarding and fruitful; to walk in our own ways brings loss and sorrow.
1738. The greatest thing to learn is that we have much to learn.
1739. Want and loss are the parents of appreciation. Without them, appreciation can never be.
1740. Finding fault in others comes effortlessly; finding fault in ourselves is not so easy.
1741. The Sabbath makes all labor and pain worthwhile.
1742. Better to work to rest within than to work to have without.
1743. The restoration of hearing and sight is the Sabbath.
1744. The Sabbath is the union of Heaven and earth in perfect harmony.
1745. If we live in our lusts, we perish, but if we live for what’s right, we have great reward.
1746. If we live for ourselves, we have only ourselves, but if we live for others, all things are ours.
1747. Our greatest freedom is to be our true selves; our greatest bondage is to try to be something we’re not.
1748. Better to be your ugly self than your beautiful unself.
1749. Freedom’s just another word for being yourself.
1750. If salt remains as a lump in the dough, it fails to do any good, but when dispersed, it gives flavor.