“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.
751. One who seeks Truth has no preconditions; by this is known the genuineness of hunger for Truth.
752. One who seeks Truth is given to pursue and to find.
753. In the sky, one has perspective and possibilities not possible from the ground, but if he falls, even from a little distance, better to have remained on the ground.
754. Truth hates those who hate It, and who can prevail against Truth?
755. Those who hate Truth will hate the one who speaks Truth.
756. Precious metals are purified by fire, but dead branches and stubble are destroyed by it. Therefore is the fire of God a friend to some and an enemy to others.
757. As a man sees, so it is, and if he chooses to see as he ought, it will go well for him.
758. To a worshipper of God, a billion dollars is of little value, though he may have little, but to a worshipper of mammon, a nickel is precious, though he may have much in this world’s goods.
759. Suspicion can be a faithful sentinel or a false accuser. The wise will identify its true character before acting.
760. Better to humbly remain silent with nothing to say than to open the mouth wide with less than nothing.
761. Hard materials require hard tools; so hard hearts call for hard words.
762. There is man’s doctrine and there is God’s doctrine. Man’s doctrine brings death, but God’s doctrine brings life.
763. If you are about to drink, or are drinking, from a poisoned well and I try to prevent you, why do you accuse me of wanting you to die of thirst?
764. To reprove a fool or not to reprove a fool? Shall we suffer the fool’s wrath for his sake or shall we go our way and let him destroy himself?
765. Have encouragement in patience; take a look at nature and see what grows quickly and what grows slowly.
766. Both swift and slow developments have a price. A cornstalk needs less patience than does an apple tree, but a cornstalk will soon fulfill its purpose and be gone, while an apple tree will remain to serve for many years.
767. Devils are nice people and have many desirable traits; they are friendly, warm, affectionate, loving, humorous, clever, knowledgeable, polite, considerate, supportive, hard working, religious, dedicated and even sacrificial, until they know they are not getting their way or until they can get what they want without paying for it.
768. As the rising and setting of the sun are not instant, and there is an overlapping of light and darkness, so with preparations and transitions of God’s work in a man’s heart.
769. Hell is the inability to believe and to receive and appreciate good.
770. He who rejects the counsel of a prophet will have the messenger of circumstance come, which will deal more firmly with him.
771. Deference to whom it is due is a thing disdained in this world. Great is the wrath of the dragon in this last day, and woe to his subjects who honor his ways.
772. The words of a righteous king go out with power, and nothing can prevail against them. Though the people despise his words, yet are his decrees established and all scorners shamed in the end.
773. Those who fear God have nothing more to fear, but those who do not fear Him have everything to fear.
774. All selfishness will be regretted but all good will be rewarded.
775. The first casualty of the deceiver is always the deceiver.
776. The mind open to all things despises the truth; the one having received the truth discerns all things.
777. How is it that men can recognize wisdom, yet have no heart for it? They perceive but are not willing to acknowledge its value; if acknowledging, they are not prepared to pay the price.
778. The one who knows no boundaries knows no freedom but the one who regards boundaries is free.
779. It is better to do good than to be treated well.
780. Beware of the one who insists on his being treated fairly. His concern is more for his equity than for his neighbor’s.
781. In all things, Lord, grant us to be zealous and jealous for You and not for ourselves.
782. Those who examine the record carefully will know the truth and have the answer to the riddle.
783. To eat fruit before its time is not good, but fruit fully ripened is enjoyable and satisfies.
784. The rich insulate themselves with the poor from trouble, but in time the insulation becomes the trouble.
785. It does not take much salt to flavor the food because salt is strong; so genuine faith goes a long way and accomplishes much.
786. Faith does not say, “I must change things so that they will be better.” Faith says, “I see God at work, and know that things are and will be as He determines.”
787. The proud fool sees God in nothing, thinking to be wise, but the wise one sees God in everything, having been humbled.
788. To the wise, all things are made manifest, but to the fool, all is obscure.
789. The evolutionist waits for his eyes to open by themselves, and for food to come to his mouth without intervention.
790. Only fools think themselves wise, but the wise know they have much to learn.
791. Dig deep, fool; study, travel, search far and wide to find answers that are not there, so that you can explain away the answers that surround and overcome you.
792. One who doesn’t have time for the little things doesn’t know what the big things are.
793. One becomes servant to the influence he chooses.
794. A son will give his right hand for his father, and a father will give his life for his son.
795. Seeking and indulging in pleasures is like eating sugar. The taste is desirable, but it never satisfies and leaves one craving for more.
796. As whitewash covers but does not change, so religion conceals the corrupt nature while the corruption remains.
797. What is greatness to man but pride and strength and excellence over his fellow man? What is greatness to God but a broken spirit and a humbled heart?
798. Those who gather in this world store in bottomless pits, but those who forsake this world’s good for right’s sake and duty to God reap riches many times over.
799. None but the eye of faith has seen and none but the heeding ear has heard the tremendous rewards even now stored up for those who love God and do His commandments.
800. God works men to see if they will do His bidding, and when they do, there is nothing He will withhold from them.
801. God is ready to assume full responsibility for the one wholly committed to Him.
802. Man takes on the essence of that which he venerates.
803. Idols are not chosen for themselves but for the sake of those who choose them.
804. To the wise, there is that which quenches thirst perfectly, but fools choose to thirst instead.
805. Men live only to reap death; but to live, one must die.
806. There is a door that, after which a man passes through, closes permanently; let him consider before he enters.
807. Sons and daughters receive the favor of God bestowed on their fathers, but they must make good on their inheritance to continue it, and if they do so, it will increase beyond that of their fathers.
808. A godly mother is a rare and precious treasure indeed, and greatly blessed is the child with that mother.
809. There is little more painful than to be betrayed by the one closest to the bosom, but the one who overcomes is multiplied in blessing and strength so as to make it all worthwhile.
810. Wisdom is as a treasure hid away on a far island; only those who leave all behind, forsaking their lives and loved ones, will claim it.
811. Aches and pains come and go; so trials and tribulations are for a determined time, until the purpose is accomplished.
812. The one who enjoys the small and simple things is free, unlike the one who seeks great things for himself.
813. One who sees and believes will have his reward but not as the one who takes God’s Word for it.
814. Storms rage and ravage, but they leave behind the possibility for improvement beyond what was taken away.
815. What faith, simplicity, and freedom has the young child of an unemployed and worried parent, but the Heavenly Father is neither unemployed nor worried.
816. Birds sing because God sends them. He has fed them and given them nests and young as their reward, and joy to sing again.
817. Only man can be an angel or a brute beast; only man can study and choose right and wrong, yet God determines all things.
818. A guilty conscience resents exposure, but those doing right are not afraid.
819. Peace, peace to the one whose God is the God of Israel, who has His commandments and keeps them. He will prosper and live without fear of evil, and nothing shall be impossible to him.
820. Disobeying God is where hell begins, and obeying Him is where it ends.
821. Much knowledge and power without wisdom destroys, but a little knowledge with wisdom does much good.
822. As a dog chasing its tail, so deceitful hearts search to know themselves.
823. Every kind of bush and tree has its needful purpose; how much more every kind of person. God has made them all.
824. There are fools who are like flies – unwelcome, unclean, and unreasonable; though shooed away, they persist in nuisance until they destroy themselves.
825. To flies, honey and dung are equally attractive; so fools do not discriminate between truth and error.
826. We worry about tomorrow, because God has not provided for tomorrow, because tomorrow isn’t here yet.
827. Is the man noble who doesn’t take vengeance on the bee for stinging him when he knows the bee will die for the act anyway?
828. “One world government! A New World Order!” people cry in fear, not having faith in the One Who rules all things and by Whom all things consist.
829. Parrots, having no wisdom of their own, speak only that which is given them of men.
830. Religious men covet to have flocks of parrots repeating their words.
831. Those who seek after pleasures become the pleasure of devils.
832. Faith is to know that the Lord reigns supreme over all things.
833. We treat neighbors and friends as they wish to be treated for our advantage, but will we treat them as is necessary for their good though they do not wish to be treated so?
834. To all things, there is a counterbalance; in Christ, all men have gifts to counter their faults and faults to counter their gifts.
835. When one focuses on the faults of others, he disqualifies himself from the benefit of their strengths.
836. In every loss, there is the seed of gain, which will make up for the loss many times over.
837. Man defines the Character and Person of God for his own convenience and purposes.
838. Because all things other than God can only fail us, our insecurity grows when we put our trust in them.
839. Man forgets favors but remembers offenses.
840. The heart of man is for himself, even in doing good.
841. There is black and white, as the dead of night and the brightness of noon, but also come all the shades.
842. Men embrace the evil and reject the good; in tasting evil, they reject all things.
843. Battered and stormed doors are made stronger and lock tighter.
844. We labor to accomplish, then our accomplishments are removed.
845. Faith in God is a most wonderful place to be, but unbelief the worst.
846. Mercy establishes a throne and the subjects thereof.
847. As sure as the sun rises and sets, a sore judgment awaits the one who presumes to be sent of God.
848. With precision and skill, sorrow and suffering compel the soul to acknowledge the virtues of humility and obedience.
849. With powerful arms, humility and obedience bring the soul down to be seated on God’s throne, which is above all.
850. With mercy and truth is the throne established with everlasting rulership.
851. Who does not wish more friends? Then why give only to those we already have as friends? Why not sow the field of unharvested strangers?
852. It is better to be busy and troubled than to be idle and troubling.
853. The eye that is single sees all things, serving the heart that knows all things.
854. When will a stubborn fool repent? He must be beaten and brought low until all hope in his deceitful breast is gone.
855. Myriads are the troublesome insects but one net prevents them all.
856. The unrighteous man fears the day when he will be called into account for his sins, but the faithful man looks forward to his reward.
857. Even the tender young daughters of the righteous king go boldly forth with eager anticipation of what he has stored up for them in their land.
858. Righteousness answers all things with peace, joy, love, and confidence.
859. The unrighteous bluffs and threatens but cannot perform his will against the righteous, who is confident in truth.
860. Great is the reward of discipline for those who bear it patiently; theirs is the victory.
861. The more effective tool of the enemy is not the closed fist but the caressing hand.
862. There are friends who have not declared their position, but they are still friends. There are enemies who have not declared their position, but they are still enemies.
863. Many and deceptive are those who show themselves friendly for their own gain; their sacrifices are abominable to God.
864. What is the man who will imitate his Maker but a charlatan seeking glory?
865. Those loving their own goodness will smart for it without fail or delay.
866. The good man fears no exposure, but the fearful cannot bear it.
867. What harm can come to the one whose God is sovereign over all things? What good can come to the one who denies his Maker?
868. Though fools are sharply rebuked for their sins, still they continue in their ways until they are finally destroyed.
869. Though repudiated and maligned for speaking the truth, the faithful march on, denying themselves.
870. Only the sons of correction with broken and contrite hearts can tell wisdom and foolishness.
871. The fool rages on, presuming to know all things, but the wise walks circumspectly, knowing his wisdom is not of himself.
872. Arrogance comes with little knowledge and understanding, but humility comes with much.
873. All men are brutish and foolish beasts until God favors them with His grace.
874. There are many young confident professors of faith, each one ready to prove himself the greatest of all in the blink of an eye.
875. The beastly must be penned and leashed, lest they defile the good and devour the forbidden. Not so with the clean of heart, who are free to come and go because they understand and are trustworthy.
876. The faithful receive rebuke and increase their faithfulness, but the ungodly are as stubborn mules, who, though whipped, persist in their own wills.
877. God’s favor and blessing are upon the upright, and all that they put their hand to do is good, benefiting all; the ungodly are cursed as they choose to serve their own lusts, bringing vexation of spirit to those around them.
878. “Bring me more, this is not enough,” demands the greedy man of his servants, not considering their needs. But a righteous man cares even for his animals, though they will be slaughtered for his food.
879. The carnal man serves certain portions of Scripture rather than seeking that the Truth in Its entirety serves him.
880. The unfaithful servant seeks the shadow, but the faithful comes to rule because he willingly reveals himself.
881. Blessed are those whose seed is food for the nations.
882. The child of darkness squints and holds his hands in front of his eyes to shield the light, to which he is unaccustomed and finds hurtful.
883. A map can help, but those resident to the territory can help more.
884. It is now the enemy’s day to shake in his boots, the boots he used to kick us.
885. The weak and double-minded are deterred from doing that which is right, but the righteous know that the victory is theirs.
886. How delicious is ripened fruit fresh from the tree! But stored fruit sustains out of season.
887. A fool can be impressed with wise words, but can he appreciate their substance?
888. Man’s wisdom impresses man, but God’s wisdom is only for those who love and obey Him.
889. The wicked devise laws to repudiate the Law of God.
890. The lawless frame mischief in the name of freedom, to take away the freedom of those who oppose their mischief.
891. It is said that one cannot count his chickens before they hatch, but neither can one count on his chickens after they hatch.
892. Count on nothing, write nothing off.
893. As one is privately, so is he publicly.
894. Fools are born, not made.
895. For a fool to change, he must be reborn.
896. The narrower the path, the wider and greater the destination.
897. The repentant will abhor and speak against sin; let him not be afraid.
898. It is not wrong to suspect evil, but it is evil to make conclusions based on suspicions.
899. Blessed is the father whose son loves and obeys him; blessed is the son who receives instruction.
900. Nothing but nothing happens for nothing.
901. Perfect folly is established in man’s heart; he treasures the outrageous lie and despises the simple truth.
902. God can do nothing wrong, and man can do nothing right, except to believe that God can do nothing wrong.
903. Though one can be convinced of lies, he cannot be convinced of spiritual truth.
904. Truth is given, but lies are taken.
905. Unless God intervenes, men are unchanged from cradle to crypt.
906. Better to be a true friend and hated, than to be false and loved.
907. Better to be a friend of God at the expense of favor with men, than a friend of men at the expense of favor with God.
908. Love adds value; love makes precious and causes to live, but hate devalues and destroys.
909. Love causes that which is despised and rejected to be appreciated, and that which is appreciated to be treasured even more.
910. Hatred that is selfish robs both hated and hater.
911. A man set on riches cannot find a comforting pillow.
912. He who gathers for himself gathers trouble against his soul.
913. Gentleness will not encourage the faithless, and sharp rebuke will not discourage the faithful.
914. Beware the flatterer, whose tongue is so mercurial as to turn from a soothing mist to scalding steam in a heartbeat.
915. One must be willing to hear the truth about himself before he can receive the light.
916. As a boy who thinks he can push over a large barn, so is a man who boasts of a virtue.
917. It is good to see things get done without trouble, but it is better to see God work in adversity.
918. One may ride out a storm at sea and none will marvel, but stilling a storm suddenly will be known and told for a long time to come.
919. Better to walk on water from above than to tread it from beneath.
920. A cold beverage is enjoyed on a hot day, and a good meal by a hungry man, so without need there is no pleasure.
921. Idolaters burn to be used of God, caring for no one but themselves.
922. Those righteous in their own eyes will not pass through a red light on an empty street at three in the morning, but they will guide others to ignore it at rush hour.
923. Two teachers teach the same matter. One teacher teaches for his own sake, the other for his student’s sake.
924. The spirit of the instruction determines the success of the work. Woe to the student who learns from the teacher who serves himself. Blessed is the disciple who is fed.
925. There are many who teach for themselves, but few who teach that others may learn.
926. A teacher with love brings life, but a teacher with hate brings bondage.
927. Those taught in love will teach in love, and those taught by angry men will be angry.
928. The foolish teacher uproots his harvest, but the wise teacher will gather and prosper.
929. Why should a disciple destroy himself? Let him discern the one who would serve himself and withdraw from him, lest he become like him.
930. Come away from the teacher who appears part foolish; truly, that part manifests the whole.
931. Folly disguises itself in love and wisdom, but the Lord sends the careless and simple one to expose it.
932. Pride has many mortal enemies, among them youth, simplicity, and chance.
933. Those who try to be wise are found to be foolish, but the fool may receive wisdom when he realizes he is incapable of being wise.
934. Why do men try so hard to impress the impressionable? Do not the impressionable often lack judgment and understanding? Is there value in their acceptance and approval? Do those who impress seek to gain from those they impress?
935. Man’s great disappointment is to get everything he has wanted in this world.
936. Faithful is the soul that seeks another’s good, and he will find good faithful to him.
937. Patience and faith in well doing surely reap reward; there is no risk involved.
938. Though one is wealthy in this world’s goods, his riches are worthless without wisdom.
939. Peace does not come by having protection, but by having no need for it.
940. Silence is perfect in power when speech is not called for; there is a time to speak and a time to be silent.
941. Understanding delivers from destruction; the one who lacks understanding will not prosper.
942. Love sweeps aside offenses and seeks a way of reconciliation at all times.
943. Most works of God can be reasoned away; only those with faith can see Him work.
944. The spirit of the eye sees what the eye cannot, and the heart of man can understand more than the man.
945. Those who judge after the outward appearance are deceived; who can argue with them?
946. Wise is the man who discovers what is hidden from ordinary view. Wiser is he who knows what is good to do with the revelation.
947. Undesirable weather reminds us to appreciate the good and to look to the Maker of all.
948. The fool is able to put a label on a container, but where are the contents?
949. It is good to see things get done in the possible, but it is better to see God do the impossible.
950. “Now I feel bad!” cries the scorner. “Now I just feel like giving up!” he laments, when corrected. But the faithful will recognize his shortfall, be thankful for the correction, and progress.
951. Silly talk is a vexation of spirit and an abuse of the privilege of the tongue.
952. Who hears us when we speak? While there may be no flesh and blood near to hear, are not our words heard and recorded in Heaven?
953. In the end, we will know that without determination and direction from above, we would all have perished long ago.
954. Who can see without eyes or hear without ears? But those who see and hear did not provide themselves with eyes and ears.
955. Contention comes of fear and lack of confidence in the right and good; strife comes of unbelief in the absolute power and invincibility of Truth.
956. Knowing the truth, a man is at peace, if he stands on the side of truth.
957. Truth is the foundation upon which all things may be built with success; wisdom knows this and prevails at all times.
958. To rebuke a scorner is a hard and unpleasant task, yet if scorners are not corrected, how will they know better?
959. Though a scorner refuses correction, yet those standing by hear the words of the reprover and are bettered.
960. To speak wisdom and truth is never a waste of time, though it appears that none take heed. The counsel of God will prevail in the end.
961. To forsake earthly riches for the Heavenly is the way to all prosperity and fulfillment.
962. Fill the flesh and it will want; fill the spirit and it will overflow to others.
963. Peace, peace to those who seek peace for others; woe to those who seek peace for themselves.
964. Silence a fool and there will be peace; permit him to continue and there will be continual unrest and vexation.
965. Men proudly revel in their own works but humbly rejoice in the works of God.
966. What is the difference between the works of men and the works of God? The works of men glorify man but the works of God glorify God.
967. In the works of men, man gives to God that which is possible, for man’s sake; in the works of God, God gives to man that which is impossible, for both His and man’s sake.
968. Why are you disquieted when you are corrected? Would you rather remain in your folly and failure?
969. The fool does not see the depravity of his own condition, or he would seek to have it changed at any cost and by any means.
970. Why chafe at rebuke? If it is unwarranted, the rebuker will be corrected in due time, but if warranted, it is an open invitation to improvement.
971. “You lack love, patience, and gentleness,” says the fool in his conceit to those who are earnest toward him for good; but he gladly receives flatteries that keep him in his foolishness.
972. The fool in his conceit perishes, refusing the rod, not considering that he needs it with urgency.
973. Fools in their conceit refuse to bury their dung, counting it precious, seeing it came forth from them.
974. The fool wearies the wise man and does not consider that the wise man possesses an eternal spring that will not fail.
975. If fools knew the difference between wisdom and folly, they would not be fools and would choose the good.
976. Of what value is wisdom to a fool? He considers it foolishness.
977. Man labors for that which perishes, seeking to satisfy himself, but his labor turns to sorrow because as his labor increases, so does his dissatisfaction.
978. It is more desirable for one to correct a son than a stranger until one is corrected himself.
979. One would rather correct a foolish man by letter than face-to-face, because he knows the fool will resist his counsel.
980. If it is good, write and send it; if it is wasted, there is nothing lost, but if the seed takes, it will bear fruit.
981. There is no waste, for even waste is a lesson learned by those to whom it is given.
982. A man is rewarded by that which comes forth from his mouth out of a heart studying to glorify God.
983. No man in wisdom seeks honor of men because he knows what men are all about, otherwise he would not be wise.
984. There is no reward from man unless there is first reward from God.
985. I see men eating but unable to digest, drinking and unable to quench their thirst; I see them eating and drinking without desire or pleasure, because they are sick to death and cannot tell the good from the bad.
986. The Lord God of Heaven and earth has provided Himself the way to salvation, seeing man is wholly incapable.
987. What is love but the determination to do that which is right for all concerned, with or without emotional passion or reward?
988. Money answers all things and love covers a multitude of sins, so why not have both for all unfailing power and good?
989. The covetous man will seek to serve God for money and money for God, but the righteous man will hate money for God.
990. “For the work of the Lord! For the work of the Lord!” cry and beg the merchandisers to wrest every penny from the simple. They ask men to bless them so that those men can be blessed in turn. Why do these pretenders not bless others instead so they can be blessed themselves?
991. The capstone descends to finish the work that was begun ages ago.
992. If God oversees to the end, that it may be good, does He not oversee now?
993. There is less correction for those who yield than for those who resist.
994. I am not a wise reprover, and many an ear has been boxed rather than adorned with reproof, yet the humble are thankful for sore ears.
995. Sad is the one who errs, but sadder is he who does not refrain from erring.
996. A man would rather reprove a stranger than his own son.
997. Candy is preferred by children and bitter medicine abhorred, but which will save the life?
998. Heinous is the crime of the religious who serves God to the detriment of his neighbor.
999. Blessed are the sinners who know their sin, for they shall be cleansed. Woe to those who know no sin, for they have their reward and the fires seek them out.
1000. God is not a pyromaniac; fires are lit only when there is that which needs to be burned, and He will not permit fire where it is not appropriate.