Proverbs 15:4 (NKJV) — 4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
A wholesome tongue. A wholesome tongue is a tongue that speaks wisdom, and it is a source of life. (See Proverbs 3:18.) A perverse tongue — a tongue that speaks unwise and evil things — causes a breach, or break, in a person’s spirit. It can also cause similar harm to the hearer.
Proverbs 15:3 (NKJV) — 3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
The eyes of the LORD. One aspect of the fear of the LORD is the awareness that He is evaluating each thought, word, and deed. God is omnipresent and omniscient; nothing escapes His attention. People may never see or know what others have done, but God knows, and He will reward each person accord to that person’s works. He beholds and rewards both the evil and the good. (See Matthew 6:1-18; I Corinthians 3:12-15; Ephesians 6:8; Revelation 20:12-13.)
Proverbs 15:2 (NKJV) — 2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
Using knowledge correctly. It is not enough to have knowledge; one must know how to use it. There is a right time and a right place to speak. Fools not only lack knowledge, but they lack control over their tongues. Foolishness pours out of their mouths.
Proverbs 15:1 (NKJV) — 1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
How to defuse anger in others. The greatest single contributing factor to anger is the tongue. While grievous words stir up anger, soft responses to anger will turn it away. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus similarly taught us to resolve disputes through reconciliation, negotiation, and humility rather than by retaliation or vengeance (Matthew 5:23-26, 38-42). Pride causes a person to be extremely defensive and to respond in harshness, but humility speaks softly.
Eleven days ago I received an invitation to participate in the blog published three times each week by the Pentecostal Publishing House. My contribution to the blog will focus on the books I have written, with 300 words summarizing why I wrote the book, its main points, and what audience might benefit from reading and applying it.
I’m delighted about this opportunity, for I have been thinking recently about completing a similar project for my website. I have written twenty-one books, but it is not unusual to be asked questions already answered in detail in those books.
My books are available at pentecostalpublishing.com as well as amazon.com. The blog is published at https://blog.pentecostalpublishing.com.
My plan is for the first blog post to introduce my most recent book, The Holy Spirit: A Commentary. Then I will move back through the earlier books. I hope you enjoy this project!
Proverbs 14:35 (NKJV) — 35 The king’s favor is toward a wise servant, But his wrath is against him who causes shame.
How to gain favor with those in authority. Wisdom gives a person favor with those in authority. Examples are Joseph, Daniel, and his three Hebrew friends (Genesis 41:38-41; Daniel 1:19-20). Those in authority will eventually turn in anger on servants who cause them shame by their unwise actions. An example is King Darius’s treatment of those who deceived him by issuing the decree that resulted in Daniel’s being cast into the den of lions (Daniel 6:24-28).
Proverbs 14:34 (NKJV) — 34 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.
The exaltation of a nation. The only thing that truly exalts or honors a nation is righteousness. Weapons will not do it, nor will negotiation. Righteousness must be in the hearts of people; it cannot be conveyed through legislation. But if a nation’s laws are not founded on moral principles, then they are founded upon immorality.
Sin brings reproach or shame to any people who practice it, and ultimately it will bring down any nation. The once-mighty kingdoms of the past that exist only in rubble today are mute testimony to this truth.
Proverbs 14:33 (NKJV) — 33 Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding, But what is in the heart of fools is made known.
Retaining wisdom, revealing folly. People of understanding will not tell all they know; they allow some things to rest in their hearts. Fools, on the other hand, find it quite impossible to hide the thoughts of their hearts. They will at some point be made public.
Proverbs 14:32 (NKJV) — 32 The wicked is banished in his wickedness, But the righteous has a refuge in his death.
The results of wickedness and righteousness. Those who are wicked have chosen a course in life that will destroy them, but those who are righteous have hope even in death. Life on earth will be the best and most pleasant experience the wicked will ever have, but life on earth will be the worst experience the righteous will ever have.
Proverbs 14:31 (NKJV) — 31 He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.
The right attitude toward God and the poor. God takes note of the way people treat each other. This is why His Word repeatedly warns against the sin of respecting of persons (prejudice or favoritism). The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31). The commandment applies regardless of the economic status of one’s neighbors; in fact, it is especially important to help people who are in need. Thus, it is a reproach to God to oppress the poor, which includes taking advantage of them or imposing unreasonable and unjust requirements on them. The person who honors God will demonstrate it by being merciful to the poor. The ideal way to help them is on a personal, individual basis.