Proverbs 14:7 (NKJV) — 7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.
Departing from a fool. Foolishness is made evident by the untrue or ignorant words people speak. Since we will be influenced by those with whom we have fellowship, it is unwise to associate closely with such people.
Proverbs 14:6 (NKJV) — 6 A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, but knowledge is easy to him who understands.
Finding wisdom and knowledge. Scoffers may seek wisdom, but they will not find it, for a major key in the search for wisdom is to have the right attitude toward it. By contrast, those who are people of understanding will find that knowledge comes to them relatively easily. For those who appreciate knowledge and recognize its value, research and study will be a pleasure. But for those who are scornful about the value of study, their work will be dull and the satisfaction of discovery will elude them. Moreover, their contemptuous, mocking attitude will cause them to miss or reject truth when they come across it.
Proverbs 14:5 (NKJV) — 5 A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness will utter lies.
Faithful and false witnesses. People are not to bear false witness against others (Exodus 20:16). One need not be in a courtroom to be a witness. Passing along information that has not been verified can lead to false witness. A false witness is a liar. (See also Proverbs 14:25.)
Pastor Mitchell Bland of The Sanctuary UPC in Hazelwood, Missouri asked me to teach on July 21, 2021. This is the result, shortened to deal with some background noise. The lesson covered Ephesians 4:7-16 and Psalm 68:18.
Proverbs 14:4 (NKJV) — 4 Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; but much increase comes by the strength of an ox.
The value of investing. This verse states that a good return justifies an investment. Those who own no oxen do not have to invest in the food needed to feed them. But neither will they receive the rewards of the oxen’s efforts. The ox is made strong by the food he eats, and this strength in turn enables him to produce for his owner. He will produce far more than he eats.
Throughout the Scriptures, the wisdom of investment is evident. Perhaps the parable of the talents best illustrates this principle (Matthew 25:14-30). Those who spend all they earn will never reap the rewards of investment.
Proverbs 14:3 (NKJV) — 3 In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
The rod of pride. The “rod of pride” here is a metaphor for foolish, vain, conceited words. The motivating factor behind most foolish conversation is pride. The rod is a weapon; and thus the rod of pride in the mouth of fools indicates their words are dangerous and damaging. They will provoke retaliation.
Wise persons, however, speak words that protect and bless them. A good example is found in Proverbs 15:1: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 14:2 (NKJV) — 2 He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, but he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.
The proof is in the lifestyle. People may make all kinds of confessions with their mouths, but in the final analysis, their love for God or indifference toward Him is demonstrated by the way they live. At some point, faith must be translated into action. Without works, faith is dead. (See James 2:14-26.)
Pastor Mitchell Bland has invited me to teach the July 21, 2021 Bible study at The Sanctuary UPC in Hazelwood, Missouri. This is our home church, and I look forward to sharing insights on Psalm 68:18 and Paul’s use of this verse in Ephesians 4:7-16.
As a partial resource on this Bible study, I am posting here selected PowerPoint slides drawn from my book The Messiah in the Psalms: Discovering Christ in Unexpected Places (Hazelwood, MO: WAP Academic, A Division of Word Aflame Press, 2007). These slides can be accessed by clicking on the link below.
PowerPoint Presentation for July 21 2021 The Sanctuary UPC
Last week (July 13-16, 2021) Susan and I were privileged to participate in the Summer Summit (i.e., camp meeting) sponsored by the Massachusetts-Rhode Island District of the United Pentecostal Church International.
What a wonderful week it was as we experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! The meetings were well-attended, and those present freely worshipped in Spirit and truth. The district is characterized by a hunger and thirst to draw ever closer to our Lord Jesus and by a spirit of revival.
I would like to express my appreciation for the invitation from the district superintendent, Jay Stirnemann, to teach the daily Bible classes. The content for these classes is posted here on my website under the headings Session 1, Session 2, and Session 3.
We were spiritually enriched by the ministries of Aaron Bounds, pastor of The Anchor Church in Zanesville, Ohio, and Stan Gleason, pastor of The Life Church in Kansas City, Missouri and assistant general superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International.
We enjoyed the hospitality and fellowship with everyone we met, including the district officials. We felt at home!