Meditation and Prayer Journey – Proverbs 15


Proverbs 15

Scripture

NIV Version,  Message VersionEnglish Standard Version (see the list of related scriptures at the bottom of the ESV page), King James Version

Amplified Version

 1A SOFT answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.(A)

2The tongue of the wise utters knowledge rightly, but the mouth of the [self-confident] fool pours out folly.

3The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch upon the evil and the good.(B)

4A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life, but willful contrariness in it breaks down the spirit.

5A fool despises his father’s instruction and correction, but he who regards reproof acquires prudence.

6In the house of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is great [priceless] treasure, but with the income of the wicked is trouble and vexation.

7The lips of the wise disperse knowledge [sifting it as chaff from the grain]; not so the minds and hearts of the self-confident and foolish.

8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, hateful and exceedingly offensive to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight!(C)

9The way of the wicked is an abomination, extremely disgusting and shamefully vile to the Lord, but He loves him who pursues righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation).

10There is severe discipline for him who forsakes God’s way; and he who hates reproof will die [physically, morally, and spiritually].

11Sheol (the place of the dead) and Abaddon (the abyss, the final place of the accuser Satan) are both before the Lord–how much more, then, the hearts of the children of men?(D)

12A scorner has no love for one who rebukes him; neither will he go to the wise [for counsel].

13A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.(E)

14The mind of him who has understanding seeks knowledge and inquires after and craves it, but the mouth of the [self-confident] fool feeds on folly.(F)

15All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].

16Better is little with the reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord than great and rich treasure and trouble with it.(G)

17Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it.(H)

18A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger appeases contention.

19The way of the sluggard is overgrown with thorns [it pricks, lacerates, and entangles him], but the way of the righteous is plain and raised like a highway.

20A wise son makes a glad father, but a self-confident and foolish man despises his mother and puts her to shame.

21Folly is pleasure to him who is without heart and sense, but a man of understanding walks uprightly [making straight his course].(I)

22Where there is no counsel, purposes are frustrated, but with many counselors they are accomplished.

23A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment–how good it is!

24The path of the wise leads upward to life, that he may avoid [the gloom] in the depths of Sheol (Hades, the place of the dead).(J)

25The Lord tears down the house of the proud, but He makes secure the boundaries of the [consecrated] widow.

26The thoughts of the wicked are shamefully vile and exceedingly offensive to the Lord, but the words of the pure are pleasing words to Him.

27He who is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live.(K)

28The mind of the [uncompromisingly] righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.(L)

29The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the [consistently] righteous (the upright, in right standing with Him).

30The light in the eyes [of him whose heart is joyful] rejoices the hearts of others, and good news nourishes the bones.

31The ear that listens to the reproof [that leads to or gives] life will remain among the wise.

32He who refuses and ignores instruction and correction despises himself, but he who heeds reproof gets understanding.

33The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord brings instruction in Wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

* NOTE: Other views expressed by those whose materials has been referenced here, do not necessarily reflect this author’s personal views.

Further Study

Proverb-A-Day: Chapter 15

Proverbs Spiritual Checkup

Proverbs 15:1
A Soft Answer

Proverbs 15:1 tells us that “a soft answer turns away wrath.” While it’s true that a humble response to wrath will normally cause it to subside, it’s equally true that some people will never be pacified. Because of long-term bitterness and resentment, the tide of their wrath runs too high.

The only thing we can do—and the thing we must always do—is be meek and lowly in the face of their anger and leave the consequences with God. This doesn’t mean we must stay in an abusive situation, for no one has the right to mistreat another human being. But it does mean we can by God’s grace respond calmly to another’s anger.

Paul stated the matter this way: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). We must be peacemakers even if others refuse to be. Obedience is our job; the rest we leave to God.

We want a word that always works, an easy solution, a quick fix. But some things in this broken world can’t be fixed no matter what we do, so we must rely on God’s grace to deal with them from day to day.

Calm, quiet words may not always turn away another’s wrath. You may be grieved because they go unheeded, but you can never go wrong with a soft answer. —David H. Roper (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Help me guard my lips, O Savior;
Keep me sweet when sorely tried,
Answers soft to others giving,
Meekly swallowing my pride. —Bosch

To handle a hard situation, try a soft answer.

Proverbs 15:1-7
Reverse The Trend

Researchers at Kenyon College conducted a test in cooperation with the US Navy. The purpose was to discover how the tone of the voice affected sailors when they were given orders. The experiments revealed that the way a person was addressed determined to a large extent the kind of response he would make.

For example, when an individual was spoken to in a soft voice, he would answer in a similar manner. But when he was shouted at, his reply came back in the same sharp tone. This was true whether the communication was given face-to-face, over the intercom, or by telephone.

This study reminds me of Proverbs 15:1, which states, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” What we say and how we say it not only makes a difference in the reaction we’ll receive, but it also determines whether conflict or peace will result. Many arguments could be avoided and tense situations relaxed if we practiced the truth of this verse.

The next time someone speaks to you in a harsh or angry tone, reverse the trend by expressing meekness, quietness of spirit, and loving concern. What a difference a soft answer can make in our relationships! —Richard De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

So many folks use words that are harsh,
When angry, they speak their mind;
But Christ would have us reverse this trend
With words that are always kind. —D. De Haan

To get out of a hard situation, try a soft answer.


Multi Media

The Book of Proverbs as narrated by Max McLean – Proverbs 15

Proverbs 15:1 and Anger

A Better Way to Live Proverbs 15:2

A Better Way to Live Proverbs 15:16-17

Proverbs 15:19

Commentaries

STUDIES ON PROVERBS Exposition: Proverbs

Bible commentaries: Here are a few I personally use: John Darby’s Synopsis; Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary; John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes; John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

Bible Explained: An interactive commentary on the whole Bible.

My Reflections

Wise or Foolish

Pop out verses:

1 A SOFT answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger. AND 18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger appeases contention.

2 The tongue of the wise utters knowledge rightly, but the mouth of the [self-confident] fool pours out folly

12 A scorner has no love for one who rebukes him; neither will he go to the wise [for counsel].

15 All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].

25 The Lord tears down the house of the proud, but He makes secure the boundaries of the [consecrated] widow.

V1 & 18 – It just seemed like these went together. I used to be very good at giving a soft answer, it wasn’t because of any good reason, it was because I wanted to avoid confrontation  at any cost. As a teen I could be mouthy, but that was only with my parents, I didn’t speak up for myself hardly ever. Then God gave me a confidence that I didn’t have, He did a work in me. However, I was still not one to scream and yell or raise my voice much. But then, when I started living with someone who has a hot-temper – it stirs it up inside of me as well.  Proverbs 22:24-25 tells us: “Make no friendships with a man given to anger, and with a wrathful man do not associate, Lest you learn his ways and get yourself into a snare.” That is exactly what happened to me. And then, I became a Proverbs 21:19 wife: “It is better to dwell in a desert land than with a contentious woman and with vexation.” We like to just point fingers one way, I became angry because he was angry. But in reality, our Christian walk is not about anyone but us. Yes, I did become angry because he was angry, the kids became angry because he was angry. But, as a Christian, we are taught (in the Bible) how to deal with these situations. In this Proverbs we find a few of those teachings. It isn’t always true that a soft answer turns away wrath, because the other person may not be appeased. However, when dealing with an angry person, it is almost ALWAYS true that a grievous words stirs up anger – which usually means MORE anger. Best thing is to follow what Proverbs 22:24-25 says, make no friendship with a man given to anger, and with a wrathful man do not associate.

V2 – I really liked the way the guy put it in the video above. (A Better Way to Live Proverbs 15:2 – make sure you watch it!) Oh, and as a side note, if you have to deal with an angry, hot-tempered man, the best thing to do is what the guy in the video above said, use emails. 8D It gives you a chance to harness your emotions and your words. Gives you a chance to think about what you are about to say and how you are saying it. If you cuss or swear, lose control of what you are saying in an email – you are REALLY out of control.

V12 – Just found this interesting. They are so foolish, they don’t recognize that they are and they don’t want anyone to tell them that they are. The foolish think they know everything and no one is going to tell them what to do. The foolish remain foolish.

V15  – Ah, yes, just find this one to be so true. We can not allow our circumstances to determine how we feel.

V25 – In prior chapters I’ve seen what the proud look like and who they are, but don’t think I’ve looked at the widow, and specifically the consecrated widow yet. So thought I’d just do that. Here are some commentaries on this verse:

Pride, being an abomination to the Lord, (Prov. 16:5), will come to destruction, (Prov. 16:18), for it is not a part of the way of life that is heavenly, but is rather that form of life which leads to hell. Tragically, parental pride generally contaminates the whole household so that the whole must be destroyed. Lucifer’s pride, (Isa. 14:12-15), has contaminated the whole universe, but it shall be overthrown. “The proud, by oppression, build a strong ‘house,’ or family, which they are confident will never be overthrown. The widow (Hebrew, almanah, from alam, to be dumb, or powerless against adversaries) seems to the proud a prey that can offer no resistance. But God will destroy the seemingly strong ‘house’ of theproud; and will protect not only the house, but even the extreme ‘border’ of the widow,” [Faussett].

‘almânâh – Feminine of H488; a widow; also a desolate place: – desolate house (palace), widow. (H488 = Prolonged from H481 in the sense of bereavement; discarded (as a divorced person): – forsaken.)

John Gill: whose advocate, judge, and defender he is; when men, rich, proud, and oppressive, attempt to remove the landmark of the widow’s border, and so lessen her land and enlarge their own, God will not suffer it to be done, but will establish it in its place; that is, such who are weak and helpless, as widows are, and cannot defend themselves and their property, he will protect them and secure it for them.

Oh wow! So a widow doesn’t just mean a woman who has lost her husband to death. Interesting. This one has an interesting meaning for me at this current time in my life. *writes it down on her verse wall*

Prayer

Father, I thank you for Your instructions. I thank you for these Books and these authors that have shared what You have given them to share with us. Lord, forgive me for falling into the snare of anger and harsh words. And thank you for delivering me from that snare and those ways. Help me to be a have a tongue of soft answers and uttering knowledge rightly, even as a blog.  Help me to continue to walk in Your peace and Your joy and to have a glad heart, regardless of my circumstances. Nothing is out of Your control, NOTHING. Therefore, even my circumstances are in Your control and in You, I am safe. Lord I am going to hang on to your promises in verse 25. Thank you for being my all and all. I anticipate what you hold for my future and the blessings You have stored up for me. Thank you for being You Lord! In Jesus Name, AMEN!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s