Proverbs 18 Commentary

Proverbs 18 Commentary

The chapter continues to contrast the upright and the wicked with special emphasis on human words.

Words achieve different things for the fool and for the upright. A fool’s mouth is his ruin; his mouth invites a beating. On the other hand, when the mouth elects to host the name of the LORD, there is life and not death. For the name of the LORD is a strong tower.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. When the tongue confesses the name of the LORD, an individual is completely safe. Anything else leaves the individual exposed and the search for life and safety continues.

Words mirror an individual’s heart.

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord. The poor plead for mercy, but the rich answer harshly. One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Verses 22 to 24.

The scripture is emphasizing the value of a man’s relationship with the LORD. It is like finding a good wife. Rich people will answer harshly. Regardless of the number, friends will always be unreliable. The LORD is closer than a brother.

There is too much religious jargon in this chapter. But the Book of Romans unlocks all. “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

You cannot trust rich people or material things. Don’t imagine wealth to be your fortified city. Don’t trust your connections and links – your many friends. They are all harsh and don’t mean well to you. But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

The words of the mouth are deep waters. This is where the individual must believe in their heart. Words will confirm this belief and at this point, you are safe in the strong tower of salvation.

Behind these teachings is an important warning. Watch out for ‘gossip’ as it goes all the way to the inner rooms of your heart. The purpose is to destroy the victim. Instead, feed on God’s word. It too will go to the inner parts of your life and produce fruit of righteousness.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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