Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Judgments Solomon made about individual cases brought to him for Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10), or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
10:16: Righteous labor gives life. Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:26-27). Thousands who ate of the miraculous loaves and fishes missed the “sign” that Jesus came to teach righteous labor for “everlasting life” rather than simply earthly food. How many today only follow Christ, or the church of Christ, because they want free handouts, but not take the effort to “labor” for the faith that saves? “Wages (or profit) of the wicked” lead “to sin.” The life lived without God’s Wisdom falls short, either now or after this life is over, for it is possible for anyone to “fall short of the grace of God” (Hebrews 12:15). Paul summarized this thought: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7-8).
10:17: The world is divided by God into two groups, those who: “keep instruction,” or “refuse reproof.” The first are those who obey what God teaches, the second are those who do not. Jesus Christ accepted this when He said: “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16). Regarding God’s Instructions, the Jews, historically, “have ears and hear not” (Jeremiah 5:21; Acts 28:23-28), and all who believe Jews are still God’s chosen people are prone to this same malady!
10:18: Hidden hatred causes “lying lips.” “Fervent lips with a wicked heart Are like earthenware covered with silver dross. He who hates, disguises it with his lips, And lays up deceit within himself; When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart; Though his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly” (Proverbs 26:23-26). The silver-covered clay pot is an obvious illustration, with “kind” words being like silver-coating, while his heart of “hate” is like dirt (clay), making the words worthless and only a “disguise.” Read God’s condemnation of this behavior in Psalm 50:17-23. Some misuse Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and do not sin” to justify holding hatred in their heart, when that verse also says, “do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” Racial hatred, hatred of capitalists, hatred of family members, or hatred of humanity are never justifiable, and holding hatred produces wrath. God destroyed Edomites who carried “an ancient hatred” against the Jews (Ezekiel 35:1-9), when Jews were His Chosen People. Today, “hatred” is a work of the flesh, and the hater will be rejected by God (Galatians 5:19-21).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.