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(#83) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:15-16-Simply Lost

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 14:15-16: “The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps. 16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.”

“The simple” is a term, in the Book of Proverbs, which describes someone who is not using their mind for good judgment. “Simple” is not a compliment, for it is a disgrace for a human being not to use reasoning before acting. When sinful actions are the result of hormones, others, anger or malice, opportunity, lusts, pride, envy, rebelliousness, or willful ignorance, then prudence has not been used. “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).

One of the purposes of a proverb, Solomon said, is to “give prudence to the simple” (Proverbs 1:4). When one honestly, sincerely, and lovingly “thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:5-6), that indicates a purity of heart desiring to believe the best in others. But when one is “simple,” in the New Testament, it means to think innocently without always dwelling on wrongs, sins, or evil. One may therefore be easily deceived by slick speeches, designed to mislead. “For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen” (Romans 16:18-20). Being “wise in what is good” means using God’s Word as a filter for discrimination or prudence. Being “simple concerning evil” means making judgments unmixed by seeing any possibilities of evil.

Every time sin is identified, “a fool rages” as if he is right and unjustly condemned! The indignant sinner makes mockery of God’s Word. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). NONE of such sinners has any moral right to such behavior, and NO right to condemn God, Scripture, or Christians because their behavior is damned! The church of Christ in Corinth was made up of people who, having heard, “believed and were baptized” (Acts 18:8), but had left behind their immorality and ungodliness (1 Corinthians 6:11). NO indignant or raging sinner will be saved. Scribes and Pharisees watched Jesus for something with which to condemn Him, but, with a miracle, He healed a man, and challenged their false doctrine. “But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus” (Luke 6:6-11). It is sad when any sinner reacts with defensive rage but misses Jesus Christ.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #discrimination, #evil, #good, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #prudence, #simple, #wisdom