Man usually places himself first before others and God last, if at all. However, the following writings of Solomon stress the importance of placing God first and ourselves last in our relationships. “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” One may have difficulty understanding or accepting the concept that God’s ways are ALWAYS better than man’s ways. BUT, if we cannot conform to His will, the end result is spiritual death.
The wise man continued to express the exaltation of the wise and the downfall of fools. A wise man recognizes that adversity in one’s life serves as a refining process to strengthen the soul; whereas, fools rejoice at the calamities of others.
It is difficult to categorize all of the proverbs that were written by Solomon. A fool refuses to accept truth as he insists in talking instead of listening. Solomon again states the emptiness of a fool’s behavior and the dangerous uses of the tongue. The attributes of the wise are contrasted to the follies of the foolish. Pride is an abomination to the Lord, but the humble are pleasing to Him. The wise man stressed the importance of avoiding partiality in judging between wickedness and righteousness. There are numerous blessings in having a happy home and close friends. When all others forsake us, home, family and friends are our refuge. However, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly.”
Solomon continued his thoughts regarding the poor, rich, wise, fools, laziness, justice and the use of the tongue. Instructions on child rearing and treatment of parents were included in this series of proverbs. As undesirable as poverty is, it is more honorable than corrupt riches. The goal of everyone should be to fear/respect God and heed His counsel.
As one considers the proverbs of Solomon, much wisdom is presented to the reader. Wise and foolish people and actions are portrayed. God’s people should be the utmost examples of the wise. The use of strong drink brings out the foolishness of man. His senses are dulled and being deceived, he thinks that he is wise, but shows himself to be a fool. Solomon warned his readers against its use.
Laziness is another characteristic of foolish people. They use poor excuses to avoid work and at harvest or pay day, they have nothing. Wise people are industrious and peaceable. They seek counsel from others when making important decisions. Deceit and dishonesty are condemned by the wise man as abominations to the Lord.