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 13:14: “The law of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.”
“A fountain of life” expresses a constant supply of that which is essential to life. Municipal water supplies seem to have replaced cisterns and wells, nevertheless the point is that we all die without some source of drinking water. Spiritually-speaking, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). Since all of God’s “commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172), then everyone striving to be righteous will receive “the word with all readiness” and search “the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things” are so (Acts 17:11). David said with God “is the fountain of life,” and it is through His Word that spiritual life springs eternal. This is what Jesus meant to the woman at the well: “’Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw’” (John 4:13-15).
An exact parallel to this proverb is in Proverbs 14:27: “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.” “The fear of the LORD” is the same as “the law of the wise.” Reverence and awe for God and His Word go hand-in-hand. Many have gone astray who think they “fear God” but ignore or violate His commandments; likewise, others think they have reverence for God’s Word but profane and desecrate His Person and Name. No one “fears God” without keeping His commandments. Many have thought they had faith in God while rejecting: baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38); the churches of Christ which Jesus established and “purchased with His own blood” (Matthew 16:18; Romans 16:16; Acts 20:28); clear Scripture on marriage (Mark 10:2-12); and repentance from sins (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
The purpose for “the fear of the LORD” and “the law of the wise” is “to turn one away from the snares of death.” Nowhere does God promise to save anyone in their sins who do not repent. The common slogans, “God loves me just the way I am;” “I know I’m saved regardless of what you say the Bible says;” “you have no right to ‘judge me’ or my way of life;” have never been taught by God in His Word! In 2 Peter 3:9, we are told, God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” There is “absolutely” no justification for those who “continue in sin” (Romans 6:1), but only for those who die to sin and, by baptism, bury their dead body in Jesus’ grave (Romans 6:2-7). Having listed the overwhelming “desire to be rich,” and “the love of money” being “a root of all kinds of evil,” Paul commanded, “But you, O man of God, flee these things” (1 Timothy 6:9-11). “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26). If we are not saved, it is not because God hasn’t given proper instruction or warning!
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.