1 An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.
2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions.
3 When wickedness comes, so does contempt,
and with shame comes reproach.
4 The words of the mouth are deep waters,
but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.
5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked
and so deprive the innocent of justice.
6 The lips of fools bring them strife,
and their mouths invite a beating.
7 The mouths of fools are their undoing,
and their lips are a snare to their very lives.
8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.
9 One who is slack in his work
is brother to one who destroys.
10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
they imagine it a wall too high to scale.
12 Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor.
13 To answer before listening—
that is folly and shame.
14 The human spirit can endure in sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?
15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,
for the ears of the wise seek it out.
16 A gift opens the way
and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.
17 In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right,
until someone comes forward and cross-examines.
18 Casting the lot settles disputes
and keeps strong opponents apart.
19 A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city;
disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.
20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled;
with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.
21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the Lord.
23 The poor plead for mercy,
but the rich answer harshly.
24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
1. In Chapter 17, the word ‘fortified’ is repeated 3 times. Fortified means: to protect or strengthen against attack; to make strong
Verse 10- The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Our Lord is a strong _________________________. We can run to Him and be ____________________.
What is something you need to take to the Lord? Be safe in His arms today.
4. In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines. I will admit that this verse makes me smile because we have probably all seen this in action. Maybe our kids, our friends, or our co-workers want us to believe what they said as total truth. Be wise; listen to those around you with discernment. Maybe it is YOU who is being stubborn and adamant that you are right about an issue, and you refuse to listen to the ‘cross-examination’. When you have a disagreement, how could you do a better job of listening to those around you?
5. Verse 14 reveals the depth of being crushed emotionally. The writer tells us that, The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? The metaphor compares the weight of a crushed spirit being heavier than actual physical sickness. One can ENDURE sickness but not a crushed spirit. If you feel like life is more than you can handle right now, turn to the safety of your strong tower. Lean on the Lord. Is there something in your life right now that is crushing your spirit?
Write it down and give it to God.
Is there someone around you who has a crushed spirit? What can you do to encourage, love and support this person?