8 The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper. 9 A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will perish. 10 It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury– how much worse for a slave to rule over princes! 11 A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. 12 A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favour is like dew on the grass. 13 A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof. 14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD. 15 Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry. (Prov. 19:8-15 NIV)
8 The one who gets wisdom loves life;
the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.
There is great benefit to the one who gets wisdom. They have the capacity to love life. Wisdom fills the heart, controlling the thinking, feeling and choices that one makes. In addition, he loves himself. This is not a selfish introspection but a commitment to God and understanding. This is expressed in the second line as loving wisdom. The more into the word we become, the more the word of God comes into us, the more that we end up loving God’s word. We simply love it because it is God’s word. We love God therefore we will love what He says. Feeding upon God’s word is life changing, and we begin to spiritually grow and prosper.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and whoever pours out lies will perish.
This proverb is very similar to the proverb in verse 5. However, the ending to line 2 is strengthened from that found in v5. The story of Daniel and his accusers is an example of how false witnesses perish.
10 It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury—
how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!
This proverb gives us examples of two things that really ought not to happen. In the first line the fool has been introduced to sudden wealth. Proverbs builds up the picture of what a fool is like. The fool is lazy and unlikely to build up wealth. Somehow the fool acquires wealth and is living in the lap of luxury that the wealth affords. Many people who gain sudden wealth soon discover that it does not solve all their problems. The wealth works to magnify the flaws that were present. But worse than that is that a slave should rule over princes. As the fool was ushered into sudden wealth, the slave is ushered into sudden power and authority. The slave has no or little experience of ruling and is ill-prepared for the responsibility of ruling.
11 A person’s wisdom yields patience;
it is to one’s glory to overlook an offence.
Praising the patience of a person is a familiar practice in Proverbs. Wisdom comes from God’s word and that wisdom is proved over years of living experience. It teaches the wise person to wait and be slow to react. When someone says something that appears offensive, sometimes if you listen for longer you begin to realise that no offence was intended because the further speech clarifies what was meant. You may discover that the language was offensive but that it was just the clumsy way that something was said. If you discover that the offence was intended, it does not necessarily mean that the offence has to be dealt with. It is to a person’s glory that they are prepared to be longsuffering and overlook an offence. If God was as quick to point out an offence as we are, how would that go for us?
12 A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion,
but his favour is like dew on the grass.
A king is in a place of authority and we ought to respect and heed that authority. This is a difficult proverb for us to identify with because we live in a culture that has little respect for authority. If the prime minister gives an order, that seems to be the grounds for many to do the opposite. In OT times if the king was angry with you then you really were in trouble. So, the king’s anger or the king’s favour meant something to people. The king’s anger meant personal danger but his favour was as refreshing as the dew on the grass.
13 A foolish child is a father’s ruin,
and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof.
This proverb is written from a man’s perspective, but it could equally be applied to men and women. The two things in a home that makes life unliveable is a foolish child and a quarrelsome wife. The behaviour of a foolish child brings disgrace upon the family. Whether it be the husband or the wife that is quarrelsome, it means that there is always some fault-finding going on. Every little thing is a point of contention and it is as wearisome as listening to the drip, drip, drip of a leaking roof or a dripping tap.
14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,
but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
A person may acquire wealth from the legacy left by his parents, but a prudent wife is a gift from the Lord. The prudent woman has become prudent through her fear of the Lord and quest for biblical wisdom. Over time the Lord has worked in her heart, making her the wise and prudent person that she is.
15 Laziness brings on deep sleep,
and the shiftless go hungry.
The decision to be lazy leads to most of the day being spent in bed. Because the lazy person won’t work it leads to poverty and hunger. Laziness can become a lifestyle. A mindset sets in and the person feels that they can’t work. It is a trap that once in it, it is not easy to escape from.
Lord help us to be more patient with ourselves and with others. As You have been longsuffering with us, help us to be longsuffering with others. As we have received grace and mercy help us to be gracious and merciful, because we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.