Proverbs 29:13-20

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Proverbs 29

13 The poor and the deceitful man meet together [i.e. they have this in common]: the LORD lighteneth both their eyes [i.e. the LORD gives sight to both their eyes].

The poor and the deceitful man (i.e. the oppressor) have something in common. The Lord made both of them, and they both owe their sight to Him.

14 The king that faithfully judgeth the poor [i.e. that judges the poor with truth], his throne shall be established for ever.

God puts a very high premium on a ruler's judging the poor fairly and without prejudice. The only king who will do this perfectly is the Lord Jesus. Fairness toward those least able to care for themselves is a mark of a good king. God blesses the rulers who are concerned for the poor, and people appreciate these rulers.

15 The rod and reproof [i.e. rebuke] give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

The rod represents physical punishment and reproof represents verbal correction. Those who advocate permissiveness are unscriptural. These two forms of parental discipline impart wisdom to the child. They do not warp the child's personality. A child left to himself is a child whose parents do not provide the physical and verbal correction the child needs. They will live to regret it because this child will bring his mother (as well as his father) to shame. This child will be an embarrassment to his parents.

16 When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.

When the wicked grow more numerous and powerful, the crime rate rises. When wicked leaders govern a nation, they encourage sinning. The righteous, however, will generally live to see their downfall.

17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

A child who has been disciplined properly will bring delight and rest to his parents rather than anxiety, heartache, and shame. There is a certain sense of satisfaction rather than regret when your children get married, live for the Lord as adults, have children, and teach their children to live for the Lord also.

18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Vision means prophetic revelation. It does not mean that someone must have a vision for the future, i.e. a plan for the future. It refers to the revelation a prophet receives and gives to the people. Hence, it refers to the Word of God. When God's Word is not known and honored, the people run wild. However, those who obey the law, i.e. the Word of God, are truly blessed and happy. The people perish does not refer to unsaved people dying in sin. Instead, it refers to casting off restraint. So this verse is stating that without God's Word, people abandon themselves to their own sinful ways. On the other hand, keeping (i.e. obeying) God's Law brings happiness.

19 A servant will not be corrected by words [i.e. by mere words]: for though he understand he will not answer.

This verse is describing an obstinate servant. Verbal instructions may be understood but not carried out. When approached verbally, the servant doesn't respond. Corrective measures will need to be taken.

20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

We need to learn to listen before we speak. We should remember that God gave each of us two ears but only one mouth. The person who is hasty in his words blurts out thoughtless and insensitive remarks, which he might not make if he were to think about them.