September 10, 2022 READING A PROVERB A DAY (PROVERBS 10) Bill Elliff on Proverbs 10:21

Proverbs 10:21: The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of understanding.
Proverbs 10 New Living Translation

The Proverbs of Solomon

10 The proverbs of Solomon:

A wise child[a] brings joy to a father;
    a foolish child brings grief to a mother.

Tainted wealth has no lasting value,
    but right living can save your life.

The Lord will not let the godly go hungry,
    but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.

Lazy people are soon poor;
    hard workers get rich.

A wise youth harvests in the summer,
    but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace.

The godly are showered with blessings;
    the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.

We have happy memories of the godly,
    but the name of a wicked person rots away.

The wise are glad to be instructed,
    but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.

People with integrity walk safely,
    but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.

10 People who wink at wrong cause trouble,
    but a bold reproof promotes peace.[b]

11 The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain;
    the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.

12 Hatred stirs up quarrels,
    but love makes up for all offenses.

13 Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding,
    but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod.

14 Wise people treasure knowledge,
    but the babbling of a fool invites disaster.

15 The wealth of the rich is their fortress;
    the poverty of the poor is their destruction.

16 The earnings of the godly enhance their lives,
    but evil people squander their money on sin.

17 People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life,
    but those who ignore correction will go astray.

18 Hiding hatred makes you a liar;
    slandering others makes you a fool.

19 Too much talk leads to sin.
    Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

20 The words of the godly are like sterling silver;
    the heart of a fool is worthless.

21 The words of the godly encourage many,
    but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.

22 The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich,
    and he adds no sorrow with it.

23 Doing wrong is fun for a fool,
    but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible.

24 The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled;
    the hopes of the godly will be granted.

25 When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away,
    but the godly have a lasting foundation.

26 Lazy people irritate their employers,
    like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes.

27 Fear of the Lord lengthens one’s life,
    but the years of the wicked are cut short.

28 The hopes of the godly result in happiness,
    but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing.

29 The way of the Lord is a stronghold to those with integrity,
    but it destroys the wicked.

30 The godly will never be disturbed,
    but the wicked will be removed from the land.

31 The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice,
    but the tongue that deceives will be cut off.

32 The lips of the godly speak helpful words,
but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.

Proverbs 1,


November 05, 2019


The writer of Proverbs divides the world into two types of people: wise and foolish. He has much to say about both. A man is made wise by listening to the Lord and living His life in surrender to God’s will and way.

God IS wisdom and the source of all wisdom in this earth. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God,’” David said. When we reject Him, we reject the process of receiving the wisdom we need. We become foolish, vainly thinking that our mere humanistic thinking is sufficient for life.

And, fools will hurt you. They ruin relationships, cloud decision making, and lead others astray. If you are a man who is seeking wisdom, you will find that dealing with foolish people is a great burden.

I have recently been helping a pastor work through an issue with a very foolish person in his church. This individual is proud and believes their opinion is more important than anyone’s. They are creating strife and discord in the church and there is a very clear unwillingness to submit to godly spiritual leaders. A foolish person, wrapped in religious clothing, is even harder to deal with because they approach others under the guise of spirituality.

Their anger and issues are hard to deal with, which the writer of Proverbs points out. It is a very heavy weight for a leader to bear.

“A stone is heavy and the sand weighty, but the provocation of a fool is heavier than both of them.” (Proverbs 27:4)

Here are twenty instructions from Proverbs about how to recognize and deal with foolish people … some things a wise leader needs to understand.

1. They will not accept instruction

 Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

2.They will not honor others

 Proverbs 3:35: The wise will inherit honor, but fools display dishonor.

3. They will quickly gossip and slander others

  Proverbs 10:18: He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool.

4. They do not have real, spiritual understanding

Proverbs 10:21: The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of understanding.

 Proverbs 16:22: Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, but the discipline of fools is folly.

5.They always think they’re right and will not listen to nor accept humbly the counsel of others

  Proverbs 12:15: The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

6. They are quick to anger

  Proverbs 12:16: A fool’s anger is known at once, but a prudent man conceals dishonor. 

  Proverbs 29:11: A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.

7. They will always, ultimately display their foolishness. It cannot be hidden for long.

  Proverbs 13:16: Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool displays folly.

8. If you associate with them, it will lead to harm

  Proverbs 13:20: He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

9. They are deceitful, often not even realizing their deception. They are full of self-deception.

  Proverbs 14:8: The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, but the foolishness of fools is deceit.

10. They are arrogant and careless, particularly about walking into evil.

  Proverbs 14:16: A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless.

11. They are quick to tell everyone what they think, but it’s folly. They have an opinion on everything, that they believe is right.

  Proverbs 15:2: The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.

12. They reject discipline

  Proverbs 15:5: A fool rejects his father’s discipline, but he who regards reproof is sensible.

13. They do not spread real knowledge (although they think they do)

  Proverbs 15:7: The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not so.

14. Don’t give them position or honor

  Proverbs 26:8: Like one who binds a stone in a sling, so is he who gives honor to a fool.

  Proverbs 26:10: Like an archer who wounds everyone, so is he who hires a fool or who hires those who pass by.

15. They will not receive a healthy rebuke (because they always think they’re right)

  Proverbs 17:10: A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.

16. They are dangerously protective when you deal with them. They will hurt you to protect their way.

  Proverbs 17:12: Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.

17. They don’t want understanding, but they love to tell you what they think.

  Proverbs 18:2: A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind.

18. They create strife

  Proverbs 18:6: A fool’s lips bring strife, and his mouth calls for blows.

19. They love to quarrel

  Proverbs 20:3: Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, but any fool will quarrel.

20. It’s useless to try to reason with them

  Proverbs 23:9: Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

  Proverbs 26:4: Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him. 

  Proverbs 26:5: Answer a fool as his folly deserves, that he not be wise in his own eyes.

All of us are foolish at times, and we’re all capable of becoming foolish. Every leader must evaluate first his own life, to see if he is acting or living foolishly. A wise leader pursues God fervently and humbly, which is to pursue wisdom. But also, a wise leader must know how to recognize and deal with foolish people, particularly those who are causing discord, contention, and strife.

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing sermon on the fulfillment of Old Testament scripture before on my blog.)

PART 7 of Proverbs series

I remember like yesterday when I first heard my former pastor Adrian Rogers first preach on the topic “God’s Grace in the Workplace.” That was the first time in his first 35 years of ministry that he had dedicated a complete message to the subject of how a Christian should look at his secular job.

Rogers noted, “Does work have eternal significance? Daniel may have wondered the same thing, as he was handling taxation, public relations, law enforcement, building projects, meetings and diplomacy. But yet he served God continually (see Daniel 6:16 and 20).”

Daniel 6:16-20

The Message (MSG)

16 The king caved in and ordered Daniel brought and thrown into the lions’ den. But he said to Daniel, “Your God, to whom you are so loyal, is going to get you out of this.”

17 A stone slab was placed over the opening of the den. The king sealed the cover with his signet ring and the signet rings of all his nobles, fixing Daniel’s fate.

18 The king then went back to his palace. He refused supper. He couldn’t sleep. He spent the night fasting.

19-20 At daybreak the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. As he approached the den, he called out anxiously, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve so loyally, saved you from the lions?”


It is during this time that Daniel became my favorite Bible character and I have spent lots of time studying about him.

John MacArthur

I remember hearing Dr. Adrian Rogers say that if he had to do it over again he would read from Proverbs every day to his kids. They turned out to be great kids and they were raised right. Nevertheless, if he had to do it over again he thought a more emphasis on Proverbs is the way to go. That is why I am spending so much time in Proverbs with my kids today.

John MacArthur does a great job on Proverbs and here is a portion of his sermon on Proverbs.

Number eight. Teach your sons…”Son, pursue your work…pursue your work.” Teach your boys how to work, father, by word and example. Look at the ant, he says in chapter 6, he’s giving this lesson to his son…Son, go to the ant, in verse 6 in chapter 6, and look at this ant, observe her ways and be wise, which having no chief officer or ruler. The first thing you want to do is teach your children how to work without a boss around, even an ant does that. Now your children will work if you stand there with a whip. But the issue is…will they if you won’t? Because they’re going to have to in life. And they also need to be taught how to plan ahead. The ant even knows to prepare her food in the summer anticipating the coming winter. She gathers her provision in the harvest. Teach them to work. How long will you lie down, O lazy son? When will you arise from your sleep? Get your children up. And they’ll say…a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest. Sure. And your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man.

You’re going to make yourself poor if you don’t learn how to work. Teach them to pursue work. A sluggard is a lazy man. He’s just an ordinary man really, with too many excuses, too many refusals, too many postponements. According to Proverbs the lazy man will suffer hunger, poverty, failure. Why? Because he sleeps through the harvest. He wants but he won’t work. He loves sleep, is glued to his bed and will follow worthless pursuits trying to get rich quick. On the other hand, the man who pursues his work earns a good living, has plenty of food, is rewarded for his effort and earns respect even before kings…it says in chapter 22 verse 29. Teach your sons to pursue their work…so very important.

Chapter 10 verse 4, “Poor is he who works with a negligent hand but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely. But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully. Teach your son to work and to plan ahead in his work.”


Adrian Rogers: God’s Grace in the Workplace [#1019] (Audio)

God’s Grace In the Workplace

In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
Proverbs 14:23

So many people wake up in the morning, take a shower, scald their throat with a cup of coffee because they’re running a little late, fight traffic, and get to work. Then, they come home, take a couple of aspirin, watch the evening news, perhaps discuss a few things with a roommate or spouse, maybe putter around the house or yard a little bit, then go to bed.

Now, I’m not saying they don’t love and serve God, perhaps they do. But most of these people think the only time they serve God is when they get off work! They end up giving their prime time to the employer and their leftovers to God!

Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). I call this split-level living.

You may think there’s nothing exciting about you or your job, but God takes ordinary people and He gives them extraordinary power to do extraordinary things for His glory!

Your job may be putting hub caps on tires. You may be keying data at a computer. You may be digging ditches or washing dishes. You may be doing one of a myriad of what you think are mundane things. But I want to tell you, if you are a Christian, your work is to be the temple of your devotion and the platform of your witness. Every Christian is a minister doing full-time Christian service.

The Sacredness of Everday Work

Your job does not become sacred when you become a minister, missionary, or a staff member of a Christian organization! Every job, if it is done in the power of the Holy Spirit, is a sacred job. Every one!

Let’s look at someone who lived this out from the Word of God – his name was Daniel. In the book of Daniel, we learn that he was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar and carried to Babylon from Israel. There, he found a secular job as a government bureaucrat (see Daniel 8:27). The government trained him, then pressed him into service.

In this ordinary line of work, Daniel served the Lord Jesus. When Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den because he refused to bow to another god, King Nebuchadnezzar and many others came to believe in our Almighty God.

If you work in the name of Jesus, unto His glory, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, you will receive the same reward for doing that job that I receive for doing my job. God knows about you and is watching you. Every Christian, wherever he serves, is in full-time Christian work.

The SERVICE of Everday Work

Does work have eternal significance? Daniel may have wondered the same thing, as he was handling taxation, public relations, law enforcement, building projects, meetings and diplomacy. But yet he served God continually (see Daniel 6:16 and 20).

Even the home of Jesus was the cottage of a workingman. And whether He was mending plows or mending souls, Jesus was doing the work of God because people need houses to live in and furniture to sit on.

If you know you’re serving the Lord, that’ll put dignity in whatever you are doing: running a machine, greasing automobiles, typing letters, carrying mail, painting houses, digging ditches, cutting yards. Tell the Lord, “I’m doing it for You! And I’ll do it with all my might! As much as any missionary or preacher or evangelist!” That kind of attitude will put a spring in your step.

Simply said, God wants His people to prosper wherever He plants them. You are a priest of God, a minister of God, and in full-time Christian service, and if that doesn’t ring your bell, your clapper’s broken.

Remember, God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Ephesians 3:20 promises that, “God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”

This article is taken from a sermon by Adrian Rogers

One final question: WHAT DOES THIS VERSE MEAN?

Proverbs 14:23

Amplified Bible (AMP)

23 In all labor there is profit, but idle talk leads only to poverty.

The Message (MSG)

23 Hard work always pays off;
mere talk puts no bread on the table.

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