If there is one thing we need sprinkled throughout our days, influencing our speech and decision making, impacting our relationships, governing our lives…it’s wisdom. Of course, Proverbs is packed full of wise instruction, and Proverbs 16 is no different. As we read through it’s wise words, we will see a three-fold invitation towards wisdom here in chapter 16:
Here’s what this means. The first nine verses of Proverbs 16 give us instruction on how to live before God with wisdom, the pursuit of wise, godly living. This is essential in the life of the believer. It comes first and is of utmost importance. Without it, we will shipwreck our faith. We must walk wise before the Lord. We are called to this standard of living. It’s choosing to possess an attitude that says, “God, you’re in control. You’re in charge, and I’m not. So, I will submit to your lordship in my life, in all things.”
“Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3
“By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.” Proverbs 16:6
“The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Now, let’s look at authority. God has placed human authority over our lives in many different ways: government, superiors at work, within the home through a husband if you’re married, etc. Here in Proverbs 16:10-15, we are given instruction on how to live wisely as our response to authority that God has allowed to be placed over us. In short, God blesses our obedience when we submit to authority. He will deal with the authority if they are not just and wise in the way they lead and govern. He simply instructs us to walk wise in this way.
“Righteous lips are the delight of a king,
and he loves him who speaks what is right.” Proverbs 16:13
“In the light of a king’s face there is life,
and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.” Proverbs 16:15
And finally, we are given wise instruction on living in community. Proverbs 16:16-33 speak to the idea of living in peace and functioning well within the world God has placed us. Life in community with others is God’s design for our life, but as you and I know, people are hard. Relationships are not easy, and it takes wisdom to do this well. Live humbly, speak wisely, love well.
“Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24
“A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.” Proverbs 16:28
“Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32
Let’s choose our response to God’s three-fold invitation today. Let’s shout an emphatic “Yes!” Let’s be wise, wise, wise in these regards.