Welcome to Proverbs 10, the beginning of the Proverbs of Solomon. For the next several chapters, you’ll see a shift in the content. Whereas the first nine chapters were speeches from one to another, these next several chapters will be filled with tons of “wisdom one-liners,” or so I’m going to call them.
Chapter 10 can be summed up into two major themes: Words & Wealth. The wisdom in this chapter addresses the importance of our words and how a wise person speaks as well as how a wise person stewards their resources and the blessings that follow wisdom in this regard. Being a person of MANY words, my eyes and ears really tune in while reading Proverbs 10.
“When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” Proverbs 10:19
Ouch! Basically, less is more when it comes to our speech. The more you speak, the more you sin. So, wisdom speaks by saying, “Restrain your lips.” Do you ever think about how many words come out of your mouth on any given day? In an hour? In a conversation? Is every word laced with wisdom? Hmmm, then perhaps it shouldn’t be said.
Again, this one is a MAJOR conviction for me, but even as uncomfortable as it makes me feel, I can’t gloss over it. Because it’s wisdom. And I want to be found in its pursuit.
“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” Proverbs 10:11
“The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die for lack of sense.” Proverbs 10:21
Just some food for thought before we open our mouths to speak.
Ok, now let’s talk about wealth. Proverbs 10 has much to say about the wise person and their dealings with wealth and even the accumulation of it. The fool is frequently coupled with words like sluggard, lazy, shame, poverty, destruction, and the list could go on. And while wealth is not promised to the righteous, God does promise to bless those whose way is upright. His blessings can look differently in each season, but we can be confident in knowing that His favor rests on the wise and prudent. Consequence awaits the fool. Again, this isn’t always loss of possessions or resources, but the natural repercussion of laziness is lack.
“A slack hand causes poverty,
but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Proverbs 10:4
“The wage of the righteous leads to life,
the gain of the wicked to sin.” Proverbs 10:16
“The righteous will never be removed,
but the wicked will not dwell in the land.” Proverbs 10:30
The moral of the story? Speak less. Listen more. Work hard first. Then play. This is the way of wisdom. Walk in it.