As we read through Proverbs we are halfway today!
Proverbs 15 – This chapter compares good and evil and emphasizes the role of the tongue, then of the heart.
(15:1 ). Have you ever tried to argue in a whisper? It is equally hard to argue with someone who insists on answering gently. On the other hand, a rising voice and harsh words almost always trigger an angry response. To turn away wrath and seek peace, choose gentle words.
(15:2–4). Verse 2 deals with the influence for good or evil that your words have on others, and v. 4 asserts that one can either sustain or break another’s spirit with words. In v. 4b the disappointment of being deceived is also clear. Both verses stress the power of words for good or evil.
(3) At times it seems that God has let evil run rampant in the world, and we wonder if he even notices it. But God sees everything clearly — both the evil actions and the evil intentions lying behind them (Prov 15:11). He is not an indifferent observer. He cares and is active in our world. Right now, his work may be unseen and unfelt, but don’t give up. One day he will wipe out evil and punish the evildoers, just as he will establish the good and reward those who do his will.
(15:5) Our attitude toward parental teaching (v. 5) will determine our lifelong attitude toward authority and instruction
(15:6). In Proverbs lasting prosperity is attained by high moral character and diligence. Using the “house” symbolically as the storehouse of one’s possessions (v. 6) and the “way” metaphorically for the success of one’s life
(15:7). Verse 7 establishes the simple fact that knowledge is found with the wise and not with fools.
(15:8–9). These verses are prophetic in nature. (Compare Amos 5:21–24; Mic. 6:6–8). Religious fanaticism is no substitute for integrity.
(15:10–11). These verses, which are linked by their focus on how the Lord deals with people, describe the punishment of death that awaits the wicked. Biblical righteousness is fundamentally an attitude of trust in God. Wickedness, too, is more than simple disobedience to the commandments; it is above all manifest in an attitude of pride .
(15:12–15 ). Verse 13, speaks of a happy heart producing a cheerful face ( for the one who has the happy heart) In the context of 13 and 15 a warning to heed correction (vv. 12, 14), the verses imply that mental and emotional wholeness come from listening to sound teaching.
*What we feed our minds is just as important as what we feed our bodies. The kinds of books we read, the people we talk with, the music we listen to, and the films we watch are all part of our mental diet. Be discerning because what you feed your mind influences your total health and well-being. A strong desire to discover knowledge is a mark of wisdom.
(15:16–17; Here true prosperity is described. Unlike most would describe today, true wealth is not to be found in money, possessions, and rich food. The greatest possessions are a moral life, a loving home, and personal integrity.
(15:18) Hot-tempered versus patient man; verse 18 is very similar to verse 15:1.
(15:19) The “path of the upright” doesn’t always seem easy, but look at the alternatives. There is hatred (Prov. 15:17), dissension (Prov. 15:18), and laziness (Prov. 15:19) that cause problems the upright person does not have to face. By comparison, his or her life is a smooth, level road because it is built on a solid foundation of love for God.
(15:20–22) To “keep a straight course” (v. 21) is to avoid the moral pitfalls of life; it does not refer to headstrong determination. Verse 22 does not describe making decisions by committee but promotes an internal attitude of willingness to hear and heed advice.
* People with tunnel vision, those who are locked into one way of thinking, are likely to miss the right road because they have closed their minds to any new options. We need the help of those who can enlarge our vision and broaden our perspective. Seek out the advice of those who know you and have a wealth of experience. Build a network of advisers. Then be open to new ideas and be willing to weigh their suggestions carefully. Your plans will be stronger and more likely to succeed.
(15:24–27 ) In v. 24 “upward” and “down” may refer to eternal life. In v. 27, it is clearly speaking of this life and prosperity. The “widow” (v. 25) represents the weak and impoverished, that God cares about but whose few possessions are the objects of wicked men’s greed (v. 27)
(15:28) The wise/righteous speak only after careful consideration, while the fools/wicked spew forth whatever mischief or perversity is on their minds.
(15:29) The Lord is near those who seek him. If you feel far from God, when did you leave and go your own way?
(15:30–32) This passage draws the reader to reflect on the importance of influencing others by an affirming attitude and positive reports rather than exclusively by the negative way of correcting faults. The text also teaches that circumstances can negatively or positively affect one’s mental health
(15:33 ) Respecting God is the way to wisdom, Humility leads to honor.
Until tomorrow, Darrell
Classic Bible Commentary
J Vernon McGee’s Through the Bible
Life Application Bible Notes
Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary
New American Commentary