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Proverbs 14

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 1 Every wise woman builds up her home, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

 2 He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, but he who is evil in his ways despises Him.

 3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride, but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.

 4 Where no oxen are, the [corn] cribs are clean; but where there is abundant produce, the strength of the ox is apparent..

 5 A faithful witness will not lie, but a false witness will utter lies.

 6 A scorner seeks wisdom and does not finds it, but knowledge is easy to him who understands.

 7 Depart from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive knowledge on his lips.

 8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of fools is to be deceived.

 9 Fools mock the concept of sin, but among the righteous there is favor.

 10 The heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy.

 11 The house of the wicked shall be overthrown, but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.

 12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end of it is the way of death.

 13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.1

 14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways, and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

 15 The simple believes every word, but the prudent man reviews with after-thought.

 16 A wise man fears, and departs from evil; but the fool rages, and is confident.

 17 He who angers quickly, deals foolishly; but the wise endures.

 18 The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

 19 The evil [shall] bow before the good;2 and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

 20 The poor is hated even by his own neighbor, but the rich has many friends.

 21 He who despises his neighbor sins, but he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.3

 22 Do they not err who devise evil? But mercy and truth shall be to those who devise good.

 23 In all labor there is profit, but the talk of the lips tends only to poverty.

 24 The crown of the wise is their riches, but the foolishness of fools is folly.

 25 A true witness deliverers souls, but a deceitful witness speaks lies.

 26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence, and his children shall have a place of refuge.

 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

 28 In the multitude of people is the king's honor, but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.

 29 He who is slow to wrath is of great understanding, but he who is hasty of spirit exalts folly.

 30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh, but envy is the rottenness of the bones.

 31 He that oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who has mercy on the poor honors God.

 32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness, but in the death of the righteous there is hope.4

 33 Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding, but what is in a fool's heart is clear to see.

 34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

 35 The king's favor is toward a wise servant, but his wrath is against him who causes shame.

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1 There is no lasting satisfaction. You get one thing you want, and you immediately start wanting something else. This is earth school — learning the emptiness of lust for possessions, pleasures, power, wealth, etc., until we decide to look beyond the visible for happiness. Perhaps you can relate to the false joy of Christmas — after the presents are opened, after the big dinner, after the music has stopped — how many times have you felt let down, empty, almost desperate for another fix — go for a walk, take a ride, visit somebody, have a drink — anything to fill the void that you can rarely identify? For worldly joy is transitory, while godly joy is permanent. From George Fox's Letter 245.

So hear his voice, everyone of you, that speaks from heaven, whose voice shakes the earth, and not the earth only, but the heavens also. The heaven imports joy: so all the false joys, the lifted-up joys, or exalted joys, and joys in vain glory, and joys in the world, of any outward thing or creature, and men or women; his voice that speaks from heaven shakes the earth and the heavens; and these must be shaken and removed, both the heavens and the earth; before that does appear that can never be shaken, the noble, royal seed, elect and precious, before the world began. Being heirs of him, come to inherit him; in him you shall know that which cannot be shaken, and there is the true joy, in that which is from everlasting to everlasting, who is the beginning and ending; here are not any either lifted up or fallen down to despair.

2 The evil [shall] bow before the good. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, [the false Church of Babylon] who say they are [Spiritual] Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Rev 3:9

3 As William Penn said: "The unlearned man looks at the actions of a neighbor, thinking himself very smart, so quick and critical he can split a hair, and discover their every failure and weakness. But he is without feeling, or has very little understanding of his own failings. We should make more haste to right our neighbor, than we do to wrong him; and instead of being revengeful, we should leave him to be judge of his own satisfaction or dissatisfaction with his unjust acts. If your neighbor has failings, rather than hate him, have pity on his lack of understanding, and pray that the Lord grant him the merciful understanding of what constitutes good conduct."

Have mercy on he who is poor in understanding; for what have you done to deserve the favor of God's granting you the hunger for wisdom and his truth? Pray for your unjust neighbor; pray that he too will be awakened by the Great God to understanding and happiness.

4 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness. At the death of a wicked man, he is banished from heaven. Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but [only] he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Mat 7:21-23.

but in the death of the righteous there is hope. A righteous man is one who has crucified his sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial. The second death, which is the natural death of all men, has no power over him.


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