Wise Sayings of Solomon (Part 10) – Proverbs Chapter 11:16-20

Join us as we study the proverbs of King Solomon in the Book of Proverbs and follow up on the 21 Days to Knowing Jesus Christ Bible Study. I hope that you enjoy this study and that it will be helpful to you in building a daily Bible study habit. Click the appropriate links below to access the content for the day. You can select what version of the Bible you prefer at the top of the page in the link below (King James Version is the default):

Read The Proverbs of Solomon, Chapter 11 here

There are two links below to the Matthew Henry Commentary on Proverbs Chapter 11. There is a Concise version and a Complete version. The Concise version is a short, abbreviated version while the Complete version is typically a lot longer and can sometimes be longer than the Biblical text itself. Choose whichever one you have time for. The Complete version goes further in depth but the Concise version is illuminating while not as lengthy.

Read the Matthew Henry Commentary on Proverbs Chapter 11 (Concise) here

Read the Matthew Henry Commentary of Proverbs Chapter 11 (Complete) here

Listen to a personal reading of Proverbs Chapter 11 here

Observations from the text:

  • In Verses 16-20 of Proverbs Chapter 11 we continue in our reading of the wise sayings or proverbs of Solomon which began in verse 1 of Chapter 10. These wise sayings of Solomon are principles that we can put to use in our lives. A principle is a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning. In this case, these principles are the foundation for righteous living and living in a way that both works and is pleasing to the Lord. In these verses, Solomon contrasts various aspects of the lives of the righteous and the wicked and provides valuable words of wisdom to live by.

    In verse 16, Solomon contrasts a gracious woman and ruthless men by saying that the gracious woman retains honor while the ruthless men retain riches. The contrast is that of exhibiting grace and thereby having honor versus the ruthless pursuit of riches or earthly wealth. A gracious woman has been described as having wisdom in earlier discussion. This contrast continues that theme in that the wise seek honor and value others while the wicked seek worldly goods and self enrichment.

    In verse 17, Solomon contrasts a merciful man and a cruel one by saying that the merciful man does good for his own soul while the cruel one troubles his own flesh. A merciful man, by exhibiting mercy in his life, is blessed of God. A cruel person does himself a disservice because the Lord will not bless cruelty. God’s word promises that the merciful will be shown mercy.

    In verse 18, Solomon contrasts a wicked man and a righteous one by saying that the wicked man does deceptive work while the man who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. Work that is characterized by deception and dishonesty is indicative of wickedness and will be rewarded as such. By contrast, a person who lives righteously by exhibiting honor and integrity will see the sure result of that lifestyle.

    In verse 19, Solomon contrasts righteousness and the pursuit of evil by saying that as righteousness leads to life, one who pursues evil does so to his own death. What this verse is saying is that as certainly as right action leads to life, the pursuit of evil leads to destruction.

    In verse 20, those who are of a perverse (or wicked) heart are contrasted with the blameless (or righteous). Solomon tells us that those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord while the righteous are His delight. God hates evil and wickedness but loves righteousness and equity.

    Let’s review Solomon’s words below:

    16 A gracious woman retains honor,
    But ruthless men retain riches.
    17 The merciful man does good for his own soul,
    But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.
    18 The wicked man does deceptive work,
    But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.
    19 As righteousness leads to life,
    So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.
    20 Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord,
    But the blameless in their ways are His delight.

    The words of wisdom of King Solomon are perfect Biblical guides to living in a way that is pleasing and acceptable to God. They also are practical guidelines for living in a way that works in the reality that God has created. Let us all embrace these truths and apply them in our lives every day.

Thank you so much for joining us in our ongoing study. I hope that it is as encouraging and enlightening to you as it is to me. Please follow the ministry of the Mars Hill Institute on our Facebook page at HERE. You can go back and visit the daily posts at any time on the website or Facebook page. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the website by email so that you can be directly notified when new posts or materials become available.

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What are some key take-aways for you from the Chapter we reviewed today? Feel free to dig further on your own if you have time. Have a GREAT and Blessed Day!

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