12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
13 Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and the end of joy may be grief.
14 The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways,
and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.
15 The simple believes everything,
but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
16 One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil,
but a fool is reckless and careless.
17 A man of quick temper acts foolishly,
and a man of evil devices is hated.
18 The simple inherit folly,
but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
Verse 12 tells me that "there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end in the way of death". Isn't that just so true? It is so easy to think that we have all the answers, when in reality we really don't. There is so much that we actually don't know, but God sees everything. He sees so very much and way more beyond what we can think to see even if we think we've covered all the bases for something. All the more reason to cover all our activities with prayer. I read these words and I stand convicted of all the times I fail to do that. How little time I actually take to pray about the things (things being events, people etc) in my life that are important to me. I really do need to rectify this. I really need to take my relationship with God more seriously and see him more clearly in all of my life.
Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief wow... Isn't this just so true? People's hearts can be so broken, and yet they can still laugh, and sometimes laughter turns into crying. Sometimes it is surprising when that happens, but it just does. I'm not sure why. I can remember as a child we could make my mom cry. All six of us children would start saying, don't cry mom, don't cry...and she'd start laughing and before long she would have tears rolling down her face. She'd still be laughing so I don't think we were being mean... I wonder perhaps if I should ask her? But I've seen it many times at funerals and what not, where people can be enjoying themselves, but then tears will come.
This verse seems so obviously true to me that it's not worth of comment: The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways. I recognize that is NOT a good sentiment. As every verse in the bible is inspired by God and as such, worthy of comment. But it's it just so true? People always see the results of how they have lived their lives ...it always tells out at the end.
16One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless. This verse makes a great deal of sense to me as well and is one I often think and knock myself on the head for. I can be SO prone to rushing in and not thinking things through well. This was recently hammered into my head (again) when I was building a rabbit cage and failed to measure twice before cutting. Thusly I wasted supplies and made more work for myself. Foolishness it was.
17 A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated. Watching one's temper I have learned is an act of wisdom. it is so easy to go with the emotions of the moment, but a wise person knows how to keep a rein on them.
18 The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. isn't this just so true? Prudent folk aren't always the smartest ones, but they are the ones that take their time and think things true to the best of their ability, being wise holds value. Whereas the simply too often don't take that time, the seeking of knowledge is not important to them, they are content with life as it is. I know so many people who are like that. Merely content to live their lives as they see them. I do so wish I could help more of them see beyond themselves.
Olford's intense focus is on verse 14. The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways. His translation phrases this verse thusly :The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied from above. Seems to be a bit different does it not? :) Olfords makes three main points.
1. the point of spiritual departure
The backslider simply starts to see his own stuff. he takes his eyes off what they should be on... GOD and his ways. Instead he starts to see his own ways too much and doesn't discipline himself to focus on God.
2. the process of Spiritual decline
This of course leads to complacency in how they live their lives.
3. the power of spiritual deliverance.
BUT God can fill the heart of his people, he can shake us out of our complacency and make us into something more. He alone can turn us into obedient followers.
So where will I stand today? In the path of complacency or in the path of the obedience of leaning on God?
What about you?
Oh that our hearts and minds be filled with the knowledge and wisdom of God as we live our lives this day.