Proverbs 15 … Consider His Way of Honor

The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility,

In today’s chapter of Proverbs, the contrast between the wise and the foolish continues with a shift that targets the mouth.

  • A gentle answer that turns away wrath vs. harsh words that stir up anger (15:1)
  • The tongue of the wise that makes knowledge acceptable vs. the mouth of fools that spouts folly (15:2)
  • A soothing tongue that is a source of life vs. a perverted tongue that crushes the spirit (15:4)
  • The lips of the wise that spread knowledge vs. the heart of fools that does not (15:7)
  • The mind of the intelligent that seeks knowledge vs. the mouth of fools that feeds on folly (15:14)
  • The hot tempered that stirs up strife vs. the slow to anger that calms disputes (15:18)
  • The evil plans that are an abomination to the Lord vs. pleasant words that are pure  (15:26)
  • The heart of the righteous that ponders how to answer vs. the mouth of the wicked that pours out evil things  (15:28)

But more than the mouth, the Proverbs target the heart. The heart that seeks to Honor Him; the heart that pursues righteousness and continues in His Way.

The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But He loves one who pursues righteousness.
10 Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way;
He who hates reproof will die,

The heart that is satisfied with loving and serving the Lord.

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
Than great treasure and turmoil with it.
17 Better is a dish of vegetables where love is
Than a fattened ox served with hatred,

The heart that is careful to stay on His path of life.

The path of life leads upward for the wise
That he may keep away from Sheol below,

The heart that listens to God’s correction.

He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise,

And whenever I read about the mouth and the heart, I am always reminded of what Jesus said.

 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35 The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil,” (Matthew 12:33-35).

“But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders,” (Matthew 15:18-19).

According to Jesus, our mouth is a barometer for what is in our hearts. Humble hearts will bear the fruit of wisdom through gentle and soothing, life-giving and acceptable words of knowledge, calming disputes and carefully pondering answers that become a source of delight.

A man has joy in an apt answer,
And how delightful is a timely word!

The mouth bears the fruit of the heart. And when we read of what proceeds from the mouth of the righteous, it is always God honoring. So then, how is one to honor God with her mouth? What is His Way of Honor? The answer is in the last verse of today’s reading.

The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility,

Consider His Way of Honor

Jesus Himself instructed us in His wisdom and Way of Honor when He walked in the fear of the Lord and came as a humble servant.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many,” (Mark 10:45).

And because He humbled Himself, even to the point of death, God highly exalted Him, demonstrating to us His Way of Honor.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, (Philippians 2:6-11).

  • His Way of Honor is the way of humility and wisdom that spares us from dishonor.
    • When pride comes, then comes dishonor,
      But with the humble is wisdom,
      (Proverbs 11:2).
  • His Way of Honor is the way of humility that rescues us from destruction.
    • Before destruction the heart of man is haughty,
      But humility goes before honor,
      (Proverbs 18:12).
  • His Way of Honor is the way of humility that rewards us with His riches, honor and life.
    • The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord
      Are riches, honor and life,
      (Proverbs 22:4).
  • His Way of Honor is the way of childlike faith that leads us into His kingdom.
    • And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew 18:2-4).

How do we respond to His Way of Honor?

Seems like a good time for self-examination. I’m sure every one of us could use some discipline and correction when it comes to our words. And when we listen to God’s reproofs, we will grow in our understanding of His wisdom.

He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise.
32 He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding,

But really, it comes down to the fear of the Lord doesn’t it? Awestruck fear; a fear that realizes He is so perfectly holy; a fear that moves us to guard well our hearts that we would in fact walk in His Way of Honor and bear the fruit of righteousness.

My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body.
23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth
And put devious speech far from you,
(Proverbs 4:20-24).

And the amazing thing is, that when we humble ourselves and live a life to Honor God, He Honors us!

The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility,

The world has a very different view of honor; for God’s Way and God’s Wisdom are always contrary to man. Oh, let us not be deceived.

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God, (1 Corinthians 3:18-19).

Oh, let us choose to humble ourselves under His mighty and holy hand, that we would live in His grace to walk in humility towards others as we trust His perfect timing and His Way of Honor.

…and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, (1 Peter 5:5-6).

And let us so humble ourselves, that out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouths would demonstrate the fruit of His grace as we walk in His Way of Honor.

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person, (Colossians 4:6).

Let’s Grow Together!

Leave a Reply