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There is A Way - A Tale of Two Sauls




Proverbs 14:8–15


Proverbs 14:8–15

8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: But the folly of fools is deceit.

9 Fools make a mock at sin: But among the righteous there is favour.

10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness; And a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.

11 The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: But the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.

12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death.

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

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

15 The simple believeth every word: But the prudent man looketh well to his going.


These verses are a section....They go together


Theses verses are presented in a grammatical construct called a chiasm.


A: The prudent and the fools (v. 8)

B: Making amends for sin (v. 9)

C: Secrets of the heart (v. 10)

D: Destruction of the wicked (v. 11)

D´: The way to death (v. 12)

C´: Secrets of the heart (v. 13)

B´: Being repaid for sin (v. 14)

A´: The simple and the prudent (v. 15)

Look specifically at verse 12

Proverbs 14:12

12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death.


HOW DANGEROUS IS THIS?

The same verse is repeated in Proverbs 16:25


This section (In Proverbs 14) is dealing with prudence and foolishness.


• This series of proverbs is a carefully balanced chiasmus to present a specific truth.

• The following verses go together:


vv. 8, 15 - prudent people are possessed of wisdom. Fools deal in folly

vv. 10, 13 - Appearances can be deceptive.

vv. 9, 14 - There is a payday for all - today and someday

vv. 11, 12 - The apparent success of the wicked is short-lived. The wicked are on the path to destruction and death. Those living according to God’s word will flourish (have true success) over time, and in the end.


• The message of the whole is to avoid a superficial analysis of life, your own and others.


Let me give you a few basic explanations related to these verses:


v. 8 -

Proverbs 14:8

8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: But the folly of fools is deceit.


• “Way” - This word is describing a man’s moral conduct. A man’s moral compass/reflection is the essence of prudence and wisdom.

• “Deceit” - Mental dishonesty is the essence of folly - In other words, dishonesty is what keeps a man or woman bound in their foolishness. They lie to themselves….VERY DANGEROUS! These dishonest people are not just falling short of the truth while trying to do good... they are sidestepping the truth while pretending to have a higher moral standard.


v. 9 -

Proverbs 14:9

9 Fools make a mock at sin: But among the righteous there is favour.

Moral foolishness, strengthened by mental dishonesty, leads to a mockery of sin, the guilt associated with it, and the remedy for it. (The word for sin here is the word for sin-offering).


v. 11 -

Proverbs 14:11

11 The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: But the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.


Flourish" - The word means steady, favorable progress - The picture is of a tree bursting into bud. You don’t always see the progression.


v. 12 -

Proverbs 14:12

12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death.


Notice :


  • “A way which seemeth right.” The idea is that of a shortcut to success (A more direct, easier, less problematic way).


  • A Man” - These are people who are generally: impatient of advice, intolerant of hard work, and uninterested in moral scruples.


v. 14 -

Proverbs 14:14

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


The two Sauls (Old Testament [OT]/New Testament [NT]) illustrate this text/passage perfectly:


The “backslider” and the “good man”:


1. OT Saul started right but ended wrong

2. NT Saul started wrong but ended right.

3. OT Saul began humbly and ended proudly

4. NT Saul began proudly and ended humbly.

5. OT Saul began responsibly and ended irresponsibly.

6. NT Saul began irresponsibly and ended responsibly.

7. OT Saul began fighting the right battles and ended up fighting the wrong ones

8. NT Saul began fighting the wrong battles and ended up fighting the right battles.

9. OT Saul began worshipping God and ended worshipping self

10. NT Saul began worshipping himself and ended up worshipping Jesus.

11. OT Saul messed up and got worse.

13. NT Saul Messed up and got right.

14. OT Saul began with concern for god and others and ended with his life all about himself.

12. NT Saul began with the self-life and ended with his heart full of love for God and others.


OT Saul - Life Summarized


1 Samuel 26:21

21 Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.


NT Saul - Life Summarized


2 Timothy 4:7

7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:


Don’t play the fool with your life!

Never forget this verse.

John 14:6

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


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