“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know That the hand of the Lord has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind? Does not the ear test words And the mouth taste its food? Wisdom is with aged men, And with length of days, understanding. “With Him are wisdom and strength, He has counsel and understanding. If He breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt; If He imprisons a man, there can be no release. If He withholds the waters, they dry up; If He sends them out, they overwhelm the earth. With Him are strength and prudence. The deceived and the deceiver are His. He leads counselors away plundered, And makes fools of the judges. He loosens the bonds of kings, And binds their waist with a belt. He leads princes away plundered, And overthrows the mighty. He deprives the trusted ones of speech, And takes away the discernment of the elders. He pours contempt on princes, And disarms the mighty. He uncovers deep things out of darkness, And brings the shadow of death to light. He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, And makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. They grope in the dark without light, And He makes them stagger like a drunken man. Job 12:7-25 NKJV
Better is a dry morsel with quietness,
Than a house full of feasting[a] with strife.
A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame,
And will share an inheritance among the brothers.
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the Lord tests the hearts.
An evildoer gives heed to false lips;
A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.
He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker;
He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
Children’s children are the crown of old men,
And the glory of children is their father.
Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool,
Much less lying lips to a prince.
A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor;
Wherever he turns, he prospers.
He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends.
Rebuke is more effective for a wise man
Than a hundred blows on a fool.
An evil man seeks only rebellion;
Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs,
Rather than a fool in his folly.
Whoever rewards evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house.
The beginning of strife is like releasing water;
Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.
He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.
Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom,
Since he has no heart for it?
A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.
A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge,
And becomes surety for his friend.
He who loves transgression loves strife,
And he who exalts his gate seeks destruction.
He who has a deceitful heart finds no good,
And he who has a perverse tongue falls into evil.
He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow,
And the father of a fool has no joy.
A merry heart does good, like medicine,[b]
But a broken spirit dries the bones.
A wicked man accepts a bribe behind the back[c]
To pervert the ways of justice.
Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding,
But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
A foolish son is a grief to his father,
And bitterness to her who bore him.
Also, to punish the righteous is not good,
Nor to strike princes for their uprightness.
He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.
Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace;
When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. Proverbs 17:1-28
Proverbs 11 has great one liners that remind us of key values: humility, honesty, righteousness, understanding, discretion, etc.
Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord , But a just weight is His delight. When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust. When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, And the hope of the unjust perishes. The righteous is delivered from trouble, And it comes to the wicked instead. The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace. A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter. Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety. He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, But one who hates being surety is secure. A gracious woman retains honor, But ruthless men retain riches. The merciful man does good for his own soul, But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh. The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. As righteousness leads to life, So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death. Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord , But the blameless in their ways are His delight. Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered. As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion. The desire of the righteous is only good, But the expectation of the wicked is wrath. There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself. The people will curse him who withholds grain, But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it. He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, But trouble will come to him who seeks evil. He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage. He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise. If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth, How much more the ungodly and the sinner.
Proverbs 11:1-31 NKJV
Choose wisdom over foolishness.
The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother. Proverbs 10:1 NKJV
Choose righteousness over wickedness.
Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, But righteousness delivers from death. The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, But He casts away the desire of the wicked. Proverbs 10:2-3 NKJV
Choose diligence over laziness.
He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame. Proverbs 10:4-5 NKJV
Walk with integrity and humility.
The wise in heart will receive commands, But a prating fool will fall. He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known. Proverbs 10:8-9 NKJV
Choose love over hatred.
Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins. Proverbs 10:12 NKJV
Choose wisdom, knowledge and understanding over foolishness.
Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding, But a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding. Wise people store up knowledge, But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. Proverbs 10:13-14 NKJV
Wisdom – the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgment (source: Google).
Understanding – comprehension, grasp, mastery, appreciation (source: Google).
Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.” Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, And the years of your life will be many. I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, And when you run, you will not stumble. Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life. Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on. For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence.
But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
Proverbs 4:5, 7-15, 17-18 NKJV