Ways, Words, Work
"He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his way despiseth him" (Proverbs 14:2).
At first glance, these words do not appear related, but the three things they reveal always grow together. Consider them well.
1. Ways. In verse 2, Solomon traces the motive power of moral rectitude back to "the fear of the LORD." This fear is strong because it is based on the powerful Scripture-revealed name, Jehovah. The generic, shallow, humanized view of God is too soft to regulate human conduct.
2. Words. In verse 3, the "rod of pride" in the fool's mouth is really a twig rooted in an evil heart. You know the thoughts are sinful when the words from which they spring are bragging one minute and bruising the next. They even smite the innocent with lies (v. 5). However, "the lips of the wise" bless and build.
3. Work. In verse 4, oxen are pictured as a necessary inconvenience. Their value in the field is greater than the messes they make. Likewise, productive relationships can create messy misunderstandings, but only a fool would avoid working with others stronger than himself.
Wisdom put into action leads people to choose constructive ways of living and working. Foolishness self-destructs. —Note from The Disciple's Bible