Epistle of First Corinthians 13 & Proverbs
Fred R. Coulter

[Up]

pdfIcon - PDF | Audio - Track 1 | Track 2

I wonder how many times you've heard that the New Testament is God's revelation of love to us? And how many times you've heard that the God of the Old Testament is a harsh God Who takes vengeance, is destructive, and especially they would quote a Scripture in 1-Samuel 15.

If God is a God of love, don't you think that He is concerned for children and infants. Anyone who would destroy infants has got to be unloving, unkind, ruthless, cruel; whatever you want to call it. But here we find a direct order from God:

1-Samuel 15:1: "And Samuel said to Saul, 'The LORD sent me to anoint you to be king over His people, over Israel. And now listen to the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts, "I will punish Amalek for that which he did to Israel, how he set against him in the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek, and completely destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey."'" (vs 1-3). So, that's an all encompassing order—isn't it?

  • Could a God of love order that?
  • Is the God of the Old Testament a God of hate, wrath and vengeance?
  • Is the God of the New Testament just a God of love?

We know that in 1-John 4 it says that 'God is love.' We also know that in Rom. 13 it says that 'love is the fulfilling of the Law. Based on these many Protestants say that you don't have to keep any law. But let's also keep in mind what we read in the book of Revelation, that when Jesus Christ returns there is going to be wrath and there's going to be vengeance and there's going to be death, and that there is going to be no sparing nor pity.

We also read in the New Testament that sinners are going to be cast into a Lake of Fire. We also read in the New Testament that it's going to be a time of 'weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Let's go to Hebrews 13 and let's look at a Scripture that is very encouraging, but also is very revealing. Of course, we know that the God of the Old Testament was the One Who became Jesus Christ of the New Testament.

Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever." So, we're talking about the same God. If we're talking about the same God, is it possible then to find something in the Old Testament where it based on the love of God?
Just to show you that the Jews during Jesus' time understood some of these basic things. Mark 12:28: "And one of the scribes who had come up to Him, after hearing them reasoning together and perceiving that He answered them well, asked Him, 'Which is the first commandment of all?' Then Jesus answered him, 'The first of all the commandments is, "Hear, O Israel…."'" (vs 28-29). {Note Deut. 6} It's a direct quote from the Old Testament.

"'"…Our one God is the Lord, the Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." This is the first commandment. And the second is like this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." There is no other commandment greater than these.' Then the scribe said to Him, 'Right, Master. You have spoken according to truth that God is one, and there is not another besides Him; and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.' And Jesus, seeing that he answered with understanding, said to him, 'You are not far from the Kingdom of God.' And no one dared to question Him any more" (vs 29-34).

Can we go to the New Testament and then to the Old Testament and see where it is the same God that inspires it and see where it is the same kind of emphasis all the way through the Old Testament? There is one thing that we have to separate from the Old Testament, and that is the different things that contain the history but also interweave between loving God and loving your neighbor.

Basically the only difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament is that the government of Israel was a civil sovereign government, whereas, the Church is an assembly of people who are under the authority of different sovereign governments. Our Sovereign is really Jesus Christ.

The reason that I got onto this and went through this was because of just trying to take the challenge to see if Jesus Christ is 'the same yesterday, today and forever.' How much consistency is there in the things that He inspired in the teachings of the Old Testament and the teachings of the New Testament?

1-Corinthians 13 is called the love chapter. We'll go through the whole chapter and then we'll take all these different categories that we find and we will go to one of the supposedly least spiritual books in the Old Testament, Proverbs, and I will prove to you that every one of the aspects and qualifications of love here are in the book of Proverbs; every single one of them, and in very much the same way that they are here. As a matter of fact, as strange as it may seem, the book of Proverbs amplifies 1-Cor. 13.

This will help you understand what it means when the Apostle Paul said to Timothy, that 'you've had the Holy Scriptures and that from a child you have known them and that they are able to make you wise unto salvation through Jesus Christ.' That's kind of turning things around just a little bit the opposite of what we're used to—isn't it? Generally we show the amplification and the spiritual meaning in the New Testament. This time we're going to turn it around and we're going to show it in the Old Testament.

1-Corinthians 13:1: "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love… ['agape'] …I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give away all my goods, and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned, but do not have love, I have gained nothing" (vs 1-3).

Then it shows the characteristics of love, v 4: "Love is patient and is kind; love envies not, does not brag about itself, is not puffed up. Love does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the Truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there be prophecies… [human prophesies; not the prophesies of God because none of those will fail] …they shall cease; whether there be languages, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part shall be set aside. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I became a man, I set aside the things of a child. For now we see through a glass darkly, but then we shall see face-to-face; now I know in part, but then I shall know exactly as I have been known. And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love" (vs 4-13).

If God is love, then let's go to the book of Proverbs and see every one of these things a step at a time and let's just see how it amplifies 1-Cor. 13. Let's just look at some of the Proverbs. What you're going to see in studying through them is that we'll start in one sections and progress toward the other chapters and come back.

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love…" (1-Cor. 13:1):

Proverbs 12:13: "The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips… [tongues of men and angels] …but the just shall come out of trouble. A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, and the reward of a man's hands shall be given to him" (vs 13-14).

Proverbs 13:2: "A man shall eat good from the fruit of his mouth… [v 3]: He who keeps his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens his lips wide shall have destruction." If you just run off at the mouth, sooner or later you're going to end up in trouble.

Proverbs 12:16: "A fool's wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame. He who speaks truth shows forth righteousness, but a false witness deceit. There are those who speak like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise heals. The lips of truth shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment" (vs 16-19).

All this has to do with the tongue of man, the speaking of men. This amplifies and reinforces and really brings out an awful lot there.

Proverbs 14:3: "In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride… [What always happens with someone who has a lot of pride? They can't keep it in! It's got to gush out of them like a volcano. It says exactly what's going to happen here.] …but the lips of the wise shall preserve them."

Proverbs 15:2: "The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours out foolishness." I can't think of anything more like that than you have with some of the music and just hearing people blither on and on.

Verse 4: "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life…" This ties right in with what Jesus said, 'by your words you shall be condemned, and by your words you shall be judged.' You will be justified or condemned by your words. Here's the tree of life, a wholesome tongue.

"…but perverseness in it crushes the spirit" (v 4). We could get on that and talk about that for a long time. What does sin do to the spirit? It says if you have a breech in the spirit it's because of the perverseness of the tongue. 'Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.'

What happens when you have sin always entering into you and living by it? Thinking about it? It does something to the spirit! If it does something to the spirit, is that why God destroys the wicked in the Lake of Fire, because they're irredeemable? How far does a person go before the spirit in them is so perverse that it can't possible be redeemed? This gives us a little indication here.

Verse 7: "The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the heart of the fool is not so."

Verse 26: "The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD… [that ties in with the judging of the heart, the thoughts; here we're talking about some very spiritual things] …but the words of the pure are pleasant words."

Verse 28: "The heart of the righteous studies to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things."

Each one of these as we go along is almost a sermon topic in itself. When you sit down and you think, ponder and meditate. That's why it's so good to mediate on the Proverbs. There are such practical, everyday things, yet, there are so many spiritual meanings in every one of these.

Proverbs 16:24: "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." Of course, that's actually what God's Word actually really is for us, the words of salvation. That is true.

What we want to do with this is not only show that 1-Cor. 13 is amplified and expanded upon by the book of Proverbs, but it is also a means for giving us some clues and things to think on, to study and to meditate. Meditation really is an exercise of the mind on things that you should be thinking about, and how then you can discipline and control your mind by just taking one of these Proverbs and sit down and think it all the way through. Then think how you can apply this in your life; every one of these. We're going to cover an awful lot of territory today and we're going to cover an awful lot of Proverbs today.

Proverbs 17:20: "…and he who has a perverse tongue falls into mischief."

Verse 27: "He who has knowledge uses few words… [he's not going throw it out to other people; that ties right in with 'cast not your pearls before swine.'] …a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit." You can go through and compare that with a perverse spirit, excellent spirit, etc.

Verse 28: "Even a fool, when he is silent, is counted wise, and he who shuts his lips is counted as a man of understanding." I suppose you have to at least look halfway intelligent in order for that to be pulled off.

Proverbs 18:4: "The words of a man's mouth are like deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is like a flowing stream." This ties right in with the Proverb that 'the wise speaks as a tree of life.' Here you have the well-spring [deep] of water. 'Out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.' All ties together.

Verse 6: "A fool's lips enter into argument, and his mouth calls for strokes. A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly" (vs 6-8). That is so true! Talebearers! Gossipers!

Anyone who slanders his neighbor is not going to be in the Kingdom of God (Prov. 15). Then you can just take that whole thing and expand on that, just study through the Proverbs and put it all together; what to say and what not to say. It's better to hold your tongue or say the things that you ought to.

The Bible is such a self-proving book. There is no book like it on earth. If you're seeking the Truth and seeking to prove and inter-relatedly prove the whole Bible with itself, it does it in such a fantastic way, if you follow what you learn. If you don't, something happens mentally that it doesn't make any sense at all. Fantastic! And that's just the way that God made it.

"Love is patient…" (1-Cor. 13:4):

Proverbs 25:15: "By being patient [forbearing] a ruler is won over… [Just patient; you wait! What are some of the other Scriptures you can think of?] (Notice the other part of it): …and a soft tongue breaks the bone."

That is true. You sometimes can accomplish more in the way of penetrating to either husband or wife by saying it softly, something very simple and just let the issue drop. That will penetrate a whole lot more than fighting and arguing. See how practical these Proverbs are?

Verse 28: "He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a broken down city without a wall." When you really get into the Proverbs these are such living things that you can almost not contain your imagination in thinking about it. When you read one of these just think upon it and think of all the real live examples that you can see or think of, that you're reminded of.

Ecclesiastes 7:8: "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning of it… [provided it's right] …the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit." Here we get back to the spirit of pride.

"Love…is kind…" (1-Cor. 13:4):

You will see that 'kind' is a derivative of charity or grace.

Proverbs 14:21: "He who despises his neighbor sins…" That's the opposite if you love your neighbor; there we have New Testament doctrine/Old Testament doctrine. The fact is, it is the same God Who inspired it all.

"…but he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he" (v 21). Isn't that kindness? Sure it is!

Proverbs 19:17: "He who has pity upon the poor lends to the LORD… [In other words, if you give something to the poor, you're really giving it to God. It's like loaning it to God, and He'll give it back.] …and He will reward his good deed to him." You can also tie this in with Rom. 12:20.

Proverbs 25:21: "If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat… [The Apostle Paul wrote that if you enemy hunger, feed him.] …and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you shall heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward you" (vs 21-22). There's kindness—right?

When I went through and studied this, it's so amazing! This is, what we would call New Testament doctrine.

Proverbs 21:12: "The righteous wisely considers the house of the wicked, but God overthrows the wicked for their wickedness. Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard" (vs 12-13). You can think about that as individuals, showing kindness and mercy. You can think about that as nations. As an individual, as a community, as a nation it comes back. In many different ways God spares people from different things.

"…love envies not…" (1-Cor. 13:4):

Proverbs 3:31: "Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways"—New Testament doctrine.

Proverbs 14:30: "A sound heart is the life of the flesh, but envy the rottenness of the bones." This ties right in with what is called psychosomatic illnesses! This also ties in with why a positive attitude in cancer patients is facilitating recovery.

Where does cancer really come from? It's a breakdown in the marrow of the bones, basically speaking, to where you cannot produce the right kind of new blood and antibodies and the breakdown of the blood and the liver. It goes right back to the bones. There are some people who can make themselves sick and actually die because of the mental attitude, and it all gets back to envy and pride—"…rottenness of the bones."

Proverbs 23:17: "Do not let your heart envy sinners…" Tie that in with Psalm 73—'fret not yourselves because of evildoers, for they shall soon be brought low. They are like the grass that withers.' And also Psa. 37.

It think if teenagers could have this understanding that they don't envy the things that are going on in the world, and all the things that sinners get away with, they'd be a lot better off. This is why I like the Proverbs, come along with one saying and you can have the problem and the solution in two sentences.

Here's the opposite of it, "…but be in the fear of the LORD all the day long" (v 17). There's the solution, fear God!

Proverbs 24:1: "Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their heart studies destruction, and their lips talk of mischief" (vs 1-2). Tie that right in with Rom. 1:27-30, where they are inventers of evil things.

"Love…does not brag about itself [vainglorious]…" 1 Cor. 13:4:

What we're going through, in reality, this is what you would call a solid Bible study. When we get done, we're going to cover so many Scriptures—and that's differentiated from a sermon where there is more extemporizing as you go along. But a Bible study is where you go from one Scripture to another and let the Scriptures do the speaking.

This ties in a little bit with envy and pride; Proverbs 6:17: "A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood." These are some of the things that God hates.

Proverbs 11:2: "When pride comes, then shame comes…" Isn't that always the way? You could take even a heavyweight fight. Here are two vain guys, proud guys. One is going to break the other's record, and the other really puts the other one down. You can just analyze the whole thing. It also says, 'pride comes before a fall.' That's exactly what happens!

Proverbs 13:10: "Only by pride comes contention… [that's really quite a statement] …but with those who take advice is wisdom."

Proverbs 18:12: "Before destruction, the heart of man is haughty…" That's so true. Some of these things just ring so clear. Isn't that what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah? Isn't that what happened with the fall of Jerusalem?

If you want to really read something interesting, read the book of Josephus and the fall of Jerusalem. Before it fell they just wouldn't listen, they wouldn't hear anything.

Proverbs 20:6: "Most men will proclaim each his own goodness…" Some of these Proverbs are just like it says of God's Word: Just like a sword!

Proverbs 25:27: "…nor is it glory for men to seek their own glory." Just as it is not good to eat too much honey, it's not good for men to search for their own glory. It's all going to collapse. Honey is good, but honey corrupts when it is cooked. It breaks down. When it's not cooked, it can keep things from corrupting.

Proverbs 27:14: "He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him."

A lot of these things are just practical, everyday things, even if you don't know the Proverbs. Someone gets up and spouts off like that, it just grates the nerves.

Proverbs 30:8: "Remove far from me vanity and a lying word… [vanity is being puffed up or vainglorious] …give me neither poverty or riches; feed me my portion of bread."

"Love…is not puffed up" (1-Cor. 13:4:

Proverbs 4:24: "Put away from you a deceitful [froward] mouth, and devious [perverse] lips put far from you."

Proverbs 6:17: "A proud look…"

Proverbs 8:13: "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the perverse mouth." It says an awful lot how we can be in God's way.

Proverbs 16:5: "Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; though joined hand-in-hand, he shall not be unpunished." Tie that back in with some of the things concerning homosexuals. They have 'Gay Pride Day.' The very time that they have Gay Pride Day and the Gay Pride Parade—supposedly one or two of the great successful things—and they discovered all the AIDS. 'Haughtiness goes before a fall.' You have all those things.

Verse 18: "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud" (vs 18-19). You're going to be far better off.

Lots of times you seek movies of where it shows thieves and they have the loot. You see this a lot in western movies. They all shoot and kill each other over the loot. Here's a good proverb: keep away from that, don't get involved with it!

Verse 28: "A perverse man causes strife… [Whenever you get around people who are like that, it's always in strife; then you have pride and contention.] …and a whisperer separates chief friends." I suppose that was the most disappointing things in everything that we've gone through about how whispers separated friends.

Proverbs 18:12: "Before destruction, the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility."

Proverbs 26:12: "Do you see a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope for a fool than for him." That is just really a jewel of a Proverb.

Proverbs 28:11: "The rich man is wise in his own conceit, but the poor man who has understanding will find him out." That always happens! Why then do so many rich people come to such an ignominious end? Because of pride and conceit! You tie these two together and you see a wise man in his own conceit, and you see a rich man wise in his own conceit, then he's headed for a fall! It's going to happen. "…but the poor man who has understanding will find him out."

(go to the next track)

"Love does not behave disgracefully…" (1-Cor. 13:5)—acting unseemly.

Proverbs 3:32: "For the crooked… [unseemly, froward] …man is an abomination to the LORD, but His secret is with the righteous."

Proverbs 16:20[transcriber's correction]: "He who handles a matter wisely shall find good, and whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he."

Proverbs 21:4: "A high look, a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked are sin." Sin is more than the transgression of the Law. You have sin in the mind! You can apply that to drug dealers. They tried to arrest this one fellow many times, and couldn't. He was known as the 'King of Heroin' of Oakland, CA. They couldn't get him on drugs, so they finally got him on tax evasion. When he came to court he would have "…high look, a proud heart…" They finally got him.

Hears what we're to do, Proverbs 22:4: "By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life."

Proverbs 30:32: "If you have done foolishly in exalting yourself, or if you have thought evil, lay your hand on your mouth. Surely as the churning of milk brings forth butter, and the wringing of the nose brings forth blood, so the forcing of wrath brings forth strife."

I can think back of how many violations of that we've all been through. Didn't every one of those things happen? I think I can answer why God allows a lot of these things to take place among brethren and among churches. Why does God allow them to take place? Because we haven't learned to overcome sin, and the least likely place you would expect sin would be within! Where do all of the problems always lie? From within! Where did the problems lie when Lucifer conspired? From within! That's why God allows it, so that we can learn some lessons. This life is a proving ground. And as tough as it is to say, haven't we learned something from all the things that we've gone through? Yes, we have! Let's hope that we remember them! Lock them away in our hearts and remember them, lest we go out and make the same mistake again. I hope I'll be very cautious in the future before I go out and make the same mistakes again.

Are the Proverbs saying that we get pretty much what we deserve? I would have to say yes! I would have to say that that ties right in with Gal. 6—'as you sow, so shall you reap.' I can look back and see some of the things now. I can look back and see some of the mistakes that have been done, and I became the harvest! I can look back and say that I don't want to do any of those things that way again! But with God's mercy, hopefully we don't get what we deserve.

 You can take vs 32-33: "If you have done foolishly in exalting yourself, or if you have thought evil, lay your hand on your mouth. Surely as the churning of milk brings forth butter, and the wringing of the nose brings forth blood, so the forcing of wrath brings forth strife." You can take that an apply it to the Third Reich and Hitler himself.

One man exalted himself above everybody, exalted the whole nation in pride and arrogancy, and what happened? It came to a swift destruction! They wielded out swift destruction as they went the other way. You can apply that even to the poor people who are starving. You can say that they had idolatry and wrong gods and they're starving because of that. They also had the wrong government and they're starving because of that. I still imagine that in amongst all of those starving people, there are some of those—one or two here and there—that really have faith in God that He would spare them. That somehow He would reach down in their circumstances and fulfill His promise that if evil comes it won't come near you.

So, I'm sure that there are some who survived just because of that situation. Yes, when we think about some of these things you can apply them many different ways—individually, collectively, as a nation, the world. You can apply that to when the beast comes on the scene. Just think of all the pride and arrogancy that's going to fill the world. It's really going to be something. When it comes it's going to come to total destruction when Christ returns. It can be on a minor scale, like little kids in their own little lives and we're trying to help them to not be filled with pride and vanity. It happens with the whole world.

"Love…does not seek its own things…" 1-Cor. 13:5):

Proverbs 3:7: "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil." God telling you what to do and you're not going your own way.

Proverbs 10:17: "He who keeps instruction is in the way of life… [that's vs going your own way] …but he who refuses reproof goes astray…. [If you refuse the reproof of God, what does it say about the correction of God? Every son that God receives He chastens!] …He who hides hatred with lying lips, and he who speaks a slander, is a fool. In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver; the heart of the wicked is worth little" (vs 17-20).

Proverbs 14:31: "He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who honors Him has mercy upon the poor." I think that says something about our country as a nation at this point and what we've done to help people.

Verse 32: "When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down… [Why? Because he seeks his own way!] …but the righteous, even when he is brought to death, has hope." There are some people you can hardly wait till they come to the end of their life, for them to get out of the way.

I saw a documentary on what happened when Stalin died. Within a year there was revolt in Hungary and Poland and we didn't come in there to help them. How many millions of people died because of Stalin? There was hope for some people when he died.

Proverbs 15:27: "He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house…" This will become a living proverb in California because of the lottery; it is absolutely an infectious thing. My wife and I two days last week went to the store. They sell lottery tickets, and we notice the same ones came in both mornings to buy lottery tickets. They sit down and start scratching it out. I asked them how many winners they had, and he said the first three days we had a $5,000 winner, a $500 winner, and $100 winner. People are trying to gain, trying to gain, so they scratch off these things to find out how much they have, and when they win $2 or $5 they go back and buy more. You can just see people being infected by this. "He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house…"

We sat there and thought, how many of these people will try and increase their own financial base and will spend $100-$200 more a month just trying to do so. How many of them will get absolutely nothing back. Sure there will be some winners here and there. There's a living Proverb right there!

"…but he who hates bribes shall live…. [That is an absolute truism] …The heart of the righteous studies to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things" (vs 27-28).

Proverbs 17:19: "He who loves transgression loves strife…" Have you ever met anyone who just loves to argue all the time; just absolutely loves to argue? What does it lead to? We had one man who almost came in our group and he loved to argue and just was that kind. Wherever he would go it would cause strife, turmoil, upset and frustration.

Verse 20: "He who has a perverse heart finds no good, and he who has a perverse tongue falls into mischief. He who begets a fool does it to his sorrow; the father of a fool has no joy" (vs 20-21). Talk about daily living, things that just happen all the time; there it is right there.

Proverbs 18:17: "The one who is first in his own cause seems just, but his neighbor comes and searches him out."

Isn't that true? If there's something that you want to put forth with your own cause, you're going to seem just. You're going to make it sound right. Of course, that always happens when people try to cover up crime; they have a reason for doing it and it seems just, right and good.

If you're not seeking your own way, then do this, Proverbs 21:21: "He who follows after righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor." You cannot have any Scripture that is more spiritual than that. Think about it for a minute. "He who follows after righteousness…"

  • the righteousness of Christ
  • the righteousness of God
  • the justification that comes through faith

 "…and mercy…" You're not seeking vengeance or anything. You're wanting mercy for yourself and others. What are you going to find? "…finds life…" You can expand that into eternal life. And "…righteousness and honor."

Each one of these Proverbs—almost every one of them—is almost worth a sermon in itself. When you go through these you might just want to sit down and study through the Proverbs. You make a real project out of the Proverbs, if you want a huge, long study.

I've never done this myself. I've done this in the book of the Law. I took the Ten Commandments and I wrote one of each of the Ten Commandments on ten sheets of paper. I went through and I categorized all the laws that you find in what you call the book of Moses: referring to God, idolatry, taking God's name in vain, Sabbath, honoring father and mother, etc., and put all the Scriptures to make a complete study out of it.

I would take all those Scriptures on those and put that down under that commandment. This takes a long time, so you have to set yourself a good amount of time to do it. Take the Ten Commandments and go through the book of Proverbs and analyze each verse as you go and mark it down under each one of the categories of the Ten Commandments. I think you will be absolutely amazed how that fits right in with the Ten Commandments. If you want a real study challenge you might do that.

When you get it accomplished you probably will have a nice thick stack of paper and I think you will find it an excellent study.

Proverbs 23:4: "Do not weary yourself to be rich; cease from your own wisdom." Let God's blessing be whatever it will be upon you.

Proverbs 28:5: "Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand all things." If you're not seeking your own then you're seeking what God wants.

"Love…is not  easily provoked…" (1-Cor. 13:5):

We're all going to have to take a backseat—or front seat—to this one. I wish that I could fall into that category, so I'm going to be talking to myself as we read this:

Proverbs 14:17: "He who is soon angry acts foolishly…" Isn't that true? When you get angry, if that happens, give yourself a little space. I give myself a little space and I go off by myself and talk to myself about my anger and sit down and think it through before I do anything. The Proverb says that if you're soon angry you are dealing foolishly. If you have a 'short fuse' then give yourself a little space and go off somewhere when you're angry and think it over before you start dealing. When you start dealing, then you're going to deal foolishly and then you're going to have a lot of things that you're going to have to backpedal more and be sorry for this, that and the other thing. Let's see if we can add this characteristic of righteousness to us that we don't get angry as quickly.

Verse 29: "He who is slow to wrath is of great understanding, but he who is hasty of spirit exalts folly." That's always true! These Proverbs are such living things it's incredible. It really gets in there and cuts.

Proverbs 15:1: "A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger." If you're not easily provoked, just give a soft answer. 'A word softly spoken breaks the bone.' If you get into an argument, try that and see how that works. Back away from it and let it fall where it should.

Verse 18: "A wrathful man stirs up discord, but one slow to anger calms strife." There's a balance, because some people can be slow to anger, but they let things get out of hand. There has to be a balance. Some people are not perturbed with anything.

Proverbs 16:32: "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." There's a difference—isn't there? It means to rule your spirit. I'm sure that means to have control over your thoughts. You can tie that together with many, many different things.

If you have the Spirit of God and you let Christ rule in your heart (Col. 3:17). If you rule your spirit, then you can tie that in with the Psalm that says 'I the Lord try the reins and the hearts.' So, if you're letting Christ rule in your heart then He's the One doing the controlling and ruling your spirit. If that is so, then you're greater than a warrior controlling a city, or greater than someone who has designed or implemented and built a city.

Proverbs 19:11: "The discretion of a man puts off his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression. The king's wrath is like the roaring of a lion… [You don't want to get the leaders mad at you] …but his favor is like dew on the grass" (vs 11-12).

"Love…thinks no evil" (1-Cor. 13:5):

There are many people who all they do is go along and add up every evil thing that comes along. They calculate evil, live by evil and so forth. This also has to do without reckoning evil things to your friends or other people around you, because that breeds a lot of suspicion. When you breed suspicion then you destroy love.

What should you do if there's trouble? You should try and help the person overcome it.

Proverbs 10:12: "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins." There's a time to expose sin so it can be corrected. And there's a time to cover sin. Here it is, if you're not thinking evil then you're thinking to cover it, to cover the sin.

Proverbs 12:20: "Deceit is in the heart of those who imagine evil, but to counselors of peace there is joy." Out of the evil you're not reckoning it. You're trying to bring peace and you're trying to bring things into a proper perspective.

"Love…does not rejoice in iniquity…" (1-Cor. 13:6):

Proverbs 2:10: "Wisdom shall enter into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasing to your soul; discretion shall preserve you… [this is kind of tying together some of the things that we've already talked about] …and, understanding shall keep you, to deliver you from the way of the evil man, from the man who speaks wicked things, those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice to do evil and delight in the perversities of the wicked, whose ways are crooked, and are devious in their paths" (vs 10-15). You don't rejoice in those things at all.

Proverbs 6:18: "A heart that plots wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to evil."

Proverbs 8:8: "All the words of my mouth are in righteousness…" In other words, if you have that and that kind of talking, then you're not going to be rejoicing in unrighteousness. When something happens to someone because they're evil—even though they deserve it, even though that they have reaped of their own ways—that's nothing to rejoice about. They are suffering and they are also made in God's image.

Proverbs 10:2: "Treasures of wickedness profit nothing… [there are many people who rejoice in the treasures of ill-gotten gain, but it profits nothing] …but righteousness delivers from death. The LORD will not allow the soul of the righteous to famish…" (vs 2-3). That's a living Proverb we can go by; God will not allow it.

Proverbs 14:9: "Fools laugh at sin…" Rejoicing in unrighteousness; and those things are never going to pay off. They always hurt the person that does it. Then one thing leads to another.

You could almost take all of these things and say that if you are following love and you are following things that God wants, sooner or later all of these things will begin coming together a bit at a time. There's always going to be a loose end out here because of human nature, but these are the goals that we are to strive for. Whereas, if you don't the loose end will come out and get stuck in something and then everything will come unraveled. It will work just the opposite.
God has made it in such a way that it's fantastic. We can trust in God that everything He has said is going to be done, and these are living laws of the mind, the body and the way that we live and are so absolutely true and bound up in love. This all is expanding upon that love.

Proverbs 24:16: "For a righteous one falls seven times, and rises up again; but the wicked shall fall into evil. Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles. Lest the LORD see, and it displease Him, and He turns away His wrath from him" (vs 16-18). Then the obvious conclusion is put it upon you. So, don't rejoice in that.

It's kind of like the old saying: We won WWII, but we lost the peace. There's a good example of the whole world that follows along here. Don't rejoice in it because they're not any different than any other human being.

"Love…rejoices in the Truth" (1-Cor. 13:6):

Proverbs 4:14: "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not into the way of evil men. Avoid it; do not go in it; turn from it, and pass on!" (vs 14-15). That ties right in with what it says in the New Testament, 'Flee fornication.' There are certain things that you just have to get up and get away from. Just be gone; don't stick around.

Verse 16: "For they do not sleep except when they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall, for they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just… [On the other hand, if we're rejoicing in the Truth of God, the righteousness of God] …the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day" (vs 16-18).

Proverbs 8:7: "For my mouth shall speak truth..."

Verse 5: "O you simple ones, understand wisdom; and, you fools, be of an understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things" (vs 5-6). It is the personification of the wisdom of God or from the Holy Spirit.

Verse 7: "For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips."

Proverbs 10:21: "The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of wisdom."

Proverbs 11:23: "The desire of the righteous is only good; the expectation of the wicked is wrath."

Proverbs 12:1: "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge…"

Proverbs 14:5: "A faithful witness will not lie, but a false witness will speak lies." Did you know that there's a case before the Supreme Court right now that may change the law concerning perjury when you go to court. A lawyer in defending his client, his client told him that he had done it, but he was going to lie on the stand. He was going to get up on the witness stand and lie.

His attorney said, 'You can't do that. You can't get up there and lie; that is perjury.' You talk about a twist of the law; now this criminal, who was convicted, has another attorney and the attorney is appealing the case because his original attorney was not helping his client, because he wouldn't allow his client to lie.

The bottom line is: Does a lawyer have an obligation to his client above an obligation to uphold the ethics of the judicial system? That's the way they put it. If it is ruled that an attorney has a primary responsibility to his client, that's going to open the floodgates for people to get up and wantonly lie on the witness stand. People do it all the time now, but then it will make it legal. They can say anything and there won't be any justice anywhere.

"Love bears all things…" (1-Cor. 13:7):

Proverbs 10:12: "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins." Covering all things also means to hold a confidence.

Proverbs 11:13: "A talebearer is a revealer of secrets…" There's a TV show Murder She Wrote and the star—Angela Lansbury—was riding in a car with another woman and she was a talebearer and she said, 'I can't stand people that gossip, but… I shouldn't be telling you this, this is in the strictest confidence….' When there's a confidence let it be a confidence.

Proverbs 17:9: "He who covers a transgression seeks love…" Obviously, there are other things involved in it. There has to be repentance. There has to be things to make sure that it doesn't happen again. You could even take this Scripture, where a transgression is so bad, miserable and rotten and then you try and cover it up, then you have a 'sin-gate.'

There was a time when God did not cover the transgression of David—remember that? He did it before the whole society. Then there comes a time when it's the opposite of this. "He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter alienates friends" (v 9).

Proverbs 19:11: "The discretion of a man puts off his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression."

"Love…believes all things…" (1-Cor. 13:7):

Proverbs 3:1: "My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commandments." Do we believe the commandments of God? Yes, obviously, we wouldn't be here if we didn't!

Verse 2: "For they shall add length of days, and long life, and peace, to you…. [Obviously, that's something you have to believe.] …Do not let mercy and Truth forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them upon the tablet of your heart; and so you shall find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart…" (vs 1-4). That means believe in Him and all things that He has said.

"…and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil" (vs 4-7).

Proverbs 28:25: "He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he who puts his trust in the LORD shall be enriched."

"Love…hopes all things…" (1-Cor. 13:7):

Proverbs 10:28: "The hope of the righteous is gladness…"

  • What is the hope of the dead? The resurrection!
  • Who shall be in the resurrection? The righteous!
  • Is that not called the day of gladness and happiness? Yes, it is!

"…but the expectation of the wicked shall perish" (v 28). They'll go to the Lake of Fire.

Proverbs 13:12: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick… [that's why God is going to complete His hope] …but when desire is fulfilled it is a tree of life."

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • 1-Samuel 15:1-3
  • Hebrews 13:8
  • Mark 12:28-34
  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
  • Proverbs 12:13-14
  • Proverbs 13:2-3
  • Proverbs 12:16-19
  • Proverbs 14:3
  • Proverbs 15:2, 4, 7, 26, 28
  • Proverbs 16:24
  • Proverbs 17:20, 27-28
  • Proverbs 18:4, 6-8
  • Proverbs 25:15, 28
  • Ecclesiastes 7:8
  • Proverbs 14:21
  • Proverbs 19:17
  • Proverbs 25:21-22
  • Proverbs 21:12-13
  • Proverbs 3:31
  • Proverbs 14:30
  • Proverbs 23:17
  • Proverbs 24:1-2
  • Proverbs 6:17
  • Proverbs 11:2
  • Proverbs 13:10
  • Proverbs 18:12
  • Proverbs 20:6
  • Proverbs 25:27
  • Proverbs 27:14
  • Proverbs 30:8
  • Proverbs 4:24
  • Proverbs 6:17
  • Proverbs 8:13
  • Proverbs 16:5, 18-19, 28
  • Proverbs 18:12
  • Proverbs 26:12
  • Proverbs 28:11
  • Proverbs 3:32
  • Proverbs 16:20
  • Proverbs 21:4
  • Proverbs 22:4
  • Proverbs 30:32-33
  • Proverbs 3:7
  • Proverbs 10:17-20
  • Proverbs 14:31-32
  • Proverbs 15:27-28
  • Proverbs 17:19-21
  • Proverbs 18:17
  • Proverbs 21:21
  • Proverbs 23:4
  • Proverbs 28:5
  • Proverbs 14:17, 29
  • Proverbs 15:1, 18
  • Proverbs 16:32
  • Proverbs 19:11-12
  • Proverbs 10:12
  • Proverbs 12:20
  • Proverbs 2:10-15
  • Proverbs 6:18
  • Proverbs 8:8
  • Proverbs 10:2-3
  • Proverbs 14:9
  • Proverbs 24:16-18
  • Proverbs 4:14-18
  • Proverbs 8:7, 5-7
  • Proverbs 10:21
  • Proverbs 11:23
  • Proverbs 12:1
  • Proverbs 14:5
  • Proverbs 10:12
  • Proverbs 11:13
  • Proverbs 17:9
  • Proverbs 19:11
  • Proverbs 3:1-7
  • Proverbs 28:25
  • Proverbs 10:28
  • Proverbs 13:12

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 1 John 4
  • Romans 13
  • Deuteronomy 6
  • Romans 12:20
  • Psalm 73; 37
  • Romans 1:27-30
  • Galatians 6
  • Colossians 3:17

Also referenced: Book: Josephus

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 4/22/13

BOOKS