THE MAN OF UNDERSTANDING
The Right Way; The Way of Death – Proverbs 16:25-33
Verses 25 – 26 – There are many times men think what they do or are doing is the “right thing”; however the “right thing” in man’s vision can often be the wrong thing with God. These ways are the ways that lead to death. Proverbs 14:12; 24:20. The “way” is a course of life, or mode of action; the “conversation” mentioned in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 1:12; Galations 1:13; Ephesians 2:3; 4:22; Philippians 1:27; 3:20; 1 Timothy 4:12; Hebrews 13:5, 7)
In most cases the laborers labor for their own benefit. We hunger for things, particularly sustenance; these three main things, survival, security, and success.
Verses 27 – 30 – These verses are connected to those who seek to do what they have deemed to be right. Those who always keep trouble stirred, or “dug up”; seeking to cause strife among others.
16:27–30 These proverbs address people who cause problems. People who are worthless (v. 27), dishonest (vv. 28; 16:30), or violent (v. 29) negatively affect those around them. They bring evil by tempting and dividing those who associate with them. From FAITHLIFE Study Bible online
We are warned about some of these things in the New Testament as well. The qualifications for the pastor includes “No striker”, and “Not a brawler” (1 Timothy 3:3); and we are warned of the “works of the flesh” in Galations 5:19-21.
Verses 31 – The gray haired individual is considered by some to be weak; however, the one who is in the way of righteousness, and his hair is a “crown of glory”. Gray hair is often associated with age, and wisdom. Proverbs 17:6; 20:29. Also see Proverbs 3:1, 2.
“Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:32
We are told by history that the young men were to rise from their seated position when an older man passed within a distance of four cubits (From John Gills commentary of Lev. 19:32)
Verse 32 – Mighty men can take a city by force; but a man, slow to anger, has conquered himself, and can lead a city in the way of righteousness.
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty,…. Than a mighty warrior or conqueror; as Alexander who conquered his enemies, and even all the world, and yet in his wrath slew his best friends: a man that is slow to anger is esteemed by the Lord, respected by men, and is happy in himself; and is preferable to the strongest man that is not master of himself and of his passions;
and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city; one that has the command of his temper, that can govern himself, and not suffer his passions to exceed due bounds, is superior in strength to him that can storm a castle or take a fortified city; it is easier to do the one than the other; courage of mind joined with wisdom, and assisted by a proper number of persons, may do the one; but it requires the grace of God, and the assistance of his spirit, thoroughly to do the other. Cicero says (t), in all ages
“fewer men are found who conquer their own lusts than that overcome the armies of enemies.”
From John Gill e-Sword
Verse 33 – “Casting lots” was the toss sometimes of multi colored stones, and the lay of the stones determined the outcome of the decision to be made. It could be similar to a vote, the toss of a coin, or the roll of the dice. We must realize that this be done with prayer and trust that the LORD will show His direction. It is in no way associated with gambling, games of chance.
At any rate the ultimate decision will be God’s