Proverbs 18 is full of Solomon’s wisdom. Much of it involves how we should deal with each other, particularly around our words and actions. He begins by reminding us that there is wisdom in counsel. “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion”. We should not isolate in a vacuum. We need each other to get to the truth. It is a sure formula for disaster when we only depend on our own ideas and perspective.
He goes on to talk about our tongue again, a common theme in his wisdom. “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook….A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating…..A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul…. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” There isn’t a lot that needs to be said here as Solomon makes it pretty clear. We do well to learn to keep our mouth shut and our ears open.
The foundational teaching here comes in the middle of the chapter. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe”. Here is the thing we can latch onto and know is true. The Lord is strong and is our One Source of security and strength. He never moves. He never changes. He never leaves nor forsakes. He just Is. And we do well to do like the righteous man and run to Him. He provides a place of refuge and safety. He is our Rock and Redeemer. We need to stay connected and close to Him.
Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it. But there is a flaw in us that keeps us away from God. “Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor”. Solomon tells us elsewhere that pride comes before the fall. It is the mistaken belief that we can deal with any of life on our own. We don’t need Christ, we’ve got it under control. How foolish and how wrong that thinking is. We surround ourself with people thinking that will save us. But we need to be tied directly to Jesus. He is the only answer. And He never leaves. ” A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”. Jesus is stuck on us. Are we stuck on Him?