Proverbs 14:9-11

In c Solomon takes aim at those who mock at sin.  This version of scripture points to the guilt offering, but that is merely another way in that day of talking about being guilty of sin. This is in the nature of fools and their folly. They think sin is a light thing, worthy to be mocked. Their mockery of sin is connected with their lack of the fear of the LORD.  Sin is definitely not something we should mock.  It carries a severe penalty if not addressed, and will lead us to eternal separation from God. “Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance”. Those who are upright before God and man find favor among God and men. They deal with their sin, receive forgiveness, and will inherit eternal life.

Life is hard.  Solomon tells us that there is enough pain and bitterness for every heart. The sense is that though one’s heart knows its own bitterness, it is difficult for anyone else to know the pain and bitterness of another’s heart. We merely can’t know the depth of pain that those around us face, especially when we haven’t experienced the same circumstances as they have. “The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy”. What was true regarding the bitterness of life in the first line of this proverb is also often true regarding the joy of life. It can be difficult for someone else to truly share the joy of another’s heart.

Spurgeon listed and described many joys that were personal in nature, and therefore often a stranger is unable to share its joy:

  • The joy of sin forgiven.
  • The joy of sin conquered.
  • The joy of restored relationship with God.
  • The joy of accepted service.
  • The joy of answered prayer.
  • The joy of usefulness for God.
  • The joy of peace in time of trouble.
  • Highest of all: the joy of communion with God.

We can attempt to share the joy in life, but unless someone has experienced it with you, it is very difficult to truly share.

There is no good outcome ahead for the wicked.  Even though they may seem to be getting away with things, there will be a day of reckoning.  Whatever is built on a poor foundation cannot stand, especially against the storm of God’s coming judgment. “The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish”. The wicked man boasts of his great house and looks down upon his upright neighbor who lives in only a tent. Yet the tent of the upright is more secure than the house of the wicked.  It’s not the material that makes a house strong, but the foundation upon which it is built. Only what is built upon God and His righteousness will stand.

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