The number 10 represents law, government and restoration. Solomon has spent nine chapters trying to convince us to go after wisdom and run from, or shun, the other woman. Now here in Chapter 10, Solomon begins his series of proverbs, with each one being powerful and practical. If we go after wisdom, it will bring proper order into our lives.
Solomon opens this chapter by talking about the affect a son has on his parents. A wise son makes a father glad. Look at the times when our heavenly Father gives His Son praise or affirmation. When Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened and a voice was heard saying, “this is my son in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) Then when Jesus was on the mountain speaking to Elijah and Moses, God said, “this is My Son hear Him.” (Luke 9:35).
Looking at these two moments, one cannot help but see that submitting to God through baptism, is a wise choice that brings gladness to the heart of our Heavenly Father. We can also clearly see that it is pleasing to God when we lay our own agendas down, and follow the will of God for our lives instead.
As much as a child can influence a parent, the parent has greater influence upon the child. The words that we use are so powerful. We are given a great example to follow. Jesus was a child who knew who He was. At a young age, He told His parents I must be about My Father’s business (Luke 2:49). He was upset that they had even been looking for Him. No doubt, some would look at that and ask why, or even if, Jesus needed affirmation, love or support. Clearly His mission and His destiny, what He was born to do, was an incredible task.
Jesus received affirmation and confirmation. How much more important is it, that we give our children affirmation and confirmation when they are doing well or doing the right thing? So often, I can look to the things that are not up to my standard as a parent, and begin to dwell on the negative so much, that my child never hears the good things I say about them and what they do. If our children make us happy, we should tell them so. I know the scripture states that if we spare the rod we will spoil the child; however, if it is all rod and never a nod of approval, I believe we are robbing a child of one their greatest blessings, and that is the approval of their parents. Trust me, the approval of the Heavenly Father didn’t go to Jesus’ head, because immediately after that statement of approval from a pleased Father, Jesus went through one of the greatest trials of His life. I know in my life, the words my parents have spoken to me and poured into my life, are what has helped me through the greatest trials in my personal life. Could it be the same in your child’s life? That when everyone is bullying, tormenting and/or causing trouble for them, that playing out in their minds are not the words of those people, but instead it is your words of encouragement, affirmation and confirmation. Your words may just be the words that carry them through their darkest trial.
Let me ask you a question. Jesus said I only do what I saw my Father do and I only say what I have heard My Father say (John 5:19). What would your child be saying and doing, if they did the same with you?
As you read this Proverb, you will find so many applicable statements. If you act on them, they will improve your life. They will set you on a course that will give you a life full of freedom, a life that is enriched and a life that is expanded.
Before you read all of Proverbs 10, I want to call your attention to one more verse in this chapter, verse 22. The New King James Version renders the verse like this, “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.”
When God is the one that is in charge and He’s the one opening the doors, there is no sorrow at the end of it. Often, when we try to open doors and manipulate our way in, there is a sorrow at the end of the journey.
Verse 22 in The Message Bible reads like this, “God’s blessing makes life rich; nothing we do can improve on God.” There is absolutely nothing we can do to improve on God! Seek after Him so that His blessings can make your life rich!
Here is the chapter in its entirety:
1 Wise son, glad father;
stupid son, sad mother.
2 Ill-gotten gain gets you nowhere;
an honest life is immortal.
3 God won’t starve an honest soul,
but he frustrates the appetites of the wicked.
4 Sloth makes you poor;
diligence brings wealth.
5 Make hay while the sun shines—that’s smart;
go fishing during harvest—that’s stupid.
6 Blessings accrue on a good and honest life,
but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.
7 A good and honest life is a blessed memorial;
a wicked life leaves a rotten stench.
8 A wise heart takes orders;
an empty head will come unglued.
9 Honesty lives confident and carefree,
but Shifty is sure to be exposed.
10 An evasive eye is a sign of trouble ahead,
but an open, face-to-face meeting results in peace.
11 The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well,
but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.
12 Hatred starts fights,
but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.
13 You’ll find wisdom on the lips of a person of insight,
but the shortsighted needs a slap in the face.
14 The wise accumulate knowledge—a true treasure;
know-it-alls talk too much—a sheer waste.
The Road to Life Is a Disciplined Life
15 The wealth of the rich is their bastion;
the poverty of the indigent is their ruin.
16 The wage of a good person is exuberant life;
an evil person ends up with nothing but sin.
17 The road to life is a disciplined life;
ignore correction and you’re lost for good.
18 Liars secretly hoard hatred;
fools openly spread slander.
19 The more talk, the less truth;
the wise measure their words.
20 The speech of a good person is worth waiting for;
the blabber of the wicked is worthless.
21 The talk of a good person is rich fare for many,
but chatterboxes die of an empty heart.
Fear-of-God Expands Your Life
22 God’s blessing makes life rich;
nothing we do can improve on God.
23 An empty-head thinks mischief is fun,
but a mindful person relishes wisdom.
24 The nightmares of the wicked come true;
what the good people desire, they get.
25 When the storm is over, there’s nothing left of the wicked;
good people, firm on their rock foundation, aren’t even fazed.
26 A lazy employee will give you nothing but trouble;
it’s vinegar in the mouth, smoke in the eyes.
27 The Fear-of-God expands your life;
a wicked life is a puny life.
28 The aspirations of good people end in celebration;
the ambitions of bad people crash.
29 God is solid backing to a well-lived life,
but he calls into question a shabby performance.
30 Good people last—they can’t be moved;
the wicked are here today, gone tomorrow.
31 A good person’s mouth is a clear fountain of wisdom;
a foul mouth is a stagnant swamp.
32 The speech of a good person clears the air;
the words of the wicked pollute it.
Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: The Bible in contemporary language (Pr 10). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPres