Proverbs 16: Wise Sayings

How do the world’s plans for success compare to God’s plans?

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Proverbs 16:1 People make their plans for success, but only the Lord has the answers.
King James
Proverbs 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.

How do people justify their actions?

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Proverbs 16:2 How easily people can justify everything they do, but the Lord is the judge of what is right.
King James
Proverbs 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

To what extent should we include the Lord in everything we do?

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Proverbs 16:3 Include the Lord in everything you do, and he will direct your thoughts.
King James
Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.

How much control does God have over circumstances?

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Proverbs 16:4 The Lord works circumstances according to his will, which includes the wicked being judged and receiving their reward.
King James
Proverbs 16:4 The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Why might arrogance present a problem in our relationship with the Lord?

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Proverbs 16:5 The Lord hates the arrogant, who won’t walk hand-in-hand with him. They cannot escape punishment.
King James
Proverbs 16:5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

How can love be regarded as the fulfillment of the Law?

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Proverbs 16:6 Love and faithfulness leave no room for wrongdoing, and respect for the Lord keeps us from sin.
Romans 13:10 Love never wishes harm upon someone, which explains why love is the fulfillment of the law.
King James
Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

How does God’s pleasure in what we do affect how our enemies feel about us? Why?

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Proverbs 16:7 When God is pleased with what people do, he even makes enemies to be at peace with them.
John 15:18–21 If the world hates you, remember that it first hated me. If you belonged to the world, its people would love you as one of their own. Because you do not belong to the world but I have chosen you, its people will hate you. Remember what I said before. The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you. If they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will treat you the same way they treated me, because they do not know the one who sent me.
King James
Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
John 15:18–21 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

How are the righteous poor better off than the rich who are wicked?

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Proverbs 16:8 If the righteous are poor, they are still better off than the wicked who are rich.
King James
Proverbs 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.

What is the difference between following God and expecting him to go with us?

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Proverbs 16:9 People want to map their entire journey, but God shows them only the next step.
King James
Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

Why should people in authority be concerned about their responsibilities?

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Proverbs 16:10 Because they have great authority, rulers should speak the truth and not deceive.
Luke 12:47–48 The servant who knows what his master wants but fails to prepare and do the work will be severely punished, but the one who does wrong out of ignorance will receive a lighter sentence. Much is required of those who are given much responsibility, and more is required of those who are given more.
King James
Proverbs 16:10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
Luke 12:47–48 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Why do people think they can get away with cheating?

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Proverbs 16:11 The Lord wants precise weights and balanced scales, so every weight in the bag should be accurate.
King James
Proverbs 16:11 A just weight and balance are the Lord’s: all the weights of the bag are his work.

What makes righteous people detest wrongdoing?

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Proverbs 16:12–13 Rulers whose thrones are established in righteousness detest wrongdoing.
Great leaders love truthful speech. They love honesty, not hypocrisy.
King James
Proverbs 16:12–13 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness. Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.

How does anger affect people judgments? Is God similarly affected? Why?

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Proverbs 16:14–15 An angry king can sentence you to death, so it’s wise to do what he wants.
When the king smiles upon you, there is life, like a cloud that brings rain in the spring.
King James
Proverbs 16:14–15 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it. In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.

What makes understanding and wisdom more valuable than silver and gold?

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Proverbs 16:16 Wisdom is much more valuable than gold. Understanding is more important than silver.
King James
Proverbs 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

How far should we go in distancing ourselves from evil?

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Proverbs 16:17 The righteous take the highway that is farthest from evil, preserving their lives.
1 Corinthians 5:10–11 I didn’t mean you had to avoid all contact with promiscuous, greedy, cheating, or idolatrous people, because then you’d have to live somewhere outside of this world. I was saying you shouldn’t be hanging out with such people. Don’t be going out to eat and having fun with the abusive drunkard.
2 Corinthians 6:17 As the prophet Isaiah said, “Get out. Separate yourselves. Don’t even touch what is filthy.” Then he will receive you.
King James
Proverbs 16:17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
1 Corinthians 5:10–11 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

What is problematic with pride and arrogance? How do those attitudes compare to humility?

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Proverbs 16:18–19 Pride will destroy a person. Arrogance is sure to take a fatal fall.
A humble spirit among the poor is better than arrogance among the rich.
Matthew 6:1–6 Be careful not to do your good deeds publicly so others will admire you. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in Heaven. When you give to the needy, do not call attention to yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and streets. They want people to praise them. Without a doubt, they have received all the reward they will ever get. Instead, when you help someone, do it quietly, without fanfare. Then your Father will see what you have done in secret and will reward you. Do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so people will see them. I assure you, they already have their reward. Go to your room, close the door, and pray to your Father without being seen. Then your Father will see what you have done in secret and will reward you.
King James
Proverbs 16:18–19 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Matthew 6:1–6 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

How does the advice of good people differ from trusting the Lord? In what ways might they be alike?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 16:20 If prosperity comes from heeding good advice, how blessed we must be when we trust the Lord.
King James
Proverbs 16:20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.

What are the best ways to teach students who are eager to learn? How about students who don’t care?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 16:21–22 Discernment is evident in the wise of heart. To teach effectively, use gracious words.
Insight is a wellspring of life from those who have it, but giving instruction to fools is a waste.
King James
Proverbs 16:21–22 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.

How can people be persuaded when they don’t want to believe? Why?

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Proverbs 16:23–24 Wise people think before they speak and are persuasive.
Gracious words are sweet as honey, great medicine for mind and body.
Matthew 7:6 Do not give something holy to dogs. They will turn and attack, tearing you to pieces. Do not toss your pearls to pigs. They will only trample them under their feet.
Colossians 4:6 Be gracious with your stories, flavoring your message with that which will answer the hunger in everyone’s heart.
King James
Proverbs 16:23–24 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

How can a way that leads to death ever seem right?

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Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right but ends in death.
King James
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

What kinds of appetites promote the best work?

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Proverbs 16:26 People work to satisfy their appetites. Their hunger makes them good workers.
King James
Proverbs 16:26 He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

If saying the wrong thing can spark flames that can’t be extinguished, how can we afford to say anything? What are the best ways to speak the truth without stirring up trouble?

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Proverbs 16:27–28 Worthless people stir up trouble as a spark from the lips can start a forest fire.
Contentious people cause strife, and gossipers can sever the bond between close friends.
Ephesians 4:14–15 Then we will no longer be immature children tossed about by every wind of doctrine, easily blown in different directions by deceivers who cleverly manipulate lies to look like the truth. Unlike them, we speak the truth in love so you will grow up to be more like Christ in every way, for he is the head of our family.
King James
Proverbs 16:27–28 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
Ephesians 4:14–15 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

How are people enticed to go the wrong way?

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Proverbs 16:29 Cruel people entice their neighbors and lead them the wrong way.
King James
Proverbs 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.

How can actions and body language help identify a person’s motives? Why might that be misleading?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 16:30 Those who won’t look you in the eye are working behind your back. A clenched jaw signals trouble ahead.
Matthew 7:16–20 Recognize them by their actions. No one picks grapes from thorn bushes or figs from briers. Good trees produce good fruit, and bad trees produce bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. Every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and burned. Each tree is identified by its own fruit.
King James
Proverbs 16:30 He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.
Matthew 7:16–20 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Why do many people want to look much younger than their age?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 16:31 Gray hair should be a source of pride when it was earned by walking in righteousness.
King James
Proverbs 16:31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

Why is control of anger so important? How is it best achieved?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 16:32 Constraining your anger makes you stronger than a bodybuilder, and controlling how you feel is a greater victory than conquering a city.
King James
Proverbs 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

How much knowledge and control does God have? What can he not do?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 16:33 People can’t control what falls into their lap, but with God there are no accidents. He knows what will happen. He is in control.
King James
Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.