In this series I have purposively chosen not to consult any commentaries or supplemental readings. These fragments (pensées) or ruminations are strictly my own. The objective in blogging my way through Proverbs is twofold 1) to read regularly the Word of God and 2) to gain more of the wisdom of God. Prayerfully I trust that my objective, however meager, will be met.

Repeatedly throughout Proverbs much is made of human speech. The spoken word is a powerful thing and Prov 15 makes this clear. Whether an answer, a word, the tongue, the lips, a prayer, the mouth, advice, a reply, or correction, every word counts (15:1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 14, 22, 23, 28, 29). Not a day goes by, indeed hardly an hour passes, that I prove true that “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov 15:1). Regardless of the medium (tweeting, posting, speaking, or writing), each word that proceeds from my mouth will cut one of two ways.

Words are mighty in power. No other instrument can achieve such great heights or descend to such depths. Words provoke emotion (15:1), make knowledge attractive and accessible or ooze nonsense (15:2, 7), inspire life or deplete the human spirit (15:4). When used conservatively (15:23) and carefully (15:28) words bring joy.

In Scripture, the widow has a special place in God’s heart. Like a fatherless child, she personifies the weak and destitute (Ex 22:22; Lev 22:13; Dt 24:19; 25:5; 1 Tim 5:16; Jm 1:27). For these reasons the widow receives protection from God. Not so with the proud. They are left exposed and open to ruin (Prov 15:25). Like the widow, those who fear God recognize their utter dependence. They portray both humility and wisdom. Ironically, the humble wear the badge of honor (Prov 15:33).

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