1. This is one of those proverbs that simply tells it like it is.
a. Solomon is not saying this is the way it SHOULD be.
b. What he speaks of in this proverb is most definitely is NOT the way things should be.
c. But unfortunately, this is often the way things ARE.
2. The gist of the proverb: People ruin their own lives through foolish behavior, and then blame God for their woes.
a. Solomon saw this happen many times, and recorded his findings in this proverb for our learning and our admonition.
b. This is written so that WE will learn from their woes and not follow their poor example.
The foolishness of man perverteth his way
a. Dict. of Bib. Lang.: foolishness; folly; i.e., a state of being devoid of wisdom and understanding, with a focus on the evil behaviors which occur in this state.
b. Theological Workbook of the Old Testament: one who is morally deficient; moral perversion or insolence, to what is sinful rather than a lack of intelligence. The fool is often described as rejecting counsel and refuses to accept instruction.
c. The fool is mentioned many times in Proverbs.
d. This kind of folly is not a lack of intelligence. It is not normal, childish silliness.
e. Throughout the book of Proverbs, this term is a moral problem… a sin problem.
2. Foolishness in the heart translates into foolish, sinful behavior.
a. It speaks of the foolish things that people DO.
b. Prov. 14:8 – deceitfulness in their dealings with men is one form of this term for folly.
c. Prov. 14:17 – uncontrolled anger is another form of this kind of folly.
d. Prov. 14:29 – a hasty spirit is another form of this term. (Easily agitated…)
e. Prov. 15:2 – a big mouth is another form of this kind of folly.
f. Prov.1 8:13 – making up your mind without hearing both sides of the story—the term is used here too!
g. Prov. 22:15 – it is the kind of folly that is bound in the heart of a child—and needs to be driven out.
h. Prov. 24:9 – this kind of folly is also described as sinful thoughts… which generally come out in one form or another—verbally or in sinful, dishonest, or cruel behavior.
B. Perverting His Way
1. Pervert defined:
a. Strong’s: to twist, pervert, turn upside down, ruin.
b. Dict. of Bib. Lang.: overthrow, ruin, destroy, a state of destruction and ruin brought to a life, implying unfavorable circumstance to that person.
c. The term is used in Job 12:19 of a defeated army, being led away and spoiled of all their valuables.
2. Solomon’s point is that foolish, sinful behavior will PERVERT or ruin a person’s life!
a. Way = road, pathway, journey,—figuratively.
b. It can turn your whole life upside down… and bring it to ruin.
c. It can destroy a person’s journey through life… bring in destructive influences… and most unfavorable circumstances.
d. In other words, we can RUIN our own lives by our own behavior.
e. The course of behavior we choose… the kind of person we choose to be… the way we choose to speak and act… all have built in consequences.
f. There are consequences to folly…
g. We get to choose which course we will follow in life, but we do NOT get to choose the consequences of those choices. The consequences are BUILT IN.
h. If you sow folly you will reap the fruit of folly.
i. If we sow poison, bitter, destructive seeds, we will reap poison, bitter, destructive plants!
j. We bring much trouble and grief into our own lives because of our foolish behavior… by the things we do and say… the way we live… the way we work… the way we treat others… the way we deal with the laws of the land… the way we treat our own bodies…
k. All of these choices have built in consequences.
l. Foolish behavior—wrong, immoral, sinful behavior PERVERTS our lives… brings it to ruin.
3. These things can RUIN your life:
a. Drugs and alcohol – There are long term consequences to drug and alcohol abuse. You can choose whether you are going to use them or not. But you can’t choose the consequences.
b. Divorce – This is not God’s plan for the home… yet ½ the marriages in our country end in divorce. If you choose that route, there are long term consequences that can RUIN your life.
c. Stealing – If you choose to get in trouble with the law by stealing—that too can ruin your life… especially if you have to spend time in jail.
d. Lying and Gossip – If you use your mouth in a foolish, immoral way… that too can bring ruin to your life. The one who lies, slanders, and gossips can’t avoid the destruction of friendships that accompany that kind of behavior.
e. Spending more than you make – Choosing to purchase things we cannot afford leads to financial disaster… and all kinds of woes.
f. Laziness – Unreliable – If that is the way you have chosen to live, don’t be surprised if you lose job after job… and never get anywhere in life. Who wants a lazy, unreliable employee? It will ruin your career.
g. Greed – Proverbs warns about greed and get rich quick schemes. There are consequences to that which are unavoidable. You end up using people for your own advantage… and often it leads to dishonest means of gaining profit.
h. Pride – Pride too can ruin your life. Nobody wants to be around a know-it-all… or someone who thinks they are the greatest. When pride cometh, then cometh a fall.
i. SIN in all of its ugly forms comes with built in consequences that can RUIN your life.
j. If you want to avoid the ruin and destruction, then avoid the sin!
k. Repent… change your mind, heart, and behavior… and gradually the destructive influences of bad behavior will begin to decrease… and you can get your life back to what it SHOULD be!
And his heart fretteth against the LORD
1. Here Solomon states what he often noticed with those who ruined their own lives with foolish behavior.
a. And Solomon states this almost like an exclamation point!
b. It is as if he is saying, “You wouldn’t believe what I saw!”
c. What Solomon says in the second part of the proverb is NOT the way it should be… but the way it often is… unfortunately.
2. Heart Defined:
a. The inner man; mind; emotions; soul…
3. Fret defined: (appears only 4 times in Bible)
a. Strong’s: to be out of humour; to be enraged, be angry.
b. Dict. of Bib. Lang.: feelings of displeasure from mild to rage; from inward, simmering bitterness to overt outrage.
c. The word is from a root that means “storm” in the sense that a storm rages against the seacoast…
d. Used 2 times in II Chron. 26:19 – Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD.
e. It speaks of a man with a STORM in his heart…
4. In Proverbs 19:3, Solomon states that something that he observed throughout the years.
a. He noticed that many men, who brought ruin into their lives through their own bad behavior, end up being angry, resentful, or bitter against God because of it!
b. The man chose the foolish, sinful behavior… which has built in consequences… and then he has the audacity to blame God for the consequences!
c. It’s one thing to blame other people for the problems we bring into our lives. That’s bad enough.
d. But to blame the LORD—is truly reprehensible!
e. If our behavior is foolish and sinful, there is but ONE person responsible: self! The blame belongs to me, myself, and I… certainly NOT the Lord!
f. This is the “victim mentality” that Solomon describes here: “Poor me. God doesn’t love me. He allowed these awful things to enter my life. It’s not my fault that my life is ruined. God could change if He wanted to… but He won’t… so I’m angry at Him!”
g. And we allow bitterness against God to reside in our hearts. That is gross SIN…
h. We all know professing believers who are bitter against God.
i. The real problem doesn’t lie up in heaven with God, but within our own sinful hearts.
j. The first step to turning things around is to ADMIT it… accept the consequences… and thank God for those consequences… and learn to be grateful… and take personal responsibility for our choices.
5. Don’t blame God or anyone else for your own poor choices in life.
a. Drugs and alcohol—Divorce—Stealing—Lying—Gossiping—Laziness—greed—pride—all these sins come with built in consequences. They can RUIN a life.
b. And if they DO ruin your life, it isn’t God’s fault!
• It isn’t God’s fault if you abuse your body with drugs and alcohol and suffer long term consequences! God warns us AGAINST that kind of behavior!
• It isn’t God’s fault if you behave in a proud manner and suddenly fall flat on your face. God TOLD you that would happen. Pride cometh before a fall!
• It isn’t God’s fault if you have a big mouth—slander people—and then lose your friends. God WARNED you not to use your tongue that way.
• It isn’t God’s fault is you are lazy at work and get fired. Proverbs is full of warnings AGAINST laziness.
c. There is a pleasure to sin in the beginning, but eventually, it comes back to bite you with its unpleasant consequences.
d. We’re all guilty of this. We all sinned and have had to deal with the consequences. I sure have—and maybe you have too.
e. But when we begin to experience the painful side effects of our own sinful behavior—don’t blame God!
f. This is CHILDISH behavior.
• Because of his own bad behavior, a child evokes the chastening hand of his father.
• Then when the chastening comes (a spanking; being grounded; etc.) and the chastening begins to “hurt”—then the child gets angry at his father for punishing him.
• He frets… he is bitter because of the chastening—which is nothing more than the consequences or fruit of his actions.
• Just as children who are not humbled and repentant can become bitter against the father who disciplines them, so we as Christians do the same to our Heavenly Father.
• God has warned countless times that we reap what we sow… yet we still get angry or bitter when we reap!
g. Instead, we should submit to His chastening and say, “Thank you, Lord” and from there learn some good lessons and change your behavior.
h. When that is the case, we will discover that many of those unpleasant consequences of our sinful behavior will begin to disappear!