Proverbs 10:16-20
Prov 10:16 (KJB)
The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.
The great labour of the righteous which tendeth to life is the working in of the Gospel fields. (1 Tim 4:10 KJV) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. The Apostle Paul was one who laboured to bring the Gospel to many. Those who became saved because of his labour of love received eternal life. Now there are those who labour to help send the Gospel by means of their jobs. Many Christians hold jobs and with their money, they support missions and therefore they are labouring to support those who can go to the mission field. The principle is that both those who go and those who support those who go, are a team and neither of them are more important than the other. (1 Sam 30:24 KJV) For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. David knew this principle well. Those who went to the battle and those who stayed and guarded the camp shared in the spoils equally. God calls Christians to different ministries and none are more or less important in His eyes. On the other hand, the fruit of the wicked is sin. They labour for themselves and spend what they make on themselves. They may play the lottery, buy alcohol or cigarettes, or some other things which are destructive and sinful in nature. There is a great difference between the fruit of the wicked and the fruit of the righteous.
Prov 10:17 (KJB)
He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
Instruction - Discipline or warning
Erreth - Goes Astray
A person who heeds the instructions or warnings which the Scriptures bring shows that they have been regenerated and are following the wise counsel of God. The way of life is for those who know that if they go against the teachings of Scripture, there will be serious consequences. The wicked who hate reproof or correction reveals vividly that they are on the path of destruction. They never learn as they go from one calamity to another. They never question as to why their life is in such turmoil. Their life degenerates and they never seem to get ahead, because of them being in darkness, they will never ask these questions and continue to rely on man’s unsaved wisdom.
Prov 10:18 (KJB)
He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
Here are two types of fools which are equally dangerous. First, there is the fool who hides hatred with lying lips. They pretend to like someone yet in their heart they hate them. This type of person allows hatred to simmer until it becomes like a volcano and eventually explodes, which can cause harm to the person they hate and serious consequences to themselves. If they have something against someone, they should go to them and talk to them, and maybe it will mollify the relationship. Then there is the other kind of fool and this one can’t keep their mouth shut. They are always speaking slanders and lies against people, thinking they are superior by supposedly pointing out the other person’s foibles. This person too should go to the person they hate before they start slandering to make sure they have the whole story but them being a fool would probably not take such diplomatic steps to avoid a conflict.
Prov 10:19 (KJB)
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
Here is another major difference between the fool and the wise man. The fool never knows when to shut up. In fact, they talk so much that eventually in all their babbling, they will offend someone with something they say. If one talks too much, they eventually will sin with their mouth. I have heard debates descend into name calling and obscenities meaning that the more a person speaks, the quicker they run out of rational thought and words and then comes the sinful language where no one gets their point across because all everyone remembers is the name calling. The one who refrains his lips from speaking too much is wise because they do know the power of words. If they only speak what is necessary, then they will let the other person make a decision on what was said, since it is easier to digest a small amount of words than a never ending one-sided dialogue. Here is an example. President Lincoln spoke the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863. It was 272 words and delivered in about three minutes. The politician who preceded him, spoke for two hours. His name was Edward Everett and he spoke 13,607 words. Which speech is remembered today?
Prov 10:20 (KJB)
The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.
Choice - Carefully chosen
This verse teaches us that the tongue or the words of the just, who are the saved, is as choice silver. The word “choice” carries with it the meaning of “something which is carefully selected.” The words of the just are carefully selected when they speak so they make the greatest impact for good. The silver in view is choice which means it is pure. The words of the just speaks the things taught of them by God which means their words carry great significance. To reject the wisdom that a wise man brings is to reject life. Since the wise person knows the value and results of proper words, they choose them carefully as a merchant chooses silver. He only wants the best and purest. The heart of the wicked has little value, not that it has no value, since many unbelievers are used by God to His glory. Such were Nebuchadnezzar and Darius. The reason that it has only little worth is because the unsaved heart is tied only to this world and is not spiritually alive to the things of God, so it only sees things in a physical realm. The saved person’s heart sees into the future and with it eternal life in Heaven with Christ. The unsaved in heart does not see past this spiritual horizon.