Proverbs 16:16-20
Prov 16:16 (KJB)
How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
Understanding - Insight
This verse parallels the principles found in Proverbs 3:14 and 8:11,19. Throughout the ages, man has been obsessed with gold and silver. Today we have paper money but it represents the same thing. It all boils down to the fact that man has a desire for both wealth and power, because a person who has wealth wields power. However, as we have previously seen, wealth and power are temporary and can lead a person into many troubles. Wisdom and understanding comes with salvation and salvation is eternal which means it is much better to seek salvation from God, than the wealth of this fleeting world. Revelation 18 symbolically describes the destruction of the wealth of this world on the last day and how the merchants of the earth, who placed their trust in both the security of their wealth and the earth, will be weeping because they know what is about to come upon them.
Prov 16:17 (KJB)
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
Highway - Path, track, or course
Depart - Complete turning aside
Keepeth - Guards or observe
This verse is basically a verse of sanctification. When a person becomes saved, they have positional sanctification, that is, they are set apart by God as children of God because we have been transferred from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God. As we begin to progress in our Christian walk, our highway or course is to depart from evil. This departure is like a person going on an airplane. Once they depart by taking off, they leave the departure point behind. This is what the Christian does, when we become saved, we begin to completely turn our backs on the sinful lifestyle that we had lived in. We do a complete departure from it and not a casual ignorance of it, thus setting us up to be able to return to it. As we continue to depart from evil, we are considered as observing or keeping our way and ordering it according to the Scriptures. This careful sanctification is what tells us that we are continuing on the narrow path as we continually seek to follow the Lord in obedience.
Prov 16:18 (KJB)
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Before Destruction - Before ruin
Haughty - Height
Pride is at the heart of all sin. Prideful people will never seek counsel and therefore they will bring destruction upon themselves. This was the very sin that prompted Satan to rebel against God. Miriamís pride rebelled against Moses and suffered leprosy. David sinned with Bathsheba and in his pride as king would never admit it to anyone until God sent Nathan to him. Herod accepted the cries of his people that he was more than a man and that he was a god (Acts 12) and he was killed instantly by God. Pride is the army that marches ahead of its commander always leading him into defeat. Those with a spirit of arrogance or a haughty spirit will be brought down. (Oba 1:4 KJV) Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD. Obadiah prophesied to Judah that they needed to watch themselves because they thought that they were riding high with God, since God judged the northern kingdom and sent them away into Assyria and Judah was still in the land. Shortly after Obadiah prophesied, Judah was carried away into Babylon. You can always prophesy the fall of a person when they are living with a spirit of arrogance, thinking themselves to be better than others.
Prov 16:19 (KJB)
Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Lowly - Unfortunate, afflicted, or poor
Spoil - The wealth of one seized by another
This verse dovetails the previous verse concerning pride. Here we are told that it is better to have a humble spirit and identify with those who are humble than to share in ill gotten gain with the proud. Moses was a great example of this. (Heb 11:24-25 KJV) By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; {25} Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; As soon as God called him, he started realizing that all the pleasures of Egypt were but for a fleeting moment, so he knew that if he stood with the people of God, even though they were as lowly as you can get, being slaves, they were still in better status than the rich. We have read many times how riches are fleeting and they are only temporary. Those who have been humbled by the salvation of God are in eternal standing and the only thing they will lose from this earth will be their poverty. All the riches of Heaven will be theirs because of the sacrifice of Christ. Dividing the spoil is just another way the rich attempt to seize hold on the goods of earth and they believe, the more they have, the more secure they are. This is a great deception since life on this earth is but a vapor.
Prov 16:20 (KJB)
He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.
A person who properly handles a matter by assessing the situation and then placing together a plan of action will find a good result. This will be compounded by those Christians who take all matters to the Lord and trust Him to work out the details and the results. (Psa 37:5 KJV) Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. This goes back to 16:3 where we commit our works unto the Lord and He will establish the works. A wise handling of any matter is to always bring it before the Lord and let Him guide us into what actions we need to take.