Proverbs 16:21-27
Prov 16:21 (KJB)
The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.
Called - Proclaimed or read
Prudent - To understand, perceive, or be discerning
Those who are wise in heart, the saved, shall be called discerning. It is not just a moniker but it is what describes this person as they are proclaimed as one who has much understanding. A person who has much understanding will be one who is very valuable in any situation. The next part of the verse tells why. The sweetness of the lips increases learning and this is meaning that sweetness is in opposition to bitterness. A person who brings the proper words which conveys the thoughts correctly and brings solutions and not just words, is one that not only helps increases his learning, but he increases the learning of those he is helping. The prudent speaker is the one who helps increase the understanding. The word learning is also translated as teaching or doctrine. (Deu 32:2 KJV) My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: So the learning in view is the learning of spiritual truths from the Scriptures. There may be secular applications where a saved person uses wisdom in a situation but the general call of the wise is to bring the true Gospel.
Prov 16:22 (KJB)
Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.
Wellspring - Spring or source
Folly - Foolishness
The understanding here is that of the Gospel because it is the source of the understanding or insight which the saved person has. (Isa 58:11 KJV) And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. Isaiah 58:11 teaches that the true believer is going to be like a watered garden and the water which is going to water him is the water of the Gospel which will never fail. (Deu 31:8 KJV) And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. Then we look at the source of the Gospel and it is God Himself and He shall never fail. The total difference between the saved person and unsaved person is that the instruction or discipline of the fool is totally opposite of wisdom and that is foolishness. Foolishness is his teacher and he always has a willing student, one just need look at the results of their life.
Prov 16:23 (KJB)
The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
Teacheth - Act wisely with or to understand
Learning - Teaching or insight
The heart represents the inner thoughts, motives and intents of a person. When a person becomes saved they are now able to control their words, that is, they consider carefully what they are teaching others. One who teaches a class does not go up in front without a plan. They carefully study what they are going to teach and that is the same principle the wise person uses before they engage their mouth. Not only does the teacher teach his mouth what to say, what he learns and prepares beforehand will add more learning to himself, and the more correct learning he gets, the wiser his words become.
Prov 16:24 (KJB)
Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Sweet - Pleasant
Where we have a verse which teaches about the healing power of words. Now this verse is not speaking of someone who is using flattering words to gain some kind of advantage from someone. This verse is speaking about the correct use of words in any given situation. In opposition to pleasant words are harsh or cruel words which do not help a person but causes them to become angry and much anger can cause or maintain a disease in a person’s body. When pleasant words or conversation is used, that person not only feels good in their spirit, but it also helps their physical condition, because pleasant words keep a person calm and properly focused without adding anxiety to them. The spiritual aspect of this is that when the true Gospel is preached and a person becomes saved, those words of God are as pleasant to the soul and it even brings a calming to the body.
Prov 16:25 (KJB)
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
This verse teaches us plainly that man wants to believe that his ways are right but he never weighs any possible consequences. He believes that he can do business dishonestly and may gain more wealth not realizing he could go to jail. He may believe that he could take another’s place simply if he gets rid of that person but does not realize he is putting himself in the same position, where others can get rid of him. Man does not want to believe that his actions will create a response and that he is impervious to negative responses. The greatest deception that man faces on this earth is the deception of religion. He creates religion and within that religion he creates a system of works which he then becomes so steeped in that he starts to believe his own system. He teaches that if a person does the works that are required under his system, then God will accept them and take them to Heaven. Religion is deception! It does not bring a person closer to God, in fact, it separates a person farther from Him because religion attempts to usurp the salvation plan which God created and accepts. So the ways of man turns into the ways of death and that is eternal death in hell. The ways of man may seem right in his own eyes but the consequences of self-deception are eternal.
Prov 16:26 (KJB)
He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.
The man in this verse is working for his own survival. He labors so he may buy the things which can sustain him in this life. (Eccl 6:7 KJV) All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled. Ecclesiastes gives us a good insight into the mindset of many. Today we see many people working extremely long hours for the things of this world and the more they make, the more material goods they crave. The appetite of man is never filled simply because there is a point where necessity leaves off and greed takes over. Hunger and living necessities are a great cudgel to force man to work. If God did not institute work in the Garden of Eden, can you imagine what this world would be like with 7 billion people and nothing to do? You talk about a crime rate!
Prov 16:27 (KJB)
An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.
Ungodly - A man of Belial, corrupt
Burning - Scorching
The ungodly or man of Belial is not satisfied with just hearing bad news or gossip about someone, their heart is so wicked that they have to go literally looking to find something bad. They continue to dig for something and if they find anything, even the smallest thing, they will not keep it to themselves and their report will be as a scorching fire. In war time there is something known as a “scorched earth policy” where one side determines to burn everything, either on their side to prevent the enemy from establishing a base thus making it hard for the enemy to attack. The other side of that policy would be to burn as much of the enemies territory to make it hard for them to mount a proper defense. This is what the burning lips of the men of Belial do, they will scorch as much of a person’s life as they can. As you may know, Belial is another name for Satan. (2 Cor 6:15 KJV) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?