Proverbs 18:11-15
Prov 18:11 (KJB)
The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.
His strong - His strength
Conceit - Imagination
In ancient days, many cities, such as Jericho were surrounded by a very high and wide wall which made it virtually impossible for a frontal assault. Once they closed the doors of the city, it was basically impenetrable. However, looking at Jericho, when the Israelites marched around the city the number of times prescribed by God, God then brought down the walls and they fell outward and not inward so we would know it was the hand of God and not some kind of assault. This is the great imagination of the rich man. He believes that his riches are an impenetrable fortress not realizing that it was God who gave him those riches and God can take them away. All of the rich people who believe they are safe and secure in riches will have a great surprise on Judgment day when they lose everything that gave them false security. (1 Tim 6:17 KJV) Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; In 1 Timothy we find that Paul warned the rich that their wealth is uncertain because economic conditions change very rapidly and what is valuable today may be worth nothing tomorrow.
Prov 18:12 (KJB)
Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.
Destruction - Ruin
Haughty - It will be high
Here we have a single principle operating in two different arenas. First, before a person ruins their life, they will possess a high sense of pride in which their own arrogance will lead them down every wrong path. Arrogance and pride will not allow anyone to take counsel nor look at others as their equal. They possess a superior mindset and that mindset always leads them downwards. On the other hand there is a person who is of a humble nature and that humility allows him to be taught and will learn the proper ways to do things. When they listen and use the wisdom they have gained, there will be honor for them among others. The principle at work is that there is always a precursor to a mindset or a lifestyle. If we possess a humble mind, we will prosper and if we possess a high mind we will fail.
Prov 18:13 (KJB)
He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
Answereth - To bring back or return
Shame - Humiliation or dishonor
This particular situation is rampant in today’s society but it has always been around and used daily. The problem is that people tend to make a judgment before they have all the facts in order. This would be especially dangerous as a judge or magistrate to make some kind of legal decision until all the facts are in. Incomplete facts will always yield an incorrect decision. On the more personal level, people make judgments against others without having the knowledge of the situation or the facts involved. Anytime we return some kind of verdict, whether judicial or personal without having the facts, it will eventually cause us humiliation when all the facts of something are known. People are quick to jump to conclusions and sometimes we do that when we do not like the person and those type of situations always tend to bring dishonor to us as the truth comes to light. Proverbs 18:13 is not telling us that we cannot make a judgment, it is telling us that we need to hear the complete matter and if we are unable to hear the complete matter, then we are not to render any kind of judgment or opinion in the matter.
Prov 18:14 (KJB)
The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
Sustain - Provide the necessary sustenance
Wounded - Dejected or defeated
The first part of this verse is speaking of the saved person who has a regenerated spirit through salvation and that spirit now is able to sustain him or her while they are on this earth. If a Christian sins, it does not mean a loss of salvation but the Spirit of God who indwells the believer will help get them on the right path of righteousness. This sustenance is the perseverance of the Saints otherwise known as eternal security. The infirmity that we have is that of sin which still indwells our physical body. This is why there is such a war going on in the believer, the body wants to have its way and sin, but the regenerated spirit wants the Christian to live a righteous life. The wounded or defeated spirit is that of the unbeliever who goes through life with only a view of the here and now and does not see past the horizon as the Christian can. This is why so many of them grasp on to things like evolution because it gives a false hope of a future for the human race. The unsaved grasp many things to try and keep them secure.
Prov 18:15 (KJB)
The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.
Prudent - Discernment and understanding
Here we see part of the value system of the wise person. Those who are saved will continue to seek knowledge with all their heart. They recognize the reality of gaining true wisdom from the Scriptures. They not only search the Scriptures to gain knowledge but they also use their ears to gain knowledge, which could represent using every available method to grow in the knowledge of God. The one who has the discerning ear will stay far away form the wisdom of the world which leads a person into ruin, especially a believer who should not be taking lessons from the world system.