Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Proverbs 13:14-25 (ESV)
14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. 15 Good sense wins favor, but the way of the treacherous is their ruin. 16 In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly. 17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing. 18 Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored. 19 A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools. 20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. 21 Disaster pursues sinners, but the righteous are rewarded with good. 22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous. 23 The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice. 24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. 25 The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.
Several of today’s proverbs (vv. 14 – 15, 18, 20) emphasize the benefits of spending time with wise people, and listening to them. What kind of company are you keeping? Verse 23 rebukes to the rich, for violating in Exodus 23:10, which commands that the rich should leave some of their fields fallow, and let the poor eat from them. God will not overlook such callousness. Verse 24 is the famous verse used to support corporal punishment of children. While we may choose to avoid inflicting physical punishment on children (following the example of Jesus), parents who don’t discipline at all are failing to truly love their children (as explained in Hebrews 12:7).