Proverbs 18:10–24 (NKJV)
10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. 11 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own esteem. 12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility. 13 He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him. 14 The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit?
15 The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. 16 A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men. 17 The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him. 18 Casting lots causes contentions to cease, And keeps the mighty apart. 19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.
20 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. 22He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord. 23 The poor man uses entreaties, But the rich answers roughly. 24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
The opening part of this passage points out the importance of trusting God alone, and no one else. He is the strong tower and makes His righteous people safe. However, the evil trust in their own wealth and their pride brings destruction. The second section suggests acquiring knowledge above all else, to know how to deal with people and find favor, to know how to speak in order to bring life, and how to make decisions wisely. The third section discusses using words to bless and finding a spouse who will bring favor to your life. Finally, the writer discusses being friendly in order to find friends.
This wisdom apologetic gives us the tools necessary to navigate life. Trust God, speak kindly and wisely, and be friendly. Good advice for anyone!