Proverbs 25

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As we begin a new year, we’ll be studying the book of Proverbs for the first 31 days of the year. The new year is a great opportunity to invite your friends, families, and Life Groups to read along with you in 2023. If you missed the first day’s reading or are looking for an overview of the book, click here to catch up!

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Read Proverbs 25

More Proverbs of Solomon

25 These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
    to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
    so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.

Remove the dross from the silver,
    and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
remove wicked officials from the king’s presence,
    and his throne will be established through righteousness.

Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence,
    and do not claim a place among his great men;
it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,”
    than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.

What you have seen with your eyes
    do not bring hastily to court,
for what will you do in the end
    if your neighbor puts you to shame?

If you take your neighbor to court,
    do not betray another’s confidence,
10 or the one who hears it may shame you
    and the charge against you will stand.

11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver
    is a ruling rightly given.
12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
    is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.

13 Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
    is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
    he refreshes the spirit of his master.
14 Like clouds and wind without rain
    is one who boasts of gifts never given.

15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
    and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

16 If you find honey, eat just enough—
    too much of it, and you will vomit.
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—
    too much of you, and they will hate you.

18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
    is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.
19 Like a broken tooth or a lame foot
    is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.
20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day,
    or like vinegar poured on a wound,
    is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
    if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
    and the Lord will reward you.

23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
    is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.

24 Better to live on a corner of the roof
    than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

25 Like cold water to a weary soul
    is good news from a distant land.
26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well
    are the righteous who give way to the wicked.

27 It is not good to eat too much honey,
    nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.

28 Like a city whose walls are broken through
    is a person who lacks self-control.

Go Deeper

Proverbs 25 covers many facets of life and relationships including business, neighbor, home, and oneself. Undisturbed heart, character, and integrity are foundational to positive, successful relationships in every area of life. The good news is this foundation is possible for all of us as we submit our hearts and lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ.

The first 15 verses of this proverb flow between the thoughts of God and those of man. Solomon wrote most of the Proverbs and, to this day, he is considered one of the wisest people to ever live. His wisdom was God-given because he asked for it. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Both Solomon and James make it clear that seeking wisdom is good and valuable. As a king, Solomon explains the wisdom of speaking and acting with humility and self-control. The proverb warns us to never judge or speak harshly or hastily, and it emphasizes the importance of being discrete.

 Verses 16-20 encourage sincerity and respect with neighbors. Is there anything better than a kind, dependable, and thoughtful neighbor? As believers who are called to love our neighbor, we can heed the wisdom to be humble, helpful, and unselfish. These verses teach us to trust people who tell the truth. Our God loves to see us walking in love toward our neighbors!

Verses 21-24 teach us to be kind to our enemies. This is where the rubber meets the road for many of us, but Jesus taught us the same saying, “Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. ‘I’ll do the judging,’ says God. ‘I’ll take care of it.’ If you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch; or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness” (Romans 12:19-20, MSG). 

Kindness and love always win over revenge and hate. Scripture makes it clear we are to treat others with kindness and leave the judging to God. In verse 24, we are taught that if we live with someone who is contentious, it is better to avoid him or her and hold our tongue than to engage in the quarrel. The verse also causes us to pause as we examine ourselves to see if we are guilty of contentious behavior at home. There are always moments of disagreement in relationships, but constant criticism and battle in any marriage is a recipe for disaster and deep hurt. The Lord asks us to examine ourselves and our hearts regularly in Psalm 139:24: “See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Let God examine your heart and lead you in His everlasting way of love. As you remain humbly committed to His ways, watch Him work inside your own heart and that of others. 

Finally, verses 25-28 encourage us to develop self-control and humility that will endure. Seek God’s glory always and not your own. Ask the Lord to continue to pour His living water into you as He promises it to anyone who simply asks for it. Commit to studying the Scriptures, like Proverbs, to grow in His fruit of the Spirit. Growing in God’s ways of relating to other people will impact your home, business, neighborhood, school, and, yes, even your enemy. To God be the glory!


1) What is the meaning of “undisturbed heart and character” mentioned in the first paragraph? Why is that important? How can you develop this in your own life?

2)What makes a good neighbor? Are you a good neighbor? Think of one thing you can do to reach out in kindness to your neighbor.

3)Is your home a place of joy and contentment? If not, why not? What can you do to improve your home life or your marriage? Is your dating relationship positive and joy filled? If not, what is important for you to consider?

By the Way

Read the words of Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Which fruit of the Spirit do you most need to embody today?

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4 thoughts on “Proverbs 25”

  1. As we’ve read through the Proverbs, I’m reminded that “all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). God intentionally provided his word to instruct our hearts, for when our hearts are captured with his truth our actions will follow. We can step into our roles at home, school and the workplace knowing we’ve been prepared to accomplish the work God has given us to do. Let’s walk closely with God faithfully choosing his ways in all the big and small decisions we will make today to grow in wisdom. May we not just read the proverbs but act on them.

  2. The answers to all the above questions is communication, kind communication. If you do not talk to let someone know plans or actions there is confusion whether it be friend, neighbor or spouse. Most problems stem from someone not expressing thoughts. John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
    Charles Spurgeon said “Relationship will frequently do far more than the mere excellence of the person. Bethink you, brethren, Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. Our God had but one begotten Son, and that Son the darling of his bosom. Oh, how the Father loved him. It is not possible for us to measure divine love, for we have no measuring line. Human love at best is only finite even when it reaches its very highest. When we plunge into the depths of human love, there is yet a bottom; but divine love has neither shore nor bound. Little can we tell what unity of essence means. The divine persons are one in essence—one God. We cannot therefore conceive what affection must spring from this closest of all known unities. Oh, how Jehovah loves him! And yet that dear Son of his, for our sakes left the starry throne of heaven, became a man, suffered, bled, and died; and when we come to mercy’s bar, bringing with us Christ’s own promise, the eternal Father sees Jesus in our eyes, bids us welcome to mercy’s table and to mercy’s house, for the sake of him who is his only begotten Son.”

    God my mind is blown by your infinite love, I know that it is the hesed love I think on. Thank You seems contrite to say but I am thankful!!! beyond blessed!!!! so extremely grateful!!!!! Thank You for wisdom everyday as I encounter people to see them with Your love goggles to see them as You do. Thank You for loving me in Jesus name amen.

  3. I believe if you figure out #1’s answer, the other two will seem quite easy to follow suite.
    Tozer said it best for me. Read Hebrews 12:1-2. “looking into Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”
    “Believing is directing the heart’s attention to Jesus. (As he was always looking to His Father. ) It is lifting the mind to behold the Lamb of God, and never ceasing that beholding for the rest of our lives. At first this may be difficult, but it becomes easier as we look steadily at His wondrous Person, quietly and without strain. Distractions may hinder, but once the heart is committed to Him, each brief excursion away from Him the attention will return again and rest upon Him like a wandering bird coming back to its window.” The Pursuit of God, AWT

  4. I first heard the verse, “a word in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver“ courtesy of our own @Ella Snodgrass.

    I am a total words girl. I LOVE the imagery these words depict—so much so that my very first blog site (years before the advent of WordPress) was called “ApplezofGold.”

    And any time I hear God’s Word fitly and faithfully applied, I’ll respond or share with the hashtag #WordsinDueSeason. I even have a Pinterest board by the same name to store all my favorite Bible verse images.

    Reading Proverbs 25 in its entirety reminds me, though, the power of my words extends far beyond spitting out just the right verses at just the right time. There are some powerful Do’s and Don’t’s to follow if I would have ALL my words “fitly spoken”:

    • DON’T use words to gain my own advantage (v. 9-10);
    • DON’T make empty promises (v. 14);
    • DON’T lie—lies and slander are hurtful and destructive (v. 18);
    • DON’T try to force joy on those who need the freedom to grieve (v. 20).

    • DO guard the confidences (words) of others (v. 9);
    • DO receive advice (wise words of correction) with humility (v. 12);
    • DO persuade through patient and gentle speech (v. 15).

    God has SO many great words about the importance of our words—and the power that comes from living them out with integrity.

    “Walk in the wisdom of God as you live before the unbelievers, and make it your duty to make him known. Let every word you speak be drenched with grace and tempered with truth and clarity. For then you will be prepared to give a respectful answer to anyone who asks about your faith.”
    -Colossians 4:5-6, The Passion Translation

    Lord, may I be a woman of words fitly spoken—and a life fitly lived!

    For more on the “apples of gold” imagery, read what GotQuestions is serving up!

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