1 The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. 2 Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is devious in his ways despises him. 3 By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them. 4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. 5 A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies. 6 A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding. 7 Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge. 8 The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving. 9 Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance. 10 The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy. 11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. 12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 13 Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. 14 The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways. 15 The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. 16 One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless. 17 A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated. 18 The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. 19 The evil bow down before the good, the wicked at the gates of the righteous. 20 The poor is disliked even by his neighbor, but the rich has many friends. 21 Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor. 22 Do they not go astray who devise evil? Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness. 23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. 24 The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly. 25 A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful. 26 In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. 27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. 28 In a multitude of people is the glory of a king, but without people a prince is ruined. 29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. 30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. 31 Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. 32 The wicked is overthrown through his evildoing, but the righteous finds refuge in his death. 33 Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding, but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools. 34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. 35 A servant who deals wisely has the king's favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.
Throwing aside folly to achieve wisdom isn’t a one-time achievement in life but a moment-by-moment choice as we navigate through daily decisions and the actions that follow. We see from Proverbs 14 that when our eyes aren’t fixed on God and His best for us, even the wise woman can easily and quickly become a fool.
Pause: The wisest of women builds her house but folly with her own hands tears it down (vs. 1).
Ponder: Taking this proverb in its entirety (verses 1-35), work through each verse, completing the following sentence as it fits the context: A wise woman is ___________. Example (vs. 5): A wise woman is faithful.
Pray: Lord, I love how You directed Solomon to write Proverbs 14:1 to women specifically. In this verse, You show us women the high value You place on us and our role in building our homes on the foundation of You and Your Word. Just as Solomon wrote in Psalm 127, unless You are building our homes and watching over them, folly will cause them to crumble. Fix my eyes on You that I may grow in wisdom. Keep me in Your ways. Be my guide. I love you, Lord.
— Jaime Sherman