Proverbs 10 marks a change in style, with this being the start of ‘the wise sayings of Solomon’. A proverb is ‘a short pithy saying in general use, stating a general truth or piece of advice’ and here we have a whole host of punchy sayings that convey simple truths.

Sometimes the proverbs have a common theme, such as how to live well, for example, or laziness or the ongoing theme of wisdom. It’s impossible to look at every verse in detail (well, if we want to make it through each chapter in one day, that is!), but these are the verses which really stood out for me today:

“The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin” (Prov 10:8)
This verse reminds me that we all live in submission to others and have to accept authority over us, something that can be hard to do. It also reminds me that the Bible teaches us to listen well before talking! (see James 1:19)

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.” (Prov 10:9)
I like this continuing theme of paths and am reminded that there is nothing invisible which will not be made visible one day. God sees everything; nothing is hidden from Him.

“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” (Prov 10:12)
I’ve just finished reading 1 Peter which says “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Pet 4:8), echoing this verse. It’s so easy to stir up conflict and to allow anger, bitterness and hatred to colour our relationships. God wants love and forgiveness to be the hallmark stamped on our characters.

“The way of the LORD is a refuge for the blameless, but it is the ruin of those who do evil.” (Prov 10:29)
It’s a common style of proverbs to contrast two opposites. I suppose I find it reassuring to think of having a refuge, but equally this verse reminds us that there are only two ways in life. We either follow God’s way or we do evil.