Proverbs 17:14-28

Talks for Growing Christians

Wisdom in Sober Thinking

Proverbs 17:14-28

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Lesson Number 26

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Proverbs are wise advice for everyday living.

Practical Application

  1. Think soberly!


  1. The proverb in verse 15 notes two miscarriages of justice, namely, setting someone free who is guilty and should go to prison, and condemning an innocent person to prison. What is the worst case in history of these injustices?
  2. The two proverbs in verses 17 and 18 both have to do with friendships. Even though verse 17 says that a true friend loves at all times, there is one action or “favor,” according to verse 18, that one should not do for a friend. What is this action?
  3. In accordance with verses 27 and 28, describe the person who controls his tongue.


  1. The worst case in all of history of the two miscarriages of justice noted in the wise sayings of Solomon in verse 15 was when our innocent Lord was condemned and the guilty Barabbas set free (Read the account in Matthew 26:11-26).
  2. A person should not co-sign for a loan (provide surety) for a friend. This is not a loving action, as the Lord warns us of its dangers time and time again here in the book of Proverbs (see 6:1; 11:15; and 17:18).
  3. In verses 27 and 28, the person who controls his tongue is described as being a person of knowledge, understanding, wisdom and perception.


  1. Discuss your experiences that confirm the general truth of the proverb in verse 14, “The beginning of strife is like releasing water . . .” Count the times you have been faithful to put an end to the “contention before a quarrel starts,” and consider the blessings that have come to you as a result.


  1. The proverbs suggested for memorization below identify wisdom, understanding and knowledge as being characteristics of a godly person. Are you seeking these characteristics in your life? To what sources are you turning for knowledge, understanding and wisdom? Spend time daily in God’s Word, read the writings of trusted Christian authors, listen carefully to proven Christian speakers and counselors in your church, stay up to date with current events through reliable Christian news sources or magazines, and pray consistently and continually for clarity of discernment that can come only from the Lord.

Key Verses

  • “Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.” Proverbs 17:24
  • “He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.” Proverbs 17:27

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