What Does Proverbs 14:12 Mean?

There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Proverbs 14:12(NASB)
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Verse Thoughts

Solomon was a wise son who paid attention to his father David. He also sought to be a wise father by sharing his wisdom with his own son; compiling his own set of righteous guidelines, and the learned sayings of others into a compendium. He did this to encourage his own children towards righteous living.

Reverence for the Lord and trust in His word is the foundation upon which true wisdom is based and we, in the church age, have discovered that in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Wise choices in life are of true and lasting benefit and the "Proverbs of Solomon" are an amazing collection of maxims for profitable living. They cover a wide range of subject matters, which can help to prevent foolish behaviours and ungodly decisions, in areas like relationships and friendships; finances and a fruitful life. This not only pleases God and demonstrates faith in His word, but gives every day advice on peaceful living while avoiding troublesome situations.

Like much of the book of the Proverbs, Chapter 14 is written in couplets, which contrast wise and foolish behaviours. We read that a wise woman builds her home, but the foolish woman tears it down and the one who walks in uprightness fears God, while the devious man despises Him. This chapter also contrasts a trustworthy witness with a false one; bitterness with joy; foolish and wise attitude towards sin and the inevitable destruction of wicked men with the upright man, who will flourish.

In this verse the couplet has a poignant twist, demonstrating the chilling consequences of self-deception. It explains that a bad decision.. which may seem to be a good and wise choice, from a human perspective, will in fact result in disaster. "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death". 

The person in this proverb is deluded and devoid of true wisdom and understanding, which comes from God alone. By falsely judging a situation to be beneficial, they find that the thing which appeared so enticing, and which they thought was so right, had the opposite effect and only brought them to disaster. 

This saying is a 'stand-alone' truth that is applicable to every man, but in order to discover the godly way to go; the correct choices to make and the true path that leads to life and light; peace and hope... the entire book of Proverbs needs to be taken into account, for it records every aspect of living a godly life.

Perhaps the key to the entire book of Proverbs, upon which all every piece of good advice is founded, is the truth that Solomon taught his son in chapter 3 - Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding... in all thy ways acknowledge HIM, and HE shall direct your paths.

Guidance for godly living can be found throughout these Proverbs, and it is attributed to Solomon - but salvation comes by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone, for there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved.  

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for our great salvation in Christ and that in HIM is found all wisdom and knowledge. Thank You for the many principles and precepts that are so helpful and encouraging in the book of Proverbs. I pray that order my life by applying the wise concepts and that I would trust in You in all things and not seek to do anything according to my own limited understanding. Give me discernment I pray and keep me from all forms of self-delusion and self-deception. May I never be foolish enough to journey along the path that may seem right to me but ends in destruction. Thank You that You have promised to guide my steps and may my ear be ever open to Your direction - this I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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