What does Proverbs chapter 16 mean?This chapter of Proverbs continues recording Solomon's concise statements of wisdom. This began in chapter 10.
This segment begins with a discussion of man's plans. Human nature can lead us to arrogance and ignorance. Failure to seek God's will or examine our own motives can lead to disaster. Despite what a person might tell themselves, the Lord sees the heart, weighs the spirit, and determines what will happen. The Lord is sovereign; He has a purpose for everything He created. God detests arrogance—spiritual pride that causes a person to reject God—but is pleased when one turns away from evil. Godly wisdom is better than any material wealth (Proverbs 16:1–9).
Solomon then offers several perspectives on kings and rulers. He points out the fact that those in authority have great power, so it's common sense to avoid their wrath whenever possible. Some of these statements are expressions of ideals: the way a godly king ought to act (Proverbs 16:10–15).
Next are a series of proverbs relating to the value of wisdom, controlled speech, and self-reflection. Arrogance leads to disaster since it prevents a person from following God's will or recognizing their own errors. Having truth is valuable in and of itself; using careful words to speak truth makes others more likely to accept it. On the other hand, using words hatefully or for spite can cause incredible damage (Proverbs 16:16–26).
The concluding section of this chapter contrasts evil people with those who are righteous. Solomon offers additional warnings about self-control and the importance of reining in one's temper. Through all things, even those we think of as "random," God is ultimately in control (Proverbs 16:27–33).