Everyone needs to learn to be wise. Nobody is born wise.
You, too, can learn to be wise. You must listen to your lessons. Your lessons are the advice that you receive. You must obey the instructions. This requires effort. It takes time. But, in the end, you will be wise.
We make our plans. But we cannot control even our own lives. See James 4:13-15. If we trust God, then God will guide us. See my notes on Proverbs 16:1.
See Acts 16:6-10. Paul had many plans, but these were not God’s plans. Paul needed to pray, so that he would know God’s plans.
A loyal friend is the best type of friend. Such a friend is always sincere. He does not try to gain by lies, because he is loyal. He does not even care if he becomes poor because of his friendship.
The second line is similar to Proverbs 19:1.
We must respect God - see Proverbs 1:7. If we respect God, then God will help us. When troubles come, he will protect us. See Psalm 46:1.
Solomon uses humour here. This is a very lazy man. He is too lazy, even to eat. This means the same as verse 15. A lazy man refuses to work, so he will earn nothing. Because he earns nothing, he will be hungry. Solomon’s story in verse 24 explains this as a joke.
The man who insults other people might not learn from his punishment. In English, we say that this man has a ‘closed mind’. This means that he refuses to learn from anyone else. But other people can learn when they see this man’s punishment.
Simple people do wrong things, because they have not learned to be wise. Simple people will learn when the evil man receives his punishment. They will see the punishment. So they will realise that the man is evil. They will learn that the man’s actions were wrong. So they themselves will begin to learn wisdom. In English, we say that simple people have an ‘empty mind’. This means that they have learned little yet. But they might learn if they get a shock.
If a wise man does something wrong, then you should correct him. Because he is wise, he will learn from the correction. He will become even wiser. In English, we say that such a man has an ‘open mind’. That is, he wants to learn, even if the truth is painful.
This son does not just do one evil thing. He does many evil things. His parents cannot control him. They must avoid him. They can only pray to God for their son. The son will suffer for his own evil actions.