Proverbs 14:23-28 contain proverbs on various subjects with an emphasis on the contrast between the wise and the foolish and on the fear of the Lord.
Verse 23--In all toil there is profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.
Verse 24--The crown of the wise is their wisdom,
but folly is the garland of fools.
Verse 25--A truthful witness saves lives,
but one who utters lies is a betrayer.
Verse 26--In the fear of the Lord one has great confidence,
and one's children will have a refuge.
Verse 27--The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
so that one may avoid the snares of death.
Verse 28--The glory of a king is a multitude of people;
without people a prince is ruined.
What may one seeking to serve God learn from these thoughts to help one grow spiritually, become more godlike, and serve others better?
1. It is one thing to talk about working, to assure a boss or co-worker or spouse or children that one is going to work hard from now on. It is quite another thing to actually get a job and work diligently. Honest work will enable one to provide for oneself and one's family, but mere promises to work lead to poverty.
2. A good biblical example of the teaching in verse 25 is the story of Naboth in
1 Kings 21. Jezebel bribed two men to testify in court that Naboth had cursed God and the king so that her husband Ahab could confiscate Naboth's vineyard, and the authorities executed Naboth. This kind of testimony is gross injustice, and hurts innocent people needlessly.
3. "The fear [awe, honor, high regard, respect] of the Lord" is the core of godly living. It is an attitude of heart which seeks to put God first in every aspect of life. This is the theme which permeates Old Testament Wisdom Literature [Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes], and lies behind all righteous deeds.
4. No one can lead groups of people unless those people believe in and support that individual. Unfortunately, history is dotted with stories of leaders who controlled thousands or millions of people because they had a relatively few wicked influential persons who were able to keep the people under control. God's true followers are actually "servants" and desire that God alone through Christ be the "leader"--see Mark 10:42-45; 1 Corinthians 3:5-10.