When I was young, “He who…” jokes were popular. The jokes were attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius. For example: “Confucius says, ‘He who sit on tack get the point!’” Of course, these jokes did not originate with Confucius.
As a child I found these amusing, though not particularly wise. A few more examples:
- “He who run in front of car get tired; he who run behind car get exhausted.”
- “He who get hit by car, get run down feeling.”
- “He who leap over cliff, jump to conclusion!”
- “He who fall in glass grinder, make spectacle of self.”
I later learned that the Bible has many truly wise sayings, and by studying the scriptures about “He who” we can become wiser. Let’s look at a few examples.
Psalm 15 begins with the questions, “Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?” The answers are found in verses 1–5:
- “He who walks uprightly and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart.”
- “He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend.”
- “He who swears to his own hurt and does not change.”
- “He who does these things shall never be moved.”
Lots of wisdom there to contemplate.
Psalm 24 asks similar questions: “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?” (v. 3). Answer: “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully” (v. 4). We may conclude that we need to be upright in conduct to be with God.
Psalm 32 advises: “Many sorrows shall beto the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him” (v. 10). Wickedness results in negative consequences, and faith in positive results.
Psalm 41 says, “Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble” (v. 1). One of the great commandments is to love our neighbor. God knows who shows love to those in need.
Proverbs has many “He who” statements. “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19). Minding this advice to “bite our tongue” will save us many difficulties.
Sometimes “He who” statements contrast the wise with the unwise. “He who gathers in summer is a wise son; he who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame” (Proverbs 10:5). Diligence versus laziness is demonstrated. And in verse 9: “He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known.” Our ways “find us out” and bring appropriate results, good or bad.
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20). Choosing friends who influence us positively is important.
Parents take note: “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:24). This age-old wisdom has worked for millennia. When discipline is lacking, children, parents, and society suffer the consequences.
Diligent effort brings success: “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!” (Proverbs 28:19). Pursuing leisure and pleasure while neglecting responsibility results in poverty.
Pursuing true wisdom brings great reward. “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:8). Yes, we do reap what we sow.
Doing God’s will is the wisest course of all, and proves that we put our faith and loyalty in Jesus Christ: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Study God’s word to know His will. Many helpful resources are available free, here at Tomorrow’s World.