The Proverb For The Day

 

 

21:6-8, Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death. The violence of the wicked will destroy them, because they refuse to do justice.  The way of a guilty man is perverse; but as for the pure, his work is right.” Here we have four marks of sin that God condemns. The first mark of sin is lying; it is cheating to get temporal gain. Second is the sin of violence, which is to break into someone’s home or place of business assault and take from them. The third mark of sin is injustice, which is withholding wages, or giving a place of honor gained unfairly. And last is perversity, which is an attitude of reckless and determined rebellion against God’s rule. It is sin that has cut such a path for the traveler and it leads to dishonor, destruction, and death. But the pure are right by faith in Christ and have their feet on the right path. Which path are you traveling on? Pastor Gary <><

20:18, “Plans are established by counsel; By wise counsel wage war.” Everyone needs counsel about most things in life and only a conceited person will move forward without it. Counsel proves one to be wise, looking to friends, family and others is always a good thing to do. Counsel provides different viewpoints about approaching problems, making investments, or starting up businesses. The counsel we seek could make the difference between making a good decision or a bad one. I wonder how many of us have said, “I wish I would have asked someone else about this first?” Our writer puts a special emphasis on wise counsel before going to war. War always comes at the highest cost, for it includes the loss of life. We may not be able to avoid war but at least we can enter it with powerful alliances and a clear plan for victory. Pastor Gary ><>

19:22, “What is desired in a man is kindness, and a poor man is better than a liar.” Kindness is what we do not only in word but also in deed. Kindness reaches out with a helping hand, or a charitable gift. Kindness is a characteristic that every person should display although all do not. Kindness makes for good friends, strong relationships, and honest dealings. Acts of kindness make people more desirable than those without it. Note the last part, “and a poor man is better than a liar.” A poor man who would give willingly, but has nothing, is marked better than the man who could give yet says he has nothing therefore lies. The poor man’s intent is valued as kindness, but the other man is marked as a liar. We can all engage in acts of kindness even those without much, and we all should. Let us do better than a liar! Pastor Gary ><>

18:20-24, “A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth, from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. The poor man uses entreaties [pleas], but the rich answers roughly. A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” I like what John Phillips said about these verses, “If we are to live satisfied lives, we need to tame the tongue, win a wife, mind the mouth, and find a friend.” Man will live by the consequences of his mouth, so watch what you say. Marriage is God’s idea so seek God and find a spouse. And friends, to have them you must be friendly yourself. If you have no friends “friendly up” Mr./Miss Scrooge. So simple! Pastor Gary ><>

17:16, “Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, since he has no heart for it?” It’s not that foolish people are unable to learn, it’s that they are unwilling to. It’s not a matter of money, that’s found in his hand, but it’s the lack of want (heart). For some reason he thinks he is smart enough and therefore finds other things to do with his time and money. It’s hard to help the fool, he throws away recourses, advice, and even friends that differ with him. He is his own man, caught up in his own mind, and faults everyone for his trouble. He seems to never put together that his trouble is a result of his refusal to listen to advice, or make better choices, or enter the school of learning. Until the heart of the fool is changed his foolish decisions will remain. And for any man to make such a change he needs Jesus, but his biggest challenge is himself! Pastor Gary ><>

16:25, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death”. The Pharisees along with many others would certainly fit in this “seems right” mentality (Matt.23). This is a supreme mistake, and it will lead to death. So many have convinced themselves that they are reconciled to God, in His favor, and promoting His kingdom while all the time far from Him. Jesus said, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light.” And Oswald Chambers said, “Walking in the light means for many of us walking according to our standard for another person. The deadliest Pharisaic act today is not hypocrisy, but unconscious unreality.” (03-16). One can travel on the “seems right” path so long that they’re not even aware it’s the wrong path. The wrong path is traveled by so many and for so long, that it’s difficult to see they are on a path that leads to death! Exit now before it’s too late! Pastor Gary

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15:21, “Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly.” We are told here why foolish people enjoy the way they live, they lack discernment. The answer to the question, “how can they live like that?” is found here. They lack discernment therefore they don’t see how alcohol, drugs, smoking or any other vice is ruining their lives. And it’s a two-way street, they can’t understand you and you can’t understand them. They see no need to change, and you see every reason too. For the upright it’s not judgement toward others, it’s an understanding of what will happen if foolishness continues. There will always be conflict between the foolish and upright! And as difficult as that might be sometimes it is best to walk away from the foolish but always pray for them. They need discernment! Pastor Gary ><>

14:35, “The king's favor is toward a wise servant, but his wrath is against him who causes shame.” This truth is certainly not held up today. “Shame” is rewarded even favored by leaders today. John Phillips wrote, “The land is riddled with pornography and perversion. Sodomy is countenanced [approved]. Thanks to a handful of godless men who served on the supreme court some years ago, abortion-on-demand slaughters countless babies every year. Scandals in high places rock the country.” The worldly want to shame the wise and favor the shameless deeds of sinners. But what the world fails to see is that we all sit under King Jesus and He still continues to favor the wise and wrath is still in store for the shameless sinners who have refused to put their faith in Him and obey His Word. Seek the King’s favor! Pastor Gary ><>

13:13, “If you reject God’s teaching, you will pay the price; if you obey his commands, you will be rewarded.” There are men that out right reject God’s teaching and those who obey. One is cursed the other blessed. Disobedience is costly, and the price is set by God. God desires reverence displayed through obedience resulting in reward. God’s teaching is revealed through His Word, His Spirit, and His church. Many say they reverence God, yet they live in sin, ignore God’s commands (teaching) and wonder why life stinks. God rewards belief that obeys. If you believe Him, you will obey Him in every area of His teaching and every area of your life will reflect His truth. To believe in and obey God has its rewards! But to reject His teachings has its price, and it will be failure, separation, and darkness in the end! Pastor Gary <><

12:9, “Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant, than he who honors himself but lacks bread.” So many people live beyond their means for the purpose or impressing others. Keeping up with the Jones has never paid off. The writer wants us to understand that not everyone has the same wealth but that everyone can and should be content with what they have. It’s tragic when someone buys what they don’t need (want) but even more tragic when they cannot afford to buy what they do need because of “want” spending, therefore, “lacks bread.” When people learn to be content with what they have they will always have what they need. It’s been said that “Respectful mediocrity is better that boastful poverty.” If we would apply the truth of this proverb, we would be more content and experience less lack. Pastor Gary ><>

11:4, “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” Money may buy your way out of many things but not in the day of wrath! The writer teaches the only currency that will profit on that day will be righteousness. Paul in Romans wrote, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (1:18). But for all who trust in Christ are therefore clothed in righteousness are delivered from God’s wrath. The writer wants each person to understand that on that day his only hope of escape will be righteousness. But those who hold onto their riches will find no escape. I know that day by appearance may seem to have passed us by or is not coming at all, but don’t be fooled that day is yet to come, and the wrath of God will follow. Christ’ righteousness, man’s only hope. Pastor Gary ><>

10:17, “Accept correction and you will find life; reject correction, and you will miss the road.” Acknowledgement must first be made that the road has been missed, now make a course correction! People refuse correction because they do not feel they missed the road, but many have missed the road to life. To accept correction is the way that leads to life. To accept correction demonstrates your humble, teachable, and desire life. When we accept correction, we take to heart the Word of God, the way of wisdom and find life. To reject correction, you will miss the road. You will miss it because you have convinced yourself that the wrong road is the right one. When you refuse a course correction you will always be in the wrong place, around the wrong people, and involved in the wrong activities. Do not make excuses or blame others accept correction and you will find life! Pastor Gary <><

9:6, “If you want to live, give up your foolishness and let understanding guide your steps.” The reader will find in the first 5 verses another divine invitation. Verse 6 is the climax, “if you want to live give up your foolishness.” Life is not foolishness and Christ. It’s foolishness or Christ! The world would have you believe you can have both. People want eternal life without following Christ. The message is clear turn from folly, sin, and the fellowship of the unholy. And let understanding guide your steps into the way of eternal life. If I give up everything to follow Christ what have I really given up for all that Christ offers me! That’s like not giving up “everything” to be adopted into “Bill Gates” family ($96.5 billion) and his stuff becomes mine. Do you want to live? The only thing you really give up is “foolishness” in exchange for Christ, if you want to live! Pastor Gary <><

8:10-11, Receive my instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold; for wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.” Wisdom exceeds worldly wealth. Silver, gold, and rubies cannot buy happiness or contentment. Men have always tried to buy these things and failed. And what wealth can buy won’t satisfy. But instruction, knowledge, and wisdom, they give value to the soul. They cannot be bought, but they can be yours. These are virtues for those who fear the Lord. They make a man honest and pure, humble, and content throughout life. The man that has wisdom is blessed with the favor of the Lord and the love of Christ. There is nothing, not silver, gold, or precious stones, nor anything precious, which is equivalent to wisdom in value. Receive wisdom and desire nothing else! Pastor Gary <><

7:8-10 Passing along the street near her corner; And he took the path to her house in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night. And there a woman met him, with the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart.” The tragedy that temptation brings when a father or teacher’s warnings are not heeded! The son has been warned but, yet he hesitates only briefly, looks around and then turns the corner and takes the path to her house! His step was measured, and he made up his mind to ignore wisdom and rush into sin. It was dark in the evening but in more ways than he could understand. And the woman is in the attire of a harlot and her heart full of evil desire. Be warned her characteristics have not changed sense ancient times. Once he is on her street, she will get him under her sheet! Whenever we turn from wisdom we turn toward sin! Pastor Gary ><>

6:27-29, Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent.”  The answer to both questions above is no! The way to escape evil is not to touch it, to steer clear of it altogether, and to keep well out of harm’s way. Avoid her voice, touch, and company. This is the only secure ground to take. Do not touch the fire and you will not be burned. You cannot kindle the fires of your sin outside your own soul at a safe distance. You cannot even sin with your hands and keep your heart untouched. When sin is indulged, it takes up residence in a man’s soul. It enters his affections, it lies close to his heart, and it coils around his very life. Run and don’t look back! Pastor Gary <><

5:21, Mark well that God doesn't miss a move you make; He's aware of every step you take” (MSG). God is watching us, really! He knows our thoughts, plans, desires, decisions, and actions. He even knows the outcome. God knows the motive for each deed; therefore, He knows best when to reward and when to withhold (Revelation 20:11-15). Because God knows man’s every step, Whom better to judge the wicked. And for the Christian, Whom better to withhold or give rewards. I am sure you have heard this before, “You can run but you can’t hide.” But have you ever thought about that statement in the context of God? This should cause us to think before we take another step, say another word, or make another plan. In view of what God knows “everything” let us consider our next step.i Our steps are watched, step wisely. Pastor Gary <><

4:24, Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.” The conduct of life is determined by the condition of the heart. Therefore, put away… for these things (V.24) will manifest themselves through outward disobedience and waywardness. Such outward behavior is deceitful, twisted, distorts, perverts, and misrepresents what is true. Deceitful speech turns the heart from what is true and right. The tongue is the unruly member (James 3:2), and speech is the directory of the mind. Watchfulness over the heart is watchfulness over the mouth, as Christ said, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). There is a twofold application, first do not indulge in this kind of speech, and second, have no dealings with those that do! Our speech does not betray us it just reveals who we are! Your mouth exposes your heart! Pastor Gary <><

3:19-20, “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens; By His knowledge the depths were broken up, and clouds drop down the dew.” John Phillips wrote, “Wisdom takes us back to the beginning and introduces us not to nothing, or even something, but to Someone—to God. ‘There!’ says Wisdom. ‘Out of His wisdom all was created. He knows all the laws of physics, all the laws of chemistry and biology. He knows the mathematics of the universe, all its detailed and complex equations. He knows all the laws known to science and all the laws not known to science. He knows them not because He has investigated them, but because He has invented them.’ The more complex the universe is discovered to be, the greater tribute it is to His genius, wisdom, and omniscience. Folly says, ‘It just happened.’ Wisdom motivates us to bow at the feet of the Almighty.” And I take a knee and bow what about you? Pastor Gary ><>

2:5, Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” Look at the promises again. When will you? When the “if” conditions of the previous verses are met. Wisdom is the subject, if you receive (v.1), if you cry out (v.3), if you seek (v.4) you will understand and find knowledge. To understand implies the power to discern what it means to fear, reverence, and respect the Lord. You will also find the knowledge needed to know God. To know what pleases Him, to know how to grow spiritually, and to know how to stay under the blessings of God. I have God’s Word and with His wisdom I can understand what I read, know how to apply, and live the way that pleases God. Meet the “if” conditions of God to know God, live as “if” they don’t exist and live foolishly without God here and forever! Pastor Gary <><

1:8-9, “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck.”  I realize that not all parents are wise, and a few are not even good parents, but Solomon was both, therefore anyone can learn from him. Wise teachings are to be obeyed and parents are to be respected because their instructions will benefit us throughout life. Solomon and his wife were his parents and have made the largest investment, more than anyone else, in their son. They loved him and with their best in mind for him, they helped him mature hopefully into a godly man. It would be important for him to hear with the intent to obey and to not forsake their teaching even when temptations would be strongly pulling against him. When teaching and obedience come together life can be transformed! Pastor Gary ><>

30:10, “Do not malign a servant to his master, lest he curse you, and you be found guilty.” Another way to say this same truth, “mind your own business.” A modern proverb says, "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones." One day the tables may turn. The person we accuse today, rightly, or wrongly, may be in a position to bring charges against us later on. Most people have a secret that they would not want anyone to expose. Joseph is a prime example having been sold secretly into slavery by his brothers, yet when the table turned, he refused to expose his brothers or seek to judge them for their evil deed. Joseph allowed the grace of God to work even in the mist of such a secret and trusted that what had happened was well within the reach of God. Be careful about tattling, remember nothing is out of the reach of God. Pastor Gary ><>

29:11, “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.” There is a time to be silent as well as to speak. The writer is encouraging the idea of guarding the mouth for a few reasons. First practice patience before saying you will do this or that, impatience most frequently leads to transgression. Our mouth tends to overestimate our ability therefore we should think before we undertake. Second council given in ignorance could bring harm when it persuades others to take unwise action. Third without control the fool vents all his feelings, with words that are impossible to retrieve. Nothing more defines the presence of wisdom or folly than the habit of speaking quickly or restraining speech under irritation. A wise man controls his feelings for it brings peace at home and church, and it’s the example of our Lord! Pastor Gary <><

28:8, “One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion gathers it for him who will pity the poor.” Another way of saying this is “loan sharks” who charge way too much interest and then enforce excessive penalties on those who are late paying back the loan. The “no credit check” is another way of enticing someone to buy what they cannot afford and then charge high interest for what they do buy. And then of course there is the “big credit card companies” which put credit in the hands of those who already overspend and then charge late fees, penalties, and on top of that high interest rates. The lenders are increasing their possessions through such dealings. We would all be better off living within our means. We all may own less, but we would all rest better too. There seems always a way to get what we cannot afford, beware! Pastor Gary ><>

27:11, “My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me.” The instruction, “be wise” is from a father to a son, or it could be from a teacher to a student. Another translation says, “become wise”, and such development of wisdom would delight a father or teacher’s heart. If the student or son did not show such wisdom the teacher or father could suffer reproach for the apparent failure of his student’s education. The son’s lack of wisdom seems to be of his own choosing, yet it’s the father who suffers most. The father is left sad, speechless, and blamed for his son’s foolishness. If sons and daughters would become wise there would be less heartbroken moms and dads. In fact, “becoming wise” would bring gladness into homes and hearts once again. “Become wise!” Pastor Gary ><>

26:9, Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.” I remember when I was a teenager, we boys would have sandspur fights. That’s right sounds foolish and painful it was. But pain was the intent, so you better be able to run and run fast! And to think we were sober, but not so with the man above, drunk and armed with a thorn and ready for mischief. I think you have the picture, a stupid excited person liable to become dangerous for no good reason. In this passage a wise saying in a fool’s mouth is compared with something useless, and it is compared with something harmful. A “proverb” in the mouth of a fool will never reach its intended purpose, which should be to correct, encourage, enlighten, and bring understanding. I continue to hear people say, “that there is nothing harmful about drinking”, foolish thinking! Pastor Gary ><>

25:14, Whoever falsely boasts of giving is like clouds and wind without rain.” How many promises have been made but not kept? Broken promises are as disappointing as clouds and wind without the results of rain! With the clouds came anticipation and hope that the crops would produce and provide. But as the wind carries the clouds away again and again so disappointed are those that waited, wanted, and needed all that the rain could give. There is now a deep sense of discouragement, unhappiness, and uncertainty about future promises. How many times does a person allow themselves to be disappointed and hurt? Does a person trust the promise breaker with yet another task, another hope, another chance or just move away and on? How many times before we realize, rain is fruit, words are but clouds and wind! Saying and doing is not the same thing! Pastor Gary ><>

24:8-9, He who plots to do evil will be called a schemer. The devising of foolishness is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to men.” We see here a man engaged in thoughts and actions of foolishness. He shows a certain kind of misapplied cleverness, in contrast to the true nature of wisdom. He is guilty of planning and pursuing evil schemes! His nickname “lord of mischief” and men must not follow such an imposter. The thoughts of this man are not only foolish, but sinful. He does not pursue a good end, but prepares misery for himself and is blind to his best interests. The man that scoffs at righteousness is an abomination to God, men, and a cause of evil. He leads others to thoughts and acts which are a disgrace to God! The connection between sin and folly, as between wisdom and righteousness is continually enforced throughout the Bible. Beware of a schemer! Pastor Gary <><

23:23, “Invest in truth and wisdom, discipline and good sense, and don’t depart with them.” Everyone is looking for a good investment. Invest in these four things – truthwisdomdiscipline, and good sense. Each of these costs as any investment does. But each of these builds spiritually. Our knowledge of God’s Word is varied; it may be slight, deep, or full. How deep or full depends on whether we will pay the cost and make the investment in these four. That price is whole-hearted surrender of us to our savior and to His service (Rom.12:1-2). So long as we keep back any part of ourselves, we cannot experience such fullness; but if we yield ourselves to God without departure, He will guide us through. With these four we can stay faithful in service and prayer. Each of these investments is for the long haul – start and don’t depart from them. Pastor Gary <><

22:11, “He who loves purity of heart and has grace on his lips, the king will be his friend.” We see here two great qualities that every person should attain in life. But not everyone does. First, purity of heart, this means he is free from guilt, lust, and every kind of vice. His motive is pure, his advice is from his heart, and his concern is real. Second, we see grace on his lips. This is the description of perfect character. His speech is filled with kindness, and he has a way of winning others over with conversation. Such a person will win the friendship of the king or any leader for that matter. We are living in a day where people are seeking the friendship of leaders for only what they can get out of it. Of course, we seem to also be in a time when leaders are in it for themselves too. We need friends like this proverb, friends that will help us become all God called us to be! Pastor Gary ><>

 

 

 

31:16-19, “She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle.” Solomon writes about the model woman one that any man would do well to find. She is wise with money, sound in body, and smart in business. John Philips writes, “One cannot help thinking that Solomon's mind kept going back to the Shulamite. He had wanted her so badly, yet she had turned him down… If he hadn't played the fool with so many other women, he might have had her. He probably wished he had listened to his mother's sound advice.” When we listen to wrong voices, we end up making bad choices that keep us from having what we really want! Pastor Gary ><>