The Proverb For The Day

 

 

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 learn. 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 ><>

16:21, 23, “The wise in heart will be called prudent, and sweetness of the lips increases learning. The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips.” Keep in mind it’s not what we say but how we say it that increases learning. Tone of voice can set the stage for better learning. It’s sweetness in the voice that captures the attention of the hearer, and opens his mind for learning. The wise have learned for helping others therefore they know the importance of their attitude, tone, and continued growth. The wise speak from the depth of their heart, they weigh the facts and think before they speak. The heart of the wise considers well his words before he speaks because of his influence on others. When we learn let it not be only for ourselves but as an investment in others as well. Pastor Gary ><>

15:26-28, “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, but the words of the pure are pleasant. He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes will live. The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.” Solomon warns about a man’s thoughts, greed, and his speech. First our thoughts are the driving force of our actions, our actions can be pure or shameful, helpful or harmful. Second is greed, another driving force of our actions. It is a selfish desire for something, especially wealth, and power. Greed is an unquenchable longing for unneeded excess, and it will destroy the home. And last is our speech, it is a revelation of the heart. The righteous consider will this help or hurt, before they answer. Even if the words are for correction, he speaks to help. But the wicked speaks only to hurt. Pastor Gary ><>

14:6-7, “A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, but knowledge is easy to him who understands. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.”  Do you ever feel you’re in the presence of a fool and your just not sure what to do about it? You must understand wisdom is not his goal, because it is only given to him who is meek and fears the Lord (Ps.25:9). True wisdom is not won by those who are conceited, or depend upon their own judgement, or weigh everything by their own standard. Scoffers never really acquire! But the man with knowledge, realizes that the fear of God is necessary and he will acquire wisdom easily for the humble believer seeks it with the right temper and in the right way. The answer to the above question, leave the presence of a foolish man! Pastor Gary ><>

13:17, “A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful ambassador brings health.” The writer points out the contrast between messengers. So much rides on the intelligence and integrity of a messenger. A foolish ambassador can aggravate a situation whereas a wise one can do much to heal wounds. There are just some people that you would not want to deliver a message for you, not only would trouble befall him but ruin could follow you. It is most difficult to untwist the truth when a lie has been mixed with it. If you don’t believe this to be true just look at what went on during the presidential campaign 2016. We as a nation are a long way from health and with what I see we will not get any closer no matter who gets voted in. The next president has appointed ambassadors, pray they are wise! We need intelligence and integrity that can bring health. Pastor Gary ><>

12:6-8, “The words of the wicked are, ‘Lie in wait for blood,’ but the mouth of the upright will deliver them. The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand. A man will be commended according to his wisdom, but he who is of a perverse heart will be despised.” We see another contrast between the wicked and the righteous. And they will always oppose each other. They are different in their speech, their actions, and their destinations. The wicked fail to see that they will be overthrown and despised in the end. The little influence he may have had, when he is gone it will be too. Just remember the house that is built on the sand stands until the storm comes and then all is lost. But the house that is built on the Rock will stand forever. The way we live really does matter and we will be commended accordingly. Live by wisdom! Pastor Gary ><>

11:8-9, “The righteous is delivered from trouble, and it comes to the wicked instead. The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.”  God is at hand to deliver the righteous out of trouble. In fact, the trouble that the wicked devise for the righteous comes back on them. Or God takes the righteous away from the evil to come. The evil from which the righteous is saved fails upon the wicked. As Abraham says to the rich man in the parable, "Lazarus is now happy, and you are in pain" (Luke 16:25). This type of substitution occurs many times in Scripture. Thus Haman was hanged on the gallows which he had erected for Mordecai (Esther 7:10); Daniel's accusers were cast into the den of lions from which he was saved (Daniel 6:24). The truth will come out and the righteous will be delivered, God has said so! Pastor Gary ><>

10:18, “Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.” Lying lips always seek to cover up something in this case it is hatred toward someone. His hatred turns into slander. So, not only is he a liar but also labeled a fool. The slander makes false statements against those who they hate hoping to damage the person’s reputation. The slander usually gains no advantage with his lying lips or his foolish ways. Sometimes we have feelings that are better off not spoken about especially about someone else. We might have ill feelings toward someone but to try and hide it by lying is not a wise way to deal with it. The best talk we could engage in is with the person we have ill feelings toward. A truthful conversation could change the way we feel about someone. We would all be better off talking to someone and not about someone. 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 understanding that they must follow 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 ($67 billion) and his stuff becomes mine. Do you want to live? The only thing you really give up is “foolishness” in exchange for Christ. Pastor Gary <><

8:30-31, “Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him. Rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delight was with the sons of men.” Wisdom in the Proverbs is an attribute of God, or a grace conferred upon men. The New Testament cannot be out of our minds when we read the Old. It was not long before the Jews learned that wisdom embodied Christ. Christ is “the Truth” (John 14:6) and “the Wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24). His pre-existence is affirmed by Himself (John 8:58) and repeatedly declared by his apostles (Colossians 1:16). “The Word was with God” (John 1:1). Christ left his place by the right hand of his Father and came down to dwell with men. He came at the will of His Father to save men from sin. Christ was crucified on a cross, and it’s His death that saves. Christ rejoices every time men are saved! Let’s rejoice too. Pastor Gary ><>   

7:24, Now therefore, listen to me, my children; Pay attention to the words of my mouth…” The writer has warned (Vs.6-27) about the foolishness and unfaithfulness of men and women. He has given information as to the cost, and consequences of sleeping with another man’s wife, and how to avoid rushing into such a trap. The writer started out speaking to his “son” (V.1) now he directs his teachings to all young men. His teaching is necessary for all that are strong in passion, will, and wanting in experience. Information is transformation only when it is practically applied to our lives. The danger comes when we fail to apply these truths to our lives, and so many fail to do so. When people fail to apply God’s Word they sow seeds that bring heavy consequences that bear down on them and all others involved, even innocent family members and friends. Listen! Pastor Gary <><

6:22, When you roam, it will lead you; when you sleep, it will keep you; and when you awake, it will speak with you.” Wisdom will guide, defend, and be your companion. First, if we travel by land, sea, or air; we can count on the Lord to guide our steps. He leads our steps on paths to truth, purity, righteousness, and happiness. Second, when we stop to sleep or rest we can do just that, because the Lord will set up a defense against our enemy. With such protection, our minds can be clear, and at rest. And third, He is our companion in all that we do. We never have to face anything alone, He knows the danger ahead, how to avoid it, and He walks ahead of us every day. As we follow God we learn His will, we learn which way to go, what to avoid, and how to be revived with holy energy. Doesn’t it make you wonder why so many refuse to travel with the Lord? Pastor Gary <><

5:7-10, Therefore hear me now, my children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one; lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner.” To “hear” would be to avoid much, note the consequences! First, poverty (ver. 10), sin soon scatters a man's fortune. A few years, or even weeks, will suffice for indulgence to run through a good estate. Men “waste their substance in riotous living.” Second, remorse (vs. 11-14), how bitter the pain of self-accusation! There is no poisoned dart that wounds the body as the arrow of unavailing remorse pierces the soul. Third, Death v. 5, “Her feet go down to death; her steps lay hold on hell.” Death physical and spiritual is the issues of immorality. Pastor Gary <><

4:7-9 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory she will deliver to you." The whole picture is of the blessed experience of the people of God who seeks wisdom. Wisdom, understanding, honor, and a crown of victory, belong to those who follow Christ – these things are the true grounds for a crown, not birth, rank, power, or wealth. There is more here than the deliverance from ruin, here is an invitation to receive honors from above. True honor is measured by the elevation of character, the height of the whole course of life, and even the worthy reputation of a true Christian. We must remember the true measure of a man is evaluated by God, not men! Pastor Gary ><>

3:1-2, My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.” What you cherish in life could be most revealing about what you will get out of life! The implication is that the Law of the Lord has been heard and understood as the true guide for life. What has been learned don’t forget, C.S. Lewis said, “People need to be reminded more than instructed.”  To keep is to make continuing application throughout life’s experiences to the law. We don’t change the law from one circumstance to another we firmly believe the law and keep it. Our circumstances simply provide an opportunity to remember and keep the law, therefore receiving the blessings promised. In the New Testament temporal prosperity takes second place, but spiritual and eternal blessings first. Cherish the law and keep it! Pastor Gary <><

2:16-18, To deliver you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words, who forsakes the companion of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her God. For her house leads down to death, and her paths to the dead.” Wisdom is the deliver and keeper; every man should want, seek and keep it. Sin begins with departure from “the paths of uprightness.” They have cast off the restraints of righteousness. Without restraint they proceed to do what those in darkness do. To go with the immoral woman is unlawful lust and the saddest departure from God’s will. When the lips of beauty speak soft and gratifying things, let purity beware; it is likely that temptation is in its most seductive form, and character and reputation are slowly being attacked. Sin violates first one vow, then another, until all sacred promises are broken and then death. Pastor Gary ><>

1:26-28, “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. ‘Then they will call on Me, but I will not answer; they will seek Me diligently, but they will not find Me’.”  The context is God pleading with men to receive wisdom, but men continue to reject Him and live in sin. The significance of the passage is that, after a certain point of perverse refusal, God no longer pleads and strives with men. The consequences of a life lived without God is grave! He permits sin to do its own sad work in the soul, and to produce its own natural results in the life; he removes his restraining hand, and suffers them “to eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices” (ver. 31). There is a point of no return! Pastor Gary ><>    

30:29-31, “There are three things which are majestic in pace, Yes, four which are stately in walk: A lion, which is mighty among beasts and does not turn away from any; A greyhound, A male goat also, and a king whose troops are with him.” Four things which are stately in their goings, their movements are regarded with admiration by those who watch them. Should this not be the pace and walk of our spiritual life, so majestic and stately, others follow. Our daily life should be so consistent to keep us from self-reproach and condemnation, so noble to attract men to the Divine source of all that we are and have. When a man allows the Spirit of God control, he has command of his spiritual life (king), possesses enough strength to overcome temptation (lion), and moral symmetry (greyhound). Our lives should always attract others to the Lord! Pastor Gary ><>

29:4-6, “The king establishes the land by justice, but he who receives bribes overthrows it. A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet. By transgression an evil man is snared, but the righteous sings and rejoices.” A leader should always beware of anyone who seduces with their money. The principle we find here is integrity. When one losses his integrity he accepts bribes and erodes all that he had earlier established. He should also beware of anyone who seduces with his mouth (v.5). Flattery, everyone seems to like it, but it causes one to think to highly of himself. And a wicked man's lifestyle can be infectious. Those who spend time with an immoral man risk becoming like him. Those who go along with his transgressions forget that there is always a snare. But the righteous man is in Christ. His life is protected from the snares of men. He has reason to sing and rejoice. Pastor Gary ><>

28:4, “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but such as keep the law contend with them.” The wicked have an interest in lowering the standard of public morals. The more they can reduce the standard of God, the less they believe will be their own condemnation. And their motive is to move themselves higher in society. Society has definitely embraced a lower moral standard homosexuality is celebrated by Hollywood and many others, and the Boy Scouts bend their knees to the pressure of a bent society. Some so called Christians have forsaken the Law of God and are now guilty of praising the wicked. Society is against the Christian standard not because we are wrong but because we are right. Contention is simply the result of holding to God’s standard. And God is and will continue to judge such a bent society. Don’t bend, contend! Pastor Gary <><

27:7, A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” Those who are well fed become very selective and picky, while those who “lack bread” are thankful for the simple foods. There are thousands of excessive people whose appetite can hardly be tempted. While on the other hand there are those struggling men and women, who will devour with great delight the first crust of bread offered to them. Indulgence makes most things tasteless, while want makes most things sweet. Superabundance leads to selfishness and ingratitude. On the other hand, lack is very frequently associated with contentment. The peril of abundance, we are tempted to become indifferent to that which we can employ and enjoy at any time and consequently neglect it. But the hungry soul appreciates and is grateful even for the little he has. Pastor Gary ><>

26: 6-7 He who sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. Like the legs of the lame that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of fools.” To entrust a message to be sent by a fool is to bring upon one’s self shame and injury. A man proves him-self silly to employ such an unfit messenger, and brings to himself and his business nothing but trouble and loss. The damage can be as permanent as cutting off one’s own feet. Even if you gave him something wise to say he cannot be entrusted with it. Note verse 7 the legs of a lamb man hang loose, however their appearance they are without the ability to walk, and so “is a proverb in the mouth of fools”. A fool fails to see the importance and the impact of a message or proverb. Why attach your feet to such a foolish messenger? Pastor Gary ><>

25:25, “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.”  Good news has traveled to and from distant lands for generations. This “good news” promises peace on earth and good will toward men. It causes the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and transforms a sinner into a saint. This “good news” has been proclaimed by prophets, priest, kings, angles, and believers alike. It has captured the attention of powerful men and common men, and many, no most continue to reject the promise of the only “good news” that can save their lives! The promise is fulfilled in the little town of Bethlehem “I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2). This is the cool water every soul must drink, the Savior is born and we should celebrate His birth every day! Pastor Gary ><>

24:27-29, Prepare your outside work, make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house. Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, for would you deceive with your lips? Do not say, ‘I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.’” The writer here speaks of priorities, he is telling us to work for what we want and to save so that we can afford to buy it. But today credit is the means to get what you want, and advertising is pitched to the emotions rather than the head! Next the writer warns against perjury, in other words we are to mind our own business, don’t be a busybody, and don’t build yourself-up by putting someone else down! Solomon closes by encouraging pardon. Jesus said, "Do to others what you would like them to do to you." If we have received grace, let’s live by it toward our neighbor. Pastor Gary ><>

23:17-18, “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off.” The righteous and the unrighteous will receive their due reward. The hereafter includes both, heaven and hell. The sinner seeks pleasure, praise, and recognition from men. He is driven by pride, selfishness, and foolishness. His joy is superficial, hollow, and won’t last. The unrighteous will be cut off from the Lord, and his reward, hell! And it’s sad that his life is alluring (See Psalm 73:2). But the way to overcome such temptation is “be zealous for the fear of the Lord.” This includes reverence, worship, service, and obedience to God’s will. The promise is twofold, we won’t be cut off from the hope found in Jesus Christ and heaven will be our home forever! Pastor Gary ><>

22:29, “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.” Our writer educates us in the principles of success. Most people would like to succeed but some are not willing to excel in work to do so. But when a man’s work is noticed everyone wants him to work for them. Some principles will include, a knowledge of his work he must be good at what he does. He is also diligent in his work willing to start early and stay late, he is also willing to do what others won’t. The result will be advancement and honor. We can find great examples such as Joseph, Nehemiah, and Daniel. They continued to practice what they knew, stayed diligent despite their unpleasant situations, and each of them stood before kings. Don’t use unpleasant conditions as an excuse but as an opportunity to excel. Pastor Gary ><>

21:20, “There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it.” The writer points out the idea of saving, or storing up for the future. It’s not that the wise man goes without but that he does things in moderation. He knows that between the harvest he will need to eat. He also knows that if he lives long enough he will no longer be able to work and will need an income then too. Someone said, “You can play now and pay latter or you can pay now and play latter.” We all face times of storms, down times between jobs, times of bad health, etc. therefore we all need to consider putting something back for such times. But not the foolish man he spends, consumes, and misuses whatever he gets. He does not consider his needs for tomorrow, or the difficult times in life. The wise spares, the fool squanders! 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 ask 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 a clear plan for victory. Pastor Gary ><>

19:15, 24, “Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger… A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again”.  I would not be surprised if someone comes up with “laziness” as a disease. Laziness causes many problems from the home to the community, and to the country. The writer describes laziness as a deep sleep, meaning that it renders him useless for labor as if he were actually asleep in his bed. Also, he is seen as having his hand in a bowl, meaning he finds it to great an effort to bring his hand to his mouth to feed himself. I like what an Arabic proverb says, "He dies of hunger under the date tree." The bottom line, he who will not work will never feed himself. And as long as someone will feed him he won’t work. If we would allow the “idle person” to suffer hunger maybe he would go to work. Pastor Gary ><>

18:17-18, “The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him. Casting lots causes contentions to cease, and keeps the mighty apart.” A man can usually make a good case for himself—until someone comes along with the other side of the story and casts a different light on the matter. The neighbor comes in questions the statements already given and shows them to be false and weakens the evidence which appeared right at first. One story seems believable until someone else tells it. If verse 18 and 19 are connected, it refers to the decision in doubtful cases, where the evidence is conflicting and ordinary investigation fails to reveal the truth. The lot cast, is considered to show the judgment of God, and caused contentions to cease. This is much better than dueling with pistols! Pastor Gary ><>