The Proverb For The Day

 

 

23:13-14, Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.” The parental instinct is to let the child have his way, to give him the gratification he desires, and to allow him to find pleasure in his temporary happiness. This is allowed to spare him suffering. Our instinct is to save our children from all trouble great or small. But the danger is without loving correction the child becomes the wayward boy, the degenerate young man, and the wreck of manhood. He becomes self-centered, incapable of controlling his spirit, and disregards the law. Proper discipline preserves a youth not only from many material dangers here, but could save him from spiritual death, and the retribution that awaits the sinner in another. Love and correct your child its God’s plan for our families! Pastor Gary ><>

22:15, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.” Foolishness here implies the love of mischief or the self-will belonging to a child, bound up in their heart (nature). In his foolishness, he defies the standard of the home, disrespects his parents, and even brings sadness to all those in the home. This foolish activity is usually the result of spoiling a child instead of disciplining him. The writer said that the rod will bring correction to the child, although many parents and psychologists disagree with this Biblical command. The writer is not suggesting abuse or even mistreatment, but he is teaching that a spanking for correction is needed at times. A spanking should be an act of love not anger. My parents said, “This will hurt me as much as it will hurt you”, because they loved me and love is how a spanking should be administered! Pastor Gary ><>

21:25-26, The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. He covets greedily all day long, but the righteous gives and does not spare.” The lazy man wants but the righteous man gives. It is the lazy man’s refusal to work that keeps all his desires out of his reach. He covets greedily all that others have but cannot attain the same things because he will not work the same way. The lazy man always has need and therefore cannot help others in need, until he overcomes his laziness and seeks rightful employment. Government assistance cannot transform a lazy man’s heart in-fact it is enabling him to remain like he is, clogging up a system that was intended to help people through a “temporary condition”. The lazy man desires and coverts greedily, but “refuses” to work. Yet the righteous show compassion and gives from his heart! Pastor Gary ><>

20:14, “’It is good for nothing,’ cries the buyer; But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.” I like to watch “American Picker” because they are always looking for “rusty gold” as they call it. Each the seller and the buyer have a price in mind and each feel they get the better end of the deal when the haggling is over. Sometimes the haggling gets intense and a deal cannot be made, but most of the time the hand shake seals the deal. And of course, the boasting begins as to the great deal both made. As we have heard all our lives, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” One thing about what I have seen is that the “pickers” pay up when someone under values the stuff their selling. The point of the proverb is to beware of trickery. Not everyone is honest. There is nothing wrong with getting a good deal, but don’t use trickery to steal! Pastor Gary ><>

19:10, “Luxury is not fitting for a fool, much less for a servant to rule over princes.” The writer is dealing with things that are out of place. How odd they look and how they lack the ability to live or lead in such positions. The fool cannot handle “luxury” in fact it will make him more foolish. He lacks the wisdom to use “luxury” with self-control, therefore it will become his ruin. Discipline is the key to not only luxury, and leadership, but to everything in life. When a person fails to recognize his abuse of anything he becomes out of control. He will hurt instead help, speak when he should be silent, and spend when he should save. The fool does not see that he is controlled and not in control. His lavish living will break him, and his overpowering leadership will cause those around him to resent and flee. Be careful about things out of place. Pastor Gary ><>

18:7-9, “A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body. He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.”  The writer points out the fool’s words and work which will lead to his destruction. He is found loose in the use of his lips and lazy in the use of his body. His words are described as “tasty trifles”, and seems to mean dainty morsels such as one eagerly swallows. The idea is that his words have found eager listeners and the dainty morsels are of a poisonous character. The hearers take in the slanders and treasure them up in memory, and will use them at a later time. He is also lazy in his work. Not only is he slothful but he is wasteful and a brother to the prodigal – wasting all on riotous living. He will reap what he has sown! Pastor Gary ><>

17:12, “Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.” A mother bear robbed of her cubs is very angry and therefore dangerous. And it is sad that a fool could be more dangerous. Robert L. Alden suggests, "Consider meeting a fool with a knife, or gun, or even behind the wheel of a car; a mother bear could be less dangerous." The danger of many fools is that they have an unrestrained imagination. Loss thinking leads to loss and dangerous living. Not just danger to self but danger to others as well. John Phillips wrote, “A bear can be mastered, but a fool in his folly cannot. He is a menace to himself and everyone who has anything to do with him. The best strategy is to keep out of his way.” Be wise and apply. Pastor Gary ><>

16:3-5, “Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established. The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom. Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.” This proverb presents a picture of two people going arm in arm to carry out some evil enterprise. Solomon looks at man’s ways, wickedness, and willfulness. We are instructed by the wise man to submit our plans to the Lord, otherwise the best laid plans can go astray. Too often we make plans, plunge into a course of action, and as an afterthought ask God to bless what we are doing. For all those who plan without the Lord – He will have His way overruling them for the day of doom. But the wicked man is so bent toward willfulness that he is willing to join forces with more wicked men, but they all will fail. Pastor Gary ><>

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, the 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 to change. 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 lack discernment! Pastor Gary ><>

14:3, “In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.”  The mouth if we’re not careful can get us into trouble, especially when opened by the foolish. It is the fool’s pride that keeps him from considering his own cruel words, and he fails also to see how they hurt others. His weapon, defense, and justification is his mouth. Pride has eaten him up and closed off his ears from listening to wisdom. But this does not hinder the wise, he will turn away from the fool. He has learned that no matter what he says or does to the foolish they continue to run their mouth. His only defense against the foolish is wisdom, wisdom to be silent, and walk away. He will now use his words for those who will listen to him. Speaking to encourage, strengthen, and correct whenever he can. How are we using our lips? 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 of the righteous will stand forever. The way we live really does matter and we will be commended accordingly. Live by wisdom! Pastor Gary ><>

11:16, “A gracious woman retains honor, but ruthless men retain riches.” The woman pointed out here is full of grace. The writer is speaking of her as agreeable and charming, she has all the characteristics that make her personally attractive. She is portrayed as one who wins favor and when you add moral excellence, she gains even higher recognition. Her husband loves her, her children obey her, and her community respects her.  The principle here is that honor is far better than riches gained wrongly. A ruthless man is one who strikes terror in the hearts of the people to get what he wants and then continues to do so to keep what he has. He is full of wickedness not grace, he is only favored because of fear, and he is only honored by those like him. His riches cannot buy him honor, respect, or even peace of mind. Grace and honor or ruthless horror? I choose grace! Pastor Gary ><>  

10:4-5, “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son; he who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.” The hand is used twice but with two different meanings. First, the open, ineffective hand or palm. Second, the hand that is tense and braced for vigorous work. The use of the hand or the lack there of determines the outcome that produces poor and rich men. The man that uses his hand and works hard is wise, he gathers in summer and has plenty. But the man that uses not his hand, sleeps through the harvest season and brings shame to his home. We seem to be leaning toward a government with the idea that the hand makes no difference, and that all should have the same things. Not only does the Bible disagree with such nonsense, I do too. Stop rewarding slack hands! Pastor Gary ><>

9:8, “Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.” One man will reject correction while another will receive it. It’s important to know who you are about to correct! The scoffer will be identified rather quickly; his disposition will be that of immediate rejection that you would dare correct him! He is full of pride and quick to be angered. However, the wise will listen and thank you for your advice. The wise realize that you have their best interest in mind. They have a desire to learn, improve, and find a greater place of service. They have a humble spirit, a good attitude, and respect what you are doing for them. A man that truly hates evil will certainly love those that rebuke him when he is headed toward sin. Consider the character of a man before you correct him, the one will hate you, but the other will love you! Pastor Gary <><

8:12, “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion.” John Phillips wrote, “Wisdom and prudence are twin sisters. The word translated ‘prudence’ means ‘good sense.’ A person can have wisdom without having good sense. Good sense brings wisdom down to earth, makes it practical, and relates it to the everyday concerns of life. A person can have a lot of wisdom in some areas but lack common sense in other areas.” Solomon had wisdom but he lacked prudence (good sense). He could resolve conflicts, and had knowledge about all kinds of things but yet lacked the ability to choose a wife. In fact, he ended up with a thousand wives. And by the time he wrote Proverbs he realized his lack of good sense but now it was too late. So the best he could do is to advice people to become both wise and prudent. I hope you will take his advice. Pastor Gary ><>

7:6-7, For at the window of my house I looked through my lattice, and saw among the simple, I perceived among the youths, a young man devoid of understanding.” We all face temptations, but it’s a tragedy when we fail to stand against them. The consequences may vary but they will always be costly. As long as men choose to remain devoid of “understanding” he will always be doomed to fail. The father has trained his son (Vs.1-5), his son has willfully rebelled, rejected and went his own way. We see here only the beginning of his moral failure, but there will be many more if he refuses to arrest himself and turn back to his father’s teachings. Folly and vice are characteristically the same in every age. Therefore, these scenes have lost none of their dramatic power or moral suggestion! Trust, and obey the “Father”, He will keep you by His Word! 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 from such a fire as you would from a burning house for safety. Run! Pastor Gary <><

5:15-17, Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you.” We find here the counterpart of the earlier warning for the lips of the immoral woman (V.5-6). The husband and wife is the relationship God chooses to bless! And men we need to take note of our wife! She is described as a cistern and spring, which was highly esteemed. The wife therefore is to be the husband’s unique delight, the source of pleasure, and the faithful origin of the family. She is to be “your own” – which is in contrast of the immoral woman’s love. You are to be only your wife’s lover and she must be your only lover also. God will bless the man and woman that take their wedding vows seriously. It honors God and He in turn honors you! Pastor Gary <><

4:14-17, Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on. For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; and their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.”  There is an ignorance which passes for courage, and gets credit which is not due. Those who do not take the time to know what the result of any behavior is, and who go fearlessly forward anyway are not brave; they are only blind. We should want to know the consequences of our behavior, of the end of the path on which we are headed. The wise man will want to know and by knowing he will turn away from evil. But the wicked seek, find delight, and gloat in wickedness, and violence! The wicked succeed in total darkness… (V.19). Always avoid evil! Pastor Gary ><>

3:3-4, Let not mercy (love) and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.” Love and truth are to be characteristics of men. The first and second commandment is that we love God first with our all, and that we love our neighbor. When we fail to love our neighbor we will also fail to love God. Love toward God should invoke worship, praise, and service. And love toward others should invoke outward help, forgiveness of wrongs, sympathy, thoughtfulness, and spiritual growth.  And truth should invoke stability, faithfulness, integrity, and confidence in all a man promises. It is through love and truth that man finds, “favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.” The best way to not forsake love and truth, practice them every day! Pastor Gary <><

2:7-8, He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints.” Wisdom is the foundation of security and safety which comes from God as a shield for those who walk uprightly. To walk uprightly literally means, walk in innocence, integrity, and moral rightness; maintains a course of life regulated by right principles and directed to right ends. “He walks up rightly who lives with the fear of God as his principle, the Word of God as his rule, and the glory of God as his end.” God will guard and preserve from danger as He alone has the power to do for His saints. It is the only time “saints” are used in Proverbs. And it means “men of holiness” those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus. You can’t walk wrong and expect security and safety throughout life! Pastor Gary <><

1:10, My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” Verse 10 warns and through v. 19 are the promises that sinners entice you with to follow them. To entice is to set a trap hoping to lure you into their evil way of life. The temptation to enter into such a life is sure to come but you don’t have to say yes. And remember temptation is not a sin, but to join the sinner is. The sinner is not good for you and not even good to you. They seek the wrong things, the wrong places, and the wrong activities in life. They will also promise wealth and popularity but they fail to tell you, your life will be ruined. There are many troubles, disappointments, and feelings of guilt that could be avoided if we would heed the warnings of wise family members and friends. Don’t get caught in such a trap, say no to sin and sinners! In the end, you will be glad you did. Pastor Gary <><

30:1-4, “The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, his utterance. This man declared to Ithiel--to Ithiel and Ucal: Surely I am more stupid than any man, and do not have the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom nor have knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, if you know?” This could be a confession of Solomon’s feelings when he first took his father’s place. What an array of questions, each one showing the writers limits, humility, and unworthiness to lead a nation. The wisdom of his leading was not his own it was from the Lord and he wants all to know. And had he had a better understanding of the Holy One he would have not allowed sin to get the upper hand. Pastor Gary ><>

29:21, “He who pampers his servant from childhood will have him as a son in the end.” This is the only place in the O.T. to use the word “pampers”, and it means to spoil with luxury, so much so that they will always want more. To pamper is an unsuitable treatment for a bond servant and he will soon forget his dependent position toward his master. The danger is that in time he will feel equivalent to the master’s son claim the same privileges and possible oust the legitimate son from his rightful inheritance. The servant’s wantonness has been created by luxuries without restraints. Spiritual writers have applied this proverb to the pampering of the flesh, which ought to be under the control by the spirit, but if gratified and unrestrained, gets the upper hand, and, like a spoiled servant, dictates to its master. Pastor Gary ><>

28:10, “Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, he himself will fall into his own pit; but the blameless will inherit good.” Temptation is not a sin, but to tempt someone to sin is and the tempter will fall into his own pit. The tempter is guilty of wickedness, and follows the example of Satan. He will entice through false promises, enhanced pictures, and unrealistic power. Is this not also the skill that beer, tobacco, and pornography companies, etc. use to advertise their products? They make false promise but destroy real families and good health. Was this not the tactics of Satan with Eve? The tempter sows seeds of evil, spreads wickedness, and cultivates deadly fruit in his life. But in the end he will fall into his own pit and parish. But the blameless will seek first the kingdom of God and inherit good (Matthew 6:33)! Pastor Gary <><

27:13, “Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he is surety for a seductress.”  Men go into debt for many reasons but this is the most foolish reason of them all. For he has put up surety for a seductress. She has enticed and flattered him into making a deal on her behalf one that would prove most costly in the end. Not only has he failed to see her character flaw he suffers from one of his own. His lust has muddled his thinking, marred his character, and marked his family. He is unaware that afterwards she will leave him in the lurch with the debts for which he had become security, to show her costly favor to another. There is no way that this will ever play out to where you win. She is called a seductress for a reason. Whenever we quit thinking with our head we quit thinking! Pastor Gary ><>

26:21-22, “As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.” Here we find the tale bearer and mischief maker. He keeps alive quarrels that would die down if not for the fuel he continues to add with gossip! It is easy to fuel the imagination with tales of evil, but not so easy to quench the flames they kindled. Gossip is embraced in our day, but if there were no one to receive it there would be less want to spread it. There are always thoughtless speakers, men and women who will carry hurtful words from house to house only to cause strife and pain. It is wise to remember that much of our brother's reputation, usefulness, and happiness is in our hands, and one slight whisper may destroy it all (Matt.12:36). Pastor Gary ><>

25:6-7, Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king, and do not stand in the place of the great; For it is better that he say to you, ‘Come up here,’ than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen.” The conceited have a tendency to exalt them-selves and they will be embarrassed! They assume they have earned the right to stand with great men and even show up uninvited. They refuse to see a blemish in character, arrogance in attitude, and their evil ways. But wait the conceited will be humiliated and the humble will be exalted! Note the man of modesty is invited and highly praised. He is helpful to others and is found promoting and encouraging them. To be lowly minded has a far better position than to exalt self and be embarrassed in the presence of the “invited great.” Wait for your invitation! Pastor Gary <><

24:30-34, “I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.” What a picture of the neglected man’s life. Where there should be fruit we find weeds, where there should be beauty, we find unattractiveness, and where we find broken walls we should find strong walls. Such is the life of any person that neglects work and worship, prayer and Bible study. The picture of neglect reveals the ruined life whether spiritual or material. Never neglect the principles of God they guide our lives for productive living. Pastor Gary ><>