The Proverb For The Day

 

 

17:4 “An evildoer gives heed to false lips; a liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.” A bad man delights in and hearkens to evil words; he takes pleasure in those who counsel wickedness, because they are after his own heart. This is the negative side of, “Birds of a feather flock together.” This is a picture of someone who is himself untruthful and listens with greed to any tale that may help him injure or deceive his neighbor, however monstrous and unlikely it may be. In contrast to this, the spirit of the candid and sincerely good man is expressed by Bishop Hall, “If I cannot stop other men's mouths from speaking ill, I will either open my mouth to reprove it, or else I will stop my ears from hearing it, and let him see in my face that he hath no room in my heart.” It is dangerous to live naïve today even though we would like to believe that such evil does not exist! Pastor Gary ><>

16:10-15, “(A divine sentence) is on the lips of the king; His mouth must not transgress in judgment. Honest weights and scales are the LORD'S; All the weights in the bag are His work. It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is established by righteousness. Righteous lips are the delight of kings, and they love him who speaks what is right. As messengers of death is the king's wrath, but a wise man will appease it. In the light of the king's face is life, and his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.” The writer is stating the ideal leader. What he should do as a leader, but not all leaders do the right thing. A leader is to be right in judgement, honest with people, stay away from wickedness, and speak the truth. A leader that appoints judges, enters wars, signs bills, and leads leaders must be established by righteousness! We are still in trouble. Pray! Pastor Gary ><>

15:10, “Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, and he who hates correction will die.” Discipline from the Lord is never without cause. The cause is forsaking the way of the Lord, and its effect could end in death. We cannot always know the cause and effect; therefore, we must refrain from judging what others go through. Although there are some sins that bring judgment, such as forsaking God’s ways, and traveling paths that we know to be crooked or unclean, and indifference to discipline. But even in error, if we will heed the warning and correct the revealed fault, judgment may be avoided. If discipline is ignored, then there is no way of avoiding the law of judgment. The people that reject correction and continue to sin, will die in the end! Receive discipline as an opportunity to be corrected. 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 ><>   

13:8-11, “The ransom of a man's life is his riches, but the poor does not hear rebuke. The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out. By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom. Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase.” Some truths about life and contrasts. First the rich and poor, the rich man has the advantage of being able to buy his way out of many difficult situations. The poor man has the advantage of not having to worry about threats from the envious. Why would anyone hold him for ransom? Second the righteous and the wicked, the light of the righteous is Jesus and all those who do not follow Him live in darkness. Third pride beside wisdom, it’s the difference between strife or obedience. Forth is greed or honest gain. Be careful how you live. Pastor Gary ><>

12:10-11, “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, but he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.” We often find contrast in the proverbs, here we find two. The steward of animals and of lands. It’s the righteous and the wicked that are opposed in their treatment of both. The righteous man realizes his animal is a gift from God and treats it fairly. His animal will work the land and help produce food for his family. He may also use it for transportation or hauling his goods to and from town. But not so with the wicked, he will give no recognition to God for animal or land. He is seen as cruel to his animals and lazy with his land. He does not see the importance of either because he “is devoid of understanding.” The one here that is “satisfied”, the righteous. Don’t be cruel! Pastor Gary ><>  

11:1, “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.” The practice of fraud was an issue then and still is today. The law as we are well aware cannot police all the practices of men. Therefore, standard weights and measures were placed in the temple hoping to keep business honest, but it did not keep dishonest people in check. We also go to great lengths to protect the consumer, but the dishonest are only slowed at best. They are always coming up with new ways to trick and rip off the consumer. The change for the dishonest will be the transformation of his heart. It has been proven throughout history that the scales are not the problem, but the man that runs the scales. The “just weight” is the man himself, honest in his dealings, and giving more not less. His heart has been transformed by the grace of God. Has yours? Pastor Gary ><>

9:12, “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone.” Wisdom and foolishness each carry their own personal rewards. A man’s money and land may be divided among family and friends, but not his wisdom. You might have been influenced by his wisdom, but you cannot inherit it. Wisdom is something every man must receive for himself. Wisdom is an attribute of God and a grace given to men. Christ is the one-word description for Wisdom. If you choose Him you are wise for yourself. Someone said, “God has no grandchildren only children.”  But if a man scoffs at God’s wisdom he will bear the penalty of sin alone, which is eternal death. And as wisdom might influence for good, foolishness influences widespread evil and bad consequences. A man’s first duty is to God, therefore be wise for yourself. Pastor Gary <><

8:32, (Wisdom is speaking) “Pay attention my children! Follow my advice and you will be happy.” It seems everyone is looking for happiness, but they are not seeking God’s plan for it. Life is hard but it’s even harder without God’s wisdom. “Pay attention”, is to listen with intent to obey, to follow and submit to Wisdom and the advice of teachers, and fathers, etc. with wisdom. Throughout chapter 8, wisdom calls (V.1), displays her worth (Vs.9-11), promises success to all those who follow (V.18), and establishes her beginning (Vs.22-31). The only ones who benefit from wisdom are those who seek, pay attention to, and follow her. You can ignore wisdom and fail, or you can follow wisdom and succeed, the choice is yours. Choose wisdom “and you will be happy.” Pastor Gary <><

7:18-20, Come, let us take our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home; He has gone on a long journey; He has taken a bag of money with him, and will come home on the appointed day.” Here we find an invitation for sensual sin, it’s as intoxicating as drunkenness, and the consequences are just as deadly. The invitation proceeds to encourage the man by showing that there is no fear of interruption or distraction. She reassures him that her husband is gone therefore he is safe from her husband’s jealousy (6:34). In case that was not enough she promises even more, look at the text again. She wants her way with him and she has appealed to his reasoning, removed his fear, and caused him to want her. His passion will be turned into action and his action will be the sin that spoils and possible destroys his life. Say no to this invitation! Pastor Gary

6:1-5, “My son, if you become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth…” There is always a danger in agreeing with another without first considering the consequences. Emotional decisions are always the costliest. Most of the time emotional decisions lack reason and wisdom. These kinds of decisions play on our heartstrings and we end up agreeing with someone to something we cannot afford. But no matter how we feel or how much it may hurt, if we don’t have the means to fulfill such a request say no! And if you have already entered such an agreement go with humility and do all you can to free yourself from such an agreement (Vs.3-5). Indebtedness has been the ruin of many, and they don’t mind taking you with them, say no! 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 <><

4:24, 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 <><

3:16-18, Length of days is in her (Wisdom) right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.” The last part of verse18 could be seen as a refrain, to each of these promises (read it again). Notice, “Length of days” (v.16) and “she is a tree of life to those who take hold of her” (v.18). Life that is in God never ends even when we die; we live on with Him in eternity. Paul said, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” And to those who look to God for guidance throughout life are honored by other believers. There is an enter peace that believers share, which moves beyond the normal understanding of the world. The believer is not without times of trouble but remember he is never without God either! Pastor Gary ><>

2:12-15, To deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things, from those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice in doing evil, and delight in the perversity of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and who are devious in their paths.” Wisdom is the deliver and keeper; every man should want, seek and keep it. Sin begins with departure from “the paths of uprightness”. The foolish have cast off the restraints of the righteous, their parents, and the community. Without restraint they proceed to do what those in darkness do. They now rejoice in doing evil and pervious things, they can go no deeper in sin and now they seek to lead others into the same guilt and vileness! The course of sin is twisted and tortuous, and it resorts to cunning and craftiness in all its ways. Never underestimate the need of wisdom. 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 <><

31:11-13, “The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands.”  A virtuous wife (v.10) is described starting with these verses. She is a woman that can be trusted while her husband is away from home, and with what’s in the home. A friend of mine’s mother said often, “Some women can throw more out the back door with a spoon than her husband can bring in the front door with a shovel.” Not so of this woman she has her husband’s best interest at heart. She also works and helps provide for her family, and she does so willingly. This is not “super women” she is just a wife with a good attitude, a strong love for her family, and a willingness to help in any way she can. Every man is blessed when he finds such a wife, respect her! 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 ><>

29:1, “If you keep on being stubborn after many warnings, you will suddenly discover you have gone too far.” God warns men with many warnings about their sin and its cost. God sent His messages through prophets, priests, disciples, and even His Only Son. God’s Son, Jesus paid the cost of man’s sin on the cross. God with grace continues to warn through His Spirit, His Word, preachers, churches, and Bible teachers, etc. Yet men stubbornly continue to reject God’s Son, and will one day go too far for the cure for their sin. There really is a point of no return, and unfortunately it will be a sudden discovery. It’s not that a person was not warned, he or she stubbornly ignored “all” the messages, warnings, and grace of the Lord. Let’s pray for stubbornness to be broken so that God’s cure for sin, Jesus Christ can be discovered and believed. Pastor Gary <><

28:9, “God has no use for the prayers of the people who won't listen to him” (MSG). God will not answer the prayers of the disobedient. People want to be defiant against God’s law and yet expect God to hear and answer their prayers. He won’t! “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear” (Ps.66:18). People spend much of their time justifying their sin, without regarding what it does, what it cost, and it’s ultimate punishment. Prayer that God does not hear will not be answered! It’s not that God does not want to hear your prayer it’s that He chooses not to when you fail to be obedient to His Word, ignore His light, and reject His Son! If you loved God you would obey Him, and He would answer your prayers. The answer to unanswered prayer, repent of sin and turn back to God, this prayer He will listen to. Prayer is not just talk its conversation based on an intimate relationship with God. 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 ><>

26:27, Whoever digs a pit will fall into it and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.” Each of these acts is done to trap, deceive, and swindle the unsuspecting. People who are a part of these deceiving traps are partners with the devil, and like him there is a pit for him and his workers. So in the end the devil and his workers are preparing a pit for their own destruction! The principle is that each sin brings its own punishment. If the foolish sinner is left to himself, he will certainly reap the fatal consequences of wickedness. Sin is naturally fatal, and it seems men have failed to see it, or see it and just don’t care, for whatever a man sows he will reap. The Jews rejected Christ and laid snares for Him and in the end watched Him die, but their rejection of Christ was their own pit! The world’s rejection of Christ will lead to its own ruin. Pastor Gary <><

25:26, A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well.” We might want to note how public and far reaching it is when a righteous man falls. The wicked are certainly making note of it. For the righteous to slip morally is as devastating as polluting the public water system. In other words, when the righteous choose to sin their influence reaches beyond them and disappoints, discourages family, friends, and community. The righteous should never take lightly their decisions; each one is important and should be done with care. As we make our decisions, consider how they will affect you, and how they will influence others. It is a setback for a righteous man to fall for all of us! It’s not that the water can’t be clean again, but it is most difficult! Pastor Gary <><

24:19-20, Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the wicked; for there will be no prospect for the evil man; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” The temptation to envy is common among all of us, but we must be mindful of its awful end. We look at the outside appearances of a man’s condition, the big parties, expensive toys, powerful influence etc., and we allow these to master our senses! But we fail to consider the cost or consequences of wicked living, it ends in death. If we could see the end first the charm of such a desire would fade away. To “fear the Lord” is the best remedy for such powerful wicked temptations (Vs.21-22). When we allow the Lord to master our senses, we have wisdom, a godly perspective, and a desire to please and serve the Lord. With His wisdom comes power to flee evil, and a light that will never go out! Pastor Gary <><

23:19-21, Hear, my son, and be wise; and guide your heart in the way. Do not mix with winebibbers, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.” The “way” is the right way in contrast to the many wrong ways. The right way always leads to right actions. Winebibbers are people who meet together for the express purpose of drinking intoxicating liquors. And gluttons eat for the gratification of their own appetites, caring nothing for anything else. Both the winebibber and the glutton are lead to drowsiness and an inability to work, which is followed by poverty and ruin. The danger always is, when you leave the right path you will end up on the wrong one. And it seems always to end in ruin! Instead of from “rags to riches”, you may end up from “riches to rags”. Live by wisdom. Pastor Gary ><>

22:1, A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Choose integrity today and you will still have it tomorrow. Integrity is lost when we choose wrong. Wealth, power, and sex have always been attractive and many have traded their good name for one or all of them. It’s always easier to trade down than it is up! Although we don’t usually know we traded down until the excitement is over, the wealth is gone, the power is handed over to someone else, and our good name is ruined. And then we will be very fortunate if we live long enough to get our good name back! The grass always looks greener on the other side of the road – the problem is we never know what it cost to keep it greener. Don’t lose your good name for life’s oldest game! Pastor Gary <><

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. Pastor Gary <><

20:26, “A wise king sifts out the wicked, and brings the threshing wheel over them.” Note the mark of a wise leader, separating the wheat (good) from the chaff (bad) through the winnowing or sifting process. Or as we have heard said, “drain the swamp.” The problem seems to me that behind the weakness of the leaders is the power of a well-organized special-interest group. And what’s sin and disgusting are the immorality that some of the interest groups are organizing to protect. We have come to a place and time where we agree to disagree when we should disagree. I disagree with those that believe homosexuality, adultery, sodomy, drunkenness, abortion, etc. is right. I don’t believe hate is the answer, but neither is acceptance. And if a line of separation was maintained at least wrong has definition. God will one day come and separate the wheat from the chaff! Pastor Gary ><>

19:4, “Wealth makes many friends, but the poor is separated from his friend.” This truth is illustrated in the Lord's story of the prodigal son. As long as he had money in his pocket and a liberal hand to spend it, he had plenty of friends. When his funds gave out his friends got out, leaving him bankrupt and alone in the far country where famine, and starvation, stared him in the face. Their retreat is a revelation of a shallow friendship. In fact, it reveals further they were in it only for what they could get. The prodigal is now separated from his “friends”, or a more real look they have separated from him because he has no more resources and possesses no means. He would have been considered to entertain only fair-weather friends, and there are many of those around. The poor man may have few friends, but the few he may have will more than likely be true friends. Pastor Gary ><>

18:13, “He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.” People are often too quick in forming their opinions. Such folly is that a superficial glance is enough to conclude a verdict about someone or something. We often do this with people, and things about them. We should be more generous with our opinions, give people every opportunity of showing good, and be ready to believe that there may be an unseen goodness that is slow to surface. People are also quick in forming their opinions about religion. Someone said, “A minimum of evidence and a maximum of prejudice contribute to form the faith of many people.” The same is equally true regarding unbelief! Our duty is not to rush to a hasty conclusion or retreat into paralyzing doubt, but “search the Scriptures” where conviction and truth can surely be found. And then you might give an answer! Pastor Gary ><>