The Proverb For The Day

 

 

20:16, “Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger, and hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress.”  I like what John Phillips wrote, “The simpleton does not understand that to serve as security for someone he doesn't know is a good way to lose his shirt, as we would say. Notice that the proverb mentions a pledge made for a foreign woman. Solomon had become a veritable fool in his marital affairs, marrying foreign women in order to cement alliances with neighboring pagan powers. He was writing out of bitter experience to help us define right and wrong.” It seems that many people are willing to use their experiences to better someone else, but few listens. People want their own experiences even if they come at a high cost, and most of the time they do! If people ignore the warnings, they will pledge to the wrong people, leaving themselves to loss and ruin. Pastor Gary ><>

19:26-27, “He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach. Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.” When we stop listening to wise instruction with the intent to obey, we will stray and chase away those who love us. Instruction provides knowledge for righteous living, protection from the power of temptation, and warning about danger ahead. But foolishness wins when people cease to listen. Cease not “to listen to instruction” and you will not walk in ignorance about life. A son or daughter who fails to listen to instructions will think about doing wrong, and then enter wrong (evil) activity. This behavior will lead to the mistreatment of dad and mom and drive them away. Don’t stray from listening to instruction for it contains knowledge for life. Pastor Gary <><

18:16, “A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.”  The Oriental custom of offering suitable gifts to one in authority, when a favor or an audience is desired, is here referred to. The gift here is not a bribe but rather a special gift given for reasons of respect, honor, or, love. Gifts could change a person’s mood, put a smile on someone’s face, or make someone’s day. A gift may even get you out of the dog house! Gifts have been a long time tradition of birthdays, Christmas, etc. A gift may provide a way into the heart of a person. God gave a gift that can change the heart of everyone’s life. God’s gift is Jesus Christ (John 3:16). The wise men brought gifts to Jesus showing reverence for the new born King. Gifts are important they may not be required but they are essential. I hope you have received the greatest gift of all Jesus Christ. Pastor Gary ><>

17:3,The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts.” The process for useable metal is done with fire, it separates the impurities, and they are then skimmed off and thrown aside. The pure material that is left is then used for good things. God as well sends us through types of refining for our discipline, growth, faith, and endurance. God is testing our hearts through trials, to see if we are who we say we are. They prove the quality of our Christian character, and sometimes demonstrate its unreality in us. When a change for the worse comes along through bereavement, disappointment, loss of health and strength, or failure to accomplish some good work on which we had set our heart, will we trust the Lord? God wants us to trust Him and realize His work in our lives is for His glory. If our heart is fixed on Him we will come through as pure gold! Pastor Gary <><

16:28, “A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends.” Note the danger of a whisper, it seems harmless, yet put in the wrong ear it can become a weapon that hurts and ruins friendships. The purpose of people like this is to listen and then distort the truth, give wrong impressions, with the intent to cause quarrels and separate friends. Someone wrote, “There is always some occasion for silence in every man's life. No man is so correct in thought and speech that he could afford to have every utterance repeated to any one and everyone. We all want the kindly curtain of silence to be drawn over some sentences that pass our lips.” We are responsible to speak with caution to save ourselves from the charge of circulating evil and spreading sorrow. We must realize that our friend’s reputation is in our hands and one slight whisper can destroy it. Whisper not! Pastor Gary ><> 

15:18, “Hot tempers start fights; a calm, cool spirit keeps the peace” (MSG). Fights are usually associated with hot tempered people. The hot tempered react before they think. They use harsh and unkind words that only stir up trouble. If they could only learn that their hot-tempered reaction will not change the circumstances but really only elevate something minor into something major. Hopefully the sofa is comfortable at this point! A calm, cool spirit should be each person’s goal, for it keeps peace! It’s not that life comes without disagreements, but it’s the cool spirited person that knows how to handle them. He seeks the wisdom of God and reacts under the influence of the Holy Spirit, in every circumstance. The cool spirited person’s goal is not just peace, but that God is glorified in every circumstance. Pastor Gary <>< 

14:16-17 A wise man fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated.” We find here another contrast between wise and foolish men! We have read, “Fear the Lord, and depart from evil” (Prov.3:7), but the idea is different here. A wise man fears the evil that lurks in everything. He examines and pounders his actions by the standard of God’s Word and avoids the evils that arise from impulsiveness. But the foolish man easily falls into a rage and loses self-control. He is hasty in action and deliberately plotting against others. He is confident in himself and mixes with sinners. Others depart from him but the only thing he seems to depart from is wisdom! No one identifies himself foolish but his actions reveal his true character. Pastor Gary <><

13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Hope is our source of “being alive” and it carries us during and through difficult times. But all things hoped for will not come true therefore “heart sick”. The word “sick” means to be rubbed or worn to the point of grief. Sin can introduce grief. Grief is not the full consequence of sin but it is a part of it. Grief is sometimes the result of hoping in wrong things. God sometimes uses grief for discipline, trials, or redirecting our lives. It is not within our power to avoid grief but we can however fix our hope on God! We will then accept grief as God working in and through us for our greatest good. A man from Iraq said, “People have died because they rather die than deny their faith this gives me hope, it shows me Christianity is strong” (7/14). Hope in God, He will give us our hearts desire (Ps.37:4). Pastor Gary ><>

12:28, In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.” The way of righteousness is the only way of life! The way of righteousness includes devotion, the act of reverence, prayer, and worship to God. It also includes virtue, the practice of truthfulness, patience, purity, integrity, respect and service toward other men. On the path of righteousness men will avoid the snares and pitfalls of sin. So long as we walk in the way of Divine truth there is no need to fear stumbling into error and falling into the condition of spiritual death. When our life is in God through Jesus Christ we are forever secure! It is Jesus Christ “who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim.1:10). The way of righteousness has a definite beginning, a clearly marked path, and a happy conclusion! Travel on the right path! Pastor Gary <><

11:22, As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.”  The comparison of the gold ring in the swine's snout suggests the idea that something is out of place. And that which is out of place is beauty and impurity in the woman. Do you only see beauty with your eyes and not with your heart? Our eyes can see beauty but our heart can see moral worth and beauty that is deeper than “only skin.” Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but it could be your eyes that reveal your moral condition. For if it is only with your eyes that you see beauty, you might be looking only through the lens of lust! Therefore, you miss seeing possible the true character of a woman and what truly makes her beautiful! A woman may lack discretion, but if you end up with her aren’t you guilty of the same lack? Seek beauty that out last the night! Pastor Gary ><>

10:28, “If you obey the Lord, you will be happy, but there is no future for the wicked.” It seems men are always looking for ways to be happy, but many it seems are looking in the wrong places. The writer points the reader in the direction of God with the condition of obedience in order to experience happiness. Events, things, and people are not where true happiness is found. It’s man’s right relationship with God through Jesus Christ that results in true happiness. Obedience is the evidence of loving God and happiness is one of the results. But the wicked have no hope of experiencing happiness; they seek wrong things, and wrong relationships. They have no future for happiness or anything else as long as they sow seeds of wickedness. Well I hope you have a good day and if you want to be happy seek and obey the Lord. Pastor Gary <><

9:16-18, “‘Whoever is simple, let him turn in here’; and as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, ‘Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’ But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.”  The first call to the “simple” is to partake of wisdom and understanding because they were inexperienced and undecided (V.4). But when men refuse to turn to wisdom a second source gives an invitation to folly, promising pleasure, and sensual enjoyment. Wisdom invites openly to a well-furnished table (vs. 1-6), folly calls him to stolen water and a secret meal (vs. 16-18). What wisdom offers is rich, satisfying and comforting; what folly offers is stolen, secret, and deadly. There are none in her house living, they are shadowy ghosts of living men, or else demons of the other world. Men perish at her table. Pastor Gary ><>

8:27-29, “When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep, when He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep, when He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth…” The power and splendor of God is seen all around us in creation, which is evidence of what God's wisdom can do. The same God who worked in the creation also wants to work in our lives. The Lord, who holds the universe together and causes it to fulfill His will, can hold our lives together and accomplish His purposes for His glory. When we belong to Jesus Christ and walk in His wisdom, all of creation works for us; if we rebel against His wisdom and will, things start to work against us. Live by wisdom. 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 ><>

6:6-8, Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” In this age and land much room has been made for the sluggard. There are those who truly need help, for example those who are temporally looking for work or those who have physical or mental disabilities. But the text is exposing those with bad character, and bad habits of living off a system that was set up to help with temporary and other needs. We find here rebuke and instructions; look to the ant and what he does instinctively, and without any intelligent guide or instructor. We ought to do more than an ant, sense we are endowed with reason and have friends, family, and the Divine teacher to direct and encourage us. Go to the ant and learn, not the government and assume! 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 <><

4:20-22, My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” Words of wisdom that we do not give attention to or apply cannot set us on the right course! Whatever I give attention to or keep in my heart I give control of my life to. For the heart commonly refers to the mind as the center of thinking and reason, but also includes the emotions, and therefore my whole inner being. The heart is the depository of all wisdom and the source of whatever affects my speech and conduct. The teacher’s words and sayings bring life and health to those who find and obey them. Health is the idea of healing, moral conduct can become sick in sin, but restored by words of wisdom! “Give attention to my words.” 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 <><

2:7-8, 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” is 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! So, walk upright! Pastor Gary <><

1:10-19, My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent…It takes away the life of its owners.”  How many lives is nothing better than failure? How many are shipwrecked of faith and integrity because they rejected wise and holy teaching. They might have done well, but turned rather to sin, folly, and ruin. As a rule, most have gone astray in their younger years. Temptation came when they were unarmed, attacked them when they were least prepared to resist, and they were overcome! Youth are entangled by three things. First, the invitation of the unholy, the charm of early friendships can be very powerful (Vs.10-11). Second, the enticement of sin, its word is false, and its coin is counterfeit (Vs.13-14). And last, the appeal of a dare, it exploits the young to join in foolishness, promising riches and gain yet ends in ruin and death. The way to victory, do not consent.

28:14, Happy is the man who is always reverent, but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.” Happy or sad is the result of moving with God or against Him. Reverence is to fear sin and what it does to a man and his relationship with God. Reverence arms a man for temptation, and gives him victory over it. Reverence keeps a man’s conscience sensitive to the voice of God. But the sad man suffers from his calamity, brought about by his hardness towards God. He has no reverence for God. He winks at sin by continuing to live in it. He ignores his own conscience, casts off restraints, is easily overcome by temptation, and thus falls into calamity. Happy or sad is the result of what a man gives reverence to. Reverence God always, and see how truly happy you can be! Pastor Gary <><

27:18, “Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; so he who waits on his master will be honored.” We see here a picture of faithful service. And most of us by occupation serve in some form or other. God requires faithfulness, we who are stewards be found faithful (Colossians 3:22-25). Those whose character and example we admire are faithful in their entire house (Hebrews 3:5). And if we care to be respected we must maintain a good work ethic that will stand the test of time and pass any inspection throughout life. Faithfulness does have its reward in due time, “Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit.” We are the servants of Christ, we owe Him everything, and we should offer Him our will, our hearts, and the service of our lives. He will generously regard what we do for others as something we do for Him. He will not disappoint us, stay faithful! 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. Never attach your feet to such a foolish messenger, the results will be damaging to you and others! 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 ><>

24:23-25, “These things also belong to the wise: It is not good to show partiality in judgment. He who says to the wicked, ‘You are righteous,’ Him the people will curse; Nations will abhor him. But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.” To discriminate persons in judgment is not good. The judge should be impartial as to the position of office, badge on the chest, or the family name. One wrong sentence does more harm than many bad examples. Once this happens the system is corrupt, the just rights of the people suffer, and the public is in unrest. Those who judge must always prepare to bring a just sentence. Someone said, “For in causes of life and death, judge’s ought, as far as the law permits, in justice remember mercy, and to cast a severe eye upon the example, but a merciful eye upon the person.” Pastor Gary ><>

23:26-28, My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. For a harlot is a deep pit, and a seductress is a narrow well. She also lies in wait as for a victim, and increases the unfaithful among men.” The true resource for safety is found in whom you entrust your heart and eyes to. This safety is in the heart and eyes of those surrendered to God and His wisdom. If the heart is already polluted, He can wash it and make it clean. But if you yield your heart to the prince of this world (Satan) you become the enemy of God and His wisdom. Without God’s wisdom you will be unable to withstand the temptation of the harlot, fall into her trap, become her victim, and be counted among the unfaithful! The writer is encouraging each of his readers to give God our heart and eyes, for only His ways can provide safety. Pastor Gary ><>

22:4, By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.” Where there is no humility there will be no fear, they are tied together. Humility is how one must come to know the Lord. It is graciously lowering oneself while at the same time revering the Lord. Pride excludes true religion! In the childlike spirit of humble dependence, we are open to the influence of the Lord. The root of ancient faith was reverence. A feeling of sin and a perception of the holiness of God must lay a deep foundation for true faith once again! We find a threefold promise, first riches, which when full justice comes the best men will receive the best things in this world and the one to come. Second honor, which the highest comes from God, who discerns the heart, puts down the proud and exalts the humble. Last is life, which God has given through faith in Christ. 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 ><>