The Proverb For The Day

 

 

21:14, “A gift in secret pacifies anger, and a bribe behind the back, strong wrath.” I like what John Phillips wrote, “Disarming justice by offering a bribe here and a present there was a common practice when this proverb was written. Solomon did not approve of the custom, but he was quick to acknowledge the efficacy of a bribe. In his day, as all too often in ours, palms had to be greased. Even a king's anger could be appeased if the price was right.” Unfortunately, this practice proves to be beneficial to those who live by it. Both parties are wrong in their dealings and prevent justice from being carried out. It seems as long as someone is willing to take a bribe someone else is willing to pay it. Exposure for such practice is valid but limited do to the evilness of men. It cost a lot to conceal a matter but for them exposure is not an option. A bribe, don’t even think about it! Pastor Gary ><>

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 ><>

19:13-14, “A foolish son is the ruin of his father, and the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping. Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” John Phillis wrote, “Pity the man who has a fool for a son and a scold for a wife, the man whose house is kept in turmoil by one or the other.” Anyone that lives in the first house above is fully aware of the pain that breaks the heart and ruins the home. This is not a house that anyone sets out to build, but it could have happened because there was no discipline for the child, no relationship with the wife, and no fear of the Lord. But in the second house the father has a better understanding, “a prudent wife is from the Lord”. He has built his house and in doing so gives all the credit to the Lord. True riches are found in a home that fears the Lord. Pastor Gary ><>

18:15, “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”  Knowledge is the theme, and acquiring it is the goal here. In fact, the heart and the eyes are used for reaching the goal. Knowledge provides a clear perception of facts, truth, and duty. Knowledge is not what we talk about but it’s what we are to talk with as we preach or teach God’s word, or any other subject. Knowledge is what we need in order to bring about change, make an investment, or even enter into a relationship. I needed to change my battery in my phone the other day and the first thing I did was get knowledge (you tube) because without it I would have destroyed that which I set out to fix. Ignorance is the opposite of knowledge and when we refuse to get knowledge we make life harder and more difficult. We don’t have to live without knowledge but so many choose to. Why? Pastor Gary ><> 

15:5-7, “A fool despises his father's instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent. In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but in the revenue of the wicked is trouble. The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, but the heart of the fool does not do so.” There is always a contrast between those that learn and those that don’t. It’s not that instruction was withheld it was simple rejected by the foolish son. The fool now has nothing to live by, trouble to deal with, and no knowledge to hand down to family or friends. The fool will struggle through life until he returns to the wise instruction that was once offered to him. What the fool once rejected hopefully will become what he will soon return too, if not he will die in his troubles. The wise son on the other hand receives correction, has much treasure, and is able to instruct others. Pastor Gary ><>

14:33, “Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding, but what is in the heart of fools is made known.” There is a time to be silent and a time to speak. And we need to be careful with either of these responses. There is few if any who do not need to be urged to guard their mouth. The mouth is the thing in which we all offend in our time and in our way. Impatience most frequently causes us to speak when we should have been quiet, act when we should have stayed calm and it can lead to transgression. Most every time if we would have waited to speak and act we would have done both differently, we should think before we undertake. Why answer a fool on his terms it only causes us to be like him? Stay calm, walk away, and return latter with an answer that might help turn him toward understanding. Pastor Gary ><> 

13:4, “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.”  We find a contrast here the willingness of one man and the unwillingness of the other. They both have desire, but only one is diligent. And of course only one will see his desires fulfilled. It seems the writer is dealing with the same problems that we face in our day, lazy people! Lazy people have always wanted the same things as the diligent they just want you to put it in their hands. But the writer warns that laziness produces nothing. I guess things in his day were different, laziness was not rewarded, it did not lead to entitlement, it only led to nothing. I believe if “nothing” becomes the reward for laziness again, work would become important once again in our day! As long as we put it in their hands they will not put their hands to work! Pastor Gary ><>   

12:20-21, “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy. No grave trouble will overtake the righteous, but the wicked shall be filled with evil.”  These profound words if practiced could protect us from the next scheme of evil men. Their intent is to deceive you into an investment that only fills their bank account and empties yours. They have not made a mistake in empting your bank account, they devised an evil plan to do so. They do not set up to build a lasting relationship, just one long enough to rob you blind. They are not only evil but if they continue to practice it they will suffer eternal consequences, and sorrow is the harvest of evil. But the writer includes men with good intent, those that bring peace and joy. Their heart is different therefore their counsel and reward will be also, peace and joy follows them. Pastor Gary ><>

11:20, “Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD, but the blameless in their ways are His delight.”  The reader should take not that God is always aware of their behavior. He knows the heart of all men and distinguishes the perverse from the blameless. And God reacts to each man’s behavior in different ways. There are so many that don’t believe this truth and it is noticeable by the way they live. The perverse live against God, and against others. The perverse live as though there getting away with crookedness but God knows what they are doing and one day they will pay. The blameless on the other hand walk without offence. Their conduct proceeds from a disposition that is pure, free from deception and concealment. And the blameless are a delight to the LORD. Living right or wrong, who says it makes no difference. Pastor Gary ><>  

10:16, “The labor of the righteous leads to life, the wages of the wicked to sin.” We all labor for wages. Most ask about the wages before they even consider taking a job. The writer promises a reward for the labor of the righteous and the wicked. Sense their labor is different so are their rewards. All actions no matter righteous or evil have an immediate and or prolonged result. The result should be considered before determining any action in life. Righteousness leads to life and evil leads to death. He who makes it his business to live a righteous life, God will make it His business to reward with life. But he who makes it his business to pursue evil, God will make it His business to reward with death. And just remember the house built on the sand stands as firmly as the house built on the rock until the storm comes. What you are pursuing now is leading somewhere, do you know where? Pastor Gary ><>

9:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” We may have all the advantages this world has to offer, but if all is not based on the “fear of the Lord” we are incomplete for it is the beginning of wisdom. Reverence, devotion, and obedience toward the Lord are what wisdom rest upon. Paul in the New Testament desired to know the Lord, why? If you have knowledge of Him, you know who He is and the conditions for spiritual growth, and true peace. And you will know how to act and react when men come against you. Also you will know the character of God, His holiness, eternal life, and the way to heaven. And you will have understanding because you know the Holy One. When we begin right and stay right we will have opportunities to help others do right! Pastor Gary <><

8:18-21, “Riches and honor are with me, enduring riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver. I traverse the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice, that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries.” Wisdom is speaking and letting the reader know that her riches are durable, other riches have a habit of disappearing, but not wisdom. Her wealth is more valuable than anything this world has to offer, and it is the only revenue of heaven. And Solomon was telling where wisdom leads. There is a right and wrong way to obtain riches. Riches that are not acquired “in the way of righteousness” cannot bring happiness. So many have tried short cuts to riches, but Wisdoms is the only path that last and never leads to regrets. Pastor Gary ><>

7:1, My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you.” Brace yourself temptation will come. We could walk away from temptation so much easier if we would treasure the council of the wise. The writer wants especially the young to pay close attention to his teachings. He has experience which they lack, about the pitfalls that hurt, the traps that keep and mark for life. How many have told their story that we could learn from, and yet we still desire to write our own. We all seem to want to know but yet we refuse to use what someone else knows for our advantage. The writer said, keep and treasure his words (v.1), obey them (v.2), write them in your mind (v.3), and make them your closest friend (v.4). His words are for protection (v.5). Her words are for destruction (v.26). His words or her words! Keep his words! Pastor Gary <><

6:32, Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul.” Lust reduces a person to a brainless and brutish condition. Because his want for this woman, he has taken leave of his senses and lacks understanding. Lust has displaced his judgment, intelligence, and reason. There is no excuse for his sin, but there will be punishment. Whoever wants to destroy his life, commit adultery! He is a self-destroyer! This destruction can be looked at in the sense of the moral and physical life but without repentance from such sin, it can and will cause spiritual loss as well. You will not only cause loss to your life but deep hurt and loss to those around you! If beauty is only skin deep why do we allow it to destroy so much? Pastor Gary <><

5:1-2, “My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend your ear to my understanding, that you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge.” There is a warning against adultery and encouragement for faithfulness towards your wife. The temptation will come, but preparation will protect. Wisdom is needed for such occasions, and to listen with the intent to obey will give us understanding to heed the warning and stay faithful. The writer is speaking from experience – and how much danger exists because we all want our own experiences. But if we will listen, and think of the hurt, embarrassment, sin, and divorce that could be avoided. Always maintain wisdom, understanding, and discretion throughout life so that you can overcome temptations and stay faithful to Lord and your wife. 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 perverseness 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 yourself, 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 <><

3:9-10, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” We see here the divine and human response. God asked us to honor Him and He in return blesses us. There are two ways in which God blesses, unconditionally and conditionally. We receive much from Him because of His goodness and also because of His faithful response to our prayers. If we love Him we will obey Him (John 14:23). God’s treatment of us most often is in response to our attitude towards Him. If we honor God He will honor us (1Samuel 2:30). And also if we give our possessions back to Him He will enrich us (V.9). We should not expect God to enrich us irrespective of His conditions. Honor the Lord and you can look for blessings from Him. Pastor Gary <><

2:20-22, So you may walk in the way of goodness, and keep to the paths of righteousness. For the upright will dwell in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the earth, and the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.” The righteous seek the will of God therefore they follow Christ and keep His Word. God has made it so that the righteous is rewarded but the wicked is destroyed! God will uphold the integrity of the righteous and He will show favor to them here and in heaven. But the wicked have not turned to God and His righteousness will be cut off from them. And if they continue in unbelief and foolishness they will be cut off from God not only here but also from eternal life in Heaven. Every person can walk in the path of righteousness through Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Walk on the path of “righteousness” and live forever! Pastor Gary <><

1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction”.  Fear is the foundation of truth. Fear is reverence for God’s nature, presence, and will. Reverence results in obedience to His commands and submission to His will. Fear is the beginning of knowledge, which is the belief that God is, that He reigns, and that He is the source and foundation of all blessings and life. And this is the foundation on which all wisdom, all success, and all superiority rest. But fools despise and reject wisdom. The foolish man does not even what to know; he despises the very elements of instruction, he will not take the first step in the path of wisdom. He seeks his own direction, council, and will. He stumbles into darkness and away from God, the light of the world, wisdom and life. Fear the Lord and you won’t have to fear life. Pastor Gary <><

30:7-9, “Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches-- Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.” This is a prayer we might all consider praying. It seeks the proper attitude about wealth and poverty either can tempt me to reach for the wrong things in life, and either can cause me to forget God. It is a prayer for contentment in whatever state I am in. It’s a prayer of recognizing that God knows what I am in need of and of what is good for me in life. I must realize that when I reach beyond that which God has blessed me with that I disrespect His name. It’s not a matter of being rich or poor its being content with what I have and trusting Him as my Lord. Pastor Gary <><

29:20, “Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Him we would call a loud mouth. Here is someone who speaks before he thinks, and allows his mouth to outrun his brain. He will make promises he cannot keep, enter deals he cannot afford, and create debt he cannot payoff. A fool has more hope than the hasty man. A fool might be made to listen to sound advice but not so for the hasty. He is a know-it-all, head strong, and almost impossible to reform. It’s not that he has not been well advised in many areas of his life, he has just flat out rejected it! He would do well to apply what James said, “Let every man be swift to hear and slow to speak” (1:19). I have heard that we have two ears and one mouth therefore we should listen twice as much as we speak. Maybe the hasty has only one ear! Not! It’s his mouth! 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, and Christian beliefs. The more they can reduce the standard of God, the less they believe their own condemnation. And their motive is to move themselves higher in society. Society has definitely embraced a lower moral standard, homosexuality is passed by the Supreme court, approved by Obama, celebrated by many, and some states now fly the rainbow flag. But that is one flag I will never fly, one wedding ceremony I will never perform, and one crowd I will never celebrate with. 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. Don’t bend but contend! Pastor Gary <><

27:17 (MSG), “You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.” Friendships needed but rare. This is a picture of sharpening a sword as it collides with another source of steel or stone. The collision of mind with mind draws out the truth and gives opportunity to change perspective. A man may grow wiser by an hour’s discourse with a friend than by a day’s meditation. What we fail to see, is a friend can see what we cannot, so through such discourse changes can be made. Someone said, “In the collision of minds the man brings his own thoughts to light, and whets his wits against a stone that cuts not.” A true friend will not agree with you if you are wrong, but he will listen and offer advice. One of the most dangerous things you can do is become disconnected or isolated. Friends help make us, make good friends! Pastor Gary <><

26:10, “The great God who formed everything gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages.” The word for “fool” here is translated “dense” or “stupid” and refers especially to that form of stupidity which expresses itself in impiety. The fool is as bad as the transgressor and God's judgment awaits both. This kind of fool says that there is no God or lives as though there is no God. Psalm 14, paints a portrait of this kind of fool, and indicates that his disregard of God is linked not so much to his mind as to his morals. The problem is not that a person cannot believe in God, but that he will not believe in God. And his disbelief can be traced to his love of sin. Foolishness is evident, but we seem always to pass it off as something else. To sympathize with fools will never help them or turn them in the right direction. You live for God, and leave them to God. 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 distinguish 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, judges 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 ><> 

23:29-35, Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine…” Nothing wrong with drinking alcohol, really! In a few words Solomon warns of the painful and disgraceful consequences. Note the words “drunkard” and “wine bibber” (Vs.20-21); they are descriptive of the deep disregard in which the victim of this vice is held by sober men! Indulgence soon tells on a man’s personal behavior, that he is mastered by what he puts into his mouth. By way of the intoxicating drink he enters on a path of utter ruin. The “drunkard” is seen by family and friends as sinking and failing. Such are the consequences of departure from sobriety. It is the first step which is the most foolish and the most avoidable. Pastor Gary ><>

22:28 Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.” Landmarks are boundaries, borders, limits, and restraints. Property lines have been moved for years therefore we have surveys done to reestablish lines. People always seem to want more land, and life without restraint. Just as landmarks were established by our fathers, God established landmarks as well. God’s law was written, and sin is condemned, but hope is promised through Jesus in God’s Word. Just as property lines have been moved or removed so have God’s moral lines by men. This is all done for self-interest and departure from God’s law. To disobey the Word of the Lord is to lose the favor of the Lord, but the approval of our own conscience! Our current leadership would do well to obey these words, “Do not remove the ancient landmarks!” Pastor Gary <><