The Proverb For The Day

 

 

20:4, 13, “The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing.” John Phillips wrote, “Solomon was exposing once again the folly of laziness. He could see no excuse for the sluggard's behavior. Non-productive members of society are always a problem. Their chronic poverty makes them a continual burden on the productive members of society who are taxed to provide social aid. Nobody begrudges the help the welfare system gives to those who are old, sick, or disabled. Able-bodied people who will not work are the problem. In 1988 the mayor of New York City, Ed Koch, urged people to help banish the panhandlers by refusing to give them anything. ‘Give to established charities,’ he said. What was his rationale? ‘Many people who panhandle just don't want to work.’ Solomon came to the same conclusion 3000 years ago. Pastor Gary ><> 

19:1-2, “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool. Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, and he sins who hastens with his feet.” Integrity does not always lead to wealth of the worldly kind. In fact, the writer points out that a man’s integrity is worth more than the short cuts that men often find to riches. How often we hear of the get rich quick scheme that cost a man his good name in the end. Not only did he not get rich, but he gave up his integrity to follow the perverse in sin. Whenever something sounds too good to be true it usually is, therefore step away, pass up the deal, and allow knowledge to lead you. No one has a right to suppose that God will heap up riches for him because of his integrity. He may be upright, and yet it may be God’s will that he shall also be poor here. Integrity is priceless keep it! Pastor Gary ><> 

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

17:14, “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore, stop contention before a quarrel starts.” Don’t let strife grow! It starts out like a tiny link and if un-repaired turns into a damaging stream. Strife starts out with an unkind thought, turns to an unkind word, and then unwanted fight breaks out. Strife leads to misery, division, and wrong actions among friends and family. It dispels the progress of reconciliation and expends bitter energy on controversy and contention. “Therefore, stop contention before a quarrel starts”, you may not be able to stop a river, but you can stop a personal dispute. If strife is started, recall the offence and apologize, remember it no more and bring it up not again! Arrest an unkind thought before it turns into an unkind word and moves into damaging actions! Pastor Gary <>< 

16:17, “God’s people avoid evil ways, and they protect themselves by watching where they go.” To avoid evil is to go around or away from it! How is it that men convince themselves that they belong to God yet habitually live in and practice evil? I believe it is because they perceive themselves as religious. The lie of a “religious man” is he may perceive himself as sinning a little but not actually committing evil (sounds like the average Christian’s thinking today). He feels he can dabble in sin with the strange idea that God understands and is ok with it. God’s people are to avoid evil ways, and when they fail, they feel the heavy hand of discipline, conviction and turn with confession and repentance from the evil (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). To attend church and live in sin may be a testimony to your religion but it’s not a true testimony of God’s people, they avoid evil ways! Pastor Gary ><> 

15:8, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.” We find here God’s attitude toward the wicked and His delight in the righteous. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. The wicked are determined to live life according to their will alone. Therefore, the wicked deliberately disregard the will of God, as though He has no right to their life as creator. God will not accept any offerings from the wicked, and He will not remain indifferent to the wrong things they are doing. Offerings will never take the place of purity, truthfulness, integrity, or submission. But God delights in the righteous. They recognize God as the One to whom they belong and they desire and surrender their hearts and lives to Him. The righteous reverently, humbly, and gratefully approach Him, and their prayers are His delight! Pastor Gary <>< 

14:1, “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”  You would think every woman would want to build a house into a home. A place that provides warmth for her husband, safety for her children, and fellowship for their friends. But it’s only the woman with wisdom that will ever have such a home. She will spend time in making it a home that anyone would be proud of. You can read about her in Proverbs 31. But the foolish woman provers herself foolish by pulling down with her hands her own house. A foolish woman is unprincipled, and by her bad management and her evil doings, ruins her family materially and morally. Just remember the person you marry can build or pull down the house. Choose wisely! Pastor Gary ><> 

13:1, A wise son heeds his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.” There is a contrast here between teachable and un-teachable sons. First the wise son listens and follows his father’s instructions. He is ready to learn, and he will gain knowledge, desirable qualities, and godliness. He will also save himself from many snares, enrich his life, and honor his parents. But the un-teachable son shows himself to be foolish. He sets out on his own, disregards the experiences of others, and trusts his own shrewdness. He exaggerates his ability and underestimates the value of wisdom in others. He is headed for loss, shame, and destruction. He is on a fast track to ruin. “It’s never pleasant to be the parent of a fool and have nothing but pain.” (Prov.17:21). Hey scoffer turn to wisdom and heed instruction before it is too late! Pastor Gary <>< 

12:16, Losing your temper is foolish; ignoring an insult is smart.” When it comes to an insult you have an opportunity to act foolishly or smart! Your reaction to an insult does not make you foolish or smart it simple reveals which one you are. It’s smart to walk away, when we don’t, we place ourselves on the same level with the aggressor. Consider either you have deserved the affront, or you have not. If you have deserved it, submit to it as chastisement, and if you have not considered it a test of your integrity and walk away. Be smart and follow the example of our Lord. When He was reviled, He reviled not but submitted Himself to His Father’s will. Jesus’ whole behavior at His trial should cause each of us to ignore any insult that comes our way! Before this day is over, we will more than likely have a chance to prove ourselves foolish or smart. Be like Jesus! Pastor Gary <>< 

11:17, The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.” Our great temptation is to look at all things in a selfish light, asking ourselves concerning each event, “How will it benefit me?” This is not the attitude of Christ; He is unselfish and generous towards others. To bear one another’s burdens is to fulfill His law and manifest His life. We would do well to consider the effect of our conduct in light of others, how are my actions being seen, am I building up or destroying those around me? Being unkind “troubles” my own flesh, even more harm to me than my victim. We will face the strong condemnation of men, the rebuke and penalty of God and it leaves its mark of insensitivity on our soul. But kindness is any form of mercy or goodness from the heart. Kindness allies us with the Lord, marks us as His child, and results in blessings (v.25). Pastor Gary ><> 

10:12, Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.” Hatred reminds others of their sin, continually stirring up trouble. Hatred is not willing to forgive or forget, therefore they use the past deeds of sin as a weapon in future arguments. But love carries the weight of many shortcomings. Forgiveness that is not prompted by love is of a very poor kind. It is not that sins are forgiven because of the presence of much love; it is the presence of much love that is the proof, not the grounds for forgiveness! Where love abounds, we are most like Christ to forgive the worst misdeeds and pardon whole seasons of a sinful life. Love can forgive very dark acts of sin and embrace those who have gone away and astray into a very “far country” of sin. What has Christ forgiven you of, that you are unwilling to forgive others of? (Read 1 John 4:7-16) Pastor Gary <>< 

9:6, “If you want to live, give up your foolishness and let understanding guide your steps.” The reader will find in the first 5 verses another divine invitation. Verse 6 is the climax, “if you want to live give up your foolishness.” Life is not foolishness and Christ. It’s foolishness or Christ! The world would have you believe you can have both. People want eternal life without following Christ. The message is clear turn from folly, sin, and the fellowship of the unholy. And let understanding guide your steps into the way of eternal life. If I give up everything to follow Christ what have I really given up for all that Christ offers me! That’s like not giving up “everything” to be adopted into “Bill Gates” family ($104.9 billion) and his stuff becomes mine. Do you want to live? The only thing you really give up is “foolishness” in exchange for Christ, if you want to live! Pastor Gary <>< 

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

7:14-17, "I have peace offerings with me; today I have paid my vows. So I came out to meet you, diligently to seek your face, and I have found you. I have spread my bed with tapestry, colored coverings of Egyptian linen. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.” Note the hint of religion, “offerings”, it’s as though her evil activity is approved because she paid her religious vows. Religious activity will never make anyone right with God; only faith in Jesus Christ can do that. Offerings, Bible reading, church attendance, mission trips, or prayer cannot cover sin, only the blood of Jesus Christ can do that! There is no spiritual time clock to be punched, only “Christ” to be followed. Today as always people have a little religion and live in sin as though God looks the other way when it comes to them. The same reasoning above, a little religion and sin, is still deadly today. 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 <>< 

5:3-4, For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.” Her words may be as sweet as honey and as smooth as oil, but she will poison your spirit and take your life. Her words are powerfully persuasive and hard to resist. She with her lips and mouth promises pleasure, and enjoyment, but conceals her final effects of anguish, remorse, and death. The picture of her sharp two-edged sword is that one edge of her mouth is smooth as oil, while the other edge is sharp and full of lies and death. The only weapon forged against such a sin as any sin is wisdom and reverence for the Lord (Vs.1-2). This world is full of men and women who have been “caught in the cords” of their sin. If we would look at the end results first, we would turn away from her and turn to Jesus Christ. Pastor Gary <>< 

4:25-27, Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.” Make straight, or level the path before taking a step. The sense is to remove any obstacle that would keep you from making a right moral decision. Weigh the consequences of a step, what will it cost, and who will it hurt before taking it! If you ponder first and remove the obstacles your conduct will be correct and the result “all your ways will be established”. Now allow nothing to turn you from the right path neither adversity or prosperity or anything else that can possess the power of temptation. We don’t have to make bad decisions we choose to when we disregard God’s Word. Pray “But deliver us from the evil one” (Matt.6:13). Pastor Gary <>< 

3:7-8, Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” This Proverb is a command to turn your eyes from outward appearance, conceit, and self-indulgence. So many claim to be Christians, yet they live according to their own eyes (understanding). Humility and faith is needed for the second part of the command, for it includes, to “fear the Lord” and “depart from evil”. To “fear the Lord” is to recognize He created you, bow before Him in reverence, render Him gratitude and be mindful of His mercy, subject your will to His will, and order your life according to His Word. The result of “fear” is departure from sin and evil. This may include a change in friends, situations, or job, ext. Those that continue in sin do not fear the Lord, and health and strength will elude them! Pastor Gary ><> 

2:10-11, When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you.” On this world the righteous and unrighteous will always walk side by side. Sin sits down at the same places as goodness and there will always be conflicting differences, and opposing lifestyles. With such differing goals in life how does one stay on the right path? Wisdom is the answer and she will provide discretion and understanding. In other words, the acceptance of the truth of God is the one security against sin. When it is pleasant to do God’s will and His Law is in our hearts and minds we then have the barrier against the tides of evil. All those who, “Walk in the way of the LORD” (Ps.119) will never have to utter words of bitter remorse or despair! Wisdom offers to guide us through life, follow her! Pastor Gary ><> 

1:4, (Wisdom is) “To teach the inexperienced the ropes and give our young people a grasp on reality” (MSG). Experience is not the best teacher, wisdom is. The young are inexperienced and if not careful can be taken advantage of, but wisdom teaches the young discretion. It can keep them from being tricked by the schemes of others. It can also keep them on their guard, and prevent bad deals, bad friends, and even from being enticed by peer-pressure. I have heard more than one person say, “If I would have known…I would have…”  Well I understand what that means now. With wisdom I might not have jumped off that embankment, but my friends thought I (In about 1970) could make it to the water and my neck still hurts. Wisdom that looks forward is a lot better than hurt that looks back. Live by wisdom and not in pain! Pastor Gary <>< 

30:1-4, “The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, his utterance… 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 a better understanding of the Holy One he would have not allowed sin to get the upper hand. Our nation has given sin the upper hand! Pastor Gary

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29:10 (MSG), “Murderers hate honest people; moral folks encourage them.”  Honest people are a stumbling block to wicked, and evil people. Honest speech, actions, and life are a condemning presence to those who live unrighteous lives. If there were no righteous people, murderers and the like could and would live without restraint. And if it means getting rid of moral and honest people to live like they want, then that’s what they will try and do. But honest people do have moral folks on their side. Our attitude toward the upright reveals our own nature. Moral people know the importance of honest people and their influence, to encourage, support, and maintain the law. Honest and moral people must continue to stand for what is right, and by doing so we stand against murderers. It’s alright to be hated for right things. Pastor Gary ><> 

28:27, “He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses.” We must consider that the Lord is fully aware of our giving as well as are keeping. If God can look into the heart of a man He certainly can look into a man’s wallet, or bank account. God knows the worth of all men and He considers them all worth helping. God has set forth a principle, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” and each time He gives us an opportunity to give, do we, when we do, we believe Him. And the second principle brought to light here is that you reap what you sow. When we give to the poor we will be blessed and helped in our time of need should that time come. But if we hide our eyes, ignore, and show a lack of compassion the same shall return to us. The point is, it’s foolish to expect help when we refuse to give help. “He” sees you! Pastor Gary ><>

27:19, As in water face reflects face, so a man's heart reveals the man.” (Also see verses 5, 6, 9, 10; 17). There can be no true friendship where one heart does not answer to another as the face reflected from a mirror answers to that which is before it. There are four services of friendships. First correction, “open rebuke is better than hidden love” they can help in a defective area of your character which you cannot see (vs.5-6). Second refreshment, life is hard at times and friends are like perfume (v.9). Third comfort, the friend that is near is closer than a brother he will open his heart and pour out sympathy to strengthen and sustain us (v.10). And last encouragement, to urge honorable accomplishments, right behavior, and Christian devotion (v.17). A friendship that cannot walk in the light of these truths is not friendship at all! Pastor Gary <>< *6

26:1-2, Expecting snow in summer and rain in the dry season makes more sense than honoring a fool. A curse you don’t deserve will take wings and fly away like a sparrow or a swallow.” The snow, rain, and honor are all out of place here. They are the result of freak conditions. Honor for instance is inappropriate for a fool; he deserves no honor! It is out of place as snow in summer, do not respect a fool or ungodly man, do not raise him to a position of dignity; such will only confirm his foolishness, give others a wrong impression, and give him increased power for more folly. Goliath was given such a position by a nation that thought size matters (1 Samuel 17:8-9), and the curse of Goliath was like the sparrow, and flew away. David defeated him with a stone launched for the cause of God! We have no need to fear a foolish man or his curse (V.2). Pastor Gary ><> 

25:23-24, The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue an angry countenance. It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” As surely as rain is driven in by the wind so is the angry countenance driven by a backbiting tongue? Slanderous words bring about a dark and gloomy expression on the face of any person, as a German proverb says, “He makes a face like three days’ rainy weather.” The countenance, rightly read, is the mirror of the soul. The “north wind” seems to be associated within the house, where there is the presence of angry quarrels, nagging attacks, and disrespectful speech. With such a “wind” blowing through the house, while inconvenient to live on the roof it’s at times a better place. A wife is either the husband’s most satisfying delight or the most painful thorn in his side. 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 ><> 

23:24-26, “The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him. Let your father and your mother be glad and let her who bore you rejoice. My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.” As parents we must be in a right relationship with God personally. And until we are right with God, we are wrong altogether! And then comes the character of our children, they may not choose right but at least they have a greater opportunity to do so if we are. There is a parental relationship with children that gladdens as there is one that saddens. Who is the wise son? Not necessarily the educated, the clever, or the wealthy son. A child may be any or all of these, and yet may be a grief and not a joy, a shame and not an honor, to his parents. It is the child that lives by the wisdom of God that is a joy to his parents. Pastor Gary ><> 

22:12, “The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, but He overthrows (frustrates) the words of the faithless.” There are two kinds of people here, faithful and faithless. The Lord alone possesses knowledge and He gives it to His faithful servants. But the Lord frustrates the plans of the unfaithful. To frustrate is to prevent somebody or something from succeeding, and it’s the Lord in this case who frustrates. The faithless live only for this world but the faithful live for another. If you are frustrated most of the time you might want to see what kind of person you are and Whom you serve! Are you faithless when it comes to holding true to the principles of God bending them in order to get your way? God promises protection to the principles and possessors of divine knowledge. But He overthrows the words and plans of the faithless! Pastor Gary <>< 

21:29 A wicked man hardens his face, but as for the upright, he establishes his way.” We see here a contrast between the wicked and the upright. The wicked hardens his face that is he is proven to be wrong and even suffering for his folly, but will not change his course! He is perverse and proud going on his way no matter what the consequences may be. But the upright, who is wise, establishes his way. He is always pondering his path, looking to God and carefully considering to seeing if he is moving in the right direction. And if he does stray onto a wrong path, he is quick to accept the rebuke of his friends and God and then return to the way of the upright. The habit of considering one’s ways is a true mark of wisdom. Those who live upright are pleasing to the Lord. Please Him every day! Pastor Gary ><>

 

 

31:30-31, Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Beauty is only skin deep how often have you heard that? There is certainly nothing wrong with beauty as long as that’s not all there is. Beauty can be temporary, superficial, deceptive, and remember it is passing away. But the woman that fears the Lord is not only beautiful but she is enduring, deep, satisfying, and she is worthy of praise. She loves her Lord, husband, children, and home. How many homes are better places because of the sacrifices of mom, a God-fearing woman! The men and children that have a God-fearing woman in their lives should honor her. The writer says, “Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates” (v.31). Men it’s time to step up and give her praise, tomorrow may be too late! Pastor Gary <><