The book of Proverbs tells the story of two paths and of two women; one represents wisdom and one is adulterous. One thing making this adulterous path so deceptive is those that practice sin and “teach” it proclaim their own goodness and laugh at the notion that they have done anything wrong. Proverbs 30:20 says, “This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, And says, "I have done no wickedness."”
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Proverbs 31:4-6 says, “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart.”
I’ve been asked, is it OK for a Christian to drink? Let me give a short answer here. First off, it’s clear that drunkards will have no place in the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor. 6:10); so drunkenness is sin. What about light drinking though? I won’t give a definite answer but I will ask a question. If you drink, what is your purpose in doing so? If you’re looking for a feeling, why are you doing so, and don’t you think you’re looking in the wrong direction? If you’re drinking it “just as a beverage,” is the alcoholic beverage so much tastier than a non alcoholic one? Notice, I haven’t said a Christian could never drink an alcoholic beverage; I’m just asking, why would you want to? The Bible does give a “purpose” for alcohol; it helps the afflicted or dying person, but we usually use drugs for that these days. My personal opinion is that it isn’t the wisest thing to do (especially in our culture), but I believe it’s possible for one to drink without sin while another could not.
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Proverbs 31:8 says, “Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die.”
This verse is all we should need to be “a voice” for those appointed to die by abortion.
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Proverbs 31:27 says, “She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.”
There is one aspect of the “Proverbs 31 woman” that sticks out to me: she is a hard worker. She’s not a busybody, but she’s busy. Busy taking care of her family and being a good steward of what she has.
Proverbs 27:7 A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
- The key to receiving all of God is continuing to remain very hunger for everything He has for you. Often you will need to receive bitter things, but with true hunger and love for the Lord, those things remain sweet.
Proverbs 28:8 One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion Gathers it for him who will pity the poor.
- The LORD pities the poor and will funnel provision into the hands of those who will pity them also. Make sure you pity and give to the poor.
Proverbs 28:23 He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward Than he who flatters with the tongue.
- We need to be more concerned about loving people than them loving us. Sometimes we need to rebuke or correct someone in love (even someone who we haven’t known long). If we are the type of person who only says things to make others feel good, that selfishness will be seen in time.
Proverbs 25:4: Take away the dross from silver, And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry.
- If we push toward the “end result” of what we want for our life without allowing our character to develop, we will only hinder what God wants to do.
Proverbs 25:16: Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, Lest you be filled with it and vomit.
- We need this wisdom in our culture of “have as much as you want, when you want it.” One area we should view as “honey” is entertainment. We should use it with moderation and sparingly.
Proverbs 26:2: Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight.
- This verse, like all scripture, should be taken in context of the truth of the entire bible. In other words, we shouldn’t make assumptions based on one verse without other scripture helping us have a fuller understanding. This verse isn’t a verse of condemnation saying, “if there’s a curse at work in your life, you did something wrong.” What its saying is, “if there is a curse, there is a cause.” Sometimes people open the door to things by sin, but often it is something that has been passed from a previous generation. Also, a nation can be cursed, and if we don’t declare the blessing we have in Christ, then we may see the curse affect us. The key is to determine the cause and deal with it through the victory and redemption of Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 26:13: The lazy man says, "There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!"
- A lazy person will always have a “reason” why they can’t do it. We need to be people declaring why we can do it.
Often people think that if they keep telling someone something again and again, they’re going to get it, but, sometimes people don’t want to hear. Proverbs 23:9 says, “Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words.” So, we shouldn’t waste our time trying to help a fool, but the deceived is another story… Proverbs 24:11 says, “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.” We can’t help the person who has deliberately chosen to be foolish, but we can bring back those who have wondered into error
The most important thing the world needs to hear is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Proverbs 19:3 is another important truth the world needs to understand. It says, “The foolishness of a man twists his way, And his heart frets against the LORD.” People need to understand, we reap what we sow; it isn’t God's sovereign will that twists people’s way and causes bad to happen.
Proverbs 19:17 says, “He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given.” This is a good reminder to not forget the poor. When you give to the poor, the LORD considers Himself indebted to pay you back for what you have given.
Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” This is a good reminder to pray for our leaders instead of complaining about them.
Gossip has a lot of power to bring division between people. Proverbs 16:28b says “a whisperer separates the best of friends.” Proverbs 17:9 says, “He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.”
One word is effective to make a wise person wiser. After great difficulty a foolish, proud person might be willing to listen to reason. Proverbs 17:10 says, “Rebuke is more effective for a wise man than a hundred blows on a fool.”
Never ever make judgments based on the testimony of one person. Proverbs 18:17 says, “The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him.”
Proverbs 13:1 says, “A wise son heeds his father's instruction, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.” The first step in growing in wisdom and knowledge is to be able to acknowledge that you have been thinking and acting wrong in some things.
Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.” We all need to be careful that we are in relationship with wise people because spending time with them will cause us to become more and more like them.
Eating good foods in important for our health, but the condition of our heart is vital as well. Proverbs 14:30 says, “A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.” Another example is Proverbs 15:30: “The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, And a good report makes the bones healthy.” So, having a positive outlook and vision with contentment will affect our health also.
Proverbs 7:2 says, “Keep my commands and live, And my law as the apple of your eye;” the “apple” of the eye is the pupil. We need to protect His truth in our hearts with the same care we would protect our eyes.
Chapter 8 has a lot to say about the attitude we must have toward God’s wisdom and His truth. Proverbs 8:17 says. “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.” We can’t be casual about it; we will reap the benefits God has for us when we love his truth, esteeming it above all else. We must seek it diligently, putting time and our heart into finding it.
What is wisdom’s seven pillars mentioned in Proverbs 9:1? I can’t say for sure, but I believe it is the seven Spirit’s of God stated in Isaiah 11:2 and mentioned in Revelations chapters 1,3, and 5.
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Proverbs 10:22 says, “The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.” One of the effects of God’s blessing on someone’s life is added riches without the sorrow that comes with much of the riches in the world. Yes, there are many benefits of the blessing of the LORD, but let’s not forget that riches is one of them. The first time this Hebrew word for “rich” is used in the Bible is in Genesis 14:23; Abraham say in this verse, “I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich.” Abraham was rich because of the blessing of the LORD.
The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about our mouth and the words we speak. Proverbs 10:19 lets us know that there is often times we must refrain from saying things; it says, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.” Proverbs 11:13 gives us wisdom concerning gossip; it says, “A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.” Proverbs 12:18 teaches us to have a right motivation in what we say. We can speak truth but speak it for our gain instead of in love and cause harm. It says, “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health.” Our motivation should always be to help and bless others in what we say.
Jesus said His people are the light and salt of the world. We have the power to change society if we follow His example, but if we don’t, evil men will. This is seen in Proverbs 11:10-11: “When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation. 11) By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.”
In Proverbs 4:20 the Lord instructs us to give attention to His word; how do we do this?
- Incline our ear to it; listen to it. (Verse 20)
- Keep it before our eyes; read it. (Verse 21)
- Keep it in the center of your heart; meditate on it. (Verse 21)
Proverbs 6:22 says God’s word will keep us even as we sleep. The Word of God is more than solely commandments; God’s life and power are contained in it. If we put God’s word in our heart and receive it by faith, the life and power in God’s word will continue to work even as we sleep.
Proverbs 6:23-24 says, “For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life, 24) To keep you from the evil woman, From the flattering tongue of a seductress.” I love how God’s word gets to the root of a matter. One reason people are led astray with wrong people is that that they are “flattered” by them. It may not come by words, but sometimes just the attention they get by someone is enough.
The purpose of the book of Proverbs is lined out in chapter 1 verses 2-6. Proverbs is a “blueprint” on how to know God’s truth and live our life within it.
Questions from verse 7:
- Where does true knowledge start in our life?
- What makes someone a fool?
Proverbs 1:18 says, “But they lie in wait for their own blood, They lurk secretly for their own lives.” The judgment of the wicked is to allow them to reap the fruit of their own ways.
Go back to Proverbs 1:22 and look again at the attitudes that are expressed; they reveal why people are the way they are.
Proverbs 1:23 says, “Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.” Wisdom and knowledge come through His Word, but someone won’t really understand those words without God bringing revelation through His Spirit. The LORD promises to bring this revelation when one repents at His rebuke.
Proverbs shows us how we are seek God’s truth as someone looking for treasure. Proverbs 2:4-5 says, “If you seek her (wisdom, understanding, discernment) as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God.”
When we do this, everything else we need or desire will come to us. Proverbs 3:16-17 says, “Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace.” If we keep the main thing the main thing, everything else will take care of itself.
Proverbs 3:7 says, “Do not be wise in your own eyes…” Whenever we “figure things out” without God, our pride keeps us from hearing His true wisdom.
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan