Proverbs 21:20-22:4

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Proverbs 21

20 There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise (The wise person sets things aside for the future.); but a foolish man spendeth it up (The foolish person cares only for the pleasures of the present moment and does not save for the future. He consumes everything he has and has nothing for the future.).

Sin, waste, and extravagance lead to scarcity.

21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

Pursuing after righteousness and mercy are rewarded with life, righteousness, and honor.

The person who pursues righteousness and mercy gets even more than he was seeking.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

22 A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.

A wise man is able to conquer the mighty. A man whose strength is his wise, godly character is pictured as conquering another who trusts in physical fortifications. Wisdom gives strength and safety.

Today, people are consumed with physical appearance and good health but neglect their spiritual health and well-being. Even Christians can fall into this trap.

In spiritual conflict, wisdom is able to accomplish what armed might is unable to do.

II Corinthians 10:1-5 - 1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: 2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.

Being wise and careful in what one says and how he says it has a way of keeping one out of trouble.

Proverbs 12:13 The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.

Proverbs 14:3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

James 3:5-6 - 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

24 Proud and haughty scorner (i.e. scoffer, mocker) is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.

Mocking shows that a person thinks he is superior to others, and the attitude is detestable to God and others.

25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.

The lazy man is torn apart between his craving for riches on the one hand and his determination not to exert himself on the other. It's killing him. How can he possibly fulfill his desire without working hard to do it? He can't. He has a big problem.

26 He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.

The man who has great desires but refuses to work from verse 25 dreams on and on about what he is going to do, but the righteous works hard and is able to give generously to others.

27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?

God hates gifts from the wicked, especially when they intentionally have evil motives in bringing sacrifices. It is even worse when they give with evil motives or intentions.

28 A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth (the truth) speaketh constantly (i.e. endlessly) because no one will be able to successfully dispute what he says. He will not be interrupted by attempting to correct the truth of what he says.

The false witness swears that he will tell the truth, but the man who listens carefully and answers honestly gives testimony which can never be shaken.

29 A wicked man hardeneth his face (A man's face shows that he is confirmed in his sin.): but as for the upright, he directeth his way.

The upright man by being teachable is safe and establishes his behavior carefully.

30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

Man is powerless to outwit God in wisdom and understanding or strategy.

Romans 11:33-36 - 33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

Men go to elaborate plans to insure victory in war, but victory comes only from the Lord.

Proverbs 22

1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

A good name is a good reputation, and it comes from having a good character. It is more precious, more powerful, and more enduring than great riches.

Riches are useless if in gaining them someone ruins his character.

2 The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.

All people have something in common. The Lord is their creator.

As their creator, the Lord is interested in all persons, whether they are rich or poor.

3 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

A wise man sees judgment coming and does something about it. He receives Christ as his Savior.

The simple do not see judgment coming and will be punished in the lake of fire.

4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.

Humility and the fear of the Lord are rewarded with spiritual riches, divine honor, and abundant life.

Humility is a humbling of oneself before the Lord. It results in a voluntary submission to the Lord. The fear of the Lord results in a person's believing the gospel and keeping himself out of sin. God blesses this individual as a result of his righteous living.