Proverbs 22:5-13

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Proverbs 22

5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.

All kinds of difficulties and troubles lie in the way of the perverse person. The one who keeps himself clean and out of sin avoids them.

6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

This is a general principle to which there are exceptions. If you train up a child properly, he will go on well later in life.

The word translated train speaks of dedication. It seems to include the ideas of setting aside, narrowing, or hedging in.

Child-training involves narrowing a child's conduct away from evil toward godliness and starting him in the right direction.

In the way he should go suggests in the proper way, in the path of the wise, in godly living, in accordance with the teaching of the Bible.

Our children learn far more from what we are than from what we say to them.

BKC says, "Some parents, however, have sought to follow this directive without this result. Their children have strayed from the godly training the parents gave them. This illustrates the nature of a 'proverb.' A proverb is a literary device whereby a general truth is brought to bear on a specific situation. Many of the proverbs are not absolute guarantees for they express truths that are necessarily conditioned by prevailing circumstances. . . . (They) do not express promises that are always binding. Though the proverbs are generally and usually true, occasional exceptions may be noted. This may be because of the self-will or deliberate disobedience of an individual who chooses to go his own way - the way of folly instead of the way of wisdom. . . . For that he is held responsible. It is generally true, however, that most children who are brought up in Christian homes, under the influence of godly parents who teach and live God's standards (cf. Ephesians 6:4 ), follow that training.

Another view of this verse is that it is a warning to the effect that if you do not train a child in the way he should go, i.e. allow him to train himself after his own wishes (permissively), you should not expect him to want to change these patterns when he matures. Children are born sinners and when allowed to follow their own wishes, will naturally develop sinful habit responses. Such habit patterns become deep-seated when they have been ingrained in the child from his earliest days.

7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

Money is power and can be used for good or evil. Too often the rich use it for evil.

The borrower is a slave to the lender. Debt is a form of bondage. It forces a man to work and make payments. It limits his ability to take advantage of opportunities.

Be careful about borrowing too much money.

My father once gave me some advice about borrowing money. He said, "You know, when you borrow money, you have to pay it back." It was so simple, but so true.

8 He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

The one who sows sin will reap trouble, wickedness, or sorrow. Vanity is not the word for emptiness or nothingness. Trouble is the inevitable result of sin.

The attempt to beat others into submission by anger will be thwarted. Anger is fury, an overflowing rage.

9 He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.

He that hath a bountiful eye is a generous man. He will be blessed because he shares his substance with the poor. He looks at others to help them and not to take advantage of them. He will gain happiness in the present and experience reward in the future.

10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

When a mocker or scoffer does not respond to instruction, get rid of him. Contention (or quarreling), strife, and reproach (or insults) will also go when he goes.

Removing the troublemaker removes the trouble he makes.

11 He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.

Purity of heart (i.e. of motives) and gracious words will be appreciated by a king.

12 The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.

The Lord preserves and perpetuates the knowledge of the truth so that it will never perish from the earth in spite of the efforts of man and demons to change it. The Lord hates false teachings and overthrows lies. The eyes of the Lord speak of His omniscience. The Lord has preserved His words in the Scripture.

13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.

A lazy man will make up ridiculous excuses for not going to work. It is highly unlikely that a lion would be found in the streets of a city.