TODAY’S READING: PROVERBS 21-24

 

OVERVIEW:

Warnings and instructions about life.

 

HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:

In the “Introduction to Proverbs,” we talked about the inspirational/devotional application of the kings’ instruction to his son (1:1) in the Book of Proverbs lining up with the years of his life.  In light of that, it is interesting to note the instruction and warnings that are given in chapters 21-24.  During these “years,” so to speak:

 

• His heart is to be “in the hand of the Lord: (21:1).

 

• He is cautioned about women.

   “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a

    brawling woman in a wide house” (21:9).

   “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious

    and an angry woman” (21:19).

 

• He is warned about how wealth is vanity and easily lost, and that

  having a “good name” (possessing character and integrity), makes

  you more “wealthy” than riches.  “A good name is rather to be

  chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and

  gold. The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of

  them all” (22:1-2).  “Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is

  not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as

  an eagle toward heaven.” (23:5)

 

• He is admonished to learn the value of humility, and the fear of

  the Lord.  (The two go hand in hand.  The only way to really see

  yourself for who you really are, is to see the Lord for who He

  really is!) “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and

  honour, and life” (22:4).  (I love Andrew Murray’s definition of

  humilty: “Humility is not thinking meanly of ourselves; it is not

  thinking of ourselves at all.”  Until we “fear the Lord,” we will

  continue to be preoccupied with thoughts about self.)

 

• He is instructed about training his children.  “Train up a child in

  the way he should go: when he is old, he will not depart from it”

  (22:6).  “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod

  of correction shall drive it far from him” (22:15).  “Withhold not

  correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he

  shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver

  his soul from hell” (23:13-14).

 

• He is cautioned about his finances, and the dangers associated with

  debt. “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant

  to the lender” (Prov. 22:7).  “Be not thou one of them that strike

  hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. If thou hast nothing

  to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?” (Prov.

  22:26-27). “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall

  stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men”

  (22:29). “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom”

  (23:4).

 

• He is warned about the friends he makes and the company he

  keeps. “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea,

  strife and reproach shall cease” (22:10). “Make no friendship with

  an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go. Lest thou

  learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul” (22:24-25).

 

• He is warned about losing sight of his roots. “Remove not the

  ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set” (22:28).  “Remove not

  the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless”

  (23:10).

 

• He is cautioned about being envious.  “Let not thine heart envy

  sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long”

  (23:17). “Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to

  be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips

  talk of mischief” (24:1-2).

 

• He is admonished concerning alcohol.  “Hear thou, my son, and be

  wise, and guide thine heart in the way. Be not among winebibbers;

  among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton

  shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags”

  (23:19-21). “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions?

  who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness

  of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek

  mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it

  giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright” (23:29-

  31).

 

• He is instructed about how to have a home that is built by the Lord

  and filled with satisfaction. “Through wisdom is an house builded;

  and by understanding it is established:  And by knowledge shall the

  chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches (i.e. the

  things money can’t buy)” (24:3-4).

 

• He is encouraged to seek wise counsel from more than one person

  when making important decisions.  “For by wise counsel thou shalt

  make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety”

  (24:6).

 

• He is admonished to learn how to work hard.  “I went by the field

  of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of

  understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and

  nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof

  was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon

  it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,

  a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come

  as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man” (24:30-34).

 

CHRIST IS REVEALED

As HE THAT IS PURE, WHOSE WORK IS RIGHT – Prov. 21:86 (John 4:34; 17:4).