TODAY’S READING: PROVERBS 21-24
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”
• 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”
• 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-
• 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”
• 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).