Let’s turn to Proverbs, chapter one. Some of you fellows in the front want to lay these mikes over? I don’t like looking through a forest of mikes to see the people. Thank you very much. This is titled…
The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel (1:1);
Solomon was a very wise man. When he ascended to the throne, God said to Solomon, “Ask of me whatever you would like”. So Solomon said, “Lord, grant to me wisdom, that I might rule over these, your people”. And the Lord said, was pleased with Solomon’s request. He said, “Because you did not ask for money or fame, but for wisdom, I will not only give you wisdom but I will also give you money, and riches, and fame”. So Solomon became a very wise man.
We are told in Kings, that he wrote three thousand proverbs. Now, I’ve been working all my life on a book of proverbs. I’ve got about five so far. If you challenge Solomon’s wisdom, then I challenge you, write a proverb.
Now a proverb is a short little saying that incorporates a lot of wisdom. We hear proverbs all the time. You know, your parents so often speak to you in proverbs. “Honey, a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush.” Now there’s a lot of wisdom to that. Having something, possessing something is, is really greater than hoping to get something that you don’t yet have. So, proverbs bring together thoughts and ideas that express a lot of wisdom.
Now in this book of Proverbs, not every verse is a proverb. We will get to the proverbs as we move along, but it is, well let’s, he gives us here, the purpose of proverbs in verse two.
To know wisdom to receive instruction; to perceive words of understanding (1:2).
So, a proverb will help you to be wise, to give you wisdom. It helps you to receive instruction. We are instructed so many times by proverbs, and it gives you understanding into life, into the things of life. The purpose of Proverbs is..
To receive the instruction of wisdom, of justice, of judgment, and of equity (1:3);
So these things, justice, judgment, equity, are expressed so often times in proverbs. It’s…
To give subtly to the simple (1:4),
In other words, it is used for instruction. To put the truth in a way, that it can be remembered. In a clever way that sort of sticks to you. It gives…
to the young man knowledge and discretion. [Now also] A proverb is good for a wise man for he will hear, and will increase his learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels (1:4-5):
So the purpose of proverbs. They, they minister to the simple, to the young, to wise, to men of understanding.
And to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; [What’s it really saying.] the words of the wise, and their dark sayings (1:6).
Or their sayings sometimes where they have, you have to think it through. Now, and you know, those kind of things where you think about it and say, “Oh yeah, I see, I get it! I get it!”, you know. But it doesn’t come off right on top. You have to sort of meditate on it, and think about it, and as you do, the truth comes through. The dark sayings where the, the truth is hidden until its drawn out through meditation.
So that he, first six verses sort of introduced proverbs, the purpose of them, and what they will do. Now in verse seven, he gives you sort of the foundation for the whole book. The proverbs that he wrote, purpose of them, was to bring you into the reverential…
Fear of the Lord for this is the beginning of knowledge (1:7):
To fear God, to reverence God, to know God. That’s the beginning of knowledge. Now it is interesting to me that there are many people who make knowledge their god. Education is the big thing of their life. They’re constantly reading, constantly studying, constantly seeking to learn more and more. As they gain knowledge, understanding, become sophisticated in it, it is interesting to me that so often times when you ask that person about God, what you think about God, they’ll say, “Well, I’m an agnostic”. Because they think that sounds very wise, very sophisticated. In fact, they try to say it with a Harvard accent. Get some nasal in there, “Agnostic”, and it sounds, “Oh my!”, you know. The word agnostic is a Greek word. The Latin word for agnostic is, ignoramus. “I’m an ignoramus.” But it’s sort of interesting that a person who makes his intellect his god, ends up with a confession of ignorance, when it comes to ultimate knowledge. The beginning of real knowledge is the fear of the Lord, the reverence of God. To fear the Lord is to hate evil.
but fools despise wisdom and instruction (1:7).
My wife quotes that one to me quite often. When I don’t follow her instructions. Now Solomon addresses much of the book to, “My son”. Not necessarily literally his sons, of which he had many, but as a teacher addressing his pupils. As the instructor addressing the class. Having that desire and love for them, and to see them grow in knowledge and wisdom, as a instructor to the pupil.
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and they will be as a chain around your neck (1:8-9).
They, they will adorn you. They will beautify your life.
My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not (1:10).
We have a lot of peer pressure. I would say that most people who have experimented with drugs, did so under peer pressure. In a party, in a group, where drugs were brought out. Those around the room began to use the drugs, there was that peer pressure, of everybody’s doing it. That enticement from the sinners and, and that first step. So many times, left to ourselves, we would not have done that had it not been for the peer pressure. We knew better. We really didn’t want to do it. Our heart sort of rebelled against doing it, but there was that peer pressure that we succumbed to. So this is the warning against that peer pressure towards evil. “If sinners entice you, don’t consent to it.” Now this is enticement to crime…
If they say, Come with us, and let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: [In other words, “Let’s go out and roll a few drunks”, or, “Let’s go out and rob a bank”, or whatever.] Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: We shall find all of their precious substance, we will fill our houses with spoil: Cast your lot among us; [“And we’ll split everything that we get”, is the idea, “Come and let’s join in, let’s become a gang, and let’s go out and start committing crimes, and we’ll pool everything that we get”.] My son, walk not thou in the way of them; and refrain your foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. [Now here is the proverb.] Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird (1:11-17).
That’s the proverb. What does he mean? Proverbs have to be thought out. He’s warning these young people about the peer pressure to do evil, and how there is that tendency for a person to give into the peer pressure. Though you know good and well, the end result is disaster. You know you shouldn’t do it.
So he’s talking about the folly of birds. Bird brains. Doves are silly birds, and for the most part, the dove was the bird that they sought to trap, to snare. They would set out a net, and then they would pour out the grain, and then the doves would come and eat the grain, they’d drop the net on the dove. Now the dove can be sitting there in the tree waiting for you to leave, so he can go down and get the grain. Watches you set the net, but the silly thing, soon as you walk away, the grain is on the ground, he flies right on down to get the grain. So…
In vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird (1:17).
They don’t have enough sense not to fall in the trap, even though they can see it, they can see it being set. That’s the sad tragedy about a lot of people in evil. They can see the consequences of evil, they know the consequences of evil, and yet they, they fall into evil anyhow. The surgeon general warns us that smoking cigarettes is dangerous to your health. But people smoke anyhow. So, “Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.” And so…
They lay in wait for their own blood; and they lurk privately for their own lives (1:18).
In other words, you’re the one that’s ultimately gonna be hurt by getting involved in these sinful practices. It will always come back to you, and you are the one ultimately, that will be hurt and destroyed by your life of sin.
And so are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain (1:19);
If you’re just after riches no matter how they may come, honestly or dishonestly. But these are riches…
of which a person has taken away the life of the owner (1:19).
You’ve killed to get. So that’s the end of that section.
Now, he’s gonna talk about wisdom, and this is a subject that is going to be very much of the part, of the early part of proverbs is, is wisdom speaks to us. This is wisdom, and wisdom is, is personified by him. It’s, it’s made like a person talking to you. In the personifying of wisdom, letting wisdom speak to you, it is as though God is speaking to you. Or, Jesus Christ is speaking to you, for in Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. So he sort of personifies wisdom, and just lets wisdom speak to you. But as you listen to wisdom speak to you, you’re listening to the Lord speaking to you. For He is all wise. So it becomes a personification, but in a, in a sense, it’s God speaking. The wise God giving counsel. So…
Wisdom cries without; she utters her voice in the streets: She cries in the chief place of business, in the openings of the gates: in the city she utters her words, and this is what wisdom says, How long, ye simple ones, will you love simplicity? [“When will you grow up? When will you learn?”] how long will the scorner [love or,] delight in their scorning? and how long will fools hate knowledge (1:20-22)?
“How long will you go on in simplicity, in your scorning? In your hatred of knowledge?” The encouragement…
Turn at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, and I will make known my words unto you (1:23).
So wisdom crying, “I’ll pour out my spirit”, the spirit of wisdom. We do read of that in the new testament, the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of knowledge. We read of that in Isaiah eleven, one, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” The spirit of wisdom, knowledge, understanding.
Because I have called, and you refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But you have set at nought all of my counsel, you wouldn’t listen to my reproof: Therefore I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction comes as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish comes upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me (1:24-28).
So as I said, being personified, it’s almost as though God is speaking. You could just hear actually God speaking in these same words of wisdom. If you don’t listen to the voice of God, if you don’t receive the reproofs of God, if you go on in your way headstrong, not listening to God, you’re going to come to calamity. When you come to calamity, then you’ll cry out, but there will be then, at that time, a refusing to help. You got yourself into the mess, a proverb, “You made your own bed, lie in it”. That’s not Solomon’s, but that’s just one that I heard when I was a kid. “If the shoe fits, wear it”, you know. We live by proverbs.
So we do know that through the prophet Jeremiah, God said much the same to Israel. God said, “I, you know you wouldn’t listen to me. I called unto you, you wouldn’t hearken unto me. You turned to other gods. Now that you’re in trouble, call on those gods that you’ve been worshiping. See if they will help you”. God said, “You know, I’m, I’m not gonna help you. You’ve, you’ve created your own calamity, by your disobedience, by not listening, by not hearkening unto me”. So what is said concerning wisdom, is also said concerning God.
For they hated knowledge, and they did not choose the fear of the Lord: [The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but they hated knowledge, because they did not choose to fear the Lord.] And they would not listen to my counsels: and they despised all of my reproof. Therefore [As the result, “You won’t hearken to wisdom, hearken to the Lord, therefore”,] shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, [“What you sow, you’re gonna reap.”] and they will be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoever will listen or hearken unto me will dwell safely, and shall be quiet from the fear of evil (1:29-33).
Now, he again addresses his son.
My son, if you will receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; [“If you’ll just lay my commandments to your heart.”] So that you will incline your ear unto wisdom, and you’ll apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry after knowledge, and you lift up your voice for understanding; If you will seek her as silver, and you’ll search for her as though you were searching for a hidden treasure; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and you’ll find the knowledge of God (2:1-5).
A true search for knowledge, a true search for understanding and wisdom will lead you to God. You’ll find God, then you’ll understand the fear of the Lord. You’ll find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding (2:6).
So as you read the word of God with an open heart, seeking it, the wisdom and the knowledge of the word, as you would seek a treasure. If I would come up with an old piece of leather, and on it we had a, a map that was drawn of an area along the deserted south coast, and it has this bluff, and these rocks and all. Then it’s Black Bart, you know he buried a chest of gold on there, you know in the sand, and here’s the map and the way to get there. So we get our shovels, and we get our metal detectors, and we decide that we’re gonna find Black Bart’s treasure. If, as we are digging suddenly, you know you’ve been shoveling sand all day, you’re, you’re tired. You don’t think you could ever, you don’t think you could throw another shovel full of sand out of the hole. I mean, you’re just, you’re whipped, you’re beat, you’re weary. You think, “Oh, just one more”, and you push down, and you hear, “clank”! Man sand just started coming out of that hole like, a dog after a bone. I mean, suddenly the excitement, “We found it! Treasure!”.
We were searching for the Guadeloupe mines in southern Arizona. I had that experience of just being so weary. We had been digging all day. We were just, we were just beat! I mean, we could hardly stand. We were you know, just, it was tough, hard work. I was just sort of leaning at this point, on my shovel, and it was Roy’s turn to be in the cave digging, and he said, “I found an entrance!” Oh man! Adrenaline, everything began to flow, it was an entrance to nothing.
But when you’re after treasure, there is a, there is a gold fever, they call it. It can really get you! The thought of finding, you know, the virgin Guadeloupe mine. We had the maps, and we had the documents and all of how many loads of silver, and how many ingots of gold and everything that were in that mine, when the blew the thing up. That , back in the days of Father Keno, and the whole, I mean the whole thing it was there. It’s still there I guess. But I mean, we saw it!
But if you would seek understanding like you seek for treasure, if you’d seek the knowledge and the understanding of the Lord, then you’ll come to understand what it really is to fear the Lord. You’ll find the knowledge of God. For the Lord will give you wisdom. Out of His mouth, there comes knowledge and understanding.
He lays up sound wisdom for the righteous: and he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. [The buckler was part of your armament that protected your body.] He keeps the path of judgment, and he preserves the way of his saints (2:7-8).
If you really come into the knowledge of God, walking with Him, then there is that fruit, or that benefit of walking with God. God’s preservation.
Then you will understand righteousness, and judgment, and fairness; yes, every good path (2:9).
The way of the Lord is righteous, the way of the Lord is just, the way of the Lord is fair, it’s the good way. Now if the ways of God are righteous, and justice, and fairness, then if a person hates the ways of the Lord, what is he hating? He’s hating righteousness, he’s hating judgment, he’s hating fairness, equity. Why would he hate righteousness, and judgment and equity? Must be because he’s unrighteous, he’s unjust, and he’s not fair. If, you see, if you put yourself against God, you put yourself in a pretty bad category. Of course, if you leave before the lesson’s over, you put yourself in the class of a fool, who hates instruction. Man, you’re nailed tonight!
So when wisdom enters into your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul (2:10);
You’re seeking after wisdom, you’re seeking after knowledge, after understanding, when it enters into your heart, then you will become a very discrete person.
Discretion shall preserve thee, and understanding will keep thee (2:11).
There are people and you’ve met them, they’re not very discrete, they’re not very wise, very blunt.
To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, and from the man that speaks froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths (2:12-15):
Wisdom and understanding will deliver you from these people. They will deliver you also from the evil man, or the froward man, that guy whose braggadocios, you know, and wanton in his sinful ways. But they’ll also…
Deliver you from the strange woman, even from that stranger which flatters with her words; [We’ll read more about her as we move on in the Proverbs.] Which forsake the guide of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. That you may walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it (2:16-22).
So the exhortation to gaining knowledge, and understanding, and wisdom, that will bring to you the knowledge of the Lord. The fear of God, that will lead you in the right path, that will bring you preservation from the evil man, the evil woman. That will allow you to dwell in the land, and remain in it.
My son, forget not my law; but let your heart keep my commandments; [Now the result of keeping the commandments will be…] Length of days, a long life, and peace, they will add to thee (3:1-2).
To live a good righteous life, adds length to your life. If you live in evil habits, just corrupting your body, it shortens your life. It, it’s, it, it’s good to just live a good life, and it adds length of days, long life, but not only that, peace. The person who is crooked is in constant turmoil. He’s constantly worried about the consequences of his evil. So…
Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about your neck: write them on the table of your heart: [Mercy. Truth.] And so you will find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and of men. [Now, instruction. Excellent instruction!] Trust in the Lord with all of your heart (3:3-5);
Put your complete trust in the Lord. That is wise in itself! But it’s amazing how many people seem to have difficulty putting their trust in God. They’ll put their trust in man, they’ll believe some line that some guy is feeding them, but they find it hard to put their trust in the Lord. But, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”
Don’t lean to your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him (3:6).
I think of Joshua, who was leading the children of Israel into the conquest of the promised land. Having defeated the walled city of Jericho, and having begun the conquest of the land, they came to the next village, the little village of Ai. The men said, “Hey that’s a little place. Give us the permission, we’ll go over and wipe em out. You know, you don’t need to bring a whole army against that place”. So they said, “Go”. They didn’t’ seek God’s guidance, you know, “After all, we’ve got the formula for success”. And the men of Ai came out against them, and the men of Israel turned their backs, and fled. Joshua fell on his face before the Lord, and said, “God! What are you doing? What’s happening? When the rest of the cities hear about this, they’re all gonna attack us! We’re gonna get wiped out!” The Lord said, “Why are you crying unto me? Stand up”. He was crying unto God after the fact. He hadn’t sought the counsel of God before. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him.”
It’s dangerous to think that you’ve got the key, and the secret for success. “You know, I, I know how to do it now God, and so watch me.” And, He’ll watch you fall right on your face. Ha, ha! You, it, it, you need to seek the counsel and the wisdom of God in everything. God doesn’t always follow the same pattern. The conquest of Ai doesn’t follow the same pattern as the conquest of Jericho. God has a new strategy, and a new tactic. We are so often trying to formulate God. We’re trying to conform God to a pattern. We’re trying to give the formula for success, “Now this is what you do. This is what we did in our city”. But God might have a totally different plan for the next city. So you have to come to God each time, facing a new trial, facing a new situation. We come, and we seek the wisdom and the guidance of God, “in all your ways acknowledge Him”.
Now, going a little further, you’d think you would’ve learned. The Lord said, “When you come into the land, don’t make any treaties with the people in the land. You’re to take the land. Don’t make any treaties”. Well, here came these men with stubby beards, moldy bread in their hands, ragged clothes and worn out sandals, and they came to Joshua, and they said, “We’ve heard of the fame of your God, it’s spread all over, hundreds of miles away! So the men of our city sent us to you to make a treaty with you, that we will not attack you, but we don’t want you to attack us. When we left our home, this bread was hot in our hands. The clothes and the shoes were new. But we’ve traveled a long way”. And, it said, “And Joshua took stock of their victuals and inquired not of the Lord”. “Man that is moldy bread isn’t it? Your shoes are really worn out! Man you look like a mess! No need to inquire of God, obviously these guys have come a long, long way!” So he signed the treaty. Non-aggression pact.
So they get over the next hill, and here’s the city of Gibeon, and Joshua says, “Okay deploy the troops, and…”, they said, “Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Wait a minute! We’ve got a non-aggression pact with you right here. “You mean you’re from this city?” “Yep, Gibeon. You signed it, right here, here’s your name.” Inquiring, not inquiring of the Lord, but just taking stock of the victuals. We’re so prone many times to just make our own judgments. It seems to be so obvious. “I don’t need God’s guidance or help for that, I can see. I mean that’s as plain as, as can be!” So we make the mistake of getting involved in something that we can’t get out of, because we didn’t first inquire of God. So we need to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts, don’t lean to our own understanding, but acknowledge Him, ask Him, seek His guidance. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him.” The result is…
he will direct your paths. [ The Lord will guide you according to His will.] Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil (3:6-7).
Three little pithy things of good instruction. Don’t be wise in your own eyes, but rather, fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
For it shall be [And the result of it shall be.] health to your naval, and marrow to your bones (3:8).
Now he gives you a lot of things here, and then he gives you the result of doing these things. The beginning is, “Forget not my law, for it will, if you keep the law, and my commandments, it will bring you length of days, long life, and peace. Don’t let mercy or truth forsake thee, for you will then find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him”, the result will be, “He will direct your path”.
Now, “Don’t be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord, depart from evil”, the result will be, “it will be health to thy naval, marrow to thy bones”. The instruction…
Honour the Lord with your substance, and with the firstfruits of all of your increase (3:9):
God is not to get the leftovers. “Well we’ll give to God this month, if we have anything left.” The bible encourages us to give to God the firstfruits. The firstfruit belongs to Him. If we, well, here it is, “Honour the Lord with your substance, with all your firstfruits of your increase, and the result will be…
Your barns will be filled with plenty, your presses will burst out with new wine (3:10).
Put God first, give God the first, and then God will take care of you. The instruction…
My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as the father the son in whom he delighteth (3:11-12).
So this is quoted in the book of Hebrews. Again, “Encourage not to despise the chastening of the Lord”. It’s an interesting thing that so often when God chastens us, we sometimes take that as a sign, “Well God doesn’t love me”. Or, “God is angry with me. God is mad at me, cause He’s chastened me. I’m going through a chastening process”. It’s not a sign that God doesn’t love you. It’s a sign that God does love you. If He didn’t love you, He wouldn’t chasten you. He’d just let you go your rotten way, and destroy yourself. But, because He loves you, He chastens you. He let’s you realize the danger. He gives you a taste of, of the destruction that can come from that attitude, from that path that you are walking.
So because God loves you, He chastens you, and thus, I’m not to despise that chastening of the Lord. I’m not to look upon it as, as God having forsaken me, or God being angry with me, it’s just a sign that God loves me, and He’s correcting me to keep me from destroying myself. “For whom the Lord loveth, He corrects, even as a father to son.”
Now, at least you shouldn’t chasten the kid down the street. You chasten your own kids. Chasten the kid down the street, you get in trouble. But you chasten your own kids. “Ah this stupid Rover”, you can get in trouble for that now, but the fact that God chastens me should comfort me, because it’s proof that I’m His child. If I wasn’t His child, He wouldn’t chasten me. So next time you’re chastened of the Lord, just say, “Alright! I’m still His child!”
Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding. [So the discovery of wisdom, the result, the fruit of it is happiness.] For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, the gain of it is better than fine gold. She is more precious [That is wisdom and understanding, “more precious”,] than rubies: and all of the things that you can desire are not to be compared with her (3:13-15).
We’re gonna get some proverbs that, this is sort of giving you a background of some of the proverbs that we’re gonna come to. “As a diamond in a swine’s snout, so is a woman without discretion.” I mean just, wisdom and understanding are valuable. They are precious, more precious than rubies, red rubies, and you can’t compare anything with wisdom and understanding.
Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand are riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all of her paths are peace (3:16-17).
Now again, wisdom again is personified, and here in a feminine.
She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. For the Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; and by understanding he established the heavens (3:18-19).
So if I come to wisdom and understanding, I’ll come to an understanding of the Lord. By wisdom He framed the earth, He founded the heavens by understanding. His…
By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: And they will be life unto thy soul, and grace unto thy neck (3:20-22).
So again, the instruction with the, with the result. “Keep sound wisdom and discretion, if you do, there’ll be life to your soul, there’ll be grace to your neck.”
And then you will walk in your way safely, your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid: when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. [Now instruction again.] Don’t be afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh (3:23-25).
God is gonna bring His judgment upon the wicked, don’t fear when the judgment begins to fall upon the wicked.
For the Lord will be your confidence, and he will keep thy foot from being taken (3:26).
How glorious it is to walk with the Lord! To walk with in the understanding of God. To walk in the knowledge of the most High. For the evil who forsake the Lord, and forsake His ways, their day is coming, the day of desolation is coming. But we need not fear when that day comes, because God will keep us. “The Lord will be your confidence.” We’ll, we’ll come to a proverb, “The name of the Lord is a high tower, the righteous runneth into it and are safe”. When the day of desolation comes, the name of the Lord becomes your place of strength and defense. It’s a high tower, the righteous run into it.
I have many, many times just run into the name of the Lord. When problems arose, I said, you know, you’re facing a crisis, an immediate situation, you’ve got the brakes on, your car is skidding, and you’re heading for the wall. There’s just no way, you know, I mean, you’re just sort of bracing yourself, you say, “Oh Jesus!”, that’s all you’ve got time to say. And, somehow you close your eyes, and you wait for the smash, but the smash doesn’t come! You know, you open your eyes, “How did I ever stop?” You know, it’s just, the Lord is your confidence. He’ll sustain, He’ll keep.
Now withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it (3:27).
If you have the capacity to do good to someone, you have the ability to do it, then don’t withhold that good. And…
Don’t say to your neighbor, Come back again, till tomorrow, and I’ll give it to you; when you have it by your side (3:28).
Don’t put him off. If you’ve got it right there, don’t say, “Oh come back tomorrow”, but give it to him immediately.
Devise not evil against your neighbour, seeing that he dwells securely by you. Don’t strive with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm. [Don’t go out and pick a fight, don’t go out and meddle in, in problems that don’t pertain to you.] Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. For the froward is an abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous (3:29-32).
One man is an abomination to God, the froward. But God’s secret is with the righteous.
The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked (3:33):
Now we get into contrast here, and this is the way of creating proverbs, by putting contrasting thoughts together. “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked.”
but he blesses the habitation of the just. Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he gives grace to the lowly. [Both Peter and James quote this latter portion, “He gives grace to the humble”.] The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools (3:33-35).
So, getting out now into these proverbs, as you get into these contrasting thoughts, and ideas, by which wisdom, instruction and wisdom, righteousness, judgment, and equity are given to us. As we move on into this next portion, we’re gonna be getting into a lot of just good wisdom! So we encourage you just to gain now, wisdom and understanding of the ways of the Lord by just really studying these proverbs, and letting them really minister to your heart.
Father, we thank You for these words of wisdom, instruction in righteousness, and in truth, and in equity. May we walk Lord in that righteousness, and in that truth. May we incline our hearts to understanding, to knowledge, and to wisdom, that we come, may come into the fear of the Lord. And that we might Lord, receive the rewards of the righteous, in Jesus’ name, Amen.