Proverbs 19-20

Let’s turn now in our Bibles to the book of Proverbs, beginning tonight in chapter nineteen. As again, we receive instruction of wisdom, of justice, of judgment, of fairness, as Solomon talks about life, and the various aspects of life. He puts truth into the form of a proverb, in order to instruct, and teach us in the way of righteousness, and judgment, and truth, and integrity, and the various subjects that he broaches in the proverbs.
Solomon was the wealthiest man in the world, of his day. The scriptures speak of the tremendous wealth that Solomon had amassed. Where silver became as common as rocks in Jerusalem. His wealth, and glory of his kingdom was world renowned. Yet Solomon had an interest, and a concern for the poor. Because he knew that God had an interest, and a concern for the poor.
Poverty isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. There are a lot of things that are worse than poverty. So he makes a lot of different, and interesting comparisons of things that you might have, that would be worse than being poor. So the first proverb of chapter nineteen deals with this kind of a contrast.
Better is the poor [with] who walks [with, or] in his integrity, [A man who is honest, and yet he is poor.] he is better off than the fellow who is perverse with his lips, or the man who is [conniving, scheming, lying, cheating, for he is,] a fool (19:1).
Because the riches that are gotten by crooked methods will be lost, as a general rule, by the same way. As I shared awhile back, there, this fellow who was part of the Mafia, who had come to Calvary Chapel for a time, who opened his faith, and showed me this big wad of hundred dollar bills, and said there was a hundred thousand dollars there. I had no reason to question that. He said, “I’m holding it right now”. He said, “I just had a scam, and I ripped off this guy”, and, and, so he said, “I get to hold this money for awhile. But”, he said, “they all know that I have it now”. He said, “It just passes in a circle”, and he said, “The guys are just all of them figuring out some scam, and they’re gonna try and rip me off for it. One of them will make it, and It’ll pass to him for awhile, and then we’ll all be after him. Because we know he’s got the wad”. He said, “We just sort of pass this around in a circle”. So, you can create a scam, you can get money by ill gain, by perverseness of lips, but you’d be better off to be an honest person, and be poor, than to have those kinds of riches.
Also, the soul that is without knowledge, is not good (19:2);
If you are lacking in an understanding of God, the things of God, and really this would be the knowledge of God.. It’s just not good.
and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth (19:2).
Solomon says a lot about the person who hurries into situations. How that we so often make a mistake. Have you ever noticed that one of the tricks of salesmanship is to put you under pressure? “You’ve got to decide by five o’clock, because there’s another fellow that wants this house, and he’s coming back this evening with a deposit, and so if you want it, you better take some action right now!” What they’re trying to do is provoke you to a quick decision, without really thinking all of the aspects through. So that kind of pressure is never good.
I, whenever any salesmen, and if you’re a salesman, you’re wanting to sell me something, don’t try that one on me. Cause, I’ll walk away. Because I have a philosophy, if the Lord wants me to have it, it’ll be there. If someone else comes along and buys it, then the Lord didn’t want me to have it, so I’m better off anyhow. I don’t, you know, get suckered in with that kind of pressure. In fact, I move away when they, well I figure, “well I’ll just wait and see, if they come this evening and buy it, if they do, then the Lord didn’t want me to have it”. But, you know it helps me to make up my decision in the opposite way. “He that hasteth with his feet sinneth.” It can get you into trouble, if you’re in a hurry to get things going, you know.
The foolishness of a man perverteth his way: and his heart frets against the Lord (19:3).
The, it is really foolish for a man, is what Solomon is saying, to become perverse in his way. Because it will turn your heart ultimately against the Lord. If you become perverse in your ways, in your practices, your heart will soon be turning against God, against the things of God. Solomon probably knew this by first hand experience.
Wealth makes many friends (19:4);
Being the wealthiest man in the world, he had all of those that were around, being so friendly, nice, and entreating him. So he, he just observed, “wealth makes many friends”.
but the poor is separated from his neighbour (18:4).
The person who doesn’t have anything, no one really wants, or seeks his company that much, which sort of shows the emptiness of man’s favors. I mean, if a person, if you’re wealthy, and people keep courting you, and wanting to be around you, you don’t really know how true that kind of friendship or love is. Best way to find out is to lose your money, and then you’ll find out who your real friends are. Poverty separates from the neighbour. Solomon has a lot to say about false witnesses, and we’ll get many things tonight even, in these proverbs. But…
A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape (18:5).
So a false witness is a man who, under oath, will bear a false witness. Perjures himself while under oath. Solomon says, “he will not go unpunished”. God hates lying lips, and he that speaks lies shall not escape. The, there is a, and we need to recognize, and realize this, there is a true justice that shall ultimately prevail.
Now I am prone to agree with the man who cries concerning the world around us, “There ain’t no justice!” I see such a twisting of judgment and justice there, that I am prone to almost despair of justice in the courts. The one who is able to conceive the cleverest lies usually is the one that comes out on top. But, I really don’t have much confidence in our judicial system, and, and less all the time. Because you see, the base for morality has been removed from our society. What is the real base for honesty? Our belief in God, our belief in God as a, as a final Judge. The belief that one day every man shall stand before God and give an account of his life, of himself.
Now, the moment you take God out of the national consciousness, as has happened in the United States, and you seek to replace God with blind chance. You subscribe to that illogical idiocy, that matter acting on matter over a given period of time, can produce anything mechanical. Now that is so illogic, illogical. It just, it just doesn’t make sense!
I was talking with some people at lunch today, and the subject came up because their, their lives have been influenced in the public school system, by this illogical premise. “Matter acting upon matter, over a given period of time can create anything.” I said, “Okay, here’s the salt shaker right here on the table, a little cap on it that you can screw and unscrew, and pour the salt in, and so here’s the salt shaker, here on the table. Glass salt shaker, the little silver top. Now are you trying to tell me that over a period of time that, that could just come into existence, with, with threads on the glass, and threads on the metal, so that you can screw, and unscrew this cap on here. It’s sort of a mechanical thing. You screw it on, and unscrew it. So matter acting upon matter if, if enough time went by, why is it that we don’t have a lot of salt shakers down on the beach? Because glass is made with sand. So why isn’t the beach just covered with salt shakers? Because if the earth has been here for several billions of years, and now they’re saying fifteen billion, we just grew three billion years older in the last few years folks! You realize what this means?” “In the last two years they’ve raised their estimates of the age of the universe from twelve, to fifteen billion years. That’s three billion years in two years! Imagine what it’s gonna be in another five!” “And if matter has been acting upon matter, there on the beach, and of course you have that, the action of the waves is matter, acting upon matter, and that’s been going on. The surge of the surf year, after year, after year, after year, it’s amazing that we don’t have all kinds of mechanical things running up and down the beach.” “You see how illogical it is? Now what is more simple than a little glass salt shaker with a cap that screws on top? I mean that is so profoundly simple!”
“But you see, with this illogical premise, replacing this idea that we exist as the result of matter reacting to matter, over a period of fifteen billion years, it has brought us, because we are mechanical. Biology is a mechanics, and so here we exist as a result of matter acting upon matter. There is no God, and thus there is no accountability to God. Well if there be no God, then the law of God, the ten commandments are really just man’s ideas, and why should I accept them?”
Everything is open to challenge. There is no base for morality. Thus, who said it’s wrong to lie? We have all kinds of suppositional cases made in the classrooms, where it would be really perhaps, better to lie than to tell the truth, and the children are taught sort of the situational ethic kind of a thing, or values clarification. Is there a time when it would be proper to tell a lie? “Better to tell the lie, than to tell the truth.”
You see, then I am the one to determine, at this particular situation, “Would it be better for me to lie, or would it be better for me to tell the truth?” I might think, “Well, it’s better for me to lie. The fact that there is no God, there is no real moral absolutes within our universe, who’s to say I’m wrong?”
Now, because this idea has prevailed in our society, it has nullified the value of our judicial system. Because a person is not opposed to getting on the witness stand, and to just lying about the incidents. Because there’s no base for morality. There’s no base for truth. Thus, the ultimate result is a total breakdown of your society, an anarchy. You have the conditions that existed at the time of Noah, “when every man did that which was right in his own eyes, and God saw that the imagination and thoughts of men, and men’s hearts was evil continually”. And, thus God judged.
We are approaching that time again. As Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man”. Surely we are approaching that same state, and it has been brought upon us by this whole false premise, that we have been taught in our public school systems. A society without any moral foundation, it’s corrupt, it’s going to fall. It cannot stand.
So, “A false witness, one who will lie on the witness stand, perjure himself while under oath, and he that speaks lies, he’ll not escape!” You see, they will stand one day before God. They will be judged! They’re not gonna escape. You think that you’re getting by with it, you think you can escape. No way! One day you’ll stand before God, and that is the truth that is absent in our society today.
Now, going back to, “wealth makes many friends”. Verse six is similar.
Many will entreat the favour of the prince (19:6):
You know that he has power to grant blessings, or rewards. So many entreat the favor.
every man is a friend to him who giveth gifts (19:6).
So you want to get a lot of friends? Just give away a lot of stuff. However, you won’t be sure that they are true friends. That’s the problem!
Now, again he said that uh, concerning the poor, he has separated from his neighbor.
All of the brothers of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursues them with words, and yet they fail him (19:7).
So a man who is brought to poverty, who was once in a position of strength. You remember when Jesus told us the story of the prodigal son, who took his inheritance, went to a far country, wasted the inheritance, in partying. “The good life.” You know, everybody was, “Hey this guy’s buying!”, you know, and everybody was there. Until, he ran out of money. Then he found that there were no real friends. He ended up feeding the pigs, and eating the food that was for the pigs. So, when, when you are no longer able to buy the treats, to grant the favors, you find how quickly people will desert you. Those kind of what they call, “fair-weather friends”.
Now he that getteth wisdom loves his own soul (19:8):
Back in verse two, “The soul that is without knowledge, is not good”. “He that gets wisdom loves his own soul.”
and he that keeps understanding shall find good (19:8).
So it’s sort of parallel thoughts. Getting wisdom. You love your own soul. Keeping understanding will bring you good. But again…
The false witness [And he, he’s jumping back and forth to these different subjects, but again, “the false witness”,] shall not be unpunished, [Basically that’s what he said up above.] and he that speaketh lies shall perish (19:9).
Now up above, he said, “shall not escape”. Same proverb, only this time he said, “shall perish”. He, he’s not gonna escape, but in reality, he will perish.
Delight is not seemly for a fool; [It isn’t , it isn’t a, a um, proper thing, it’s sort of for the fool, delight just isn’t the natural thing.] much less for a servant to have rule over princes (19:10).
Historically, the worst tyrants who have ever ruled over others were those who rose out of the common class, the servants, and became rulers. They became the worst tyrants. For a servant to have rule over princes, is, is indeed a tragic affair.
The discretion of a man defers his anger (19:11);
Plato said, “I would”, to one of his servants, he said, “I would beat you, but I’m angry”. Deferring anger. I have found as a parent, and more even as a grandparent, it’s never good to punish your children when you’re angry. If you’re angry, you’re better off just, just, just say, “I’m gonna talk with you later. I’ll deal with this later”. But, don’t mete out the punishment in anger, because we are always, so often over doing it. We react according to our own anger, and emotion. Many times what the child has done frightens us. We’re fearful for their safety. We are so frightened by what they have done, that we grab them, and, and we, in anger, have the tendency to over punish the child. So, the deferring of the anger. “It’s the discretion of a man to defer his anger”, put it off.
and it is his glory to pass over a transgression (19:11).
Love covers a multitude of sins. Don’t respond, or react in anger to a situation. Defer that action until the anger is subsided. Then, many times, once it’s subsided, you’ll say, “Well what difference does it make?” After you’ve, after you’ve thought the thing through and you realize, “Hey nobody was hurt”, you know, and so you just sort of pass over the transgression.
Good rule for driving the freeways also. You know, so they pulled in front of you, you’re mad! You were keeping safe distance behind the car in front. You were trying to be safe in your driving, and this fool comes pulling into that space that you have left. You want to respond, you want to react, turn your bright lights on him. Ha, ha! Honk your horn, you know, and, but you find that he was just moving into your lane, that he could move into the other lane you know, and he’s not there long, and soon he’s off, up the road, and gone and you know, so where are you? Fretting, stewing, and, better to just defer your anger, and when he’s up the road, just, “Oh doesn’t make any difference, he didn’t slow me down”. Solomon, a king, he said…
The king’s wrath is as a roaring of a lion; [Boy you get a king angry, you’re in trouble!] but his favour [is refreshing] is like dew upon the grass. A foolish son is the calamity of his father (19:12-13).
What a heartache a foolish son can be. A son who does foolish things. The calamity of the father, it hurts. You know, I think that one of the hardest things in the world, is to see your child make a mistake, to go against your advice and counsel, and make a mistake that you know is going to bring him pain later on in life.
Now, you don’t disown the child, you do your best to guide them in the right way, but sometimes they’re determined to go their own way. They’re nineteen, twenty years old, they think they know so much better than you, “You’re an old fogie. You just don’t know anything!”, you know. They know what they want, and they know what’s best, and you, you weep, you pray, you plead, and they only get angry. It hurts you to see them do things that you know are gonna hurt them in years to come, and you’re helpless to do anything about it.
That’s a, that’s a difficult position to be in. Most parents who have raised sons through the teen years, have gone through that experience. But there’s something else that’s a real calamity, and that’s…
the contentions of a wife they are a continual dropping (19:13).
That’s sort of a Chinese torture, if a wife is constantly contentious. Constantly contending over different things. Solomon had, no doubt, this kind of wife. I’m sure he had every kind of wife there was, he had a thousand you know! So he knew every variety of women that came along. Some of them, no doubt were contentious. He had his experience, he said, “They’re just like a continual dropping, it’s a torture, it drives you crazy!” He’ll have something else to say about wives in a moment too though.
House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord (19:14).
Now that’s in contrast to that contentious wife. The prudent wife, the wise, prudent, from the Lord. What a blessing! You say, “Well, I made such a wise choice!” You were lucky! You just thank the Lord. Ha, ha! She’s from the Lord. Not, because many wise men have been deceived by the woman. “She seemed so sweet, she seemed so easy going”, you know, “and always smiling”. Everything you did was just perfect. If you’ve got a prudent wife, then she’s from the Lord, and he that hath found a good wife, has found favor of the Lord. Good thing.
Now, Solomon has a lot to say about laziness, and here he speaks about…
Slothfulness [laziness] it cast into a deep sleep; and the idle soul shall suffer hunger (19:15).
If you, if you’ve given over to sleep, you won’t get up in the morning, the idle soul, you’re gonna, you’re gonna end up in poverty, and hunger.
He that keepeth the commandment keeps his own soul; but he that despises his ways [His ways, would be God’s ways.] shall die (19:16).
So the importance of keeping the commandments of the Lord. Because, as we have pointed out, God gave us the law as a guide for our lives, and it is good. The law of the Lord is perfect. He gave to you a standard for a perfect life. God does not withhold from you anything that is good and beneficial. The law does not restrict you from one thing that is good for you. The law only restricts those things that are harmful.
Again, I, I think of the, of the analogy of the father and the son, seeing the son do things that, the father knows best. He seeks to guide the son, he has the years of judgment and he can see the pitfalls. But the son is determined to go his own way, and he thinks his dad is trying to keep him back from what is desirable and all.
I think that we’re that way with God many times, and the law of God. We think that it’s restrictive. “God doesn’t want me to have a good time. He doesn’t want me to have fun. God is too restrictive in the laws that He’s placed upon me, the commandments that He’s put me under.” But, God knows best, and He knows that by violating these commandments, you’re going to bring pain, you’re going to bring hurt, you’re going to bring suffering upon yourself.
I’m certain that God is just as hurt, as a Father. If we as human fathers are hurt, when we see our children taking a path that we know is going to be destructive, and harmful and painful to them, and yet we can’t stop them because they are determined to do it, so the heavenly Father sees us take this path that He knows will lead to pain, He knows it will lead to suffering. He has commanded us not to do it, but we do it anyhow, and then we reap the consequences. We go through the pain.
Now as a parent again, when your child is determined to take that path, you have to let them go. You can’t force your will upon them when they get to be nineteen, twenty years old. When they get to be seventeen, eighteen, it’s hard! In fact, our one son, when he came to his eighteenth birthday, his, my, his, my, well Kay, his mom, my wife. She’s everything! On his eighteenth birthday, she said, “Well son, you can’t run away from home anymore”. Because he was in the habit, things get tough, he’d just run away. When he was seventeen years old, he ran away several times. Get on his case, he’d just run away for a few days, and he’d sneak back, you know. But on his eighteenth birthday, she said, “Well, that means you can’t run away anymore”. He says, “What do you mean I can’t run away?” She said, “Hey you’re eighteen now, it’s not running away anymore, it’s now leaving home”.
We, you know, you watch them take the path, and yet you’re there, and you stand there, you wait for the cycle to make its full course, and then you are there to pick up the pieces. You don’t cast them off because they’ve made the mistakes, because they’ve gone against your advice. But you’re waiting for them to come home with all of the pain, with all of the hurt, and you open the door, you receive them, you love them, and you put Band-Aids on, and you put the balm and the salve on, and you’re there to just love and to, and to help them get things together, and get their life together and get it going again.
And so God, with us. He has given us commandments and we, we are foolish, we violate the commandments of God. We begin to suffer the consequences, and we come back, and God is so loving, He’s so kind. He’s sort of, you know, patches us up. Puts things together in love, in tenderness. So, if you keep the commandments, you’re really doing yourself a favor. But if you despise God’s ways, it’ll lead to death.
Now, again dealing with the poor and this is a, this is a fascinating statement.
He that hath pity on the poor, lends to the Lord; [Now I’ve loaned the Lord a lot of money.] but that which he hath given will the Lord pay him again (19:17).
I have to confess, it’s true. In giving to the poor, I never ask for a return. I don’t loan to the poor, I give. I don’t make any demands upon repayment. I figure it’s a loan to the Lord, and the Lord always pays His debts. He has always blessed my generosity towards the poor. I’ve done it on the basis of this scripture. When someone is in need, is poor, and I give to them, I just say, “Well Lord, I’m just lending you some more money. You don’t need to pay interest, just”, the Lord will pay him again.
Now Solomon has quite a bit to say about disciplining your children, and Solomon was one who believed in spanking children. Today, you know, you can be arrested for child abuse, and your children taken away. But Solomon, a wiser man than the sociologists today, said…
Chasten your son while there is hope (19:18),
In other words, while they are still being formed in their character and so forth, it’s important to discipline. It’s important to set the perimeters for them, to give them their limitations, and let them know their limitations. While they’re still in that formative stage, set the perimeters. Drive back the frontiers of evil. “Chasten your son while there is still hope.”
and don’t let your soul spare for their crying (19:18).
Now children are wise, little children even, and they know that the moment you start spanking them, if they will just let out blood curdling wails, that you’re prone to go easier. You’re prone to just sort of let it go, you don’t want the neighbors to call the police. They’re wise little kids, and so many times, my boys, I, I’d start to spank them, and they’d start screaming, and yelling before I even got the palm of my hand on their little bottoms. I would stop and I would say, “Wait a minute! What are you screaming about?” “Don’t hit me daddy! Don’t hit me!”, you know. You hadn’t even touched them yet! They’re already, so, Solomon no doubt, had a lot of kids too. That many wives, you’re bound to have a lot of kids.
But he had more than that. His father David was an extremely poor disciplinarian. David had one son that rebelled against him, and never at any time, did David speak a word to correct him. Now a child left to himself will bring reproach to his parents, and David left his son to himself, and he brought reproach. He ultimately rebelled against David. Solomon could see the failure of his father David as a disciplinarian, he saw the results in his brother’s lives.
As the result, he has a lot to say about discipline, about sparing the rod, and spoiling the child, and we’ll get to that one later on. I had my son quote that to me one time, smart little kid! I started to spank him, and for uh, something that he had done, and he said, “Daddy that’s not scriptural!”, and I said, “What do you mean it’s not scriptural!” He said, “The Bible says, Spare the rod, and spoil your child!” Just where you put the emphasis I guess.
A man of great wrath is going to suffer punishment (19:19):
If you have a temper, you fly off, it’s gonna get you in trouble, gonna get you in a lot of trouble. If you don’t have control over your temper, it can get you into all kinds of problems, “he’s gonna suffer punishment”.
and if you deliver him, you’re gonna have to do it again (19:19).
I mean uh, bail him out. He got angry, got in a big fight, so you go down and bail him out. Well, you’re gonna have to bail him out again. A person who can’t control his temper is just bound to get into trouble, and will suffer punishment.
Now Solomon said…
Hear counsel, [listen to it] receive instruction that you may be wise in the end results (19:20).
Listening to counsel. Don’t just go off, but seek advice, seek counsel, seek the counsel of others. Receive the instruction that you may be wise in the final results.
There are many devices in a man’s heart; [Oh how we can devise, and scheme, and plan!] but the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand (19:21).
The schemes, and the devices of man so often fail. The best laid plans of mice, and men. I mean they, they’re so, they, they can fail. But the counsels of the Lord, they’re gonna stand. So listen to God! Follow the word of God, keep the commandments of God, because the counsel of the Lord, that’s the thing that’s gonna stand.
The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar (19:22).
So, again the contrast, poor. You’re better poor than you are being a liar.
The fear of the Lord tends to life: [That is, that reverence for God, it brings life, it tends to life.] and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he will not be visited with evil (19:23).
What a glorious promise! To fear the Lord, will bring you satisfaction, contentment, and will protect you from evil.
A lazy man hides his hand in his bosom (19:24),
This guy’s really lazy, he’s so lazy he won’t even pull out his hand to take the food to his mouth. I mean, when you get that lazy, you’re not long for the earth. You get so lazy you won’t even feed yourself. You’ve had it! So, “A slothful man hides his hand in his bosom.”
he will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. [That is really lazy!] Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware (19:24-25).
If a man is scornful, they said, “Smite him!”, it will cause people to beware. The simple will take note.
reprove one that has understanding, and he will understand knowledge (19:25).
So the different types of punishment for different types of people. There are some that need to be smitten to learn. There are others who you can just speak to. We’ll get to that proverb, “Train up a child in the way that he should go”. We’ll deal with that when we get there. But it is understanding the various temperaments of children. You train them according to their temperament. Some of our children we had to spank, some of them a word was sufficient, a word would bring them into tears and repentance. Others even the spankings hardly worked! I mean, they just, kids are different. “A slothful man, lazy man hides his hand in his bosom”. No, smite, okay…
He that wasteth his father, [That is, wastes his father’s goods, lives around the house living off the family, won’t work.] and chases away his mother, is a son that causes shame, and brings reproach. So cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causes you to err from the words of knowledge (19:26-27).
Good advice! Don’t listen to that instruction that will cause you to err from the words of knowledge. Surely that is applicable to children in school today who are exposed to the heresy of evolutionary hypothesis. It’ll cause you to err from real knowledge, it’s a distortion of logic, and will make you perfectly incapable of reasoning, if you follow those premises.
An ungodly witness scorns judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity (19:28).
So the ungodly witness, he doesn’t really care for real judgment. He scorns it, so the mouth of the wicked. They devour, they eat up iniquity.
For judgments are prepared for scorners, [Again, smite the scorner, judgments are prepared for the scorners.] and stripes for the back of fools (19:29).
The chastening of the fools.
Chapter 20
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise (20:1).
Now the subject of drinking wine is a subject that has been argued, discussed, debated within the church for years. There are those that say, “Well Jesus at the marriage feast turned the water into wine”. Jesus was accused of being a wine bibber, that Paul told Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach problem. On the other hand, and on the other side of the coin. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
Solomon in the thirty first chapter, or thirtieth, Aw, twenty sixth chapter, is it? Somewhere along the line there, has something else to say about wine. It’s in twenty third chapter, quite a bit to say about wine, drinking wine. “Who has woe, who has sorrow, who has contentions, who has babbling, who has wounds without cause, who has redness of eyes? Those that tarry long at the wine, that seek the mixed wine. Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it gives its color in the cup, when it moves itself aright, for at the last it will bite like a serpent, it will sting like an adder, your eyes will behold strange women, your heart will utter perverse things, yea, you will be as he that lies down in the midst of the sea, or he who tries to lie on the top of a mast. They have stricken me, thou shalt say. I was not sick. They have beaten me and I didn’t feel it. When shall I awake, and I will seek it yet again. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging.”
Now, in the vow of the Nazarite, which was the vow of complete consecration to God, you were not to drink wine. If you want to totally consecrate your life to the Lord, then that’s the vow of the Nazarite, you’re not to drink wine. Jesus was known as a Nazarene. That is the vow of complete commitment.
So, I believe that the accusations that He was a wine bibber were false. I do believe that He did go into the house and eat with sinners, which He was accused of doing, and they probably had wine. But there is nothing to indicate that Jesus Himself ever drank. It was just that He was accused of being a wine bibber. But I think it was a false accusation, because of being a Nazarite. The vow of the Nazarite was not to drink wine.
Paul the apostle, as he was talking about the leadership in the church, and, “those men who are to oversee the affairs of the church, are not to drink wine, they’re not to be given to wine”. Thus, as the minister, the pastor, the overseer of the church, I believe it would be wrong for me to drink wine, or any alcoholic beverage.
Just wisdom dictates that. I know enough about alcohol, and its effect upon the human body. I know how that alcohol is something that your liver has to process and you can overwork your liver in seeking to process the alcohol that you’re ingesting into your system. I also know that alcohol works against the nervous system of the body, it destroys some of your brain cells, and it can have an effect upon you physically, and mentally.
You can come under the influence of alcohol, and, “Although all things may be lawful for me, I will not come under the power of anything”. I will not do that which can bring me under its power. So I definitely believe that you’re better off not to drink wine, not to take anything into your body that can influence, can bring you under its influence. Though it may be lawful, and you may argue, you know Paul said to Timothy, “Take wine”, and I don’t enter into all those arguments.
I just, I just know what’s good for me, and what’s best for me, and I know what is God’s best for me, and I want God’s best for my life. I do want a life that’s completely consecrated and committed to God. Sort of the vow of the Nazarite, if you please. Life of total commitment to Him. Thus, I, I don’t believe in drinking wine, and I have not drunk wine, nor will I drink wine. “It is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived by it is not wise.”
Now he dealt with the fear of the king in the last chapter. He speaks about it again, he um, something about the king, a strong, “a king’s wrath, is as the roaring of the lion”, verse twelve. Now he says…
The fear of a king is as a roaring of a lion: and whoever provokes him to anger (19:2);
Man you’re bringing trouble upon yourself, you know, leave the kings alone, don’t provoke them. “The fear of a king is like the roaring of a lion.” A lion’s roar creates tremendous fear, he rules by fear, the jungles.
It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: [To not get involved in strife, it’s honor for a man.] but every fool will be meddling (20:3).
It’s so foolish to be meddling in things that you have no business getting involved in. Yet, so many people do that. “But every fool will be meddling, it’s an honor for a man to cease from strife.” My mother used to tell me, “Son I never want you to start a fight, and I never want you to run from a fight, just don’t start it”. So, “Don’t meddle around”, don’t create the problems, and, “it’s better to just cease from strife”.
The sluggard [the lazy man, here he is again] he’ll not plow by reason of the cold (19:4);
“Oh it’s too cold to go out and work today, I’ll wait until a warmer day.” So he’ll not plow. Now the farmer has to begin right at the beginning of spring, and some of the days are pretty cold, and it’s not pleasant to be out in. Yet, you’ve got to get to the ground, get the seed in as soon as possible. But, the lazy man, “the sluggard will not plow because it’s too cold”.
therefore he will be begging in harvest, and have nothing. Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out (19:4-5).
So you come to a wise person, and you’re seeking their wisdom, and their counsel, but it takes really sometimes the drawing out from that person. You draw out what is there. The, the deep water, counsel in the heart of man.
Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness (19:5):
Isn’t that the truth? Everyone’s ready to brag about how good they are, how you know, smart they are, what they did and all. “Most men will proclaim his own goodness.”
but a faithful man who can find (19:5)?
You know, he’s bragging and boasting about it. But is it really true?
The just man walks in his integrity (19:6):
And his children follow after him. You set the pattern, your children are looking at you as a role model. That’s an awesome thing that they watch you to learn what husbands should be like. To learn what fathers should be like, to learn what mothers should be like, and wives should be like. They, they only know the role model that they see in you. So, “the just man who walks in integrity, honesty”, and all.
and his children are blessed after him. The king that sits in the throne of judgment scatters away all evil with his eyes (20:7-8).
We used to have a Dean in college that did that too. We swore that, that guy could look right through you! When he would talk to you, he’d sort of squint his eyes, and, and look. I realize now, he probably had eye trouble, and just couldn’t see too well. But man, I thought he was looking right through me, you know! So, “the king that sits on the throne of judgment scatters away evil with his eyes”. He looks around, and, “Ooh he knows what I’m thinking!”
Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin (20:9)?
We looked at this, this morning. We realize that no one can say, “I have made my heart clean”. None of us can clean our own hearts. My heart has been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. But, I didn’t do that. That’s the work of the Lord in my life. He is the one who has washed me from my sins, He is the one who has made me pure from my sins. It is only Jesus, and the blood of Jesus that can cleanse you from your sins. So, the question, “Who can say I have made my heart clean?”, the answer is, “No one!”. Because you can’t cleanse your own heart of evil. That takes a work of God’s Spirit.
Divers weights, and divers measures (20:10),
Now we get into a little bit of commerce, and we’ll have three proverbs that will deal with commerce here. Divers weights, and divers measures. Now the crooked people had two bags of weights. Everything was done with balances. They sold and bought with balances. They had one bag of weights for when they were selling stuff, and another bag of weights when they were buying stuff. Divers weights.
they’re an abomination to the Lord (20:10).
Diverse measures. The United States in realizing the necessity of having standardized weight and measures, had a department for many years. The National Bureau of Standard Weights and Measures, and they would go around and they would have these little weights. They would put them on all the butcher scales, and all the scales on the markets. If you’re scales weren’t exact, they could fine you. They would put their seal on it, after they had tested your scales. Working in the market, we’d have them come in, and they’d lay their weights on the scales to make sure that the scales were accurate. The National Bureau of Standard Weights and Measures, they’d go to service station, and they would pour out a gallon of gasoline on the meter, and they would have a true gallon can, to see that the gallon was a true gallon. It’s important for any kind of commerce to have standardized weights, and measures. “Divers weights and measures are an abomination to the Lord.”
Even a child is known by his doings (20:11),
You can observe a child and you can know what the character flaws are, what needs to be dealt with, what needs to be worked with, even in a child. You can begin to see traits very early. We have one little granddaughter, we’re spending a little time up in the mountains with, with some of the grandkids, and we had two little ones with us. Our thirteen month old little granddaughter, and our eighteen month old little grandson. It’s interesting, as you observe them, you can see different characteristics already, at this early age! Our little granddaughter, thirteen months, I mean, she is something special! She’s just a delight and a doll, but she’s got a, a, a determination, and a will that just won’t quit! I mean, you just don’t stop her.
They have these little portable kind of fences that they put up for kids, and our little grandson, who is older, he’s eighteen months, he goes up to it, and he just looks over, and, and you know, that’s it. Something on the other side, he just lets it, he doesn’t bother with it you know, because there’s this little barrier.
She comes up, pushes the thing over, leans over the top, smashes it down, and goes, I mean, she’s gonna get it no matter what! She’s a climber. She climbs up on the chair, and then up on the table. We always are finding her on the top of the table. You try and move the chairs away, and she’ll struggle with that chair, get it back, climb up on it, and sit on the table, and just sit there and laugh at you, you know! But she just has that grit, and nothing stops her! You can see it in, in just a thirteen month old child! You can see the character already, as it’s beginning to manifest itself. “Even a child is known by his doings.”
whether his work be pure, or whether it be right (20:11).
You can begin to see traits very early. You need to start dealing according to the observations that you see.
The hearing ear, [“He that hath an ear to hear.”] the seeing eye, the Lord has made both of them (20:12).
He has given us the capacity to hear His truth, to see, and to know His truth. They are both of them, from the Lord. And, again laziness.
Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open up your eyes and you’ll be satisfied with bread (20:13).
Get up! Wake up! Go out and go to work, you’ll be satisfied with bread. Now again, in commerce, and this one, oh my!
It is nothing, it is nothing, says the buyer: but when he is gone his way, he boasts (20:14).
You know, you, you, in, in that culture over there, they, it’s sort of like Tijuana. You don’t pay the first price. It’s usually about uh, well usually you pay about fifty percent of the first asking price. But you have to haggle, you have to bargain, and you go through all of these things. You’ll walk away, you start walking up the street, “Come on back! Come on back!”, you know. “Will you give me”, and they’ll, they’ll throw out some ridiculous price, way low. You say, “Yeah!”, then they’ll say, “Well, well I can’t do it for that. But…”, you know and they keep you going, keep you bargaining, keep you haggling.
So you learn to deprecate the goods, say, “Yeah, look at that little scratch there, and look at over here, this clasp doesn’t work quite right, it’s got a little bit of dirt over here!”, you know, and you say, “That’s not really worth it, it’s nothing! It’s nothing!”. Then, when you walk away you say, “Man! What a deal I got!”. Ah people!
There is gold, there’s a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge they’re like a precious jewel. [Such value in, in the words of knowledge, the lips of knowledge, like a precious jewel!] Take his garment that is surety for a stranger (20:15-16):
Now, if you’re going to help someone, lend to someone, if that person is prone to be surety for a stranger, or if he’s prone to run around with women, then you better get a good pledge from them. Take their garment, or get something worthwhile, because their apt not to repay you. So make sure you’ve got plenty of collateral when you make a loan to a person who is prone to be a guarantor for strangers.
or runs around with strange women. Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth will be filled with gravel (20:16-17).
You may get by with deceiving for awhile. You may think you’re clever, and you might enjoy your gains that you’ve gained by deceit. But in the end, it’s going to be like a mouthful of gravel.
Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war (20:18).
Seek counsel, seek, Jesus said, “You don’t go to war, until you first of all, make sure that you have sufficient troops”. You don’t want to lose in a battle, and so you, you take careful consideration. Purposes are established with counsel.
He that goes about as a talebearer revealing secrets: don’t meddle with him that flatters with his lips (20:19).
Two people you want to avoid, those who are talebearers, those who reveal secrets, you want to avoid those people. Then, you want to avoid those that flatter, constantly are flattering you with their lips.
Whoso curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out into obscure darkness (20:20).
When a child becomes so rebellious that he begins to curse his parents, who have sought to instruct him, and he turns against them and curses them, they’re, they’re a lost cause. Their lamp will be put out in obscure darkness.
An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed (20:21).
That is, quick gains, ill-gotten gains, you may profit in the beginning, I think of people who are in the drug traffic. It seems like such an easy way to make so much money, hastily, hasty money. But in the end, the house, the Mercedes, will all be confiscated, and will not be blessed.
Say not thou, I will recompense evil; [“I’m gonna get even with you man!”, don’t say that.] but wait on the Lord, he’ll take care of it (20:22).
The Lord said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord”. So don’t go around threatening to get even, or determining to get even to return evil for evil. But, just commit it to the Lord, let the Lord take care of it. Wait on the Lord, and He’ll take care of you. He’ll deliver you. Now, again with commerce.
Divers weights [We had that earlier.] are an abomination to the Lord; and a false balance is not good. Man’s goings are of the Lord (20:23-24);
God’s sovereign over my life, and He is in control. He, He, He’s guiding, and directing my life.
therefore how can I understand my own way (20:24)?
Often I don’t! I don’t know what God is doing, I don’t know what the purpose of God is, but I just have to trust in the Lord. God has a purpose and a plan in this. He’s working out His will, in His way, and so man’s goings are of the Lord. How important it is that you just commit your way to the Lord, and know that He will direct your path. But you won’t always understand it, how can you understand your own way?
It is a snare to the man who devours that which is holy (20:25),
There are a lot of people who have nothing really to do with things that are holy. They, uh, they devour those things. Jesus said, “Don’t take that which is holy and cast it to the dogs”.
and after vows to make inquiry (20:25).
You promise to do something, and then you start hedging on it. You say, “Well, uh what did you really mean by…”, you know and you start asking questions, and trying to hedge on the promise or the vow that you made. That’s a trap.
A wise king scatters the wicked, and he brings the wheel of justice over them (20:26).
That is, the, the wheel of justice grinds slow, but exceedingly fine. So a wise king will bring this wheel of justice over the wicked.
The spirit of a man [That deep, deep, innermost part of your being.] is the candle of the Lord, searching all of the inward parts of the belly (20:27).
The Spirit of God within, searching out the things that are in your, in the deepest part of your being. “The candle of the Lord”, revealing, showing.
Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upheld by mercy (20:28).
Two things are important for a king, mercy, truth. They will preserve, and they will uphold his throne.
The glory of the young men is their strength: the beauty of the old men is their grey head (20:29).
Don’t know where that leaves me, but…
Now the blueness of a wound cleanses away evil: [the bruise] so do stripes the inward parts of the belly (20:30).
So the cleansing away of evil. The bruise indicates that things are starting to heal up. The inward, the stripes, cleanse away the evil from the inward part of a person’s life.
Shall we pray?
Father we thank You again for wisdom. Let our hearts be inclined to wisdom, that we might Lord, walk in Your path, obey Your commands, that we might Lord walk in the path of wisdom, and understanding. That we might walk Lord in integrity, slow to anger, patient, merciful, kind. Lord, we thank you for that work that You have done in our lives, in cleansing our hearts, and purifying our lives. Let us walk Lord, in that purity, through the strength of Your Spirit. Lord with the Spirit, search out the inward part of our lives. Reveal Lord, that which is not pleasing to you, that we Lord, might be free from those things that would hurt, and destroy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7227

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