Proverbs 10-12

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

July 14, 2004

Proverbs 10

:1 The proverbs of Solomon.

The first nine chapters contained the warnings to his children to pay attention to wisdom. Now we begin actual proverbs.

These aren’t all the proverbs of Solomon. He wrote 3,000 proverbs.

Proverbs are considered Hebrew Poetry.

Our poetry is about the rhyming of words, of sounds.

In Hebrew, poetry is the “rhyming” of thoughts – either in parallel thoughts or in contrasting thoughts.

Organization – if we had written this down, we might have organized the proverbs according to topics

For example, we might have taken all the proverbs about the tongue together.

But the book isn’t organized that way. There doesn’t seem to be too much thought to organization, almost as if it’s kind of random.

:2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.

(Pr 10:2 NLT) Ill-gotten gain has no lasting value, but right living can save your life.

:3 The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish

Learning contentment in all things

What do you need for “happiness”?

The program on the radio – Some eastern college just released a study on how much money or how much sex does it take to make a person happy.

:8 The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.

(Pr 10:8 NLT) The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.

:10 He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.

(Pr 10:10 NIV) He who winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin.

:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.


Covering Sin

(1 Cor 13:7 KJV) (charity …) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
(1 Pet 4:8 KJV) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
We are told that pearls are the product of pain. When the shell of an oyster is chipped or pierced by a worm or boring parasite, a foreign substance, usually a grain of sand, gets in. The inside of an oyster’s shell is made up of a lustrous substance called nacre. When a grain of sand gets into a shell, the nacre cells get busy. They cover the grain of sand with layer after layer of nacre in order to protect the soft body of the oyster. The result is that a beautiful pearl is formed. An oyster which has not been hurt does not grow a pearl—for a pearl is a healed wound.
Have you been hurt by an unkind word of a friend? Have you been accused of saying that which you have not said? Have you worked hard in the church and had no one express appreciation? Have your ideas been rebuffed? Then grow a pearl. Cover your hurts and your rebuffs with layer after layer of love. Just remember that an oyster which has not been hurt does not grow a pearl—for a pearl is a healed wound.

-- The Lamplighter

It is impossible to keep peace between man and woman in family life if they do not condone and overlook each other’s faults but watch everything to the smallest point. For who does not at times offend?

-- Martin Luther.

“Even the most devoted couple will experience a ‘stormy’ bout once in a while. A grandmother, celebrating her golden wedding anniversary, once told the secret of her long and happy marriage. ‘On my wedding day, I decided to make a list of ten of my husband’s faults which, for the sake of our marriage, I would overlook,’ she said.
“A guest asked the woman what some of the faults she had chosen to overlook were. The grandmother replied, ‘To tell you the truth, my dear, I never did get around to listing them. But whenever my husband did something that made me hopping mad, I would say to myself, Lucky for him that’s one of the ten!’ “

On This Day by Carl D. Windsor,

:15 The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

It’s not that this is the way things should be, but an observation about the way things are. Many of the proverbs a like this, simply making observations about how things are.

ie – “spare the rod, spoil the child” – is it a command to not spank your children and a command to spoil them? Or is it an observation that if you spare the rod that you will spoil the child? It’s an observation.

:18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.

(Pr 10:18 NKJV) Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool.

:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.


Be quiet

There are several men in the locker room of a private club after exercising. Suddenly a cell phone on one of the benches rings. A man picks it up and the following conversation ensues:
“Hello?” “Honey, It’s me.” “Sugar!” “Are you at the club?” “Yes.” “Great! I’m at the mall 2 blocks from where you are. I saw a beautiful mink coat. It is absolutely gorgeous!! Can I buy it?” “What’s the price?” “Only $1,500.” “Well, okay, go ahead and get it, if you like it that much.” “Ahhh, and I also stopped by the Mercedes dealership and saw the 2005 models. I saw one I really liked. I spoke with the salesman and he gave me a really good price ... and since we need to exchange the BMW that we bought last year...” “What price did he quote you?” “Only $60,000!” “Okay, but for that price I want it with all the options.” “Great! Before we hang up, something else...” “What?” “It might seem like a lot, but I was reconciling your bank account and...well, I stopped by to see the real estate agent this morning and I saw the house we had looked at last year. It’s on sale!! Remember? The one with a pool, English garden, acre of park area, beachfront property...” “How much are they asking?” “Only $2,450,000... a magnificent price, and I see that we have that much in the bank to cover...” “Well, then go ahead and buy it, but just bid $2,420,000. okay?” “Okay, sweetie. Thanks! I’ll see you later!! I love you!!!” “Bye. I do too.” The man hangs up, closes the phone’s flap and raises his hand while holding the phone and asks to all those present, “Does anyone know to whom this phone belongs?”
I’ll bet someone wished that man had kept his mouth closed.
We often talk about communication as being a key to good marriage. Yet sometimes the best communication is when there’s no communication.
Sometimes we need to learn when to be quiet and sort out the things going on in our heads.
You don’t want to be known as “Someone whose mouth is always open and whose mind is always closed”

:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

When God blesses you with wealth, it’s not a burden.

Maybe if God blesses you with wealth, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

:24 The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.

Both “fear” and “desire” are things that look forward to something, either to looking forward to terrible things or looking forward to good things.

:26 As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.

Don’t be a lazy employee.

:28 The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.

(Pr 10:28 NIV) The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.

Proverbs 11

:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.



In ancient days an evil merchant kept several sets of weights in his bag.
When he was buying a pound of wheat, he’d pull out his heavier “pound” to weigh out what he was buying. When he was selling a pound of wheat he’d pull out his lighter “pound” so he wouldn’t have to sell as much and make a better profit.
But this is not just about buying and selling.
It’s also how you treat people.
We ought to treat people fairly and equally, without partiality or discrimination.
(James 2:1-9 NLT) My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others? {2} For instance, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in shabby clothes. {3} If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, "You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor"--well, {4} doesn't this discrimination show that you are guided by wrong motives? {5} Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn't God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren't they the ones who will inherit the kingdom God promised to those who love him? {6} And yet, you insult the poor man! Isn't it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? {7} Aren't they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear? {8} Yes indeed, it is good when you truly obey our Lord's royal command found in the Scriptures: "Love your neighbor as yourself." {9} But if you pay special attention to the rich, you are committing a sin, for you are guilty of breaking that law.

:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

It’s wiser to be humble.

(Luke 14:7-11 NLT) When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit near the head of the table, he gave them this advice: {8} "If you are invited to a wedding feast, don't always head for the best seat. What if someone more respected than you has also been invited? {9} The host will say, 'Let this person sit here instead.' Then you will be embarrassed and will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table! {10} "Do this instead--sit at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, 'Friend, we have a better place than this for you!' Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. {11} For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored."

:4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.

This could be talking about facing God’s judgment, but I like another idea here as well:

(Pr 11:4 The Message) A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart, but a principled life can stand up to the worst.

Are you building your house on a rock or on shifting sand?

:5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way

Finding direction in doing what is right (like verse 3)

:6 The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.

naughtiness – lust, greed, ambition

:9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

(Pr 11:9 NLT) Evil words destroy one’s friends; wise discernment rescues the godly.

(Pr 11:9 The Message) The loose tongue of the godless spreads destruction; the common sense of the godly preserves them.

:11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

(Pr 11:11 NLT) Upright citizens bless a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.


Being salt

We are the salt of the earth. We have the ability to affect our society for the good. We are blessed to live in a country where WE are the government. The government is supposed to represent us, yet too often we just sit back and do nothing.
The Senate is currently debating the issue of the Federal Marriage Amendment that states that marriage is to be between a man and a woman. It’s okay to get a hold of your senator and let them know what you think – after all, they are supposed to represent us – why not let them know what you’re thinking?
And while you’re at it, don’t “curse” the senator if they don’t agree with your stand, bless them instead.

:12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

It’s a wise thing to love your neighbor.

A smart man keeps his criticism to himself.

(Pr 11:12 NLT) It is foolish to belittle a neighbor; a person with good sense remains silent.

:13 A talebearer revealeth secrets


:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

It’s good to get advice from others. Don’t just rely on your own perspective.

:16 A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

(Pr 11:16 NLT) Beautiful women obtain wealth, and violent men get rich.

This isn’t saying how things ought to be, just an observation of how they are.

:17 The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

(Pr 11:17 NLT) Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel.


Be merciful

Be good to yourself by being merciful to others.
(Mat 5:7 KJV) Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
(Mat 6:14-15 KJV) For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: {15} But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
(Mat 7:1-2 NLT) "Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. {2} For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged.
The Speeder
A pastor was forced to stop by a traffic cop to pull over for speeding. As the cop was about to write the ticket, the pastor said to him, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” The cop handed the pastor the ticket and said, “Go thou and sin no more.”

:18 The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.

(Pr 11:18 NASB95) The wicked earns deceptive wages, But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.

:21 Though hand join in hand

hand join in hand – or, “you can be sure of this …”

:22 As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

discretionta‘am – taste, judgment; decision, decree

Beauty without discretion – it just isn’t right. Sounds like some folks in Hollywood.

(Pr 11:22 The Message) Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful face on an empty head.

:25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

(Pr 11:24-25 The Message) The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. {25} The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.



Frankly, the longer I’m in ministry, the stingier I get. I get so tired of people coming to the church only looking for a cheap, easy handout. The other day Greg talked to a fellow who was calling from a motel. The fellow wanted Greg to come to his motel and give him some money. When Greg said we had run out of funds for that, the fellow got all mad, cursed Greg, and went on and on.
But it’s not right to become stingier. We need to be generous people. Yes, there’s a place for wisdom in helping people in need and no we can’t help everybody. But don’t become stingy.
(Prov 19:17 KJV) He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

:26 He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.

(Pr 11:26 NLT) People curse those who hold their grain for higher prices, but they bless the one who sells to them in their time of need.

It’s called “price gouging”. Sounds like something the OPEC nations ought to pay attention to.

:29 He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

(Pr 11:29 The Message) Exploit or abuse your family, and end up with a fistful of air; common sense tells you it’s a stupid way to live.

“Inherit the Wind” was the name of the play written about the Scopes’ “Monkey Trial” back in the 1920s that pitted creation versus evolution.

I don’t know who the author thought was the fool or the wise of heart, but Bible sure is clear on it.

:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

Perhaps this is simply talking about saving another person’s life:

(Pr 11:30 NLT) The godly are like trees that bear life-giving fruit, and those who save lives are wise.

But most of the translations keep the “winning souls” idea.

It’s one of the smartest things you can do – leading another person to Jesus.