Proverbs 12-13

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

July 21, 2004


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.

Proverbs 12

:1 but he that hateth reproof is brutish.

brutishba‘ar – brutishness, stupidity

:4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband

Note: It’s a “virtuous” woman, not a “virtual” woman. We’re not talking internet here …

virtuouschayil – strength, might, efficiency, wealth, army. This is the word that us used to talk of “men of valour”.

It seems that this speaks a lot of “strength”. Sometimes when we talk about women being “submissive” to their husbands, we lose that idea of “strength”, but it’s not foreign to the Bible. A strong woman is a blessing to her husband.

(Pr 12:4 NIV) A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

Do you realize what a blessing your spouse is? Have you told them lately?

We’ll see more on the “virtuous woman” in Proverbs 31 –

(Prov 31:10 KJV) Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

:7 …but the house of the righteous shall stand.

There is a promise here for our kids:

(Pr 12:7 NLT) The wicked perish and are gone, but the children of the godly stand firm.

(Pr 12:7 The Message) Wicked people fall to pieces—there’s nothing to them; the homes of good people hold together.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I worry how my boys are going to turn out. It’s scary as they’re entering into their teenage years.
One of the best things we can do for our kids is to live a “righteous” life. Keep following Jesus.

:9 He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.

(Pr 12:9 The Message) Better to be ordinary and work for a living than act important and starve in the process.


Big Shot

A newly promoted colonel had moved into a makeshift office during the last Gulf War. He was just getting unpacked when out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a private with a toolbox coming his way. Wanting to seem important, he grabbed the phone: “Yes, General Schwarzkopf. Of course, I think that’s an excellent plan.” He continued: “You’ve got my support on it. Thanks for checking with me. Let’s touch base again soon, Norm. Good-bye.” “And what can I do for you?” he asked the private. “Uhhh, I’m just here to hook up your phone.”

By Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg; Becoming a Contagious Christian

:10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast

Your walk with the Lord can be reflected in how you treat animals.

:11 He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread:


Hard work

For some reason, some people are a little lazy.
Two friends who hadn’t seen each other in years met in a supermarket. One woman asked, “Tell me, Ruth, how is your son George?”
“He’s getting along fine,” Ruth replied. “He’s a poet. He just received his master’s degree in literature from the university.”
“And what about Mary?”
“She’s just as smart as George,” Ruth replied. “She graduated from college with a degree in modern art.”
“Wonderful. And how is little Freddy? What is he doing?”
“Well,” Ruth said, “Freddy is still Freddy. He wouldn’t go to college—he became a plumber instead. If it weren’t for him, we’d all be starving.”

-- Sunshine Magazine

Paul wrote,
(2 Th 3:7-12 NLT) For you know that you ought to follow our example. We were never lazy when we were with you. {8} We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so that we would not be a burden to any of you. {9} It wasn't that we didn't have the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow. {10} Even while we were with you, we gave you this rule: "Whoever does not work should not eat." {11} Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and wasting time meddling in other people's business. {12} In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we appeal to such people--no, we command them: Settle down and get to work. Earn your own living.

:12 The wicked desireth the net of evil men

(Pr 12:12 NIV) The wicked desire the plunder of evil men, but the root of the righteous flourishes.

The wicked person gets their “stuff” by plundering others, the righteous person produces their own “stuff”.

:13 The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips

(Pr 12:13 The Message) The gossip of bad people gets them in trouble; the conversation of good people keeps them out of it.

:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

(Pr 12:15 The Message) Fools are headstrong and do what they like; wise people take advice.

It’s one thing to realize that people need advice – but is it always other people that need advice, or do you need it from time to time?

:16 A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.

(Pr 12:16 NLT) A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.

Got a quick temper? What does that make you?

(James 1:19-20 KJV) Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: {20} For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.


Hurting or healing

Your words can cut like a butcher knife or heal like a scalpel.
Big red buttons
The closer we get to somebody, the more “buttons” we uncover in their life. Those big red buttons marked “Warning, do not push except under nuclear attack!” Those areas that are extra sensitive in a person’s life. Resolve not to push other people’s buttons.
A Burst Of Confidence
When the employees of a restaurant attended a fire safety seminar, they watched a fire official demonstrate the proper way to operate an extinguisher. “Pull the pin like a hand grenade,” he explained, “then depress the trigger to release the foam.” Later an employee was selected to extinguish a controlled fire in the parking lot. In her nervousness, she forgot to pull the pin. The instructor hinted, “Like a hand grenade, remember?” In a burst of confidence she pulled the pin .... and hurled the extinguisher at the blaze.
How are you responding to the fires around you?

Are you just pulling the pin and throwing the extinguisher? Or putting out the fire?

Are you throwing water or gasoline on the flames?

:22 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD

(Pr 12:22 The Message) God can’t stomach liars; he loves the company of those who keep their word.

You’re going to see as we go through proverbs that there’s just about no good reason to be telling a lie.

:25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.

(Prov 12:25 NASB) Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.


Encourage others

This week I got a couple of encouraging phone calls. One friend called and left a message just to tell me that he thought I was doing a great job and that he appreciated me. My wife called me today to tell me about something she appreciated.
Boy those calls made me feel good. They made me feel “glad”.
(Prov 15:30 NASB) Bright eyes gladden the heart; Good news puts fat on the bones.

:27 The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.


The importance of diligence

We’ve seen this several times so far.
(Prov 10:4-5 KJV) He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. {5} He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.
Diligence brings wealth.
(Prov 11:27 KJV) He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.
Diligence towards good things produces “favour”
(Prov 12:24 KJV) The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
Diligence is a part of good leaders.
(Prov 12:27 KJV) The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.
(Pr 12:27 NKJV) {27} The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man’s precious possession.
If you are learning diligence – it’s a very precious possession of yours.
William Carey, the father of modern missions wrote, “I can plod. That is my only genius. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.”
Diligence – finishing what you start.

:28 In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

(Rom 6:23 KJV) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The way of righteousness is to know Jesus. He brings life.

Proverbs 13

:1 A wise son heareth his father's instruction

It’s hard to listen to instruction from others, but it seems that there comes a time in a person’s life when it seems especially hardest to listen to your dad’s instruction.


Growing Opinions of Dad

4 years: My daddy can do anything.

7 years: My dad knows a lot, a whole lot.

8 years: My father doesn’t know quite everything.

12 years: Oh, well, naturally Father doesn’t know that, either.

14 years: Father? Hopelessly old-fashioned.

21 years: Oh, that man is out-of-date. What did you expect?

25 years: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.

30 years: Maybe we ought to find out what Dad thinks.

35 years: A little patience. Let’s get Dad’s assessment before we do anything.

50 years: I wonder what Dad would have thought about that. He was pretty smart.

60 years: My Dad knew absolutely everything!

65 years: I’d give anything if Dad were here so I could talk this over with him. I really miss that man.

:7 There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

(Prov 13:7 NLT) Some who are poor pretend to be rich; others who are rich pretend to be poor.



Lucius Annaeus Seneca, around 60 A.D. said “Money has never yet made anyone rich.”
Six things that characterize the richest people on earth:
1. Rich people know the speed limit. Most of us know what makes our lives rich. We know what brings us joy, what glues a permanent smile to our faces. The trouble is, we’re driving too fast to notice. We’re too busy working overtime, meeting deadlines, running stoplights; the things that make life rich are lost in the blur. Rich people pull out of the fast lane and look around for the answers.
2. Rich people hit curveballs. Their lives have not been the easiest. They don’t always pick up the phone and hear good news, or respond with grace to every crisis. But they are learning how to stand in the batter’s box and take a swing when life throws them a curveball. They are learning where to turn when the road starts to wind unexpectedly.
3. Rich people are people people. C. S. Lewis said that “Friendship is the greatest of worldly goods.” At its best, companionship deepens our joy, lightens our load, and brightens our paths. But, face it, friendships end. Marriages dissolve. People disappoint. Rich people still reach out to others, even when they’ve been disappointed or hurt.
4. Rich people know where the buck stops. It is important to know what money can - and cannot - buy. Money can buy nice houses, but not a home; a fancy bed, but not a peaceful sleep; companions, but not friends; sex, but not love; new cars, but not safety; pills, but not health, fun but not fulfillment. The apostle Paul said, “I have learned in whatever state I am to be content.”
5. Rich people leave the right things behind. When we leave this earth, we won’t take anything with us. Some will leave an inheritance of wealth. But the greatest legacy we can leave behind are our footprints - everywhere we go. Grace-full footprints. Footprints of encouragement. Of kindness. Of forgiveness. Of love. Footprints that others will want to follow.
6. Rich people have the last laugh. Some people do their darndest to bring us “back to earth,” focusing on the bad times. But although times may be bad, they are the only times we have. It’s much better to spend time playing ball with your kids, or planting a tree, than to be depressing yourself - and others - with unfulfilled dreams or regrets. In the darkest of times, rich people know that the best is yet to come...heaven.
From Making Life Rich Without Any Money by Phil Callaway, copyright © 1998. Used by permission of Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Ore.

:8 The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

(Prov 13:8 NLT) The rich can pay a ransom, but the poor won't even get threatened.

There are advantages to being poor – bad people don’t kidnap your friends (‘cause you can’t pay the ransom!)

:10 Only by pride cometh contention

 (Prov 13:10 NIV) Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.


Pride and strife.

How many of our difficulties that we have with people boil down to pride?
2Kings 14 – Amaziah became king of Judah at the age of 25. When he got his kingdom all settled down, he went out to war and fought with the Edomites, winning a great battle. But at that point his pride kicked in. He thought he could take on the world. So he challenged Jehoash, the king of the northern kingdom of Israel to a battle. Jehoash replied:
(2 Ki 14:10-12 NLT) You have indeed destroyed Edom and are very proud about it. Be content with your victory and stay at home! Why stir up trouble that will bring disaster on you and the people of Judah?" {11} But Amaziah refused to listen, so King Jehoash of Israel mobilized his army against King Amaziah of Judah. The two armies drew up their battle lines at Beth-shemesh in Judah. {12} Judah was routed by the army of Israel, and its army scattered and fled for home.
Pride leads to strife.
When you are arguing with someone and you can’t resolve the issue, what keeps things at odds? Pride.
When you are arguing with someone and you realize you were the one who was wrong, what keeps you from admitting it and apologizing? Pride.

:11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished

vanityhebel – vapour, breath

(Prov 13:11 NLT) Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows.

(Prov 13:11 ICB) Money that comes easily disappears quickly. But money that is gathered little by little will slowly grow.

There are no Scriptures that seem to speak directly towards the issue of gambling or the lottery, but this comes pretty close. This could also apply towards the “get-rich-quick” investment things that people get sucked into.

:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

(Prov 13:12 ICB) It is sad when you don't get what you hoped for. But when wishes come true, it's like eating fruit from the tree of life.


Dealing with disappointment

Snow White
Snow White received a camera as a gift. She happily took many pictures of the Dwarves and their surroundings. When she finished her first batch, she took the film to be developed. After a week or so, she went to get the finished photos. The clerk said the photos were not back from the processor. Snow White was so disappointed that she started to cry. The clerk, trying to console her, said kindly, “Don’t worry, someday your prints will come.”
I think we need to be careful about the “I’ve-got-to-get-this-thing-now” situations. Buying a new car, getting some new toy, be careful about the pressure that comes from having to have it “now” so you don’t get heartsick over it.
It would be better to learn to wait and be careful what you set your heart on.
It would be better to really be content with, “Whatever the Lord wants”. He gives and takes away – blessed be the name of the Lord.
(Psa 37:4 KJV) Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
When we delight ourselves in Him, we will find the better desires in our heart, the things we ought to be desiring.

:13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed

It’s a sad thing for a person to “despise” God’s Word. We might not like some of the things that God says, but we’re only hurting ourselves if we despise God’s Word.

A person might despise the Law of Gravity, but he’s a fool if he acts on it.

:23 Much food is in the tillage of the poor…

 (Prov 13:23 ICB) A poor man's field might have plenty of food. But unfair people steal it from him.

:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son

Spare the rod and spoil the child. It’s not a command but a principle.


Disciplining children.

It’s one of the hardest things a parent has to do – to discipline their child.
Discipline is about teaching what is right and what is wrong.

The goal is instruction – you are teaching them for a reason.

I used to tell my boys something like, “I love you so much and I don’t want you growing up to be a boy who always hurts others and no one likes. That’s why you can’t keep acting like this.”

Doing it without anger – anger in you only breeds anger in the child.
When I was angry, I used to take the paddle and paddle myself to shake it off.
Knowing what is appropriate – sometimes spanking is appropriate, sometimes it is not. Find out what works.
Age & Action
Child must be old enough to tell you what they did was wrong.

But once they are old enough to talk to you, you need to take action – don’t put it off.

Chinese Proverb – “Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on their toes.”

Dr. Dobson – “The parent must convince himself that discipline is not something he does to the child; it is something he does for the child.”

I think a much over-looked aspect of discipline is to teach your child respect for those in authority.
You might not think that you deserve much respect from anyone.

But you can’t let that attitude be your reason not to teach your child to respect others.

If you allow your child to speak disrespectfully to you, you are opening the door to them disrespecting others in authority over them.

A key to getting along in society is learning to respect the proper authority.

When you’re married, it’s good to stick up for your spouse – don’t allow your children to be disrespectful towards your spouse.

It’s hardest when you have to be the one to teach them to respect you – but you have a reason – you are teaching them to respect authority, not just you. This is hardest on single moms.

Discipline must be coupled with love

“I love you too much to let you behave like that.” (James C. Dobson)

When the child understands what they did wrong, they need to be forgiven and loved on.