Morning Bible Study
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The book of Proverbs is all about wisdom.
Wisdom is not about knowing facts.
Wisdom is about knowing what to do with what you know.
Wisdom is knowing when to do it.
Wisdom is knowing how to do it.
Proverbs are sayings, typically short, that give wisdom and insight into
They are intended to help you lead a better life.
They are not absolute promises, as in “if you do x,y, and z your life will
They are general principles – that if you do them your life will be
generally better than if you didn’t do them.
I want to encourage you to have a pencil or pen ready as we work through
Though we will read the entire chapter, I won’t be taking time to unpack
every single proverb.
The Proverbs are Hebrew poetry…
Hebrew poetry is about ideas, not sounds.
Most of these proverbs are in two lines.
Sometimes the second line is a parallel of the first. It expresses the same
idea with different words.
Sometimes the second line is an opposite idea, still clarifying the first,
but by way of contrast.
Be careful that you don’t look at one phrase without looking at the other.
:1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is
:2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.
:3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous
cannot be moved.
:4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes
shame is like rottenness in his bones.
:4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband
A Good Woman
excellent – chayil –
strength, might, efficiency, wealth, army.
When this word is used to describe men, they are described as “men of valor”,
“mighty” men, or “valiant” men.
It’s used to describe Solomon’s great great grandmother Ruth. Boaz told her,
3:11 NKJV) And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you
request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous
Ruth was a hard-working woman.
This is the same word used to describe the “virtuous wife” of Proverbs 31.
That kind of devotion and effort is not just for moms, but husbands and
wives toward each other as well.
There is a sense that you “embellish” or “adorn” your spouse by how you
work at your marriage.
Do you recognize the blessing that your spouse is to you?
:5 The thoughts of the righteous are right, But the counsels
of the wicked are deceitful.
:6 The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,” But the
mouth of the upright will deliver them.
:7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the
righteous will stand.
:7 the house of the righteous will stand
The word “house” isn’t just about a building, but a family.
(Proverbs 12:7 NLT)
wicked die and disappear, but the family of the godly stands firm.
Jonathan Edwards was a famous Puritan preacher from the 1700s. His ministry
was at the center of several revivals in the American colonies, including the
Great Awakening (1731). He had a powerful ministry, but he also had an amazing
He and his wife Sarah had 11 children, and the “house” of
Jonathan Edwards would be an awesome one.
Around the turn of the 20th century, someone decided to trace
the descendants of Jonathan Edwards almost 150 years after his death.
Jonathan Edwards’ legacy includes: 1 U.S. Vice-President,
3 U.S. Senators, 3 governors, 3 mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 65
professors, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers and 100 missionaries.
Parents, this is not a promise your kids won’t rebel, but it’s a general
principle that your kids are way better off when you lay for them a healthy,
godly, loving foundation.
:8 A man will be commended according to his wisdom, But he who is of a
perverse heart will be despised.
:9 Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant, Than he who
honors himself but lacks bread.
:9 Than he who honors himself …
(Proverbs 12:9 The
Message) Better to be ordinary and work for a living than act
important and starve in the process.
Back in 1990, America led a coalition against Saddam Hussein in what was
known as the “First Gulf War”.
The mastermind behind the military strategy was General Norman Schwarzkopf.
So the story goes that back in those days …
A newly promoted major had moved into a makeshift office during the 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.” Turning to the private he asked, “And
what can I do for you?” “Uhhh, Sir, I’m just here to hook up your phone.”
Be careful about being the one who always tries to honor himself.
One day it will backfire on you.
:10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender
mercies of the wicked are cruel.
NLT) The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel.
:11 He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows
frivolity is devoid of understanding.
:11 He who tills his land
Stay on task
In using the Hebrew poetry principle of contrast, the one who “tills his
land” is the opposite of the one that “follows frivolity”, or leaves at every
“opportunity” that comes his way.
This is not just about working hard. This is about not leaving with every
new shiny opportunity that comes your way.
(Proverbs 12:11 The
Message) The one who stays on the job has food on the table; the witless
chase whims and fancies.
William Carey only had an elementary school education, but by the time he
was in his teens, he could read the Bible in six languages. He later became
Professor of Oriental Languages at Fort William College in Calcutta, and his
printing press at Serampore provided Scripture in over 40 languages and
dialects for more than 300 million people. He was known as the “father of
He once wrote to his nephew Eustice, “if after my removal anyone should
think it worth his while to write my life, I will give you a criterion by which
you may judge of its correctness. If he gives me credit for being a plodder, he
will describe me justly. Anything beyond this will be too much. I can plod. That
is my only genius. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe
A “plodder” is one who is trudging through the mud. They
are willing to get their feet wet in order to get to their destination.
“In Praise of Plodders”
Spurgeon wrote, “By perseverance, the snail reached the ark”.
(Galatians 6:9 NLT)
let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap
a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
:12 The wicked covet the catch of evil men, But the root of the
righteous yields fruit.
:13 The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the
righteous will come through trouble.
:14 A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, And
the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him.
:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds
counsel is wise.
(Proverbs 12:15 The
Message) Fools are headstrong and do what they like; wise people
Be careful when you are the only one who thinks that your current choices
in life are the right ones.
If it’s because you don’t want to listen to advice, what does that make
you? (a fool)
:16 A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame.
:16 A fool’s wrath is known at once
(Proverbs 12:16 The
Message) Fools have short fuses and explode all too quickly; the prudent
quietly shrug off insults.
Got a quick temper? What does that make you? Solomon says it makes you a
(James 1:19–20 NLT)
—19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be
quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger
does not produce the righteousness God desires.
Some of us feel we have a right to be angry.
God doesn’t think so.
The Secret of a Happy Marriage
There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years,
they had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no
secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoebox in the
top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her
about. For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day
the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.
In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoebox
and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should
know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted doilies and
a stack of money totaling $40,000. He asked her about the contents. “When we
were to be married,” she said,” my grandmother told me the secret of a happy
marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you I
should just keep quiet and crochet a doily.” The little old man was so moved,
he had to fight back tears. Only two precious doilies were in the box. She had
only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He
almost burst with happiness. “Honey,” he said, “that explains the doilies, but
what about all of this money? Where did it come from?” “Oh,” she said, “that’s
the money I made from selling the doilies.”
Your anger is not cool.
:17 He who speaks truth declares righteousness, But a false witness,
:18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue
of the wise promotes health.
:18 speaks like the piercings of a sword
(Proverbs 12:18 The
Message) Rash language cuts and maims, but there is healing in the words of the wise.
How are you going to use your words?
Hurt or Heal
Your words can cut like a butcher knife or heal like a scalpel.
We actually have a choice in what we’re going to say and how we’re going to
It’s like having two pockets in your pants. Are you going to pick from the pocket
with words that hurt, or the pocket with words that heal?
One of the issues in our choice of words has to do with “buttons”. Big red
Big red buttons
The closer we get to somebody, the more “buttons” we uncover in their life.
I’m talking about those big red buttons marked “Warning, do not push except
for nuclear attack!”
Those “buttons” are the areas in the other person’s life that are extra
The closer you are to someone, the more you know about
what has brought them pain or shame.
Some people choose to win the argument by pushing the
other person’s buttons.
Anytime they feel they’re losing the argument, they trot
out that piece of information that brings instant hurt or humiliation.
Make is your resolution to never fight by pressing those
buttons. Never. Ever.
:19 The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is
but for a moment.
:20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of
peace have joy.
NLT) Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that
are planning peace!
:21 No grave trouble will overtake the righteous, But the wicked shall be
filled with evil.
:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
(Proverbs 12:22 The
Message) God can’t stomach liars; he loves the company of those who keep their word.
Despite the joke, God seriously hates it
when we lie.
:23 A prudent man conceals knowledge, But
the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.
(Proverbs 12:23 The Message) Prudent
people don’t flaunt their knowledge; talkative fools broadcast their silliness.
:24 The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put
to forced labor.
NLT) Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.
:25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it
:25 a good word makes it glad
A Good Word
There can be lots of reasons for depression and anxiety.
These burdens don’t always have one magic bullet, or one magic word to end
But a good word goes a long way to ease the burden.
Sometimes the good word involves news of something that God has been doing.
When I hear how God has answered somebody’s prayer, it
lifts my heart.
Sometimes the good word is a well-reasoned response to a difficult
500 years ago (on Tuesday), a monk named Martin Luther nailed his list of
95 issues he had with the Roman Catholic church to the door of the church in
One of the things he argued against was the sale of
indulgences – the thought that salvation could be purchased with money instead
of through trust in Christ.
Martin would be arrested and put on trial for his beliefs.
Video: Luther – Response at Worms
Martin’s response was based on Scripture, and certainly
gladdened the hearts of the people.
Salvation comes by trusting Jesus, not by giving money to
The greatest resource we have to gladden our heart is in God’s Word.
119:50 NKJV) This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your
word has given me life.
Make sure you give yourself time each day to read.
:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the
wicked leads them astray.
:27 The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But
diligence is man’s precious possession.
:27 does not roast what he took in hunting
In other words, the lazy man doesn’t finish what he starts.
:28 In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there
is no death.
:28 In the way of righteousness is life
Righteousness that leads to eternal life comes by believing in Jesus.
NLT) —25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made
right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his
blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did
not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and
including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to
demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes
sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
My friend, give your heart to Jesus today.