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Proverbs 17

Sunday Morning Bible Study

December 17, 2017


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular: 2900 words Communion: 2500 words Video=75wpm

Searchlight Update/announcement

As most of you know, our landlords “Friends in Christ” merged with “Searchlight Ministries” on December 1. The new church is now known as “Searchlight”, and I will be referring to the combined entity as “Searchlight”.

We have been making some changes to accommodate the combined Searchlight, and the biggest change to date is the relocation of our Nursery. Starting today, our Nursery has been relocated to “Room 1”, which is the room located next to our office. Sarah has worked overtime to get this done. Take a peek at it and be sure to thank her.  The Pre-K room will remain in the same location. The classes that have been using Room 1 will be relocating to this building in Room 4 (in the back corner behind our sanctuary).

Now for the larger news ...

On Wednesday morning I was informed that Searchlight has received an offer from the home builder “K.B. Homes”. This is the second time K.B. Homes has offered to purchase the property, the first offer was a few months ago. Searchlight is now trying to decide if this is something that God is wanting them to do. The overall deal values at $9million and involves the purchase of an existing church property near Imperial and Bastanchury for $4.5million, and relocating Searchlight. Searchlight will then have something near $4million to put in the bank afterwards.

The deal is not decided.  Searchlight is merely considering the offer.

If Searchlight approves the concept of selling the property, we will have a short window in which to put our own bid on the property, but unless we come up with $9million, our offer probably won’t be accepted.

We are not included in the move to Yorba Linda. If the deal goes through, we would have between 12-18 months to find a new home.

Pastor Larry does want you to know that this is not the old “Searchlight” church’s doing. Larry was the one with the original contact from K.B. Homes, and he has been the one pursing this.

On Thursday night I was talking about how God has shown His faithfulness to us over the years, and told the story of the miracle of how He got us to this property 13 years ago.

Some of you were around and saw how God moved in an amazing way.
You who are here now will have the same opportunity to have a front row seat in seeing what God is going to do.
Our part is to pray and seek God’s direction.

Thursday Night: Come to Israel with us!

We will taking you to Israel by way of the pictures from our trip last month.

And since its almost Christmas, we’ll be sure to take you to Bethlehem…

Video: The Bible Project – Proverbs Introduction

Video: Proverbs Introduction

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.

We are now in a new section of the book of Proverbs.

We’ve finished the “mini-lectures” that Solomon gave to his son in the first nine chapters.

The rest of the book are what we typically call the “proverbs”.

Proverbs are sayings, typically short, that give wisdom and insight into everyday things.

They are intended to help you lead a better life.

They are not absolute promises, as in “if you do x,y, then z will always happen and your life will be perfect”.

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 each chapter.

Though we will read the entire chapter, I won’t be taking time to unpack every single proverb.

God may want to use one of the proverbs that we simply pass over to speak to you, so be ready to mark up your Bible or write down a verse.

It’s going to be a little like drinking from a fire hydrant.

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.

Proverbs 17

:1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife.

:1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness


The Rich Family

It’s funny the different ideas we have about being “rich”, or perhaps actually about being truly “happy” or “blessed”.
The Rich Family in Our Church by Eddie Ogan
I’ll never forget Easter, 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy 12, and my older sister Darlene 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died 5 years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money. By 1946 my older sisters were married, and my brothers had left home.
A month before Easter, the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially. When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering.
When we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and didn’t listen to the radio, we’d save money on that month’s electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us babysat for everyone we could. For 15 cents, we could buy enough cotton loops to make three pot holders to sell for $1. We made $20 on pot holders.
That month was one of the best of our lives. Every day we counted the money to see how much we had saved. At night we’d sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church, so we figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all, every Sunday the pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.
The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our change. We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money before. That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn’t care that we wouldn’t have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering. We could hardly wait to get to church!
On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn’t own an umbrella, and the church was over a mile from our home, but it didn’t seem to matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet. But we sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking about the Smith girls having on their old dresses. I looked at them in their new clothes, and I felt so rich.
When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us girls put in a $20. As we walked home after church, we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled Easter eggs with our fried potatoes!
Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand. We asked what it was, but she didn’t say a word. She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 bill and seventeen $1 bills. Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn’t talk, just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling like poor white trash.
We kids had had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn’t have our mom and dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and see whether we got the fork or the spoon that night. We had two knives which we passed around to whoever needed them.
I knew we didn’t have a lot of things that other people had, but I’d never thought we were poor. That Easter Day I found out we were. The minister had brought us the money for the poor family, so we must be poor. I didn’t like being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed that I didn’t want to go back to church. Everyone there probably already knew we were poor! I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over 100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew we were poor. I decided I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was all the law required at that time.
We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to bed. All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much. Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money. What did poor people do with money? We didn’t know. We’d never known we were poor. We didn’t want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we didn’t talk on the way. Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and she only sang one verse. At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun-dried bricks, but they need money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister said, “Can’t we all sacrifice to help these poor people?”
We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week. Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the offering. When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100. The missionary was excited. He hadn’t expected such a large offering from our small church. He said, “You must have some rich people in this church.”
Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that “little over $100.” We were the rich family in the church! Hadn’t the missionary said so? From that day on I’ve never been poor again. I’ve always remembered how rich I am because I have Jesus.

Be careful about how you define to yourself what “happiness” is all about, or what true riches are.

:2 A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame, And will share an inheritance among the brothers.

This verse makes me think about Jeroboam and Rehoboam.

Jeroboam was the servant of Solomon at one time.  Rehoboam was Solomon’s son.  Rehoboam acted unwisely in how he handled the kingdom and as a result the kingdom of Israel was divided and Jeroboam ended up as king over 10 of the twelve tribes.

:3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests the hearts.

:3 the Lord tests the hearts


Refiner’s Fire

The “refining pot” is a crucible where gold is melted down and refined.
refining potmitsreph – crucible
from tsaraph – to smelt, refine, test
Video: Gold – How it’s made
testsbachan – to examine, try, prove, scrutinize
In ancient days, the refiner’s pot, or crucible, accomplished two things, just as this verse shows two related things happening.
There are two different principles at work in this verse, and because of the principle of Hebrew poetic parallelism, they define each other.
The crucible was a test of whether the material was genuine or not.

It might look like a solid bar of gold, but once it’s melted down you’d be able to tell what it was really made of.

Paul uses this picture when he describes how we build our lives on the foundation of Jesus Christ, and whether or not we will receive rewards for what we’ve built.

(1 Corinthians 3:12–15 NKJV) —12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

testeddokimazo – to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals

As in the video, the crucible also refined the material in the fire.

The goldsmith uses a crucible to get rid of the “slag” or “dross” so all that’s left is pure gold.

Peter describes the crucible at work on our faith.

(1 Peter 1:6–7 NKJV) —6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

Our faith is “refined” by the difficult times we go through.  What’s left is the gold of praise, honor, glory, when Jesus comes back.

Are you going through a “fire” right now?  I know I am.
God may be testing our faith to show us just how genuine it is.

The people around us are watching to see how genuine our faith is as well.

God may also be working to refine our faith, to make it stronger and purer.

Don’t be quick to jump out of the fire.

:4 An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.

(Proverbs 17:4 The Message) Evil people relish malicious conversation; the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip.


The story is told of three pastors who went fishing together in the northern wilderness of Canada.

While they were there they became quite cordial with one another and began to talk about their innermost thoughts. One confessed that he had been guilty of certain sins. He named them, then he urged the other two to confess their weaknesses. The second pastor confessed that he too, had certain weaknesses and recounted them in detail.

The third pastor remained silent for a long time. Finally when pressed by his fellow pastors to reveal his weaknesses, he said, “Brethren, I don’t think you want to know my weaknesses, but since you insist, I am going to tell you. I just love to gossip, and I can hardly wait to get home.”


Abraham Lincoln’s coffin was pried open twice.

The first occasion was in 1887, twenty-two long years after his assassination. Why? You may be surprised to know it was not to determine if he had died of a bullet fired from John Wilkes Booth’s derringer. Then why? Because a rumor was sweeping the country that his coffin was empty. A select group of witnesses observed that the rumor was totally false, then watched as the casket was resealed with lead.

The second time, fourteen years later, the martyred man’s withered body was viewed again—this time by even more witnesses. Why again? For the same grim purpose! Rumors of the same nature had again implanted doubts in the public’s mind. The pressure mounted to such proportions, that the same ghoulish, grotesque ceremony had to be carried out. In spite of the strong protests of Lincoln’s son Robert, the body was exposed a second time. Officials felt the rumors should be laid to rest along with the Civil War president. Finally—the corpse was permanently embedded in a crypt at Springfield.

:5 He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.

:6 Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father.

:6 Children’s children are the crown of old men

(Proverbs 17:6 NLT) Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged…

This is why us grandparents want to show you so many pictures of our grandchildren.

You wouldn’t mind would you if I show you a few pictures of Ruthie??

:6 And the glory of children is their father

I kind of think this is partly why some of us have this complicated thing going on in our lives where we want to please our dad.

The general principle is that people look up to (or want to look up to) their dad.
Dads, be a dad who is worth looking up to.

:7 Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool, Much less lying lips to a prince.

:8 A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; Wherever he turns, he prospers.

presentshachad – present, bribe

(Proverbs 17:8 NLT) A bribe is like a lucky charm; whoever gives one will prosper!

Solomon isn’t saying a bribe is good, just that it is effective.

:9 He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.

(Proverbs 17:9 NLT) Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

:9 He who covers a transgression seeks love


Dealing with sin

How does this fit into the daily reports of people being charged with sexual abuse?
Is Solomon trying to say we should just cover things up?
The Bible gives several guidelines when those around us sin.  To the Galatians, Paul wrote,
(Galatians 6:1 NKJV) Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

The overall goal is that we want to see people put back on the right path, restored.

Jesus laid out a progression of steps.
(Matthew 18:15–17 NKJV) —15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

The goal is to get the person to turn around.

Jesus’ first step was to talk to the person alone, and as Paul mentioned with gentleness.

It’s during this first step that Solomon’s principle fits – not to be talking about the other person’s sins while there’s still a chance they might turn around.

But … if they won’t turn around, then eventually things need to move towards bringing other people into the situation.

If the issue has to do with illegal conduct, you need to think about going to the police right away.

When defining what love looks like, Paul said that love …
(1 Corinthians 13:7 NKJV) bears all things…

The Greek word here (stego) means literally to “cover” as in covering something to protect it.

A good of whether you’re doing this in your marriage is to find out what your spouse’s best friends think of you.  Do they think you’re “Mr. Wonderful”, or are you “That evil snake”?

When you love someone, you don’t tell everyone else about their faults.

:10 Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on a fool.

(Proverbs 17:10 The Message) A quiet rebuke to a person of good sense does more than a whack on the head of a fool.

:11 An evil man seeks only rebellion; Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

:12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his folly.

(Proverbs 17:12 The Message) Better to meet a grizzly robbed of her cubs than a fool hell-bent on folly.

Have you ever tried to confront someone who has absolutely no intention of doing the right thing?

:13 Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house.

(Proverbs 17:13 NLT) If you repay good with evil, evil will never leave your house.

:14 The beginning of strife is like releasing water; Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.

(Proverbs 17:14 NLT) Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out.

:15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.

:16 Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, Since he has no heart for it?

(Proverbs 17:16 NLT) It is senseless to pay to educate a fool, since he has no heart for learning.

:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

(Proverbs 17:17 The Message) Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

When you go through difficult times, you will find out who your true friends are.

:18 A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge, And becomes surety for his friend.

(Proverbs 17:18 The Message) It’s stupid to try to get something for nothing, or run up huge bills you can never pay.

:19 He who loves transgression loves strife, And he who exalts his gate seeks destruction.

(Proverbs 17:19 NLT) Anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin; anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster.

“Exalting his gate” might refer to building a large, pretentious gate or front door to a house.  It also might refer to the kinds of words that come out of the “mouth gate”.

The emphasis seems to be a warning against being contentious and proud.

:20 He who has a deceitful heart finds no good, And he who has a perverse tongue falls into evil.

:21 He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy.

:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.

:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine


Healing Joy

merrysameach – joyful, merry, glad
(Proverbs 17:22 NLT) A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
The doctors call it “laughter therapy” or “humor therapy”.

After evaluating participants before and after a humorous event (i.e., a comedy video), studies have revealed that episodes of laughter helped to reduce pain, decrease stress-related hormones and boost the immune system in participants.

I think one of the funniest people ever is Tim Conway.  Here’s one of his classic skits where he plays a dentist with his very first ever patient…

Video:  Tim Conway – The Dentist

According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, laughter therapy may help to:

·        Enhance oxygen intake

·        Stimulate the heart and lungs

·        Relax muscles throughout the body

·        Trigger the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers)

·        Ease digestion/soothe stomach aches

·        Balance blood pressure

·        Improve mental functions (i.e., alertness, memory, creativity)

Laughter therapy may also help to:
There’s another source of a “merry heart” than just comedy. David uses a Hebrew word related to “merry” when he writes,
(Psalm 16:11 NKJV) You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

It’s in God’s presence we find the greatest joy.

The Hebrew word for “presence” is at times also translated “face” or “countenance”, like what we read here:

(Numbers 6:24–26 NKJV) —24 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”

Look at all the amazing things that come from being in His presence:  Joy.  Grace.  Peace.

Doesn’t that make you want to spend some time with God?

:23 A wicked man accepts a bribe behind the back To pervert the ways of justice.

:24 Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.

(Proverbs 17:24 NLT) Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

:25 A foolish son is a grief to his father, And bitterness to her who bore him.

:26 Also, to punish the righteous is not good, Nor to strike princes for their uprightness.

(Proverbs 17:26 HCSB) It is certainly not good to fine an innocent person or to beat a noble for his honesty.

:27 He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.

:27 He who has knowledge spares his words

I recall years ago when I was a very young youth pastor, sitting in on staff meetings at the Baptist Church.

I recall being in those meetings when issues or questions would come up, and I’d always be so quick to answer the question, only to later regret that I even spoke up because I’d realize that I didn’t truly understand what was being asked.

I grew to appreciate one of the guys who was maybe 5 or 6 years older than I, a pastor named Dave Burns.  Dave was rarely the first one to speak, and when he spoke he didn’t often have long explanations, but when he spoke, he spoke wisdom, and people listened.

:28 Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.

And so, in hopes that you might think that I’m wiser than I really am, I will end this study by holding my peace.