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Proverbs 18

Sunday Morning Bible Study

August 13, 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

Property announcement

As most of you are aware, there is a possibility that our landlords might sell the property and we would have to find a new home in 12-18 months from now.

Even though it’s currently looking unlikely that the deal will go through, we are doing our due diligence and have been talking to lenders and realtors.

We’ll keep you informed.

The Succession Plan

I used to think that a successful end to my ministry would be making the final point in a sermon, and falling over dead.

In my later years I’ve grown to realize that a successful end of my ministry is to hand off my ministry to the next generation in a way that sets up the church for better years ahead.

Studies show that churches that make slow, purposeful transitions do best when it comes to transitioning from one pastor to the next, and our plan will take about ten years.

Our plan involves the idea of gradually transitioning an assistant pastor into the role of Senior Pastor, with the goal of trading places sometime in the next couple of years.

I think that Daniel Grant would make a fine Sr. Pastor, but I made my choice a year before Daniel and I started talking about him coming back to Fullerton.

Our plan involves bringing Caleb Beller back from Hungary.  Caleb and I have been talking about this for four years.

Right now, Dave and Daniel are two of my assistant pastors
In June of this year Caleb and his family will come back to the States, and he will initially be one of the assistant pastors.
Then somewhere around 2020 or 2021, Caleb and I will switch places, and I will continue as an assistant pastor.

My intent is not to go away and leave the church, but to stick around and play the role of Yoda, to help the church succeed any way I can.

I am not quitting as a pastor.  Deb is not quitting Women’s Ministry.  We aren’t going anywhere.
Nobody is trying to push Daniel Grant out.  We intend to keep Daniel around as long as he’ll have us.

For those of you who don’t know Caleb, he’s been a part of our church for the last 23 years.

He started coming when he was 16 years old, and has done just about every ministry including Sunday School, Jr. High, and College ministries.
He and I have a long-standing discipleship relationship.  He’s one of my “Timothy’s”.
He’s spent the last 10 years on the mission field and is currently the Director of the Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe, in Budapest, Hungary.
I’d like to encourage those of you who financially support Caleb and his family on the mission field to keep up your support.  They will need lots of help moving a family of six from Hungary back to the U.S.

In addition to this, Dave Dunagan is going to retire this year on July 1, though he too isn’t going to go anywhere, he’ll still be around.

David Cathers will be taking over as Worship Leader.

Caleb will be taking over Dave’s responsibilities as an Assistant Pastor.

David Cathers will be transitioning the College Group to Caleb.

Feel free to talk to us about your questions.  Write your questions on a blue card and stick it in the Agape box.  Email us questions.


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 18

:1 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.

(Proverbs 18:1 NLT) Unfriendly people care only about themselves; they lash out at common sense.

:2 A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.

(Proverbs 18:2 NLT) Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.

The point is this – in your relationships (marriage, friendships, family, work) – do you really want to grow in understanding others, or do you simply want to win every argument and always be the person who’s “right”?

Video:  The Manslater (Woman Language Translator)
When you take no time to stop and work at understanding what the other person is trying to say, you are showing yourself to be a fool.

We’ll be talking more about good communication in a minute.

:3 When the wicked comes, contempt comes also; And with dishonor comes reproach.

(Proverbs 18:3 The Message) When wickedness arrives, shame’s not far behind; contempt for life is contemptible.

:4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.

(Prov 18:4 ICB) Understanding people's words is as hard as getting water out of a deep well. But understanding wisdom is as easy as getting water from a flowing stream.

:5 It is not good to show partiality to the wicked, Or to overthrow the righteous in judgment.

:6 A fool’s lips enter into contention, And his mouth calls for blows.

(Proverbs 18:6 NLT) Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating.

:7 A fool’s mouth is his destruction, And his lips are the snare of his soul.

:8 The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body.

(Proverbs 18:8 NLT) Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.

It’s kind of hard to resist gossip.  Forgive me…

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Once you’ve heard a rumor, even if it’s totally false, it’s hard to get that thought or picture out of your mind.

Why?  Because it’s like trying to resist chocolate.
Just like chocolate, it’s easiest to resist gossip if you just stay away from gossipers.


The Gossiper
A woman repeated a bit of gossip about a neighbor. Within a few days the whole community knew the story. The person it concerned was deeply hurt and offended. Later the woman responsible for spreading the rumor learned that it was completely untrue. She was very sorry and went to a wise old sage to find out what she could do to repair the damage. “Go to the marketplace,” he said, “and purchase a chicken, and have it killed. Then on your way home, pluck its feathers and drop them one by one along the road.” Although surprised by this advice, the woman did what she was told. The next day the wise man said, “Now go and collect all those feathers you dropped yesterday and bring them back to me.” The woman followed the same road, but to her dismay, the wind had blown the feathers all away. After searching for hours, she returned with only three in her hand. “You see,” said the old sage, “it’s easy to drop them, but it’s impossible to get them back. So it is with gossip. It doesn’t take much to spread a rumor, but once you do, you can never completely undo the wrong.”
Author Unknown, Submitted by Helen Hazinski from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul
Copyright 1997 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Kimberly Kirberger

The point is, if you’re going to spread the latest “news” or gossip, don’t.  You will never be able to completely get it all back once it’s out of your mouth.

Why?  Because people will still cling to those thoughts, even when they know they’re wrong.

:9 He who is slothful in his work Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.

(Proverbs 18:9 NLT) A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things.

Sounds like a lazy person is as bad as a terrorist.

:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.

:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower


The Power of God’s Name

Solomon said the name of the Lord was a strong tower.
towermigdal – tower
Towers in ancient days were places of refuge.  They were a military defense strategy.

You see it in a battle in the book of Judges when a son of Gideon named Abimelech tried to defeat a city called Thebez.

(Judges 9:50–51 NKJV) —50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and he encamped against Thebez and took it. 51 But there was a strong tower in the city, and all the men and women—all the people of the city—fled there and shut themselves in; then they went up to the top of the tower.

Abimelech thought he’d try to burn down the tower, but a woman at the top of the tower dropped a huge rock on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull.

A tower was a place you’d run to when you were in trouble.

David wrote,

(Psalm 61:3 NKJV) For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy.

Solomon said the strong tower was the name of the Lord
The name of a person speaks their “nature”.
“Abraham” means a “father of a multitude”.
“David” means “beloved”.
“Solomon” means “peace”.
“Jesus” means “Yahweh is salvation”.
The word for “Lord” in Hebrew is the actual name of God, “Yahweh”

(Proverbs 18:10 HCSB) The name of Yahweh is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected.

His name gives hint to His nature.

The name Yahweh means “the existing One”, or the “becoming One”, or “the I am”, the one who always is.

God isn’t just something that worked in the past for you.

He isn’t just something that will one day work for you.

He is here for you now.

The name of a person carries their authority.
If David sent messengers to speak to someone, they came “in his name” as they represented him.

(1 Samuel 25:5 NKJV) David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, go to Nabal, and greet him in my name.

There is also power and authority in the name of Jesus.
(Philippians 2:9–11 NKJV) —9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus has given us the power and authority of His name.
There is power to heal.

(Acts 3:6 NKJV) Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

There is power over demons. 

When Paul was harassed by a demon possessed slave girl in Philippi…

(Acts 16:18 NKJV) …Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.

There is answer to prayer.

(John 14:14 NKJV) If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

There is salvation.

(Romans 10:13 NKJV) For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you will ask Jesus to save you, He will.

Are you going through a difficult time right now?
There is a place to run to and be safe.
Take advantage of the name God has made available to you, the name of Jesus.

:11 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own esteem.

While the righteous man finds his safety, refuge, and peace in God, the wealthy person finds their safety in their money.

Perhaps this is why Jesus said,

(Mark 10:25 NKJV) It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
It’s hard for a rich person because their tendency is to trust in their wealth rather than God.
Yet salvation comes only by trusting, by believing in God.

(John 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

:12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility.

(Proverbs 18:12 NLT) Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.

:13 He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.

(Proverbs 18:13 NLT) Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.


Good communication

We saw back in verse 2 –
(Proverbs 18:2 NLT) Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.
Do you have an interest in understanding those around you?
Then take time to listen to them.
Have you ever been in a conversation where you are trying to explain something, and before you even get halfway through your explanation, the other person has decided that they know what you’re going to say, they interrupt you, and give you a response based on what they thought you were going to say instead of what you were actually going to say?
Sometimes we don’t realize that we don’t understand what the other person is saying.
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At first you think the misunderstanding is about the German language, then you see the bigger misunderstanding was about the dog.
Well-known Broadway producer Jed Harris once became convinced he was losing his hearing.  He visited a specialist, who pulled out a gold watch and asked, “Can you hear this ticking?”
“Of course,”  Harris replied.
The specialist walked to the door and asked the question again. Harris concentrated and said, “Yes, I can hear it clearly.”  Then the doctor walked into the next room and repeated the question a third time.  A third time Harris said he could hear the ticking.
“Mr. Harris,” the doctor concluded, “there is nothing wrong with your hearing.  You just don’t listen.”
How true of so many of us today!  We need to learn how to listen to God.

-- Clifton Fadiman, Little, Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes, Brown & Company (Boston, Toronto, London) pp. 266-267

About a century or two ago, the Pope decided that all the Jews had to leave the Vatican. Naturally there was a big uproar from the Jewish community. So the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Jewish community. If the Jew won, the Jews could stay. If the Pope won, the Jews would leave.
The Jews realized that they had no choice. So they picked a middle-aged man named Moishe to represent them. Moishe asked for one addition to the debate. To make it more interesting, neither side would be allowed to talk. The pope agreed.
The day of the great debate came. Moishe and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Moishe looked back at him and raised one finger. The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat. The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Moishe pulled out an apple. The Pope stood up and said, “I give up. This man is too good. The Jews can stay.”
An hour later, the cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what happened. The Pope said: “First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground and showing that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?”
Meanwhile, the Jewish community had crowded around Moishe. “What happened?” they asked. “Well,” said Moishe, “First he said to me that the Jews had three days to get out of here. I told him that not one of us was leaving. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Jews. I let him know that we were staying right here.”
“And then?” asked a woman. “I don’t know,” said Moishe. “He took out his lunch and I took out mine.”
I think that’s a great picture of what most of our communication is like with each other.
Sometimes we’re not even speaking the same language.
I’d like to suggest that you learn to practice something called “Feedback”.
“Feedback” is just a tool. And like most tools, you don’t need them all the time, but when you do, it sure helps to have some skill with that tool. If you take time to practice this technique, then when you need it, it will be there.
“Feedback” is learning to use four little words.

“I heard you say”

If you start getting mad with something the other person has just said, perhaps you’ve simply misunderstood.  Try saying, “I heard you say …” and repeat back to them the gist of what you think they said.

Perhaps someone starts to get angry with you and you don’t understand why.  Try saying to them, “Excuse me, but what did you just hear me say?”

Be careful about responding before you’ve actually heard what they were trying to say.

:14 The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit?

(Proverbs 18:14 The Message) A healthy spirit conquers adversity, but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?

:15 The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

(Proverbs 18:15 The Message) Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.

:16 A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men.

giftmattan – gifts, offerings, presents

(Proverbs 18:16 NLT) Giving a gift can open doors; it gives access to important people!

This isn’t talking about “gifts” like singing or being good at math, but rather the giving of gifts, or “bribes”.

Here, a “gift” is a “bribe. This isn’t endorsing the practice of giving bribes, but simply stating the fact that bribes do open doors.

:17 The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him.

(Proverbs 18:17 NLT) The first to speak in court sounds right— until the cross-examination begins.

Don’t be quick to swallow the first story you hear on a subject.

:18 Casting lots causes contentions to cease, And keeps the mighty apart.

(Proverbs 18:18 NLT) Flipping a coin can end arguments; it settles disputes between powerful opponents.

:19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.

(Proverbs 18:19 NLT) An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

Sometimes the people closest to you are the hardest to reconcile with when you’ve offended them.

:20 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.

(Proverbs 18:20 NLT) Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction.

:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Your words are powerful things.

If you learn to appreciate the value of your words, you will benefit from it.

:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.

We’ll come back to this in a minute.

Note the word “thing” is in italics, it’s not in the original Hebrew (neither is “He who”).  You could translate this, “Find a wife, find good, and obtain favor from the Lord”

(Proverbs 18:22 NLT) The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.

goodtowb – a good thing, benefit, welfare

favorratsown – pleasure, delight, favour, goodwill, acceptance, will

:23 The poor man uses entreaties, But the rich answers roughly.

(Proverbs 18:23 NLT) The poor plead for mercy; the rich answer with insults.

:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

It seems there is a single word discrepancy in the ancient manuscripts concerning the first line, and the phrase “must himself be friendly”.  Quite a few of the manuscripts have the word for “come to ruin” instead.

(Proverbs 18:24 ESV) A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

The point is that it’s better to have a true friend who sticks with you at all times than it is to have several friends who are unreliable.

(Proverbs 18:24 NLT) There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24 The Message) Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.
Be sure you’re cultivating your relationships with your “true” friends.

:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.

:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing


The blessing of marriage

If we’re not careful, we can become a bit sarcastic when it comes to marriage.
I still remember the guys I worked with at McDonnell Douglas, and how one of them used to refer to his wife as the “old ball and chain”.  We were all in our late 20’s.  One day I met his old “ball and chain”, and she was a beautiful, delightful Christian lady.
An old Arab proverb states that marriage begins with a prince kissing an angel and ends with a bald-headed man looking across the table at a fat lady. 
Socrates told his students, “By all means marry.  If you get a good wife, twice blessed you will be.  If you get a bad wife, you’ll become a philosopher.”
Carl Perkins was an influential rockabilly singer back in the fifties.  His songs were recorded by people like Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, and Johnny Cash.  Paul McCartney claimed that “if there were no Carl Perkins, there would be no Beatles.”
Carl once said,

“I never envied Elvis, his mansion, and all that.  All those boys; Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison; they all lost their wives, their families.  People say, ‘What happened to you, Carl?  All of them went on to superstardom.  Where’d you go?’  I say, ‘I went home.’  And that’s a good place to be.”

- Rockabilly singer Carl Perkins, quoted by Insight, Dec. 9, 1996, p. 33.

I have found in almost 40 years of marriage, that marriage is like a garden that you have to cultivate.
If you work hard at it, there will be a bountiful harvest.
If all you do in your free time is watch footfall on the sofa, your garden is going to get overgrown with weeds.

Yep, that’s one word. It’s the name of a hill on New Zealand’s North Island. The word is Maori for “the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as land-eater, played his flute to his loved one.”

Husbands and wives, cultivate your garden.
Let your spouse know how much you care about them.