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Proverbs 22

Sunday Morning Bible Study

February 11, 2018


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

Video: The Bible Project – Proverbs Introduction

Video: Proverbs Introduction

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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.

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 22

:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.

A good nameshem – name; reputation, fame, glory

lovingtowb – good, pleasant, agreeable

favorchen – favor, grace, charm

(Proverbs 22:1 The Message) A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich; a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank.

BKC: “Riches are useless if in gaining them one ruins his character”.

:2 The rich and the poor have this in common, The Lord is the maker of them all.

:2 The Lord is the maker of them all

In our sin nature, we tend to think of how people are different than us, whether it’s in economics, race, or education.

They may be different, but they are not “less” than us.

There is a sense in which all humans are equal.

We are all created by God.
Paul used this argument in preaching to the Greek philosophers in Athens:
(Acts 17:26–28 NKJV) —26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

Solomon has already warned:

(Proverbs 14:31 NKJV) He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.

:3 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished.

(Proverbs 22:3 HCSB) A sensible person sees danger and takes cover, but the inexperienced keep going and are punished.


Warning Signs

Back in 1980, the world became enamored with an old cantankerous man named Harry Truman (not the president by the same name).  Harry had a lodge that he owned and operated for fifty years on Spirit Lake in the state of Washington.
He tried to win arguments with his second wife by throwing her into the lake if she disagreed.  He once got a forest ranger drunk so he could burn a pile of brush.  He illegally poached, stole gravel from the Park Service, and fished on Native American land with a face game warden badge.  When confronted with a state official for not following sales tax laws, he pushed the official into Spirit Lake.
Truman became famous in 1980 when Mount St. Helens began to show signs of volcanic eruption.  While most people living on the mountain left when the government warned them, Harry didn’t.  The press loved his rebellious attitude and interviewed him often (now in his eighties). He said the dangers of the volcano were exaggerated.  He told the press,

“If the mountain goes, I’m going with it. This area is heavily timbered, Spirit Lake is in between me and the mountain, and the mountain is a mile away, the mountain ain’t gonna hurt me.”

Harry was warned to leave one last time on May 17, 1980, but he refused to budge.
On the morning of May 18, the volcano erupted with its entire northern flank collapsing.  A pyroclastic flow (hot gas and volcanic matter) engulfed the Spirit Lake area, destroying the lake and burying Harry’s lodge under 150 feet of volcanic debris.
Like Harry, you might enjoy the notion of being the rebel in the face of the warnings that others have given you, but there’s a reason for the warnings.
Health problems – shortness of breath, family history, your growing belly, aches and pains.
Substance abuse – a growing dependency on alcohol or drugs.
Financial problems – your debt is going up and you aren’t slowing down your spending.
Relationships – a growing distance with your spouse, unresolved arguments
Eternity – the ultimate warning.

Do you know that one day you will die, you will face God, and you will be judged?

(Hebrews 9:27 NKJV) And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment

You may feel like you’ll wait until later before you decide to get serious about following Jesus.  Jesus told a story about a man who kept putting off getting serious about God.

(Luke 12:20 NLT) “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’

Following Jesus is not some unpleasant thing, like drinking spoiled milk. He hasn’t come to ruin your life…

(John 10:10b NKJV) …I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

And if you have any doubts about whether Jesus cares about you or not, consider what He did for you so that you could be forgiven and know God:

(1 John 3:16a HCSB) This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us…

Will you be the wise person who pays attention to the warnings?
I’m going to give you an opportunity at the end of the service to get your life right with God.

:4 By humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches and honor and life.

(Proverbs 22:4 NLT) True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.

:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards his soul will be far from them.

:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Train upchanak – to train, dedicate, inaugurate

:6 Train up a child in the way he should go

(Proverbs 22:6 NLT) Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.


Attentive Parenting

Many folks look at this verse and consider it a promise that if we teach our kids about the Lord at an early age, that they will follow God for their whole lives.
I like that thought, but I don’t think this is a promise that your children will never stray from God.
The verse is telling parents to figure out each child’s “way”, and then train them to follow it.
Parents need to be observing a child’s strengths and weaknesses and guiding them in a direction that is right for them.

If your kid is good with numbers and science, then you nudge them in that direction.

If your kid has good people skills, you seek to help them develop that.

If your child has a creative side – arts, music, then you encourage that.

It’s about learning to help the child develop a healthy sense of confidence in things they’re actually good at.

Video:  Values – Ballet - Confidence

A common mistake is for a parent to try and mold the child into what they (the parent) wished they could be.
The dad that wanted to be a football star pushes his boy into sports, whether or not the kid is good at it.
This requires that we learn to pay attention to those underlying, innate skills.
A waitress was taking orders from a family with their young son; she was one of the class of veteran waitresses who never show outright disrespect to their customers, but who frequently make it quietly evident by their unhurried pace and their level stare that they fear no mortal, not even parents. She jotted on her order pad deliberately and silently as the father and mother gave their luncheon selection and gratuitous instructions as to what was to be substituted for what, and which dressing changed to what sauce. When she finally turned to the boy, he began his order with a kind of fearful desperation. “I want a hot dog--,” he started. And both parents barked at once, “No hot dog!” The mother went on. “Bring him the lyonnaise potatoes and the beef, both vegetables, and a hard roll and—“
The waitress wasn’t even listening. She said evenly to the youngster, “What do you want on your hot dog?” He flashed an amazed smile. “Ketchup, lots of ketchup, and—and bring a glass of milk.”
“Coming up,” she said as she turned from the table, leaving behind her the stunned silence of utter parental dismay. The boy watched her go before he turned to his father and mother with astonished elation to say, “You know what? She thinks I’m real! She thinks I’m real!” 

- Frederick B. Speakman

I’m not saying that we don’t encourage our kids to pursue practical things despite their strengths – like being sure they can earn an income.  But healthy parenting involves cultivating in your child a chance to be good at what they’re naturally good at.

:7 The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender.

Just a sad but true principle.

If you are in constant debt, you will be forced to live your life at the whim or your lender, like paying off those credit cards.

Learn to get out of debt.

:8 He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will fail.

(Proverbs 22:8 NLT) Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster, and their reign of terror will come to an end.

:9 He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor.

The importance of generosity.

:10 Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease.

scofferluwts – to scorn, talk arrogantly; to mock, deride

contentionmadown – strife, contention

strifediyn – judgment; condemnation; strife

reproachqalown – shame, disgrace, dishonor, ignominy

(Prov 22:10 ICB) Get rid of the person who makes fun of wisdom. Then fighting, quarrels and insults will stop.


A Critical Spirit

There’s something contagious about a critical spirit.  When people stand around and complain about things, we all want to jump in and complain about our own things as well.
A salesman, visiting his barber for a haircut, mentioned that he was about to take a trip to Rome. The barber, who came from Italy, said, “Rome is a terribly overrated city. What airline are you taking and what hotel are you staying at?”
When the salesman told him, the barber criticized the airline for being undependable and the hotel for having horrible service. He told him “You’d be better off to stay home.”
But the salesman insisted: “I’m expecting to close a big deal, and then I’m going to see the pope.”
The barber shook his head and said, “You’ll be disappointed trying to do business in Italy and I wouldn’t count on seeing the pope. He only grants audiences to very important people.”
Two months later the salesman returned to the barber shop. The barber asked, “And how was your trip?”
The salesman replied, “Wonderful! The flight was perfect, the service at the hotel was excellent. I made a big sale, and I got to see the pope.”
The barber was astounded. “You got to see the pope? What happened?”
“I bent down and kissed his ring.”
“No kidding! And what did he say?”
“Well, he looked down at my head and then said to me, ‘My son, where did you ever get such a lousy haircut?”’

--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 136-137.

Some of us have fashioned ourselves as the “critics” in our social circle – we are always the one to have an opinion and find fault in just about everything.  You may a little less strife around you if you pay attention to the next verse…

:11 He who loves purity of heart And has grace on his lips, The king will be his friend.

What a contrast to the person with the critical spirit.

Who would you rather be around – the person who criticizes everything, or the person who always has gracious things to say?

:12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, But He overthrows the words of the faithless.

(Proverbs 22:12 The Message) God guards knowledge with a passion, but he’ll have nothing to do with deception.

:13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!”

:13 There is a lion outside!

It’s not that there actually is a lion outside, but that the lazy person just says there’s a lion outside.



Here’s the flipside of the verse about ignoring warnings.
While some people ignore serious warnings, there are some who will even manufacture warnings and end up doing nothing.
A few months ago I signed up for a social media app called “NextDoor”.  People who live in my neighborhood can post things, and everybody in the neighborhood who use the app will see it.  It’s kind of like a Facebook for your neighborhood.
The top thing that gets posted over and over are warnings and complaints about coyotes.
Don’t get me wrong, if I had small pets I’d be concerned too.  There are lots of incidents of coyotes taking small animals.
Yet it’s beginning to sound as if people are afraid of going outside because of the coyotes.
I go walking almost every morning.  I see coyotes often.  Some have gotten quite close.  And yes, some are getting quite big – the last one I saw came up to my waist.  But they are all way afraid of humans.
The Bible is full of stories of people who made excuses for doing the wrong things.
When Adam sinned, he blamed it on Eve … and God.

(Genesis 3:12 NLT) The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”

When Aaron made the golden calf, he blamed it on the fire:

(Exodus 32:24 NLT) So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!”

The “lazy man” uses his fears as an excuse to do nothing.
Be careful about letting your fear be your motivation.
Calling in Sick
Negotiations between union members and their employer were at an impasse.  The union denied that their workers were flagrantly abusing their contract’s sick-leave provisions.
One morning at the bargaining table, the company’s chief negotiator held aloft the morning edition of the newspaper, “This man,” he announced, “Called in Sick yesterday!”
There on the sports page, was a photo of the supposedly ill employee, who had just won a local golf tournament with an excellent score.
The silence in the room was broken by a union negotiator.  
“Wow,” he said.  “Think of what kind of score he could have had if he hadn’t been sick!” 
George Washington Carver said, “Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”  Carver was no stranger to adversity and could have easily made excuses for not succeeding.  But that wasn’t his way.  Despite being born into slavery, he rose above his circumstances.  He earned a B.S. and then an M.S. in agriculture from Iowa State College, and he dedicated himself to teaching poor African-American farmers.  He developed an extension program at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute to take the classroom to the people in the South, teaching agriculture methods and home economics.  And his research resulted in the development of hundreds of products made from crops such as peanuts and sweet potatoes.  He did all that despite working with limited resources and opportunities because of segregation.  Where others might have offered excuses, Carver achieved excellence.

-- John Maxwell, The Success Journey, (Nelson, 1997), pp. 156-157.

:14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit; He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there.

(Proverbs 22:14 HCSB) The mouth of the forbidden woman is a deep pit; a man cursed by the Lord will fall into it.

:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.

(Proverbs 22:15 NLT) A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away.

:15 The rod of correction

Parents need to figure out what kind of discipline works on each child, because we need to discipline them.

(Proverbs 13:24 NLT) Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.
If you missed the study on Proverbs 13, look it up online on our website – I gave some ideas on how to discipline kids.


Discipline’s Goal

As a parent, you need to ask yourself why you are disciplining your child?
Is it because they are making you angry?
Is it because they embarrass you?
Or are you trying to teach them something?
One of the hardest things in parenting is learning to make the discipline match the situation.

Ruth Graham (in Homemade, Vol. 16, No. 11, November 1992) writes, “With our five children I had to decide what was a moral issue and what was non-moral and simply a part of growing up.  Tracking mud into the house is a no-no, but it's not a moral issue.  Children tend to be noisy when they're playing, and you feel like saying, "Hush!" -- but it's not a moral issue.  However, I would call disobedience a moral issue.  I would call respect a moral issue.  Of course, stealing and lying are moral issues.”

When our children crossed that line into a moral issue, this verse often came to mind.  In fact I believe I quoted it more than a few times to my children.
My personal theory was to catch the “foolishness” early and not let it develop too deep of roots in the child.

:16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.

(Proverbs 22:16 NLT) A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.

22:17-29 Sayings of the Wise

We’re entering into a new section in Proverbs that stretches from 22:17 – 24:34.

Rather than two-line nuggets of advice, we will see instances where two verses are joined together, and three-line and four-line proverbs.

Not written by Solomon, these proverbs have been collected by Solomon.

:17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your heart to my knowledge;

:18 For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; Let them all be fixed upon your lips,

:19 So that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you.

:18 keep them within you

It’s a good or “pleasant” thing to keep these things inside you.

He’s talking about the value of memorizing Scripture so they can be recalled at a moment’s notice.

:20 Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge,

:21 That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?

:20 written to you excellent things

excellentshaliysh – third part; a musical instrument; maybe three-stringed, triangular shape, or three-barred

The word “excellent” is a form of the word “three”, and this is why some of the newer translations translate this as “thirty”:

(Proverbs 22:20 ESV) Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge,
There are roughly “thirty” sayings between 22:22 and 24:34.
You will see different translations and commentaries vary slightly on how they divide up the thirty.
Rather than being Solomon’s words, these are things he’s collected from other “wise-men”.

:22 Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate;

:23 For the Lord will plead their cause, And plunder the soul of those who plunder them.

(Proverbs 22:22–23 NLT) —22 Don’t rob the poor just because you can, or exploit the needy in court. 23 For the Lord is their defender. He will ruin anyone who ruins them.

Don’t take advantage of a poor person.

They have God on their side.

(Exodus 23:6 NKJV) “You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in his dispute.
(Zechariah 7:10 NKJV) Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, The alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart Against his brother.’
(Psalm 12:5 NKJV) “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, Now I will arise,” says the Lord; “I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.”
(Psalm 140:12 NKJV) I know that the Lord will maintain The cause of the afflicted, And justice for the poor.

:24 Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go,

:25 Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul.

:24 Make no friendship with an angry man

(Proverbs 22:24–25 NLT) —24 Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, 25 or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.


The Influence of Friends

We pick up all kinds of things from hanging around people, sometimes even dressing alike.
The stronger our tie to that person, the more likely we will pick up some of their habits.

I remember in 8th grade a good friend named Rick.  Rick had a broken arm that was never set right.  Rick was one of the coolest kids in school.  And a lot of us used to walk around with our elbows stuck out at an angle because that’s how Rick walked around.

I remember another friend in College named Gary.  Gary had this way of getting other people’s attention by saying “ch-ch”.  Guess what?  Quite of few of my friends all learned to do the “ch-ch” thing.  I still catch myself doing it from time to time and I think of Gary.

I think we all like to be “liked”.
The problem comes when we hang around the wrong people because they seem to be the only people who “like” us.
We don’t just pick up innocent little habits from others we admire, we also pick up bad habits.
“Anger” is one of the things we can learn from other people.
Video:  Values - Children see, children do

If you hang around angry people, you will become an angry person.

If you are struggling with certain sins in your life, take time to evaluate the influence that people around you have.
You should be spending time with people who are learning to overcome those sins instead of hanging out with people who indulge in those sins.
If you struggle with alcohol, hang out with people who are working the program, not those that don’t understand.
Paul wrote,
(1 Corinthians 15:33 NKJV) Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

Hanging around people who do not have the same moral compass as you do will affect your walk with God.

Video:  Values – Peer Pressure
Consider hanging out with people who will influence you in the right direction.

:26 Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, One of those who is surety for debts;

:27 If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take away your bed from under you?

:26 who is surety for debts

If you co-sign on the loan you may end up paying for the whole thing.

The idea is that you should be real careful about co-signing on a loan.

When the other person fails to do their part in re-paying the loan, the lender is going to come after you.
If you are on the edge financially yourself, you are getting yourself into trouble.

:28 Do not remove the ancient landmark Which your fathers have set.

(Proverbs 22:28 NLT) Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers set up by previous generations.

Ancient landmarks were how property lines were determined.

Your property line might extend from the great three rocks, to the big oak tree, to the creek, and then to the great five rocks.
Some people got sneaky and would get up in the middle of the night and move one of the piles of rocks to make their land bigger.
Don’t do that.  Don’t change the rules or rewrite the documents to cheat your neighbor.

:29 Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.

(Proverbs 22:29 NLT) Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.