Morning Bible Study
Announce: Giving for the Beller’s
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, then z will always happen and your life will be
They are general principles – that if you do them your life will be
generally better than if you didn’t do them.
:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving
favor rather than silver and gold.
:2 The rich and the poor have this in common, The Lord is the maker of them all.
:3 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple
pass on and are punished.
(Proverbs 22:3 HCSB)
sensible person sees danger and takes cover, but the inexperienced keep going
and are punished.
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
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
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
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?
9:27 NKJV) And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the
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
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…
10:10b NKJV) …I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it
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
John 3:16a HCSB) This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for
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.
: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.
:6 Train up a child in the way he should go
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
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
If your child has a creative side – arts, music, then you
It’s about learning to help the child develop a healthy sense of confidence
in things they’re actually good at.
– 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
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!”
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
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.
:8 He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will
:9 He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For
he gives of his bread to the poor.
:10 Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and
reproach will cease.
(Prov 22:10 ICB) Get rid
of the person who makes fun of wisdom. Then fighting, quarrels and insults will
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
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
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?”’
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.
: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.
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.
:14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit; He who is abhorred
by the Lord will fall there.
:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of
correction will drive it far from him.
:15 The rod of correction
Parents need to figure out what kind of discipline works on each child,
because we need to discipline them.
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
:16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, And he
who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.
22:17-29 Sayings of the Wise
We’re entering into a new section in Proverbs that stretches from 22:17 –
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.
: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
The word “excellent” is a form of the word “three”, and this is why some of
the newer translations translate this as “thirty”:
ESV) Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge,
There are roughly “thirty” sayings between 22:22 and 24:34.
: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.
Don’t take advantage of a poor person.
They have God on their side.
: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
The Influence of Friends
We pick up all kinds of things from hanging around people, sometimes even
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 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.
If you hang around angry people, you will become an angry
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.
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.
Consider hanging out with people who will influence you in the right
: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?
If you co-sign on the loan you may end up paying for the whole thing.
:28 Do not remove the ancient landmark Which your fathers have set.
NLT) Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers
set up by previous generations.
:29 Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before
kings; He will not stand before unknown men.
NLT) Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings
rather than working for ordinary people.