Morning Bible Study
Financial Report – Steve Silagi (x6)
Announce: Giving for the Beller’s
return – 3 months away.
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.
Last week we entered a new section that covers Prov. 22:17 – 24:34.
These are most likely not sayings written by Solomon, but they are sayings
collected by Solomon.
They tend to be a bit longer than Solomon’s short two-line sayings.
There will be thirty of these sayings through this section.
:1 When you sit down to eat with a ruler, Consider
carefully what is before you;
:2 And put a knife to your throat If you are a man given to
:3 Do not desire his delicacies, For they are
:2 a man given to appetite
appetite – nephesh – soul;
appetite; desire, emotion, passion
Our “appetites” can get us into trouble.
People can take advantage of our appetites.
It doesn’t have to be a “king” that you’re eating with, but somebody of
Not everybody has pure motives in how they deal with you.
Some people want to take advantage of you.
The “#MeToo” movement has made us aware of how
people with influence can take advantage of others.
There are monsters out there who will take advantage of the “appetite” or
“passion” that you might have.
The proverb warns you to “put a knife to your throat”, or reign in those
passions, to help you avoid becoming another victim.
:4 Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease!
:5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly
make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
:4 Do not overwork to be rich
NLT) —4 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know
when to quit. 5 In the blink
of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an
The Master Passion
If your whole life’s goal is to become wealthy, you may find yourself
We all have something in our life that is our “master passion”. It’s what motivates us.
Your life will be shaped by what your “master passion” is.
6:24 NLT) “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the
other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God
and be enslaved to money.
If your master passion is money, you may find one day that it’s all gone –
left like an eagle flying away.
And even if you were to acquire much wealth, and stay wealthy until the day
you die, you will still lose it because you won’t be able to take it to heaven.
(Luke 12:16–21 NLT)
—16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that
produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my
crops.’ 18 Then he
said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have
room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit
back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to
come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!” ’
20 “But God
said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get
everything you worked for?’ 21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a
rich relationship with God.”
Instead of money being your master passion, let God be your master
passion. Make it your goal to please
Our goal in life should be to make it to the finish line and hear His
voice, “Well done good and faithful servant”.
:6 Do not eat the bread of a miser, Nor desire his
:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says
to you, But his heart is not with you.
:8 The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, And
waste your pleasant words.
:7 as he thinks in his heart, so is he
There have been quite a few things written and spoken about this phrase,
and they usually ignore the verses that surround it.
The idea generally goes like this:
You become what you think.
If you skate like this…
But keep telling yourself “I’m a great skater”,
then you’ll become like this…
But that’s not really the point of the verse.
The verse has to do with your relationship with a stingy miser.
A person who is stingy and greedy inside their heart may
indeed tell you to take another piece of his birthday cake, but don’t take it.
They’re still a miser and will resent the fact you’ve
taken their cake.
As they are thinking in their heart … that’s what they’re
really like … not what they say.
In the end, you’ll regret that you did what they said
because they didn’t really mean it.
:9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he
will despise the wisdom of your words.
There are some people who just don’t want to hear the truth. As you’re talking to them you will realize
that they don’t want to talk and reason, they want to push their agenda. Know
when to walk away … or hang up.
:10 Do not remove the ancient landmark, Nor enter
the fields of the fatherless;
:11 For their Redeemer is mighty; He will plead their cause against you.
:11 For their Redeemer is mighty
Don’t swindle the poor and defenseless out of their property by cheating
because God will come after you.
There are some televangelists who tend to prey upon older widows on a fixed
income. I’d worry if I were them.
:12 Apply your heart to instruction, And your ears to words of knowledge.
:13 Do not withhold correction from a child, For if
you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
:14 You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his
soul from hell.
:13 Do not withhold correction from a child
The Message) —13 Don’t be afraid to correct your young ones; a spanking
won’t kill them.
14 A good spanking, in fact, might save them from
something worse than death.
There was a video that was shot at the end of last August of a child
screaming on a plane flight from Germany to Jersey. How would you like to be on this plane for
I don’t mean to oversimplify things as if to say that a good spanking will
solve every problem.
Far from it. That screaming child
may have been autistic and that brings a whole new set of complications that
are way beyond me.
Yet some parents are a bit too reluctant to discipline their children when
it clearly the right thing to do.
Don’t be afraid of discipline.
Work hard to find out what your child will respond to, so
they can learn the important lessons of self-discipline and fitting into
If you missed Proverbs 13 where we talked about
discipline, look it up on the church
:15 My son, if your heart is wise, My heart will
rejoice—indeed, I myself;
:16 Yes, my inmost being will rejoice When your lips speak right things.
:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be
zealous for the fear of the Lord
all the day;
:18 For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope
will not be cut off.
:18 For surely there is a hereafter
Living for tomorrow
It’s hard to live for tomorrow when all we see around us is today.
We like to “envy sinners”, it seems they are having so much fun.
The problem is that we are envying behaviors that will lead to hell in the
John describes heaven as living in a city called “New Jerusalem”. Not everyone will live there.
22:15 NLT) Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the
murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.
If we want to live forever in heaven, we are going to need to do something
about our sin.
We all have sin. We are all sinners.
God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sin, so we could be forgiven.
(2 Corinthians 5:21
NLT) For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our
sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
God wants you to think about tomorrow.
The right tomorrow starts with opening your heart to Jesus today.
(John 1:12 NLT) But to all
who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
Will you turn your life around today and open your heart to Jesus?
:19 Hear, my son, and be wise; And guide your heart in the way.
:20 Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
:21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
:22 Listen to your father who begot you, And do
not despise your mother when she is old.
:23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also
wisdom and instruction and understanding.
:24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And
he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
:25 Let your father and your mother be glad, And
let her who bore you rejoice.
:25 Let your father and your mother be glad
It’s the responsibility of parents to teach wisdom.
It’s a joy when your kids learn wisdom.
:26 My son, give me your heart, And let your eyes
observe my ways.
:27 For a harlot is a deep pit, And a
seductress is a narrow well.
:28 She also lies in wait as for a victim, And
increases the unfaithful among men.
:27 For a harlot is a deep pit
The sex trap
God created sex.
God designed sex to be within marriage.
When the act of sex is done the way that God designed it, it’s good.
13:4 NKJV) Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but
fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
It’s when we take sex outside of the boundaries of marriage that it becomes
It might be an actual person in your life that tempts you to disobey
It may be a virtual person – as in pornography.
Fornication has a goal for you:
NLT) She hides and waits like a robber, eager to make more men
It wants to lead you away from God.
With this next verse, let’s play a game.
Let’s play “What’s my line?”
There was an old game show back in the fifties and sixties where they would
bring in mystery contestants, and the celebrity panel would ask simple
questions in order to guess what the person did.
On our panel today we have King Solomon, and he will be asking the
:29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has
contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness
How about we rephrase that?
(Proverbs 23:29 The
Message) Who are the people who are always crying the blues? Who do you
know who reeks of self-pity? Who keeps getting beat up for no reason at all? Whose eyes
are bleary and bloodshot?
So, do you know who this is yet? How
obvious is it? Solomon will answer for
:30 Those who linger long at the wine, Those who
go in search of mixed wine.
NLT) It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new
:31 Do not look on the wine when it is red, When
it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly;
:32 At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper.
:33 Your eyes will see strange things, And your
heart will utter perverse things.
NLT) You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things.
:34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
NLT) You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying
:35 “They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me,
but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”
Who is this? What’s their “line”?
:30 Those who linger long at the wine
We might identify this person as the “drunk”. Others might identify this person as the
“alcoholic” or the “addict”.
All it takes is a look at the wine, and they are drinking.
Sometimes the alcoholic will have hallucinations.
The alcoholic might have people who have caused them hurt, they might have
pain in their life, but when they drink they don’t feel the pain so much.
What “helps” you?
My friends who are working hard at their sobriety will use the phrase “drug
They will talk about “self-medicating”.
The idea is that when life gets hard, when there is pain
in their life, when resentment builds up, the addict will “self-medicate” with
their “drug of choice”.
For some people it’s alcohol.
For others it is some sort of pharmaceutical – whether it’s legal or
Even legally prescribed drugs can become your “drug of
choice” when it keeps you from dealing with the real issues in your life.
For others, there can be all sorts of other addictive behaviors that become
the “go-to” to numb them from their pain.
It might be sexual behavior, overeating, gambling, or shopping.
What do you do when life gets hard?
Does your “drug of choice” actually help you
solve your pain, or does it just kick the can down the road?
Let me say that I’ve become a big believer in the value of twelve step
Though I’ve learned (and continue to learn) a lot about the Twelve Steps
over the years, I am not the expert on these things in our church.
I don’t have the same training and experience that an
addict who has worked the steps has.
I tend to get fooled by addicts who come to me for help. Rather than recognizing the little lies
addicts tell, I tend to hold their hand, pat them on the back, pray for them,
and send them on their way. And that rarely works.
If you want to change, you will need people who will see
through the lies you tell.
That’s what groups like our Sunday evening James Gang is
about. They know what it takes.
But I do want to talk about an aspect of help that I do have a handle on.
Ultimately, God wants to be the
one you turn to in your pain, difficulty, shame, and resentment.
(Twelve-steppers, this is step #3)
Specifically, God wants you to experience the power He has
to help you work the steps and overcome your addiction. You aren’t going to be able to do it without
1:8 NLT) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And
you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
The Greek word for “power” is dunamis. Though some want to equate this with
“dynamite”, I’d prefer the word “dynamic”.
The word at it’s very root meaning is to “have ability”, to “be able”.
When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, He doesn’t just
give you “power”, He gives you the “ability” to live for God.
That includes being a witness.
That includes finding power over sin and addictions.
5:16 NLT) So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be
doing what your sinful nature craves.
5:18 NLT) Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life.
Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,
Instead of being “filled” with wine, we ought to be
“filled” with the Holy Spirit.
The phrase “be filled” is a command that speaks of being
“continually filled” with the Spirit.
We don’t just need a one
time experience with God, we need a daily, moment-by-moment
connection with God.
How does that happen?
Just open up and drink. Open your heart. Receive it from God.