Morning Bible Study
Some of you might have been wondering where we were last week…
Video: 2018 Spring Training
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 perfect”.
They are general principles – that if you do them your life will be
generally better than if you didn’t do them.
We are in 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 Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them;
:2 For their heart devises violence, And their lips talk of troublemaking.
:1 Do not be envious of evil men
Some of us find ourselves drawn to the wrong kinds of people.
I think some of us are thinking that “bad boys” have more fun.
Solomon reminds us that they are going to get into trouble.
He’ll remind us in a minute of just where their lives will lead to (vss.
:3 Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established;
:4 By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.
:3 Through wisdom a house is built
Wise House Builder
I don’t think Solomon is talking about building a physical “house”, but
about building a “home”.
It takes wisdom, understanding, knowledge.
What kind of a “home” are you building?
How do you build your relationships?
Some people have this notion that marriage is all about
“chemistry”, and that you will be okay as long as you are “compatible”.
Even “compatible” people will have problems.
A good marriage doesn’t just happen, it takes lots of
Read books. Take advantage of resources. Here’s just one example …
The Love Languages
Did you know that people look at “love” differently?
Author Gary Chapman wrote a book “The 5 Love Languages” that explains how
we each tend to express love in different ways, as well as receive love in
Words of Affirmation
These folks express and feel love when there are good
encouraging words going back and forth.
These folks feel loved when their partner spends quality
time with them.
These folks feel that love is all about giving or
receiving that special gift.
Acts of Service
These folks express their love by doing good things for
the other person.
These folks express love through hugs, kisses, etc.
In understanding “Love Languages”, the goal isn’t to find someone with your
same “Love Language”, but to instead find out what each other’s languages are,
and then learn to express your love in a way they feel loved.
If you are a person who connects love to “Words of
Affirmation”, you’re not going to feel very loved when your partner thinks it’s
all about the Physical Touch.
I heard Gary Chapman speak once and relate a story where
his wife found him late at night in the living room vacuuming the carpet. She
asked him, “What are you doing?” His response? “I’m just makin’ love to you” He
knew that her “Love Language” was “Acts of Service”.
It takes wisdom to learn how to take your relationships deeper and make
:5 A wise man is strong, Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;
:6 For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, And in a multitude of
counselors there is safety.
:5 A wise man is strong
If you were a king getting ready to take your army out into battle, you
might be tempted to think that you need to go out and recruit the biggest,
strongest warriors you can find.
Solomon is saying that if you want to win your war, then look for wise men.
Wisdom will help you win your battles more than physical strength or money.
:7 Wisdom is too lofty for a fool; He does not open his mouth in the
:8 He who plots to do evil Will be called a schemer.
:9 The devising of foolishness is sin, And the scoffer is an
abomination to men.
:10 If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is
:10 Your strength is small
Find the strength
I don’t like this verse.
I did extensive research on the Hebrew here, and was hoping that a better
translation would be …
“If you faint in the day of adversity, have your mother come
hold your hand.”
But that’s not what it said.
HCSB) If you do nothing in a difficult time, your strength is limited.
NLT) If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.
(Proverbs 24:10 The
Message) If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the
The problem with “small strength” is not that we have it, but when we use
it as an excuse to quit.
Jeremiah faced a rebuke from the Lord for his own lack of strength.
12:5 NLT) “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race
against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the
thickets near the Jordan?
God was warning Jeremiah that what he was facing wasn’t
even the worst of it. Things would get tougher. And if he felt like quitting
now, what would he do when things got worse?
What are you going to do with your “small strength”?
You may feel like quitting.
I would love to tell you that God wants to take away all your problems, but
that’s not what God wants to do.
God wants you to run with the horses.
Though there may be times when we are able to carry each other, let me
remind you that there is One above all that you can and should rely on. He will
be there when all others fail you.
God’s desire is not always to take your problems away from you, but to
carry you. He wants to show the world that He is real by how He carries you.
NKJV) —29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the
youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall
mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
:11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those
stumbling to the slaughter.
:12 If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the
hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?
:11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death
The Message) —11 Rescue the perishing; don’t
hesitate to step in and help. 12 If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,” will that
get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know— Someone not
impressed with weak excuses.
Rescue the perishing
When you’ve been a Christian for a while, the number of people you know who
do not know Christ gets smaller and smaller.
We can fall into the trap of forgetting that there are people in this world
all around us who are “perishing”.
Every person you know who has not put their life in Christ’s hands is
They are on their way to hell because their own sins have separated them
from God, just like our sins used to do.
And even though Jesus died on the cross to pay for their sins and make it
possible for them to be saved, they are going to hell because they have not yet
received the gift that God offers them – eternal life.
A week ago our generation lost one of its shining lights. Billy Graham led
a life sold out to the preaching of the gospel – sharing with the world around
him that God loves them and wants them to go to heaven.
Do you know someone who doesn’t know Jesus Christ?
Without Jesus, they are “perishing”.
Will you rescue the perishing?
Will you share the gospel with them?
Be careful about the excuses you might offer.
He is not impressed by your weak excuses.
God wants to use you.
:13 My son, eat honey because it is good, And the honeycomb which
is sweet to your taste;
:14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; If you
have found it, there is a prospect, And your hope will not be cut off.
:13 eat honey because it is good
Some Christians live as if it’s a bad thing to enjoy life, or it’s a bad
thing to be happy.
Eat honey and enjoy it.
When we learn to enjoy the good things around us (like honey), we will be
able to have a greater appreciation for the deeper things like wisdom.
:15 Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the
righteous; Do not plunder his resting place;
:16 For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the
wicked shall fall by calamity.
:16 a righteous man may fall seven times
Get up again
Even the righteous person falls.
That means that even you will fall from time to time.
What do you do when you fail? When you fall? When you do the wrong thing?
Do you stop going to church?
Do you withdraw and tell yourself that God is finished with you?
No. Get back up.
God is not the one saying, “You’ve disappointed Me once too many times.” That’s
(1 John 2:1–2 NLT)
—1 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not
sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the
Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2 He himself
is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of
all the world.
:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad
when he stumbles;
:18 Lest the Lord see it,
and it displease Him, And He turn away His wrath from him.
:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls
Jesus told us to treat our enemies differently than how the world treats
(Matthew 5:44 NKJV)
I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those
who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you
We shouldn’t be secretly hoping for our enemies to fall.
We should be praying that they turn around.
:19 Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the wicked;
:20 For there will be no prospect for the evil man; The lamp of the
wicked will be put out.
Just like vss 1-2, the “bad boys” are trouble.
And they’re not headed in the right direction.
:21 My son, fear the Lord and
the king; Do not associate with those given to change;
:22 For their calamity will rise suddenly, And who knows the ruin those two
:21 those given to change
NLT) —21 My child, fear the Lord
and the king. Don’t associate with rebels, 22 for disaster will hit them suddenly.
Who knows what punishment will come from the Lord
and the king?
There are times when leaders and governments need to change.
But be careful about jumping on every new bandwagon that comes along
banging a drum.
:23 These things also belong to the wise: It is not
good to show partiality in judgment.
:24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,” Him the people
will curse; Nations will abhor him.
:25 But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, And a good
blessing will come upon them.
This is one of the many ways that our nation has gone astray.
Things that God has declared are wicked, men are saying is okay.
:26 He who gives a right answer kisses the lips.
(Proverbs 24:26 The
Message) An honest answer is like a warm hug.
:27 Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; And
afterward build your house.
(Proverbs 24:27 The
Message) First plant your fields; then build your barn.
Sometimes we can get a little ahead of ourselves.
It’s like the guy who goes out applying for jobs and is so excited for one
of his job prospects he goes out and buys a new car … before actually getting
:28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, For would you
deceive with your lips?
:29 Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render
to the man according to his work.”
(Proverbs 24:29 The
Message) Don’t say to anyone, “I’ll get back at you for what you did to me. I’ll make
you pay for what you did!”
:30 I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the
man devoid of understanding;
:31 And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered
with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down.
:32 When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it
and received instruction:
:33 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to
:34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an
NLT) then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack
you like an armed robber.
:30 the man devoid of understanding
understanding – leb –
inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding
His “inner man” is lacking.
He has no “heart” when it comes to work.
:33 A little sleep, a little slumber
Heart for Work
The lazy man is one who has lost his “understanding”, his “heart” for work.
He doesn’t see the purpose of working hard.
And then he shouldn’t be surprised to live a life of poverty.
A local business was looking for office help. They put a sign in the
window, stating the following: “Help wanted. Must be able to type, must be good
with a computer and must be bilingual. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.”
Inside, the dog jumped up on the chair and
stared at the manager. The manager said, “I can’t hire you. The sign says you
have to be able to type.” The dog jumped down, went to the typewriter and
proceeded to type out a perfect letter. He took out the page and trotted over
to the manager and gave it to him, then jumped back on the chair.
The manager was stunned, but then told the
dog, “The sign says you have to be good with a computer.” The dog jumped down
again and went to the computer. The dog proceeded to enter and execute a
perfect program that worked flawlessly the first time. By this time the manager
was totally dumbfounded!
He looked at the dog and said, “I realize
that you are a very intelligent dog and have some interesting abilities.
However, I still can’t give you the job.” The dog jumped down and went to a
copy of the sign and put his paw on the sentences that told about being an
Equal Opportunity Employer.
The manager said, “Yes, but the sign also
says that you have to be bilingual.”
The dog looked at the manager calmly and
Now that’s someone driven to work hard.
It’s not that rest is bad or evil.
God created the Sabbath so that man would rest.
Yet the pattern that God established was for man to work six days a week,
and rest one.
The problem comes when you are resting when you should be working.
From time to time we will run into people who feel like everyone else ought
to pitch in to take care of them.
They feel that the “world owes them a living”.
They will come to the church looking for a handout. And then come back
again for more. And then come back again for more.
There is nothing new about this. In one of the earliest written letters of
the New Testament, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about this kind of person:
Thessalonians 3:10 NKJV) For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone
will not work, neither shall he eat.
Work hard at your job and the general principle is that you won’t be
surprised by poverty.