Morning Bible Study
Announce: Men’s Retreat.
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.
:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring
:1 Do not boast about tomorrow
It’s good to make plans.
We’ve seen much in Proverbs about how to go about making good plans for the
15:22 NLT) Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
The problem with plans comes when we don’t leave room for God to move and
change our plans.
NKJV) —13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and
such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you
do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It
is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought
to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”
One of my good friends who helped us start the church years ago was a
fellow named Jon Osmundsen. Jon was one of our elders, and for the first couple
of years he was our sound man. He taught our son David how to run the sound
board when David was in 8th grade. Jon was just a couple of years
older than I was.
Jon and his wife Pam eventually moved up north and we lost touch for a year
or so until we got a phone call from Pam. Jon and Pam were lying in bed
together on the Tuesday morning of October 12, 2004, when Jon rolled over in
bed and fell on the floor. He was dead. Just like that. Don’t know what
I don’t mean to sound morbid, but you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
It may bring great blessing. Your plans might come about beyond your
wildest dreams. Or not.
We ought to say, “If the Lord wills…” and learn to be happy with what God
will do in our lives.
:2 Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not
your own lips.
:2 Let another man praise you
We all like it when we receive a pat on the back for something we’ve done. Just
don’t give yourself the pat on the back.
Our president could learn from this.
Two geese were about to start southward on their annual autumn migration,
when they were begged by a frog to take him with them. The geese were willing
to help, but the frog needed to figure out a way for them to carry him. The
frog got a long stalk of grass, had each goose take an end, and he clung to the
middle of it with his mouth.
As the three flew along, some men on the ground noticed them and yelled up
to them that they were astounded at such an amazing thing. They asked who had
been smart enough to think of such a thing, and the proud frog opened his mouth
to say, “It was I,” but lost his hold, fell to the earth, and died.
Moral: When you have a good thing going, keep your mouth shut!
:3 A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, But a fool’s wrath is
heavier than both of them.
(Proverbs 27:3 NLT)
stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is even
So when a fool is angry with you, drop it. Let it go.
:4 Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, But who is able to
stand before jealousy?
Jealousy is worse than wrath and anger.
:5 Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed.
(Proverbs 27:5 The
Message) A spoken reprimand is better than approval that’s never expressed.
Communication is a good thing.
It’s better that someone who is upset with you tells you about it, than
wondering what’s going on in their mind.
It’s nice that someone loves you, but it doesn’t do you much good if they
never tell you.
:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are
:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend
Don’t be quick to get upset at a friend who says something that hurts your
Hopefully they said what they did because they care about you.
It’s a scary thing if people only say nice things (kisses) to you. Some of
them might be “kissing up”.
Don’t forget that Judas betrayed Jesus with a “kiss”.
Norman Vincent Peale: “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather
be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.”
Jay Leno’s first encounter with the man he would eventually replace was
less than auspicious. “You seem like a very funny young man,” Johnny Carson
told him after catching his act at The Comedy Store. “But you don’t have enough
jokes.” Leno was devastated. He recalls:
When I watched the Carson
show I saw him do 15 or 20 jokes. I realized I’d been doing only three and
relying on clowning and gestures for the rest of the laughs. I resented what
Johnny had said, but I took it to heart and began honing my material.
A few years later, Carson
asked me on his show. I’ll always be grateful to him for giving me real
advice—hard as it seemed at the time.
Listen to the pacing of Leno’s jokes after Johnny’s advice:
Video: Leno on Carson
As we’ve seen in Proverbs, being given good advice doesn’t do us any good
unless we pay attention to it. Leno paid attention.
:7 A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, But to a hungry soul every
bitter thing is sweet.
It’s not a bad thing to be hungry.
You’ll appreciate more in live.
:8 Like a bird that wanders from its nest Is a man who wanders from
A man who spends too much time away from home is setting his family up for trouble.
:9 Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s
friend gives delight by hearty counsel.
:10 Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, Nor go to your
brother’s house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor nearby
than a brother far away.
NLT) Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s. When
disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s
better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.
Cultivate friendships because your friends may be the ones to help you when
:11 My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, That I may answer him who
(Proverbs 27:11 The
Message) Become wise, dear child, and make me happy; then nothing
the world throws my way will upset me.
:12 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple
pass on and are punished.
This is identical to Prov. 22:3
Pay attention to those warning signs.
:13 Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger, And hold it in
pledge when he is surety for a seductress.
This is identical to Prov. 20:16
:14 He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the
morning, It will be counted a curse to him.
:14 a loud voice, rising early in the morning
Years ago when I was a youth pastor, my friend Craig Campbell and I would
play a prank on the other young campers in our cabin.
We’d get up super early in the morning, stand in the middle of the room,
and belt out the song, “Oh What A Beautiful Morning”.
We would get lots of pillows thrown at us.
This verse is painting a picture similar to this, but it’s talking about
the person who does this without having a clue that they are bothering everyone
Are you aware of the people around you?
I get the notion every once in a while that some people live in their own
Whether they’re having a great day or having a horrible day, they are
unaware that there are other people around them and what they’re going through.
Do you take time to notice the people around you and think about what is
going on in their lives?
:15 A continual dripping on a very rainy day And a contentious woman are
:16 Whoever restrains her restrains the wind, And grasps oil with his right
:15 continual dripping … a contentious woman
NLT) —15 A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy
day. 16 Stopping her
complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with
If we’re not careful, we can all fall into the rut of complaining or
griping about everything.
Grumpy old Mr. Thompson went to visit this
“miracle doctor” to prove that he wasn’t anybody special. When it was time for
his appointment he told the doctor, “Hey, doc, I’ve lost my sense of taste. I
can’t taste nothin’, so what are ya goin’ to do?”
The doctor scratched his head and mumbled
to himself a little, then told Mr. Thompson, “What you need is jar number 47.”
So the doctor brought the jar out, opened
it, and told Mr. Thompson to taste it. He tasted it and immediately spit it
out, “This is horrible!” he yelled.
“Looks like I just restored your sense of
taste, Mr. Thompson,” said the doctor. So Mr. Thompson went home...very mad.
One month later, Mr. Thompson decides to go
back to the doctor and try once again to expose him as a fake, by complaining
of a new problem. “Doc,” he started, “I can’t remember anything!”
Thinking he had the doctor stumped now, he
waited as the doctor scratched his head, mumbled to himself a little, and told
Mr. Thompson, “What you need is jar number 47, it’s...”
But before the doctor could finish his
sentence, Mr. Thompson was cured and fled the room!
(Philippians 2:14–15 NLT) —14 Do
everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no
one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining
like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.
:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his
:17 As iron sharpens iron
We don’t cultivate friendships just because they may help us out later in
We become better through our friendships. We ought to learn from each
Some people only want friends who
will say nice things to them.
The problem with this is that these may not be your true friends.
A true friend will care enough for you to “wound” you (v.6)
NKJV) Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the
kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
We would do well to pay attention when a friend cares
enough about us to hurt our feelings in order to warn us about a problem.
You and I are like a sword or an ax. Like an ax, we have work to do. We
will work better the “sharper” we are.
NLT) Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade.
That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.
How do you “sharpen” your ax?
By rubbing the iron against iron. That means rubbing up against your
It might even create a little friction at times.
Friction in relationships is not always bad.
God may be sharpening us.
:18 Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; So he who waits on his
master will be honored.
:18 Whoever keeps the fig tree
In other words, don’t expect something for nothing.
Some people will expect to eat the fig fruit without ever having helped to
cultivate the fig tree.
Some people will expect to be honored by someone important without ever
having done anything to deserve it.
If you want to eat, if you want to be recognized, then do your job.
:19 As in water face reflects face, So a man’s heart reveals
NLT) As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real
:20 Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never
(Proverbs 27:20 The
Message) Hell has a voracious appetite, and lust just never quits.
There are two parts to this verse that complement each other.
:20 Hell and Destruction are never full
Hell always has room for just a few more.
Nobody is going to arrive at the gates of hell and see a “No Vacancy” sign
hanging on the door.
There is room in hell for even you.
But God doesn’t want you to go to hell.
God has love you so much, and wants you to be in heaven so badly, that He
chose to allow His Son to die in your place, making the payment to keep you out
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.
All you need to do is turn from your sin, turn to God, and
trust in Jesus.
:20 the eyes of man are never satisfied
In 1965, Mick Jagger sang,
When you hear Mick Jagger sing, “But I tried…”
He’s been trying for fifty years.
He’ll get no satisfaction apart from Jesus.
An area we don’t find satisfaction is in the amount of money we have.
Someone once quipped,
“To figure the cost of living, just take your income and
add 10 percent.”
A wealthy employer once overheard one of his workers
exclaim, “Oh if I only had a hundred dollars, I would be perfectly
content.” Knowing that his own money had
not given him inner peace, he told her, “Since I would like to see someone who
is perfectly contented, I’m going to grant your desire.” He gave her the money and left, but before he
was out of earshot, he heard her remark almost bitterly, “Why on earth didn’t I
say 200?” The boss smiled, for he had
made his point that money doesn’t make a person “perfectly contented.”
John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, the wealthiest man in the
world in the early 1900s and the first billionaire, was supposedly asked, “How
much money is enough?” To which he is reported to have replied, “Just a little
The author of Hebrews gives us the ultimate source of satisfaction:
(Hebrews 13:5 NKJV)
your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things
as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake
We have Jesus. He
is more than enough.
:21 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, And a
man is valued by what others say of him.
(Proverbs 27:21 The
Message) The purity of silver and gold is tested by putting
them in the fire;
purity of human hearts is tested by giving them a little fame.
How you respond when people say to you, “You are awesome!” will say a lot
about your character.
:22 Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed
grain, Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.
Some people will never stop being foolish.
Is that you? What does it take for God to get your attention and make you
turn your life around?
:23 Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your
:24 For riches are not forever, Nor does a crown endure to
NLT) —23 Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for
your herds, 24 for riches
don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.
:24 For riches are not
Solomon is painting a picture of a person who owns a flock of goats.
They also have other financial prospects.
This person might also either have some money in the bank, or they might
have some wealthy relatives that just might one day leave them an inheritance.
Solomon is warning about counting on something else to help you in later
years when you have something you ought to be taking care of now.
:25 When the hay is removed, and the tender grass shows itself, And
the herbs of the mountains are gathered in,
Or, when all the crops are harvested and there’s nothing left growing in
:26 The lambs will provide your clothing, And the goats the price of
:27 You shall have enough goats’ milk for your food, For the food of
your household, And the nourishment of your maidservants.
:27 the food of your household
Caring for your flock, will meet your needs.
:23 know the state of your flocks
You don’t have to own actual goats to have a “flock”.
Our flocks are the things we have responsibility for now.
It might be your marriage.
It might be your kids.
It might be school.
It might be your work.
It might be your ministry.
A good shepherd doesn’t just hope his sheep will be okay out there in the
field by themselves, he shepherds his flock.
He will be with his flock.
In Ethiopia they do it a little different…
Video: Ethiopian Shephard and Two
He will lead his flock.
He will feed his flock.
He will protect his flock.
When you take care of your flock, God will see to it that
you are taken care of.
Be careful about leaving your flock, your responsibilities in order to win
that “big one”, like getting a “crown” or “riches” (vs. 24).
When David was called to be king, what was he doing?
He was out tending his father’s flock.
When Elisha was called to be a prophet and follow Elijah, what was he
He was out plowing with his oxen.
Tend to the flock you’ve got. Let
God take care of the future.