Morning Bible Study
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 The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a
(Proverbs 28:1 The
Message) The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off even when no
one’s after them;
people are relaxed and confident, bold as lions.
Living correctly gives you courage
:2 Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes; But
by a man of understanding and knowledge Right will be prolonged.
(Proverbs 28:2 NLT)
there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and
knowledgeable leaders bring stability.
:3 A poor man who oppresses the poor Is like a driving rain which
leaves no food.
:4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, But
such as keep the law contend with them.
:4 Those who forsake the law
(Proverbs 28:4 The
Message) If you desert God’s law, you’re free to embrace depravity; if you love
God’s law, you fight for it tooth and nail.
A “moral compass” is how we navigate what is “right” from what is “wrong”.
Did you know you had a “compass” on your iPhone?
A magnetic compass always points to the north, and allows
a sailor or a boy scout to navigate with his map or chart
… as long as there aren’t any
strong magnets nearby.
A magnet will give you an incorrect “north”.
If you don’t know where “north” is, you are going to be
Your iPhone would make a better compass because it gets
it’s “north” from the GPS satellites and isn’t affected by magnets.
In America, our moral compass is all out of whack because of the magnet of public
If enough people think that eating cupcakes for breakfast is healthy, we
start believing it is.
The problem with this moral compass is that society keeps changing and what
was “north” ten years ago is no longer “north”.
It is nothing new. Paul saw in his
own day what happened when men rejected the truth about God.
NLT) —22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead
of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look
like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 So God
abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a
result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded
the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and
served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of
eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the
women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex
with each other. 27
the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust
for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as
a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they
It is no surprise that since we decided to kick God out of
our American society, that we now no longer no what is right and wrong.
I’ll bet some of you or your kids have been taught in
school that we need to learn “tolerance” and allow people to explore their own
ideas about sexuality and what is right and wrong, and to speak against sin is
Do you know how to tell “right” from “wrong”?
The world tells us to “trust our heart” … or …
Sex is okay as long as you love
the other person.
We’re going to see in a minute why this is a problem.
God tells us to trust His Word.
It’s the satellite GPS of moral compasses. It’s the true north of what is right and what
:5 Evil men do not understand justice, But those
who seek the Lord understand all.
:6 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse in
his ways, though he be rich.
HCSB) Better a poor man who lives with integrity than a rich man who
distorts right and wrong.
:7 Whoever keeps the law is a discerning son, But
a companion of gluttons shames his father.
(Proverbs 28:7 NLT)
people who obey the law are wise; those with wild friends bring shame to their
The problem with “wild friends” is that “evil company corrupts good habits”
:8 One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion Gathers it for
him who will pity the poor.
(Proverbs 28:8 NLT)
from charging high interest rates will end up in the pocket of someone who is
kind to the poor.
:9 One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even
his prayer is an abomination.
:10 Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, He himself will
fall into his own pit; But the blameless will inherit good.
:11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes, But the poor who has
understanding searches him out.
NLT) Rich people may think they are wise, but a poor person with
discernment can see right through them.
:12 When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; But when the
wicked arise, men hide themselves.
:13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, But
whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
:13 He who covers his sins will not prosper
Deal with sin
We’ve talked a lot this morning about sin and doing what is right.
The problem that is universal among all people is that we all sin.
(Romans 3:23 NLT) For everyone
has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
The question is not whether or not you can live
your life without sinning, the question is what will you do once you’ve sinned?
It is certainly in our nature to want to cover up our sin and
Adam and Eve were only given one rule to follow – Don’t eat from the
3:6–8 NKJV) —6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that
it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one
wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and
he ate. 7 Then the
eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that
they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves
coverings. 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord
God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid
themselves from the presence of the Lord
God among the trees of the garden.
Adam and Eve sinned and then tried to cover it up.
They tried to cover themselves with fig leaves – which is
not a great choice of leaves – they are pretty itchy.
Then they tried to hide from God.
God wants us to learn to come to Him with our failures and ask for His
32:3–5 NLT) —3 When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I
groaned all day long. 4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength
evaporated like water in the summer heat. 5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide
my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt
You will not grow and develop as a person if you continue to hide your sin.
Growth comes from admitting we’ve failed and looking for ways to change.
We might think that if we come forward and admit our sin, we’ll just make
things worse and find ourselves in trouble.
There may be consequences to admitting your sin, but I find that those
consequences help cement my resolve to run from that sin.
And best yet, I find mercy from God, and that’s way better than any consequences
I may face.
John 1:9 NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our
sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This is why Jesus came, to pay the price for our
forgiveness, to die on a cross, to die in our place, so that God would be
“just” when He forgives us.
The price has been paid.
Have you confessed and forsaken your sin?
:14 Happy is the man who is always reverent, But
he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
:15 Like a roaring lion and a charging bear Is a wicked ruler
over poor people.
Some people have no compassion for the people they work with.
A woman went to the doctor’s office where she was seen by one of the new
doctors, but after about 4 minutes in the examination room, she burst out,
screaming as she ran down the hall. An older doctor stopped her and asked what
the problem was, and she told him her story. After listening, he had her sit
down and relax in another room. The older doctor marched down the hallway to
where the first Doctor was and demanded, “What’s the matter with you? Mrs.
Terry is 63 years old, she has four grown children and seven grandchildren, and
you told her she was pregnant?!” The new doctor continued to write on his
clipboard and without looking up said, “Does she still have the hiccups?”
:16 A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor, But he who hates covetousness will prolong his
NLT) A ruler with no understanding will oppress his people, but one who
hates corruption will have a long life.
:17 A man burdened with bloodshed will flee into a pit; Let no one help
:18 Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved, But he
who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall.
:19 He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But
he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!
(Proverbs 28:19 NLT)
hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in
This principle is true whether it’s in school or in the work force.
Students – you may be taking lots of classes about things that don’t really
matter in life. You may tell yourself
that it doesn’t matter whether you learn algebra or history.
The subject matter isn’t always the issue.
Sometimes it’s simply learning the discipline of working hard at whatever
:20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, But
he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
(Proverbs 28:20 The
Message) Committed and persistent work pays off; get-rich-quick
schemes are ripoffs.
:21 To show partiality is not good, Because
for a piece of bread a man will transgress.
(Proverbs 28:21 The
Message) Playing favorites is always a bad thing; you can do
great harm in seemingly harmless ways.
:22 A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, And
does not consider that poverty will come upon him.
:22 A man with an evil eye
Some people have this notion that an “evil eye” is a way of casting an evil
spell on somebody by looking at them with a special look.
In the Bible, the “evil eye” has to do with wanting something that doesn’t
belong to you, having an “eye” for something that’s wrong.
We call that greed.
Greed is bad
Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive, the world says to
“get all you can”.
The 1987 movie “Wallstreet” was about people who love money.
Video: Wallstreet – Greed is Good
There are people who live their lives according to this
Michael Douglas’ character might have made a lot of money,
but he also ended up in prison. Poverty
came on him.
Jesus said our lives should be aimed at something other than getting more
“stuff”. He said,
(Matthew 6:33 NLT) Seek the
Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you
everything you need.
:23 He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward Than he who
flatters with the tongue.
:24 Whoever robs his father or his mother, And
says, “It is no transgression,” The same is companion to a
NLT) Anyone who steals from his father and mother and says, “What’s
wrong with that?” is no better than a murderer.
:25 He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, But
he who trusts in the Lord will be
:26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But
whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
We’ll come back to this…
:27 He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he
who hides his eyes will have many curses.
:28 When the wicked arise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the
(Proverbs 28:28 The
Message) When corruption takes over, good people go underground, but when the
crooks are thrown out, it’s safe to come out.
now back to…
:26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But
whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
:26 He who trusts in his own heart
Trusting the heart
In 1957, Dean Martin made a movie titled “Ten Thousand Bedrooms”. In that movie he gave us this piece of
Movies have long admonished us to “trust our heart”.
Is that a wise thing?
When you ask some people for advice, they might respond, “What does your
heart tell you?”
Now of course, in the movies, the “heart” is always right.
The problem is that in real life, our “hearts” (or, emotions) can change
quite often, for many different reasons.
17:9 NKJV) “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately
wicked; Who can know
Solomon advises against trusting in your heart, and instead to learn to use
This doesn’t mean that your life has no emotion.
It means that you make your major decisions with more input than just your
The best input we can get to navigate through life is not our heart which
can changes, but God’s Word – the True Compass – which doesn’t change.
NKJV) The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one
of Your righteous judgments endures forever.
We ought to be asking, “What does God’s Word say about this?”