Friday, April 28, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 19

Proverbs 19

-The tongue continues to be a big issue in this chapter on Solomon’s wise advice, as well as relationships, the poor, handling anger, and a multitude of other diverse topics. A man who is poor but walks in integrity is better than a fool perverse in speech. It’s not good for a person to be without knowledge (plug for everyone to have education here), and the person who hurries in rash decisions errs. The foolishness can ruin the way and rages the heart against the LORD. Wealth will bring along with it many friends, but a poor man sees friends leave in separation. A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who is a liar will not escape and eventually perish. A generous man will find many seeking his favor and have lots of friends while he gives. However, the brothers of a poor man will tend to hate him, and his friends will disperse from him. The person who obtains wisdom loves his/her own soul, and the one keeping understanding will find good in their lives. Luxury is not for a fool, and slaves should not rule over princes. A person’s discretion makes them slow to anger, and it is a glory to overlook a transgression. A king’s wrath is like a roaring lion, but his favor is like the sweet morning dew on grass. A foolish son is a destruction to his father. The contentions of a wife are compared to a constant dripping, which drains all enthusiasm. A house, or wealth, are an inheritance from the father, but a prudent wife is direct from the LORD. Laziness makes one fall fast into a deep-slumbering sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger (Proverbs 19:1-15). Hard work continues to be an important theme.

-Those keeping the commandment of God keep their soul, but the ones careless in conduct will die. This pertains both to spiritual and physical death. Being gracious to the poor is akin to lending to the LORD, and God will richly repay for the good deed. It is good to discipline our son while there is hope. Please do not desire the death of a son. An overly angry person will bear the penalty of their actions. If we decide to rescue a person of great anger, we will have to do it over and over again. It is good to listen to wise counsel and accept the discipline we receive. It gives wisdom for the rest of our days. “Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the LORD will stand.” A person’s kindness is what makes them desirable, and it is better to be poor than to lie in order to make $. The fear of God leads one to life so that they may sleep satisfied and untouched by evil. The sluggard buries his hand in the dish of food but is too lazy to even bring it back into his mouth. What a stupor. Striking a scoffer, or the naive, may have the effect of making them shrewd, but reproving one who has understanding will gain them profound knowledge. Any boy who assaults his father and/or drives his mother away is shameful and disgraceful to a society. If one stops listening to discipline, they will stray from the words of knowledge. A rascally (bĕliya`al- worthless, good for nothing, wicked, destructive) witness makes justice a mockery, and the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity like wildfire. “Judgments are prepared for the scoffers, and blows for the back of fools (Proverbs 19:16-29).”

-*Application* Let’s focus on the “being gracious to the poor” concept in our study today. The LORD’s bank and trust is guaranteed not to go bankrupt, and He is overflowing in goodness on His repayments. I don’t know about you, but I certainly want to make my deposits into His benevolent funds by giving generously to the poor. It may not always be monetary, but God will bless in so many ways when we give, and give, and give. Our health will prosper, things won’t break down as quick, we will get great value on every business deal, and so on and so forth. I’ve experienced this in my own life. God is good to us when we bless those who can’t bless themselves.

Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 19:11, 17, 20-23

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 18

Proverbs 18

-Solomon continues with words of wisdom in the area of fellowship. The person who separates himself seeks his/her own desires and quarrels against all sound wisdom. Fools don’t delight in understanding; they only like to reveal their own mind in selfish ambition. Along with a wicked man comes contempt, and along with dishonor comes scorn. Deep waters are the wise words of a man’s mouth, and the fountain of wisdom is a babbling brook. To show favoritism to the wicked is never good, nor is it right to thrust aside the righteous in judgment. A fool’s lips tend to bring strife, and his/her mouth causes fights and violence. A fool’s mouth is leads to ruin as his/her lips are a snare to their soul. Whispering is a dainty morsel of words going down into the innermost parts of the body (Proverbs 18:1-8).

-The one who is slack in work is brother to him who destroys. “The Name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.” A rich person’s wealth is his strong city. It is like a high wall in his own imagination. Only true blessing, safety, and security come from the LORD. Destruction comes after a haughty heart, but humility goes before honor. The one giving an answer before he/she hears a matter makes things a folly and shames them. The spirit of the strong can endure sickness, but as for a broken spirit, who can bear that? The mind of the prudent simply acquires knowledge, and the wise always listen well seeking more and more knowledge. A person’s gift makes room for him/her and brings them before great men. When in a case, the first to speak seems right until another comes along to examine him/her. Casting lots can have a way of ending strife and deciding between the mightiest ones. “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a citadel.” The fruit and product of a man’s lips will satisfy him in his stomach. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” The man who finds a wife finds a good thing in the sight of God and obtains His favor. The poor man is humble and makes supplications, while the rich man tends to answer roughly and abrasively. “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:9-24).”

-*Application* Our relationship with the LORD takes center stage in several of these vital verses of Scripture. He is our strong tower and place of rest for safety and security from sin and this wicked world. He is our Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Further, relational matters with other people are discussed here and worth considering with great meditation. In addition, the humble spirit is exalted and watching what we say is so important.

Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 18:1, 5, 10, 12, 21-22, 24

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 17

Proverbs 17

-Solomon continues pouring out the wisdom of God by starting this chapter with the fact that it is better to have little and quietness (shalvah- tranquility, peace, the simple kind of prosperity and security) than a house full of feasting (wealth and opulence) with strife. It just isn’t worth it to live with the misery of fighting all the time. The servant who acts wisely will eventually rule over a son who acts shamefully. The theme of inheritance arrives here and who will be the rightful heir and heirs. Wisdom will succeed and give generously. The LORD tests hearts like the refining pot for silver and the furnace for gold. An evil person listens to wicked lips. They receive from deception and curses. A liar pays attention to the destructive mouth. Anyone who mocks the poor in their suffering taunts their Maker, and the one rejoicing in another’s calamity will not go unpunished. In other words, what comes around, goes around. Grandchildren are a blessing, the crown of old men, and the glory of the sons are their fathers. Family ties come to play here, and enjoying the goodness of God’s institution the right way. It is not fitting for a fool to give excellent speech, nor is it proper, even to a further degree, for a prince to utter lies. Honesty is the theme. A bribe is a charm (literally “a stone of favor”) in the view of its owner. He will prosper everywhere he turns, yet this not commendable (Proverbs 17:23; 21:14, Ecclesiastes 7:7, Isaiah 33:15). The man who conceals (kacah- covers up, does not reveal, hides) a transgression seeks deeper love and relationship. But, one who repeats (shanah- changes, alters, with a sense of gossip) a matter divides intimate friends and friendships. How sad. “A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool (Proverbs 17:1-10).”  

-*Application* We need to practice understanding by receiving righteous rebukes that are intended for our discipline. This will make us better people. Don’t be stubborn, like Solomon suggests the fool is like, and unyielding to correction. We must be content and satisfied with the things God gives us, and seek the peace of our homes. Mo money, mo problems is the modern-day equivalent. Keep acting wisely in every circumstance and eventually it will pay off. We will have honor, prestige, and wealth as we do things the right way with all the satisfaction of living well before the LORD.

-A rebellious person seeks only to be evil, and a cruel messenger will be sent their way who will oppose. Catching a fool in his folly is tantamount to meeting a bear robbed of her cubs. Mama bear don’t play. She is angry, and so is the fool in his mischief, not wanting to be exposed. The man who returns evil for good will never see evil depart his house. He stirs up demonic activity that will prevail upon him. The beginning of strife is like the letting out of water, which as we know spreads as it wills with no way of stopping it. Therefore, the king says to abandon the quarrel before it breaks out. In other words, choose your battles wisely under the direction of the Holy One. Next, two more abominations before the LORD are listed. One should never justify the wicked, nor should one condemn the righteous in the court of law. Solomon now asks, “Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, when he has no sense (Proverbs 17:11-16)?”

-The Word goes on with some encouraging sentiment. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” But, then there is a quick return to things wrong in this fallen world. A man who lacks sense makes pledges he cannot keep. He does so publicly and threatens to embarrass himself by becoming a guarantor who can’t oblige. Lovers of transgression are lovers of strife, and pride raises the door towards destruction. A crooked mind finds no good in the world, and he who is perverted in his speech falls into manifold evil. The person who raises a fool will be sorrowful in life with no joy. However, a joyful heart causes good healing to one who has the LORD and His wisdom (Philippians 4:4). On the contrary, a broken (naka'- stricken, wounded, broken) spirit dries up the bones. Wicked men accept bribes to pervert the ways of justice. The presence of wisdom presides over one who has understanding, but the eyes of the fool wander all over the earth, never discovering it. Speaking of foolishness, Solomon goes on to say that a son who is making bad decisions for evil is a grief to his father and bitterness to the woman who bore him. It is not good to place fines on the righteous, nor is it wise to strike the nobleman for his uprightness. That would just not make any sense at all, yet we see this happening in our current society way too much. Slander and corruption are at issue here. The one who restrains his/her words has knowledge. They respond rather than react. A person who has a cool spirit has great understanding. “Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is considered prudent (Proverbs 17:17-28).”  

-*Application* We live in a political world with people trying to better their own estate at the expense of others. Today we learn that this is not the way of God’s Kingdom. Perversions of justice and righteousness should have no place in our Christian lives, and we should fight for the right whenever, wherever, and however we can. Sometimes the best advice is to stay quiet and not even speak. Jesus used this approach in the face of wickedness (Matthew 26:62-63, Mark 14:61-62). He had total wisdom, self-control, and faith that God would work everything towards His benefit. He can apply these principles as well.

Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 17:3, 5, 10, 17, 22, 28

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 16

Proverbs 16

-The plans of man begin as the theme of this next chapter in Proverbs. A man’s heart determines his plans, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD for a Spirit-filled person. “All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the LORD weighs the motives.” A powerful word to live by comes next, “Commit your works to the LORD, and your plans will be established.” This harkens back to Proverbs 3:5-6 in leaning not in our own understanding, but trusting and acknowledging God in all ways to direct our paths. The LORD has made everything for the purpose that it is supposed to serve, even the wicked are designed for the day of evil to reveal God’s redemptive purposes. In other words, evil is a temporary condition in the universe; all will be made right. The proud in heart are an abomination unto the LORD, and they will not go unpunished. By God’s lovingkindness (checed- goodness, kindness, faithfulness, mercy) and truth ('emeth- reliability, faithfulness, truth, sureness, stability, continuance) iniquity is atoned for, and by the LORD’s fear upon us, one keeps away from evil. “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” It is better to have little with righteousness than great income with injustice. The mind of man makes his own plans, but it is the LORD who directs his steps (Proverbs 16:1-9). The LORD is sovereign and in total control of this world.

-Now Solomon turns his attention to those in authority for a further understanding thematically. King’s utter divine decisions, so his mouth should not err in judgment. In fact, a just balance and just scales belong solely to the LORD; all the weights of measure end up being His concern. It is another abomination unto the LORD for kings to commit wickedness, because God established authorities to be righteous (Romans 13:1). Righteous speech is a king’s delight and love. When a king is furious, he is like a messenger of death, but a wise man will work to appease the situation, like Daniel and David (1 Samuel 16:21-23, Daniel 6:21). When a king is light and shows favor, there is life like a cloud with the spring rain. It is better to get wisdom and understanding than gold and silver. The highway of the upright is to leave, far away from, evil. The one who watches his way in discernment preserves his life. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” It is better to be one humble of spirit with the lowly than to split your spoil with those who are proud (Proverbs 16:10-19, Matthew 5:3).

-The person who gives his/her attention to the Word of God will find good. Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD. Faith is an Old Testament requirement as well as a New Testament one. A heart full of wisdom will be called understanding, and sweetness of speech increases one’s chances of being persuasive. This is good business advice, especially for salespeople. Understanding is a tree of life to those who possess it, but the discipline of fools is only folly. A wise person’s heart instructs his/her mouth and adds to persuasiveness (Luke 6:45). Pleasant words are compared to a honeycomb. They are sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. There is a way that seems right to a man, but it can end up being the way of death if he doesn’t have faith in Christ Jesus (Matthew 7:13-14). The appetite of a worker works for him to give incentive. His hunger urges him on to complete his tasks. A worthless-no good man digs up evil, and his words are like scorching fire. Perverse people spread strife, and a slanderer breaks apart intimate friends. People tend to believe what other people say, even if it’s untrue. What a travesty. A man of violence entices his neighbor rather than fulfilling the command to love him, and leads him in ways that are no good (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 19:19; 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, James 2:8). If a person winks at you, they are generally devising perverse things in their heart, and when they compress their lips together, they are about to bring evil to pass. A person’s gray hair is a crown of glory for the aged, and it is found in the way of faithfulness and righteousness as a general truth. Those slow to get angry are better than the mighty, and the person who rules his/her spirit is better than one who captures a city. “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD (Proverbs 16:20-33).”

-*Application* God’s sovereign plan jumps out at us from these wise sayings in this chapter. We do well to listen to God’s direction and counsel from His amazing Word and then trust Him to accomplish all He wants in our lives. This breeds contentment, which is a Godly quality in a person. Allow Him to orchestrate and connect all of our plans. In the end, we will find it exquisitely rewarding.

Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 16:3, 18

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 15

Proverbs 15

-Solomon gives sage advice for turning away wrath when it comes against us. He says a gentle response is always the best option. In contrast, harsh words stir up anger and exasperate the situation. The tongue of the wise has a way of making knowledge acceptable. It’s not a beat-down, it’s a lift-up in other words. We must seek to speak in a way that people can accept instead of fighting. We have to break down defenses to the truth. Calmness has this affect. The mouth of the fool only spouts folly. He doesn’t really think about the implications of his speech. Omniscience becomes the crux of the next thought, “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” The All-Knowing God is very aware of everything. In fact, His knowledge is impeccable. The words of mankind quickly resurface now in the chapter when Solomon states, “A soothing tongue is a tree of life (cross reference this phrase in Scripture, Genesis 2:9, Proverbs 3:18; 11:30; 13:12; 15:4, Revelation 2:7; 22:2, 14, 19), but perversion in it crushes the spirit.” Now, the king remarks that to regard reproof is prudent, but rejecting a father’s discipline is foolish. Much wealth surrounds the house of the righteous, but trouble is the income of the wicked. The words of the wise spread abroad their knowledge, but the hearts of fools do no such thing. There are three abominations listed in this chapter. Those being: 1) The sacrifice of the wicked, 2) The way of the wicked, and 3) Evil plans (Proverbs 15:8, 9, 26). On the reverse, God is delighted by the prayers of the upright, loves him who pursues righteousness, and is pleased with pleasant and pure words. In fact, stern discipline is for the person who forsakes the way of the LORD. Those who hate reproof will soon die. Sheol and Abaddon (abodes, or realms, for the earthly departed) lie wide open before the LORD, but what is more, God knows intricately the hearts of men. A scoffer hates the one who reproves him. He will not even go near the wise for advice. The heart continues to resurface as a theme as Solomon states that a joyful heart makes the face cheerful, but a sad heart breaks the spirit. Next, he purports that the mind of the intelligent will seek out knowledge, but the mouth of the fool tends to feed on folly. Every day of the afflicted is bad, but a person with a cheerful heart has a continual feast. In support of that, the king endorses contentment by saying, “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, than a great treasure and turmoil with it. Better is a dish of vegetables where love is, than a fattened ox and hatred with it.” Temperament becomes an issue here as hot-tempered people are reported to stir up all kinds of strife. To the contrary, those slow to anger pacify contention (James 1:19). Peace here is our goal, not division and war. Poetic language is awesome as Solomon relates a sluggard to a hedge of thorns (difficult to deal with) in comparison to the path of the upright, which is a broad-smooth running highway. With this in mind, Solomon says, “A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother.” Folly is joyful to those who lack sense, but a person of understanding will walk in a correct, law-abiding, manner. Without good consultation, man’s plans are frustrated, but with a multitude of biblical counselors these plans can succeed. A person always receives joy in an apt answer, and it is delightful to hear a timely word. Solomon now ponders the path of life some more. God’s ways lead upward for the wise so that they can keep away from Sheol below. The LORD will tear down, in judgment and without mercy, the house of the selfish proud, but He looks out for the humble widow and establishes her boundary (Proverbs 15:1-26). I take this to indicate how God gives victory in spiritual warfare and comes to aid of those who truly seek His deliverance. There is a boundary set on what demonic oppressors can do for those who are lowly and know they need help.  

-The person who is proud, makes evil plans, and profits illicitly (like taking bribes) troubles his own house with perpetual turmoil. The man who hates bribes, on the other hand, will live and eventually prosper with the peace of God. The heart of the righteous ponders how to they should answer, but the mouth of the wicked man pours out evil things from the deceitfulness of their heart. The LORD is far from the wicked, meaning He resists them with complete awareness, but He attends to the prayers of the righteous. Bright and excited eyes gladden the heart and spread abundant cheer, and good news makes people want to rejoice and feast leading to the gaining of weight. As a Baptist, I can relate. The person who has an ear for “life-giving reproof,” which is of God’s Word, will dwell among the wise. This is their habitation, and they will grow in their spiritual character and understanding. On the other hand, “He who neglects discipline despises himself.” He does himself no good. One more return to the “fear of God” concept, and the chapter is completed, “The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility (Proverbs 15:27-33).”

-*Application* The multitude of concepts that we are given to enhance our understanding of God’s ways, just in this chapter, numbers in the teens. The mouth, discipline and accepting reproof, God’s omniscience, abominations unto the LORD, the heart, the pursuit of knowledge, the fear of God, contentment, love, temperament, hard work, a multitude of counselors, and pride verses humility all resonate as instruction for the righteous soul. Let’s conform our heart, mind, and will to His Heart, Mind, and Will from this number of profound themes and keep gaining wisdom.

Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 15:1, 3, 5, 8, 18, 29, 32-33

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 14

Proverbs 14

-Solomon’s words of wisdom continue in a sporadic, but sensible, format as we move to this next section. The wise female will build her house (all things included), but the foolish one can tear it down with the actions of her hands (figurative and literal). People who fear the LORD will walk in uprightness, but he who is devious in his ways despises the LORD. Foolish talk will end up bringing harsh punishment, but the lips of the wise will protect from harm. “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.” Our capital can be messy at times in business, but much profit comes from using the resources that are opportunistic. This is a call for hard work and sensibility in using difficult (time consuming, dirty, painful, etc.) equipment, animals, or human resources. As the king goes further, he says that a trustworthy witness will tell the truth, but a false witness bears lies. A scoffer seeks wisdom, but his insolence ensures that he finds none. However, knowledge is easy to one who has righteous understanding. Solomon now warns that leaving the presence of a fool is vital if we want discernment. If we stay under the influence of a fool, we will not perceive the words of knowledge. “The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, but the foolishness of fools is deceit. Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is good will (Proverbs 14:1-8, Luke 2:14).”

-The heart continues to be the issue as Solomon now speaks of it knowing its own bitterness and strangers not being able to share its joy. Next, the king speaks of how the house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will be continuing and flourish. With regards to salvation among other things of the heart, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Even in times of superficial laughter, the heart may actually be in pain. Plus, the end of joy may see grief. This is a fact of life that Solomon has observed. Not everything has a happy-fairy tale ending. “The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied with his.” Naïve people believe everything, but sensible people consider their steps, or shall we say circumstances. A man of wisdom is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is both arrogant and careless. A person of quick-temper acts extremely foolishly too, and a person of evil devices is often hated. The naïve have an inheritance. This inheritance is foolishness. But, the sensible are crowned with knowledge. The evil and wicked will eventually bow down and pay homage before the good and righteous. The poor man is loathed and hated by his neighbor, but those who love (and often use) the rich are many. The person, whether they are rich or poor, who despises his neighbor sins (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, James 2:8), but happy is he who is gracious, especially to the poor. Devisers of evil will go astray, but kindness and truth will be to those who formulate good (Proverbs 14:9-22).

-Hard work continues as a theme as Solomon says, “In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Riches will crown the wise, but foolish folly is the benefit of ignorant folks who waste and are idle. Solomon continues to bounce back and forth on his proverbs in restating ideas on a truthful witness, which saves lives as compared to the treachery of a liar. Absolute truth is maintained in the next comment, “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge.” He goes on with these inspired thoughts on the awe of the LORD. Fearing Him is a fountain of life so that one may avoid the snares of a foolish death. A king’s glory is in his multitude of people. In other words, a winsome person gathers people, not scattering them. “But, in the dearth ('ephec- ceasing, finality, end) of people is a prince’s ruin.” The person who is slow to get angry has great understanding (James 1:19), but the one who is quick-tempered exalts folly. A tranquil heart gives life to the body, but extreme jealousy (qin'ah- ardour, passionate-unhealthy zeal, envy) is rottenness to the bones. The person who oppresses the poor actually taunts his Maker, but if he is gracious to the needy, he honors the LORD. “The wicked is thrust down by his wrongdoing, but the righteous has a refuge when he dies.” Salvation returns to the forefront as a theme here. In fact, wisdom rests in the heart of the person who has this spiritual understanding, but the foolish make their folly known to all. National issues are even dealt with here as the chapter comes to a close. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. The king’s favor is toward a servant who acts wisely, but his anger is toward him who acts shamefully (Proverbs 14:23-35).”

-*Application* We have to be very concerned for our hearts as we meditate on the application of this passage today. Our respectful fear of the LORD will guide us to a right place in our heart giving us confidence, rest, success, and wisdom (among many other important and good things). We must turn away from evil as individuals and as a nation, if we want the favor and exaltation of our God. We must work hard and use the resources He has benevolently provided. We can’t afford to just talk about it. We must love our neighbor as ourselves and be extraordinarily gracious and giving. These are the marks of true believers in Christ Jesus. His ways are far superior to ours, and we must look to Him.

Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 14:12, 23, 26, 34

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 13

Proverbs 13

-Discipline, diligence, and wise use of speech continue to play out as themes, among other things, in this insightful chapter on continuing wise tidbits. Solomon says that a wise son will accept his father’s discipline; however, a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. Solomon’s father, David, warned not to associate with scoffers (Psalm 1:1). Solomon was accepting his father’s wisdom and passing it on. From the fruit of a wise man’s mouth, he enjoys good, but the desire of the treacherous is only violence. The one who guards his mouth preserves (shamar- keep, take charge of, guard) his life, while the one who opens wide his lips foolishly comes to ruin. Laziness is dealt with again by stating that the sluggard craves and gets nothing. To the contrary, the soul of the diligent is made fat with production. Lying is now dealt with again. The righteous hate all falsehood compared to the wicked who act shamefully and disgustingly. In fact, righteousness guards the one whose way is blameless (right before God by faith), but wickedness subverts (sâlaph- to twist, pervert, distort, overturn, ruin) the sinner. Along the lines of this honesty theme, the king says that there are always those who pretend to be rich but have nothing, while others pretend to be poor but have great wealth. Solomon goes on to say that the ransom of a man’s life is wrapped up in his wealth, but the poor hears no rebuke. The light of the righteous shines brightly (some translate it “rejoices”), but the lamp of the wicked will go out into darkness. “Through insolence (zadown- arrogance, swelling, pride, presumptuousness, haughtiness) comes nothing but strife, but wisdom is with those who receive counsel (Godly counsel, Proverbs 11:14;13:1-10).”

-Wealth obtained by fraudulent means dwindles, but the one who steadily gathers by the use of labor increases his fortune and stability. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled and realized is a tree of life and sweet to the soul. The one who despises the Word of God will be in debt to it, but the one who fears the commands of the LORD will be rewarded. The teaching of the wise is an ongoing fountain of life, and it will turn one aside from the snares of death. Good understanding will produce favor in situations, but the way of the treacherous is hard. Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool puts his folly on display for all to see. When it comes to messengers, a wicked one falls into adversity, but a faithful envoy brings about healing. “Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored.” A fool’s abomination is to turn away from evil. The person who lives life with the wise will be wise themselves. But, the companion, or coming under the influence, of fools will suffer harm. Adversity will chase down sinners, but the righteous will be blessed and rewarded with prosperity. A good man thinks ahead for his posterity and leaves an inheritance (should be material, emotional, social, and especially spiritual) to his children’s children. Plus, Solomon says, the wealth of the sinner is actually often times stored up for the righteous. In other words, those He favors, because of their good heart, end up getting the wealth of those who have squandered the resources God graciously gave them. Injustice jumps to the forefront of the themes now as the king claims that abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor, but it is swept away by unfairness. Then, he jumps back into the themes of discipline and contentment. Corporal punishment is endorsed. “He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Notice that word “diligently” there. This means that care and consideration in the disciplinary process is key. Parents should always avoid rashness and acting out in anger towards their children. They should be wise and always loving in their discipline. With contentment, Solomon says, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, the righteous feel like they have enough to satisfy their appetite, but the stomach of the wicked is always wanting more (Proverbs 13:11-25).

-*Application* There are so many things to once again consider as we seek to live out these principles written down for our wisdom around 3,000 years ago. Family relationships are important, and parents’ authority is key to training up a child in the way he/she should go. We should always pray that our children accept our discipline, and we should be constantly aware of the balance between encouraging/building up and setting limits/consequences. Our children do need boundaries, and they need to know what our expectations are with consistency. Discipline is for Godly correction. We need to teach them to be diligent, honest, respectful, careful in speech, humble, faithful, and content among other things. If this is to happen, we must necessarily model this behavior and let them see, from us, a heart connected to the Heavenly Father. This will fulfill our desires as our tree of life and bring sweetness to our soul based on our relationship to the One who loves us.

Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 13:10, 12, 20, 22, 24

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 12

Proverbs 12

-The person who loves discipline loves knowledge, but stupid is the person who hates getting reproof. A good man will obtain his favor from the LORD, and he will stand up to condemn a man who devises evil. Wickedness never establishes people, but the root of the righteous will not be moved. An excellent wife is the prestigious crown of her husband, but a woman that shames her man is as rottenness to his bones. The way that the righteous think is just, but beware the counsels of the wicked. They are deceitful, or deceptive. The words of the evil ones lie in wait for blood (meaning ruthless vengeance or violence), but the mouth of the upright will deliver them. When the wicked are overthrown, they are no more. However, the house of the righteous will stand through all sorts of turmoil. A person will be praised according to how much insight they have, but one who has a perverse mind will be despised. “Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant (helper), than he who honors himself (a selfish individual) and lacks bread.” And then, Solomon even speaks of animals, “A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, but the compassion of the wicked is cruel (Proverbs 12:1-10).”

-The man, or woman, who works their field hard will have plenty of bread (or product), but the ones pursuing vain things lack good-common sense. The wicked desires the loot, or booty, of evil men (I’m thinking pirates here 😊), but the root of the righteous yields better fruit. An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous know how to escape trouble because they have the Lord on their side. A person will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his/her productive words, and the works of good person’s hands will return to them. The way of a fool is only right in his own eyes, but a wise man will listen to others’ good counsel. A fool’s vexation (ka`ac- anger, provocation, grief, vexation, frustration) is known all of a sudden, but on the other hand, a prudent man conceals dishonor. The wise man doesn’t let the situation get to him and let it frazzle him in other words. A foolish man loses control when things aren’t going his way would be another way of putting it. Shall we say, temper tantrum? The one telling the truth is telling what is right, but a false witness spreads deceit. “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword (violent-purposeful aggression), but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Truthful lips will be established permanently, but a lying tongue is only for that moment. Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil plots and plans; on the other side, counselors of peace have joy. No harm will generally come upon the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble all the time. To lie is an abomination before the LORD, but those who deal faithfully and honestly are His delight. A prudent man wisely conceals knowledge, but the heart of a fool proclaims folly serendipitously. The hand of the diligent will make him a leader with ruling qualities, but the slack will end up being put to forced labor. “Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.” The righteous guide and direct their neighbors in the right path, but the way of the wicked leads them wondering and astray. A slothful person does not roast (charak- ensnare, catch) his prey, but diligence is the precious possession of a person. In short, Solomon says that righteousness is the way to life “and in its pathway there is no death (spiritually speaking, Proverbs 12:11-28).”

-*Application* Again we see so many topics for application in this chapter. We should meditate on these principles and actualize them in our lives. Reproof is an interesting thought for me personally today. Many spurn reproof, but it is important to learn from our mistakes and thank those who correct us. Let’s break down that word for a moment. Proof- is like a scientific term indicating an absolute, empirical truth. Re- means doing it over and again. In life, we need people in authority over us who will give us the truth and the facts over and over again when we mess up and fail. Learn to love reproof. Remember, loving discipline is loving knowledge. When it comes to obtaining favor from the LORD, be a hero, be the good guy. We’ve heard it said that is any troubling situation there are perpetrators, bystanders, and victims. Let me introduce the ideal forth type of person, heroes. These are those who selflessly and willfully go into a situation to right it. They stand for the ways of God and dispense justice, like any superhero of our vivid imaginations in art or history. There are many other applicational thoughts available here in this passage: pure speech, diligence, gentleness, and encouragement just to name a few. Process what we can, and we’ll keep growing in wisdom.

Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 12:1, 4-5, 8, 18, 25, 28

Monday, April 10, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 11

Proverbs 11

-A false balance (injustice) is an abomination before the LORD. When things are done fairly and impartially, that is when the LORD delights. With pride comes dishonor, but with the humble and contrite there is wisdom (Leviticus 26:19, Psalm 51:17, Proverbs 16:18; 21:24; 29:23, Isaiah 2:17; 66:2, Daniel 4:37, James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5, 1 John 2:16). The integrity of the upright will direct and guide them through the course of life, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. Riches cannot profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness certainly does as it delivers from death. The blameless are blessed. Their righteousness will smooth out their way, but the wicked will fall in their own schemes of evil. Righteous continues as a theme in delivering the upright, but the treacherous will be caught in their own selfish greed. When the wicked die, their expectation perishes, so does the hope of the strong man. However, the righteous is delivered from trouble, while the wicked take his place. The speech theme reoccurs with Solomon saying that with his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor. But, through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. When things go well with the righteous, there is great rejoicing in the city, and in the same way there is jubilation when the wicked perish. “By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down (Proverbs 11:1-11).”

-Being a good neighbor is now extolled by the wise man. The one who despises his neighbor lacks sense. This is because much profit comes from loving and helping our neighbor in life. Solomon says a man of understanding keeps his mouth shut, compared to a talebearer who reveals secrets. He who is trustworthy will conceal a matter and not blurt it out to everyone. “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors (I should add good, Godly, biblical counselors because that’s what Solomon is getting at) there is victory.” If one is a guarantor for a stranger, he will surely suffer for it, but the one who hates being a guarantor is secure. The king goes on to say that a gracious woman attains honor, and that ruthless men will typically attain worldly riches. The merciful man does himself a huge favor (Matthew 5:7), but on the other hand, the cruel man does himself much harm. The wicked earns deceptive, underhanded, and false wages, but he who sows righteousness gets an actual and true reward. The steadfast in righteousness will attain life, but he who pursues evil will eventually bring about his own death. There is another abomination unto the LORD given now. This is the perverse in heart. On the contrary, the blameless in their walk with the LORD on the basis of faith are His delight (Proverbs 11:12-20, Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 2:20; 3:11-12, Hebrews 10:38).

-The king now says that “assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished, but the descendants of the righteous will be delivered.” He compares a ring of gold in a pig’s snout to a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. So, ladies make sure they you are always discrete. The righteous only desire what is good, but the expectation of the wicked is God’s wrath. Now generosity is explored some more. In beautiful language, Solomon asserts, “There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds with is justly due, and yet it results only in want.” The generous man will be prosperous, and the one who waters plentifully will himself be watered in return. This giving principle is the one thing that God asks us to test Him in (Malachi 3:10). The one withholding things like grain, will incur a curse by his people. Blessing will be on the one who generously sells it. The one who diligently seeks good, also seeks favor. But, he who seeks after evil will find evil coming to him. The foolish person who trusts in his own riches will eventually fall, but the righteous will find themselves flourishing like the green leaf that produces much fruit (Matthew 7:18, John 15:8). People that trouble their own house will inherit the wind (emptiness), and the foolish will be the servant to the wisehearted in most cases. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls. If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner (Proverbs 11:21-31)!”

-*Application* There is so much to chew on in this incredible wisdom chapter. It would be wise of us to do a detailed study with a listing of the traits of righteous that Solomon, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, lays out for us to live by. Here are some thoughts in brief from this chapter concerning what the righteous should look like. They should be: just, humble, people of integrity, not concerned with worldly riches, blameless, upright, delivered, an encourager, knowledgeable, civic, lovers of their neighbor, understanding, able to keep a secret (not a blabber mouth), a leader, able to receive counsel and be held accountable, not a unwise guarantor (underwriter, sponsor), merciful, honest, steadfast, faithful, good in heart, discrete, separated from the world’s system, yielded to God’s Kingdom, desiring and seeking good all the time, generous, trusting God, bearing much fruit, taking care of their home, winning souls (shares the Christian faith contending and defending lovingly with the lost, 1 Peter 3:15, Jude 1:3), and rewarded.  

Verse to Memorize: Proverbs 11:14, 24, 30

Friday, April 7, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 10

Proverbs 10

-The next major section of this book begins in the tenth chapter as Solomon authors and collects wise sayings designed to give help for all people. This makes a turn from the more specific advice he had been giving directly to his son and sons. These sayings will go through the twenty-fourth chapter in length. He begins with how a wise son gives gladness to his father, but a foolish son is such a grief to his mother. This starts his comparison/contrast didactic on the theme of the righteous verses the wicked. He claims that ill-gotten gain does not profit, but righteousness delivers from death. The righteous God will not allow to hunger (generally speaking), but the LORD will reject the craving of the wicked. Poverty comes from a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. The gatherer in the summer is a son who acts wisely, but the sleeper in time of harvest is a son who acts shamefully. Blessings are on the head of the righteous; however, the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. The posterity of the righteous is remembered with blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot in a short time. He continues, in this plethora of topics, to say that the wise of heart will receive commands, but a babbling fool will be absolutely ruined. The one walking with integrity will walk securely; on the contrary, the one who perverts his ways will be exposed. One who winks the eye causes trouble, and again he repeats, “the babbling fool will be ruined (Proverbs 10:1-10).”

-The speech of people is dealt some thought now. “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” He maintains that hatred is that which stirs up strife (in other words a bad heart condition); however, love covers all transgressions. This is a key biblical concept as we consider the actions and commands of Christ Jesus (John 3:16; 13:34-35; 15:13, 1 Peter 4:8, and we could go on and on with many more verses here). On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is discovered, but the rod is reserved for the back of him who lacks this discernment and understanding. Wise men, Solomon teaches, store up knowledge, but the painful part of being foolish is forgetting what should be known and then applied. This foolish one’s ruin is at hand when he runs his ignorant mouth. Another topic is discussed revolving around the rich man’s wealth being in his fortress. God is our strong tower (Proverbs 18:10). On the converse, the ruin of the poor is their poverty. The wages of the righteous is life, but the income of the wicked is punishment. This could certainly include eternal damnation. The one heeding instruction, the king says, is on the path of life, but the one who ignores reproof goes far astray. The one concealing hatred has lying lips, and the one who spreads slander is an absolute fool. Solomon wisely concludes another important point, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” Wow! How true this is. He goes on with his instruction in regard to speech by saying that the tongue of the righteous is like choice silver. But, the heart of the wicked is worth little. The lips of the righteous feed the many, but the reverse is true for the fools. Fools die for lack of understanding. It is the blessing of the LORD, not money, that make one rich, “and He adds no sorrow to it.” In fact, doing wicked things is like a sport to a fool, but the sport of the people of understanding is Godly wisdom (i.e- righteous things). What the wicked fears, will actually transpire, so also the desire of the righteous will be granted (faith verse fear concept at play here). When the whirlwind storms through, the wicked is no more. But, the righteous ones have an everlasting foundation (Matthew 7:24-27). The irritants of vigor to the teeth and smoke to the eyes are compared, by Solomon, to one who is sent out that is lazy in his work. In other words, it is irritating for those in authority when they cannot count on lazy, negligent people under them. Solomon parlays this into another tidbit of wisdom on the issue of fearing God. “The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be shortened.” The righteous have an incredible hope, that is gladness. But, the expectation of the wicked perishes. The righteous will never be shaken, Solomon says, but the wicked will be cast out from the land. There dwelling places are insecure. The king gives one final proverb back to the theme of speech now, “The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom, but the perverted tongue will be cut out. The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked what is perverted (Proverbs 10:11-32).”

-*Application* Our words come from our heart (Matthew 15:18, Luke 6:45). If we sincerely want to guard our mouths, we must necessarily guard our hearts. It all begins with a heart that is devoted to Jesus and the things of God. This is what will season our speech (Colossians 4:6), and it is a wise thing to do. Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19). Use words to build up and not tear down (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Work hard and don’t ever be lazy (Colossians 3:23, 1 Corinthians 10:31). Pursue righteousness and not wickedness. Meditate and act upon these important principles today and do well. Incur the blessings of the LORD.

Verse to Memorize: Proverbs 10:12, 19, 22

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 9

Proverbs 9

-Wisdom’s invitation is extended out to all naïve and those lacking understanding to turn in here, eat the food of wisdom, drink the wine she has mixed, forsake all folly, live, and proceed in the way of true understanding. Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars (biblical number for completeness and perfection, wisdom lacks nothing), she has prepared the food, she has mixed the wine, she has set her table, she has sent out her maidens, and she has called out from the tops of the heights of the city with this invitation to attain life and grow (Proverbs 9:1-6).

-Solomon now has some practical advice on the theme of scoffers, mockers, and people who ridicule. He states, “He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself (generally speaking), and he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you.” The wisdom of the wise increases as they receive instruction humbly. The righteous love to gain new understanding. In fact, they are lifetime learners. Then, the king repeats his theme on the fear of God, this time referring to it as the beginning of wisdom. He also claims that “the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” By wisdom, days will be multiplied and years of life added. Individual responsibility is next addressed. If one is wise, he/she is wise for himself/herself. And, if one is a scoffer, that person alone bears the guilt of it (Proverbs 9:7-12).

-Solomon now returns to the issue of the woman entrenched in sinful folly and her seductive ways with the naïve and senseless young men. Solomon describes these types of women again as boisterous, naïve, knowing nothing, idle, scheming, and provocative. She spins her web of deceit and lures in the unsuspecting by saying, “Stolen water is sweet; and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” However, the ignorant young man does not know that the dead are in her lair, and that her guests are in the depths of Sheol (Proverbs 9:13-18). In other words, he goes headlong into disaster, which Solomon is trying to avert with his audience.

-*Application* By now we should be getting the point and accepting the invitation into more and more wisdom. I have found through experience, in this area of reproving a scoffer, that what is said is so accurate. We have to understand who we are dealing with in people as to whether they can handle a rebuke or not. Blessed is the person who can take reproof and love as a more knowledgeable, wiser, individual. We have to learn that to correct a scoffer will entail persecution, belittlement, gossip, slander, and insults. That’s just the way it is. In our slang of today, “You can’t hate on the haters.”

Verse to Memorize: Proverbs 9:7-8, 10

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 8

Proverbs 8

-Wisdom’s call is contrasted to the call of the adulteress, which was dealt with in the previous chapter (see Proverbs 7). Solomon, declaring a better way, asks, “Does not wisdom call, and understanding lift up her voice?” He says that on top of the heights beside the way, and where the paths meet, is where she (wisdom) takes her stand. She is also readily present beside the gates, where elders sit contemplating under the authority of God and their covenant culture, at the opening of the city. At the entrance of the doors wisdom cries out in a call to the sons of men, “O naïve ones, understand prudence; and O fools, understand wisdom. Listen, for I will speak noble things; and the opening of my lips will reveal right things.” Her mouth utters truth, and wickedness is an abomination to her lips. In fact, all the utterances of her mouth are in righteousness, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, crooked or perverted in them. Plus, they are straightforward to him who understands and right to those who find real-genuine knowledge. This is typical as we progress in God’s plan in regards to the work of the Holy Spirit in the indwelling of the believer (1 Corinthians 6:19, 2 Timothy 1:14, Hebrews 10:15-16). Therefore, Solomon promotes wisdom as a vast superior to jewels, silver, and the choicest gold (Proverbs 8:1-11).

-Solomon personifies wisdom as it dwells with prudence and finds knowledge and discretion. The king imparts a vital fact now, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate.” In other words, wisdom is totally of the LORD. Counsel and power is wisdom’s. By her, kings reign righteously and rulers decree justice. By her, princes rule, along with nobles, and all who judge rightly. Wisdom loves those who love her, and those who diligently seek her will find her. Riches and honor are definitely with her, enduring (or long lasting) wealth and righteousness. Her fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, and her yield is better than the choicest silver. She walks in the way of righteousness and in the paths of justice. Wisdom does her work to endow those who love her with wealth, that she may fill their treasuries (Proverbs 8:12-21).

-At the beginning of His way in the creation of this world, the LORD possessed His full and vast wisdom. Even before His works of old, from everlasting, wisdom was established and solidified. When there were no depths, wisdom was brought forth. When there were no springs abounding with water, she was there. Before the mountains were settled and before the hills were brought forth, while God had not yet made the earth and the fields and even the first dust, wisdom was present. Before He established the heavens, wisdom was there. When God inscribed a circle on the face of the deep (the round earth established here millennia before Christopher Columbus), made firm the skies above, fixed the springs of the deep, set the boundary for the sea so that the water would not transgress His command, and marked out the foundation of the earth, wisdom was right beside Him as a master workman and God’s daily delight rejoicing always before Him. She was rejoicing in the world He had made and having her delight in the sons of men (Proverbs 8:22-31).

-Because of the graces and blessings of wisdom, the king offers once again for his sons to listen intently to him. If they would heed instruction, they would also be wise. If they would not neglect these teachings, they would indeed be blessed. Solomon recommended watching for wisdom daily at the gates and waiting for it at the doorposts. “For he who finds me (wisdom) finds life and obtains favor from the LORD. But (contrast here) he who sins against me (wisdom) injures himself; all those who hate me (wisdom) love death (Proverbs 8:32-36).

-*Application* How beautiful and poetic is this discourse on wisdom with all its benefits. God is wisdom, and what He imparts to us as His beloved children in this area should be cherished. It is more precious than gold, just like our faith (1 Peter 1:7). Love the God of all wisdom, which helps us find life and obtain His favor. Don’t injure (harm, destroy) yourself with the sin that can so easily beset (Hebrews 12:1-2). And, for the love of everything good, don’t hate wisdom, which is tantamount to loving death.

Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 8:13, 17

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 7

Proverbs 7

-Solomon continues his instruction with his son challenging him to keep his words, treasure his commandments within, make them the apple of his eye (a really desired thing), bind them on his fingers (reminder, much like a wedding ring), write them on the tablet of his heart, and call wisdom his sister and intimate friend for the purpose of keeping away from the adulteress and foreigner who flatters with her words (Proverbs 7:1-5).

-The king describes a scene as he looks from the window of his house through his lattice (which was a beautiful estate in the Holy City of Jerusalem). He sees, among the naïve (those who lack sense and maturity) and young, one who passes through the street near the corner of the harlot’s house. He takes the way to her house. He goes intentional into the presence of trouble. This occurs in the twilight, in the evening, in the middle of the night, and in the darkness. Note the imagery here as it relates to the light of Christ and darkness of the evil one. Behold, Solomon describes a woman coming to this young-naïve man who lacks sense and meeting him dressed as a harlot and having “cunning of heart.” The wise man further defines her as boisterous and rebellious, roaming from home, and lurking in every dangerous place in the community. She seizes the lad and kisses him and with brazen face she seduces him. She entices him with pretty, but deceptive, speech as if nothing could wrong. She tells him she has made her peace offerings and paid her vows. Therefore, she has come out to meet this boy and seek his presence earnestly. Now, she has found her prey, and she has made preparations at her place with luxurious anointings and ornate decorum. She wants them to drink their fill of erotic love until the morning with caresses and sexual intoxication. Her husband is gone on a long journey taking lots of money with him. So, he will not be home until sometime later, “at the full moon.” With her many passions and persuasions, she lures him in. With her flattering speech and luscious lips, she seduces him. Suddenly and immediately, he follows her. Solomon compares process to an ox going to his slaughter, or “as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool.” His destruction is eminent, though he goes blindly into the situation not knowing that this will cost him his life (Proverbs 7:6-23).

-Because of these potential mishaps, Solomon beseeches his son to listen to him and pay close attention to the words of his mouth. He exhorts not to let the heart turn aside to her devious and entrapping ways. He tells his son not to stray into her paths. He says, “Many are the victims she has cast down, and numerous are all her slain.” We would call her a “hoochie,” or “slut,” or some other derogatory term in our time. In other words, she is well known for her sexual persuasion and misconduct. “Her house is the way to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death (separation from God spiritually speaking, Proverbs 7:24-27).”

-*Application* This is sage advice for all of us, especially the young and inexperienced in life with all our culture’s temptations and set ups. Things we must be leery of and vigilant against are: 1) People with perverted minds, speech, and action, 2) Establishments that are seedy or thought provoking into the areas of lust, 3) The internet sites and social media that try to charm and allure. These are just a few, and there are many others we must avoid if we are to keep our thought life in proper fellowship with the LORD, our spouse (if we have one), the body of Christ (our Christian brothers and sisters), and the general public. Sexual addiction is real, and has been known to take down some great and famous people. Tiger Woods is just one example. Get help, stay accountable, and be filled with the Holy Spirit to avoid these minefields and traps of the enemy (Matthew 5:27-30, 1 John 2:16).

Verse to Memorize: Proverbs 7:4-5

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 6

Proverbs 6

-There is so much wisdom in this chapter that we might label “Parental Counsel.” The first thing Solomon speaks on is this idea of becoming surety for your neighbor or giving a pledge to a stranger. This is not meant to take away from our generosity, but it does speak to the fact that we must not over extend ourselves in making promises that we can’t substantiate. The king says that the best way out of a situation like this, which we have gotten ourselves into, is to go to that individual, or individuals, and humble our self before them. In his words, “Importune (rahab- urge severely) your neighbor. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids; deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand and like a bird from the hand of the fowler (Proverbs 6:1-5).”

-Next, Solomon asks the sluggard (`atsel- lazy, slothful, sluggish) to go the ant and observe her ways in order to be wise. They need no chief, officer, or ruler to tell them what to do. They prepare their food in the summer and gather provision in the harvest so that they will have what they need to survive. Solomon begs the question of the complacent, “How long will you lie down, O sluggard?” Then he gives the result of laziness, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man (Proverbs 6:6-11).”

-After this, the king goes on to teach on proper edict in speech. “A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks (meaning lives life) with a perverse mouth.” He also denounces the winking of the eyes, the signaling with the feet, and the pointing with the fingers with perversity in the heart, which continually devises evil and spreads strife. People like this will have calamity come upon them suddenly. Instantly they will be broken and there will be no healing for them (Proverbs 6:12-15).

-Solomon now lists six and then seven things that the LORD hates and are an abomination to Him: 1) Haughty (prideful) eyes, 2) A lying tongue, 3) Hands that shed innocent blood, 4) A heart that devises wicked plans, 5) Feet that run rapidly to evil, 6) A false witness who utters lies, and 7) One who spreads strife among brothers (Proverbs 6:16-19).

-The king tells his son once again to observe the commandment of his father, and then he adds a new biblical element worth considering. He tells his son to never forsake the teaching of his mother (Exodus 20:12). These things should be continually on the heart and tied around the neck for posterity. When he walks about, these principles will guide him. When he sleeps, they will watch over him. When he arises, they will speak to him in powerful ways. “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is a light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life to keep from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.” Solomon tells his son not to desire her physical beauty in his heart. She is bad news. He warns not to let her capture him with her eyelids (nice looking eyes), because he says he will then be reduced to a meaningless loaf of bread on account of a harlot. “An adulteress hunts for the precious life.” He rhetorically asks, “Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?” He compares these follies with one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife. The one who touches her will not go unpunished. Next, he breaks for just a moment to discuss the topic of stealing and says, “Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry; but when he is found, he must repay sevenfold; he must give all the substance of his house.” Then, in a relational concept to this theme of adultery, he goes back to make his point, “The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it.” Solomon warns his son that wounds and disgrace will be found by the man practicing such thievery, and his reproach will NOT be blotted out (probably referring to society’s perception). The last thing the king mentions in this chapter is on the issue of jealousy, claiming that it enrages a man leading him not to spare in the day of vengeance. The spirit of envy will consume a person where they will not accept any ransom, nor will they be satisfied with getting many gifts (Proverbs 6:20-35).

-*Application* This plethora of wisdom from a father to his boy gives us much to contemplate and act upon. These are practical matters that are easy to discern, but sometimes more difficult to carry out in the minutia of life. Holding to our devotion of righteousness in the midst of temptation is a sacred thing. Solomon, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, outlines many noble traits that we should process, ponder, and live out. Today from this lesson, we should learn to cling to responsibility, hard-work, clean and productive speech, humility, truthfulness, peace, honor, unity with God and his people, faithfulness, sexual purity, and contentment.

Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 6:6, 12, 16-19, 32