1 When you sit to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before you: 2 And put a knife to your throat, if you are a man given to appetite. 3 Do not desire his dainties: for they are deceitful food. 4 Do not labor to be rich: cease from your own wisdom. 5 Will you set your eyes on what does not exist? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
- We overcome all pride, sin, and evil by listening to what God has said and believing that above what our heart says, others say, or the world says.
- Deceitful food tastes good but harms the body.
6 Do not eat the bread of him that has an evil eye, or desire his dainty food: 7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, he says to you; but his heart is not with you. 8 You will vomit up the morsel that you have eaten, and lose your sweet words.
- It is a great truth of God that ‘what we think is what we are’.
- Our actions flow from our thoughts.
- This man is a hypocrite. He has put on a false face.
- 1Samuel 16:7 … the LORD see not as man sees; for man
looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the
God is mighty; He pleads the cause of the fatherless
9 Do not speak in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of your words. 10 Do not remove the old landmark; and do not enter into the fields of the fatherless: 11 For their redeemer is mighty; he will plead their cause with you.
- Pleading their cause is a lawsuit.
- You won’t win if the Maker of heaven and earth is against you.
- He is so mighty that He spoke all things into being.
- Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 9 For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
12 Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to the words of knowledge. 13 Do not withhold correction from the child: for if you beat him with the rod, he will not die. 14 You will beat him with the rod, and will deliver his soul from hell.
- At the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, there were two choices.
- The first choice was God and life. The second choice was evil and death.
- Correction guides away from following evil to death. Correction leads to following God to life. Spanking delivers from hell.
- Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (The LORD)
God rewards right thinking
15 My son, if your heart is wise, my heart will rejoice, even mine. 16 Yes, my emotions will rejoice, when your lips speak right things. 17 Do not let your heart envy sinners: but revere the Lord all the daylong. 18 For surely there is a reward; and your expectation will not be cut off.
- Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
19 Hear my son and be wise, and guide your heart in the way. 20 Do not be among heavy drinkers; among riotous eaters of their flesh: 21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty: and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags. 22 Listen to your father that begat you, and do not despise your mother when she is old. 23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it; also wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
- James 1:18 (God) Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
- John 17:17 Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice: and he that begets a wise child will have joy from him. 25 Your father and your mother will be glad, and she that bore you will rejoice. 26 My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. 27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. 28 She lies in wait as for a prey, and increases the transgressors among men.
- The devil uses women, money, and substance abuse to trap many men.
- It is a choice. These lead to ruin rather than happiness.
- God is mighty; He can deliver from all traps.
29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30 They that stay long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31 Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it gives its color in the cup, when it moves itself aright. 32 At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange women, and your heart will utter perverse things. 34 Yes, you will be as he that lies down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lies on the top of a mast. 35 They have stricken me, you will say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I did not feel it: when will I awake? I will seek it again.
- Alcohol dulls the pain of life without solving it. It dulls the senses to dangerous levels.
- Song of Solomon is a poem of God’s love for man.
- God is the shepherd-king of the poem.
- His love is better than wine. It lifts to the heavens without interruption, letdown, disappointment, or hangover.
- Song of Solomon1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for your love is better than wine.
1 Do not be envious against evil men or desire to be with them. 2 For their heart meditates violence, and their lips plot iniquity. 3 Through wisdom a house is built; and by understanding it is established: 4 And by knowledge the chambers will be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. 5 A wise man is strong; yes, a man of knowledge increases strength. 6 For by wise counsel you will make your war: and safety is in The Great Counselor. 7 Wisdom is too high for a fool: he does not open his mouth in the gate. 8 He that plans to do evil will be called a lord of evil plots. 9 The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men. 10 If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.
- The Lord is the great counselor (Isaiah 9:6).
- Opening the mouth in the gate is leadership in government.
- Wisdom comes from God.
- The LORD watches man (Proverbs 15:3) and gives to
each person according to the fruit of their works; therefore evil people will receive back evil.
- And God will work it all out for good beyond your imagining.
- Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom: out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.
God ponders what is in our hearts and guards our souls
11 If you forbear to deliver those that are drawn to death, and those that are ready to be killed; 12 If you say, Behold, we did not know; does not he that ponders the heart consider it? And he that guards your soul, does he not know it? And will he not render to every man according to his works?
- God has charged us with warning others if we know they are on a path that leads to destruction.
- A person who is abusing a child will be severely punished by God (Luke 17:2).
- Those who refuse God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ need to know that he will spend eternity in hell (John 3:36, Revelation 20:15)
- Isaiah 3:11 Woe to the wicked! It will be ill with him: for the reward of his hands will be given him.
- Ezekiel 3:18 When I say to the wicked, You will surely die; and you give him no warning, or speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man will die in his iniquity; but I will require his blood at your hand.
13 My son, eat honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb that is sweet to your taste: 14 So will the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul: when you have found it, then there will be a reward, and your expectation will not be cut off. 15 Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; do not plunder his resting place: 16 For a just man falls seven times, and rises up again: but the wicked will fall into calamity.
- Psalm 37:17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken: but the LORD upholds the righteous.
- Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
God is displeased if we rejoice over the trouble of others
17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles: 18 Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. 19 Do not fret because of evil men, or be envious at the wicked; 20 For there will be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked will be put out. 21 My son, fear the LORD and the king: and do not associate with those that are given to change: 22 For their calamity will rise suddenly; and who knows the ruin of them both? 23 These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. 24 He that says to the wicked, You are righteous; the people will curse him, nations will abhor him: 25 But to those that rebuke him will be delight, and a good blessing will come on them. 26 Every man will kiss his lips that give a right answer.
- John 17:17 … your word is truth.
27 Prepare your work outside, and make it fit for yourself in the field; and then build your house. 28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause; and do not deceive with your lips. 29 Do not say, I will do to him as he has done to me: I will repay the man according to his work.
- Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 31 And, behold, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered its face, and its stone wall was broken down. 32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked on it, and received instruction. 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 34 So your poverty will come as a robber; and your poverty as an armed man.
- Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
- Jeremiah 9:23 Thus says the LORD, Do not let the wise man glory in his wisdom or let the mighty man glory in his might, do not let the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, says the LORD.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter
1 These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out. 2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter. 3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
- God already knows whatever the matter is.
- He tells us to focus on things that are good and lovely, not dig up all the dirt of the human race.
- That does not mean that God is against investigating crimes but just all the other dirt.
- Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things.
4 Take away the dross from the silver, and a vessel will come out for the refiner. 5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness. 6 Do not put yourself forth in the presence of the king, and do not stand in the place of great men: 7 For it is better that it be said to you, Come up here; than to be put lower in the presence of the prince whom your eyes have seen.
- Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in judgment.
- James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.
8 Do not rush to court; for what will you do in the end when your neighbor has put you to shame. 9 Debate your cause with your neighbor himself; and do not reveal a secret to another: 10 Lest he that hear of it and put you to shame, and the evil report about you not pass away. 11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. 12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover on a listening ear.
- God’s words are eternal. God’s word is our best reproof.
- Think about all the words spoken everyday through radio, television, and newspapers. Most of them won’t be remembered next week.
- Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
- 2Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refreshes the soul of his masters.
- Matthew 25:23 His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of your lord.
14 Whoever boasts himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain. 15 By long forbearing a prince is persuaded, and a soft tongue breaks the bone. 16 Have you found honey? Eat as much as is sufficient for you, lest you be filled with it and vomit it. 17 Withdraw your foot from your neighbor’s house; lest he be weary of you, and so hate you. 18 A man that bears false witness against his neighbor is a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow. 19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint. 20 As he that takes away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar on soda, so is he that sings songs to a heavy heart.
- Jesus is the most faithful. He has never been unreliable or unfaithful to any.
- Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
- Revelation 2:10 …be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life.
The Lord rewards our kindness to our enemies
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the LORD will reward you. 23 The north wind drives away rain: so does an angry countenance a backbiting tongue. 24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house. 25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
- God’s news is the best that could ever be.
- John 10:28 And I give to them eternal life; and they will never perish, neither will any man pluck them out of my hand.
- Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring. 27 It is not good to eat much honey: or for men to search their own glory is not glory. 28 He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
- Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.
- That is the illustration of this truth.
- God’s word in our hearts fortifies us against evil.
- When the walls are built by the word of God, then our freewill is the gate opener, letting in what thoughts are good, keeping out evil.
1 As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honor is not suitable for a fool.
2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the causeless curse will not come. 3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.
- God’s honor is magnificent.
- Psalm 96:6 Honor and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
- Proverbs 20:30 The blueness of a wound cleanses away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. 6 He that sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off the feet, and drinks damage. 7 The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools. 8 As he that binds a stone in a sling, so is he that gives honor to a fool.
- If you tie a stone in a slingshot it won’t go anywhere. It can only swirl around and come back to hit you.
- Only God is fully right, just, faithful, and true.
The great God that formed all things rewards the fool and transgressors
9 As a thorn goes up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools. 10 The great God that formed all things both rewards the fool, and rewards transgressors.
- Ezekiel 24:14 according to your ways, and according to your doings, they will judge you, says the Lord GOD.
11 As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly. 12 See a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him. 13 The slothful man says, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets. 14 As the door turns on its hinges, so does the slothful on his bed. 15 The slothful hides his hand in his bosom; it grieves him to bring it again to his mouth. 16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.
- Proverbs 10:4 He becomes poor that deals with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
17 He that passes by and is enraged by strife not belonging to him, is like one that takes a dog by the ears. 18 As a mad man who casts firebrands, arrows, and death, 19 So is the man that deceives his neighbor, and says, Was I not joking? 20 Where no wood is, there the fire goes out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases.
- James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man does not offend in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. 22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. 23 Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. 24 He that hates dissembles with his lips, and lays up deceit within him; 25 When he speaks graciously, do not believe him: for there are seven abominations in his heart. 26 Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the whole congregation.
- 1John 4:8 He that does not love does not know God; for God is love.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it: and he that rolls a stone, it will return on him. 28 A lying tongue hates those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth works ruin.
- Flattery feeds our pride and self-centeredness.
- Pride caused man’s fall.
- God made everything; He maintains everything.
- He is the source of all blessing. What does anyone else have to be proud about?
- James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
1 Do not boast about tomorrow for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
- God has tomorrow safe in His hands.
- Matthews 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow will take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is its evil.
2 Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. 3 A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both. 4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
- Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
5 Open rebuke is better than secret love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. 7 The full soul loathes/tramples a honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
- John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me will never hunger; and he that believes on me will never thirst.
8 As a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man that wanders from his place. 9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so does the sweetness of a man’s friend from the counsel of the soul. 10 Your own friend, and your father’s friend, do not forsake; neither go into your brother’s house in the day of your calamity: for better is a neighbor that is near than a brother far off.
- Our best friend is Jesus. There has never been a better friend.
- John 15:13 Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.
- John 15:15 From now on I call you not servants; for the servant does not know what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known to you.
11 My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproaches me. 12 A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished. 13 Take his garment that is guarantor for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman. 14 He that blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it will be counted a curse to him. 15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. 16 Whoever hides her hides the wind, and grasps oil in his right hand. 17 Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. 18 Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit: so he that waits on his master will be honored.
- The Lord is our master.
- Psalm 37:34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
- Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and have set down with my Father in his throne.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son
19 As in water face answers to face, so the heart of man to man. 20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
- The Bible says that hell is a lake of fire inside the earth. Every time a volcano erupts man has proof that hell is real.
- Revelation 20:15 And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
- John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him not perish, but have everlasting life.
21 As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise. 22 Though you pound a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, still, his foolishness will not depart from him. 23 Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to your herds. 24 For riches are not forever: and does the crown endure to every generation? 25 The hay appears, and the tender grass shows itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. 26 The lambs are for your clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. 27 And you will have enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household, and for the sustenance of your maidens.
- Money and high position can vanish away in a day; agriculture and livestock continue to endure to support you.
- Philippians 4:19 But my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
SUMMARY: Proverbs 23-27
- God is mighty; He pleads the cause of the fatherless
- God rewards right thinking
- God ponders what is in our hearts and guards our souls
- God is displeased if we rejoice over the trouble of others
- It is the glory of God to conceal a matter
- The Lord rewards our kindness to our enemies
- The great God that formed all things rewards the fool and transgressors