Bible Studies, Proverbs

Proverbs 10-22:16

The Way the World Works

Proverbs 10:1, A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

We see here that your relationship with God will directly affect your relationship with your parents.  If you want to make your father and mother glad then seek after wisdom, if you want to bring shame and sorrow unto your mother then seek after the foolishness of the world.

Proverbs 10:11, The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

In this verse, we see that life comes from the mouth.  The mouth can be life-giving.  It is compared to a fountain.  The image is not of labor and sweat and weariness that somehow produces the product of life.  The image is restful and clean and cool and refreshing; life bubbles up and overflows from somewhere deep in the earth with scarcely any effort.  The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.  However, the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

Therefore, how can we make sure that we are a fountain instead of one that conceals violence inside.  We do this by making sure our heart is clean.  What is inside the heart will come out the mouth.  Therefore, if you are filling your heart with good Godly things then your mouth will produce life.  However, if your heart is filled with bitterness and resentment then your mouth will injure people with your words, even those that you love.

Proverbs 11:1, A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.

In Biblical times when they went to the market they would weigh the spices that they were selling.  So to be able to get the most out of the product they were selling they would make their scales weigh heavy so they would be selling less for a higher price.  This proverb is teaching that this kind of deception is an abomination to the Lord.  Therefore, we should be known for our honesty when we are dealing with people.  God cares about your everyday dealings not just if you go to church on Sunday.

Proverbs 15:8, The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

How could something as good as sacrifice be an abomination to the Lord?  It is because God cares about the heart.  If you give with a resentful heart or expecting to receive something in return then that is when it is an abomination to the Lord.  God wants you to be  joyful giver.  However, the prayer of the upright is His delight.  Because the upright will not be praying for selfish gain, but will be the opposite of the person to sacrifices in hopes that someone will see them and praise the for it.  The upright will be praying for others, and not about himself selfishly.  Therefore, prayers of the upright are a delight because it comes from a pure heart instead of someone that gives in order to gain attention or status.

Proverbs 18:2, A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

This passage is basically saying be quick to listen and slow to speak.  Listen to what other people are saying do not just be waiting so that you can express your opinion.  Stop and humble yourself and consider that you might be the one that is wrong, before you respond to someone that is disagreeing with you. 

Proverbs 19:17, Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

It only makes since if you are making the most out of what God is giving you that he will entrust you with more.  However, this is not a way a of tricking God into making you richer.  It is teaching you to live a lifestyle that is free from the bondage of loving money.  If you are freely investing back into the Kingdom of God what God gives you, then you can rest assure that God is going to take care of you and make sure that you have the most joy in your life.  Mainly by setting you free from the bondage of the love of money and opening you up to the greater joy of serving people for the glory of Christ.

Proverbs 20:15, There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

One of the reasons why we are doing this study of proverbs is because I want you to be able to appreciate the value of wisdom and knowing truth.  Wisdom is more valuable than Gold.  Gold by itself is worthless unless you use it to buy something.  But once you buy something with it, it is gone and you can no longer use it to buy anything else.  However, it is not that way with wisdom.  With wisdom, once you have learned what is ultimately true you can use it over and over again and it just keeps getting more valuable for you because you can see how many mistakes and how much heart-ache it has saved you from.  In addition, you can give your wisdom away, and it would be still just as valuable to you.  If you give your gold or money away then it is gone, but if you give your wisdom away, everyone around you benefits from it.  Therefore, seek after wisdom and after knowledge and share it with everyone.  And understand that the basis of all knowledge begins with the knowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Proverbs 22:13, The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!”

The main point of this passage is do not be someone that spends more time making up excuses than actually doing something productive.  Be someone that is constantly stepping towards challenges instead of constantly finding an excuse out of challenges.  However, do not be foolish, but constantly form the habit of being proactive.  If there was actually a threat of a lion in this passage, it would have said the coward says, there is a lion outside, but it does not, it says the sluggard or the lazy person.  This points that they are always looking for ways out of work and out of challenges.

No one will approve of his staying in the house all day just because he is lazy.  But they might sympathize with him and approve his staying home if there is real danger outside.  So, to hide his laziness and justify himself, he deflects attention away from the truth (laziness) to an illusion (lions).  This is what the sluggard is doing.  He deeply desires to stay at home and not work.  There is no good reason to stay at home.  So what does he do?  Does he overcome his bad desire?  No, he uses his mind to create unreal circumstances to justify his desire.  He may even believe the creation of his mind. Deception can cross from moral depravity to mental derangement – from deceiving others to deceiving ourselves.


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