Proverbs 22 – 23

Proverbs 22

Proverbs 22:1 A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

A good reputation for godliness is worth more than physical riches; and finding favor with God is far more precious that great physical wealth.  We obtain favor and a good name with God by our zeal for learning his ways, living by his Word and internalizing the nature and mind of Jesus Christ and God the Father.

22:2 The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.

There is no respecting of persons with God: Before God and before the law of God the physically rich and poor are equal.  We shall all be judged out of the same books according to our works of zeal for godliness, or the wickedness of exalting our own ways above the Word of God.

22:3 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

The physically and spiritually foolish who give no thought to warnings of affliction will fall into severe correction.

22:4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.

All those who fear and respect God enough to wholeheartedly seek to learn and live by every Word of God; shall inherit eternal life and much reward.

22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.

The spiritually wise should separate themselves from the stubborn and self-willed, because the wicked will be abased with strong correction.

22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

When we learn and practice spiritual values and set an example of godliness, living by the eternal values of every Word of God and teaching them, we will prosper spiritually. If we teach our children proper values they will tend to prosper if they practice them.

22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

The physically rich rise over the poor and the spiritually rich who are zealous for all the things of God shall rule the earth as the resurrected kings and priests of the Kingdom of God (Rev 5:10).

22:8 He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

The person who compromises with the Word of God will reap sorrows and destruction, and the rod of his power shall be destroyed.

22:9 He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.

If we are repentant and faithful, Jesus Christ is bountiful to give to us the Bread of Life eternal which is the Word of God, to cleanse us from all sincerely repented sin and fill us with the Living Waters of the Holy Spirit.

Those who are generous and not selfish will be blessed with increase, for many of the recipients of our bounty will remember our generosity and will give us their help when it is needed.

22:10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

If we thrust the scorner of sound doctrine and zeal for God out of the assemblies, contention shall cease.  If we are each individually united with Jesus Christ and God the Father, unity in godliness will flourish with all those who are also in unity with God. 

The ridiculous concept of tolerating false doctrine in order to have organizational unity, separates us from God and is anathema to Jesus Christ!

22:11 He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.

If we love purity of heart and abhor every shadow of sin; we shall be a friend of the King of kings!  If we compromise and sin being impure of heart and spiritually unclean; we shall be rejected from the presence of Jesus Christ and God the Father.

22:12 The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.

Jesus Christ and God the Father preserve truth and wisdom, overthrowing all falsehood and sin.

22:13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.

The physically lazy will find any excuse not to work; the spiritually lazy are no different and both will be poor.

22:14 The mouth [enticing words] of strange women [spiritually, the enticements of false doctrine] is a deep pit [a grave of death]: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.

The physically foolish is ensnared by his lust, and the spiritually foolish are ensnared by tolerating following false teachings [doctrines] away from what is godly and lawful.  The person who tolerates false doctrine will be ensnared by it; and shall become abhorrent to God the Father and Jesus Christ.

22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Just like a good parent corrects his children when the need is there; so the God our heavenly Father will correct his children when the need arises.

22:16 He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.

Revelation 2:14    But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication [spiritually by following any other teachings than our Lord’s] .

2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes [exalting the words of men above the Word of God; which is idolatry], which thing I hate.

2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Jesus Christ loathes the oppressor, who like Pharaoh rules the people with rigor.  Christ hates the doctrine and deeds of the Nicolaitanes; which is the exalting of men between God and his flock [Sheep Stealing].

Christ also hates the deeds of Balaam who for reward led people into sin, as many do today.

Proverbs 22:17 Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. 22:18 For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.  22:19 That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. 22:20 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, 22:21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

How beautiful and pleasant are the teachings and commandments of every Word of God!  Trust in our Mighty One who reveals wisdom and delivers his faithful!

22:22 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: 22:23 For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.

Oppressing others and taking advantage of the poor is a terrible sin before God. Robbing the poor includes coercing excessive offerings from the poor by pastors.  Such wickedness will not go unpunished.

22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: 22:25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.

Stay away from a hot tempered person or you will be caught up in his wickedness, and do not learn his/her ways.  Thinking before speaking or acting is proper discretion and wisdom.

22:26 Be not thou one of them that strike [shake hands in agreement] hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. 22:27 If thou [he] hast nothing to pay [for another’s debt], why should he [the creditor] take away thy bed from under thee?

God the Father and Jesus Christ teach Personal Responsibility for all our words and actions, both physical and spiritual. 

This is not about partnership in business or helping those poor and needy through no fault of their own.

It is a reference to recklessly guaranteeing the debts of the lazy who are only taking advantage of us and an instruction not to impoverish ourselves by giving over much in offerings without properly caring for our families.

22:28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

Hosea 5:10 The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound [boundaries, steal land]: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water. 

Do not move an established landmark which is stealing land.  This a major sin in Judah today.

Proverbs 22:29 Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.

Those diligent in the spiritual things of God; shall stand accepted before God the Father and Jesus Christ, the King of kings.

 

 

Proverbs 23

Proverbs 23:1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: 23:2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. 23:3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.

Behave wisely before a ruler.

23:4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.

Do not make a priority of seeking physical wealth and avoid exalting our own ways, both of which will quickly fail; rather make it a priority to seek the wisdom of God which will last for all eternity.

23:5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not [lasting]? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

Physical riches evaporate like the mist.

23:6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. 23:8 The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.

The eye is the window to the spirit.  Be careful of the motives of one who emphasizes how much he loves you with his words; while he takes advantage of you. 

This is a warning not to get conned by a person who professes friendship as he seeks to take advantage of you.  If his friendship is only a one way street, his way; and not a two way street with him doing the true deeds of friendship, stay away from him.

23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

A spiritual fool will despise the words of godly wisdom of the Holy Scriptures

23:10 Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless [do not take the assets of the defenseless]23:11 For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee [against the oppressor].

The leaders who take advantage of and oppress the poor and helpless will face God’s judgment.   Those who extort from the helpless and needy and rob the flock or take the inheritance of widows and orphans with persuasive words will be recompensed by the Almighty (Ezekiel 34).

23:12 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

Be diligent to learn and live by every Word of God.

23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

1 Timothy 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

We are to instruct our children in right ways and spiritual elders are to instruct the spiritual children of God the Father in heaven with the knowledge of righteousness, which is every Word of God.

If the elder sees sin in his flock he MUST rebuke that sin, and if the sinner will not stop after three warnings; they are to be rejected from the assembly until they do repent.  I am talking about justifying the breaking of God’s Word; like going out to restaurants on Sabbath. Those who sin and then justify themselves against the scriptures are to be corrected and rejected if they do not repent.

Proverbs 23:15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine. 23:16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.

God the Father rejoices at the heart which is strong to learn of him and to do his will; for he rejoices in the life eternal of his children.

23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. 23:18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

Do not envy the pleasures and wealth of the wicked which will quickly end, for the godly have eternal life and much treasure for eternity if you are zealous and passionately diligent to live by every Word of our God.  Do not look at the present, but consider the future end of the matter.

23:19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. 23:20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

An exhortation to seek the wisdom of the whole Word of God and not to focus on foolish worldly pursuits.

23:22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Seek the truth of God above all else, and do not lose or diminish your understanding by turning aside.

23:24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. 23:25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

God our heavenly Father is delighted in a wise child who passionately loves HIS Word to learn it and to do it.

23:26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. 23:27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. 23:28 She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.

A whore is a trap which consumes a man’s substance which is his life; false doctrines and the false traditions of men will also destroy a man’s life.  The physical whore entices into transgression and dissipation of the physical person; while false doctrine [teachings] and false traditions lead people away from everlasting life into eternal death.

23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 23:30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

The judgment of the alcoholic and drug abusers will be impaired.  Addiction  is a kind of slavery.

23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 23:32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 23:33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

Just like intoxication by drugs and alcohol will impair our judgment and make us susceptible to enticements to turn aside from our marital and other commitments; intoxication with pride and self-will will impair our judgment and make us susceptible to enticements to turn aside from our baptismal commitment to live by every Word of God.

23:34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

Those who are intoxicated with pride and engage in spiritual adultery against their spiritual spouse, are like a person who has fallen into a deep pit or is fallen into the sea, and is unable to extricate and save himself.  He is trapped in a strong snare.

There are very many false religious leaders and false elders today.  They claim to lead us to liberty and life, as they lead people to destruction.

Following and exalting false spiritual teachers who are intoxicated with pride and addicted to false traditions and spiritual adulteries against our spirit spouse, shall ultimately see destruction and eternal death if they will not sincerely repent. 

Those who do not rely on and stand on every Word of God cannot save themselves; they return again and again to the bondage of sin.

2 Peter 2:19   While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Proverbs 23:35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again. 

The habitual sinner returns to his folly again and again, he cannot save himself even as he perishes.  Nevertheless the God of Salvation can and will deliver sinners to sincere repentance according to his plan.

 

 

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