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Proverbs 1-1:33 Proverbs 2:1-22 Proverbs 3-4 Proverbs 5-6:16 Proverbs 6-7
Proverbs 8-9 Proverbs 10-11 Proverbs 12-13 Proverbs 14-15 Proverbs 16-1-33
Proverbs 17-18 Proverbs 19-1-29 Proverbs 20-1-30 Proverbs 21:1-31 Proverbs 22:1-29
Proverbs 23:1-35 Proverbs 24:1-34 Proverbs 25:1-28 Proverbs 26:1-28 Proverbs 27: 1-27
Proverbs 28: 1-28 Proverbs 29:1-27 Proverbs 30:1-33 Proverbs 31:1-9 Proverbs 31: 10-31

 

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Proverbs 22:1-29

 

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. 2 The rich and poor meet together:  the LORD is the maker of them all. 3  A prudent man forseeth the evil, and hideth himself:  but the simple pass on, and are punished. 4 By humility and fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life. 5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward:  he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them. 6 Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it. 7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. 8 He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity:  and the rod of his anger shall fail. 9 He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. 10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease. 11 He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend. 12 The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor. 13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets. 14 The mouth of strange women is a deep pit:  he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein. 15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. 16 He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want. 17 Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, apply thine heart unto my knowledge. 18 For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips. 19 That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. 20-21 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, 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? 22-23 Rob not the poor, because he is poor:  neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:  for the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. 24-25 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man [or woman] thou shalt not go:  lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul. 26 Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. 27 If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee? 28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. 29 Seest thou a man diligent in his business?  he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”

 

Introduction

 

“Here we go, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” (verse 1) and somebody who may be saying ‘Right now, I’d rather have some silver and gold than how people look at me.’  A good name, um, the idea here is a good reputation, rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour, which comes from having a good reputation, rather than silver and gold.  This is not encouraging people to want to make their reputation be the central thing that they give attention to.  This is not, ‘I want to be a Rock Star,’ kind of a thing.  This is somebody through humility, through caring about other people, he earns that kind of reputation amongst people.  You know, it tells us in 1st Timothy chapter 3, where it says ‘An elder, that person, it says first of all should be blameless,’ in 1st Timothy chapter 3, verse 2.  It means nothing can stick to them is what it literally means.  [Good example, Jim Garrison, who brought to trial one of the conspirators of the Kennedy assassination.  The U.S. Government, try as they might to discredit and besmirch his reputation and good name, could not do so.  Jim was one of the straightest shooters, honest men, to ever be a District Attorney.  He could not be bought off.  Read On The Trail Of The Assassins.]  It means you make accusations that can’t stick.  It says in verse 7 he must be of good reputation among those that are without, among the unbelieving world.  I’m watching this whole political thing moving forward, it’s interesting when Ben Carson was here, you know, I said ‘Well, can we pray for you if you decide to run?’  He said, ‘Yea, would you guys just remember to pray for me.’  And I said, ‘You know, how this gets dirty,’ he said, ‘Yea, but I’ve been so busy in college and in the operating room, I haven’t had any time to get skeletons in my closet,’ so he said, ‘Whatever they say about me, I know it won’t be true,’ he said, ‘that’s important to me.’  And it doesn’t matter, those accusations in the world.  But amongst God’s people, how wonderful when somebody can say ‘I know him, I know her, they would never put up with that, they would never do that.  Don’t listen to that, that’s not true, I’ve known them for years, they would never do that.’  That’s a great thing, to have that kind of a handle.  ‘So, a good name, a good reputation, is better than, rather to be chosen than great riches, not trying to be a Rock Star or something, and loving favour, it tells us, rather than silver and gold.’  Absalom put up a pillar with his name on it so he’d be remembered.  It says in Genesis chapter 11, about those who were building the Tower of Babel, it said ‘Let us make a name for ourselves.’  That’s the wrong attitude, the wrong way to do it.  Here, this is having a good reputation, better than silver and gold.  Over in chapter 23 we’re going to hear, take your whole life to gather silver and gold, Solomon says ‘Let me tell you about silver and gold, it will take wings and fly away,’ right?  Money talks, right?  Mine does, it says ‘Good bye!’  A good reputation stands forever, that’s important. 

 

Understand, At The Gates Of Eternity, The Rich And The Poor Meet Together

 

“The rich and poor meet together:  the LORD is the maker of them all.” (verse 2) In the grand scheme of things, look, in this world, there seems to be such diversity between the rich and the poor.  In this world, the gap between them seems so unjust sometimes, it seems so wrong sometimes, it seems motivated by wealthy people sometimes.  It seems, you know, there could be all kinds of reasons.  And we can get caught up in that, and look, when you’re on the short end of that, and somebody’s saying ‘You know, the day is coming, the Lord, you know’ but when you’re on the end of life falling apart, you live your life by minutes, by hours, and you’re suffering a day at a time.  But somehow here the LORD is saying, ‘You know what?  Understand, at the gates of eternity, the poor and the rich meet there together.’  ‘All they like sheep have gone astray, rich and poor, every man is turned to his own way, they were all born in sin, conceived in iniquity, they were all in need of a Saviour, they’ll all receive the riches of eternity, whether they were rich or poor in this world, based on whether they came to me for forgiveness or not. And one day, the rich and the poor, they all meet together, when they stand before my throne.’  True, true.  Again, sometimes when we’re on that end, things aren’t working out, we’re struggling, it seems hard particularly if we feel because there’s some injustice involved.  But here it says they’re all gonna meet together and stand before the LORD who made them.

 

Foresee What’s Coming, Make Wise Choices, Because The Simple Pass On, They’re Destroyed

 

“The prudent man forseeth the evil, and hideth himself:  but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (verse 3) the idea is here, is one of perception.  The prudent man forseeth evil, the idea is, he sees it ahead of time, there’s some of that here that’s involved, that’s why they translate it “forseeth” the evil, and he hides himself, but the simple pass on, they’re punished, they’re destroyed.  So, you look at the world we’re living in today, if you foresee, use some caution, get your credit cards paid off, get yourself out of debt, be wise.  When you can use cash instead of credit, use cash.  It’s not a credit card, it’s a debt-card.  They call it “credit card” to psyche us out, it isn’t a credit card, it’s a debt-card.  Be wise, live wisely, make wise choices.  The economy doesn’t look like it’s getting healthier to me.  Just my own perception.  The world that we’re living in, it looks like it’s getting ready to fall apart.  Make wise choices, with your family, with your children, the people you invest your lives with, foresee the things that are coming, choose wisely, because the simple pass on, they’re destroyed.

 

What The Fear Of The Lord Does For Us

 

It says, “By humility and fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.” (verse 4)  So, the fear of the LORD, it represses presumption, and it brings humility.  The fear of the LORD is the very thing, that seems to be what it indicates here, the fear of the LORD is the very thing that produces humility in our lives.  Humility in the fear of the LORD, with that by humility are riches, honour and life, it removes presumption from our lives, we realize we’re sinners saved by grace, ‘LORD, what do you want of me?’  Ultimately, that’s the real Christian experience, ‘LORD, my life is yours today.  What do you want me to say, to say to this person, Lord, are you telling me to talk to this person in the check-out stand, are you telling me to give this, are you telling me to stay away from this?’  You know, the adventure of it is a living relationship with the risen Saviour, and it says in the process of that, the fear of the LORD, the awe of the LORD, it produces a humility, and with that comes riches and honour and life. 

 

Grace Needs To Come Through Justice Sometimes

 

On the other hand, “Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward [arrogant]: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.” (verse 5) and by the way, that’s grace.  It says the way of the transgressor is hard.  If the LORD let the way of the transgressor be easy, there would be no grace or love in that, so “Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward [arrogant]:  he that doeth keep his soul shall be far from them.” Wise, all the things you can do in life, it says stay away from the proud and the arrogant, they’re not going to be good company, they’re not going to be good for you. 

 

Dedicate Your Children To God

 

What Doesn’t Mean

 

Ah, this can’t happen in three minutes, “Train up a child in the way he should go:  and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (verse 6) out of all the verses in the Book of Proverbs, to some people this is the one they know.  Some people think what that means is make your kid go to Sunday school when he’s little, and then when he’s 15 to 18, and decides to sow his wild oats, you can leave him to run like a maniac, and ultimately he’ll come back.  I don’t know about you guys, that’s not very assuring to me, or reassuring.  I had none of that planned for my kids, just make ‘em go to Sunday school when they’re little, and then let them sow their wild oats, and then they’ll come back, they’ll get so beat up they’ll be back.  Look, we always pray they do come back.  We do pray that when they’re young, there are things that are sown in their hearts, so that when they’re away from the Lord, like the prodigal, they finally break down and say, ‘You know what?  The servants in my father’s house have it better than the emptiness out here.’ 

 

‘Dedicate Your Child To The LORD In The Way He Should Go’—To The LORD

 

But it says something else here. “Train up a child,” child is a broad term, it can mean from a little child to a young adult.  But because of the wording here, it’s certainly talking about a younger child.  “Train up” is the only place in the Old Testament that the Hebrew word is translated “to train up.”  Everywhere else it’s translated “dedicate.”  When the Temple was “dedicated,” when the altar was “dedicated.”  You go through the Old Testament, when someone built a new house they dedicated it to the LORD.  The other places it’s used in the Old Testament, it always is translated “dedicate.”  So the first thing it says to parents, we’ll pick up there next week, is you dedicate that kid to the LORD.  He doesn’t belong to you.  In that training up, kids as they grow, they’re always growing toward one thing and away from something else.  They’re either growing towards righteousness and away from hell and the world, or they’re growing by natural inclination towards the world and away from righteousness.  There’s no middle ground.  So it says to parents, what you do with that little kid is first you realize ‘That kid’s on loan, that ain’t your kid.’  Wait till he gets a little older, you’re going to come home and say ‘That ain’t my kid.’  When they’re little, they’re cute, realize that cute little kid is on loan to you.  It says the fruit of the womb is his reward, in the Book of Psalms.  And if we realize that from the time they’re little, and we dedicate the child to the Lord, and we raise them in keeping with that, there’s a much different flow of instruction and care that will take place, and you raise that child the way he or she should go, not in the way he would go.  So the first thing it tells us is, train up, dedicate the child, you know.  I love it when the LORD came to Hannah, Minoah’s wife, Samson’s mother, and said ‘You’re going to have a child, my Spirit’s going to be on him from an early age.’  She had no doubt heard long before this, Hannah, had cried out in the Temple, and conceived.  No doubt Minoah’s wife, she had cried out to the LORD.  She went and got her husband, and they came back, and Minoah said ‘Let thy words come to pass, how shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?’  ‘How shall we order this child?  What shall we do with him?’  Every parent who dedicates the child to the Lord, realizing ‘Lord, this is your child,’ and by the way, look, this is a long, arduous, difficult, torturous journey, to raise a kid in this world.  And I had teenagers ten years ago, I don’t even know what it’s like to raise teenagers now, in one decade the world has changed so much.  But I will tell you this, from the time when they are young, you can try to reach your kid with things that are right, you can do that too late, you can never do it too early.  You can do it too late, you can never do it too early. 

 

‘Raise Your Child At The Edge, Beginning Of His Way’

 

In fact here, “in the way he should go” in the Hebrew, the Hebrew actually says “the edge of his way” it’s a Hebrew word taken from the mouth sometimes, and some like to translate it ‘You raise this kid, dedicate this kid, you do it according to the mouth of his way,’ right from conception.  The Arabs who, they would take a young child, and take dates and an Arab midwife would chew that date, masticate it in her mouth and put her finger in it, and stick the finger with that sweet date juice into the mouth of the baby, to make the baby begin to suck, so the baby could then nurse from his mother.  And that word is hidden in here.  So, you dedicate this child, you do it at the entrance, in the beginning, at the mouth of their way, right from the beginning, right from the beginning, you get them to want to taste the sweetness of what they need to know, right from the beginning.  You know, my youngest granddaughter is now five months, I watch my daughter and her husband wonderfully love this little girl, and they’re speaking things, this kid is talking.  Five months old, just a little girl.  She’s not saying anything…but they’re already singing songs about Jesus, already praise songs, at the mouth, at the mouth of her way, in the beginning.’  Just think what the world’s going to hand to her, not praise songs, think of the musicians here in the world, think of the taste for the things the world is going to try to give her.  I believe in their hearts they know that that child was a gift from the Lord, you give that kid right back again, ‘Lord, this is a somber responsibility in an insane world.’  Should we have kids in this day and age?  Of course, Noah had three kids while he was building the Ark.  Of course maybe he thought he’d never get it done without help, I don’t know.  Ah, Shem, Ham and Japheth were born as he’s building the Ark, getting ready for the world to be axed.  We need to live our lives like the Lord’s coming today, and to live our lives like the Lord’s coming in 100 years.  Of course we need to go on, it’s wonderful to have children.  But it is very sobering to think of the world they’re being raised in.  You think of the decision the Supreme Court made this month, and what it’s going to mean to all of them, the world they’re going to be raised in.  [The Separatists, who first colonized Plymouth Plantation, when they initially fled to Holland for ten years, even back then the Dutch being a very morally loose society, and the Separatists had to make a decision to leave Holland or else lose their children to Dutch society.  They faced the dilemma we are starting to face right now.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/saga.htm.]  The values are going to be rammed down their throats, the world will not be passive, it’s aggressive.  So neither can we be passive, if we want our children to be Christians.  Listen, Charles Spurgeon said, ‘Something may go in one ear and out the other, but nothing ever goes in one eye and out the other.’  More is learned in the lives of our kids through the eye than the ear.  If we demonstrate, if we’re consistent, if they see us, from the earliest age if the only thing they ever see is our example--tape ends here]…

 

In Review From Last Week…

 

Proverbs chapter 22, we had come as far as verse 6, we started it there, and then we will recap and move into it this evening.  Again, a verse, one of the most well-known verses if the most well-known verse in the Book of Proverbs, “Train up a child in the way he should go:  and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (verse 6)  It has application, no doubt, to us across the board, whether you’re training up a child now, whether you are a grandparent with influence in the life of a child now, if you’re single and not married, you are somebody’s child, and there are things in there hopefully that will speak to your heart.  There is no way for any of us to escape some significance in what’s put forth here, relative to our own lives.  And again, I think, you know, as a young Christian growing up in the Lord, Cathy and I, in the early days [of the beginnings of the Calvary Chapel movement (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/smith.htm)] you kind of look at the verse and you take it, you know, more as a promise than an instruction.  And that’s a shame, because it’s more instruction than a promise.  Early on, you think what the verse is saying is if you grab your kid by the collar when he’s little and you make him go to Sunday school every Sunday, and you make him say grace before he eats dinner, and you make him dress like all the other Christian kids and take him to the Christian school, and you do all the Christian stuff, listen to Christian music, and you thump him once in awhile, make him read his little kids Bible, big kids Bible, that when he gets older, or even if he goes out and sows his wild oats in the world, when he’s an old guy, he’s gonna come hobbling back, and even when he’s old he won’t depart from the things that you beat into his thick skull when he was a little lad.  And again, that’s not a whole lot of consolation to me, not in the world that we live in, because the world we live in is fatal now, it’s so easy to make one mistake and be gone, or be infected or be changed forever.  I don’t think that’s a lot of consolation.  Now by the way, I do think there’s probably some general truth there, because the Word is powerful and I think certainly those of us that are diligent and do our best to get truth into our children when they’re young, but we have to trust then, if they do go AWOL, that they’re gonna be miserable out there, and God who loves them more than we do is going bring them back.  I don’t think that’s all based just on a promise that we find here in this verse.  I think we should teach them the Scripture from the time that they’re little.  We know that’s important, because the Enemy is only diligent to steal that seed away, that we would ever sow in any of our children’s heart whatever age they are.  Satan is not ambivalent or nonchalant in regards to the Word of God.  He is committed to stealing it away from human hearts and human minds.  That tells us the power of it in the spiritual realm. 

 

‘Train Up, Hanach, Dedicate This Young Life, Develop In Him A Taste For’

 

So, Solomon here, says “Train up a child in the way he should go:  and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (verse 6)  Again, the idea, “train up” interesting idea, it is the word “Hanach” in the Hebrew, and it’s in the Old Testament four other times, in all of those other places it’s “dedicate” it speaks of dedicating the Temple, dedicating a house, it’s dedicating something to God.  In fact, “Hanukkah” is the Feast of Dedication, Hanukkah, that’s our word here, Hanach.  And only here is it written “train up,” so it’s kind of interesting.  I think as parents if we would get into our minds and into our hearts, and as grandparents, that from the time a child is little, that child is not yours, the Temple is not yours, the home is not yours, the idea is, those things are to be dedicated to the LORD, and I think if we can get our minds to do that with our kids from the time they’re little, realize they’re on loan, we’re going to give an account for them, they’re not ours, they’re his, it says “the fruit of the womb is his reward” in the Book of Psalms, so if we have that idea from the time they’re little, it’s not just training up, we’re dedicating them to something.  Again, the Arabic root for Hanach means to dip the finger in masticated dates or date syrup and put it into the mouth of the child [baby], and the child, infant, will begin to suck and taste that sweetness.  And the idea is here, dedicate, would be ‘cultivate in your child from the beginning, develop in him a taste for’ is the idea, ‘dedicate this young life, train up,’ but again, there’s a spiritual inference here, it’s ‘dedicate, to cultivate, to move your child in this direction, from the time they’re young.’  “Child” now the context seems to indicate, obviously “young.”  But the word is used from “an infant to young adults,” and the truth is, for all of us, at any age, that we are still responsible to speak to even our kids when they’re in Junior High or Senior High, they’re young adults.  I was thankful as a young man, that I had people in my life like Don or Chuck Smith, windows that would speak into my life when I was in my twenties, it was very important.  Context here, the home, raising the child, instruction from parents, dedicate this child when he’s young.  Because when they’re young, listen, before they know language, they know rebellion, before they can even say “no” they can go “eckhh!”  and they’re wishing ‘I wish I knew the word to say how I feel’ you know.  So, from the time they’re young, we have to take heed to develop a taste, to dedicate them in a certain direction. 

 

Each Of Your Children Has A Certain ‘Bent.’  Raise Him Or Her According To That

 

It says here “raise up this child in the way he should go,” very interesting, the Hebrew is “at the mouth of his way”, the child’s way, the opening of the way of the child, not necessarily speaking, but it’s always speaking of the LORD’s way, this is a Book of wisdom here, “derekh” the word here, “derakh” with “a” instead of “e” is “derekh”, but all Hebrew words have a verb root, and the verb root has the idea often “to bend” to speak of bending a bow to put a string on it.  So, you dedicate this child, raise the child according to his way, he has a bent, he has a certain bent, your child.  We have four kids, none of them are the same.  And the problem is, a lot of us, there are certain rules that are consistent through the house in regards to this Book, in regards to what we believe, and if we have 15 kids, we’re all gonna do this, we’re all gonna believe this, we’re all going to go to church, there’s certain things that are consistent.  But there can’t be ‘Why aren’t you like your brother!?’ because he ain’t his brother.  But my kids, I had one who just didn’t want to work in school.  He had a great intellect, but not an academic hunger.  Very sophisticated discernment, very precise in recognizing things, successful in what they do.  Other ones, very much a thinker, very much to be cultivated, to lead them, to feed them this.  Another one, voracious reader, from the time he was small, feed them books, feed them books.  They have a way.  One of them is so sweet that she could just work me anytime.  Scary.  But they’re all different, they have a way, each one of them have a bent, they have a bent that they inherited from Adam, and it’s sinful.  It’s a good thing that little babies are as cute as they are, isn’t it?  Because there’s no way they would get away with some of the stuff they get away with.  They have a bent from role models.  That’s a scary thing, because more is caught than taught, more is learned through the eye and through the ear.  So they watch their parents, they watch what goes on, and if their parents are not serious about the LORD, or if their parents say something, or do something else, they develop a bent from that.  But there’s another bent.  You know, it tells us this in Psalm 139, it says ‘for thou hast possessed me in my reigns, my characteristics, my idiosyncrasies, thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance yet being unperfect, and in thy book” literally “all my days were written before any of them were fashioned” or lived out.’  So there is a bent, there is a purpose for each one of those little rascals in your house.  [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/Psalms/Psalm%20139%201-24.html]  Spanky and Alfalfa are not the same, they never will be.  Now each one of them is different.  Rebellion starts quite often, because a young person is constantly being compared with somebody else.  ‘Why aren’t you like your brother, why aren’t you like your cousin?’  Sometimes they’re thinking ‘You don’t even know what you’re saying, I’m glad I’m not like him.’  But you know, to put those kinds of constraints on everybody, rules without relationship produces rebellion, always, rules without relationship produces rebellion.  Even with the Word of God as a rule in our house, there still has to be relationship with the kids.  Because if you just yell at them and lay down a law and walk away, they end up to be rebellious.  You have to study your children, you have to know them.  You know, interesting, this word “way” as it’s used in Scripture, hundreds of times, in the broadest of sense, normally just means “the way that somebody goes.”  Not in Proverbs, because Proverbs, written by Solomon, is “the way of wisdom.”  And the majority of the time he uses the word “way,” this word “direct,” in the Book of Proverbs, it’s in regards to “characteristics,” it’s in regards to “the fashion of something.”  Very interesting, here’s our same word, he says in chapter 30, Solomon says, “There are three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not.” Number 1, “the way of the eagle in the air,” that’s the way he should go, the way of the eagle in the air.  2. “the way of a serpent upon a rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, and the way of a man with a maid.”  Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, ‘there’s these things that amaze me, one is the way of an eagle in the air,’ you know, people who like eagles, I love eagles [I love Turkey Vultures, they are better at gliding, three dimensional gliding-flying in the air than an eagle, soaring], you see one of those go by, there isn’t anything else that flies like an eagle [yes there is,  the Turkey Vulture].  You can see that thing, if it’s low enough it’ll freak you out, if it goes over your head, because they’re that big, but there’s just something, there’s a way about them, there’s a way about an eagle.  The way of a serpent upon a rock, ladies may not appreciate that, but you see some big old snake going across a rock or down by the river or something, just the fact that they can move across stone without legs just is remarkable, the way of a serpent, there’s a way to how that happens.  The way of a ship in the midst of the sea, there’s a way about that, it’s driven different than the eagles, different than the serpent, there’s a way.  The way of a man with a maid, who has ever figured that out?  Not even the man and the maid in the relationship can figure that out.  I’ve been married for over 35 years and haven’t figured it out.  Solomon had 1,000 wives and hadn’t figured it out. 

 

Putting It All Together

 

So “the way” “Train up” “hanach” “dedicate” from the time they’re young develop the taste in your child.  And that should be in regards “to the mouth of his way.”  The beginning of instruction, you watch your kids, they differ from one another, some are interested in science, some of them interested in sports, some of them not interested in sports.  How many young men have suffered, because the dad’s screaming at them ‘Go out there and play football!  I played football, look how big you are, you want to stay there at the computer? You’re six-foot-four, and you want to stand there at the computer?’ that’s 7-foot-2 by the way…and it’s not him, it’s not “his way.”  God designed that kid before he entrusted him to you, and it isn’t that kid’s way.  And if you beat that kid, trying to make him something different than God made him, he can have tendencies, idiosyncrasies’ that are not sinful, that are by God’s genius, and they’re placed in his life.  So you ‘raise up, hanach, you take this child, you begin his taste, you see that, you begin to dedicate him’ “regarding the mouth of his way.”  Of course it’s in all, this is in a spiritual context.  We’re never to forget that.  It says “and when he is old” the Hebrew word means ‘hair on the chin,’ so it’s not specifically talking about a daughter here, even though those things are true, at 14, 15, 16, when that starts to show up, if you’ve been diligent, you’ve been a student of your child, you realize he’s a gift from the LORD, you dedicate him back to the LORD, you take into consideration “his bent, his way,” you cooperate with that, though the Scripture is always going to be the first and last word on every issue.  It says if you do those things, it’s instruction, it doesn’t mean there’s never a case that deviates from this, I’m just saying, this is the Book of wisdom, this is general instruction, that if you raise your child that way, as he comes to maturity, he will respond to the fact that you took those things into consideration, and you raised him up.  Look, the hopes of two generations hang here.  Certainly it is the hope of parents, that they raise their sons and daughters with eternity in view.  We live in a world where the whole upbringing of children in public education is solely about success in this world.  The problem is, there’s a whole set of morals that come with that.  There’s a whole set of ethical standards that come with that, there’s a whole set, and it is raising a child dedicating a child to the LORD realizing that eternity has invested idiosyncrasies into this kid, as he said, again, to Jeremiah, ‘I knew you before you were conceived in your mother’s womb.’  If all we leave our kids again is something that a lawyer settles, we haven’t given them anything at all.  And some of you might be sitting here saying, ‘I wish my parents had known that.’  Well, it’s not too late.  Because you do have a parent that knows that, and he’s your heavenly Father.  And he hasn’t at all lost the idiosyncrasies that he’s built into your life.  And as a mature Christian, you can dedicate those things to him.  ‘Lord, I have certain gifts, I have certain inclinations, I don’t know what you can do with them.’  Or ‘I have this shepherd’s staff in my hand,’ you think that could maybe turn a river to blood, or defeat the greatest army in the world? or part the Red Sea?  You know it so well you don’t know it at all.  ‘Lord, all I have in my hands is a jawbone of an ass,’ a thousand Philistines scared to death of that story.  ‘A sling, LORD,’ ‘no giant will get near you, they’re never going to pass the boundary of blood with this sling I put in your hand.’  ‘Lord, all I have is two loaves,’ he says ‘Bring them to me, there’s a whole city that’s starving, bring them to me.’  I was raised in a home that wasn’t Christian, there was lots of insanity, lots of drunkenness, lot of suicide, cousins going to prison for murder, it was insanity.  An uncle hung himself in the basement, grandma gassed herself in the over, her first husband got in a gunfight with his girlfriend, she killed him, he died, and she survived, half part of the family won’t talk to her.  And you get saved, and it breaks the power of those patterns, to where you have your own kids then, and you look at them, you think, ‘I don’t want them to do what I did, I  don’t want them to have the morals I did, I don’t want them snortin’ what I snorted, drinking what I drank, and punching who I punched, and sleeping with who I slept with, I don’t want that for them.’  And you give your life to that.  And you see that God Almighty is powerful enough to break those patterns, from generation to generation, he’s powerful enough to do it in our lives, any of us that have been raised not in a Christian environment, not with the proper things invested in us, God still knows the tendencies he places in us, God can still take those things and sanctify them if we’ll give them to him.  As Christian parents, there’s instruction for us, there’s great instruction here, in regards to our kids, to show deference to God’s wisdom and his genius, and at an early age to start them, and sow that seed into their lives, because it has dynamic to bring forth fruit of its own.  The enemy is not indifferent about it, he’s trying to steal it away.  But we need to get it into them, and as they grow we need to be sensitive to the individuality they have, because God has bent them all a certain way, and he has a purpose for them.  And they won’t depart from that, there’s some great instruction, some great things to look at here. 

 

In This Temporary Existence, Sometimes There’s Great Injustice

 

Verse 7 says, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” So, in the structure of society itself, people that are wealthy, temporarily, because he told us a little earlier, the rich and the poor meet together, look in verse 2, because the LORD is the maker of them both, in this temporary existence sometimes there’s great injustice, but the rich rules over the poor, that’s a statement, but the instruction is to you and I, it says this, and remember “the borrower is the servant to the lender.”  As much as you can get out of debt, get out of debt.  Cathy and I just want to get out from under our credit cards, but we have a mortgage, we don’t have any debt besides that.  We just want to get debt-free in the world we’re living in.  And again, they’re not credit cards, they’re debt-cards.  They call them credit cards and you believe them, you get debt, you don’t get credit.  “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower” instruction here,is the servant to the lender.” (verse 7) 

 

What You Sow, So Shall You Reap

 

“He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity:  and the rod of his anger shall fail.” (verse 8)  “vanity,” emptiness.  Some of the ancient translations say “he’ll be destroyed by the rod of his own anger.”  So, “he that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity” there’s no way around that.  It tells us in the Book of Galatians, ‘As a man sows, so shall he reap, God is not mocked, this is the way it works.’ Right?  Sowing and reaping.  Farmers understood that.  We’re kind of separated from it these days.  But if you sow apple seeds, you’re gonna get apples.  I guarantee it.  If you sow watermelon seeds, you’re gonna get watermelons.  So here’s this rule God sets before us, in his genius and his creation, then he says to us, spiritually, morally, ethically in your life, what you sow is what you’re gonna reap.  You’re not gonna sow insanity and then run over to this field and reap something wonderful, no, no, you’ve sown over there.  And again, he clearly tells us the three rules of sowing and reaping, 1) you always reap the same kind you sow, if you sow apples seeds you’re gonna get apples, you always reap the same kind of what you sow, number 2, you always reap later than you sow, and that’s what frustrates us, because we want to have everything right now.  And thirdly,  you always reap more than you sow.  If you sow to the wind you’re going to reap the whirlwind.  [i.e. one apple seed can produce an apple tree, which will produce millions of apples in the life the tree, all from one seed.]  Put a seed into the ground, you get a whole stalk.  In your marriages, in your childraising, in these things.  There’s processes of sowing and reaping, we even don’t like seasons, we want everything to go by like that.  But if you sow God’s Word, if you sow righteousness, if you sow the things of God, you can’t reap anything else.  It may come later, it may not come as fast as you want, but it’s impossible to reap anything else than what you’ve sown.  And be encouraged, because when it finally starts to come, you will reap more than you’ve sown.  It’s just God’s rule, he sets it up, he puts it in front of us in the natural, and even in the spiritual, he tells us that in more than one place. 

 

The Heart Looks Out Of The Eye

 

Verse 9 he says, “He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.” “shall be blessed,” the reason, “for he giveth of his bread to the poor.”  He that hath a bountiful eye, one of the old English commentators had said “the heart looks out of the eye.”  The heart finds its way into the physical world through the eyeball, it sees.  And the person that has a bountiful eye, because it’s infected by the heart, sees people suffering, sees people in need, he sees that around him, and it says here, this is a generous person, and this person, the LORD says, “shall be blessed,” here’s the reason, “for he giveth of his bread to the poor.”  This is a person, his heart finds the ability to make observance through the things that he sees, he’s touched by it, he gives to those that are less fortunate, and God’s promise is he “shall be blessed.”  Now, and then, here and there, in this world and a hundredfold in the next.  So, just a great promise, to have the kind of eye, where we see need, we’re willing to step up in the name of Christ, do those things, there’s a blessing here. 

 

“Cast Out The Scorner, And Contention Shall Go Out”

 

It says “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” (verse 10)  the scorner, I like this, “cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” cast out the scorner, the critical spirit, the mocker.  And look, important, in the Body of Christ, I understand the sinner, I am one, I’m a sinner saved by grace.  I understand the person that falls into this, I understand the person that falls into that, I feel bad for them, I don’t want to see them doing it in rebellion, it’s a delight when someone comes and says ‘I blew it, I did this, would you pray for me.’  I’m with you, we’re all alongside of you.  The person that drives me crazy is the person with their own agenda, who comes in and sows discord.  I understand sinners, I don’t understand people that sow discord.  This is Christ’s Bride, it’s blood-bought.  There aren’t any entitlements.  But people come in and say ‘oh, they don’t do this very well around here.  I don’t really care about this around here.  I’ve been here for three weeks and nobody said to me What can I do for you, you’re new here.’  People who sow discord, because they’re critical, a critical spirit is contagious.  If you allow yourself to be critical, you’ll always find something wrong.  You know why?  This is earth, this ain’t heaven.  ‘Ya, but there’s things wrong in the Church,’ well do you know why?  Because the Church [Body of Christ] is filled with men like you.  [laughter]  Hu-man beings, hu-man, Jesus said ‘the kingdom of God is like this, it’s like a great king, and he was setting up a dinner for his son, who was getting married, and he sent out and invited these rich people, ‘Ah, we can’t come right now, we’re buying this bull, I can’t come right now, I’m trying a team of oxen, I can’t come right now, I’m getting married,’  the king in his frustration said, ‘Alright, you go on into the highways and into the byways, and you bring the halt, and the lame, and the whackos to my son’s dinner, to the feast of the Lamb, and you bring them in until the place is full.’ and that’s us [cf. 1st Corinthians 1:26-29], the place is filled with whackos, we are, so don’t come in here and say ‘Oh, they don’t do this very well around here,’ that’s why you’re allowed to come [laughter], because the standards are that low, that’s why I get to be pastor.  Right?  So I love the fact that it says here ‘Cast out the mocker and the critical person, the scorner, if you do that contention literally ceases, it’ll go out, it’ll cease.’  And if you get rid of the critical person, all that stuff stops, “strife and reproach shall cease.”  And it says “Cast out” there, I love the Hebrew, it says this “drive out.”  I think of the LORD, you know, with the rope, driving the guys out of the Temple.  Now we can’t do that, you think, ‘Boy I wish it said that in the New Testament somewhere, there’s a few we’d like to drive out once in awhile, chase ‘em out the front door with a stick.’  Cast out, look, guys it doesn’t say ‘Cast off,’ it says “Cast out.”  You know, you always try to reason with someone whose critical and making trouble, if in fact they won’t listen, they have no regard for the Body of Christ and the union of the Spirit, ultimately, you have to cast them out.  But you don’t cast them off, you pray for them, say ‘Lord, please break this person, open their eyes, restore them.’  I love this idea, drive out the scorner, discord and contention ceases.

 

People Recognize Genuine:  They Don’t Care What You Know Till They Know That You Care

 

Verse 11,  in contrast to the critic, the scorner, “He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.”  That kind of person, the person who loves pureness of heart is the person who is genuine.  Do you like to be around genuine people?  Every human being has a baloney meter.  They talk about the way God makes little kids, your kids have baloney meters, that’s why you have to watch what you’re doing.  Every human being has a baloney meter.  And lots of people, they come to church, that’s the first thing they want to know, ‘Is the guy preaching full of baloney or not?’ you exercise that toward other people.  People like genuine, and you can think cool, but you can’t think genuine, but people recognize genuine.  Broken people recognize genuine, they don’t care what you know till they know that you care.  And he says here, “He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.”  “for the grace of his lips” because it effects then, it’s from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, because of the grace of his lips, it says, the king shall be his friend.  People in authority are always looking for somebody genuine, because they got enough of everybody else around them.  And we watch the Scripture, you see Joseph in Egypt, raised up because of it.  He was genuine, he was straight forward.  And in one day he ends up going from prison to the second most powerful person in the world.  Nehemiah, the cup bearer, you know Artaxerxes says ‘You look so glum, you look so bummed out,’ ‘Jerusalem, my people,’ and he’s raised up, God sends him.  Daniel, in Nebuchadnezzar’s court.  It says a person that’s genuine, when they’re genuine they just tend to be gracious in their speech, they’re not trying to fool anybody.  And when you get somebody like that with no guile, it says that person ends up to be friends even with the king.

 

God Preserves His Word

 

Verse 12, “The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.” “preserve knowledge,” I’m glad, “and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.” The eyes of the LORD, very interesting, the way the construct is, ‘he preserves knowledge, and he overthrows the words of the transgressor, in contrast to the words of truth.’ The idea is, God protects his Word, he not only inspired it, he preserved it.  Now people always say that, ‘There’s so many translations, and you get…’ that’s baloney, the God of heaven is smart enough to inspire and he ain’t smart enough to protect it?  It says right here, “The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge,” here we are, 2015, studying what Solomon wrote 2700 years ago.  He must protect knowledge, the eyes of the LORD preserves knowledge, it’s why we’re here tonight, we able to have his Word and to trust it. 

 

‘There’s A Lion In The Street, I Can’t Come To Work Today’

 

“The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.” (verse 13)  Slothful, if you remember, that’s the lazy guy.  ‘The slothful man says, There’s a lion without, and I’ll be slain in the streets, boss, I can’t come in today.  There’s a tornado watch, if I try to drive to work I’ll get sucked up, boss I can’t come in, there’s too many mosquitoes with West Nile virus, I’ve gotta stay home, boss I can’t come in today, there’s a lion in the street.’  Ya, there’s a liar in the street, there ain’t a lion in the street, you live in Jerusalem, that’s where Solomon’s writing about, there wasn’t any lions running around in the streets of Jerusalem.  People do this all the time.  We lived in the West Coast, and you see they’re having these droughts out there, by the way, you watching that? all through California these bad droughts, and they’re telling us, I’m glad they’re keeping us informed, it’s because of Global Warming.  It’s because the tree-huggers wouldn’t let them build three dams in northern California they wanted to build, that would have created huge reservoirs and all the farmers would have been able to irrigate their fields, instead all the rivers are running out into the ocean, and one of the reasons they run out into the ocean is because these little bitty shrimp…we wanted to keep them alive [the other side of the argument, which some Christians don’t believe, is Global Warming is part of God’s prophecy about end-time conditions which will bring about the curse of Leviticus 26:19b, heavens of iron and earth of brass, or Joel chapter 1 conditions just prior to the tribulation, WWIII.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/warming/warming1.htm.  This is not saving knowledge, but there is difference of opinion on how to interpret the data.]  Read Proverbs, it’s a book of wisdom, I think they need some help with that.  But what happens is, then you get these fires, the Santa Anna winds come, these fires, and they found this guy, as the fires burned down, in the woods, in the mountains, with a wetsuit and scuba tanks on, dead, burned, in the middle of the woods.  Here they found out, the guy had called into work and told his boss he was sick and couldn’t come to work, and he was out scuba diving, and the helicopter going out with these big things and go down and scoop up the seawater and take it out and dump it on the side of the mountain to put out the fire, ya, that’s the story, and the guy got scooped up and dropped in the middle of the fire with his tanks and his mask and you know, ah, go to work is the moral of the story [loud laughter].  The slothful man says ‘There’s a lion in the street, I can’t come in,’ya, I might get stung by a bee, right?  There’s a wasp that lives next door, I can’t come out. 

 

Watch Out For The Immoral

 

Ah verse 14, “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit:  he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.”  That’s a pretty big mouth, huh?  Sink-hole, easy to fall into, hard to get out of.  “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit:  he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.”  Listen, we are told, as we go through this Book, and it’s throughout, I’ll just read a few of them, in chapter 2, verse 18 it says ‘Of the strange woman, for her house inclineth unto death, and her paths go down to the dead,’ ah, chapter 5, says of the strange woman, ‘her feet go down to death, her steps take hold on hell,’ ah, chapter 7 says, ‘Hearken unto me now therefore O ye children, attend to the words of my mouth, let not thine heart decline unto her ways, go not astray in her paths, for she hath cast down many wounded, yea, many strong men have been slain by her, her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.’  So, the mouth here, as we look at it, is the mouth of a pit much deeper than the one just on the surface.  And by the way, this is not just the mouth of the immoral woman that takes advantage of a young man, it’s also the mouth of the immoral man who takes advantage of a woman, this goes both ways.  Gals, somebody’s telling you that they’re a Christian, and you know they’re a Christian and they want to make love.  Making love is making a mess, it’s making a headache, it’s making a nightmare.  Again, I’m not afraid, with my blessing, you can say it, ‘Honey, close your eyes, I’m gonna give you a big kiss,’ and you ball your fist up, if you hit him right on the end of the nose, they’re not going to be able to see for about five minutes, you can get out of there.  You can give him a right-cross…but I’m joking [laughter—no he isn’t], in a sense.  If it was my daughters I wouldn’t be.  They would do that in proxy for me.  But, I’m way off here.  “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit,” here’s grace, standing at the edge of the pit, telling us what he’s told us over and over in this Book of Proverbs. If you go back to the first chapter, it says ‘So that the young man, the young person might be wise.’  Yes it speaks to anybody who wants to know wisdom, but in particular, to the young.  And here again is God in his grace, standing next to this pit, saying ‘Don’t go in here, don’t go in here,’ how many times can we hear that, in the world that we live in, that in every day TV commercials, movies, the media is telling us the exact opposite, ‘Jump into the pit, jump on in to the pit.’  God can never tell us too many times, ‘Hey, this goes down the hill, there’s a way deeper pit than you see. The mouth of the strange woman is a deep pit,’ God’s grace standing there at the edge speaking to us.  And very interesting, it says “he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.” (verse 14b) you know, God puts all kinds of obstacles in our way to turn us, even a donkey that talks out loud sometimes.  That was a miracle when that happened in the Old Testament, it happens here every Sunday morning when I preach.  But if you read Romans chapter 1, it uses this phrase over and over, “he gave them over, he gave them over, he gave them over.”  Because they wouldn’t listen, they wouldn’t yield, they wouldn’t cooperate with holy, eternal, gracious conviction that God brings through the Gospel of Christ, that those who he loves, that he so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that when people deliberately turn away from that, it finally says ‘Then God gave them over…’  And here, it’s interesting “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit:  he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.” 

 

You Can’t Reason With A Two-And-A-Half Year Old

 

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” (verse 15)  Interesting.  ‘Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child,’ it doesn’t say “childishness is bound in the heart of a child” and it obviously is.  It’s telling us that there’s another problem, because of our first parents.  In the Bible, foolishness is he who says there is no God is a fool, whoever says there’s no God, whoever won’t receive instruction, it says that’s foolishness.  It says here, your kids, born in sin, conceived in iniquity, they’re cute, I know that, I got six grandkids, they are cute, but they’re all cute little sinners.  And they all need God’s persuasion the way he prescribes it here.  It says “foolishness,”  you can’t reason with that, you see parents sometimes talking to a 3-year-old.  In fact, one time when we were going to the West Coast, it’s a 5-hour flight, and our family lovingly named it “the flight from hell.”  Because there was this family behind us, three seats, and in the middle was a little girl, she must have been two-and-a-half, the father’s name was Walter [chuckles], and the mother yelled at this little kid for five hours, ‘Walter, you need to say something!’ and they’re behind me, and she’s yelling out loud, I wanted to turn around and say ‘Rachel, spank your mother, please!’ and it just went on.  You can’t reason with a two-and-a-half year old.  Now you can’t spank them on the plane either, obviously, because then people will watch you, and you end up in trouble.  But there’s a way to deal with them, and it isn’t that.  Poor old Walter, and I thought ‘If I was you, I’d have been out of there, you can open the emergency door and jump [laughter].’  You can ask my kids, they were there.  So “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” (verse 15)  “in the heart,” this is heart training, this is deep within the child, this is the fallen nature, foolishness, not childishness, foolishness, foolishness doesn’t want instruction, foolishness doesn’t want to cooperate, foolishness doesn’t want to do what’s right, foolishness wants to do what’s wrong, ‘foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction, and by the way, the Hebrew word is “the rod of discipline” shall drive it far from him,’ look, this is repeatedly God’s needs, the kid is his, the kid is on loan, God doesn’t ask you to be a PhD to figure out how to do this.  Throughout the Book of Proverbs, I think there’s 13 verses on childrearing, and 12 of them talk about the rod.  It doesn’t say ‘beat your kid, abuse your kid,’ that’s ungodly and it’s wrong.  But the law of the land doesn’t forbid you to paddle your kids rear end if they’re out of line [maybe in Philly, but in Mass, with the Nazi-DCF it is].  Don’t reason with them, if you give your kid a time-out these days, he’s got an iPhone, he’s happier with a time-out than he was doing anything else, you gave him the time-out because he wouldn’t get off the iPhone.  This is God’s means, God’s kids, he’s wiser than we are, so foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, the rod of discipline, it’s never punishment, it’s never something that you just do, kids are crazy, and I like that about them, I know there are adults sitting here in this room that were abused.  It says you never beat them with your tongue, you never beat them with your fist, you never beat them with your foot, it’s talking about spanking.  Again, there’s a place on the body where there’s a big piece of meat that’s made just for that.  My mom learned from her mom, her grandmother, when the kids did something wrong, she had three of them in 17 months, when any one of them did anything, she beat all three of them.  She never asked who did it, her philosophy was ‘If I beat all three of them, then the two innocent ones will always gang up on the one that was guilty.’  That’s a godless way to raise kids, to beat all three of them.  So this is the deal, and again, if your kid puts the kitten in the microwave, now you can’t spank your kid for that, your kid’s nuts [laughter].  And you never said to your kid, ‘Don’t put the kitten in the microwave.’  After your kid does that, you can say ‘The next time you put the kitten in the microwave, now you’ve broken the kitten in the microwave rule that I never had to establish, you’re going to get it.’  Disobedience is the measure of discipline, insanity isn’t, they’re crazy. You don’t beat them with your mouth, the beatings that people in this room have taken from the mouth of a parent that they’re still not over.  You never punch their face, you don’t do it in front of company or other people, you don’t humiliate them, you take them aside.  It says our Father in heaven chastens the son and the daughter that he loves, he still does that with us.  And I’m thankful, you know it says when Jacob was left alone to wrestle the man with him, I’m very thankful that God will wrestle with me when I’m alone.  There’s no desire to humiliate me in front of the church, he will whup me when I’m alone, he will take me down…I’m thankful for that, and we should have that same consideration, we should never humiliate them in front of relatives, their friends, there’s a proper way to do this.  And it says here, the truth of it is, ‘Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child,’ God’s wise prescription, ‘the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.’ 

 

Two-Sided Selfishness

 

“He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.” (verse 16) God says there’s selfishness on both sides here, he who oppresses the poor is doing it to take, and he who is giving to the rich is doing it to get.  The motive is selfishness on both sides.  You oppress the poor to take something from them, or you give to the rich hoping you’re going to get something back from them.  And it says God condemns both of those motives here, and it says ‘surely that person will come to want.’  Two minutes!?  We can finish, look…[no you can’t]

 

Introduction To 30 Sayings

 

Verse 17 down to verse 21 places now an introduction to 30 sayings.  Some of them are two verses, three verses, one verse.  We enter into now 30 sayings.  And remarkably, verses 17 to  21, God takes a deep breath, and he says something to us about these sayings that he wants us to hear.  And it’s remarkable, look what he says, he says “Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.” (verse 17) though some of us need to bow our hearts, bow our lives, the idea is ‘bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and then apply your heart, notice what he says, unto my, this is the LORD speaking, to my knowledge,’ “For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them” ‘the words of the wise’ “within thee; they shall withal be fitted to thy lips.” (verse 18) if you keep the Truth, the Word of God within you it says, “they shall withal be fitted to thy lips.”  In other words, if you stay in the Word, you read the Word, the Word is what you live by, it’s gonna be the thing that comes out of your mouth too.  It’ll be fitted in your lips, he says, “That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.” (verse 19) now listen to what the LORD’s saying, let him speak to every one of us here this evening, ‘that your trust may be in the Me,’ he’s saying, that that might happen, that’s what I want, this is what I’ve done, I’ve made known to you this day, even to thee,’ look what he says, “Have I not written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I might make thee to know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?” (verses 20-21) ‘excellent things, the Word of God, revelation, our faith, built on the Word of God, have not I written to thee.’  That’s amazing!  ‘Excellent things, in counsels and knowledge,’ the reason, ‘that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth,  I want you to know the reality of the Word of God,’ and then he says again, “that thou mightest answer the words of truth,” he says back in verse 18, ‘that they will be fitted to your lips,’ and he says ‘what I want you to be able to do, is that you might answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee.’  When somebody comes to you and asks you a question, ‘I’ve written to you the revelation, my Word has come to you in a written form, so that you might know of a certainty what truth is,’ and he said, ‘if you live in it, ingest it, it’ll be fit into your own lips, then when someone comes to you and they ask you a question, it will be in your mouth to give them the answer that they need.’  Hey look, the world we live in, they’re not getting any answers.  The world we live in, are you kidding, you hear the things that they hear?  You see the things that are always in front of them?  I mean, every day somebody’s hearing from Miley Cyrus, who cares?  Who cares, every day, that the voices that are being placed in front of people. God says, ‘no, no, in the middle of all this insanity, I’m giving you my Word, so that you can know, and if you take it into your heart it will be fitted into your own lips, to give a worthwhile answer to someone else,’ and that’s where we’re gonna have to start next week.  Read ahead, I hope the Rapture happens, if it does you can ask Solomon any questions you have.  If it doesn’t, Lord willing, we’ll start here in verse 17 again, we’ll look at this again.  Very interesting, it’s interesting to me, the first saying is in regards to the poor (in verse 22), you would think God’s saying ‘This is profound, this is my written Word,’ you would think, ‘Well what’s the first thing he’s going to talk to us about? worship, redemption?’ The very first thing he says is “Rob not the poor, because he is poor:  neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:  for the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.” (verse 22) it’s so amazing, God’s heart.  He says, ‘Alright, I’ve written this up, this is my…I want you to understand these sayings, here’s saying number one, he defends the poor,’ so unlike earthly politics, this is heavenly politics.  Let’s stand, we’ll pray, we’ll have the musicians come…

 

Continuing In Verse 17:  ‘From The Abundance Of The Heart The Mouth Speaks’

 

Proverbs, we have come to chapter 22, beginning in verse 17, verse 17 is kind of an introduction to a series of sayings.  Some of them one verse, some of them two or three verses, there are thirty of them, and they begin down here in verse 22.  But first, interesting, this introduction in verse 17 where it says “Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.” Should be a capital “M” there, the LORD speaking knowledge.  The first thing he asks is an attitude of hearing, to bow down, he’s asking us to bow down our ear, the idea is an attitude of worship, it’s an attitude of acknowledging he has something to say, that we might apply our heart, he says, to my knowledge, and he says this, “For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee:  they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.” (verse 18)  So, it’s pleasant, you know, God instructs, and when we grow up, when we were kids, our favorite thing wasn’t our parent’s instruction, I’m glad they did it, but it wasn’t our favorite thing.  And there’s some of that still in us, for he says ‘Bow down thine ear, have an attitude of acknowledging who I am, take your heart and bring it to my knowledge,’ he says, ‘it is a pleasant thing,’ and here’s the condition, ‘if thou keep them within thee,’ it’s ‘in thy belly,’ the culture, the idea is, in the deepest part of your being, it’s a visceral thing, it’s deep within.  So, he says ‘it’s pleasant, the instruction, knowledge, if,’ there’s an “if” attached to it, ‘if you keep them deep within, they shall withal be fitted in thy lips, if they’re in the deep place of your being, it’s gonna be the same thing that comes out of your mouth.’  Jesus said ‘From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.’  So he says ‘it shall all be fitted to thy lips,’ “That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.” that’s a remarkable statement, “have not I written” because here we are reading, and God Almighty saying, “Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,” (verse 20) just imagine, the reason, “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?” (verse 21) he wants us to trust his Word completely…and the reason it becomes pleasant to us is because we’ve come to trust his Word.  Imagine living in the world today without a Bible?  Let me ask you a question, what would it be like watching the news without a Bible?  I mean, my life is in context to the Scripture.  If I look at the trees, it’s in context with the Bible.  ‘Wow! you created that? you made that go this way, you made this this color?  You made the leaves fall off, the branches this way, listen to the birds singing, you created the migratory patterns,’ it is a sweetness and a pleasantness to us when it’s deep within, and ends up the only thing we can speak forth.  And he says ‘I want you to know the certainty of the words of truth,’ wonderful thing.  Look at the news, the Lord says, these days are going to be a particular way, he says particular things are going to take place that have never happened before [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/mathew/Matthew24-1-31.htm].  I love the fact that he says ‘When these things begin to take place, lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.  And I’ve written that to you, and I want you to know the certainty of the words of truth, and that they come from eternity, they come from the Word of God,’ there isn’t any way for them to be anything but 100 percent true.  “that thou mightest [know how] to answer the word of truth to them that send unto thee?” if somebody asks, you know how to speak to them. 

 

First Saying:  ‘Don’t Rob The Poor’

 

Now it’s very interesting, to me at least, you may fall asleep but I think it’s very interesting, as we get to verse 22, we have the first of the sayings, and he’s saying to you ‘I want you to understand, I want these things to be deep within you, I want you to know the truth of them, there’s a pleasantness about it, and it’s something that’s going to be the very thing you speak forth, if it’s deep within you.’  And he starts with the poor, he doesn’t start where you might think that he would start with these sayings.  He says, and it’s sad that he has to start there with us, he knows us so well, these are things that are wonderful, these are things from eternity, let me tell you, you’re going to enjoy them, they’ll be fitted from the deepest part of your being to your mouth, they’re going be pleasant, here we go.  Ready? ‘Don’t rob the poor,’ I kind of knew that, I love the fact that he stoops down to us, again, I love going through Leviticus, I love when he says if you find a dead mouse in the grain pot in the cabinet, break the pot, don’t give it as a gift to your neighbour,’ I mean, that he stoops all the way down to know us that well, ‘you know, we’re going to gift it, we’re gonna dump out the grain, ‘Hey, you want a pot for Christmas?’  He said, ‘Don’t do that.’ this is Almighty God stooping down to our kitchen saying ‘Don’t do that kind of stuff.’  Here he says “Rob not the poor, because he is poor:  neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:” (verse 22) I mean, the wealthy and the strong, people don’t tend to take advantage of them so easily.  But those that are impoverished, those that are poor, don’t take advantage of them because of their social strata, “neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:” the gate was the place where the decisions of the city were made, the war counsels, where they heard court cases, it’s the politics of the day, he’s telling the politicians not to oppress the afflicted, I hope they’re listening [and today our politicians get rich on the backs of the poor, taxing them to death, while they have fat paychecks, nothing’s changed, but God’s saying to the politicians, ‘don’t do that.’]  Here’s the reason, “for the LORD will plead their cause,” the poor and the afflicted, “and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.” (verse 23)  so the reason not to do it, is woe unto anyone who does it, because they have their own Representative, and the LORD says ‘I will spoil those who spoil them, I will plead their cause.’

 

‘Make No Friendship With An Angry Person

 

Verse 24, he says, Make no friendship with an angry man [woman too]; and with a furious man [woman] thou shalt not go.” That’s good advice, and don’t say ‘What if I’m married to him [her]?’  [laughter—but it’s no laughing matter], you have to be his [her] friend anyway.  [you should have thought of that waay earlier]  “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go.” And the instruction is, is because it’s contagious, if that’s who you hang around, if that’s what rubs off on you in regards a value system, if that’s what you think is ok, you get in a situation where you’re around all the time, it says it’s gonna infect you.  It’s like somebody would say to you ‘Don’t buy a mean dog,’ does somebody have to say that to you? And here it says ‘Don’t be friends with angry men, with a furious man, don’t go with him,’ “lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.” (verse 25) 

 

Avoid Debts

 

Next saying, “Be not one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.” (verse 26)  The idea is, when you struck a deal back then, you can still see it when you go to Jerusalem on the sheep day, there’s a market, you slap hands, you just signed the deal.  He says ‘Don’t go and strike hands with them that are sureties, you become guarantees for other people’s debt.’ “If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?” (verse 27)  so, you know, you think about that, please think about that with credit cards, they’re not credit cards, they’re debt-cards, the name is deceiving.  You don’t get credit when you use them, you get debt when you use them.  The idea is, it is fraud for you to promise as value something that you yourself don’t have.  Solomon’s good solid warnings, no wonder he says if you listen, these things will be good for you.

 

‘Don’t Remove The Ancient Landmark, Morally, Ethically, Spiritually or Geographically’

 

Now verse 28, “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”  You have to have a bit of reference for that landmark if it was ancient when Solomon wrote it.  “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”  Don’t remove the ancient landmarks, the idea is, those are the boundaries of the land, your inheritance in genealogy was the land that was allotted to your tribe, allotted to your family.  There was no inheritance tax then.  God said ‘Don’t mess with the boundaries that someone else inherits.’  So, he says there, ‘Don’t mess with the ancient landmarks.’  But look, that’s true, God puts boundaries on everything, he says to the mighty waves, ‘Thou shalt go this far, and no further shalt thou go.’ If he sets boundaries for the ocean, he sets boundaries for the planets, he sets boundaries in the solar system, he’s One who sets boundaries.  And One whose wise enough to do all of that, sets boundaries in family structure, inheritance, and he says ‘Don’t remove those.’  And certainly that’s true morally, spiritually, ethically, there are ancient landmarks that are set.  And they’ve been destroyed in our culture, if you haven’t noticed.  There used to be things that were just right and things that were just wrong, there were absolutes.  They’re going out the window now, the Supreme Court can’t even make up their minds, they don’t even know what’s right from wrong anymore.  So the ancient landmarks are being set aside, being destroyed.  God’s Word encourages that that should not take place.  When you go to Israel today, I’ve been many times there, you’ll hear the guide tell the story of how the city of Jerusalem was founded, and it’s a story around landmarks.  You’ll still see out in the fields in Israel piles of stones that mark the edge of one farmer’s field next to another farmer’s field.  But he said there were these two men that lived next to each other, brothers, and the one brother had a wife, had a number of children, five, six children, and there was this brother that farmed the piece of land next door, with flocks and so forth.  And he said, the brother with the children said to his wife, ‘You know, we have everything, I feel terrible, my brother’s over there, he’s alone, he loves to come over here and be with the kids, he’s alone, he has nothing, and he said let me do this, I’m going to sneak out at night and take that pile of stones, and move them closer to our house, we’ll have a little less land, but he’ll have a little more, and then at least there will be some blessing in his life.’  And he went out and he did that.  Well the brother, without a wife, without children, he thought ‘My brother’s over there, he’s got all those kids, he’s got his wife, all those kids have got to share the inheritance someday, I’m going to move that pile of stones towards my house, so that he has more land.’  And night after night this pile of stones was going back and forth, and nothing was ever really changing, till one night the two brothers ran into each other in the field, one brother said ‘What are you doing?’ he said ‘Ya, I love you, your wife, the kids, I just thought, I’m traveling through this world alone, you have way more responsibility and when the kids are older they’ll be dividing the inheritance, I just thought I’d move the pile of stones closer to my house to give you more land and bless you.’  And he said, ‘What are you doing out here?’  he said, ‘Well I’ve been out here thinking ‘I’m blessed, I’ve got a wife and kids and all this, and you’re over there all alone, so I thought I’d move the pile of stones towards my house so you’d be wealthier and at least have more blessing in this journey.’  And it’s said the two brothers fell into each other’s arms over the top of that pile of stones, and that became the foundation for the city of Jerusalem.  And that’s the tradition they tell you.  But there hasn’t been a brother that’s helping out a brother there since, by the way.  Ah, we’re waiting for the Lord to come so Jeru-Salem, City of Peace can live up to its name.  That’s the tradition they tell you when you go there.  Here, just a warning, ‘Don’t remove the ancient landmarks, morally, ethically, spiritually, geographically.’  beautiful picture.

 

Diligence Will Always Take You To Where You’re Supposed To Be

 

“Seest thou a man diligent in his business?  he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” (verse 29)  he’s a man that’s “skillful” is the idea, in business, ‘he shall stand before kings, he will not stand before mean or obscure men.’ He’s a man that something will come of his life.  To be diligent in the thing God gave you to do, will always take you to where you’re supposed to be.  If you are a good steward over the opportunities and the gifts that God has given you, they open their own doors.  God is a great Shepherd, he needs no help in leading, when we are stewards over the things that he gives us, he leads.  [transcript of a connective expository sermon on Proverbs 22:1-29, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:

 

For a historic picture of world our children are living in, read about the Separatists in Holland, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/saga.htm

 

Look at the news, God’s Word warns us about what’s coming.  See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/mathew/Matthew24-1-31.htm

 

God designs ‘the bent,’ tendencies, likes, dislikes, talents in each of our children before they were born, his design, he says, even goes before conception.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/Psalms/Psalm%20139%201-24.html

 

To read about the beginning of the Calvary Chapel movement, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/smith.htm

 

 

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