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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    

 

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Proverbs 19:1-29

 

“Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool. 2 Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth. 3 The foolishness of man perverteth his way:  and his heart fretteth against the LORD. 4 Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour. 5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape. 6 Many will intreat the favour of the prince:  and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts. 7 All the brethren of the poor do hate him:  how much more do his friends go far from him?  he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him. 8 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish. 10 Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes. 11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression. 12 The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass. 13 A foolish son is the calamity of his father:  and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping. 14 House and riches are the inheritance of fathers:  and a prudent wife is from the LORD. 15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger. 16 He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die. 17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. 18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. 19 A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment:  for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again. 20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. 21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. 22 The desire of a man is his kindness:  and a poor man is better than a liar. 23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to life:  and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil. 24 A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. 25 Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware:  and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge. 26 He that wasteth his father, and chaseth his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach. 27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge. 28 An ungodly witness scorneth judgment:  and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity. 29 Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.” 

 

Introduction:  Trust In The LORD, Wait On God

 

“Chapter 19, the Book of Proverbs, begins by saying “Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse” or twisted “in his lips, and is a fool.” (verse 1)  Better is the man that’s struggling to make ends meet, having trouble paying his bills, but he’s a man of integrity, he’s someone whose your neighbour, look, ‘The guy’s really having a hard time, but you know, I’ll tell you, the guy’s straight-up, you can trust him,’ it says it’s a better man than somebody who is perverse and can’t be trusted, his lips are wrong and so forth.  Verse 2, “Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.”  Now what it’s saying is, if the soul is without knowledge, it’s not good, we should have understanding, we should have perception, because ‘he that hasteth, that hurries,’ we have a proverb in our society, “Haste makes waste.”  And that’s what it’s talking about here.  It says in Isaiah chapter 28 and verse 16, ‘He that believeth shall not make haste.’  So that one of the evidences of somebody whose too hasty, even Elvis Presley said ‘Fools rush in,’ ah, somebody who moves too quickly, it says, the problem is, there’s no belief there.  ‘Wait on God’ is the idea, it’s difficult sometimes.  And sometimes we feel like if I wait on God I’m going go be 94 and still single.  No you’re not, if you have that desire in your heart, he’s taken that into consideration.  So, you wait on God, he that believes will not make haste, trusting that he’s the one that has his foot on the gas pedal and the brake and the steering wheel.  Years ago we’d hear things like, bumper-stickers, where “God Is My Co-Pilot.”  If I’m driving behind somebody’s car and their bumper-sticker says God Is My Co-Pilot, that’s not a lot of consolation for me, what does that mean?  Whose the pilot then?  It should be “God Is The Pilot, I’m Sitting Next To Him In A Little Baby Seat With The Plastic Wheel, And He’s Really Driving And Controlling Everything.”  God is the pilot and I’m in the back saying, Coffee, Tea, Soda?  That’s the way everybody’s safer.  So the idea is, ‘The soul without knowledge, it’s not good, and he that makes haste, rushes into things with his feet, sinneth.’  Trust the Lord, wait on God, see what his plan is. 

 

The Fruit Of Doing Things The Wrong Way

 

Verse 3, often ends up to be the fruit of doing things the wrong way, “The foolishness of man perverteth his way:  and his heart fretteth against the LORD.”  The fool says in his heart ‘There is no God.’ we’re told that in Psalms in more than one place. It tells us in the Book of Proverbs, ‘The fool can’t receive instruction.’  So the foolish man perverts his own way, he twists his own way, he ruins his own way, and then it says what he does after that, ‘then his heart fretteth or complains against the LORD.’  ‘If God’s a God of love why would he let this happen in my life?’ because you did it.  He said ‘Don’t do that, and you did it, Don’t do this sexually and you did it, don’t do this with money and you did it, don’t do this morally, and you did it, don’t do this with alcohol or drugs, and you did it,’ and then you end up in a mess, and then you’re saying ‘If God’s a God of love, how could he let this happen to me?’  He didn’t let it happen to you, he wrote a book from heaven, he went to all of the trouble to get it down to the earth, he sent his Son to die for you so you could be filled with the Spirit, you could have the author of the Book inside, and then after all of that, it’s an open-book-test, and you’ve violated all of those things, and then you’re saying ‘How could God let this happen to me if he loves me?’  He says it’s you.  Because the person that does that, the foolish person, they pervert their own way, and then they fret against the LORD.  By the way, it’s always been that way.  ‘Of all of the trees in the Garden you may freely eat but there’s one,’  Adam said, ‘Where’s that one?’  ‘The tree in the midst of the Garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, don’t eat from that.’  Evidently, Eve was interested enough, she said, but God said, ‘No, don’t eat it,’  So when Satan comes along, she said ‘We’re not allowed to look at it, we’re not allowed to eat it, we’re not to touch it.’  It didn’t say you can’t touch it.  Who let Adam and Eve fall?  It was you and me in the Garden.  God said ‘What did you do?’  ‘I was naked, I hid myself,’  ‘How’d you know you were naked?  What did you do?’  ‘Well, the woman you made.  When it was you and me, it was paradise [laughter], you made her, you brought her to me, you said she was a help to help me, then she wrastled me down and jammed that apple into my mouth.’  ‘Eve, what did you do?’  ‘The serpent you made,’ so it’s always been the same, the foolish man perverteth his way, God says, ‘Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly or standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in his law he doth meditate day and night,’    ‘He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth fruit in its season.’  You know, he goes through this wonderful thing, there is a way to be blessed.  Here it says ‘It’s a foolish man that perverts that way,’ and then afterward, he says ‘he blames it on God, fretteth against the LORD.’  We live in the middle of that. 

 

Wealth; Maketh Many Friends

 

“Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.” (verse 4) you hit the lottery, you’re going to have more friends than you have ever had before, relatives you haven’t seen are going to be over, “Wealth maketh many friends.” 

 

Perjury Doesn’t Pay

 

“A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.” (verse 5)  These are some of the prophetic proverbs that comfort me as I watch the news these days.  “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.”  You know, some of the people I see on TV I can tell they’re lying, if their lips are moving.  That’s how I know.  “The false witness shall not be unpunished, he that that speaketh lies shall not escape.”

 

Bribes & Hand-Outs

 

“Many will intreat the favour of the prince” or of royalty, of civil authority, those in power “and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.” (verse 6) whether it be bribes or handing things out.  Sadly again, we see that proved out so often in divorce, which is sad, there’s joint custody and the kid lives with mom all week and goes to dad on the weekend, and the dad says ‘What do you want?’ and he’s ready to buy the kid all the stuff he never bought him while they were all under the same roof, to curry the kid’s favour, and the kid goes back to the mom, and the mom has to see well dad got him what I can’t really afford, and the kid starts to play the middle, understands how to manipulate the situation.  You can curry favour with kids, it’s a part of our human nature.  Sadly sometimes it’s seen in these very difficult situations.  [Comment:  Not totally unrelated to that, is when a child learns to play a state’s department of social services against the parents when the parents need to discipline a child.  Some states do not allow even normal spanking, and the children in some families play this game in order to do basically whatever they want, knowing one word to a teacher can bring the department of social services down on the parents of the child.  I know of instances where this has occurred.]  

 

The LORD Through Solomon Has A Tremendous Tenderness Towards The Poor

 

“All the brethren of the poor do hate him:  how much more do his friends go far from him?  he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.” (verse 7)  it seems to be talking about blood relatives, maybe possibly in the context of ‘This person is poor,  he is always trying to work the rest of the family,’ “how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.”  Now, look, as we go through this, the LORD through Solomon has a tremendous tenderness towards the poor, those that are less fortunate.  Don’t ever think as we read some of these things he’s talking about the way other humans treat them.  Sometimes, with good reason, most of the time wrongly, he says here “the brethren” the blood relatives of the poor, they hate him, “how much more do his friends go far from him?  he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.” (verse 7b)

 

What Are We Getting?  What Are We Keeping?  Make It Wisdom

 

“He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul:  he that keepeth understanding shall find good.” (verse 8) so, what are you getting, what are you keeping?  What do we give our lives to get?  ‘He that getteth wisdom loves his own life.’  Then what are we keeping?  What are we working to get, and when we get it what are we getting ulcers over trying to keep?  “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul:  he that keepeth understanding shall find good.”  I remember 1968, and I graduated from high school, it was a different world, three of my best friends were dead who graduated in ’67, Vietnam, the world was different. [Comment: I graduated in 1967, having joined the US Naval Reserve so I could finish high school, and then in the summer of ’67 I was off to Submarine School, New London CT, and then onto a boat out of NL (see About the Author).  By the way, the Hippies, very courageously, were resisting the Vietnam War, which was a very wrong, evil war, which was originally contrived and stirred up by the CIA since 1945.  President John F. Kennedy tried to pull us out of Vietnam before it really got cooking into a real intense war.  In the early 1970s when I was working at Legal Seafoods, at Inman Square, Cambridge Mass, Timothy Leary (the inventor of LSD, a Harvard Professor) walked into the restaurant barefoot, and George kicked him out, a memorable event.  If you want to learn more about how we got into the Vietnam War (and we should never blame the personnel of the US military for having to be over there), purchase and read L. Fletcher Prouty’s book “JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy”] Ah, LSD and Ravi Shankar and this whole thing came in, and the people started to drop out and turn on, and you became kind of a non-conformist.  I remember, I lost my mind, I don’t know if it was the LSD or what it was, I gave away my coin collection, I mean, that would be worth so much money today, I can’t believe I gave it away.  I gave away my Craftsman Tools, I gave away all my fishing gear, I’d lost my mind.  Because you’re a non-conformist, you’re a non-materialist.  Of course time goes on, you get saved, you get a haircut, and you start to live a responsible life, and then you need the police to guard your stuff.  Everything switches around and it turns [after conversion, salvation and receiving the Holy Spirit, which happened for me in 1969-1970, but I gave away all my stuff, turned it into money, so we could help get the Gospel to the world, because we all thought the 2nd coming of Jesus was imminent, which it is, more than ever today than back then].  So, what are we getting and what are we keeping?  Interesting, it says ‘Make it wisdom, make it understanding.’

 

Perjury Brings Death

 

“A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.” (verse 9) that’s what he said before (verse 5), and then he says “and he that speaketh lies shall perish.”  He said in verse 5, “he that speaketh lies shall not escape” this kind of gives you the idea of what they’re not going to escape, ‘he that speaketh lies shall perish.’

 

Many Tyrants Started Out As Servants Or Slaves

 

“Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.” (verse 10) is not seemly for a fool” the Hebrew actually says “luxury is not seemly for a fool, much less for a servant or a slave to have rule over a prince.” So, luxury, nobility, wasted in certain circumstances, luxury is not fitting, doesn’t seem right for a fool, because he’s not going to appreciate that as he works in it.  much less a servant” or a slave “to have rule over princes.”  You study history, quite often those who end up to be maniacal tyrants started out as servants or slaves, and they make their way to the top with such anger and such vitriol that it’s just not right, some of that, I think comes across here in what he is saying.

 

A Good Man, Woman Defers Their Anger, It’s Their Glory To Pass Over A Transgression

 

“The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” (verse 11)  or “the insight of a man deferreth his anger.”  Look, it’s a great verse.  First of all, it says the discretion or the insight of a man, now King James says “deferreth his anger,” I think is a good sense of what it says.  But the Hebrew says “A man of insight lengtheneth his nose” because in the Hebrew, the words are often, they’re all verb-roots, and when it speaks sometimes of the anger of God, it’s snorting, so it says somebody with discretion or insight, they lengthen their nose, instead of snorting.  I thought it was Pinocchio all the while, but here it’s a man of wisdom and discretion.  The idea is, he doesn’t snort, he holds on, he controls his anger.  ‘If you are a man or a woman of discretion [I tend to notice the women without it, who have extremely short fuses, and it tends to destroy relationships all over the place], ‘or insight,’ it says ‘don’t fly off the handle, you defer your anger.’  and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” (verse 11b)  Now it doesn’t say “it’s his glory to pass over transgressions,” it’s singular here.  It is sometimes the best thing, if you are man enough or woman enough, to pass over “a” transgression.  You know, Cathy and I in our marriage, there are times, and I’m thankful that she’s that way, sometimes you take a deep breath and say ‘They didn’t mean that, they didn’t mean what they said,’ or that action may have been insensitive, and sometimes it just proves that’s the glory of a person is to pass over a transgression.  Look, the glory of Jesus Christ passed over all of our transgressions.  The whole issue is him. Here, Solomon is saying, ‘A good man, a good woman, they defer their anger, and it’s their glory to pass over a transgression,’instead of just grinding somebody into the ground for a mistake.

 

A King Is Supposed To Exercise Both Of These things

 

“The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as the dew upon the grass.” (verse 12)  In ancient Israel, dew upon the grass was so important.  It talked about how good and how pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity, and it says there it’s like the dew that comes down from Mount Hermon upon the mountains of Zion, and brings refreshment, and greenness to the grass.  So, a king, by God’s command was to exercise both of these things.  A king, when God finally takes them to Deuteronomy 17, it should have been a theocracy, then he said ‘you’re going to ask for a king, when that happens, this is the way the king needs to be, I don’t want him to multiply wives, I don’t want him to go back to Egypt for horses, military power, don’t want him to multiply silver and gold, I want them to write out a copy of the Law with his own hand, I want him to meditate in it day and night, so that his heart isn’t lifted up above his brethren.’  So it says here, in the place of the king, both of these are necessary.  If a king is to rule justly, first there is to be wrath, there is to be favour.  “The king’s wrath is as a roaring lion:” as it should be, if he’s a righteous king, “but his favour is as the dew upon the grass.” And we know that that’s right, because our King is going to roar out of Zion, we’re told.  He’s going to shake the world, he’s going to roar out of Zion.  But his favour, you know, David said, ‘he said he shall be like the light of the morning, as the sun rises, even the morning without clouds, like the tender grass, shining through the rain, with the dew on it,’ he says that’s the way he’s going to be, that’s the way his Kingdom is going to be...and our King is going to be the same way [because he’s the same LORD, Yahweh-shua, Jesus of Nazareth], he’s going to roar, there’s nobody getting away with anything, every liar is going to perish, he’s going rule earth.  But his favour, is going to be like the dew, it’s going to be refreshing and renewing and life-giving. 

 

A Foolish Son And A Nagging Wife Are Both Torture, But A Prudent Wife Is From The LORD

 

“A foolish son is the calamity of his father:  and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.” (verse 13)  the idea is, “a foolish son is the ruin of his father” is the idea, that word “calamity,” “and the contentions” arguing “of a wife are a continual dropping.” (verse 13b)  King James says “dropping,” the Hebrew word is “a continual dripping” like Chinese water-torture is the idea.  What it’s saying here is, ‘A foolish son and a nagging wife are both torture.’  Ah, they both can make a man miserable.  But look, a son, in the context, in the culture, particularly firstborn son, this is the inheritor of the right of the firstborn, of the inheritance of the land and property.  “A foolish son is the ruin of his father” it says, “and the contentions of a wife” an argumentative wife, they’re like a continual dripping.’  Understand, here, and I’ve been to Israel 23 times and it’s still wonderful to see all the houses with flat roofs, but then it was possibly some boards, then some sticks, or reeds, but then a mud plaster put all over the top of that.  And what would happen is, during the rainy season, that roof could leak.  And if that leak was allowed to continue, it jeopardized the structure itself, the integrity of the structure.  And the idea is, the relationships that are closest to us, when they are in a state of ruin or wrong function, they jeopardize the integrity of the entire structure that God wants to see in the home, a ruinous son, a wife that argues and nags, God says, I’m going to move on before I get in trouble, but I’m just talking about the verse here.  Because the next verse says, “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers:  and a prudent wife is from the LORD.” (verse 14)  are the inheritance of fathers,” that’s why they want a son, it’s wise.  and a prudent wife, rather than a contentious wife, a prudent wife, the Hebrew word means “a wise or sensible” “a prudent wife is from the LORD.”  I always tell couples when they get married, you’re going to go to your reception and everybody is going to say ‘You’re such a lucky guy, you’re such a lucky gal’ you have to say ‘No, luck has nothing to do with it, the Bible says a prudent wife is from the LORD, you know, ‘He who has found a wife has found a good thing and favour of the LORD,’ so it doesn’t have anything to do with luck.’  If you have a wife that’s prudent, the only reason she is prudent is because of her relationship with the LORD, human beings are not prudent without him.  So, in contrast with a foolish son and a nagging wife, is a house and riches that are an inheritance that a father rejoices to pass on, and a prudent wife, a wise, sensible wife, is a gift from God, it’s from the LORD.

 

Laziness Brings Hunger

 

“Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.” (verse 15)  You’d think that slothfulness, if you were lazy, you’d think you’d be wide awake because you have more rest than other people, but it says here the lazy person actually goes into a deeper sleep.  And Solomon always contrasts, by the way, the sluggard and the poor person, those are two different things.  He says here throughout the Book of Proverbs, there are poor people, less fortunate people that work hard, and they have integrity.  Then there’s the sluggard, that’s always the one he has no time for, you can tell the sluggard because when they walk in they leave that little silver trail wherever they go.  Ah, he says the sluggard, he ends up in worse shape, his laziness adds, it multiplies, and he’s going to suffer hunger. 

 

The Commandments Aren’t Just For Looking At In A Book

 

“He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.” (verse 16)  “keepeth his own soul” interesting, in the Hebrew it translates “he that observes the commandment keepeth, guards his own soul,” and they’re both the same word in the Hebrew, “keepeth, guards,” but in the context of how they’re used. “he that keepeth the commandment” God looks at Israel keeping the commandments, not just that they wrote it down and they saved it, they obeyed it, they lent their heart to it, they leaned toward it with their ear, they heard to obey.  So ‘He who observes God’s Word,’ even today in our culture.  You know, we don’t just want to come just for Bible studies, we don’t want to be in the rut of coming every Sunday, we don’t want to come out of rut or routine, we want to come not just to the house of God, but to the God of the house.  We want to bring our lives into the light of his Word and the power of his Word when we come.  And God is a gentleman, it says when Jacob was left alone, the LORD wrestled with him, and I’m so thankful that he’s been that way in my life, he has no desire to humiliate me in front of other people.  He will wrestle with each one of us, alone.  And I’m so thankful that he does that.  I’m so thankful that he does that.  ‘He that observes the commandment is guarding his own life.’  Look, people gripe about the Bible, people when they want to backslide or become prodigals, they come up with all kinds of accusations, simply, the Word of God says of itself, if you observe God’s Word, you keep his commandments, you’re keeping your own life, you’re guarding your own life.  but he that despiseth his” the LORD’s “ways shall die.” (verse 16b) 

 

‘He Who Has Pity On The Poor Lends To The LORD

 

“He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” (verse 17)  Now this is the right attitude towards the poor.  And it’s in the context of giving, “lendeth unto the poor” remembering that the poor man is an image-bearer.  The poor man is sacred.  He’s not weighed in God’s balances by his financial situation.  Though in ancient Israel a lot of credibility was put there [in someone’s financial status], because God told them if they worshipped, kept his commandments, observed the ordinances, that their flocks would be blessed, their orchards would be blessed.  But there were times when there were difficulties, so it says here “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” (verse 17)will he, the LORD, pay him again.”  So look, we live in a world, where you drive down the boulevard and there’s people standing with signs.  Right?  ‘I’m hungry, my wife is hungry, I tap dance for food,’ or whatever they might be.  And yet you think, ‘OK, Lord my heart’s going out here, they kind of look dirty, grungy, is that their costume, are they working me here, is this a scam, or is this the real deal?’  Because sometimes they’ll get busted, and you find out they’re making $380 from 9 O’clock in the morning till 11 O’clock in the morning.  You run that out in working hours over a year it’s over $400,000.  And you’re moved, you want to help, you want to give something out the window.  So you ask the Lord for wisdom.  I guarantee you this, if the Lord tells you to give to somebody, even if that person is ripping you off, you’ll get your reward, because your motive’s been right, and you would always rather err on the side of mercy than on the side of judgment.  And over the years people have come around the church and given us a story, and we’ve given to someone “knowing” that they were working us.  But we felt for the Lord, five years from now, when they’re really broken down, they’re going to look over their shoulder, and remember one place where people were kind to them.  [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcfg/Questions.htm.  We all know of poor, needy folk, fatherless, widows, single moms, those who are struggling working poor within our circle of friends and family.  There are plenty of people within our own reach whom we know, that we can reach out to and help financially and in other ways, judiciously, intelligently.  I have adoptive kids as well as real flesh & blood family.  We can also help the poor through Christian missions such as Samaritan’s Purse (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/evangelism/samaritan_purse.htm).]  That’s one of those investments that really come back.  So, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” (verse 17) i.e. the LORD’s going to repay him again.’ 

 

Child-Rearing

 

Verse 18, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”  Now we’re going to go through a lot of verses, we’ll sum them up, perhaps when we get to the end of the Book of Proverbs.  “Chasten” is more than to, many of us say “beat your son.”  Look, corporal discipline is never a punishment.  When you spank your kids, and there is no law that forbids you to spank your kid, you never hit them in the face, you never curse at them with your mouth, you never tell them they’re stupid, that hurts more.  There’s a big piece of meat in the proper place that God designed, and they flop on that their whole life anyhow, so you can whack that.  But you do that in a right spirit, you do that for the right reason, and you do it because God says that needs to happen in the case of disobedience, because they are not yours, they’re on loan.  And you will give an account for them.  Paul says this, or the writer to the Hebrews says, ‘We’ve shown obedience to and deference to the fathers of our flesh.  Shall we much more show obedience to the Father of spirits and live?’  And it tells us, dads, I have four kids, I love them, I’m crazy about them.  What the Bible tells me, I’m the father of their flesh, I’m not the father of their spirit.  God brought their physical frame into our family, Cathy and I were biological contributors to that.  They have our DNA, they look like family members, you see all that stuff.  But I’m the father of their flesh.  We have lots of instruction in the Scripture about how to raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  Certainly this kind of a passage is saying, if you don’t teach them discipline when they’re little, they’re going to have a hard time learning when they’re older, and they’re going to learn discipline, because when they speed they’re going to get disciplined by a police officer.  If they go into the military, they’re going to get disciplined by a drill instructor.  If they don’t learn to control themselves, they are going to get disciplined by a warden somewhere.  They’re going to experience discipline one way or another.  So God loaned them to you, raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, teach them the Scripture.  Chastening, this Hebrew word, is everything relative to proper education.  Spanking is part of that.  It says God led the children of Israel, Deuteronomy 8, in the Wilderness, it says that he chastened them as a father chastens his son.  It means everything that was necessary for proper education, that was the back side of the desert.  Here it says ‘Chasten your son while there is hope, he’s young, he’s pliable.’  let not thy soul spare for his crying.” (verse 18b) don’t let psychobabble tell you ‘Oh the poor kid, he’s crying.’  Of course he’s crying, it’s his sinful nature crying out.  In fact, it’s interesting, the Hebrew says ‘Don’t kill him, don’t listen to him crying to his destruction, do not cause him to die,’ it’s very interesting to see the way it literally reads out.  So, one of the other verses it’s going to tell us, You beat your son, you save his soul from hell.’  So “Chasten thy son while there is hope,” everything there for proper instruction, “and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”

 

He Who Learns More Lessons In Jail Than Out

 

“A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment:  for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.” (verse 19)  So, if you have a good friend, you could have a good friend like this, but if you do, and he’s a lunatic and he’s a maniac and he loses his temper and he gets put in jail, it says if you go put up the bail money and you bail him out, set aside the same amount, you’re going to have to do it again.  It says somebody whose given over to that behavior, you don’t fix them just by getting them out.  So, ‘A man whose given to great wrath shall suffer punishment.’ for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.” He’ll learn more lessons in, than out. 

 

Heed God’s Counsel So You’ll Be Wise In The End

 

“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” (20)  God’s focus is always the end, not just how are you going, where are you going.  I love this, There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” (verse 21) I love the “nevertheless’s” in the Bible, “nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”  Beautifully Hebrews says ‘The counsel of the Lord shall rise.’  As time goes on you’re going to see that’s the thing that matters, that’s the thing that stands, that’s the thing that’s there when everything else falls away.  There are many devices in my heart, your heart, there are devices in our hearts.  Nevertheless the counsel of the LORD is the thing that’s going to stand.  We say ‘The best laid plans of mice and men,’ that’s what we say, it’s kind of what it’s saying here.  Look, decisions, we have to make decisions.  Here’s the problem, it’s easy ‘Should I drink [alcohol]?’  for me, no.  ‘Should I take drugs?’ no.  ‘Should I commit adultery?’ no.  These are all no-brainers.  But should I move to Denver?  I’m not, I’m just saying that.  Well it doesn’t say anywhere in Deuteronomy or Isaiah ‘Do not move to Denver.’  I think it says ‘Don’t move to Dallas and be a fan,’ somewhere, but not anything about Denver.  So then you’re praying, ‘Lord, I want to know.’  You know, people come up to me and ask me ‘Pastor Joe, what does the Lord want me to do?’ and I’m thinking, ‘I’m trying to figure out what he wants me to do.  He has your phone number, why would he call me?’  The nail was torn so that every man can go to God.  Look, here’s the truth, I don’t have more access to Jesus Christ than anybody in this room.  People think ‘Oh he’s Pastor Joe, he’s got an uplink,’ I don’t have any more, I approach in the blood of the Lamb, just like everybody in this room.  He’s called me to teach and open his Word, I have that gift, and I’m happy to say to someone, ‘Well here’s what the Scripture says about your situation.’  But many times, there’s no specific thing in Scripture, and you have to say to that person, ‘Well you need to pray.’  The Shepherd is never dependent on the IQ of the sheep, that’s a great relief.  So if you are genuinely willing to follow, if your heart is right, the ball is in his court, and he will lead.  We know wisdom from above is pure, it’s peaceable, so I look for the peace of God.  For me after all these years, if I feel the Lord prodding me to move, I say ‘Alright Lord, I’m not moving until you burn every bridge but one.’  Because you know that, when you finally say ‘I think I have a peace, I’m going to do it,’ then all of a sudden two alternatives are on either side.  So I say ‘Alright Lord, burn every bridge but the bridge I’m supposed to go over, and then light the fire under me and force me to move,’ I’m good then, I’m good then.  So There are many devices in man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” (verse 21)  wonderfully, the counsel of the LORD shall stand.

 

You Want Loyalty In A Friend

 

“The desire of a man is his kindness:  and a poor man is better than a liar.” (verse 22)  is his kindness” the idea is, what you desire in a friend, is a loyalty.  You know, one of the things I appreciate about Philly, after living in other parts of the country, there is something just about street smarts in Philly that you appreciate loyalty, you appreciate somebody that has your back, you appreciate somebody whose not phony.  “The desire of a man is his loyalty” that’s what loyalty, that’s what you want in a friend, “and a poor man is better than a liar.”  You know, somebody doesn’t have anything to offer, but you can trust them, they’re not a liar, he says a poor man is better than a liar, what we look for is for someone who has loyalty. 

 

What Have We Lost In America?

 

“The fear of the LORD tendeth to life:  and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.” (verse 23)  So, look, we’re told in Psalm 19, ‘The fear of the LORD is clean.’  If you’re really, you know, the greatest threat to America, what is the greatest threat to America?  ICBMs coming across the north pole?  The Chinese making 48,000 drones?  What is the greatest threat to America?  Electromagnetic Pulse?  No, the greatest threat to America is, we have lost our fear of God.  The might of a nation depends upon it’s righteousness.  We have lost our fear of God, the fear of the LORD is clean, it’s good, and we’ve lost it.  It tends to life, rather than just existence.  Look, and it isn’t servile fear, it’s not groveling.  I had a good dad, and he loved me, and I feared him.  I didn’t ever want to hear my mom say ‘I’m telling your father.’  I had no doubt that he loved me.  I really, my heart goes out to all those who had abusive fathers, so that you have a hard time lifting your head to heaven and praying and saying ‘Our Father who art in heaven,’ and you cringe, because all that you know of a father is the abuse and pain.  But we have a Father who rises above all of that, in his power and his love, his Word can negate all of those other things so that he can stand victorious in our lives, as the lover of our souls.  That is there for us and no one can take that away.  The fear of the LORD, it’s healthy and it’s clean, and it tells us certain things here, that the fear of the LORD, it tends toward life, realize, not just existence, not just bumbling around on the planet, like Mr. McGoo you know, wondering what we’re doing.  It tends toward life, with purpose.  And he that has it, it tells us two things, they’re going to be satisfied, and they’re going to be safe.  Who doesn’t want that in the world we’re living in.  Right?  and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil” he’s going to be safe. 

 

The Slothful Man Again

 

“The slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.” (verse 24)  This is great, “hideth his hand” King James says “in his bosom” “and will not so much as bring it to his mouth.”  The Targum says that he puts his hand under his arm, gives you a kind of picture of him just sitting back, too lazy.  The Hebrew says “he puts his hand in the dish” and is so lazy he won’t bring the food back to his mouth.  And of course they’re talking about a common play where everybody sits at the table with a piece of bread and dips it in the humis and olive oil, and it says he puts his hand to the dish, but he’s so lazy, the lazy man won’t…I have never had that problem [laughter].  On my laziest day if I can get a bunch of humis and olive oil on anything it’s going in my mouth.  This guy’s really lazy.  “The slothful man puts his hand in the dish, and he won’t bring it back again to his mouth.” Poor guy. 

 

There Are Ways To Make The Mind A Little More Active In Regards To Right And Wrong

 

“Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware:  and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.” (verse 25)  He puts three people in front of us here, there is this scorner, or the mocker, and it seems very clear in the context of Proverbs, it’s someone whose scorning or mocking the things of God.  It has then the naïve or the simple, and then it has the person of discernment or understanding.  And this is what it tells us, if you smite, the Hebrew word here is “to flog” or “to beat.”  Someone who is mocking at God, mocking at the things of God, in the Old Testament quite often this is where they ended up, we read that last week, 39, not to exceed 40.  But you take a mocker, somebody whose mocking God, the things of God, it says ‘if you flog him and you beat him, the naïve, the simple person standing around watching that, is going to learn the lesson that the mocker didn’t learn.’  That person may be naïve, but one thing they’re going to learn is, ‘I don’t want to do that, look at him.’  So it says the simple person then will beware.  They’ll stand on their toes.  And it says “and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.” (verse 25b)  he didn’t need to be flogged, he just needed to be reproved, and he will understand knowledge.”  So, you know, some people are able to look and learn a lesson.  Look, there are places in the world today, Middle East, and places, if you get caught stealing, they cut your hand off.  So if you walk down the street every day and see three or four people without hands, you think a little more.  I’m not saying we should do that here, I’m just saying, there are ways to make the mind a little more active in regards to right and wrong.  In Israel, if you were in Capernaum or some town [back then] and you committed adultery, there was a time when they would take you and the adulterer to the middle of the village, and they would stand you in a big box of manure, couple feet deep, and then everybody in the town would come and stone you.  And you and your lover would fall down dead into the manure, and then they would bring a tree and plant it right in the middle of that.  And right in the middle of the town square there were always several trees that were really happy, really green, but those trees are always a reminder to that community, about the seriousness that God views marriage, which our Supreme Court is trying to throw out the window or do whatever they want to do with it, in the Old Testament it was a capital crime.  It’s not part of the unpardonable sin today, we’d never ever want to make it acceptable, but look, it says in Ecclesiastes, because a sentence is not executed speedily against sin and iniquity, that it tends in a land then for people to do evil (Ecclesiastes 8:11-12).  We see that all around us.  We can’t decide what’s right or wrong anymore.  You know, why should someone whose raped three little girls and killed two of them be in a place where they’re still deciding ‘Do we let this guy out or keep him in?’  But we’ve lost our minds, we can no longer decide what’s right and what’s wrong.  Here it says if you flog a mocker, even the naïve person is going to learn to beware.  If you reprove someone with understanding, he’s going to understand knowledge, he’ll listen. 

 

Judgments Are Prepared For These Folk, There Is Nobody Getting Away With Anything

 

“He that wasteth” acts violently toward his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.  Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” (verses 26-27) it causes you to take the path away from what’s true.  “An ungodly witness scorneth judgment:  and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity. (verse 28) he mocks it, we were up here flogging the scorner before this.  An ungodly witness scorns judgment, that’s what he is, he’s an ungodly witness, “and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.” (verse 28b)  “Judgments are preparedas a matter of fact “for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.” (verse 29)  It tells us in 2nd Peter that those who are ripping off the Church, false teachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, it says their judgment for a long time lingereth, but it does not slumber.  That the truth is this, when God in his genius set things in motion in Creation, wolves in sheep’s clothing, it says their judgment for a long time lingereth, not that it does not slumber, that the truth is this, when God in his genius set things in motion in Creation, one of the other things he set in motion is this, there is a process of reaping and sowing.   And the judgment of God is already ruling in regards to the wicked.  John tells us, you know, ‘Love not the world nor the things in the world,’ he tells us in 1st John, ‘because the world passeth--is presently in the process of passing away.’ [and John wrote that almost 2,000 years ago, so this process of “passing away” has been in operation for at least that long, this concept of it anyway.]  There is nobody getting away with anything.  God would say this is wisdom, these things are put to the page, preserved for thousands of years.  There isn’t anybody getting away with anything.  People mistake sometimes the longsuffering of God for his approval.  Paul tells us in Romans 2 that’s not going on.  And we’ll have people sometimes come through church and say ‘Hey, ya I’m sleeping with my girlfriend, God’s blessing my business, he’s blessing us, oh ya, I’m taking money under the table,’ and we say to them ‘God’s not blessing, you’re running out of room, we serve a Holy God, and a gracious God, he is longsuffering, and he’s hoping that his longsuffering and his goodness will lead you to repentance.  But the hammer is on the way down, or else he’s denying his own nature.’   I’m thankful, as I know you are, we’ve entered into forgiveness that there is in Jesus Christ, I’m thankful that he has made a way for us.  Old Testament, very serious about how children treated their parents.  A son it says here, that wastes his father, treats him violently or robs him, causes his mother to run away, we’re told these things in the Old Testament, if I can find my verses here, if you’ll be patient with me, because I don’t have my computer notes with me, that was a joke [I’ve never seen Pastor Joe up at the lectern with any notes, if he does use notes they’re tiny and well hidden].  It says “He that curses his father or mother shall surely be put to death.” (Exodus 21:17)  Leviticus chapter 20, verse 9 says, “For Every one that curseth his father or his mother shall surely be put to death, he hath cursed his father or his mother, his blood shall be upon him.”  In Deuteronomy it tells us this, “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son which will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, that when they have chastened him will not hearken to them, then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him and bring him out unto the elders of the city, unto the gate of the place.  And they shall say unto the elders of the city, ‘Our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice, he is a glutton, he is a drunkard,’ and all the men of the city shall stone him with stones that he die, so shall thou put evil away from amongst you, and all Israel shall fear.”  I’m not endorsing this.  ok?  Don’t go home, don’t pick up stones as you’re leaving church, I’m not endorsing this.  I’m saying, here’s the LORD saying ‘This is contagious, and it will go from one generation to another, and it will be worse in the next generation, and it’s not gonna happen in ancient Israel, someone who mocks a mother, mocks a father, you put a stop to it.’  I guarantee you there wasn’t a huge problem with that, there were piles of stones here and there, it wasn’t a huge problem.  His advice to you here, chasten your son while there is hope, do it while there is hope, do it while there’s hope, and don’t spare for his crying, don’t let him be dead, don’t let him be killed, go to destruction is the idea.  Here it says, you know, if you flog a scorner, at least the simple will learn the lesson that the mocker is not learning, and somebody who has understanding when you reprove him, he will learn.  But he that wastes his father, treats him violently, and robs him and chases away his mother, is a son that causes shame, he brings reproach, so cease my son’ God speaking to him, ‘to hear instruction that causes to err from the words of knowledge.  An ungodly witness scorneth, he mocks judgment, ‘God is not going to do anything, you can do whatever you want, if there was a God there,’ it says, ‘the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity,’ in fact, ‘judgment is already prepared for mockers, and stripes for the back of fools.’  And then he says in the beginning of our study tonight, he says, ‘And then somebody who perverts his own way, and then when he’s getting whacked, he’s complaining ‘Why would God let this happen to me?’’  We just read the whole chapter which says why. 

 

In Closing

 

God says ‘You’re my kids.’  He is not sitting on his throne tapping his foot in irritation with a stick in his hand, ‘and I’m going to lay this on you,’ that’s not what he’s doing.  He is a parent who sees his blood-bought children in enemy territory.  He has more heartbreak than any parent who sees their child’s picture on the milk carton, stolen, gone.  Even when there’s a prodigal, he winks, he longs.  You know, Jesus sitting there with the tax gatherers and sinners at the table eating, and the Pharisees and Sadducees coming and saying ‘God wouldn’t eat with these people, you don’t know what God’s like,’ and here’s Jehovah God with crumbs in his beard and grease on his hands, and saying ‘No, as a matter of fact, you don’t know what God is like, because here I am sitting right in front of you.’  And he talks about the light under the bushel basket, he talks about lambs sought, and then he talks about the prodigal son, and he says ‘That one who is out spending his money with women, harlots and drunkenness, when he returned to his senses, he had enough of it all, he said, ‘You know, it was better to be a servant, a slave in my father’s house than to be living out here with the pigs,’ and he’s going home and he’s rehearsing his ‘shtick,’ ‘father, I’ve mistreated you, I’ve been a bad son,’ he’s rehearsing his lines, and Jesus says ‘The father’s watching, every day he’s risen with a broken heart, he’s looking at the horizon, and when he sees at a great distance his son, he recognizes the gate, he’s been watching, he recognizes the walk, he girds himself, he runs, he throws his arms around him, and begins to weep, he kisses him, he gives him a new robe of righteousness, he puts the signet ring of being an heir on his finger again.’  Again, Jesus says ‘No man knows the Father but the one who comes down from above.’ if I told you that’s what Jehovah-God is like it would be blasphemy for me to say that.  But Jesus said I have the right to tell you, that’s who he is, that’s who he is.  In Zephaniah, he finally tells us, when he finally has us all gathered into his Kingdom, that he’ll rest in his love, he’ll have joy over us with singing, then.  He loves us now, but he can’t rest in his love now, we’re still in enemy territory.  We’re still prone to so many things, the traitor that lives within.  But the day is coming when he’s gathered his people to himself, and I could just imagine if it were my own kids, you get them gathered and out of enemy territory, they’re safe.  You love them all the time they’re suffering, all the time they’re in enemy territory, all the time they’re struggling, you’re loving them all that time, but to gather them and see the look in their faces and have them all home, then you rest in your love, then you rest in your love.  It doesn’t decrease your love, you rest in your love.  That’s who he is.  He will rest in his love, and he will joy over us with singing. What will that be like, to listen to him sing?  If his voice shakes the cedars of Lebanon and causes the calves to give birth, and his voice rumbles the mountains, what’s it gonna be like to hear him sing?  And look, he gives us the Book of Proverbs, not [as] an angry father, he’s saying this is wisdom.  You live in a world of mockers, of drunks, of immorality, of God-deniers, ‘And I love you, and this is my Word, and this is what it says what wisdom is, and I want you to live this way, and I want you to be satisfied, and I want you to be safe, I want you to be in my arms and under my covering until I get you home.’  Let’s stand, let’s pray…[connective expository sermon on Proverbs 19:1-29 given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:

 

For ways to help the poor.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/Questions.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/evangelism/samaritan_purse.htm

 

 

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