Monday, September 17, 2012

WISDOM FOR LIVING: Proverbs 20-23


  Luke 2:52
Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.
  Luke 2:40
There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.
  Luke 7:35
But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it. ”
  Luke 21:15
for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you![1]


Alcohol Warnings

20: 20 Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls.
    Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.
21:17 Those who love pleasure become poor;
    those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.
The mischief of drunkenness: Wine is a mocker; strong drink is raging. It is so to the sinner himself; it mocks him, makes a fool of him, promises him that satisfaction which it can never give him. It smiles upon him at first, but at the last it bites. In reflection upon it, it rages in his conscience. It is raging in the body, When the wine is in the man, either he mocks like a fool or rages like a madman.
Drunkenness, which pretends to be a sociable thing, renders men unfit for society, for it makes them abusive with their tongues and outrageous in their passions. The folly of drunkards, he suffers as he is drawn into this sin when he is so plainly warned of the consequences of it, it is not wise -  it is a sin that infatuates and besots men (def: to stupefy with drink. to make stupid or foolish), and takes away their heart.
29 Who has anguish? Who has sorrow?
    Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining?
    Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns,
    trying out new drinks.
31 Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is,
    how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down.
32 For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake;
    it stings like a viper.
33 You will see hallucinations,
    and you will say crazy things.
34 You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea,
    clinging to a swaying mast.
35 And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it.
    I didn’t even know it when they beat me up.
When will I wake up
    so I can look for another drink?”
23:29-35. These verses present the longest and most articulate warning in Proverbs against drunkenness Six questions call attention to emotional problems (woe and sorrow), social problems (strife and complaints), and physical problems (bruises-from beatings or bumping into things while staggering-and bloodshot eyes) that stem from lingering long over wine and mixed wine. Wine seems attractive (Prov. 23:31); it is red, sparkling, and smooth-the senses of sight and taste. But eventually (in the end) it is as devastating and painful as a snake bite.
Drunkenness also leads to mental problems (23:33): hallucinations and imagining confusing “perverse or abnormal things. Physically a drunkard is off balance as he walks. In his stupor he may imagine himself moving like a sailor swaying at the top of a ship’s rigging. Also a drunkard is insensitive to pain when people hit him (cf. “bruises, ” 23:29). Sensing his stupor he still longs to escape by having another drink. Alcohol controls him; he is a slave to IT.

As the Apostle Paul said (paraphrase) I have liberty.. there are things I am free to participate in (drinking for example), but not all things are beneficial.. times, we must forsake our liberty for the sake of those around us as well.  We must ask ourselves: Is it wise to drink alcohol at all?

20:3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
    only fools insist on quarreling.
Though good advice lies deep within the heart,
    a person with understanding will draw it out.
Many will say they are loyal friends,
    but who can find one who is truly reliable?
20:19 A gossip goes around telling secrets,
    so don’t hang around with chatterers.
21:19 It’s better to live alone in the desert
    than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.
21:23 Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut,
    and you will stay out of trouble.
                James 1:19
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
22:6 Direct your children onto the right path,
    and when they are older, they will not leave it.
       KJV Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
22:24 Don’t befriend angry people
    or associate with hot-tempered people,
22:25 or you will learn to be like them
    and endanger your soul.
22:9 Don’t waste your breath on fools,
    for they will despise the wisest advice.
                 Matthew 7:6
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
23: 19-21           19 My child, listen and be wise:
    Keep your heart on the right course.
20 Do not carouse with drunkards
    or feast with gluttons,
21 for they are on their way to poverty,
    and too much sleep clothes them in rags.
Character/ Integrity
Those too lazy to plow in the right season
    will have no food at the harvest.
The godly walk with integrity;
    blessed are their children who follow them.
Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart;
    I am pure and free from sin”?
10 False weights and unequal measures[a]
    the Lord detests double standards of every kind.
11 Even children are known by the way they act,
    whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.
21:3 The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just
    than when we offer him sacrifices.
21:4 Haughty (def. blatantly and disdainfully proud)  eyes, a proud heart,
    and evil actions are all sin.

VINDICATION /VENGEANCE            22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.”
    Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.

24 The Lord directs our steps,
    so why try to understand everything along the way?
21:12 The Righteous One[f] knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring disaster on them.
21:30 No human wisdom or understanding or plan
    can stand against the Lord.
21:31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
    but the victory belongs to the Lord.
21:25 Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God
    and only later counting the cost.
27 The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit,[c]
    exposing every hidden motive.
21:2 People may be right in their own eyes,
    but the Lord examines their heart.
21:13 Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor
    will be ignored in their own time of need.
21:21 Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love
    will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22:4 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich.
    Be wise enough to know when to quit.
22:In the blink of an eye wealth disappears,
    for it will sprout wings
    and fly away like an eagle.
23:12 Commit yourself to instruction;
    Listen carefully to words of knowledge.





[1]Henry, Matthew: Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible : Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody : Hendrickson, 1996, c1991, S. Pr 20:1

WISDOM FOR LIVING - Proverbs 28-31


  Colossians 1:9
So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.
  Colossians 1:28
So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ.
  Colossians 3:16
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
  Titus 2:12
And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,


28 The wicked run away when no one is chasing them,
but the godly are as bold as lions.  ------The guilty consciences of the wicked cause them to run from imagined pursuers (28:1). Knowing they have done wrong, they suspect they are being chased by lawmen. By contrast the righteous are as bold (i.e., self-confident; cf. “confidence” in 31:11) as a young lion. God gives them courage; they have no fear of reprisal from wrongdoing.

     When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily.
But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.
     Evil people don’t understand justice,
but those who follow the Lord understand completely.
     God detests the prayers
of a person who ignores the law. ----Refusing to obey God’s Law (cf. vv. 4, 7) has disastrous results. Prayers of such a person are hypocritical. Therefore those prayers, hated by God, are not answered (cf. 15:8; Ps. 66:18; Isa. 59:2). If a person does not listen to (obey) the Lord, the Lord will not listen to him.

10      Those who lead good people along an evil path
will fall into their own trap,
but the honest will inherit good things.
29:7      The godly care about the rights of the poor;
the wicked don’t care at all.


31:     O my son, O son of my womb,
O son of my vows,
     do not waste your strength on women,
on those who ruin kings.
     It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine.
Rulers should not crave alcohol.
     For if they drink, they may forget the law
and not give justice to the oppressed.
     Alcohol is for the dying,
and wine for those in bitter distress.
     Let them drink to forget their poverty
and remember their troubles no more.
     Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed.
     Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
and see that they get justice.
-----31:4-5. In verses 4-7, Lemuel’s mother warned about the dangers of alcoholism. Her advice echoes 20:1; 23:20-21, 29-35. The particular danger of drunkenness to a king lies in its tendency to cloud his memory and judgment, resulting in injustice (18:5) to the oppressed (cf. 31:8).
31:6-7. Beer (“strong drink”; cf. comments on 20:1) and wine (mentioned in reverse order from the way they are mentioned in 31:4) may have been acceptable as anesthetics or drugs to deaden physical pain or deep emotional bitterness (and the pain of those who were dying). Or verses 6-7 may be saying that though others may have used drink as an escape, the king was not to do so.

13  People who conceal their sins will not prosper,                                                                                            
but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. 28:13. After a person sins he may try to conceal (trans. “covers over” in 17:9) that fact from God and others. But hiding sin does not pay off. Solomon’s father David knew this from experience (Ps. 32:3-4). It is far better to deal with sin by confessing and renouncing it. As David found out, confession results in God’s mercy and forgiveness (Pss. 34:5; 51:1-12).

14      Blessed are those who fear to do wrong,*
but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.
17      A murderer’s tormented conscience will drive him into the grave.
Don’t protect him!

20      The trustworthy person will get a rich reward,
but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.
30;12      They are pure in their own eyes,
but they are filthy and unwashed.

21      Showing partiality is never good,
yet some will do wrong for a mere piece of bread.
22      Greedy people try to get rich quick
but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty.
23      In the end, people appreciate honest criticism
far more than flattery.
24      Anyone who steals from his father and mother
and says, “What’s wrong with that?”
is no better than a murderer.
27      Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing,
but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.

29 Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism
will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.

29:6      Evil people are trapped by sin,
but the righteous escape, shouting for joy.
29:20      There is more hope for a fool
than for someone who speaks without thinking.

29:11      Fools vent their anger,
but the wise quietly hold it back.
22      An angry person starts fights;
a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.
30:33      As the beating of cream yields butter
and striking the nose causes bleeding,
so stirring up anger causes quarrels.

29:15      To discipline a child produces wisdom,
but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.
17      Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind
and will make your heart glad.
18      When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.
But whoever obeys the law is joyful.
19      Words alone will not discipline a servant;
the words may be understood, but they are not heeded.

30:4      Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down?
Who holds the wind in his fists?
Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak?
Who has created the whole wide world?
What is his name—and his son’s name?
Tell me if you know!
     Every word of God proves true.
He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
     Do not add to His words,
or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
     O God, I beg two favors from you;
let me have them before I die.
     First, help me never to tell a lie.
Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!
Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
     For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.

FOUR THINGS THAT ARE NEVER SATISFIED, that never say, “Enough!”:
16      the grave,*
the barren womb,
the thirsty desert,
the blazing fire.

19      how an eagle glides through the sky,
how a snake slithers on a rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,
how a man loves a woman.

22      a slave who becomes a king,
an overbearing fool who prospers,
23      a bitter woman who finally gets a husband,
a servant girl who supplants her mistress.

25      Ants—they aren’t strong,
but they store up food all summer.
26      Hyraxes*—they aren’t powerful,
but they make their homes among the rocks.
27      Locusts—they have no king,
but they march in formation.
28      Lizards—they are easy to catch,
but they are found even in kings’ palaces.

A WOMAN of Noble Character
31:10     Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11      Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12      She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13      She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14      She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15      She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16      She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17      She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18      She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.
19      Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20      She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21      She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm* clothes.
22      She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23      Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24      She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25      She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26      When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27      She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
28      Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29      “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
30      Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31      Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

Proverbs 31

The real contribution of this passage, however, is to demonstrate that women played an important social and economic role in Old Testament times. The Expository Dictionary of Bible Words (Zondervan, 1985) notes that in that agrarian society women actually filled roles that were the same as men. Thus the noble wife of this chapter “supervised a staff of workers (v. 27). She served as buyer for her enterprises (v. 13). She sold what her staff produced (vv. 18–24), and she invested her profits (v. 16). She had the freedom to give to help the needy (v. 20). She was respected for her wisdom and responsibility (vv. 14–15, 26–31).” Each of these is a “business” function, and while the woman’s activities were linked to her home and family, the biblical picture of the woman’s role is a far cry from the “stay–home–and–care–for–the–kids” concept of many moderns. In Old Testament times women had the opportunity to use their God–given abilities.
Key verse. 31:10: The noble wife is an accomplished person.
Personal application. Watch out for the “biblical view of women” that is merely male chauvinism dressed up in a misapplied text.

The Bible’s portrait of women. The creation story makes it clear that both men and women were created in the image of God and thus are equal as persons (Gen. 1–2). With sin, the biblical ideal for male/female relationships became distorted, as did all other things in life (cf. Gen. 3:16). The fact that women were not automatically deprived of politically or spiritually sensitive roles by their sex is illustrated by the many significant women the O.T. singles out. Among them are Abigail and Ruth, who functioned within the traditional women’s role (1 Sam. 25; Ruth). But there are also women who broke the mold and served as prophets (Ex. 15:20; 2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chron. 34:22) and even one who served as a judge (Jud. 4:4–5).
If we are to see women in adequate perspective we must first of all affirm their absolute unity with men as persons of value and worth. We must also realize that women must be given, within society, opportunities to utilize all the capacities of personhood with which they have been endowed. Women are equal to men in ability, and gifted individuals should be encouraged to use their abilities within, and at times outside of, culturally defined expectations. Like the “noble wife” of Prov. 31, each woman, as well as each man, should be given the opportunity to achieve and be honored for every accomplishment.
Proverbs 31
Only in eternity will we fully see the blessing that godly women have brought to this world. Proverbs has much to say about wicked women in chapters 1–9, and about nagging wives (21:9 and 25:24); the book closes, however, with a glorious tribute to the godly, dedicated woman who brings honor to God and joy to her family. Many servants of God thank God for godly mothers and godly wives. Next to making a decision for Christ, the most important decision a Christian will make is the choice of a life’s mate. “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband” (Prov. 12:4). “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord” (Prov. 18:22, nkjv). “A prudent wife is from the Lord” (Prov. 19:14). Christians must not be unequally yoked together with unsaved mates (2 Cor. 6:14–18). They are to marry “in the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:39). A Christian woman who marries an unsaved man may be endangering her life in childbirth; see 1 Tim. 2:12–15. This chapter of Proverbs describes the “virtuous woman” and lists her fine qualities.
I.     Her Spirituality (31:1–9)
II.     Her Loyalty (31:10–12)
III.     Her Industry (31:13–22)
IV. Her Modesty (31:23–26)
V. Her Piety (31:27–31) reverence for God or devout fulfillment of religious obligations: quality or state of being: saintly dutiful respect or regard for parents, homeland, etc.:


1.     as you consider the passages from colossians and titus… what will you do to continue your development of wisdom and… how will you position yourself to share it with others?
2.     Go through the topics and share your insights from the passages presented.
         honesty/ confession
        character & integrity
        god – attributes
        4 things never satisfied
         4 things that amaze me
        4 things that make the earth tremble
        4 things on earth that are small but unusually wise
        proverbs 31 woman

i.e. id est, that is
* Or those who fear the Lord; Hebrew reads those who fear.
* Hebrew Sheol.
* Or Coneys, or Rock badgers.
* As in Greek and Latin versions; Hebrew reads scarlet.
[1]Richards, Lawrence O.: The Bible Readers Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton : Victor Books, 1991; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996, S. 393