Archive for the ‘Proverbs 01’ Category

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 1:10-19

      10 My son, if sinful men entice you,

            do not give in to them.

      11 If they say, “Come along with us;

            let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,

            let’s ambush some harmless soul;

      12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,

            and whole, like those who go down to the pit;

      13 we will get all sorts of valuable things

            and fill our houses with plunder;

      14 cast lots with us;

            we will all share the loot”—

      15 my son, do not go along with them,

            do not set foot on their paths;

      16 for their feet rush into evil,

            they are swift to shed blood.

      17 How useless to spread a net

            where every bird can see it!

      18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;

            they ambush only themselves!

      19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;

            it takes away the life of those who get it. 

Sin is enticing because it offers a quick route to prosperity or pleasure and makes us feel like we belong. But when we go along with others and refuse to listen to the truth, our own appetites become our masters, and we’ll do anything to satisfy them. Sin, even when attractive, is deadly. We must learn to make choices, not on the basis of flashy appeal or short-range pleasure, but in view of the long-range effects. Sometimes this means steering clear of people who want to draw us into activities that we know are wrong. We can’t be friendly with sin and expect our lives to remain unaffected.

Going after “ill-gotten gain” is one of Satan’s surest traps. It begins when he plants the suggestion that we can’t live without some possession or more money. Then that desire fans its own fire until it becomes an all-consuming obsession. Ask God for wisdom to recognize any greedy desire before it destroys you. God through his Spirit will give you wisdom and help you overcome it.

Proverbs 1:10 “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.”

You see, we are a free moral agent. We decide whether we will sin or not. Just because the crowd is sinning, is no reason to get involved. Use your own free will and say “no” to sin, even if it is inviting. In the long run, we are responsible for our own decisions.

Sinners is a term reserved in Scripture to describe unbelievers for whom sin is continual and who endeavor to persuade even believers to sin with them. The sins of murder and robbery are used as illustrations of such folly.

Proverbs 1:11 “If they say, “Come along with us; lets lie in wait for someone’s blood, let’s waylay some harmless soul:”

“Come with us”. The intimidating force of peer pressure is often the way to entice those who lack wisdom.

Proverbs 1:12 “Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:”

The wicked devise a plot of deception in which the innocent are captured and victimized like one who is taken by death itself, as with Joseph (Gen. 37:20); Jeremiah (Jer. 38:6-13); and Daniel (Dan. 6:16-17.

“The Pit … Shoel” is the place of death. For the wicked it is a place of no return (Job 7:9), darkness (Psalms 143:3) and torment (Isaiah 14:11). 

Proverbs 1:13-14 “we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our house with plunder:” (14)”Throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse.”

This is the enlisting of the innocent without full disclosure of intent. Abundant spoil is promised by this outright robbery, which is made to appear easy and safe for the thieves and murderers.

Proverbs 1:15 “My son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths thy foot from their path:”

This directly confronts the invitation of v.11. Sin must be rejected at the first temptation, by refusing even the association that can lead to sin. Avoid the beginnings of sin (see Proverbs 4:14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men)

Proverbs 1:16 “for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood.”

This is warning not to keep evil company. There is guilt by association. You may not be guilty of their sins; but if you are caught with them, you will pay the terrible penalty with them. Many a youngster has gotten into serious trouble because he wanted to be part of the gang. Children’s favorite saying to parents is, “everyone is doing it”.  Sometimes peer pressure causes a youngster to join a gang. He probably has no idea they are stealing or killing when he joins; but the longer he stays, the more deeply involved he becomes. The only way to avoid this is just what the Scripture advises. Don’t go with them in the first place. The time to say “no” is before you get in deep.

Proverbs 1:17 “How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds!”

As a bird flies into a net and is caught, so will the sinner get caught if he goes head long into sin. We know the net is there, but get into it anyway.

It would be ineffective to set up a net for catching a bird in full view of the bird. Taken with v.18, this analogy means that the sinner sets up his trap for the innocent in secret, but in the end the trap is sprung on him (v.19). This greed entraps him. Stupid sinners rush to their own ruin.

Proverbs 1:18 “These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves!.”

A person laying in wait to kill someone else is actually sealing their own doom. 

Proverbs 1:19 “Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.”

Greed for things that do not belong to you is certainly the cause of most sin toward your fellow man.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 1:14 Throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse

Unity is nothing without God’s approval. In fact, it is sedition and treason, unless God approves. Sinners want saints to agree with them and join their projects, but the LORD demands His children avoid and reject their close company (Pr 1:10,15). Sinners make great appeals for cooperation and friendship, but their hearts have very different goals.

Solomon here warned his son, and all young men, against the peer pressure of sinful men (Pr 1:10-19). Their goals were robbery and murder, and they would certainly be destroyed. Young men who fear the Lord should stay far from them and reject all appeals for joining together. Running with the gang is contrary to godliness and brings judgment.

Though it might seem safe to be united with the majority in some foolish or sinful endeavor, Solomon by God warned his son that no combined strength could protect from God’s judgment (Pr 11:21). It is the wide gate and broad way, with many travelers joined happily together in the majority, that leads to destruction and death (Matt 7:13-14).

There is no safety or sanctuary from judgment in associating with sinners. An approving God that delights in your rejection of sin and sinners is the real sanctuary (Is 8:9-15). When nations gathered together against God’s church in the Old Testament, He mocked their efforts, knowing He would empower His people to destroy them (Mic 4:11-13).

Fellowship and society with godly saints is wonderful (Ps 133:1; Phil 1:3-5), but it is horrible when saints are unequally joined together with unbelievers (Ps 144:11; I Cor 5:9-11). Communion and unity in Christ’s churches are great blessings (I Cor 12:12-27), but fellowship with sinners is damnable (Eph 5:11-12). Yet some good men with weak character cannot resist the invitations and pressure of wicked men to join with them.

Jehoshaphat was such a man. A grandson of David and king of Judah, he could not resist the invitations of Ahab, king of Israel, at joint projects and family intermarriage (II Chron 18:1-3). What saith the Lord? “And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD” (II Chron 19:2).

King Ahab had 400 prophets in full agreement in his ministerial association, but these were no match for one man who feared God and would not join them. For one of the most interesting and powerful events in the Bible, read about the true prophet Micaiah rejecting their pleas for unity to declare God’s word (I Kgs 22:1-40). Jehoshaphat was judged for joining with Ahab, but Micaiah was blessed for defying Ahab’s 400 prophets.

The Tower of Babel was man’s first known effort at uniting all the peoples of the earth, but the LORD stopped the work in its tracks and confounded all the participants. Glory! At the same site two thousand years later, King Nebuchadnezzar took his stab at religious ecumenism and unity, but three faithful men would not compromise truth at any cost and turned the religious festivities upside down. All glory to God!

God’s children can only have true peace when purity is exalted – purity of truth and righteousness. “Come out from among them,” is the holy cry of apostles and angels (II Cor 6:14-17; Rev 18:4). God’s highest blessings and fellowship demand it (II Cor 6:16 – 7:1). There is no real peace where purity is sacrificed, only the peace of death (Pr 21:16). Churches must reject any holding contrary doctrine (Rom 16:17-18; Titus 3:10-11).

Godly men easily separate from those who do not fear God nor keep His commandments. Like Phinehas, they do not need to pray about the matter, they zealously take a javelin and end the party (Num 25:1-15). David did not want any compromisers near him (Ps 101:3-8), for he hated fools and sinners (Ps 26:5; 31:6; 139:21-22). Furthermore, he taught God’s blessing on those who would separate from evildoers (Ps 1:1-3).

Moses left Egypt’s pleasures and riches for the afflictions and reproach of Christ and His church (Heb 11:24-27). Could you make such a choice? Would you make it? There is comfort and reward, praise of men and human security, by staying in Pharaoh’s house. But the great reward – the riches of Christ and an eternal inheritance in Him – are found only in Canaan, with a separated life. Are you willing to go alone with Jesus Christ, if you must go to Him outside the camp even of professing Christians (Heb 13:12-14)?

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 1:13 We will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder

What an offer! How can you resist? Unity with others! All precious substance! Houses filled with spoil! Beware! Death and hell are hidden in the words. The world does not entice you to sin by offering pain and trouble. It entices you by offering friendship, pleasure, and success. But all that glitters is not gold, and sin will bring your total ruin.

Here is a lesson in peer pressure. Solomon warned his son to reject sinners enticing him to participate with them in their folly (Pr 1:10). He warned against their promises of unity and good success (Pr 1:11-14). And he concluded by telling his son to stay away from their sins and the horrible judgment that would surely come on them (Pr 1:15-19).

A large part of wisdom is rejecting ungodly friends. It is a common warning of Scripture (Ex 23:2; Ps 1:1; 26:4-5; 101:1-8; I Cor 15:33; II Cor 6:14-17; Jas 4:4). But Solomon emphasized it for the safety of his son (Pr 1:15; 4:14-15; 9:6; 13:20; 14:7; 19:27). Good parents will be vigilant to protect their children from ungodly influences of evil friends.

Every sin offers a desirable motive, great pleasure, or promise of success; otherwise men would not sin. Eve thought she could become like God, if she ate the forbidden fruit. Samson thought Delilah would make him happy. Ananias and Sapphira thought they could keep some of the money and still be big givers in the church. Sin is a deceitful lie!

There may be some short-term pleasure in sin, as the Bible admits (Heb 11:25), but it will never come close to the damning and destroying consequences of sin. Lot was sure the nice subdivision with good schools near Sodom would benefit his family – in his worst nightmare he could not imagine what actually happened to his family of seven.

Sin lies! Lusts lie! They tell you the pleasure will be great and the consequences small. The Bible warns about the deceitful nature of lusts and sin (Ep 4:22; Heb 3:13). Amnon wanted sex with his sister Tamar so bad he fell sick, but after doing the heinous act, he was worse off than before, lived in constant fear, and was killed for it (II Sam 13:1-39).

The devil and his world make tempting offers. They seldom admit they hate God, want to violate His word, and cannot wait for hell. They appear as an angel of light and ministers of righteousness telling how to have your cake and eat it too. Satan comes as another Jesus, presenting a popular gospel, and oozing another spirit (II Cor 11:3-4,13-15).

It is the perilous times of the last days: evil seducers are worse than ever (II Tim 3:1-13). Carnal Christianity is full of them. One of their sweet lies to compromise truth is the offer of growth – you can have a mega-church – just like the cutthroats in this proverb. But Paul condemned the end-justifies-the-means crowd and their heretical measurement of godliness by gain (I Tim 6:3-5). He told Timothy to get away from such men (I Tim 6:5).

What is the cure for these lying tempters? “But godliness with contentment is great gain” (I Tim 6:6). Peer pressure cannot affect a man committed to godliness and content with what he has. Seducers have no opening in such a man’s life. Paul warned further about the grievous dangers of worldly ambition (I Tim 6:7-10). Moses should be your example: he forsook all the opportunities of Egypt to suffer with Christ’s people (Heb 11:24-26).

Sin lies! Lusts lie! What will you do when convicted and it is too late to undo your folly (Pr 5:12-14)? What will you do when you are gasping for your last breath (Pr 5:11)? The sins of your youth will punish your final thoughts – before God confronts you for your lusts over the blast furnace of a burning hell. Who will you believe today – God and His warnings in the Bible, or your lying sinful lusts? Flee youthful lusts – now (II Tim 2:22)!

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 1:22 How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?

What have you done today to get wisdom? If you have not done much, this proverb is for you. Are you merely stupid and lazy? Or too arrogant to accept instruction from others? Or just foolishly in love with yourself? This proverb will show which of these traits is your chief character flaw. The proverb’s questions are important: because if you continue in your ignorance, Lady Wisdom will soon be laughing at your calamities (Pr 1:24-32)!

Lady Wisdom offers wisdom to those who will take it (Pr 1:20-23). Why reject a free offer of wisdom and understanding, which are the principal matters of life (Pr 4:7)? You came into this world totally simple, a scorner, and hating knowledge. But you do not need to stay in that evil condition. Repent, and take Lady Wisdom’s gracious offer (Pr 9:1-12).

A simple person is stupid due to a combination of low intelligence, laziness, and/or apathy. They leave the mental work to others. Simple men are very content eating, working, playing, and sleeping. They cannot perceive the value of wisdom. Pursuing wisdom sounds too hard, so they wallow in simplicity until they take their last breath.

Are you simple? Is your life basically getting up, going to work, eating, relaxing, and going to bed? Is getting a paycheck a real feat to you? Do you let others study issues and provide answers? Do complex dilemmas intimidate you? Do you prefer bodily exercise over studying? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you are simple.

But Lady Wisdom calls to the simple, “How long will ye love simplicity? Why are you content to be stupid?” The words of God can make a simple man wise, if he will repent of his simplicity, beg God for wisdom, and search the Scriptures (Pr 1:4; Ps 19:7; 119:130). If you neglect her offer, you will live and die in simplicity and bear the consequences.

Scorners are arrogant persons that despise those who try to correct or teach them. They are flagrantly haughty, rebellious, and stubborn. Puffed up in pride, they mock and resent any effort to reprove them. They are snottily disrespectful to authority. They are the most profane character in Proverbs, hated by God and men (Pr 6:16-17; 9:7-8; 24:9; 26:12).

Are you a scorner? Do you bristle at authoritative teachers, especially when they correct you? Do you look for faults in a reprover to excuse your rebellion? Do you enjoy snide remarks, accusing others, or seditiously sowing discord to get a following? Do you resent authority, because you believe you are at least as wise as any you have met? Can you mock a parent or teacher, just because you disagree?  You are a scorner.

But Lady Wisdom calls to scorners, “How long will you delight in scorning? Why do you take pleasure in being a profane scorner?” Though wise men are taught to ignore and reject scorners, Lady Wisdom offers wisdom even to these brute beasts (Pr 9:7-8; Matt 7:6). If they reject her merciful offer, the God of heaven will crush them under His feet.

Fools are stubborn and lazy persons, though not as conceited and vicious as scorners. In love with themselves, they see no need to listen to anyone or make changes in their lives. After being taught, they quickly return to their vomit and wallowing in folly (Pr 26:11). They hate knowledge by resisting instruction due to love of their own thoughts (Pr 18:2).

Are you a fool? Do you think you have a good head on your shoulders and do not need teachers? Are you confident you are right? Do you like the sound of your own voice? Are you better known for a sharp retort than humble listening? Do you get angry when you cannot have your way? Do you think you could be a good teacher? Do you like to surf the Internet looking for some new thing like the foolish Athenians? You are a fool.

But Lady Wisdom also calls to fools, “How long will you hate knowledge? Why do you resist learning what is right?” Though wise men are taught to silence fools and ignore them, she offers liberal wisdom even to these stupid dolts (Pr 14:7; 23:9; 26:4-5). If they do not heed her helpful offer, they will live dysfunctional lives and die hopeless deaths.

Reader, where do you fall on this scale? Are you a simpleton? Or are you a real fool? Or are you a haughty scorner? If you have not done anything to pursue wisdom today, you are one of these three. In any case, Lady Wisdom is offering you wisdom. If you refuse her offer, she will refuse to help you when troubles come to ruin your life (Pr 1:24-28).

The words of the living God are before you. They can make you wise (Ps 119:98-100; II Tim 3:16-17). But you must read and meditate on His words to become wise. He has sent teachers to you, from parents to pastors (Eccl 12:9; Jer 3:15; I Thess 5:20). But you must humbly submit to their teaching and put it into practice. He has offered wisdom to those who will humbly beg Him for it (I Kgs 3:5; Jas 1:5). When did you last pray for it?

Why do you continue in your simple, scornful, or foolish ways? What will it take to get your attention? What will it take to get you to leave your simplicity, your scorning, or your folly? Will a divorce do it? A dysfunctional home? A rebellious child? Professional or financial trouble? Some time in prison? The lack of friends and church? A medical emergency? The death of a loved one? Lady Wisdom offers wisdom. You better take it.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 1:21 He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor 

Where is wisdom? Solomon wrote Proverbs to teach wisdom to young men in particular and to all God’s children in general (Pr 1:1-6). Where must you go to find it? Wisdom is freely offered everywhere to those who will stop and listen (Pr 1:20-23; 8:1-10; 9:1-5).

Solomon personified wisdom as a woman, like Americans use Mother Nature. Lady Wisdom speaks for most of this chapter (Pr 1:20-33). Solomon used this personification often (Pr 2:1-4; 3:13-18; 4:5-13; 8:1-36; 9:1-12). Wisdom seeks you. Embrace her!

Where is wisdom? Job asked this great question (Job 28:1-12). Natural man cannot find it or buy it (Job 28:13-22). Only God knows where it is found (Job 28:23-27). The God of heaven – Jehovah – said, “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom” (Job 28:28)!

The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Pr 1:7; 9:10). What is it? It is reverent awe to keep His commandments and to hate sin (Pr 8:13; Job 28:28; Ps 111:10; Eccl 12:13-14; Heb 12:28-29). It delights in God and the things He loves (Deut 6:4-9; Jer 9:23-24).

Wisdom is opposite everything believed and taught by CNN, Hollywood, the NEA, the PTA, Fox, Harvard, PETA, the UN, Oxford, the Vatican, CBS, the RNC, and the NFL!

You forfeit all wisdom, if you have allegiance to Allah, Baal, Buddha, Confucius, Dagon, Eostre, the Great Spirit, Krishna, Mary, Mohamed, Rama, Shiva, the Talmud, or Vishnu!

Lady Wisdom calls! She cries in the chief place of concourse, where men travel. She cries in the openings of the gates, where men enter the city. She cries in the city. She is nearby for any man, who will stop his business and activity to listen (Ps 4:3-5; 46:8-11).

The creator God has revealed himself in the heavens and earth (Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:20). A plain sermon is preached day and night in every language and dialect. He gives a witness of Himself every time it rains and you enjoy a fruitful season (Matt 5:45; Acts 14:17; 17:27-28). If you believe the lie of evolution, you will never see any wisdom at all.

God has also revealed wisdom by His inspired scriptures, the Christian Bible (Deut 4:5-8; Ps 19:7-11; Is 8:20). He has sent chosen men to preach His wisdom to you (Jer 3:15; I Cor 2:6-16; Col 1:28-29). If you are reading this proverb and its commentary, this kind God has brought wisdom before your eyes. Get down! Humble yourself! Praise your Creator! Thank Him for His word! Read it! Believe it! Obey it! Lady Wisdom is calling!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 1:23 If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.

Today can be a turning point in your life. Lady Wisdom calls you to receive her free blessing of instruction. Honor, riches, peace, and life can be yours, if you will accept her reproving invitation and enjoy the feast she has prepared for those that want to be wise.

If you have turned toward wisdom, there is higher ground to which she calls you. You do not have all the wisdom you need. You are not yet perfect. A wise man will hear and increase learning, and he will attain unto wise counsels (Pr 1:5). Press forward for more!

Lady Wisdom cries for fools to end their foolish and destructive ways of living (Pr 1:20-22). How much more pain and trouble must you have, before you will appreciate her offer? If you slight her invitation, she will cause your worst nightmares to come to pass (Pr 29:1). She will bring distress and anguish upon you. Instead of helping in your time of need, she will laugh at you (Pr 1:24-32). Consider it soberly, for this is the certain truth.

Turning requires two things – stop moving in one direction and start moving in a new direction (Rom 12:1-2; I Thess 1:9). You end foolish habits and ways; you start forward in wise and righteous ways. You reject wrong training, traditions, and thoughts; you learn and obey truth and godliness. You cut out and kill things in your life she does not approve; you add approved things to replace them. You reject sin; you choose holiness.

Change can be difficult, and it takes conviction; but the little trouble in choosing to change is nothing compared to the trouble that is coming if you do not change. If former friends ridicule your new priorities, ignore and leave them. Let nothing hinder your turn.

Personified wisdom, the lady here, promises two things – she will personally give herself to you, and she will teach you an internal knowledge of her words and ways. If you accept her sincere invitation, she will respond with full affection to save and perfect you.

Yet beyond the figure of personification, you should see the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is filled with all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3; I Cor 1:30). He will pour out His Spirit to those who turn to Him, and He will teach them true wisdom (Eph 1:17-18; 3:14-19; Col 1:9-11; I Cor 2:6-16; John 14:15-27; I John 2:20).

But most men rush madly through life in ignorance, stubbornness, and rebellion; they suffer the consequences of dysfunctional and painful lives now and eternal judgment later. Why? Because they scorned the wisdom offered at various points in their lives, and God blinded their eyes so He might destroy them (Rom 1:18-32; II Thes 2:9-12).

What is a fool? He has a better idea; he protects his sins; he will not give up his habits; he keeps foolish friends; he feeds himself the foolishness of the world; he dislikes change. The Lord of wisdom crushes fools with frustrated souls, broken hearts, failed businesses, dysfunctional families, loveless marriages, bitter spirits, and hopeless lives. Fools laugh today at wisdom’s offer; but wisdom will laugh tomorrow at the fool’s painful calamity. Ah, Lord God, thou art very great, and man is so very foolish, proud, and stubborn!

The choice and its consequences are so clear. How could any man or woman even hesitate? How is it with you, reader? Do not rush through these words without fearing your future, hearing the sincere offer, and turning your heart completely to the Lord Jesus Christ and heavenly wisdom. The reward is incredible, but so is the punishment!

This proverb addresses those who fear the Lord, spiritual men. Though the rules of wisdom could benefit all men, only the righteous can hear and heed wisdom’s call. Only those turned by the Lord can truly turn from their folly and embrace wisdom. If you can consider it, the Lord has already turned your heart (Jer 31:18; Lam 5:21). Now turn!

Pursue wisdom. Buy it, and sell it not. Pray for it. Practice it. Reject foolish friends. Hate your sinful ways. Love truth. Despise the world and its ideas. Choose righteousness. Cut off bad habits. Seek first the kingdom of God. Put your flesh to death.

Understand and appreciate conviction – it is God’s way of drawing you back to Him – and you should run with it as far and as fast as you can. If you resist His conviction long enough, He will leave you to your own thoughts and life, and you will think everything is fine, though it will be the most terrible of predicaments. Think Saul. Think Judas.

Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you; it is His promise (Jas 4:8). Open the door, and the Lord Jesus will come in to fellowship with the truly repentant (Rev 3:19-20). Walking with God in heavenly wisdom and favor is a choice, and suffering the torments of a painful, God-forsaken life is the opposite choice.

Hear the prophet Isaiah warn the nation of Israel, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:  But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it” (Is 1:18-20). Turn at God’s reproof today.

Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 1:5 Let the wise listen and add to their learning and let the discerning get guidance

Solomon wrote Proverbs for the young and simple (Pr 1:4). But he also wrote it for the mature and wise, that they might gain greater learning to understand and apply the words of this book (Pr 1:5). Therefore, there is great value to study these proverbs and their interpretations in order to attain to wise counsels. If you will be wise, here is the way!

Proverbs are the dark sayings of the wise, and they need interpretation (Pr 1:6). But the effort is well worth it, for the reward is obtaining greater learning and wise counsel. By understanding Solomon’s proverbs and their interpretations in this book, and learning the words of the wise and their dark sayings, you will attain to wise counsels. Men will come to you for help in intricate matters, for you will have acquired wisdom and understanding.

What is the rule for increasing learning and attaining unto wise counsels? Hearing! Even wise and understanding men must stop thinking and talking in order to listen instead to become wiser. Your age or wisdom does not matter. To learn more and attain to the counsels of the wise, you must hear instruction from others. Humble yourself before this inspired collection of proverbs and get learning and wise counsel. It is your choice.

Wisdom is acquired by the ears, not the mouth. You have two ears, but one mouth. You should be swift to hear and slow to speak (Jas 1:19). However, foolish man would rather speak, for he wants to show others his wisdom. But a wise man will close his mouth and open his ears, so that he might hear the instruction of his teachers and gain wisdom.

Listening is hard for the young and simple, because they are foolish and impatient. Children are self-deceived to think they know more than parents. Without experience or understanding, they want to teach their elders. But older men also have a problem with listening, for they think too highly of their experience. It takes only a quick look at this book of Proverbs, or a small dose of the problems among men, to reveal their ignorance.

Great men understand the times and know what ought to be done (I Chron 12:32). They discern changing circumstances and the response to them that pleases God and men. How do they come to this illustrious position from the confusion and ignorance they inherited at birth? They listen and learn from their primary teachers – parents and pastors.

The blessed God inspired the Bible, which is full of wisdom for life and eternity. And He also sent parents and pastors to teach the Bible to willing hearers (Deut 6:4-9; Eph 6:4; Mal 2:7; Eph 4:11-14). Your part is left! Will you listen like Israel to Ezra, Cornelius to Peter, and the noble Bereans to Paul (Neh 8:1-12; Acts 10:33; 17:11)? It is your choice.

Under Gods Command


1 Corinthians 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength

The message of Christ’s death for sins sounds foolish to those who don’t believe. Death seems to be the end of the road, the ultimate weakness. But Jesus did not stay dead. And he will save us from eternal death and give us everlasting life if we trust him as Savior and Lord. This sounds so simple that many people won’t accept it. They try other ways to obtain eternal life (being good, being wise, etc.). But all their attempts will not work.

Lets Bring it Home:The “foolish” people who simply accept Christ’s offer are actually the wisest of all, because they alone will live eternally with God.

Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 1:12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:

Fools and sinners are arrogantly confident. A band of cutthroats here tried to lure an innocent youth to join it by boasting of certain success. Such lazy, murderous thieves, bloated with ambitious and ignorant pride, are beyond hope or help (Pr 26:12,16).

Solomon knew evil friends were the greatest danger to his son and all young men, so he began Proverbs by warning against them (Pr 1:10-19). This proverb is part of a parable about a gang of murdering marauders, who declared their plans positively to entice a new member. Solomon concluded the parable by guaranteeing their ruin (Pr 1:17-19).

The murderers speak in this proverb. Though such things are rarely said openly, Solomon exposed their true intents for the purpose of his warning. Full of malice and violence, they intend to find victims with assets (Pr 1:11-14). They will kill the innocents easily and swallow them as thoroughly as the grave. The united band will kill quickly; there will be no opposition; any incriminating evidence will be destroyed. Success is certain!

The haughty confidence and lying words of these cutthroats are old. Sinners have always thought their crimes would be easy and without consequences. They are sure of success in their evil ambitions. Foolish and naïve young men fall for their boastful plans and join them. They do not see the certain destruction that is waiting for all such wicked rebels.

David was confident he could successfully kill Uriah in battle for his wife, but he forgot God seeing the deed and letting him grieve over the death of his son (II Sam 12:14-23). He never thought it could lead to Amnon’s incest and Absalom’s sedition and whoring.

A strange woman, an adulteress, guaranteed pleasure and success for a sinful liaison (Pr 7:18-23). She detailed how they could get away with the heinous crime against her husband. The idiot that joined her ended up dead and in hell (Pr 2:18-19; 5:5; 7:27; 9:18).

Judas thought 30 pieces of silver for betraying Jesus was an easy score. In his profane pride, he did not see Satan leaving his guilty bowels scattered across a field (Acts 1:18). He never imagined that the severe curse of Psalm 109:6-20 was for him and his crime.

The Jews hated Jesus, so they demanded Pilate to crucify Him. When he sought to avoid His innocent blood, they begged for it on themselves and their children (Matt 27:24-25). God and Titus made sure it happened (Matt 21:33-41; 22:1-7; 23:29-36; I Thes 2:15-16)!

The way of transgressors is hard (Pr 13:15), the way of murder harder. Solomon wrote, “A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him” (Pr 28:17). Gang members of all kinds that practice violence will be destroyed.

The proverb’s lesson is for you to wisely assess the boastful claims of sinners and reject them. They are ignorant liars or malicious liars, and only a fool would believe them. The reasons for their arrogance are wicked pride and the desire to deceive other fools to join them. Your skepticism and rejection should apply to gangs, churches, or anyone with an agenda contrary to the Bible. Let God be true, but every man a liar (Rom 3:4).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 1:16 For their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood.

Fools cannot quit folly. Sinners cannot stop sinning. They run with haste to more wickedness rather than walk. They greedily rush to satisfy their evil lusts (Eph 4:17-19). Because of this trait, young men should stay as far from fools and sinners as possible.

After introducing the book of Proverbs (Pr 1:1-9), Solomon wrote a parable warning his son about the grave danger of evil associations (Pr 1:10-19). Foolish friends destroy more young men than any other factor. The parable describes a band of cutthroats seeking to entice a young man to join them, and Solomon told his son where such fools are headed.

Being asked to join a band of cutthroats is extreme, but consider the temptation for young men to join gangs in high schools or city ghettos, immoral college fraternities, subversive military or political organizations, the KKK, the Masonic Lodge, the Communist Party, labor unions, and other societies of men pursuing a wide variety of equally evil goals.

The danger of association with wicked men is their mad rush to more and more evil. No matter your desire to avoid sin and wickedness, their enticing invitations and the power of peer pressure will be too much to resist. You will go down with them, and go down they certainly will. Solomon made this clear before ending the parable (Pr 1:17-19).

Sin does not know contentment. One sin is not enough. After breaking a commandment of God and tasting the fruit of forbidden pleasures, it must have more. The heart becomes hardened, the conscience is seared, the lusts are inflamed, and the mind cannot forget the stolen thrills. The downhill rush to destruction has begun. What will stop the sinners?

You cannot reform wicked friends. Instead, the wicked friends will corrupt your good manners (I Cor 15:33). The safety of wisdom is simple: do not even start friendships with fools (Pr 1:10; 4:14-17; Ps 1:1-3). If you have foolish friends, forsake them immediately (Pr 9:6; 13:20; 14:7). This rule is crucial for survival and success (Pr 2:10-22).

Only God can change fools, which he did gloriously in the case of Saul of Tarsus (Titus 3:3-5). If you think you can change them, you are gravely mistaken. Be not deceived (I Cor 15:33)! Another proverb concludes, “Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him” (Pr 27:22). Even Paul avoided those without faith and the fear of God (II Thess 3:1-2; II Tim 3:1-5).

The lesson is simple and weighty. Foolish friends will destroy any man. Therefore, reject all worldly friends for the friends of the king of Zion (Ps 101:1-8; 119:63,79; 144:11-15; Tit 1:8). You can find them in a local church that exalts apostolic doctrine and practice, where you can exhort and help each other to greater faith and obedience to Jesus Christ.