Archive for the ‘Proverbs 11’ Category

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 11:14 For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure.

Neither you nor your government know how to make good decisions in a vacuum. The protection against bad decisions is to identify a large number of wise men to help make important decisions. If a government proceeds in haste, pride, or by the whims of one man, corruption and trouble will likely follow for that principality. But when a government heeds a broad range of wise men, there is generally profit and safety for all.

God inspired Solomon to write Proverbs to teach young men to be wise (Pr 1:1-5). Here is an important rule of prudence and wisdom. Do not make large decisions without consulting a variety of wise and successful men, who are not emotionally, personally, or financially involved. They can apply their wisdom and experience to your situation without the distracting and distorting influences that may be corrupting your thoughts.

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes. Of course! Have you ever made a bad decision? Of course not! This is a fact of human behavior Solomon had often observed (Pr 14:12; 16:2,25; 21:2). But you are often wrong for many reasons, even though you may not realize it. You are inherently ignorant, emotionally affected, personally biased, educationally distorted, financially motivated, and peer influenced. You are dangerous!

Not every counselor will do! If you choose to check your ideas and decisions with just your friends, most of them will agree with you to keep your friendship and avoid debate. This very thing happened to Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. After the death of his father, he listened to his young friends rather than his father’s aged and wise counselors. Because of this foolish choice, he lost 10 of his nation’s 12 tribes to a rival (I Kgs 12:1-20).

It has been said, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” To counter this perverting effect of authority, those in positions of leadership must rely even more heavily on counselors. If they seek to go it alone, they are taking a great risk with their office and the poor people under them. How many souls, lives, and fortunes would have been saved, if all husbands, fathers, masters, pastors, and rulers had used counselors?

Consider World War II. Counselors could have saved Chamberlain from Hitler’s lies. If Hitler had trusted his military advisors, he would have defeated the Soviets. Counselors tried to save Japan from war with the U.S., but were rejected. And General Patton’s counsel to take out the Soviets should have been considered more. These are decisions that caused many to fall, and these are only a very few associated with only that one war!

Wise readers know God’s sovereign government of nations was the cause, course, and conclusion of World War II, so they need to remember that God in judgment may work above this rule of wisdom by corrupting counselors to bring about His will in nations. He is able and willing to do so, and He has certainly done so in the past (Job 5:12-14; II Sam 15:31; I Kgs 22:19-23; Ps 9:15-17; Isaiah 19:11-14; 29:9-16; I Cor 1:19-20; 3:18-20).

If you desire to grow in wisdom, you will jettison your thoughts and replace them with the opinions of wise counselors. This is a hard choice to make, because you sinfully hate being criticized or corrected. You want to be the wise one that always makes outstanding decisions. You must learn to crush your pride and subject your ideas and plans to the analysis and examination of others. By choosing godly and successful men as your counselors, you can instantly raise the quality and results of your decisions.

The ultimate counselors are those that know the word of God and can apply it to your life and choices (Pr 22:17-21; Job 32:6-22; 33:23-24; Ps 119:98-100; II Tim 3:16-17). Counsel contrary to the Bible is worse than no counsel at all; it is destructive (Is 8:20; I Tim 6:3-5). Do you have godly counselors in your life (Mal 2:7; Acts 8:30-31; Heb 13:7,17)? Are you such a counselor to those that need you (Pr 11:30; 15:4; Heb 5:12-14; I Pet 3:15)? You may find godly counselors in a true church of Jesus Christ.

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 11:1 The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight. 

God is fair and right, and He expects you to be fair and right. He is perfect, and He expects you to be perfect. He hates cheating or compromise in your dealings; He loves honesty and integrity. He will ruin you professionally, if you cheat; but He will bless you, if you are just and fair. Solomon taught this lesson more than once (Pr 16:11; 20:10,23).

Before standardized weights and measures, and a government department to enforce them, merchants were responsible for accurate scales and weights. You bought and sold most of your commodities and foodstuffs by weight. This was no small matter, as the integrity and prosperity of the nation’s economy depended on trustworthy transactions.

Business integrity is part of godliness. Jehovah counts economic cheating or compromise to be an abomination. This word means a combination of disgust and hatred; abhorrence, detestation, loathing. In the Bible it also describes God’s attitude toward child sacrifice (Deut 12:31; 18:10-12), sodomy (Lev 18:22; 20:13), and similar perverse sins.

If you want to get ahead, then be scrupulously careful in all your transactions, even making sure your motives are just and pure (Pr 11:3; 19:1; Pr 20:7,14), and looking out with special care for widows, orphans, and the poor (Pr 23:10-11; 22:9). It is far better to be generous and liberal than to be cheap and stingy (Pr 11:24-27; Eccl 11:1-6; Is 32:8).

The omniscient God, seeing and knowing all things, takes very close interest in the ounces and pounds, liters and pints, dollars and cents, of your daily life. Let every greedy and stingy thief beware! He does not watch from a distance. He closely watches you tip a waitress or sell a used car. He watches you at the time clock and filing expense reports.

You will never get ahead cheating. And only blind fools would think it for even a second. It is far better to pay and perform beyond expectations, than to cut corners or shortchange anyone. Generosity is far superior to frugality. It is a very small mind, motivated by a dead soul, which thinks stinginess is how to get ahead (Pr 11:24-26; 28:8). A large mind, directed by a loving and generous heart, is God’s delight. He will bless the righteous.

Godly men are perfectly honest. They never take advantage of others. They go beyond bare duty; they pay more than their share; they keep every term of a contract; they tip generously; they pay debts on time; they despise purloining, or small thefts; they never lay out sick, when they are well; they disclose all problems with things they sell; they do not barter down a price, then call it a great deal; they communicate promptly and openly.

The Lord avenges any defrauding (I Thes 4:6; I Cor 6:8). He measures every relationship and transaction with His holy and divine scales of perfect righteousness. Have you been found wanting? Your prayers will stop at the ceiling (Pr 15:29; Ps 66:18); He will blow against you (Pr 13:15; Ps 34:16); you will never get ahead (Pr 13:11; 20:21; Jer 17:11). If you are froward in business dealings with others, He will be froward to you (Ps 18:26).

The Lord delights in honest men (Pr 12:22; Ps 11:7; Luke 6:37-38). What a glorious blessing to have the Most High delighting in you for your daily integrity! Watch every trade! Please every man! Owe no man anything! Be void of offence before God and men! Let the pure honesty and generosity of the Lord Jesus Christ be seen in your every action.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 11:24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 

No business school in America is advanced enough to teach this law of economics. Not Harvard. Not Stanford. Not the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. This proverb is a financial secret from the God of heaven for His people. Giving away financial assets will increase your net worth, while holding back money leads to poverty.

If you want a wealth-building secret from God and King Solomon, here it is. Throwing money to noble and righteous causes will bring financial prosperity, but restraining your giving will take you down. Here is advice, not to invest money, but to give it away. That is right; you read it correctly; give your money away to get ahead financially.

This proverb is not a sound bite for a desperate charity or greedy televangelist. It is an axiom of wisdom from the wisest and richest King that ever lived. He taught elsewhere to cast your bread upon the waters by giving it away, for it will come back to you sometime in the future by God’s blessings (Eccl 11:1-6; II Cor 9:8-11; Phil 4:17-19).

Solomon compared two men in this proverb. The one man scatters his money by giving it to godly causes, and he increases in financial prosperity. Though he is giving money away, his accounts keep growing. The other man hoards and protects his assets by not giving when he should or as much as he should, and he gets poorer and poorer.

Fools scorn God’s wisdom. The nation’s best MBA’s laugh at such preposterous ideas. How can you give away funds and increase assets? Their minds are limited to the math taught by their earthly teachers. Remember, these ignorant MBA’s also think the solar system is from a big bang of cosmic gases and their mothers were baboons! They cannot even imagine there is a whole universe of higher laws they know nothing about!

They think 10 – 1 = 9, when 10 – 1 = 900! Learn God’s math! Isaac, from a family that gave away a tenth by divine tradition, had an annual return of 10,000% on his portfolio (Gen 26:12). When did these educated fools with thick economic textbooks ever get an annual return like that? They work crazily to match the S&P500, which can be obtained by throwing darts at the financial page of the newspaper or buying an index fund.

Abraham, Isaac’s father, gave away a tenth of everything to God’s priest after a great victory (Gen 14:20). He was very rich, in spite of moving six hundred miles from home, without a strategic plan, to a strange land, where he did not know anyone or anything (Gen 13:2,6). But he increased by the blessing of God for honoring God with a tithe.

Jacob, Isaac’s son, moved to a new country with only a staff in his hand, but in 20 years he was so rich he could only travel in two companies (Gen 32:10). And this occurred in spite of discrimination against him by his employer (Gen 31:7,41). What was his secret for financial success? Give away 10% of all income (Gen 28:22). Give God the glory!

Fools think they have to look out for number one, meaning themselves, and only give to God a little of what is left. If nothing is left, then God gets nothing. Wise men also look out for number one, meaning God Himself. They give to God first, and live on whatever is left. The blessed God of heaven sees the different spirit and rewards them accordingly.

Fools reason, “I cannot afford to give. I have to protect my financial situation. I have bills coming up that I need to save for. When I am in a better financial situation, then I will give.” The God of heaven operates far above these ignorant and wicked ideas of financial safety. These men will surely be poor. They will never improve financially by violating this proverb. Just a little survey will show such men are often the poorest you know.

You cannot afford not to give! Your situation will go from bad to worse, if you continue to rob your Creator (Mal 3:8-11; Gal 6:7). It is better to live on 90% of income in the will of God than to miserly steal His 10% and live in rebellion. If you steal His 10%, He has the right and power to take His 10% and your 90%. You cannot afford not to give!

You can afford to give. If your salary were cut 10%, you would keep living with just a few changes. Some governments will split your giving with you by allowing you a tax deduction for it. It only costs the average American 6% to give 10%. You steal and lie, when you say you cannot afford to give. Humble yourself; choose wisdom, and increase.

A tithe is not the limit, for New Testament blessings surely deserve more than the beggarly 10% of the Old. Your spiritual and material blessings are greater than Israel ever dreamed. God has given you 100% of what you are and have, and heaven is waiting. Is 10% all you can muster? [When you look closer, the O.T. actually required 23 1/3%.]

Fools also reason, “Other men give because they have more to give. Their giving did not bring financial success, but they give because they are financially successful.” You are lying to yourself to protect your selfish and stingy soul. You are rejecting the infallible word of God to honor your greedy ignorance. You will never be a success. Going down?

Israel once thought it was financially wise to build their own houses first, but God blew against their efforts and put holes in the bags where they kept their wages (Hag 1:1-11). He guaranteed them great success, if they would put His cause first and mark their calendars (Hag 2:13-19). Do you have holes in your bags, reader? You cannot mock God; He will take you to poverty. Does God truly bless giving? Indeed He does (Pr 3:9-10)

How can the Lord increase a man who gives his money away? He can raise his income, lower his expenses, change tax laws, arrange gifts, grant favors, defer liabilities, extend the life of assets, preserve health and strength, open doors of opportunity, multiply efforts, provide bargains, give wisdom, attract customers, and many other things. Glory!

How far does this rule go? God dares you to try to outgive Him! He told Israel He would open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing they could not receive, if they would simply bring their tithes and offerings to Him (Mal 3:7-12). Give God the glory! He can give a good measure, press it down, shake it together, and pour it over the top (Luke 6:38). He dares you, reader. The God of heaven dares you to try to outgive Him.

There are two conditions for God’s rich blessings on giving – you must give generously, and you must give cheerfully (Pr 11:25; II Cor 9:6-7). If you are stingy, God will be stingy to you. If you are generous and liberal, He will be the same in dealings with you (Is 32:8). If you are not cheerful and excited about giving, it is all a waste – for God loves cheerful givers. Giving is an act of worship, and you should do it with joy (Deut 28:47).

If you are a child of God living in America, you have the greatest combination of blessings ever known by any persons in this world. And it is certainly not because Americans are better people. It is God’s pure mercy. How can you not be the most liberal giver of all time? You are in great debt to your Creator and Saviour for more than others.

R.G. LeTourneau (1888-1969), a Christian man with little education, was one of America’s greatest inventors with 300 patents in earthmoving and other heavy equipment. He and his plants produced 70% of the heavy earthmoving machines used by the Allies during World War II. His rule for success? He gave 90% of all income back to the Lord. His favorite verse? Matthew 6:33! His philosophy and experience about giving? “I shovel out the money, and God shovels it back to me – but God has a bigger shovel.”

If you meet a poor person in true need and give to him, the Lord of heaven will repay you (Pr 19:17; Deut 15:10-11; Ps 41:1-2).  But if you keep your money and assets to protect your financial situation, the Lord of heaven will curse you with many curses (Pr 28:27). The contrast here is rather severe, but are you wise enough to believe it and obey it?

Giving to the man of God, who teaches you the word of God, is not just a religious tradition or convenient suggestion; it is the ordinance of God (I Cor 9:1-14; Gal 6:6; I Tim 5:17). It ought to be a high pleasure to reward your servant and to please God. Since he is God’s ambassador, your treatment of him is a direct reflection of your love of God.

If you have family members in need, you have denied the Christian religion, if you do not support them financially (I Tim 5:4,8). If you are a grandparent or parent with children, you should be giving them an inheritance (Prov 13:22; II Cor 12:14). Are you holding back for yourself like the Pharisees in Jesus’ day (Mark 7:9-13)? You are going down!

Have you wished you could walk on water with Peter? Here is your opportunity. Peter had to step over the gunwale of his boat and down on the water by faith, and you get to scatter your money by faith. Go for it! Do not look at the waves. The promise of this proverb and the other verses included here are just as the Lord saying to Peter, “Come.”

Do you believe the Bible? Then do what the Bible says! Give away part of what you have. Do it. Show God and men your faith. Test the proverb. See if you increase. Let God be true, but every man a liar. The proverb is true. This rule of success is from heaven, and it has never failed. If this proverb is not really true, then the others are not true either.

The benefits of a golden parachute from heaven keep coming. Generous and cheerful giving provides a good foundation for your soul in the Day of Judgment (I Tim 6:17-19; Matt 10:42; 25:40; Luke 4:14; Heb 6:10). This is an incredible further benefit for giving that most Christians do not understand. What more do you need, reader, to learn to give?

Giving reflects God’s grace in your heart and draws you closer to Him. But no matter how far you progress in the grace of giving, Jesus Christ remains the unmatchable Giver. It was He who left the wealth of heaven to make the supreme sacrifice to deliver you from eternal poverty and grant you eternal riches (John 3:16; Rom 6:23; II Cor 8:9; 9:15).

Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 11:21 Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free.

It does not matter if evil men conspire together: the Judge of all will punish them. Numbers mean nothing to God, and He loves to break up associations and confederacies of wicked men (Pr 16:5). Vengeance is His: He will repay. And He will also direct His providence to save and bless good men and their children, though they may be very few.

The choice is simple. God will deliver and help godly men and their families. But He will crush the wicked, no matter how large and powerful they become. It is your daily choice to be righteous or wicked. The results are certain; there is no escape (Pr 12:3). Future punishment is certain, if Jehovah is against you. The choice is simple – choose godliness.

Go back 4,400 years. The world was full of violence and wickedness. Children of God were marrying women of the world. Their children were great successes. Mankind was united in rejecting God and His ways (Gen 6:1-7,11-12). But there was one faithful man, who was just, perfect, and righteous, and he walked with God (Gen 6:8-10; 7:1). It began to rain! Every man, woman, and child drowned! But Noah and his family were saved!

Go back 2000 years. Kings and Israel’s rulers conspired against Jesus of Nazareth (Ps 2:1-3). How did God react to this international confederacy? He laughed hard (Ps 2:4)! What else did He do? He got angry and vexed them with tribulation in 70AD worse than anything before or since (Ps 2:5; Matt 24:21). Were any delivered? Only the few who feared the Lord, kissed the Son, and trusted in Him (Ps 2:10-12; Matt 24:22; Acts 2:40)!

Consider today. Hollywood, the UN, communism, the NEA, Democrats, the PTA, Muslims, the NBA, Republicans, the ACLU, and Hell’s Angels all have something in common – they despise Bible Christians. And most of today’s carnal Christians and churches agree with them (II Tim 3:1 – 4:5). But do not let their numbers or agreement bother you. Hold fast, and you will rule with Jesus Christ over them (Rev 2:25-27).

The majority means nothing, except to be wrong. Truth has always been held by a small minority (Matt 7:14). God cannot stand the choices and trends of the majority (Ex 23:2; Num 14:1-10; I John 5:19-20). Good men reject the majority (Joshua 24:15; Job 31:34; Dan 3:1-18). One man with God on his side is invincible (Ezek 22:30; II Tim 4:16-18)!

Your daily choice to be godly or wicked affects children and grandchildren (Ex 20:5; Ps 37:25-26; 112:1-2; Jer 32:39). Do not fear this world and its united front against truth and godliness. “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (I Cor 16:13).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 11:18 The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

There is only one way to a successful life – pursue it faithfully and righteously, as unto the Lord. Sinners cheat themselves! They plan and labor toward a goal, but they either miss their target, or they are unhappy once they get it. On the other hand, the righteous diligently and patiently pursue their objectives, and they either obtain what they sought, or they find equal or greater peace and pleasure without it. What a contrast in lives!

Consider the proverb. The deceitful work of the wicked is the elusiveness of success. He aims for pleasure by sin. He pursues his lusts, but the results never satisfy his craving heart or body. Compare the two clauses to prove this interpretation. The wicked man compares to the righteous. The deceitful work compares to the sure reward. Therefore, the righteous man gets what he patiently pursues, but the wicked end up deceived.

Consider some examples. Satan promised Eve she could be like God by rejecting His command and eating the forbidden fruit (Gen 3:1-5). The first terrible results arrived immediately, but they shall never end (Gen 3:6-24; 5:5; Rev 20:11-15). On the other hand, Satan offered the world’s kingdoms to Jesus, but He endured the temptation, and now He rules heaven and earth (Matt 4:8-11; Heb 12:1-3). He obtained the sure reward.

Amnon fell sick with lust for his beautiful half sister, so he conspired and raped her, but the consequences were totally unsatisfying and cost him his life (II Sam 13:1-39). On the other hand, Isaac at 40 and Jacob at 77 trusted their fathers for direction about wives, and they both ended up with beautiful women who feared God – Rebekah and Rachel – and a great progeny. Amnon was deceived, but the two patriarchs found a sure reward.

Israel murmured and complained about manna until they forced God to give them quail. He gave it to them – three feet high in every direction as far as they could walk in a day, but He killed many for their lust and sent leanness into the souls of the rest (Ps 106:13-15). On the other hand, a little salad or a dry morsel is more than enough for two people walking with God and in love and at peace with each other (Pr 15:17; 17:1).

Foolish Gehazi lusted after the rich Syrian garments of Naaman, and he lied to obtain them, but he was sorely disappointed in the end to lose the garments, and he and his family ended up with terminal leprosy (II Kgs 5:20-27). On the other hand, Moses rejected the pleasures and riches of Egypt for the people of God, and he was rewarded with one of the highest offices and most illustrious careers in Israel (Heb 11:24-29), and he appeared in a glorified state with Elijah on the mount of transfiguration (Matt 17:1-3).

The man who works himself to death to get ahead seldom enjoys the riches he gathers, for he had no time to relax and enjoy them, and then he is gone. While hearing of his growing assets, he finds himself discontent and wanting more (Ec 5:10). But a righteous man does not even want the danger or vanity of riches, so he prays for modest income and assets rather than wealth, and he is thrilled with the convenient outcome (Pr 30:7-9).

A righteous man may not see his reward for a while, for sowing is a term taken from farming, where men wait many weeks and even months for the reward of a harvest. The exhortation is to never faint, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal 6:9). Believest thou this, dear reader?

The reward will most surely come for the righteous. Sow faithfully in righteousness, and you shall reap the reward soon enough (Gal 6:7). “So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth” (Ps 58:11). Godliness has promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come (I Tim 4:8).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 11:16   A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. 

Here is one of Solomon’s greatest proverbs. It has a simple rule for great women and a simple rule for great men in just a few words. If you rank proverbs by brevity, wisdom, value, and clarity, this is one of the best. Love these ten words and the wisdom they give.

Dear woman, do others love and praise you? If so, you are gracious. If they do not, you are odious (Pr 30:21-23). The rule is simple. To have a good name and be held in loving favour by others, you need to learn graciousness and diligently practice it (Pr 22:1,11).

Graciousness will cause people to love and respect you. They will mark you as charming, enjoy your company, desire your friendship, praise your spirit, and use you as an example of virtue. A lack of graciousness will take these things from you. The rule is simple.

Dear man, have your assets grown over the years? If so, you are strong. If not, you are weak. The rule is simple. If you need better financial growth, you need to correct your financial weaknesses, which are taught in this book of Proverbs (Pr 12:11; 13:4; 21:20).

Strength keeps men from the temptations to waste and lose money. A strong man is not vulnerable to financial foolishness. It is weakness that causes men to spend too much, chase vanity, neglect saving, and pursue foolish ideas that bring loss. The rule is simple.

If you quickly read this proverb without assessing your life, you are foolish, rebellious, and arrogant. This is God’s holy word! If you flunk the rule for your sex, you must make whatever changes are needed to obey the wisdom given here. This is God’s holy word!

Dear reader, a woman is that wonderful creature God made for Adam (Gen 2:18). Well behaved, she is his most desirable possession (Pr 12:4; 18:22; 19:14). Poorly behaved, she is more bitter than death (Eccl 7:26), the world cannot stand her (Pr 30:21-23), and her stench cannot be hid (Pr 27:15-16). Even beauty cannot cover an odious woman (Pr 11:22), so a woman of average looks without graciousness is a terrible pain to humanity!

A gracious woman is “a lovely person.” Her warm and gentle virtue wins others. She is never offensive or haughty, always discreet and modest, and delightfully charming in every way. She is never disagreeable or critical. She is always kind and makes others feel safe and accepted. There is never tenseness, coldness, or harshness with this woman.

She has no haughty thoughts about herself and would swear she is not gracious. She limits her speech to kind and gentle words, and then only when they add significant value. She is submissive and cheerful. She never thinks she is owed anything by anyone. She is a wonderful hostess and never does anything offensive. She is most excellent. Every wise woman will learn all there is about this trait and diligently seek to acquire it.

An odious woman is the opposite. Her abrasive and offensive manners annoy others. She is haughty, indiscreet, and irritating in various ways. She is contrary and wants to give her opinion. She makes others feel uncomfortable. There is no warmth and pleasantness with this woman. Most everyone avoids her. Wise women will hate this creature.

A woman’s honour is her respect and esteem by others. Her family’s or spouse’s opinion matters little. What do other good men and women think of her? Here is the rule. Do they treasure her company? Do they use her as an example of virtue? Do they praise her? Do they love her instantly and permanently? This is the goal of a holy woman.

Graciousness earns honour and keeps honour. The rule is simple. Gracious women are always esteemed. If you are not highly regarded by others, you lack graciousness. By the mirror of God’s word, you must identify and cover your odious blemishes (Jas 1:21-25).

Do not deceive yourself by thinking you are gracious, for only others can measure it by how you affect them. You can know it by the number, the quality, the affection, and the depth of your friends. Do not run and hide in your conceit and self-righteousness.

Dear Christian lady, God’s word and this book of proverbs can teach you more about graciousness. If you humbly seek the Lord, He will give you the wisdom and strength to acquire this glorious trait of David and Jesus (Pr 22:11; I Sam 18:1-4; Ps 45:2; Lu 4:22).

What about the man? God gave him dominion over the earth (Gen 1:26; 2:15; 3:17-19). From his position of authority, he works to acquire assets for his family (Pr 19:14; Eph 4:28; I Thes 4:11-12; I Tim 5:8). A strong man works hard every day to make a good income (Pr 10:4; 21:5), and he leaves an inheritance for his grandchildren (Pr 13:22).

Strength is the power to do things and the force to repel attacks. A strong man has the ability to make wise choices, do the right thing, and resist temptations. He is able to rule his financial spirit (Pr 16:32). He can see potential evil and avoid it by wise measures (Pr 22:3). He is not intimidated by difficult assignments like other men (Pr 20:4; 22:13).

Think financially. A strong man is not vulnerable to vain financial ideas. He is disciplined. He is patient. He is persistent. He works hard at a boring job and does not waste precious capital chasing dreams. He rejects all talk about easy income or high-return investments. He knows that increase comes by labor. He is not distracted.

Read and consider. He locks down spending when necessary. He takes two jobs, if that is necessary. He saves money away from even his own use. He hates risk; he cuts losses short before they hurt him; and he invests in secure things. He is scrupulously honest. He pays all his taxes. He knows how to prudently use his wife and family for financial gain.

A weak man cannot do these things, for he is vulnerable to financial foolishness. He listens to harebrained schemes. He thinks there are shortcuts to success. He cannot stop spending, for he is too weak. He does not save, for he always has something else to buy. Money burns in his pockets. He takes risks; he holds losing ventures too long; he invests in vain ideas. He chases dreams. He is impulsive and cannot stick with a long-term goal.

Strength will keep riches. Strong men will have assets in the end. Many men make a lot of money during their lives, but many do not have very much in the end. It is weakness of character that lets riches get away. There is more financial wisdom in Proverbs than in Harvard’s MBA program. Have you learned its wisdom? Have you applied its wisdom?

America is the land of opportunity. Never has it been possible to make more with less effort than in America during the last fifty years. Strong men will have something to show for it. If you are not getting ahead, there is wisdom in God’s word to show your weak areas, and you need to eliminate them. Strong men keep riches. The rule is simple.

But what of true riches, the spiritual blessings in Jesus Christ? Strong men will retain them, for only weak men let the things they have heard slip away (I Thess 5:21). It is your duty as a man in the house of God to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered (Jude 1:3). Make sure you show greater strength maintaining the pillar and ground of the truth than you do keeping your savings accounts and balance sheets (I Tim 3:15).

Christian man! Here is your calling: “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (I Cor 16:13). Apply yourself with diligence and strength to retain the grace of God and defend the apostolic faith until Jesus Christ returns without losing any of either.

The Lord Jesus Christ was the ultimate Man in graciousness and strength, and it is your high privilege and duty to learn of Him and follow His glorious and prosperous example.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Pride distorts decision-making ability. An arrogant, conceited, or haughty person will make costly mistakes, but a humble and modest man will clearly see right and wrong, truth and error, wisdom and folly. Your greatness depends on getting rid of all pride.

God inspired King Solomon to be your personal counselor. The wisest king that ever lived wrote down important advice for your success and prosperity. Pride will cause you to make foolish choices that will shame you; humility will lead you to make wise choices.

The worst thing you can have is pride. It will cost you more than any other character fault. Conceit will deceive you into folly, which will quickly and surely shame you. But humility leads to wisdom, which protects men from foolish mistakes and resulting shame.

Do you grasp the importance of this lesson? You will never hear or read a more important warning for your life. Pride will destroy you, but it will destroy you disgracefully and shamefully before all men. Humility will lift you up before both God and good men.

A fool is a horrible thing, as Solomon often taught. But there is a person worse than a fool – a proud fool! He wrote, “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him” (Pr 26:12). There is little hope for a fool – he is a loser; but there is no hope for a proud fool. His arrogance will refuse any instruction or correction.

Pride blinds men. They will not accept wisdom to avoid trouble and shame. They resent being taught or corrected by others. They are overconfident. They arrogantly rush on in their high opinion of their thoughts and ideas. Pride brings folly, which brings shame.

Hate pride and arrogance! Listen to your counselor. He wrote, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Pr 8:13). Fearing God, the key to God’s blessing, requires you to hate pride and arrogance!

Pride is a heinous evil. It began with the devil. It caused Satan’s downfall. Lucifer was not content as God’s anointed cherub; he wanted to be like the most High God (Ezek 28:14; Is 14:14). God threw him out of heaven to his everlasting shame (Jn 12:31; Rev 12:9,12). The smoke of his torment will be heaven’s incense (Matt 25:41; Rev 14:11).

Do you hate pride and arrogance? Pride is the devil’s sin. Pride ruined the glorious life of the universe’s highest creature. Pride caused his everlasting shame and torment. Pride is the worst thing you can have in your life. It will cost you more than any other sin.

Due to pride, Pharaoh, the greatest king of that time, destroyed himself, his family, his nation, and his army (Ex 5:2). Men have laughed at his destruction and shame for the last 3500 years (Ex 15:1-21; I Sam 4:8; 6:6; Neh 9:10; Ps 136:9,15; Rom 9:17). Even children rejoice and laugh at the frogs in Pharaoh’s bed and bread for his pride (Ex 8:3)!

Due to pride, the Philistines fought against Israel, in spite of remembering what God had done to Egypt 500 years earlier (I Sam 4:7-9). After capturing the Ark of God, they put it before their idol Dagon, which fell down and worshipped it (I Sam 5:1-5). God then gave the whole nation an epidemic of hemorrhoids, and the only way they could find relief was to return the Ark with five golden hemorrhoids as a peace offering (I Sam 6:1-5)!

Consider their shame! The whole nation scratched their secret parts (I Sam 5:9), and there was no Preparation H. Their only relief was to mold five golden hemorrhoids. God laughed at their shame! He inspired Psalm 78:66 for this event, which rejoices, “And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach.” Indeed! They were put to perpetual shame for pride. What a peace offering! Who modeled for them!

Due to pride, Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest and most glorious king of all time, spent seven years crawling around a field on his hands and knees. He ate grass like an ox; his hairs grew out like eagle feathers; and his nails grew out like bird claws (Dan 4:33). And he wrote the whole story down and sent it to his entire empire in their languages (Dan 4:1-3)! What trouble! What shame! And it was all because of pride (Dan 4:30-31)!

Due to pride, Herod Agrippa I, the King of Judea from 37-44 AD, who killed the apostle James and tried to kill the apostle Peter, was struck by the angel of God and eaten of worms, for proudly receiving excessive praise from the citizens of Tyre and Sidon (Acts 12:1-4,20-23). Josephus confirms his death in his history (Antiquities; Book 19; 8:2).

Do not forget the Tower of Babel, Miriam, Korah, Balaam, Uzziah, Haman, Absalom, and Belshazzar. These are other examples of shameful consequences for pride. But now, celebrating the shame of others, which is truly an act of holy worship to God, is over. It is your turn. Where is pride in your life? Look closely. Look carefully. Do you ever feel pride puffing you up? Does it cause you to bristle or burn with envy at success of others?

What is pride? It is a high or conceited opinion of your own qualities, accomplishments, or assets, which leads to feelings and an attitude of superiority over and contempt for others; it is inordinate self-esteem. What is conceit? It is an overweening opinion of yourself, overestimation of your own qualities, and personal vanity or pride.

Pride thinks you are important. Pride enjoys conversations and events about you. Pride believes your thoughts and opinions are right. Pride resents correction and instruction. Pride envies the advantages, abilities, or honors of others. Pride ignores asking others for advice. Pride looks down on others. Read this description again, dear reader.

God is jealous. His name is Jealous (Ex 34:14). He is able, and He will, abase those who walk in pride (Dan 4:37; Job 40:11-12). He sees and knows the very thoughts and intents of your heart (Heb 4:12). You must examine yourself closely, find the seeds of pride in your life, and root them out quickly and completely. He will help you, if you will ask.

In God’s sight, you are nothing, and less than nothing (Ps 39:5; 62:9; 113:6; Is 40:17). You are a worm before Him (Job 25:6). You are a mere creature whose breath is in your nostrils (Is 2:22). Therefore, He hates the proud, and He will crush them like a moth and melt them like wax (Pr 6:16-17; Ps 39:11; 68:2). Wisdom learns to love this truth.

Pride is a temptation for every man, and one of Satan’s favorite devices (I Jn 2:16). He tempted Eve to be like God, and he tempted Jesus Christ with the kingdoms of the world. Your depraved heart is filled with it by nature. You are already a proud fool, if you think you do not have a problem or temptation with it. Only those who know they are proud are learning humility. To think you have beaten pride is to prove your arrogant conceit!

Today pride is exalted and promoted by calling it self-esteem or self-confidence, and then it is taught as the cure for many of man’s problems. Books are sold about looking out for number one, and songs are sung about self-love as the greatest love of all. Social media is considered nearly necessary for life, though it is little more than narcissistic conceit.

You must start at home. You must root pride out of your own soul, and then you must root it out of your family. Parents must make it the highest priority to teach humility and eliminate visible pride from their children. Pastors must root it out of their churches.

Ministers cannot have pride or self-will (I Tim 3:6; Tit 1:7), for it will cause them to run amok in the work of God. They cannot be self-promoters. Teachers and rulers must first be humble enough to examine themselves critically and to learn from others, before they should be put in a position to teach and examine others (I Tim 4:16; II Tim 2:15).

Pride causes folly, which brings shame. It blinds men, because they presume they are always right (Pr 12:15; 14:16; 26:12; 28:26). So they reject and resent counsel and correction that could help them (Pr 21:24; 22:3). They disrespect those in authority. They make hasty decisions, for they cannot possibly be wrong (Pr 14:29; 19:2; 28:22; 29:20).

Pride causes strife, for proud men will fight to defend their ideas or position (Pr 13:10; 21:24; 28:25). They cannot stoop to serve others, unless it serves them best. And they will not admit mistakes to God or men. Such a course will lead a man to foolish decisions and stubborn rebellion and their horrible consequences – destruction and shame!

Lowliness is wisdom. The humble man does not trust his knowledge or motives, trembles before God’s word, appreciates and esteems the advice of others, takes correction cheerfully, quickly confesses mistakes, and alters his life accordingly. He will be blessed.

Humility is the sure road to wisdom, which saves a man from trouble and shame, but only the lowly ever find it. The proud are blinded from true wisdom by their conceit, and the jealous God of heaven will keep them blinded, so He can bless His humble and modest children with wisdom (Matt 11:25-27). Can you see the importance of getting down?

God will never bless a man with a proud spirit (Pr 16:5). He draws near to the man with a humble spirit (Is 57:15; 66:2; I Pet 5:5-6). If you choose pride, God will resist you and humble you painfully (Pr 16:18; 18:12). If you choose humility cheerfully, God will raise you up gloriously (Luke 14:11). It is far better to be a poor humble man than to be a rich proud man, for God will soon make a great reversal of fortune (Pr 16:19). Look for it!

Jesus Christ showed the greatest humility and wisdom, when He came from heaven’s glory to live in poverty and die in obscurity and pain (Phil 2:5-8). He despised the shame of His humility (Heb 12:2). But God has now highly exalted Him far above all principalities and powers, yea, even far above the devil and all his angels (Phil 2:9-11; Eph 1:20-23). There is no more humility in the Blessed and Only Potentate, for He is worthy of all your praise and adoration. Let Him be your glory and worship, not yourself.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.

What is a great life? A life well lived? A noble life with purpose and value? It is a man with this epitaph: “He loved God more than all others; he was a tree of life to all others.”

Why are you alive? What is your purpose? You have two goals – to love God and help others. Pleasure is not your goal, but fulfilling these callings brings the greatest pleasure.

Are you a tree of life? A righteous man affects the lives of others for good. Are you a soul winner? A wise man will work to save the lives of those around him. The second commandment in the Christian religion, after loving God, is to love others. The most loving thing you can do for another person is to help them to a godly and wise life.

Great persons are trees of life – winning souls from sin and folly to righteousness and truth. There is no higher calling, in your relationships with others, than to help them by providing correction and instruction to please their Creator and enjoy the abundant life of godliness and wisdom. The highest measure of love is perfecting others before God.

A tree of life bears all the fruit of godliness, truth, and wisdom. This helps men find the good and peaceful existence that pleases God and profits them. A soul winner has a life-changing effect on those around him. By example and counsel, he saves and improves the lives of those sick and dying in ignorance and folly. Jesus called it being fishers of men.

There are two clauses in this proverb. Are they merely repetitive, or is one slightly better than the other? Righteous men by their lives bear the fruit of godliness, which others are able to pick and have better lives because of them. But slightly better than that is the wise man who actively puts forth winsome efforts to attract and persuade others to godliness.

This proverb does not teach any man can save a soul from eternal hell to heaven. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can do that. The divine transaction that makes men accepted before God is only by His will, purpose, and grace and the singular obedience of Jesus Christ Himself (Jn 1:13; 5:21; Rom 5:12-19; 9:15-16,21-24; Eph 1:3-12; II Tim 1:9; Heb 1:3).

God chose His people to eternal life and will glorify every one of them in heaven soon (Ro 8:28-39; Tit 1:1-2). He assigned Jesus Christ to live a perfect life for them and to die a substitutionary death for them, and He will not lose a single one (Jn 6:37-39; 10:26-29; 17:2). But it is your gospel privilege to show this truth to God’s elect (II Tim 2:10; 1:10).

Solomon did not have any vain idea like modern soul winners that he could fill heaven by getting men to repeat the sinner’s prayer. He never spent one minute writing tracts to the Philistines to scare them to invite Jesus into their hearts. He wrote this inspired proverb to encourage God’s people to help each other advance in godliness, truth, and wisdom.

This proverb does teach you can save a soul from error and folly, which cost men their fellowship with God and lead them to trouble and destruction in this life. Wisdom leads to the good life (Pr 3:18; 4:13; 8:35), and righteous men help others find it. Folly causes men pain and death, and wise men will help others out of it (Pr 8:36; 11:19; 13:14-15).

James described soul winning, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (Jas 5:19-20). True soul winning is of brethren, from error to truth, which is conversion. Only God can regenerate a man from death to life. Men need conversion many times, after God regenerates once.

Parents can save their children from death and hell by using the rod and reproof wisely (Pr 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 29:15). Though Solomon used the words death and hell, he did not mean you can save your child from the eternal lake of fire by child discipline. But you can save him from hell on earth and an untimely death by use of reproof and the rod.

Solomon, as a loving father, spent many proverbs seeking to save his son from the death and hell of a whore or adulteress (Pr 2:18-19; 5:5; 7:27; 9:18; 22:14; 23:27-28). Many lives have suffered the horrible pain of fornication and adultery, and it is death and hell in several respects. Good fathers save the souls of sons (and daughters) from this danger.

This loving father also warned his son about odious women, to save him from a painful marriage (Pr 12:4; 14:1; 19:13-14; 21:9,19; 25:24; 27:15-16; 30:23). King Lemuel’s mother lovingly gave her son a lengthy description of the virtuous woman to save his life with a great wife (Pr 31:1-3,10-31). Many parents shirk these clear duties (Pr 1:8; 6:20).

Think of your family! Men, you should be proactively leading (Gen 18:19; Deut 6:6-9; Josh 24:15; I Cor 14:34-35). Mothers, you have your role (II Tim 1:5; 3:15; Tit 2:3-5). Siblings, be like Andrew, who told his brother Peter about Jesus (Jn 1:40-42). Be like Philip, who found and told Nathaniel (Jn 1:43-46). Start first with your own family!

Forget foreign missions until you have been a missionary at home. You do not need to plant a church in another country until you have planted seeds of truth and wisdom with those around you. There are people right now that you could seek to save today from pain or trouble caused by error, folly, or sin. Do not look for greener pastures. Start at home.

Have you helped those deluded by Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism? Have you helped others get free from Sabbatarianism, the superstition that Saturday for Israel still applies? Have you corrected the damning delusions of Mariolatry and other heresies of Roman Catholicism? Have you protected family and friends from Benny Hinn and Joseph Smith?

Have you helped others have a better marriage by example, instruction, or warning? How about better finances by the same three means? How many have you helped with child training, career progression, getting along with others, submitting to government and avoiding rabble rousers, altering speech habits, honoring parents, and knowing the Bible?

You are to warn others about sin, which is true love (Lev 19:17). Read it. This is serious business. If you have opportunity, speak up about backbiting, bitterness, complaining, cremation, drunkenness, envy, evil surmising, foolish talking, fornication, gluttony, grudges, horoscopes, jesting, malice, mode of baptism, pagan holidays, pride, purloining, scorn, sedition, self-love, slander, sodomy, talebearing, temperance, witchcraft, etc., etc.

Reader, are you a tree of life? Are others thankful for you helping them please God? Do you win souls? How many have you turned to the truth? Are you known for wisdom hanging from your branches? Are you a lighthouse from life’s storms for those in need? Do you help others acquire wisdom and its benefits? You must answer these questions.

When you are with others, what do you talk about? Do you gently bring all conversations back to profitable purposes for their good and God’s glory? You should be conscientious on the phone as well. What is the content of your emails like? What do you text to others – the weather or a sports score? What could you text? What could you tweet? Get busy!

Are you ready to win others? There are two basics. First, you must set a godly example by total submission to God and good works (I Pet 3:15; Matt 5:16; Tit 2:1-10). Second, you need to learn God’s truth and wisdom to be able to give certain words of truth to those asking due to your successful life (I Pet 3:15; Pr 22:17-21). Will you win others?

It takes only a little knowledge to believe something. It takes more knowledge to be able to teach something – to be a soul winner like this proverb. Are you ready? It takes a great deal of knowledge to defend the truth against fools and scorners. Paul had to rebuke Hebrew Christians for not being ready for even level two soul winning (Heb 5:12-14).

The more you know by study and preparation, the less likely you will lose control and graciousness in a discussion (Pr 15:2,28; 13:16; 16:23; 29:11; I Pet 3:15). A godly man is gracious from a pure heart (Pr 22:11; Eccl 10:12; Col 4:6). His words are health and kindness (Pr 15:4; 12:18). He is never hasty but hears out a person first (Pr 18:13; 29:20).

How much have you truly helped those who have known you? Are they pleasing God with their lives, and much of that is due to your efforts toward them? Are they enjoying the abundant and prosperous life of a person walking with God? Are they thankful for the enriching effect you have had on their lives by showing them the truth in word and deed?

How many have you helped among your acquaintances? Ten? A hundred? How many are further leveraging your life by being trees of life to yet others? Many adore multi-level marketing for overpriced candles or cosmetics, but here is the best use of the concept. How big is your downline of those who know God’s truth and wisdom because of you?

God has great delight in those who turn others to righteousness. Daniel praised the coming ministers of the New Testament, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Dan 12:3). Is this a chief goal for your life? How well are you meeting it?

Earn your epitaph, “He loved God more than all others; he was a tree of life to all others.”

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 11:29 – He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.

One of the greatest resources God gives us is the family. Families provide acceptance, encouragement, guidance, and counsel. Bringing trouble on your family, whether through anger or through an inflated desire for independence is foolish, because you cut yourself off from all they provide. In your family, strive for healing, communication, and understanding.

Here are two ways you can cause trouble and cost yourself dearly. You can abuse privileges, or neglect duties, in your family, and you will end up with nothing. Your future will disappear like wind through fingers. These and other foolish choices will also take you down: you will end up serving those who are prudent and wise in their choices.

Fathers can trouble their houses in many ways. Being greedy of gain is a clear one (Pr 15:27). They work too many hours, waste money in foolish ventures, deprive their family of personal attention, are stingy with money, compromise integrity, and are carnally minded, all in their vain pursuit of wealth. Lazy and foolish men also hurt their families by depriving them of needs and opportunities through sloth and ignorance.

Fathers can also be too overbearing, harsh, critical, and domineering, which may discourage wives and children, or provoke them to wrath (Eph 6:4; Col 3:21). On the other hand, a father who avoids decisions or being a leader troubles his house. The wife and children are at sea without a captain. They lack security and direction for their lives.

While fathers are mentioned here, everyone knows overbearing wives and mothers are also an evil (Pr 12:4; 19:13; 21:9,19; 25:24; 27:15-16; 30:21-23). They drive children to anger, bitterness, discouragement, frustration, and even hatred; though they whitewash their odious conduct by saying, “I was just trying to help.” They are full-time meddlers, always digging, nagging, and pressing suggestions about unimportant things of life.

What is the punishment for these selfish persons – foolish fathers and mothers? They lose their families. The children can hardly wait for marriage to get away. Some will run away before marriage. These children only come home under duress. They want so much to escape the vexation of living with selfish or critical parents. They want peace and quiet, with affection and happiness, where love reigns; they want to escape their cruel parents.

Troubling your family has consequences. Foolish parents, who selfishly neglect their children or odiously interfere in their lives, will lose them. They will die lonely, even if the children visit them out of obligation. Foolish choices will cost a man his standing; the prudent man will take dominion over him. These judgments are natural and appropriate.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 11:09 With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape.   

The mouth can be used either as a weapon or a tool, hurting relationships or building them up.  Sadly, it is often easier to destroy than to build, and most people have received more destructive comments than those that build up.  Every person you meet today is either a demolition site or a construction opportunity. Your words will make a difference.  Will they be weapons for destruction or tool for construction?