Archive for the ‘Proverbs 19’ Category

Proverbs 19:05

Posted: January 19, 2017 in 19:05, Proverbs 19, Uncategorized
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Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 19:05 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free.  

We discussed this in a previous lesson. False witnessing is called perjury and is a crime. Even today in our society perjury is a crime punishable by imprisonment or fine. Even if a liar gets away with it here on earth, God know if you have lied and He will punish the guilty.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 19:12 A King’s rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass. 

Respect and submission to rulers is a rule of wisdom. They can hurt you badly or help you greatly (Pr 16:14-15). A lion’s roar, audible at over five miles in the African night, causes terror in men’s hearts like an angry king can cause in his enemies. As the dew nourishes grass to grow and prosper, so a king’s favor can bring success. The lesson is a reminder to honor and obey civil rulers and all in authority for the obvious advantages.

If you rebel against a ruler, you are begging for pain and trouble, because he has power and strength (Pr 16:14). Rebellion is as wise as taking on a lion in the night without weapons (Pr 20:2)! Of course, some fools are so arrogant, ignorant, and rebellious that they resist or slander most authority they meet. But their end is as certain as the native caught by a man-eater in the dark! God and men will chew and devour them (Pr 17:11).

If you obey and serve a state or ruler, you secure the peace, protection, and provision that can assist and promote you and your endeavors (Pr 16:15). He can help and nurture you as much as moisture supplies grass with the sustenance necessary for life and growth. Friends in high places are one of the simplest rules of wisdom for your success. It is only pride and stupidity that causes men to squander this opportunity by offending authority.

Honoring and obeying civil government is practically wise. But it is also a law of God. He chose the word gods for civil rulers, and He demands men respect them and submit to them (Ex 22:28; I Sam 24:6; 26:9; Eccl 10:20; Acts 23:5; Rom 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-2; I Pet 2:13-17). Speaking against political rulers marks a reprobate, and the best cure for such perverts is to put them down like rabid dogs (II Pet 2:10-12; Jude 1:8-10).

What should you do when a ruler is angry at you? Humbly submit with soft answers and correct your errors. Solomon wrote, “The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it” (Pr 20:2). And, “If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences” (Eccl 10:4). And further, “By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone” (Pr 25:15).

Reader, are you wise in this matter of authority? Beginning with civil government, are you impeccably clear of tax fraud, disrespectful language, or violating any ordinances? Do you also honor and obey your employer, because God expects that as well (I Tim 6:1-2; Titus 2:9-10; I Pet 2:18-22)? Wife, do you reverence your husband (Eph 5:33; I Pet 3:6)? Church member, do you esteem your pastor (I Thess 5:12-13; Heb 13:7,17)? Child, do you honor your parents, even in your facial expressions (Pr 20:20; 30:17; Eph 6:1-3)?

The rule of wisdom in the proverb applies to all these spheres of authority. If you rebel against the authority, you will be eaten alive! If you humble yourself to respect and obey the authority, you will find favor and blessing from God and men. You do not protect yourself by rebelling against authority: you protect yourself by submitting to authority and securing both the ruler’s favor and God’s blessing. This is wisdom. Learn it!

Authority originated with God. All other spheres of authority are by His appointment and ordinance (Rom 13:1-7). The devil through pride would not submit to God, and he will spend eternity in hell for his rebellion. From the authority of a king down to the authority of a pastor and every office in between, God will defend the offices of authority and the persons in those offices. You are crawling naked through a lion-infested jungle when you oppose God’s appointed authorities. You will be eaten alive! And you will miss the blessing, pleasure, and prosperity of submitting to them by faith and trust in God.

There is also an indirect lesson here. If you are a ruler, you should remember the terror your disapproval causes and the joy your approval brings. Kings must practice mercy (Pr 20:28). Employers must be fair and equitable (Pr 29:21; Col 4:1). Pastors must be true and impartial (Ezek 13:22; I Tim 5:21). A husband should not beat down a wife through bitterness (Col 3:19). Fathers and mothers should avoid destroying a child by critical and overbearing parenting (Eph 6:4; Col 3:21). Consider these reminders well.

Reader, you have a king, even if your nation does not! Nebuchadnezzar, by God’s providence, was the most glorious and fearful king in world history. He changed the religion of his empire and enforced total compliance with the penalty of being burned alive (Dan 3:1-7). He could take dishonest cabinet members or rebellious citizens and chop them into pieces and turn their houses into piles of dung (Dan 2:5; 3:29). But he was nothing compared to the soon arrival of Jesus Christ, the King of kings! Reader, kiss the Son today or perish (Ps 2:1-12; II Thess 1:7-10; I Tim 6:13-16; Rev 19:11-21)!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 19:24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not even bring it back to his mouth!

Lazy people do not deserve comfort or kindness. Solomon used sarcastic hyperbole to ridicule them in this proverb. They fold their arms and are too lazy to even feed themselves. They want food to fall into their mouths. An exaggeration? Yes, but one that makes a powerful point. So necessary is the lesson, Solomon repeated it in Prov 26:15.

You hear similar words when some say, “That lazy bum sits around with his arms folded.” Consider, when your arms are folded, your hands are held against your bosom by the opposite arm. You also hear, “He stands around with his hands in his pockets.” Lazy people dislike the thought of exertion, so they put their hands into safekeeping. David even asked the Lord once to take His hand out and use it to deliver him (Ps 74:11).

A great work ethic did not originate with man. God worked six days in creating the world, and His example should be good enough for you. He wisely ordained that work is good and should be done with diligent zeal. Before Adam sinned, God had appointed him the work of dressing the garden (Gen 2:15). Work is not a curse; it is a blessing.

The cure for lazy people is starvation. Welfare promotes slothfulness and encourages people to be lazy. Paul commanded that those who did not work should not be allowed to eat (II Thess 3:10), and Solomon commanded against giving food to lazy people, even in the plentiful time of harvest (Pr 20:4). Christian charity does not include sluggards.

Wise parents remember this rule. Children and teenagers do not deserve to eat unless they have worked in school, a job, or chores. Why create lazy adults? Fixing meals and snacks when they do not work hard is not love; it is cruel hatred. Train them to work hard, to work fast, and to enjoy a job well done. They will be successful and have plenty to eat!

A favorite place for lazy people to hold their hands in their bosoms is in bed. The pleasure of self-cuddling for an unnecessary hour of sleep is just too much to resist. The wise Preacher saw this love of sleep and ridiculed it (Pr 6:9-10; 24:30-34; 26:14). Snooze buttons on alarm clocks are foolish. Get up, sluggard! Get up! The day is wasting!

Once a person starts down the path of laziness, work becomes harder and harder. A lazy attitude toward work will make you sleepy (Pr 19:15); obstacles will seem much more difficult (Pr 15:19). Diligence begins in the heart and mind, when you choose to enjoy work. The best way to tackle a job is to start now, with intensity. Do not think about it. Hard work is its own reward, but you only know this blessing by getting to work.

Ever heard, “I’m too tired to fix anything tonight”? Virtuous women do not say this. A woman would feel better and less tired, if she ran to the kitchen and creatively put supper together. The words themselves, and the thoughts generating them, are mentally and physically disabling. Do not make excuses. Work! You will feel better and sleep better.

Lazy people have blessings, but they are too lazy to take advantage of them. They may take game in hunting, but they are too tired to dress it when they get home (Pr 12:27). An opportunity is frightening to them, for it likely involves more than sleep. What a shame!

Of course, sluggards always have excuses for not getting much done. They tell of dangers on the job (Pr 22:13; 26:13) and of unfavorable circumstances (Pr 20:4). And their arrogant slothfulness will resist even seven wise men giving good answers (Pr 26:16).

Solomon could spot a sluggard by checking his field (Pr 24:30-34). Dear reader, how clean is your car? Your house? Your closets? Your desk? Is there clutter anywhere? Why? Is there a lion in the way? Is it too cold? Or is folding your hands too exciting?

Saints should hate slothfulness (Rom 12:11). Their reputations and assets should reflect a godly work ethic. Instead of holding hands in your bosom, they should be put to good productive labor (Acts 20:34-35; Eph 4:28; I Thess 4:11-12). Instead of the idleness that ruins women (Ezek 16:49), let them keep a house full of children (I Tim 5:13-14).

The Lord Jesus Christ was intent on the work He had been given (John 4:34; 9:4; 17:4), and you should be thankful for Him and His diligent faithfulness in saving your soul. You now have an opportunity to be spiritually diligent for Him (Heb 6:11-12; II Pet 1:10).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 19:9 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he who pours out lies will perish. 

One of the quickest ways to guarantee your ruin is to lie. God has committed Himself against liars, and so have good men, and so have most wicked men. Lying does not work.

God inspired Solomon to write Proverbs to supply you with wisdom for life. One of the great rules of wisdom for your prosperity and success is to always live honestly and always tell the truth. What could be simpler? What could be cheaper, in the long run? This is truly an advantage in the world – to value and practice integrity at all times.

Honesty and truth are important in this book of wisdom, and the ugly consequences for lying are repeated. God hates the two aspects of lying in this proverb (Pr 6:16-19). Consider Solomon’s emphasis on this subject (Pr 10:18; 12:19,22; 13:5; 14:5; 17:7; 21:6; 26:24-26,28). Lying about any matter for any ungodly reason will never work. Believe it!

Why would anyone ever lie? Some lie to get ahead, thinking they can deceive others into helping them progress faster in life. They may lie on their resumes, in interviews, when audited, or when asked about procedures or problems. But the proverb is true – what they thought would help them succeed will turn to be the very cause of their eventual ruin.

Some lie to avoid punishment. This is a common reason among children. When they are confronted about an obvious crime, they generally point to someone else and deny any wrongdoing. Adults are not far behind, thinking a lie will avoid the consequences of their action. But the proverb is true – no matter what the liar thinks, he will not be unpunished.

Some lie to seduce others into a sin that will satisfy their lusts. This is true of fornicators and false teachers, both of which use lies to soften and persuade their prey and victims for the kill. They mislead, misrepresent, and misdirect to gain advantage for sexual or religious gain. But the proverb is true – they shall surely perish for their lying.

Some lie to enhance their reputation among peers. They embellish and exaggerate their accomplishments in lustful ambition for acceptance and praise by others. The desire to be popular is so great in their hearts and minds that they will compromise the truth for it. But the proverb is true – there is no way they will gain honor by something so dishonorable!

Parent, you should establish truth in your home for your children’s sake by your perfect example, careful instruction, and consistent punishment for lying. One of the most useful things you can ever give your children is a love for honesty and truth and hatred for lying.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise. 

Are you wiser today than last year? Than ten years ago? These are important questions to answer. How wise will you be later in life? A godly man greatly desires to grow in wisdom. And the way to increase wisdom is easy – you need to hear the counsel of wise men and accept their teaching. You need to appreciate and apply instruction from others.

Today is your opportunity to change your latter end. Will you be an older wise man, sought by family and others for sage advice? Or will you be an old fool, more a burden than a blessing? What you do today determines what you are tomorrow. You are not too young, and you are not too old. Consider your latter end, and receive instruction today.

The children of God were adopted by grace. But they were not adopted to squander their lives in folly. They were adopted to grow up and live as the sons of God in a crooked and perverse world (Matt 5:43-48; Rom 8:29; Eph 5:1-2; Phil 2:14-16). You can waste the grace of God, or you can use it to be great for Him (I Cor 15:10; II Cor 6:1; II Pet 3:18).

How much do you love the private counsel of holy and sober saints? How much do you crave the public preaching of God’s word? Noble men and women receive it with a ready mind (Acts 17:11). A eunuch, a centurion, a businesswoman, and a preacher were all very thankful for teaching they received (Acts 8:26-40; 10:33-48; 16:14-15; 18:24-28).

Examine yourself! Are you truly wiser than last year or ten years ago? Have you grown in graciousness, so that you have more godly friends? Are you in better financial condition by learning and applying the rules of Bible economics? Do you know Jesus Christ and His doctrine better? Are you sought out by more saints to obtain your counsel?

Examine yourself! Does your spouse rejoice at the changes in recent years? Is your employer thankful for many work improvements? Do you handle adversity better than in times past? Can you answer the words of truth to those that ask? Do your parents and children esteem you more? Are you able to give God’s answers for modern dilemmas? Is your pastor thankful for the visible progress? Could you run for office and win?

Life is short. What can you do? “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Ps 90:12). When? “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me” (Pr 8:17). Why? “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Pr 4:7). How? “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom” (Pr 18:1).

What do you think of preaching? Paul knew that Christians would stop enduring it (II Tim 4:3-4). Churches today prefer rock and roll music with lyrics about an effeminate hippie guru – they call it contemporary Christian music. If you want a wise latter end, then you will reject fables and demand intense preaching of God’s word (II Tim 4:1-2). God sends preachers to teach knowledge and understanding (Jer 3:15). Listen to them!

What do you do with preaching? Peter told his readers to desire the sincere milk of the word to grow by it (I Pet 2:1-3). He exhorted them to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (II Pet 3:18). And Paul rebuked the Hebrew Christians for not developing into teachers (Heb 5:12-14). Make sure you pray, prepare, pay attention, and apply what you hear (Luke 8:4-18; Jas 1:21-25). Hear and receive teaching that you might be wise.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 19:28 A corrupt witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil

The LORD is a God of truth (Deut 32:4). He demands honesty and truthfulness in all your dealings. You must tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth at all times, but especially when you speak about others. This is a basic but important rule of wisdom.

Those who deceive or lie as witnesses show that they hate God, despise justice, and have a greedy appetite for sin. They will have their reward, for both God and men despise such wicked fools (Pr 19:29; 22:10; 24:9; Is 29:20-21). Most or all sins can be forgiven more easily than lying or bearing false witness. Never misrepresent another person at all!

When you are asked about another person, you make a choice that reveals your character. You either tell the careful truth about the situation, or you compromise the truth in order to protect yourself or a friend, secure an advantage, or exact revenge. If you answer falsely to those in authority or in need of information, you reveal yourself as a scorner of judgment – thinking it a thing of little worth, without respect or regard for it. God forbid.

The devil is a liar and the father of lying (Gen 3:4; John 8:44). When you corrupt or misrepresent matters about another person, you are an ungodly witness obeying the devil (Eph 2:1-3; Acts 5:3). You must think justice and righteousness are jokes, for you profanely treat them as nothing by your actions. But the LORD of truth declared in the Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (Ex 20:16; Deut 5:20).

Perjury is no small matter to the God of heaven and earth. He hates false witnesses (Pr 6:19). He condemned them often in the Bible (Pr 10:18; 25:18; Ex 23:1,7; Lev 19:11,16). False witnesses will pay dearly, both here and hereafter (Pr 19:5,9; 21:28; Rev 21:8,27).

God’s fury against bad speech includes backbiting, slandering, talebearing, and whispering – crimes inoffensively called gossip, but now nearly forgotten. How are these sins related to lying? They use the tongue to destroy others (Lev 19:16; Ps 15:1-3).

What happened to false witnesses under God’s civil laws? The punishment at stake was executed on the perjurer. If it was a capital trial for murder, a false witness would be executed (Deut 19:16-21). If an eyeball was at stake, a perjurer had his eye gouged out. Perfect! Wise men quickly perceive that witnesses in God’s legal system would learn to tell the whole truth. In fact, honesty in court and legal dealings would rise dramatically.

Those who lie about others have no regard for equity, fairness, justice, or righteousness, so God labels them scorners – a despicable type of perverse fool that is beyond help. He describes their mouths, which easily and quickly pour out wicked insinuations and false reports, as devouring iniquity. They are flagrant and greedy sinners without consciences, who will lie without remorse or worry whenever convenient, for gain or revenge.

Reader, do you despise false witnesses? Do you always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? Here is the proof: what do you do when you hear someone misrepresent another person? Do you get visibly angry, warn them of their wickedness, and cut them off (Pr 25:23; Ps 101:5; I Thess 5:14)? If you do not, you are an accomplice in their sin, for listening to their lies or slander is a sin itself (Pr 17:4).

Praise God for the Faithful and True Witness at the right hand of God (Rev 3:14; 19:11). He will soon declare the true facts about your life, remembering every good and bad thing you have done (Pr 15:3; Eccl 12:14; Matt 25:31-46; II Cor 5:10). But unless your name is in the Book of Life, you will be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death (Rev 20:11-15). Is your name there? Beg Him for mercy (Luke 18:14; John 5:24).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 19:01 – Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse. 

A blameless life is far more valuable than wealth, but most people don’t act as if they believe this.  Afraid of not getting everything they want, they will pay any price to increase their wealth-cheating on their taxes, stealing from stores or employers, withholding tithes, refusing to give.  But when we know and love God, we realize that a lower standard of living-or even poverty- is a small price to pay for personal integrity

Personal integrity is better than riches. The man who walks uprightly, though he is poor, is more of a success in the eyes of God and good men than a perverse fool, though he is rich. The wisdom of God and Solomon promotes holy living far over financial success.

There is an ellipsis here – words left out by design to shorten the sentence and make it more powerful. You know there is an ellipsis by the incomplete antithesis, for there is no contrasting term for poor, and the good Lord gave you the full version in Pr 28:6. It is not just a poor honest man compared to a perverse fool, but rather to a rich perverse fool.

Here is one of Solomon’s many priorities – teaching wisdom by comparison. Young men should strive for righteous lives more than advancement in their profession or financial success. Honest dealings are more important than economic progress. You should choose holy living over any professional ambitions. Consider the comments on Pr 13:7.

There are some related comparisons found in the book of Proverbs. Little money with the fear of the Lord is better than riches with trouble (Pr 15:16); a little money with righteousness is better than great revenues without right (Pr 16:8); a poor honest man is better than a rich liar (Pr 19:22). These comparisons should set the priorities in your life.

Young man, ignore television advertisements, a fast track boss, or a wealthy neighbor. Making money and getting ahead are less important than walking uprightly in all you do. The man who does not fear the Lord and says profane things with his mouth is a loser, regardless of how much money he makes or the size of his house. He is going down.

You will face choices, maybe today, where you must choose between integrity before God and “getting ahead.” Will you falsify a quote or estimate to make a big sale? Will you be silent when your competitor is falsely accused? Will you pass a promotion that would require you to work for a dishonest boss? Will you tell the whole truth in the application for a job you really want? Will you falsify financial statements to a bank?

You have been warned. If you put professional or financial success ahead of holy living, you lose, both now and later! The Lord sees your heart and every action, and He will treat you strictly now and at His judgment seat. But He can also give joy now that no money can buy (Ps 4:7), and He will give eternal life to those who live righteously (Matt 7:21).

Your goals should be gracious and honest speech, impeccable business dealings, being a loving spouse, training your children well, and doing good to all men. You must avoid hypocrisy, evil thoughts, and even the appearance of evil. And you should do all this with God first in your motives and goals. Such a man is better than compromising rich men.

A wise man will consider that God measures His moral performance, rather than worry about this foolish world that measures men by financial gain. The priority in ambition and goals of this proverb is from God Jehovah and written agreeably by Solomon. Believe it! Choosing these priorities when young can make you great before God.

Nabal was a very great man with much riches and a beautiful wife, but he was a fool and a son of Belial (I Sam 25:2-3,17,25). David was the most wanted man in Israel and running for his life, living in the woods and fields with the sheep. Which man would you want to be? Which man was better? What happened to these men? Give God the glory!

God turned Nabal into stone for ten days of cold fear, killed him, and gave his wife to David. God protected David, put him on the throne, and made him very great in the end. One sold his soul to the devil, and the other walked with God. One likely went straight to hell at death, and the other died the death of the righteous. The difference in time and eternity between these two men is immeasurable. Consider it! What are your priorities?

Young man, the way of the wicked seduces many (Pr 12:26). The lifestyles of the rich and famous are hard to ignore. It is the prosperity of fools (Pr 1:32); you should reject it, for it does not tell their horrible future (Ps 73:16-20). What did Solomon say, “He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch” (Pr 11:28).

If you give up the things of this evil world for Jesus Christ, He promises to reward you with a hundredfold now and with eternal life in the world to come (Mark 10:29-31). Though this sounds hard to believe, it is true. How can you lose with such an incredible and certain offer from the King of kings? Earn it today by choosing godliness over riches.  Do your actions show that you sacrifice your integrity to increase your wealth?  What changes do you need to make in order to get your priorities straight?