Archive for the ‘Proverbs 22’ Category


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 22:23 For the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them

The poor and weak have a powerful Friend. If you mess with them, He will mess with you. It is a rule of godliness and wisdom to treat the oppressed and vulnerable with great care. The Bible often mentions orphans and widows as those deserving special treatment, but the rule applies to any afflicted, helpless, poor, or needy person (Pr 23:10-11; 31:8-9).

With pronouns in this proverb, you must find the antecedents in the context. Solomon had just written, “Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate” (Pr 22:22). The Lord will plead “their” cause, meaning the cause of the poor and afflicted. The Lord will spoil those that spoiled “them,” meaning the poor and afflicted. If you bother or harm a poor or afflicted person, the Lord will defend them by hurting you.

The rule is simple – do not take financial advantage of a poor person, since his poverty makes him more vulnerable; do not press claims or rights against afflicted or troubled persons. Using the example of orphans and widows, consider God’s repeated warnings (Ex 22:22-24; Deut 24:17; 27:19; Mal 3:5; Jas 1:27). Using the example of the poor, consider His repeated warnings (Pr 14:31; 17:5; Ex 22:25; 23:6; Deut 15:7-11; 24:12-15).

How severe is God’s revenge against those harming the weak and needy? “Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless” (Ex 22:22-24). This is serious business! Helping the helpless is wise! Hurting the helpless is suicide! Do not worry about oppression you cannot stop, for their Friend is watching (Eccl 5:8).

Reader, are you tempted to think, But I have never robbed the poor, and I have never oppressed the afflicted. Really? Let’s see. If you are a husband, have you ever hurt your wife, the weaker vessel, out of bitterness (Col 3:19; I Pet 3:7)? If you are a parent, have you ever hurt a child by a critical, harsh, or overbearing approach (Eph 6:4; Col 3:21)? If you are an employer, have you ever failed to follow through on a commitment (Jas 5:1-5)? Have you ever presumed on the services of other church members (Jer 22:13-14)?

Rachel oppressed Leah, so God gave Leah three times more children, and Rachel died in childbirth (Gen 29:31; 30:14-16; 35:16-20). Peninah oppressed Hannah, Elkanah’s other wife, so God gave her Samuel, five other children, and her husband’s heart (I Sam 1:1-6; 2:21). Judas Iscariot oppressed the Lord Jesus Christ, so God dashed his bowels across a field and cut him and his family out of any mercy in this world or the next (Ps 109:1-20).

Rather than have the LORD God of heaven planning against your life and spoiling your soul, get Him on your side by being a benefactor to the poor and needy (Pr 19:17; 28:27; 31:8-9). This is a simple rule of wisdom for your prosperity and success. Think how wonderful the world could be if God’s wisdom were practiced by more than just a few.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 22:19 So that your trust may be in the LORD, I teach you today, even you. 

Are you thankful for words? The smallest part of language that conveys meaning? The certain words of truth, bringing wisdom and knowledge, are necessary to know and believe God. They communicate the excellent things He has prepared for His elect (I Cor 2:1-16). God had taught Solomon the importance of words, so this wise king reminded his readers to consider the great gift he gave them – certain words of truth (Pr 22:17-21).

Specific words are also necessary to properly answer questions (Pr 22:17-21). Christians are to give a reasonable answer for their hope in God to those who ask, and a reason requires an intelligent and logical use of words (I Pet 3:15; I Sam 12:7; Is 41:21; Acts 24:25). Luke wrote two treatises of many words to a noble Greek man named Theophilus to prove the gospel facts about Jesus Christ and his apostles (Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-4).

God chose to communicate to His elect children by words. He could have created music videos, an elaborate picture book with heartwarming scenes, warm and fuzzy feelings by dramatizations, chanting in Arabic, mumbling in Hindi, Charismatic tongues, or a special food to convey truth. But He chose the teaching of His inspired words (Deut 4:1-19; 6:4-9; 8:3; 11:18-21; 12:28-32; 17:18-20; 18:18-19; 27:1-3,8,26; 28:14; 29:19-20,29).

Trust in the Lord is not by feelings – it is by faith, which comes before feelings, and faith is usually contrary to feelings. Your heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer 17:9-10), and you must believe this indictment to be saved from that internal liar (Pr 28:26; 26:12). Instead, put all your confidence in God’s written revelation and reject anything that contradicts it, whether it comes from within you or outside you.

The Bible has the words of God, preserved nearly 4000 years (Ps 12:6-7; Is 30:8; Matt 5:18; I Cor 2:13; 14:19; I Tim 4:6; 6:3; II Tim 1:13). Each word is necessary for man to live the life of faith (Deut 8:3; Luke 4:4). Jesus and Paul argued from single words (Matt 22:32,43; John 8:58; 10:35; Gal 3:16; 4:9; Heb 8:13). God will judge the publishers and readers of modern versions that alter, delete, and add words (Pr 30:5-6; Rev 22:18-19).

The best foundation for truth and faith you can ever have is the Bible, which is more sure than God’s own voice from heaven in the presence of Jesus Christ, Moses, Elijah, and your two best friends. This is what Peter wrote about his experience on the mount of transfiguration (II Pet 1:16-21). With the words of God to direct your thoughts and steps through life, you are fully set to be a world conqueror (Ps 119:105; Rom 10:17; I Jn 5:4).

Bible preaching is plainly described in the Bible, and it is nothing like the feel-good, rah-rah pep talks of seeker sensitive pastors (Neh 8:8). There are three steps: read the words, explain the words, and apply the words. You do not need intermittent chords from the organ, flannel graph figures on a board, an interpretive dance, a WWJD bracelet, or a chalk drawing. Preach the word, Paul charged (II Tim 4:1-2). How? By preaching words!

God’s elect love such preaching. The Holy Spirit praised the Bereans for being nobler than the Thessalonians. Why? Because they received such preaching with a ready mind (Acts 17:11). Jesus told His apostles they were blessed for hearing His words (Matt 13:16-17). So they in turn taught the words of truth to others (Acts 5:20; 10:22; 13:42; 26:25). Are you thankful for sound Bible preaching of words? Not many are (II Tim 4:3-4)! It is a good day and a great blessing when the words of truth are made known to you


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

Sin is contagious, but not virtue. You transfer sickness to others, but not health. Evil friends will corrupt you; but you will not convert evil friends. This is a law of wisdom and nature. Man defaults to sin, but never to virtue. Friendship and association with evil persons teach you wicked habits and trap your soul. You are the company you keep.

This proverb is connected to the one before it, which condemns friendship with angry men and association with furious men (Pr 22:24). Anger and fury are marks of folly, which reveal the wicked character of men who cannot rule their spirits (Pr 14:17; 16:32; Eccl 7:9; Jas 1:19-20). Godly men will steer a wide course away from such men.

Angry and furious men seldom have friends. They are resented, even by natural men. But friendship overlooks or excuses the error you once despised. Love is blind! The sin will then infect your conduct. You first make excuses, then become numb, and before long overreact with him, then like him! Your depraved soul can now fuel this new sinful habit.

One of Solomon’s key lessons for growing in wisdom is to avoid ungodly and wicked men (Pr 1:10-19; 4:14-17; 9:6; 13:20; 19:27). See the comments on Proverbs 13:20. His father David had taught this rule before (Ps 1:1; 26:4-5; 101:3-8; 119:63). Even rulers, with great character and authority, must avoid bad influence by evil counselors (Pr 25:5).

This lesson has been observed by prudent men throughout their lives. Unprincipled friends destroy the integrity of the righteous. Saints learn a carnal approach to life, and they trap their souls with the pressure to compromise from friends. Israel did not destroy all the pagan nations of Canaan, and it cost them dearly this very way (Ps 106:34-40).

Consider Solomon and his marriages. He made affinity with Pharaoh and married his daughter (I Kgs 3:1). And though this man was blessed with great wisdom and wrote this book and the next two books of the Bible, the evil women in his life corrupted his wisdom and ruined his soul (I Kgs 11:1-11; Eccl 7:26-29).

Marriage must be only in the Lord (I Cor 7:39; 11:11). Believers must marry believers, and these believers must both be sold-out, on-fire, totally-committed disciples of Jesus Christ as measured by Scripture. God once destroyed the earth with the Flood for the sons of God marrying the daughters of the world (Gen 6:1-3).

Paul warned, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Cor 15:33). Why the warning of deception? Your deceitful heart will say that you can still hold fast to your convictions with a less than perfect friend. But you cannot, and you will not. You are trying to protect foolish infatuation. Forsake the foolish, and live (Pr 9:6).

Most nations are now obsessed with ecumenical fellowship between many denominations and doctrinal beliefs, all of which are an abomination to God. It does not matter what 15,000 pagans singing “Amazing Grace” sounds like. God condemns such associations. If a man or angel does not worship according to Paul’s gospel, reject him (Gal 1:6-9). The Lord will do so very soon, so you might as well get the first lick in (I Cor 16:22).

Parents have a grave responsibility to protect their children from evil companions. They must screen their friends and eliminate any that would not pull and push their character and conduct higher. Equal friends are of no value. If many parents practiced this rule, fools would have no friends, which is safe and appropriate justice for them.

Do you want a friend who will only teach you the way of righteousness and holiness? Let the Lord Jesus Christ in for fellowship (Rev 3:20). He will provide sweet relief, constant comfort, and wise encouragement for your soul. And He will never leave or forsake you!


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 22:01 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Your reputation is an asset far more important than anything you can buy. The respect of others and their affection for you is an asset you should pursue with great zeal. Your character is a precious treasure that you should enhance each day by wise choices.

What do people think, when they hear your name? Do they think graciousness, godliness, diligence, and faithfulness? Is your name sweet to their ears and thoughts? How do they speak of you to others? Are you often praised in your absence? Do others crave your company? Do they want to honor you with affection, gifts, and service?

Or is your name a bitter thought? Do they think harshness, selfishness, stubbornness, pride, moodiness, or indiscretion? Do they try to avoid you? Do they avoid you? When others talk about you, do they have to make excuses for your conduct? Do they pass over you for invitations or assignments, because you are more irritating than pleasing?

You cannot ignore these questions and be wise. Your reputation and relationships are a great measure of your life. Stop and examine your reputation with others. What others think of you is a far more accurate picture of your life than what you think about yourself, for you have an obvious bias to distort facts in your favor, and you have a deceitful heart that is deeply infatuated with yourself (Pr 16:2; 20:6; 21:2; Jer 17:9; Gal 6:3).

Some people are used as well known examples of specific virtues or all virtues. Others are used as examples of poor character and problems. How is your name used? Are you spoken about affectionately and respectfully, or critically and negatively? Many have no outstanding virtues at all, so they pass through life without any honor or favor, which shows a lack of diligence and priority in pursuing godliness and virtue.

What is a good name? It is not your parents’ choice of a distinguished combination of syllables that sounds sophisticated, classy, or pleasant. It is not merely being named after a respected ancestor. Your bare name has no value at all. Solomon used “good name” as a metonym for a good reputation. He exhorted his son to emphasize having a good reputation with God and good men as one of the chief goals of life (Pr 3:4).

What is loving favour here? It is not giving love and favour to others, but rather receiving love and favour from others. It is obtaining affection and respect from other virtuous persons. It is obtaining their acceptance and approval of your life. Of course, reaching such a position requires you to carefully rule your conduct to please others. It requires consistent righteous behavior to hold the esteem and trust of others (Eccl 10:1).

The proverb has an ellipsis, which is missing words that shorten the sentence and give it boldness. The second clause may be read, “And loving favour is to be chosen rather than silver and gold.” These words taken from the first clause are important to fill out the whole sense of the proverb. A comparison and choice is being taught in both clauses.

In each case it is your choice. You can choose a good reputation and the loving approval of others. It is your choice. Both should be a priority. Both are more important than other measures of success. Circumstances or discrimination are excuses for foolish or lazy men who have not properly pursued these important goals. A wise man will pursue both.

What is the lesson? You should put great emphasis on your reputation and relationships. While many men chase financial and professional success with all their might, Solomon exhorted his son to value his reputation and relationships higher than these other goals. He wanted his son to grow in favor with God and men, and he ranked the importance of this achievement as more valuable than great riches (Pr 3:4; I Sam 2:26; Luke 2:52).

How do you measure by Solomon’s lesson? How important is your reputation to you? Is it more important than any amount of money or success? Do you work harder to improve your name than to get ahead financially? How much do you value the esteem and respect of good men? Do you regularly examine your conduct to be without offence? Do you go out of your way to make sure each thing you do is done very well for all concerned?

God measures you by what others think. You cannot please God and offend good men at the same time. It is impossible. If you are pleasing God and keeping His commandments, you will please others (I Sam 18:14-16; I John 5:2). And your family and close friends do not count, for it is your reputation before good men that is the key. You can easily tell a person’s character by the number and kind of friends he has. These facts do not lie.

Of course, others’ opinions are not your only measure, or the most important (John 5:44). But they are a measure. You foolishly deceive yourself to approve your life and conduct, if good men and women have a low regard of you. Joseph and Daniel were highly regarded even as captives in foreign lands by their excellent spirits and blameless lives.

Demetrius had a great name and reputation of the apostles and all men (III John 1:12); Timothy was highly regarded both before and after he met Paul (Acts 16:1-2; Phil 2:19-22). This high measure of a good reputation in the world is a necessary qualification for the bishops of Jesus Christ’s churches (I Tim 3:7). How do you measure up?

A good reputation before the world is possible, but some ungodly men will not appreciate your righteousness (I Thess 4:12; I Pet 2:12; Dan 6:3-5; Luke 6:26). Solomon primarily intended good and wise men, who know the heart and will of God and measure other men by godliness. Compromise or friendship with the world is a trait of sinners (Jas 4:4).

Your opinion of yourself is quite worthless. It is usually contrary to fact. People with good reputations generally think poorly of themselves, which keeps them humble and sensitive to others; but those with bad reputations think themselves quite desirable, leading to offensive arrogance. The difference between humble modesty and self-righteousness is a large part of a good name, which is built on low self-esteem.

Your great goal is to grow in “loving favour” with God and men, as did Samuel and the Lord Jesus Christ (3:4; I Sam 2:26; Luke 2:52). This happens when you keep the two great commandments – love of God and love of neighbor. The “loving favour” of the proverb is how God and others treat you, which you can choose by living a consistent life of godliness and love toward them. An excellent spirit will cause others to love you.

So great are these goals – your reputation and esteem by others – they should exceed any other goal. Men work long days of hard labor for many years to get rich, but building a good name and reputation are more important. If you had a choice between a good reputation and precious ointment, which was of great value in Israel’s very dry climate and provided much personal pleasure, you should choose the good name (Eccl 7:1).

Consider your funeral (Pr 10:7). The memory of just men is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot. How will you be remembered? How long will you be remembered? Will your memory bring pleasant thoughts to hearts? Or will most cringe and be relieved? The number of persons, and their character, and their reaction at a funeral say a great deal.

You have two names. Your first name is your personal name, a unique identifier among the billions on earth. How you live and treat others creates the reputation of your first name. God gave you that name at birth with a blank reputation. What have you done with it since? You have either enhanced it or damaged it. With a single word, your name, reactions and thoughts are triggered in others. What are those thoughts?

Your second name is your surname or family name. How your family lives and treats others creates its reputation. Do you promote your family name? Or are you letting it decay? Do others desire to be with your family? Or have they been offended enough to back away? Do others want to marry into your family to obtain an interest in a good name? A good surname takes consistent godliness from many different persons.

David had a great name in the Bible. His name was much set by in Israel (I Sam 16:18; 18:30). Though Saul was king with a princely son, Jonathan and the nation loved David, for he was better than any other (I Sam 18:1-16). Everyone wanted to be with David, be like David, or be married to David. He earned this by being gracious, humble, and wise at all times. God chose this man, though a sinner, as an example of a great name in Israel.

Blessings at Solomon’s coronation included having a name greater than his father David’s name, which was easily the greatest in Israel (I Kings 1:47). Even God compared all later kings to David, and he was described as a man after God’s own heart. What a goal! How do you measure up, reader? Good fathers will want their sons to exceed them in reputation and loving favour, for they will know the many mistakes they have made.

Nabal was the opposite. He was churlish – overbearing, harsh, and difficult (I Sam 25:2). His name meant fool, and even his wife said he was a fool (I Sam 25:25). He was a man of Belial – wicked and profane. The Lord let him think about dying for ten days before killing him, so David could marry his beautiful wife right after his funeral (I Sam 25:39).

Consider Joseph. Though a slave, he earned the loving favour of God and Potiphar by his exemplary conduct (Gen 39:1-6). Though charged with attempted rape, he earned the loving favour of God and the jailor (Gen 39:19-23). Though a long-term prisoner, he earned the loving favour of God and Pharaoh (Gen 41:38-45; Acts 7:10). Anyone who says their circumstances or past have poorly affected their name is just making excuses.

Consider Daniel. Though a captive eunuch from a strange, small country, he earned the loving favour of God and Ashpenaz, the prince of the eunuchs in Babylon (Dan 1:9). Though living a public life for many decades, his enemies could not find a single error or fault by which to accuse him to the king (Dan 6:1-5). What a role model for young men!

What can you do to build your name and reputation and win the loving favour of others?

Everything you do every day contributes toward your reputation and the favour of others. No matter how small or large, the accumulated effect of your words and actions combine to give God and men an appraisal of your character and faithfulness. Therefore, it is your solemn duty and privilege to keep your heart, lips, and feet with all prudent diligence.

Graciousness is the greatest trait for a good name and the loving favour of others, for it can win the friendship of kings and cause women to be always honored (Pr 22:11; 11:16). It is the perfect combination of gentleness, kindness, humility, and cheerfulness that makes men and women charming and delightful. How gracious are you?

Men love those who help build their lives (Pr 27:9,17; Ps 141:3). Are you a tree of life to others (Pr 11:30; 15:4)? Do they benefit by being around you (Pr 9:8; 25:12; 28:23)? Do they seek you for help? Would you help fellow prisoners like Joseph did? Or your captors like Daniel did? Or a lustful king like Esther did? Or many widows like Dorcas did?

Is your speech a healing balm, a sarcastic whip, or a foolish noise? Men love pleasant and good words that are kind, gentle, friendly, and helpful (Pr 12:18; 16:24; 18:21; 25:11). Is your speech always gracious with only a slight saltiness of rebuke to it (Col 4:6)?

Charity never fails! If you learn and apply the fifteen phrases describing true love (I Cor 13:4-7), your name will blossom as a beautiful flower. If your name is not great and your friends are few, it is evidence you have not learned true love. Charity never fails!

Just a little folly can spoil a reputation quickly (Eccl 10:1), so you must avoid even the appearance of evil (I Thess 5:22). And you must quickly make amends for offences (Matt 5:23-24). Ruling your spirit constantly is necessary to stay virtuous (Pr 16:32). Paul took extra measures to make sure he could never be accused of dishonesty (II Cor 8:21).

Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest men and well received most anywhere, knows the wisdom of this proverb. He teaches others, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.”

John D. Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in human history, said, “The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit – a reputation, character.” He also said, “Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.” This latter idea agrees well with Paul (Ro 12:17; II Cor 8:21).

If you are young, you have an advantage.  Your reputation is still being formed, and you should apply yourself with all diligence to make it the very best before God and men. If you are young, you have not made as many mistakes as older persons, meaning you have less to live down. Choose today to make this proverb a high goal and live according to it.

Have you blown your reputation already? Do you think it is too late? It is never too late, if you will repent before God, confess your sins to him, confess your faults to others, and make amends or restitution for any wrongs you have done. David recovered his reputation after terrible sins, and so did Zacchaeus and Peter (Luke 19:1-9; Gal 2:9).

Your name and reputation are daily choices, and you should choose to build them and preserve them more than any other project or goal. You can change your name and reputation, so consider it a blessed privilege, duty, and a high priority for your life. Rather than emphasizing exercise, diet, and sleep to build your body, which has little value to God or men, exercise yourself unto godliness and loving others (I Tim 4:7).

Husband, do you love your wife enough to help build her name and loving favour with others? Parent, do you understand the importance of this proverb as a goal for your children? Diligent efforts should be made every day to make sure your family name and that of each family member is clear of offence. What a wonderful family objective!

If you have taken the name of Jesus Christ as a Christian, it is important that your name and reputation give honor to your religion and its Leader (II Tim 2:19). Be like those of Pentecost, who grew in favor with all the people (Acts 2:47; Phil 2:14-16). Let your life adorn the doctrine of God with glory and beauty (Titus 2:5,8,10). Be like those nameless brethren endorsed by Paul as “the glory of Christ” (II Cor 8:23).

Jesus of Nazareth grew in favour with God and men during his youth (Luke 2:52). He was most gracious in conduct and speech (Ps 45:2; Luke 4:22). Because He loved righteousness and hated wickedness, God’s loving favour blessed Him with the oil of gladness above His fellows (Heb 1:9). His name is above every name by many measures. Choose to have a perfect name, even as His name is perfect in heaven and in earth.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 22:8 He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed

Sin will not work. Hypocrisy will not work. If you sin with a goal in mind, you will lose it. Sin will bring vanity – profitless and worthless loss. If you use anger or violence to pursue your sinful way, it will not work. You will fail miserably. Do not lie to yourself, for only godliness and righteousness will succeed and bring a good reward (Pr 11:18).

You reap what you sow. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal 6:7). Why the warning about deception? Because men believe they can get away with sin. But God will not be mocked. You cannot make light of His word by sinning against it. He will grind you to powder for rebellion. Repent!

Anger or violence will not bring success to sinful ways. You may temporarily force others into submission, but your wicked ways will not succeed. There is One much higher than you, and He will crush your feeble attempts to promote yourself and defend your sinful life (Eccl 5:8). Consider foolish Sennacherib (Is 10:5-19)! Consider Pharoah!

Not all anger is wrong. The anger condemned here is the rage or violence of a man living in sin. Phinehas was angry in a righteous cause, and it brought him a great blessing (Num 25:1-15). Jesus was angry, but His rod did not fail at all (Mark 3:5). Sinful anger fails!

You cannot cheat God’s laws and succeed. He will not allow it. If He allowed it, then His justice and righteousness mean nothing. If you compromise in any area of your life, you will pay for it. No matter what your intentions, they will not be achieved. You lose!

David tried to enjoy Bathsheba without consequences, but she conceived. He got her husband drunk to cover the sin, but he was too faithful. He cruelly killed him and married his wife, but it cost their child’s life and brought much judgment. David lost terribly!

A hypocritical father using anger to dominate his children will lose horribly in the end – guaranteed. A wife defrauding her husband sexually to protect pride will lose miserably. A husband sneaking pornography cannot press his wife into a loving relationship. An unfair employer will not survive in the end no matter how he plays his managerial cards.

Covetous men who do not give will not keep their estate by diligence or frugality (Pr 11:24; 21:13; Hag 1:1-11). A rebel child will not advance far no matter how energetic he might be to prove himself (Pr 20:20; 30:17). The joy of the religious hypocrite, who pretends on Sundays, is very short (Job 20:4-29). Be sure your sin will find you out!

But there is forgiveness from God for those who confess their sins, repent from their errors, and turn back to righteousness (Pr 28:13; I John 1:9). If you then sow godliness, you will reap God’s great reward of blessing and favor (Pr 11:18; Ps 19:11; Jas 1:25).


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 22:24-25  Do not make friends with a tot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

Angry men are fools full of fury. There is nothing godly, noble, or manly about them, no matter how you try to justify their anger or makes excuses for it. Angry men are fools. If you want to be a wise man, you will avoid them at all costs, or you run the risk of learning their hateful and wicked habits to the destruction of your soul (Pr 22:25; 13:20).

Angry men are fools. If you want a peaceful life, you will avoid them, for they will bring never-ending conflict into your life (Pr 15:18; 19:19; 29:22). Angry men cannot learn new ways of living, so you will be required to get them out of trouble over and over. The best choice is to realize they are helpless slaves of depraved emotions and avoid them.

You do not have a right to any friends you wish. God has authority to limit your friends. Wise men appreciate His wisdom about friends, so they choose them accordingly. Do not deceive yourself; evil communications corrupt good manners (I Cor 15:33). Angry men will tempt you to learn angry habits yourself, and they will cause you a lot of trouble.

Anger is in the bosoms of fools (Eccl 7:9). Wise men defer anger (Pr 19:11). Wise men rule their spirits and are slow to anger (Pr 14:29). Why? Because they know that truly great men know how to rule their spirits and avoid anger (Pr 16:32). Why? Because they know that anger never helps them work the righteousness of God (Jas 1:19). Why? Because they know that angry haste in any such matter will bring them shame (Pr 25:8).

Angry men often glory in their quick temper as a sign of manliness or toughness, but only fools get angry quickly, because they are slaves to their base passions (Pr 14:17,29). They cannot rule their spirits, so God and Solomon compare them to defenseless cities without walls – any slight event will trigger their total collapse and ruin (Pr 25:28).

The lesson is clear enough. What will you do with it? Cut off acquaintances or friends who get angry quickly or often. They do not deserve friends. Let them live and die alone. Angry men should be left to rot in their own fury. Solomon’s reason is plain enough in the following verse, “Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul” (Pr 22:25).

The lesson is clear enough. Avoid angry men. Do not befriend them, associate with them, or be connected in any way you can avoid. Do not go into partnership with an angry man, for you will smart for it. Do not marry an angry man, for he will cause you great pain. Do not buy or sell to an angry man, if you can avoid it. Why cause yourself a perpetual headache? Do not even go to dinner with such a person (Pr 17:1; 21:9).

Jesus taught that anger without a cause is murder in the sight of God (Matt 5:21-22). Of course, the effeminate religionists and silly women of the present generation have removed these three words from their newfangled Bibles, leaving the verse to condemn any and all anger (II Tim 3:1-7). However, God and His prophets and apostles got angry at sin and sinners. Paul wrote that it was possible to be angry and not sin (Eph 4:26-27).

Fools sin every time they get angry, for they will not resolve their anger before the sun sets (Eph 4:26-27). By holding wrath and being angry often, they give place to the devil to enter them and wreck havoc in their hearts and minds. Their refusal to forgive others is one of Satan’s devices that allow him to take advantage of them (II Cor 2:7-11). Safety from the devil requires full forgiveness from your heart immediately (Matt 18:21-35).

Rather than choose angry men for friends or go places with furious men, choose godly men for your friends, and go with them to the house of God. True children of God do not get angry or furious. They are filled with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Gal 5:22-23). Do these nine traits describe you? Do they describe your friends? Do they describe your church? They should.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 22:26 Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts

Do you live risk-free as possible? God expects you to manage risk carefully. He did not give you what you have to lose it by slothfulness, foolish optimism, naïve dealings, or poor risk management. Part of wisdom is to perceive risks and avoid unnecessary losses.

God expects you to be prudent – to look ahead cautiously, see potential trouble, and protect yourself (Pr 22:3; 27:12). If you presume God will protect you in spite of foolishness or sloth, you sin by tempting Him (Matt 4:5-7). He expects you to use means to reduce risk, while you trust Him to bless the use of the means (Pr 21:31; Ps 127:1-2).

Risk management is an important part of financial prudence and success. In an uncertain world, where you do not know what will happen tomorrow, where many do not repay their loans, where political winds change frequently, where criminals devise new ways to defraud honest people, where the Internet exposes you to every financial fraud and hoax, you must pessimistically assess your risks and protect yourself from unnecessary losses.

King Solomon warned his son against foolish financial risks. It was a common temptation, especially for a wealthy prince, to guarantee others’ debts. The desire to help those in need, whether from charity or pride, could be hazardous to his wealth. The wise king saw the danger of his son over-committing his capital and often warned against it for the economic prosperity of his son and you (Pr 6:1-5; 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 27:13).

Striking hands – shaking hands in our world – used to seal a deal (Pr 6:1; 17:18; Job 17:3; Ps 144:8,11). This simple gesture of commitment could have severe consequences. Done hastily without due regard, a man could create enough contingent liabilities and be obligated to pay off enough debts of others to wipe himself out financially (Pr 22:27). Small risks are one thing, but risking your home and furniture is unacceptable!

Neighborly or brotherly kindness to help a poor man in need or a successful man with a sound investment are two possible uses of co-signing, if the amount of the liability could be easily paid. But the over-confident assuming of debt to impress others is vainglorious folly and a recipe for disaster. Give the poor what he needs instead of assuming a liability that may be forgotten. Tell the businessman to find his investment funding elsewhere; if the deal is as good as he claims, there will be plenty of funds available for it.

Are you prudent with the income and assets God has given you? A symptom of this foolish generation is the many personal and corporate bankruptcies. Nations are also near insolvency. Wise men minimize debt, shun needless risk, avoid co-signing loans, maintain savings, invest cautiously, purchase insurance, and work diligently in a secure trade and industry. They do not get in a situation to lose everything by bankruptcy and transfer their folly to others. They take responsibility to protect themselves and others.

Consider the ways Americans strike hands and take on foolish financial risk. They will reach for the plastic with the slightest temptation or urge. They flash credit cards for frivolous and discretionary spending, and then the bill arrives with a 21% interest rate attached. Many never get out of this black hole. They stay afloat temporarily by making only the bank’s minimum payment and/or using other cards to fund their living. But disaster is just ahead. The cost of high living will drown them. Solomon warned you!

Governments today encourage citizens to over-spend and take on financial risk, so do not listen. Modern governments with central banks have little fiscal restraint, because they want to buy the votes of their constituency, solve every problem, satisfy every lobbyist, and secure the friendship of other nations’ leaders doing the same things. While they can manipulate an economy to save their jobs, you cannot do the same, so protect yours.

They write checks, approve budget deficits, and make promises with little knowledge or regard for the total cost, for they believe they can create or raise money by fiat or printing press to pay their bills. (Or they hope they can survive until retirement when the next administration will be stuck with the bill.) Governments will generally keep spending until the whole house of cards (their financial system) collapses one way or another.

When the boom-and-bust economic cycles show up in a recession or depression, they blame consumers for not spending enough. Though a nation may have a negative savings rate for its overall populace, the government will call for even greater spending by its citizens in an attempt to resurrect the former days of prosperity – but the fear of losing jobs and other results of a recession force even spendthrifts to slow their consumption.

Modern advertising, marketing, and purchasing convenience also encourage persons to spend beyond their means. A constant barrage of seductive displays and implied needs overwhelm the financial caution of many or most. With new credit cards arriving regularly in the mail, it is easy to join the spending generation on the way to the poor house. The government should require warning notices on credit cards, not cigarettes!

Prudent men do not put their eggs in one basket, no matter how attractive a deal appears. They diversify their investments and sources of income. They do not enter business deals under-capitalized, for they know that is a sure invitation for trouble. And they do not over-extend themselves by building too big, buying too much, or living too high.

They emphasize the negative side of any expected return. If they calculate a 50% probability of gaining 25%, a 30% probability of breaking even, and a 20% probability of losing everything, they flush the idea without remorse. They do not spend their waking hours adding up their new wealth from possible success. They understand that even a modest probability of a large or total loss is too much for a prudent man to consider.

They are properly fearful and skeptical of any naked position where an investment is exposed to significant loss. They do not scoff at the idea of hedging or protecting their investment with an appropriate offset. If an investment idea is truly valid, then it will make a good return even hedged. But the crowd mentality and greed of most investors cause them to bull ahead in wishful thinking for raking in huge profits and returns.

Insurance does not indicate a lack of trust in God. It indicates a fear of God! A man who properly fears God will use whatever means he has to protect what God has given him, for he will give an account of it in the Day of Judgment. God and Solomon classified the man who wastes his assets right beside and related to the lazy and slothful man who has none (Pr 18:9). Insurance is a cheap source of protection to easily fulfill this proverb.

Wise men know that riches are not forever, so they are diligent to assess every aspect of their incomes and the security of their assets (Pr 27:23-27). They understand that naivety or optimism is not a result of faith, but of folly! They know that working hard every day without looking to the future is ignorant and dangerous. They periodically assess their resumes, their company, their industry, their nation, and any other significant factors.

A wise man always asks, “What if?” His question is not, what if this venture is wildly successful, how will I spend my millions? His question is rather, if this venture goes bust, can I still support my family and fulfill my obligations? Solomon warned against any financial choice that creates unnecessary or dangerous risk. You have been warned!

There is a much greater risk you face – being cast into the lake of fire by an angry God in the Day of Judgment (Rev 20:11-15). What precautions have you taken against that risk? Instead of merely losing your job and house, eternal torment with the devil and his angels is beyond comprehension. Wisdom in this crucial matter demands you run to Jesus Christ and beg for mercy (Luke 6:46-49; 16:1-6; Rom 10:9-13; I Tim 6:17-19; II Pet 1:5-11).