Archive for the ‘Proverbs 24’ Category


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.

Sweets can be rejuvenating and delightful. Solomon used honey for his comparison. It is good for reviving a hungry man (I Sam 14:27). Honey also tastes sweet for pleasure in eating it (Ps 19:10). Honey illustrates two blessings of wisdom – it revives the soul and provides much pleasure. Wisdom also rewards with certain success (Pr 24:14).

The proverb before you is the first half of a metaphorical comparison with wisdom. Here is the second half: “So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off” (Pr 24:14). Gaining wisdom is energizing and delightful, and then it leads to rewarding prosperity.

Honey was a common food in Israel during Solomon’s reign (Lev 20:24; Is 7:15; Matt 3:4). Eaten in right amounts, it was invigorating and very pleasant. Too much of it could make you sick, but that is not considered here (Pr 25:16,27). Its properties to rejuvenate and delight the soul are what he used to illustrate and exalt the value of wisdom.

Have you experienced the sweet exhilaration and pleasure of honey? Or much rather, do you know the reviving delight of wisdom? Once you have tasted honey, other sweeteners or substitutes are easily detected. Once you learn God’s wisdom, even the world’s best ideas are bland or bitter to your heart and mind, for they are far inferior by comparison.

David used a similar comparison. The creation, especially the sun, reveals God’s glory, so that men are without excuse for ignoring Him (Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:18-21). But far better than what nature shows is the wisdom of the Bible (Ps 19:7-9), which is more valuable than gold and sweeter than honey (Ps 19:10). Like the wisdom lesson here, the scriptures also save men from trouble by their warnings, and they bring great reward (Ps 19:11).

If you know honey rejuvenates and delights, would you want cabbage when famished and desiring a lift? Once you taste the good word of God, why would you consider anything the world has to offer? This latter contrast is far worse, for the world and its wisdom are opposed to God, and He is fully committed to destroying both (I Cor 1:19-21; 3:18-20).

Do you pursue and approach the preaching of God’s word with the desire and joy a famished man would show toward honey? Or do you despise prophesying as the Bible warns (I Thess 5:20)? Do you resent sound doctrinal preaching like modern so-called Christians (II Tim 4:3-4)? Confess your foolishness and humble yourself before the great God, thank Him for His inspired word and its wisdom, and find yourself a Bible preacher.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause, or use your lips to deceive. 

You can hurt others by words. Or you can protect them by guarding your speech. It is easy to harm another person by gossip or slander. By hurting his reputation or testimony, you may inflict great pain or disadvantage on him. Part of godliness and wisdom is to rule your mouth, so you do not injure another person through malice or indiscretion.

Legal situations occur where you might be called as a witness for an accident, crime, or a person’s character. Your duty before God and men is to not testify against anyone without cause – there must be a righteous reason to disclose anything about another person, especially something negative. And you should never lie about him, which is bearing false witness, the ninth commandment of God’s ten to Moses (Ex 20:1-17).

Who is your neighbor? Your neighbor intends many more than just the few who live near you. It includes anyone you meet during your life, even those you might dislike and consider enemies by culture or race (Luke 10:29-37). It includes fellow employees, church members, relatives, fellow students, citizens, your doctor’s staff, and all like them.

A call to court as a witness is rare, but supervisors or managers asking you about fellow employees is not. Are you ready for such an event? You should tell only the truth needed, if confronted. But you should never use the opportunity to damage another employee to advance yourself, either with true events or lies. Solomon condemned it (Pr 30:10).

Never tell negative things about another person, unless necessary for some authority to rightly exercise their office. Even if events are true, it is wrong to spread secrets to others, for you damage their reputation, which can be like murder (Pr 18:8,21; 26:22). What some call gossip – the Bible condemns as sins of backbiting, talebearing, and whispering.

If you know private information about a person, keep it to yourself. Private things you know about others are secrets. Talebearers go around revealing secrets, but faithful men conceal them (Pr 11:13; 20:19). Are you a talebearer or faithful? Talebearers are very destructive (Pr 18:8; 26:20,22). God hates them and their sin (Pr 6:16-19; Lev 19:16).

This sin of talebearing, or tattling (I Tim 5:13), which some call gossip, is backbiting in the Bible. It is backbiting, for you bite a person in the back when you tell secrets about them in their absence (Pr 25:23; Rom 1:30; II Cor 12:20). Faithful men protect those not present by avoiding critical or negative speech about them (Ps 15:3; Pr 25:23).

Talking about others is also called whispering in the Bible, for it is the private sharing of secrets with others through hushed conversation or insinuation (Rom 1:29; II Cor 12:20). Whispering is destructive, as it turns men’s minds against even their friends (Pr 16:28; 17:9). Faithful men are protective and kind – they hate whispering and choose praise instead. They love their neighbors, which is the second greatest commandment of all.

Thus far, the lesson forbids speaking against your neighbor without a good reason. Even true events should be kept secret unless you must reveal them for a righteous cause (Matt 5:22). Telling the truth that hurts a reputation is talebearing, backbiting, and whispering. Though such sins are ignored due to the moral decline everywhere, you can despise them.

But the proverb here also condemns deceiving speech. This is slander – telling lies to get another person in trouble or to damage their character. This is bearing false witness, for you deceive and lie to injure him. Fools slander others (Pr 10:18; 25:18). God will punish false witnesses (Pr 19:5,9; 21:28). Good men will not slander (Pr 14:5; I Tim 3:11).

As the next proverb indicates (Pr 24:29), revenge should never be part of conversation about others. You must not reveal secrets about them or slander them by lies, even if they have mistreated you in the past. God will repay them, if they have wronged you, and He commands you to leave the matter to Him (Lev 19:18; Rom 12:17-21). He will repay.

Though not included here directly, flattery is also sinful speech that harms others, for it feigns and pretends either affection or praise for deceitful purposes. Whores use it to seduce young men (Pr 2:16; 5:3; 6:24; 7:5). It also is destructive (Pr 20:19; 26:28; 29:5). It is another form of lying and bearing false witness, for the praise is not sincere at all.

Consider the proverb’s wisdom! Your tongue – your words – can cut and hurt others, or they can be health and joy (Pr 12:18; 10:20-21; 16:24). God hears or reads your every word, knowing all the intents of your heart, so beware (Ps 139:4; Pr 18:21). It has been well said, if you cannot say something nice about another person, then say nothing at all!

Since men sin so many ways with their mouths, what will you do to stop talkers from injuring others? You should get angry against backbiters and cut them off from their violent game (Pr 25:23). Since men often lie to either injure or seduce, do not be affected by everything you hear, whether against you (Eccl 7:21-22) or for you (Pr 26:24-25).

Words come from the heart, so think only kindly about others, and then only kind words will pass your lips (Luke 6:45). Keep your heart diligently toward this goal (Pr 4:23). Always tell the truth (Pr 12:19,22). Only be critical when necessary for those in authority or for the profit of the hearer or the named (Pr 21:28; 29:24; 9:8; II Tim 4:14-15).

There is one witness always faithful and true and named accordingly (Rev 1:5; 3:14; 19:11). In a day very soon, Jesus Christ will be the only advocate or mediator before God the Judge of all (I Tim 2:5; Rev 20:11-15). He will tell the truth – fully and honestly. He will condemn the wicked (Matt 7:21-23). He will justify the righteous (Heb 2:10-13). Do you know Him? Or much more importantly, does He know you (Gal 4:9; II Tim 2:19)?


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:05 – A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength;

Strength here is the ability to know and do good and the ability to detect and oppose wrong, in all areas of life. Wisdom gives a man this strength. A wise man is strong. A man of knowledge gains in strength. Fools are weak. They do not know what they should do, so they do not do it, nor can they understand or resist what they should not do.

Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) said, “Knowledge is power.” But he was only plagiarizing Solomon, who wrote these words 2500 years earlier. Give God the glory! The power and strength of wisdom and knowledge is before you, reader. Embrace the book of Proverbs!

Wisdom is the power to judge rightly in any situation. It is the ability to see trouble and danger, avoid their temptations and snares, and choose a superior course of action. Wisdom is founded on the fear of the Lord (Pr 1:7; 9:10), but it also includes the prudent management of matters in the natural realm. Wisdom is indeed strength (Pr 8:14; 10:29).

Folly is the confusion of not knowing right or wrong and defaulting to the lusts and instincts of the human heart. It cannot see trouble and danger, resist the snares and temptations of life, and choose the right thing to do. Folly rejects the fear of the Lord and trusts its own heart (Ps 14:1; 53:1). It shows itself by making numerous mistakes in simple matters of life (Pr 13:16; 14:8,18; 15:21; 16:22; 26:11). Folly is indeed weakness.

How much difference is there between wisdom and folly? King Solomon, after observing and analyzing all that is done in this world, concluded that wisdom is better than folly as much as light is better than darkness (Eccl 2:12-14). A poor, wise child is better than an old, foolish king, who will not accept correction (Eccl 4:13). Every young reader ought to rejoice at this wonderful opportunity to gain in strength by wisdom even over kings.

Consider a wise man and a fool each trying to cut down a tree with a dull axe. The fool swings and swings the heavy axe until he is exhausted and barely chips the meat of the trunk. The wise man sits down in the shade, sharpens the blade with a pocket file, and cuts the tree down with just a few well placed blows. This is Solomon’s illustration of the strength of wisdom (Eccl 10:10)! Give God the glory!

Of course, the fool shows everyone at the supper table his impressive forearms and biceps from swinging his dull club against one tree all day. The wise man quietly listens and eats, with twenty trees down, stripped, sized, split, and stacked! Ah, wisdom! Real strength is not the size of your arms but the amount of your wisdom! Without wisdom, no matter what the endeavor might be, you must put forth much more effort (Eccl 10:10).

Solomon valued wisdom much higher than physical strength (Pr 21:19; Eccl 7:19). He described how a poor wise man in a small city was able to defeat a great king besieging the city with great bulwarks (Eccl 9:13-18). Solomon wrote, “Wisdom is better than strength – wisdom is better than weapons of war.” Powerful! A wise king will always be able to defeat a foolish king, even with a smaller army and fewer weapons.

Such wisdom is displayed in the witty inventions of the world (Pr 8:12). It has been said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” But only a wise man will consider an invention to save labor and difficulty. The fool continues on with excessive effort, blinded by habit, tradition, and his little mind. Continents and nations still display this stubborn ignorance.

Many enjoy a proliferation of machines and devices in your generation that multiply physical force and strength by factors of thousands. The great bulk of these inventions are the direct result of wisdom through the knowledge of God in the English-speaking countries of the last two centuries. The fear of the Lord is wisdom! Wisdom is strength!

But more importantly, wisdom is also strength of character. The man who fears the Lord and knows his God is able to withstand the temptations of sin and choose righteousness instead. Such a man has the directive power of God’s word to keep him strong in the very face of Satan’s and the world’s three attractions to sin against God (Ps 119:9; I Jn 2:16).

Joseph was a wise man. This handsome young man was in a foreign city on an extended business trip. He was both successful and anonymous in this distant city. A beautiful woman desired to make love with him. He strictly turned her down, calling such an adulterous affair “great wickedness, and sin against God.” The woman daily tried to seduce him. He ignored her. One day during business, when they were alone together, she grabbed him and begged for him to make love to her. He ran away without the delay of a single word or second (Gen 39:7-20). He was strong! He ended up on Egypt’s throne.

Samson was a foolish man. This physically strong young man traveled to foreign cities to admire their beautiful women. He was frequently in trouble with whores there. Finally, one seduced him, who had told him three times she would destroy him, but he told her all his heart anyway. She sold him to his enemies. They put out his eyes, bound him with fetters, and made him grind in prison. His life was over. Samson was weak, weak, weak!

Which man was stronger? Mighty Samson or slave Joseph? Solomon told of many strong men destroyed by strange women (Pr 7:26), and Samson was one of their victims. But Joseph was wise by knowing God, which gave him strength. It is a foolish simpleton who even goes near loose or wild women (Pr 7:7). Strength of character, a result of God’s wisdom, is an exceeding precious thing. Those who do know their God will do exploits (Dan 11:32), while the foolish rejecter of holy religion is destroyed by a mere woman!

A wise man knows to carefully consider matters before making decisions. He knows that wise counsel from others, and a multitude of them, can save him from serious trouble (Pr 24:6). Such wisdom provides strength. It helps a man do well and avoid trouble. Wisdom is strength, and some of it comes through counselors. Fools cannot see the danger, nor do they ask if others can see it. They rush ahead blindly (Pr 14:15; 22:3; 27:12). The great decisions of life, such as war, should only be made based on much counsel (Pr 24:6).

Strong men retain riches (Pr 11:16). Their estates are great and secure, filled with precious things. Consider the preceding context (Pr 24:3-4). There are many traps and snares in life to take a man’s money, but strong men are not touched. How? They are wise! They have the discernment and prudence to avoid the dangers and errors of money.

They avoid the pits of folly Solomon warns against with his proverbs. They avoid slothfulness, too much sleep, gluttony, drunkenness, excessive pleasure, waste, vain ideas of making money, foolish investments, talk about financial independence, political change, cosigning loans for friends, strange women, disrespect of authority, heavy spending, fraudulent business practices, neglect of business, and all the other lying vanities that take a man’s money from him. They are wise. They are strong.

Wisdom also knows answers to life’s questions, which stagger the fool. These answers are found in the Holy Scriptures (Is 8:20). So wisdom provides strength for any debate or discussion (Pr 15:28; 22:17-21; 24:26; 26:4-5; Ps 119:42). A man with the wisdom of God is not ashamed in any company: he knows the needed truth (Ps 119:46; Dan 3:16).

The strongest men are those who fear the Lord Christ, know the Scriptures well, walk in the Spirit, and pray for wisdom. These are the ultimate sources of wisdom, the basis for great strength (II Tim 3:15-17; Eph 3:16; 6:10; Jas 1:5). It is the salvation of your soul, your family, and your church to be established with strength in the truth (Heb 13:9), lest you instead be a child tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14).

All men want to be strong, but only a very few will seek strength at these sources. What will you choose this day, dear reader? Strength or weakness? Strength with all might is offered (Col 1:9-11). Humble yourself, and choose the fear and wisdom of God today!


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:33-A little sleep, a little slumber, and little folding of the hands to rest

How much do you sleep? More than you need? Surely a little extra sleep cannot hurt! But Solomon warned that a little sleep, a little dozing, and a little cuddling in bed can cost you. Too much sleep wastes precious time and causes drowsiness, which will surely steal success away and leave you in poverty, shame, and trouble (Pr 19:15; 23:21).

Upon seeing the overgrown field and vineyard of a foolish and slothful man, Solomon considered the man’s assets and drew a conclusion – the man enjoyed sleeping too much, and laziness would certainly reduce him to poverty (Pr 6:6-11; 24:30-34). He learned a lesson by his great understanding, and he wrote this proverb to teach you that lesson.

Sleep is needed for survival, success, and your spirit. But too much steals time, dulls your drive, and creates drowsiness. If you need 7 hours, set your alarm for 7. Do not turn it off and take 8. The extra hour will waste time, start a bad habit, and may make you sleepier.

Solomon wrote Proverbs for youth (Pr 1:4,8; 4:1). They often oversleep, especially in a lazy generation. When families operated farms, they had to get up early. But now every excuse is used for rising later and later. Solomon said, “Get up!” Great youth will get up.

What does everyone do when they stay in bed longer? They fold their hands and cuddle in the warm blankets (Pr 6:10). They turn back and forth, like a door on its hinges (Pr 26:14). Their metabolism continues to drop, and they wonder why they are still so tired!

The danger is a little sleep. Those who oversleep a lot are obvious sluggards. Solomon worried about a little sleep. It is a little more sleep every morning that builds bad habits and steals time. He declared: “Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread” (Pr 20:13). Do not hit the snooze button! Get up!

Ants make hills and homes, one grain of sand at a time. An extra thirty minutes in bed amounts to eight days lost each year. If you kept that up for a lifetime, you would waste a year and a half vegetating in bed. If you had worked those wasted minutes during working years and invested the earnings at 5%, in U.S. terms it comes to over $1 million!

No wonder Solomon wrote next that poverty would come as surely as a traveler gets to his destination and as surely as an armed man can rob an unarmed man. Poverty is your certain future, if you approach duties sluggishly. Poverty is an irresistible force, if you like to sleep. The lesson is a financial warning of the consequences of sleeping too much.

Great men and women get up and get to work. In agreement with this proverb, it has been said, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” The virtuous woman rose early and stayed up late, not to be a martyr, but to be productive (Pr 31:15,18). Men and women that get up early and work hard always sleep better (Ec 5:12).

Attitude is more important than hours of sleep. A contented man that fears God, loves Jesus Christ, and is thankful for his job, gets up with excitement and zeal every day. He will not live any other way. He wants to get his hands on what he has to do, and he wants to do it with all his might (Ec 9:10). Do you have the right work attitude and work ethic?

A little spiritual slumber brings spiritual poverty. Just ask Peter, who could not watch one hour with Jesus in Gethsemane. If you do not make prayer and reading a priority each day, you will be spiritually bankrupt. Paul said, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Eph 5:14-21; Rom 13:11-12; I Thess 5:6-10).33


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:30 I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment

Your actions and assets reveal your character and wisdom. You cannot deceive anyone. If you are lazy, it shows clearly in various ways. If you are foolish, it is obvious to those around you. Solomon could identify a slothful or ignorant man by his fields. It does not matter what men think or say about themselves; their actions and assets tell the truth.

Solomon, in his effort to train his son and the nation for success, warned against folly and slothfulness. Both are self-destructive traits that will take a man down. In this proverb, he showed his son that he could discern the sleep habits of a man by viewing his field or vineyard (Pr 24:30-34). You cannot hide bad habits in the privacy of your bedroom!

Lazy men and fools think highly of themselves. In fact, arrogance is their ruin (Pr 12:15; 26:12,16). The sluggard believes he works harder than other men, and the fool believes he is wiser than other men. Their self-confidence and self-promotion are deceitful and destructive. They always have excuses as to why they have done so poorly in life. But all you have to do is look at their actions and assets to see their laziness or foolishness.

Solomon saw a field and vineyard overgrown with thorns, covered with nettles, and with its protective wall broken down (Pr 24:31). When he considered the neglected condition of these income-producing assets, he gained valuable insight into the life of the owner (Pr 24:32). The owner loved to sleep in his bed in the morning (Pr 24:33). Solomon knew without any doubts that poverty and pain were coming soon for that man (Pr 24:34).

Most men want to be known as hardworking and wise. They believe these things about themselves, and they are quick to tell others, if there are any doubts (Pr 20:6). But actions speak much louder than words (Pr 20:11). And actions can be verified by the condition and prosperity of your estate (Pr 24:30-34). You cannot hide your faults and failures; they are very visible to those simply observing your assets, friends, relationships, and career.

A diligent man rises to the top (Pr 22:29), gets promoted (Pr 12:24), and becomes rich (Pr 10:4). A man that loves pleasure or spending will be poor (Pr 21:17,20). A man that pursues get-rich-quick schemes will be poor (Pr 28:19,22). A man that loves sleep will be poor (Pr 20:13). A man that talks about business a lot will be poor (Pr 14:23). Those that believe testimonials will be poor (Pr 14:15; 19:2). Optimists will get punished (Pr 22:3).

Gracious persons are praised and have many friends (Pr 11:16; 18:24; 22:11). A strong man does not lose money (Pr 11:16). An odious woman is despised (Pr 21:19; 27:15; 30:21-23). Shameful children prove no training (Pr 29:15,17). A good reputation reflects wise priorities (Pr 22:1). Faithful employees prove wise management (Pr 29:21). A virtuous woman cannot be hid (Pr 12:4), but neither can an obnoxious one (Pr 27:15-16).

Fools defend themselves by saying, “You don’t know my heart,” as if there were something noble in them others cannot see (Pr 10:20). Hah! The heart is easy to know – just look at a person’s actions and results. A diligent and wise man will be rich and successful. A faithful and gracious man will have loving relationships. A fool or sluggard will not get close to these things! He destroys himself by folly (Pr 13:15; 15:19; 22:5).

Fools also defend themselves by saying, “You don’t know the acts of God in my life,” as if circumstances caused their failure. Some use poor parents or race as an excuse, which means little to nothing (Pr 14:35; 17:2). All men face obstacles, but fools and sluggards avoid dealing with them (Pr 20:4; 22:13; 26:13). There is only one Job in the history of the world, in spite of fools and sluggards claiming a repeat of his trials in their lives.

If a man or woman has few friends, it is not the fault of others. It is their fault (Pr 11:16; 18:24). If a man has no estate, it is not the fault of others. It is his fault (Pr 11:16; 21:20). If a man is married to an odious woman, it is not her fault. It is his fault (Pr 11:16,22; 30:21-23; 31:30). Neither fools nor sluggards deceived Solomon. He identified the cause-and-effect of riches or poverty, friends or enemies, success or failure.

Reader, what is your character? It has nothing to do with what you think or say about yourself. That is the most deceitful and stupid measure of all, and others do not believe it (Pr 14:12; 16:25; 21:2; Jer 17:9). Actions speak louder than words, and so do results. You are known by your assets, friends, relationships, and/or career. What would Solomon know about your heart and habits by observing your life? You can change the picture!

Your character and wisdom are known by the cleanliness and orderliness of your house; the neatness and accuracy of your checkbook; the clutter in your drawers, closets, basement, or car trunk; the mechanical repair of your car; your career progression; your bodyweight and fitness; your handshake; what is at the back of the bottom shelf of your refrigerator; your credit rating; the size of your savings account; and other such things.

Your character and wisdom are known by the character of your children; the esteem you receive from others; your number of friends; the happiness and helpfulness of your spouse; your reputation in various circles; the opinions of your parents; the opinions of your children; your demand as a counselor; the respect and thankfulness of neighbors and business associates; the number of requests for leadership roles; and other such things.

Your spiritual condition is also known by your assets and results. Do you bear the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)? How many souls have been converted through your efforts (Jas 5:19-20)? Do your children fear the Lord (Ps 34:11; Eph 6:4)? Are you able to teach, or are you still crawling with elementary knowledge (Titus 2:3-5; Heb 5:12-14)? Do others see Jesus Christ in you more than last year (Eph 4:13)? Are you glorious in overlooking the faults of others (Pr 19:11)? Or do you complain and fight as habits (Phil 2:14-16)?

A slothful or foolish man in financial matters will be poor. A slothful or foolish man in spiritual matters will be ignorant and fruitless. But both situations can be changed by grabbing something that should be done and doing it and doing it well! Right now! Do not delay another hour. Do something good and productive right now. You can change your life situation by God’s blessing on your diligent and wise efforts. Go for it!


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:9 The schemes of folly are sin, and men detest a mocker.

Here are two rules of wisdom. First, foolish thoughts are sin in God’s sight. Men think their imaginations are their own, but they forget such thoughts are sin against God, Who sees them all. Second, the scorner, a person despising correction and teachers, is hated by good men, for he causes much strife, and removing him brings joy and peace (Pr 22:10).

The Pharisees promoted hypocrisy by allowing evil thoughts, as long as the actual sin was avoided. Hating a person in your heart or lusting after another man’s wife was fine to them, if literal murder or adultery was avoided (Matt 5:21,27). But Jesus said unjustified anger or lusting after another woman was murder or adultery in His sight (Matt 5:22,28). He is the holy Lord! Tremble before Him, even in the secret thoughts of your heart!

Foolishness is any conduct without regard for God or wisdom, which is sin (Pr 19:3; 22:15; Ps 14:1). Even foolish talking – filthy, frivolous, or jesting speech – is condemned, and God will judge the world for it (Eph 5:3-7). God hates folly! He knows a man’s heart is the source of his character and conduct, so He examines it (Matt 12:34-35; 15:18-20).

Sexual fantasies are common, but God condemns them. Sexual sins are folly (Gen 34:7; Deut 22:21; II Sam 13:12), and to imagine such folly is sin. Job said he would not think upon a maid (Job 31:1), and Solomon warned not to lust after strange women even in your heart (Pr 6:25). God ponders man’s goings, including those involving sex (Pr 5:21).

Envy, hatred, and pride are also popular thoughts. Men, and women, love to despise others and exalt themselves in their hearts. In fact, most envy, hatred, and pride are limited to the heart (Jas 3:14-16). But the Lord condemns these evil and foolish thoughts as devilish murder and rebellion. Purify your hearts, ye double minded (Jas 4:8)!

A scorner is a pain and a problem. Their arrogant rejection of correction and instruction makes them impossible to teach (Pr 9:7-8). Their conceited resentment of teachers and reprovers makes peace impossible (Pr 22:10). They must be avoided or cast out. It is only natural and right for men to hate them, for they cause constant strife and trouble with any authority. They are worse than a fool, for they are conceited in their ignorance (Pr 26:12).

Reader, here are two matters of wisdom. First, keep your heart with all diligence, for sin begins with foolish thoughts (Pr 4:23; Jas 1:13-16). Search your heart and thoughts by prayer to reveal any evil there (Ps 139:23-24). Second, love instruction and reproof to avoid being a scorner. Humble yourself before the great God, His word, and His teachers.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 8:24 When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water;

Once upon a time there was no water – no oceans, seas, lakes, or pools. It was before God created the heaven and the earth (Gen 1:1-2). No man has ever seen such a universe, and the only record we have of it is the written revelation of God in the Bible. But even when there was no water, before God created the heaven and earth, wisdom already existed.

This proverb is part of Solomon’s personification of wisdom as a woman. The personal, feminine pronouns throughout the eighth chapter of Proverbs reference Lady Wisdom, as Solomon describes wisdom in lofty and beautiful terms. She offers herself to men (Pr 8:1-11), lists her rewards to men (Pr 8:12-21), describes her origin with God before any creation (Pr 8:22-31), and closes with a further appeal and invitation to men (Pr 8:32-36).

The LORD Jehovah created all water (Gen 1:1-8). The Word of God often presents Him as the Creator of the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that in them is (Ex 20:11; Ps 146:6; Jonah 1:9; Acts 4:24; 14:15; Rev 10:6; 14:7). He is the Ruler of the seas and uses them to accomplish His holy purposes (Ps 77:19; Is 43:16; Amos 5:8; 9:6; Jonah 1:4).

Do you feel pressure on your ears at the deep end of a swimming pool – 10 feet from the surface? Have you tried scuba diving and felt the pressure at 100 feet? The submarines of World War II could not survive 500 feet. Modern nuclear submarines are not made to operate below 1500 feet. Yet the Mariana Trench in the Pacific is 35,800 feet deep. A mile deeper than Mount Everest is high! The LORD is His name (Amos 5:8; 9:6).

Consider the Asian tsunami of 2004. An undersea earthquake of magnitude 9.0 in the Indian Ocean sent a sea surge 1-2 feet high racing in all directions at 600 mph. When it reached shore it slowed to about 35 mph, but it grew in height to as much as 50 feet. A wall of water! It killed as far away as Port Elizabeth in South Africa, 5000 miles from the epicenter. Over 225,000 lost their lives, and 2,000,000 were made homeless.

The seas are considered as primitive and ancient as anything on earth. Even evolutionists hallucinate about primordial slime coming together in the dark depths eons ago to make butterflies, elephants, hummingbirds, and their baboon ancestors. They are blinded fools! While the seas are old, they are only 6,000 years old based on the Bible’s chronology.

What is the lesson? Though men consider the seas to be very old, there was something earlier. Before there was water, there was wisdom. Before the dark seas existed, the creator God possessed wisdom. If wisdom – the ability of right judgment – is more ancient than the seas and fountains of the earth, you should seek it with all your might. Go to God’s word and His teachers and learn the only true wisdom to direct your life.

 


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established.

A prosperous and long-lasting family and estate are built by wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. There are no shortcuts. There are no alternatives. The foolish and wicked may appear to be building great houses, but they are coming down soon. There is no cheating this rule. If you compromise wisdom, you will lose your family and estate.

Your “house” is not just the building you live in. It includes your posterity and inheritable assets. It includes your literal house, but do not dilute the lesson. Wisdom and understanding here are far more than creative blueprints (Pr 11:29; 14:1,11; 15:25,27)!

It is possible to see the wicked with large and prosperous families, but their duration is short. Consider David’s observation, “Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found” (Ps 37:34-36).

Righteous men want to leave a godly and prosperous family in the world (Pr 5:16-18; Ps 127:3-5; 128:1-6; 144:12-15; Mal 2:15). They want to train children and grandchildren to perpetuate the truth of God in the earth (Deut 4:9-10; 6:4-9; Ps 78:1-8; Joel 1:1-3).

Consider the house of Abraham in size and quality. The nation of Israel came from his loins, which he built and established by wisdom and understanding (Gen 12:1-3; Neh 9:7-8). He feared God and lived by faith more than any man of his generation (Gal 3:9).

Consider the houses of Lot and Eli in duration and honor. Lot lost everything and polluted his own daughters (Gen 19:30-38). Eli’s family of priests was cut off and destroyed for the compromise of a sentimental and weak father (I Sam 2:27-36; 3:11-18).

Your family and estate will only prosper by wisdom and understanding, which is plainly found in Scripture. If you live by any other means, you are doomed to trouble, pain, and destruction. Humble yourself, and shore up your house with the Word of God! Today!

The house of God, the church, is built and established the same way, by wisdom and understanding. The foundation is laid in the Lord Jesus Christ, and every minister must build only with gold, silver, and precious stones. For the fire of his Lord’s examination will consume any wood, hay, and stubble. Let every doctrine and practice of every church be based only in the pure wisdom and understanding of Scripture (I Cor 3:11-15).


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come upon them.

It is very wrong to excuse or protect the wicked, especially for civil rulers or judges; citizens and nations will curse and despise such leaders and their government (Pr 24:23-24). King Solomon in this context is teaching how rulers must punish evildoers.

In the proverb before you, Solomon encouraged leaders and judges to rebuke wicked men to receive the delight and blessing of God and men. It is the holy duty of righteous men, especially in positions of authority, to judge righteously and rebuke all evildoers.

The proverb is primarily for rulers, as Solomon the king addressed his son, the future king (Pr 24:21-24). Great rulers must govern justly, which includes rebuking sin wherever they find it (Pr 16:12; 20:8,26). It is a calamity and travesty when rulers compromise with wickedness. Jesus Christ is the only perfect ruler (Heb 1:9; Rev 19:15).

But the proverb also applies to all men, especially in their lesser offices of authority, for righteous men have a duty to rebuke sin and warn unruly men. Allowing any you know or meet to continue in sin without a rebuke is an act of hatred (Lev 19:17). If you are an employer, husband, or father, you have a duty to punish sinners to enforce righteousness.

If righteous men do not correct or rebuke sin, how will fools be instructed and warned or saints taught and perfected? If the wicked are not rebuked and punished, what will restrain them? You have a duty to live and speak in a way to reprove evil (Eph 5:11). From top to bottom, all men should rebuke sinners to send the right message (Eccl 8:11).

You are your brother’s keeper (Gen 4:9). “Iron sharpeneth iron,” Solomon said (Pr 27:17). Church members are to warn the unruly, and every church has them (I Thes 5:14). This is the means to help churches grow spiritually (Gal 6:1; Jas 5:19-20). Even fools and simple men can learn and improve by seeing scorners punished (Pr 19:25; 21:11).

Of course, the ministers of Jesus Christ have a great duty and role to rebuke the wicked, like Elihu rebuking the wicked words of Job (Job 32:1-2) or John the Baptist rebuking the unlawful marriage of Herod (Matt 14:3-5). A minister is at war every time he steps in the pulpit – war against the foolish notions of his hearers (II Cor 10:4-6). Public sinners should be rebuked publicly to get the attention of the whole church (I Tim 5:20).

Pastors must lift up their voices like trumpets and show churches their sins (Is 58:1). The work is so harsh at times that they have been described as hewing people in pieces with their words (Hos 6:5). They are to preach the word, whether the people want to hear it or not (II Tim 4:1-4). And they should mock any efforts to despise their authority (Tit 2:15).

They must avoid preaching smooth things, which sinful generations crave (Is 30:8-11). The word of God properly preached is a hammer and fire – it breaks in pieces the rocks of stubborn hearers (Jer 23:28-29). The people were astonished at the authority of Jesus Christ, for He rejected the mealy-mouthed compromise of their preachers (Matt 7:28-29).

The proverb here is primarily for civil rulers and judges, but it applies to every person in a position of authority, especially gospel ministers. Be attentive and faithful to rebuke the sinners God brings to your attention to obtain the delight and good blessing described here. If you exercise your authority well, you will also improve your part of the world.


Under Gods Command
Proverbs 24:19-20 Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out

Hollywood lies. Do not let glamorous lives of the wicked bother you. Sinners appear to prosper. They look happy. They think they will get away with sin. But their end is coming. God will laugh at them and destroy them. Do not envy their temporary success.

There is a God in heaven, and He punishes such sinners severely (Ps 58:6-11). He will have the last laugh at their rebellion against Him and His word. Their happiness is feigned; their success an illusion, their long-term prosperity a delusion. They experience trouble here; they often die young; then they face an angry God! Do not fret about them.

The verse before you is only half of the proverb. After warning you not to fret about the wicked or to envy them, Solomon wrote, “For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out” (Pr 24:20). This is wisdom! Instead of being confused or frustrated by evil and wicked men, you know their terrible ruin is coming.

Due to television, magazines, and the Internet, you have to see the faces, homes, cars, and sins of the wicked much more than Solomon did. Their escapades are published around the world every day. But his inspired words are still true. Do not envy them, because you know their future; they do not know yours, and your future is much better than theirs!

It is a common and foolish expression to describe sinners as getting away with murder. But no one gets away with murder. Ask Cain. Ask David. Ask Jezebel. Ask the Jewish leadership that crucified Jesus Christ. Ask Hitler. Men will not get away with even the idle words of foolish talking and jesting (Matt 12:36; Eph 5:3-6).

Prosperity proves nothing. Do not envy sinners who seem to prosper. God may allow or send prosperity to encourage fools in their foolishness (Pr 1:32; Ex 9:16). David taught that if you wait long enough, they will be completely gone, and you will not be able to even find them (Ps 37:35-36). Do not envy a soap bubble. It will soon pop and disappear!

Wise men walk by faith and knowledge. They believe all God has said against sin in the Bible, and they reject worldly advice or examples that pretend sin might be profitable. They know better. They know all men are liars, especially in Hollywood, and God is true. They know a day of reckoning is coming, in which all the wicked shall give an account of their lives and be rewarded with eternal torment for their folly and evil (II Cor 5:9-11).

Faith looks constantly to the future. It knows there is much more than meets the physical eye here on earth. Therefore, the righteouses walk by faith, not by sight (II Cor 5:7). They know a great reversal of fortune is coming, for both the righteous and the wicked. They know the pleasures of heaven far outweigh any trouble here (Rom 8:18; II Cor 4:17-18; Heb 12:1-4). Like Moses, they look ahead and laugh at Egypt’s riches (Heb 11:24-26).

Fearing God and keeping His commandments are the greatest things you can do for yourself (Pr 1:7; 8:13; 9:10; 10:27; 19:23; Eccl 12:13-14). This is true wisdom. You fully trust God’s written revelation for your life. You know He exists and His words are absolute truth, and you know there is great reward for obeying Him (Ps 19:11; Heb 11:6).

The whoremonger seems to enjoy many women, but God will destroy him (Heb 13:4). God lets him think he is getting away with adultery (Ps 50:16-23). In the meantime, he has no committed, loyal, or loving wife for a family of children to enjoy (Pr 5:15-23). These wicked players are lonely now, and they will soon be cut down forever (Pr 24:20).

God warned you not to fret (Pr 23:17-18; 24:1; Ps 49:1-20). David wrote, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb… Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” (Ps 37:1-2,7).

Let the wicked have their fun in this world, and you can laugh at them in the next one (Ps 17:13-15; 49:14-15)! You have a reward coming that will put their deceitful pleasures to shame, and remembering this reward fills the Christian with hope, no matter how difficult his existence here might be (Ps 73:1-20; Rom 8:16-19; I Cor 15:19). God will laugh at their calamities now and declare condemnation later (Pr 1:23-31; Matt 7:21-23).