Posts Tagged ‘aviation’

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).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 7:11(She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home;

Here are three traits of a whore, an adulteress. All wise women will diligently avoid these traits, and all wise men will carefully avoid women having them. Here is wisdom buried in a lengthy description of a strange woman seducing and destroying a young man.

This chapter primarily consists of a dramatic parable about a young man being tempted and taken by the strange woman (Pr 7:6-23). Solomon, ever the wise father, used it to impress upon his son and children the dangers of this seductive enemy (Pr 7:1-5,24-27).

The whore is generally a loud woman. She likes to talk; she talks a lot; and she talks loudly (Pr 9:13). She is ready to give her opinion, whether it was asked for or not, even though she is usually ignorant of the subject matter. If she receives any resistance, she just gets louder. She often corrects others speaking for little details that are irrelevant.

She likes to finish the sentences of others. You can hear her loudly correcting her children and husband. Verbal sparring delights her. She is self-willed, headstrong, and wants to express her opinion. She is forward and uncouth with her mouth, irritating and rude with her words, and contrary in her speech. You have heard her before. Avoid her!

The godly woman, far superior to the best whore, has a meek and quiet spirit, which God Himself considers of great value (I Pet 3:3-4). She remembers her subordinate role; she is always gracious; kindness rules her mouth; and she does not mind being silent (Pr 11:16; 31:26; I Cor 14:34-35). She considers modesty and shamefacedness to be virtues (I Tim 2:9-10). When she speaks, they are words others appreciate (Pr 15:23; 24:26; 25:11).

Christian woman, can you cut your words and volume in half? Is it possible? Such a simple change will dramatically increase your esteem by good men and women. Your reputation will grow with each reduction in number of words and decibels (Pr 17:27-28).

The whore is generally a stubborn woman. She does not like to be told what to do; she wants to do things her way; she resents being accountable to anyone; she hates correction and instruction. She is self-willed and loves her opinions. Whether authority or affection is used to win her, she will resist until the matter meets her own approval. She will use tears, threats, emotion, or other responses to resist leadership of her husband and others.

The virtuous woman, who is far superior to the best whore, is cheerfully submissive and very willing to follow the leadership of her husband (Eph 5:22-24; Col 3:18). She does not balk, question, or contend with her husband. She knows she was created for him, and she knows she is to reverence and fear him (I Cor 11:9; Eph 5:33; I Pet 3:1-2).

Christian woman, do you know that stubbornness is a hateful trait in a woman? It truly makes her odious (Pr 30:21-23). A contentious woman makes married life miserable (Pr 12:4; 19:13; 21:9,19; 25:24; 27:15-16). Cheerfully obey without answering again, and you will see an improvement in how you are treated by husband, family, and others.

The whore generally does not like to stay at home (Pr 7:12). Domestic duties of serving a husband and children are boring, frustrating, and beneath her. She wants to be out and about in the city, attending this and that activity to the neglect of her high calling. She is bored being a housewife; she gets claustrophobic; she loves to shop; she loves to leave her house. She is not content working at home to make her house and family the best.

The noble woman, who is far superior to the best whore, loves her domestic calling and cheerfully remains at home to manage the house and provide for her man and his children (Pr 31:10-31; Gen 18:9; I Tim 5:13-14; Tit 2:4-5). She understands her very significant role in supporting her husband and caring for his children. Nursing a baby and preparing a meal for her family are delights to her soul, even if they include cleaning up the baby later and having a kitchen to clean after supper.

Christian woman, will you make greater efforts this very day to be quiet, submissive, and happy in your domestic duties? You can build your house – your family and estate – by wisdom in these areas (Pr 14:1). You can be great in the sight of God and men by rejecting the character traits of the strange woman.

Let every woman naming the name of Christ reject loudness, stubbornness, and dislike of home life. Choose rather to be a living example of a meek and quiet spirit, submission and reverence to your husband, and the domestic queen of Pr 31:10-31. You will rejoice in time to come, as God blesses your virtue with godly fruit and reward (Pr 31:25).

Let every man avoid and reject women having these wicked traits. Such women do not deserve a place in human society, and they especially do not deserve a husband to support and secure their sinful lives. Young man, the choice is yours. But you will bear your own burden. Pursue gracious and virtuous women, and reject all other pretenders.

The great whore of Rome and her harlot daughters have loud pretensions, stubbornness for human tradition over Scripture, and long ago departed from simple apostolic Christianity. Let every church examine itself to make sure Rome has not infected her. And let every saint depart out of her, lest you be taken in her sins and plagues (Rev 18:4).

As the true bride of Christ, each Christian, of either sex, owes their Lord and Husband their quiet submission and ready willingness to serve in His church. Every saint should submit quietly to his duties of service in the kingdom of God. Rather than being enamored with new doctrines and innovative practices, let His true children find their place listening well, obeying faithfully, and fulfilling their God-given role in the church.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 30:25 Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.

Ants are wise. You think they are one of the weakest creatures, but they have wisdom that many men do not have. They save part of all income to use later in life. They work hard when the getting is good, and with an eye to the future, they save for harder times.

Solomon also used the ant to illustrate economic wisdom, when he exhorted his son to consider their diligence, their initiative without supervision, and their foresight to prepare and save for the future (Pr 6:6-8). Are you as wise as the ant, or can you learn a lesson from them? Do you have a regular savings program? Do you leave it untouched to grow?

Though ants are very weak – you may crush hundreds of them with a single foot – they use wisdom to preserve and protect themselves. In fact, they prosper by their wisdom. In the summer, they work diligently to accumulate as much food as possible, which they eat during the fall and spring, when underground. They generally hibernate in the winter.

Wise men do not spend all income; only fools spend it all (Pr 21:20). Saving some of your income is not an option or suggestion – it is God’s commandment. You are to learn from the ants (Pr 6:6-8; 30:25); savings protects you from unforeseen danger in the future (Pr 27:12). Not saving some of your income is sinful presumption (Pr 12:27; 27:24).

Savings must be a priority in life, not an option for money left over after expenses. If a commitment to savings is not made before spending occurs, it will not be done. Paying bills is paying others; saving money is paying yourself. Godly economics is simple: pay God first (tithes and offerings), pay yourself second (consistent savings), and live on the rest. There is no need for fancy budgets or financial models – live on whatever is left.

What you save is what you pay yourself. What you spend is what you pay others. How much do you have for all the years of sweat, toil, difficulty, and frustration of working? You have nothing left from all those years, except your savings account and net assets. Is paying yourself – saving some of your income – starting to make sense? Thank you, ants!

Saving less than 10% of gross income is playing games. Wise men will save at least 10%. The change in lifestyle to save 10% is insignificant, if prudence is practiced elsewhere. Many employers today will match your savings in a 401(k) plan. A simple savings program is easy. You pay God first (10%+), yourself second (10%+), and live on the rest. By living on 80% of your income, you will appreciate things more (Pr 27:7). Try it!

Savings creates another benefit – capital! See the important comments on Proverbs 14:4. Every man will have a few opportunities in his life – called time and chance in the Bible – to make big money (Ec 9:11). But you must have capital – savings – to take advantage of these opportunities. Some call this investment capital seed corn, for it is the seed that is planted for a future harvest. The ant’s wisdom has taught you savings and investment.

You never touch savings. It is for the future – dire emergencies and opportunities. If the ants took vacations and ate their food stores, they would die in the fall and spring, when they need those food stores. If you need extra cash for unusual expenses during the year, it comes from cash management and other reserve funds; it does not come from savings. Your saved capital is not to be touched; your seed corn is not to be eaten!

If you invest your capital conservatively and wisely, it will grow during all the hours of the day and night. If you buy bonds, you are earning interest every second of every day and night (Matt 25:26-27). If you buy stocks, you have many people in many companies around the earth working for you every day and night. You are leveraging your limited ability and effort by the multiplied abilities and efforts of many others. Thank you, ants!

Financial success requires diligence, discipline, sacrifice, consistency, and time. The ants do all five well (Pr 6:6-8; 30:25). Diligence is working hard to maximize your income. Discipline is paying the Lord first and yourself second, before spending even a dime. Sacrifice is doing without a few toys and luxuries you want. Consistency is doing it without interruption during your productive years. Time is what allows savings to grow.

If your estate is small and your savings negligible, reader, it is because you have ignored the ants and Solomon’s wisdom. Have you never heard that you ought to save at least 10% of your income for the future – for emergencies and opportunities? Have you never heard? Or are you more foolish than the ants, which save without a ruler or guide?

Preparing for your eternal future is far better than preparing for your financial future. Here is wisdom in its brightest and purest form. As the unjust steward protected himself from unemployment, Jesus exhorted His children to protect themselves from that great accounting to take place in the last day (Luke 16:1-16). Have you looked to the future and laid up a good foundation against the time to come (I Tim 6:17-19)? The Lord Jesus Christ will come soon, and you will face an emergency like no other. Save up for it!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 31:24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

Great women are ingenious and industrious. They are intelligent and diligent. They see business opportunities and leverage them for the benefit of the family estate. They fulfill domestic duties to husband and children first, but they have a mind and drive to do more.

A virtuous woman – the great woman every wise man should marry – is an enterprising woman. She is not content with merely being a limited housewife. She knows she is capable of more, so she does more. The example here is a manufacturing and wholesale business in fine linen and girdles. This woman has an entrepreneurial and ambitious spirit that seeks profitable projects to support her husband and build the family income.

Leisure women, who like the easy life of a limited housewife and resent this proverb, need to remember that a mother gave the advice. This chapter of Proverbs has the words of King Lemuel, but they are the prophecy his mother taught him (Pr 31:1-2). This great mother gave her son godly wisdom on how to be a great king (Pr 31:3-9) and how to find a virtuous woman for marriage (Pr 31:10-31). Wise men and women will love the advice.

In all fairness, the virtuous woman did have servants (Pr 31:15). However, managing servants has its own burdens. But she did not have refrigerators, telephones, email, easy transportation, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, cheap capital, and a thousand other labor-saving devices, inventions, and sources of information. She was exceptionally diligent, disciplined, focused, and productive.

It is an error of Bible interpretation to believe a woman must be home all the time doing only domestic duties. Some require this even when children are in school, old enough to care for themselves, or married and gone! The “keepers at home” of Titus 2:5 condemns idleness, busybodies, and gossip, which a comparison with I Timothy 5:13-14 shows. It warns against the actions of a strange woman, who wanders wantonly in a city (Pr 7:11).

The Bible error, possibly the Victorian era, and other factors have caused some Christian women to be decorative, pampered, and unproductive objects at home. God never intended this! These women struggle to put boxes of cereal out for breakfast, run a couple loads of laundry through machines, and extort pizza out of their husbands for supper. What do they do all day? Little! The virtuous woman could do their day in an hour!

The virtuous woman is preeminently a diligent woman – extremely hard working for her husband and children. Fearing the Lord (Pr 31:30), this holy woman applies herself physically and mentally from early to late each day. She has no time for chatting on the phone, long emails, window-shopping, tea parties, Bible studies with televangelists, sitting for hours at soccer practice, playing tennis, checking prices at ten stores, sewing clothes that could be purchased, reading for pleasure, art lessons, or other wastes of time.

A woman with small children and no servants has little time for business, but that is true only for a few years of a woman’s life. If she is a good mother and trainer, even children of 7-10 can do many domestic duties. The heart of a great woman is motivated to do more as soon as possible. She does not pace herself, protect a leisure lifestyle, or become a soccer mom. She wants to outwork her husband and contribute financially, so she does!

The virtuous woman is creative, diligent, energetic, focused, intense, and most of all, productive. She gets a lot done every day! She does not lose or waste time. Her family is well cared for, but she does not stop there. She looks to the future and builds the estate. Men married to such women should give them part of their earnings, so they can plow it into greater earnings (Pr 31:16,31). Her husband is famous because of her (Pr 31:23,28).

Christian woman, here is the standard; here is the ideal – the virtuous woman. The lesson is simple: she takes on financial projects to add earnings to the family, whether it is a paid job or a small business. She is not content with the leisurely life of a housewife in an age of many conveniences. She finds opportunities to add income for the family, and she does not sacrifice the family pursuing them. She is the perfect woman. Study her! Copy her!

Christian wife, if your husband and children are well cared for, and you work a full-time job, you are already doing a great deal. There is little to no time for much else. You are to be commended for balancing such large responsibilities in two opposing directions. May God comfort you that you may have already met the standard of this proverb, and may He teach you the principle of mercy toward yourself (Matt 12:7; Pr 11:17).

Christian wife, if you are at home with young children, and resources and time will not allow much outside work, focus on what God does expect. Make sure you are the best companion and lover for your husband, keep an exceptional home, and diligently train godly character into your children, so they can help in the house and soon be great in their lives and endeavors. Be wise as things change to not miss an opportunity for more.

Christian man, here is the standard; here is the ideal – the virtuous woman. There are two inspired criteria that a king’s mother taught: a woman that will be a great wife fears the Lord (Pr 31:30), and she is exceptionally ambitious and diligent, well beyond domestic duties. Require these two traits, and you will have a jewel with value far above rubies (Pr 31:10). If men expected women like this, many marriages would be different and better.

Under Gods Command

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

We can honor others in one of two ways. One involves ulterior motives. We honor our bosses so they will reward us, our employees so they will work harder, the wealthy so they will contribute to our cause, the powerful so they will use their power for us and not against us. God’s other way involves love. As Christians, we honor people because they have been created in God’s image, because they are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and because they have a unique contribution to make to Christ’s church.

Lets Bring it home: Does god’s way of honoring others sound too difficult for your competitive nature? Why not try to outdo one another is showing honor? Put others first!

Under Gods Command
Proverbs 20:01 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise

How does wine mock? How does strong drink rage? How do they deceive men? Solomon used powerful figures of speech to warn against excessive drinking and drunkenness.

Wine is good. God made it to cheer man (Ps 104:14-15; Jdgs 9:13; Zec 9:17). A simple, quick test of a person’s knowledge of God and the Bible is his opinion of wine. Cheers!

But to avoid being a deceived fool, you must reject ever drinking too much. Just as eating too much is the sin of gluttony, drinking too much is the sin of drunkenness (Pr 23:21).

To be wise, you must be careful with anything that can shame you or enflame passions. If you arrogantly presume you can handle alcohol without discipline or limits, you are a fool. Kings, prophets, and preachers are extra careful (Pr 31:4-5; Is 28:7-8; I Tim 5:23).

Does this proverb condemn moderate use of wine or strong drink? God forbid! He made both for your pleasure (Deut 14:26; Pr 31:6-7; Eccl 9:7). The Bible’s beverage of choice is wine (Gen 14:18; II Sam 6:19; Ecc 10:19; John 2:1-11), but it was not to be used to the excess of drunkenness (Eph 5:18; Luke 21:34). Jesus often drank wine (Luke 7:33-35).

The proverb has two key metonyms. Metonymy is a figure of speech that substitutes one thing for another. It adds beauty and force to language. The Bible is full of metonymy and other figures of speech, so that superficial readings and primary definitions are often ludicrous, especially of proverbs (Pr 1:6). Fully grasp these common examples:

1. “Step on the gas” substitutes gas for the accelerator pedal. No one is expected to step in a puddle of gasoline. The meaning is only for the driver to speed up the car.
2. “He really used his head” substitutes the location of thinking for the brain. No one thinks he banged his skull. The intent is only that he intelligently solved a problem.
3. “The White House announced” substitutes the place where he lives for the President. No one believes his residence actually spoke, for it is a permanently inanimate object. The meaning is only that the President gave new information to the public.

Examine the first clause, “Wine is a mocker.” Wine is the fermented, alcoholic juice of the grape, and to mock someone is to ridicule or make a fool of him. Wine will stay in a bottle or glass very quietly. It does not do anything rude by itself. It can remain in a wine cellar for many years without ridiculing or shaming anyone. How is wine a mocker?

Wine is not a mocker itself. Wine is a metonym for drunkenness. The figure of speech substitutes a cause for the effect. The Bible says the tongue is a world of iniquity (Jas 3:6). How so? A tongue is only a muscle in your mouth. But the wrongful use of the tongue is sinful! Again, as in this category of metonymy, a cause is put for the effect.

Wine will mock you, if you drink too much of it (Pr 23:29-35). Excessive drinking can make you drunk, losing moral inhibitions, personal self-control, or even basic motor skills. Then you will make a fool of yourself. Though having the best of intentions for wisdom, you will make a joke of your own reputation. Consider what it did to Noah (Gen 9:21), Lot (Gen 19:31-36), Nabal (I Sam 25:36-38), and Elah (I Kgs 16:8-10).

God and Solomon want you to be great. Wine is a wonderful relaxer that cheers and gladdens, but too much can temporarily impair your abilities and potentially harm your reputation. You must set limits to drinking so that you always maintain noble control of yourself. Rules for wine are no different than rules for things like food, sex, sleep, etc.

Examine the second clause, “Strong drink is raging.” Strong drink is a beverage from the fermentation or distillation of various substances, and rage is an outburst of violent anger. Happily for grocers and restaurant owners, beer and whiskey will stay in bottles without fighting, even for years, even on the same shelf! How does strong drink rage?

Strong drink does not rage itself. Strong drink is a metonym for drunkenness. The figure of speech substitutes cause for effect. The Bible says the rod gives wisdom (Pr 29:15). How? A rod is a short stick of wood. It will not move from where you leave it; it knows nothing; it cannot teach. How does it give wisdom? Prudently used for corporal punishment will teach! Again, in this category of metonymy, a cause is put for the effect.

Strong drink can lead to rage, if you drink too much. Excessive drinking will make you drunk, and you may fight for no reason. The loss of inhibitions can cause you to lose your temper and ignore consequences of yelling or fighting. The tongue is loosened first, then the anger, and then the fists. Stories of barroom brawls are Legion. The proverb is true!

If you drink without sober fear for these dangers of alcohol, you are a fool. Drunkenness can creep up on you and relax you into its warm folly before you realize. No wise man will drink without definite limits and conscious care to avoid drunkenness. He is committed to prudent conduct, which does not allow for even small amounts of folly (Eccl 10:1), so he will not risk his reputation by even getting close to drunkenness.

Be wise! The solution is not the lie of the Temperance Movement – total abstinence and Amendment XVIII to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. Thankfully, that amendment was repealed in 1933 with the XXI, so Christians could again enjoy God’s gift. If prohibition is wise, then bread and milk should be despised and outlawed for their roles in gluttony!

Temperance is not abstinence; temperance is self-discipline, a key rule of the Christian’s life (I Cor 9:24-27; Phil 4:5). It is a shame to hear ignorant Christians haughtily condemn beer and wine, while glutting themselves to obesity at a cheap buffet! Solomon’s Proverbs will teach wisdom to those that will humble their hearts and minds to scripture.

A man committed to living a holy and virtuous life for the glory of God will be careful and fearful with wine and strong drink, just as he will with pizza and pies, and just as he will with sex, sleep, and speech. He does not want to sin in any area of life. And leaders are to exemplify this conservative regard for holiness, whom God has put under stricter rules for wine due to their need for wise judgment (Pr 31:4-5; I Tim 3:3,8; Tit 1:7).

Jesus was called a winebibber, or a drunkard, by his enemies (Luke 7:33-35), but He was never drunk. He often drank wine, and He even made much wine for a wedding, but He was always moderate and temperate in its use. He was the epitome of righteous sobriety. He always did those things that pleased His Father, and drunkenness does not please God (John 8:29; Gal 5:16-21). Remember, there are no drunkards in heaven (I Cor 6:9-10).

Rather than rely only on wine for its gladdening effect, He found His greatest joy and pleasure in walking with God through the Holy Spirit. Paul taught you to seek the same balance, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18). What will such men do? Rather than the songs of the drunkard, they will have a melody in their hearts for singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph 5:19)!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 27:12 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it

Be careful! Be cautious! Do not get surprised! What could happen that might hurt you? Optimism is risky; pessimism is safe. Learn wisdom. Prudent men look ahead and adjust their lives to avoid loss, pain, or trouble. Wise men are vigilant to spot changes coming that could cost them, and so they avoid them. Foolish men live day by day without regard to the future and get caught by life’s frequent changes, and so they are hurt by them.

Some get laid off with savings, a transferable skill, and another job waiting. Others lose their jobs, have no financial cushion, are untrained, and hurt their families and do not know what to do. Some manage the number and timing of their children to be excellent parents. Others reproduce like rabbits not considering the cost, effort, time, or wisdom to get them all to adulthood with character, careers, clothing, cars, and noble spouses!

Do you believe most of what you hear or read? Are you decisive and opinionated? Be careful! Wise men are cautious, critical, pessimistic, and skeptical about unproven assertions or situations. They do not believe all they hear or read, and they do not make decisions without carefully analyzing possible danger (Pr 14:15). Only foolish simpletons naively view the future and rush forward optimistically. And they get punished for it.

Prudence is the power of discernment. It is the discretion or practical wisdom to detect problems or dangers in any situation and avoid them by altering actions to find the most profitable course. Obviously, prudent men move more slowly than fools, because they know that hasty or heady decisions are risky (Pr 14:29; 19:2; 21:5; 25:8; 29:20; II Tim 3:4). This rule for wise living is so important that Solomon repeated it for you (Pr 22:3).

A prudent man – one with cautious discretion – looks ahead and sees fallacies or risks. He hides himself from their danger by altering his beliefs or his actions. He will never be caught believing lies or walking into a trap. On the other hand, simpletons blithely let life happen to them. They do not question what they believe or what they are doing. They keep going forward and get clobbered repeatedly by dangers and risks they overlooked.

Of course, your foolish spirit wants to do what it wants to do, and it wants to do it now! Foolish companions and peer pressure further encourage this insane approach to life. It is prudence – a component of wisdom – that slows men down to consider what they are doing. Only wise men look at every angle in a complete circle – circumspection – before making decisions (Eph 5:15-17). Fools rush ahead in blind zeal and ignorant confidence.

Wise men will not believe anything or do anything, until they prove God’s truth or will in the matter. The Bereans were commended for testing even Paul’s preaching, and the Thessalonians were commanded to do it (Acts 17:11; I Thess 5:21). It is fools that believe the evening news, Ben Spock’s childcare hallucinations, testimonials of any kind, think tanks of the left and the right, or any man because he calls himself a reverend or a doctor!

If it is not a matter of religion or morality, they practice the wisdom of Solomon’s proverbs (Pr 1:1-4), they seek safety in a multitude of counselors (Pr 11:14; 24:6), and they hide like the coney from risk (Pr 30:26; 6:1-5). They do not trust their own opinions (Pr 26:12; 16:2,25; 21:2). They could not care less what everyone else is doing (Ex 23:2). They do not believe anything without strong and tested evidence (Pr 14:15; 13:16).

The best way to become prudent is to learn the Bible (Ps 19:7-11; 119:98-100; II Tim 3:16-17). It contains the truth of God and His will for successful living. The book of Proverbs is Solomon’s inspired rules for a prosperous life. Without God’s truth and precepts, you will be vulnerable to the folly of feelings and vain ideas of men. Without instruction from God’s ministers, you will be tossed to and fro by crafty deceivers (Eph 4:14). You need to be in a Bible-preaching church to fully grow in prudence and wisdom.

Are you prudent to save some of all income, so future financial difficulties can be avoided (Pr 30:25)? Do you insure major assets against catastrophic loss, so you cannot be wiped out (Pr 22:26-27)? Are you very cautious about marriage, either your own or your children’s, to prudently avoid the odious woman (Pr 30:21-23; 31:30)? Have you looked ahead to see if your job, profession, or business will be needed in the future (Pr 27:23-24)? Have you trained your children to avoid them ruining your future (Pr 29:15)?

Have you acquired a transferable skill, or are you unskilled and subject to layoffs (Pr 24:27)? Do you invest in high-yield opportunities, or do you question deals that sound too good to be true? Have you been reading some new version of the Bible without examining its origin, text, and fruit? Do you prove everything you hear at church, or do you assume it to be right? Have you vigorously examined the training of your children to maximize its potential? Do you treat your spouse God’s way to build a lasting marriage?

Did you fall for Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” or did you recognize it as an animated crucifix for Roman Catholicism? Are you a purpose-driven Christian, or do you see the horrible compromise of seeker sensitive Rick Warren (II Tim 4:3-4)? Have you read the “Left Behind” novels, or do you know the antichrist comes before Jesus Christ’s return (II Thess 2:3)? Do you endorse Jim Dobson’s permissive child training, or do you stick with the old paths of inspired Scripture (Pr 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Jer 6:16)?

The book of Proverbs was inspired by God and written by Solomon to teach you wisdom. The rule of wisdom in this proverb is to be prudently cautious about everything you believe and do, lest you believe a lie or expose yourself to danger. Only fools press forward without critical and skeptical analysis. The Lord is offering safety from frauds and risk, if you will slow down and prove all things (I Thess 5:21). If you continue to let life happen to you without cautious inspection, you will be repeatedly punished.

The greatest future danger you face is the judgment throne of Jesus Christ, when He will examine everything you have done in life (Eccl 12:13-14; Rom 14:10-12; II Cor 5:10-11; Heb 9:27; Rev 20:11-15). It is time to wake up from sleeping and began living a holy life to hide from that day (Rom 13:11-14; Eph 5:3-7; I Tim 6:17-19). Only a wicked fool eats, drinks, and makes merry without regard for the Day of Judgment that is fast approaching. Those obsessed with the foolish pleasures of this life will soon be punished for eternity.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. 

Great women are not born – they are made. A great woman chooses to be great. She has the right priorities for her life; she is wise and disciplined; her family and estate prosper.

On the other hand, many women are foolish and rebellious; they are distracted and lazy, their families and estates fall into ruin during their lives and afterwards. What a waste!

Here is encouragement and a warning to women. You have a tremendous opportunity to build a family and estate that will be to the glory of God and profit of others well into the future. It is your choice to be wise and to build. Forsake the foolish and prosper (Pr 9:6)!

Learn the proverb. You have never seen a woman literally tearing shingles and siding from her house by hand. Solomon used a metaphor, where one thing represents something else, to contrast a woman either improving or destroying her family and estate.

The word “house” in Proverbs and the rest of Scripture is often much more than the building you live in. It is broader than that. It describes a family and/or estate. Consider:  House.  The persons living in one dwelling; the inmates of a house collectively; a household, family. A family including ancestors and descendants; a lineage, a race: esp. one having continuity of residence, of exalted rank, or high renown. [OED].

Consider use of “house” elsewhere (Ge 7:1; Deut 25:9; Ruth 4:11; I Sam 2:30,35; II Sam 7:11) and in Proverbs (Pr 11:29; 12:7; 14:11; 15:25,27; 24:3-4). Of course, taking care of the residence is also her job, but it is not the emphasis (Eccl 10:18). The house you must build is your marriage, family, husband’s estate, and family tree (Pr 24:3-4; Tit 2:3-5).

A wise woman can greatly improve a marriage, family, home, and estate, even into future generations. A foolish woman can ruin all of this and destroy her legacy. The opportunity is very great for every woman that will appreciate this encouragement and warning from God and Solomon. For any woman that wants to be great, read on and learn.

There are few better modern examples than Sarah Pierrepont, the wife of Jonathan Edwards. She was a great wife to an exceptional man and public figure, raised eleven children in the fear and love of the Lord, provided a model home in holiness and warmth, and established a legacy through her descendants unmatched in American history.

A woman is either a crown to her husband or rottenness in his bones (Pr 12:4).This difference cannot be hid from the eyes of others, for his shame comes from them witnessing his curse (Pr 27:15-16). A husband’s flattery is of little value when others can easily witness your neglect of him, the children, the house, or the estate (Pr 24:30-34).

The virtuous woman had great influence over her family and husband’s estate. She directed the care of the children and household and engaged in commercial real estate development and manufacturing and sales. Her husband’s importance in the city was greatly due to her superb management of these matters. Read it carefully (Pr 31:10-31).

Houses were built up by Hannah, Lois, Eunice, and Bathsheba; all of whom invested in their children and grandchildren to the glory of God. Houses were torn down by Michal, Jezebel, and other odious and lazy women. The only widows to be financially supported by the church are those who build up houses well (I Tim 5:3-10). Others will be rejected.

How can you identify a wise woman? Look first at her husband. He will be successful in his vocation, for she will have relieved him of most or all the household duties (Pr 31:13-27). He will be confident, happy, and content, for she will have been a great lover and companion (Pr 5:19; 19:13; 31:11-12). He will apply himself well to the larger matters of family and estate, for his wise wife will have taken care of the lesser ones herself.

A wise woman knows sexually defrauding her husband creates bitterness, reduces his creativity and productivity, and makes other women he meets much more attractive. She knows frequent suggesting or disagreeing steals his peace, undermines his confidence, and makes him edgy and critical. She knows that her better ideas are better when kept to herself. She knows that doting like a dating teenager can build her man into a leader. She knows that praising him to the children leads to a strong, unified, and happy home.

How can you identify a wise woman? Look at her children. They reflect their mother very much, which is why the Bible says that a neglected child will shame his mother (Pr 29:15). Mothers spend much more time with their children than fathers, and from early ages they are greatly influenced by their mothers. Children of the wise woman will be exceptional in character, conduct, and reputation. Samuel, Solomon, and Timothy say much about their wise and noble mothers (I Sam 1:27-28; Pr 4:3; Phil 2:20; II Tim 3:15).

For children to be successful in relating to others, they must be taught. To be diligent and successful workers, they must be taught. To be truly spiritually minded, they must be taught. To be organized, neat, and orderly, they must be taught. To be gracious, noble, virtuous, and zealous, they must be taught. A wise woman knows that her example is at least as important to this training as the frequent and careful verbal instruction she gives.

How can you identify a wise woman? Look at her house. It will be clean, orderly, organized, comfortable, and bright. It will reflect on the outside and inside the care of ownership (Pr 24:3-4,30-34; 31:13-27; Eccl 10:18). No part will show long-term neglect. Hospitality shared in it will be generous, warm, comfortable, and gracious (Pr 31:14). It will be decorated creatively with the best that a motivated woman can find (Pr 31:22).

How can you identify a wise woman? Look at her balance sheet and income statement. She will understand financial discipline, never spending outside strict limits. She will be frugal but also foresightful to make investments for the family’s benefit. She will have transferable skills or acquired knowledge in areas that can produce profits when she has the opportunity or time. She prefers family profits over personal pleasure in her hobbies.

How can you identify a wise woman? Look at her appearance. She will be of a proper weight, in good physical condition, and as shapely as God intended her. She will dress to honor her husband; he will not have to endure bathrobes, sweat suits, or headbands (Pr 31:22). Her carriage and demeanor will be closer to a queen than to a waitress. Her face and hair will not only shine with cleanliness but with contentment, joy, and excitement.

How can you identify a wise woman? Look at her soul. Her sins are confessed; she keeps her heart with all diligence; she avoids approaching the lines in life between holiness and sin. She is contented and happy with the Lord, no matter what circumstances she faces. The LORD is her everlasting portion, and she enthusiastically does anything she can for the kingdom of God. She is humbly contrite for her sins and sinfulness, but fully confident in God’s forgiveness to press ahead with bold joy in fulfilling her calling.

Wise women are not satisfied with cooking, laundry, and dusting. A trained twelve-year-old girl can do all those things. Neither is she satisfied helping with homework. These are childish things women of the world do with little lasting effect on their family trees and estates. There is another level that great women consider and focus on for their families. Sitting at soccer practice two hours a day, five days a week may make you feel warm and fuzzy (and very lazy), but are there not ten or twelve better things you could be doing?

A wise woman is a holy example of great godliness and loving femininity at all times. Her children can easily observe her submission, service, and affection to her husband. They see a consistent standard of purity, temperance, diligence, and graciousness every day. The law of kindness is in her tongue, and she rules her spirit without fail. She is the sunshine of the home and a constant example of faithfulness in spirit and conduct.

A wise woman teaches and enforces the virtues of Christian character. She instills in her children an ambition for holiness, love of truth, service to others, and gracious conduct. She crushes sibling rivalry, foolish talking and jesting, sarcasm, backbiting, disrespect of authority, moodiness, and worldly friends. She requires virtuous deportment at all times. She presses them to grow in favor with God and man and keep a good reputation.

A wise woman works harder than her husband and uses her body and mind to be very productive. She does not waste time away from home at low-paying jobs or for self-fulfillment. She manages the household, repairs the house, makes the money go as far as possible, and earns as much money as possible. She is not merely busy: she is diligent! She does not try to save a penny while wasting a pound. She rises early and stays up late.

She is a keeper at home, rather than a busybody, gossip, conversationalist, babysitter, window shopper, social butterfly, or wasteful errand runner (Tit 2:5; I Tim 5:13-14). She guides the house so that it is an orderly, peaceful, and quiet home – a delightful refuge.  She constantly assesses demands on her time and allocates her day and energy to those tasks that will provide the biggest return to her husband and children in years to come.

This proverb is true as gravity. If a woman compromises her duties, her family and estate will amount to little (Pr 11:29). But if she applies herself wisely and diligently, there will be a lasting influence for generations (Pr 24:3-4; Ruth 4:11-12). The opportunity here is so great, and the rewards so pleasant, what woman would not leap at the offer of this proverb? Though tired today, make the investment, for future joy is coming (Pr 31:25).

Dear woman, when did you last pray with each child? When did you last tell each child verbally and tenderly you loved them? Surprise each child with a favorite snack and soberly express your spiritual ambition for their souls? Pray fervently for each of them? When did they last catch you in serious devotions? When did you last describe the qualities of the spouse you pray for each of them? Praise your husband to them in private? Tell them of your great love for God? Confess any shortcomings they can see?

What are the curses of the foolish woman? Laziness due to society influences and religious training; wasted time due to misguided priorities; distraction due to an unfocused mind; recreation in an entertainment oriented generation; not going beyond mere maid duties; trusting academic education to make successful children; lost time due to lack of urgency; being a bad example of an affectionate lover; lack of strict discipline; discouraging her house by being overbearing, critical, or negative; being prudishly out of touch with reality; and selfishness in forcing her own interests on the family.

A godly woman will have a great reputation, for true character and performance results in growing in favor with God and men (Pr 11:16; 31:28-30; I Sam 25:3; I Pet 3:5-6). If you are not highly esteemed by others, you cannot excuse yourself with arrogant thoughts of self-righteousness, for you are failing in various areas of your life, and your family will suffer for it. Believe the judgment of others; humble yourself; repent; reform; start over!

Rather than only address only one role, a famous expression should be changed to read, “Behind every great man there are two great women.” For it is by a great mother and a great wife that men are great. Wise women see both of these opportunities for building their houses and apply themselves with holy zeal to promote both husband and children. The woman who loves her children over her husband will lose them both, for the husband will suffer directly and the children will despise the selfish defrauding taking place.

Young man, establish the greatness of your house and future carefully. Your marriage choice is one of great importance. You will see much of your abilities, efforts, and blessings disappear by a foolish wife; you will live out your days in pain and loneliness by a bad woman. Marry, but only marry well; for your life, unborn generations, and future estate is at risk. Marry a godly woman that fears the Lord and loves diligence and zeal, and she will leverage any ability or efforts of yours into even greater successes.

The English have had a proverb, “A fortune in a wife is better than a fortune with a wife.”

Young woman, your family’s future requires a noble and virtuous man, so you must also marry well to avoid having your efforts greatly diluted or destroyed by a worldly-minded man that does not seek first the kingdom of God in his life or wisely lead the family.

As the bride of Jesus Christ, let both men and women be ambitious in the building up of His house, the church. You can tear it down as well by neglect and fighting (Ga 5:15), but you have been called to build it up by your endeavors (Ep 4:3,16). What a blessed privilege to leave a local church on earth for your family greater than what you found! Wise men always look ahead. They never sacrifice the future on the altar of the present.

Fathers! Mothers! Consider this confident and noble parent. What a claim! Can you speak as boldly and virtuously as Solomon about the instruction you gave your children?

Read the proverb again. Will you be able to say these words at the end of your life? Can you say them today? Will God and your children agree with you? What have you done for your children today? God’s blessing and your children’s success depend on it.

Have you taught your children how to have a long and prosperous life (Pr 4:10)?  Have you taught them how to avoid the distractions, troubles, and traps of life (Pr 4:12)?  Mothers, you are not exempted from this privilege and duty (Pr 1:8; 4:3; 6:20; 31:1-2).

The proverb has three lessons – the duty, content, and confidence of good parenting and teaching. Read Solomon’s words, and see all three lessons, and purpose to apply the lessons today. You must teach; you must teach right things; you must do it confidently!

Graduating from high school or getting a college degree does not impress God, nor does it help children much. Many pagans have college degrees, and most college graduates are pagans. Only 1% of the saints in history even thought of going to college. These humanistic and worldly goals of the N.E.A. are foreign to Heaven and true success! The excellent spirit of Daniel and the unfeigned faith of Timothy are what you must cultivate!

The “way of wisdom” and “right paths” are contrary to a liberal arts education. These things, which lead to pleasing God and man in life, are no longer taught. The scope and sequence of today’s schools is a curriculum from hell to make little humanists. Parents, you must teach godly wisdom and true knowledge at home. The pastor is not responsible, for a few hours a week does not come close to the daily instruction of faithful parents.

Are your children gracious? Diligent at work? With high energy and focus? With sterling character? With financial wisdom? Do they hate sin? Being late? Injustice? Are they socially skilled? Good communicators? Considerate and generous? Do they know the gospel? Answers for common questions? How to solve problems Biblically?

Is their word as good as gold? Are they merciful and forgiving? Wise and prudent? Holy and pure? Are they esteemed in the real world? Are their names honored? Do they have many friends? Do they care about others? Even those that cannot repay in any way? Do they serve the kingdom of heaven? Willing to do anything for the church at anytime?

Parent, are you confident like the father in this proverb? God did not give you the truth for you to apologize for it or minimize it. Read Job 32 and see the godly confidence of young Elihu. You must be bold, dogmatic, and critical, for Satan and the world are in their efforts to oppose you and abolish truth. You have the only and final answers, and you should say so. You should reject anything to the contrary (Ps 119:128; Is 8:20).

Fathers, what will you give your family tonight? Read a chapter of Proverbs and explain one verse to them. One such small point each day will soon form a mountain of wisdom. If you do not believe this, watch the ants in your yard (Pr 6:6-11)! Done every day, you can speak boldly like Solomon. It is for God’s blessing and your children’s success.

The lesson here is not a suggestion for fathers – it is a commandment (Eph 6:4). Let every man fulfill his charge from Heaven, and let him see the future with the eye of faith.  A godly seed to God’s glory, the defense of the faith, and the happiness of your family is well worth it. Consider the duty, the content, and the confidence of teaching – and do it!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.

Words do not work with some men. They need a beating instead. They are fools, and part of wisdom is learning how to deal with them. Just as some animals need bridles and whips to control or direct them, some men need harsher methods than mere words.

You will meet fools in your life, so you must learn to adapt to their brute mentality. They only respond to force or pain. Though you may love gentleness and peace, you will have to take aggressive measures to protect yourself or to get them to do anything productive.

You think you can talk wisdom into a fool? How would you do it? Fools do not learn by words; they will not. That is why they are fools. Learning by words requires intelligence and humility. Fools have little of the former and none of the latter. They must be controlled by physical constraints and punishments like brute beasts (Pr 10:13; 19:29).

Words are wasted on a fool (Pr 26:4; 23:9). So only talk long enough to rebuke his ignorance, lest he arrogantly assume he is unanswerable (Pr 26:5). A reproof, “a word to the wise,” will work with a wise man more than a hundred blows on the back of a fool (Pr 17:10; 1:5). Be smart; choose only wise persons for your friends (Pr 9:6; 13:20; 14:7).

Socialists suggest better jobs and more money make a difference. But you would never know by watching the fools among today’s actresses and athletes. Multi-million dollar salaries for playing boys’ games have not taught them wisdom. Some are no smarter than the animals mentioned in the proverb, in spite of exorbitant incomes and lavish lifestyles.

Love and affection are not right for a fool, for they will inflame his conceit and justify his perverse lifestyle. Fools should not be given honor or attention, for these two reasons make it wrong (Pr 26:1,8; 19:10; 30:21-23; Eccl 10:5-7). Giving esteem and respect to a fool is also a sure way to discourage the hearts of wise men observing such a disgrace.

It is a shame when so-called Christian authors write books like, “Dare to Discipline.” Considered by some a strong argument for child discipline, it presented the pampering of children and promotion of self-esteem under the guise of Christianity. Humanistic psychology rejects the rod and calls for much gentler forms of punishment. Clearly, the authors never worked with brute beasts, and their methods have proven worthless.

Corporal punishment for fools is good, as necessary and useful as whips and bridles for brute beasts. To the degree it is eliminated in modern discipline-hating and rebellion-pampering societies, those nations will decline. Self-discipline taught by a rod is crucial to good character. This proverb alone should justify the Bible at the top of bestseller lists.

Flogging was once the universal means of keeping family, domestic, military, and academic discipline. The hickory stick was a great way to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. Now you can hardly even find an accurate encyclopedia entry for this once widely used public punishment for all sorts of fools. Such revisionism is a devilish lie.

They say corporal punishment is not a deterrent, but such an insane notion is the product of academicians who never worked on a farm and hallucinate outside reality. Everyone knows pain is a deterrent. Children learn about fire and heat, weak branches in trees, and stairs by experiencing them! Not by learning about them through verbal instruction!

A whip does not make a horse smart, nor does a bridle help an ass; neither will a rod give wisdom to a fool (Pr 17:10; 27:22). The rod, like the whip and bridle, is merely God’s means to control, motivate, and punish fools. They will always need to be beat, as they will generally not learn wisdom, for they do not have the heart or mind for it (Pr 17:16).

Children are not properly fools in the sense of this proverb, but they are born with foolishness bound in their hearts (Pr 22:15). They must be trained from an early age with reproofs and use of the rod (Pr 13:24; 19:18; 23:13-14; 29:15,17). While fools proper will not learn wisdom, you can train outstanding character into your children with the rod.

Today nations have rejected the Bible and their traditional use of the rod, so you do not have the option of beating the fools you must manage. Within the limits of any particular situation, you must be creative to use the strongest, most direct, most painful measures you have your disposal. This proverb’s wisdom has taught that words will not be enough.

The Lord Jesus Christ was an obedient Son to His parents and Servant to God by verbal instruction (Luke 2:51; Isaiah 50:4-6). There was no need for a rod in His training, for He was the wisest of men. Yet He did know how to make a whip and use it, when driving fools from His Father’s house of prayer (Jn 2:12-18). What a glorious Man and Leader!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 18.11 – The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, they imagine it an unsalable wall. 

Riches ruin most men. Their pride grows with their money. They see no need for God or most men. They believe they are safe from trouble; they assume they are smart for their success. They are blinded to the fact God made them rich, they cannot avoid death He will soon send, and they will give their most detailed accounting to Him with hell to pay.

Rich men trust their money for safety. It is their strong city. They think they can buy their way out of trouble. It is the high wall around their city formed by their conceit. But their arrogance deceives them! They cannot postpone death; they cannot take a cent with them; and the holy and terrible Judge they will soon meet cannot be bribed by any payment!

The rich think themselves secure from all enemies, as if in a strong city; they imagine the city has a high wall to repulse even aggressive attackers. But both city and wall are the deceit of conceit! Cancer has no regard for money, nor does Father Time. Trouble will breach the wall; death will storm the city; and the final judgment will sweep it all to hell!

You will not fully appreciate this proverb, without reading the one before it. There you find, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Pr 18:10). What a difference between the righteous and the rich! The righteous find safety in the LORD Jehovah, while the rich look to their assets and income for help.

Can the rich buy themselves safety? They can hire a crop duster to spray their property for mosquitoes! They can post bond for a prodigal son! They can buy politicians for laws to subsidize their businesses! They can pay the best doctors for a nearly perfect facelift! They might even be able to pay the ransom to get a young child back from kidnappers!

So the rich man lives with the arrogant confidence of a conqueror. He eats at the best restaurants, flies first class, and has a chauffeur. He does not worry about unemployment, braces for the children, his failing parents, paying the mortgage off, getting the kids through college, or anything else. He thinks he has it made – until he dies and wakes up naked in the blinding light of the Judge of all flesh, Who has no regard for rich men!

David wrote about these men and their insane thinking (Ps 49:6-14). They cannot buy off Death for any in their family, no matter how beloved. They presume Death will not strike them like others. They see great estates transferred or destroyed when rich men die, but they ignore the warnings and continue in arrogance. They name buildings and parks after themselves to promote their honor. They die like hyenas and rot in the grave, but their descendants or beneficiaries approve their lifestyle and the same arrogance. Fools!

Are you enticed by the lifestyles of the rich and famous? Hollywood and the devils behind it want to sell you that damning picture. Do the gated communities with massive mansions and manicured lawns cause you to envy the wicked? Do you resent your job or your modest home or even your life? Be wise and choose contentment, lest you also fall for their dysfunctional lives, divorces, drugs, drunkenness, and so forth.

Jesus described a haughty rich man, who had more abundance than he could store. He conceitedly boasted he would build bigger barns to hold it all, and he would then begin his luxurious retirement in total luxury for many years. But the Lord said to him, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” (Luke 12:20). His high wall fell down! His strong city was taken!

The rich are rich by God’s choice (I Chr 29:12; Ps 75:6-7; I Cor 4:7). They ought to be the most humble, for they should know and admit more quickly than others that it was all of God’s sovereign mercy and favor that they have anything. There is no such thing as a self-made man, and anything by inheritance is merely a function of birth. Anything a man has or is able to do is a gift from God, and He should give God all the glory and praise.

There is a terror they dread, and they cannot defer or postpone its visit to their bedroom. It will cause fear in every direction. It will root out and destroy all their confidence. It is the king of terrors – death itself (Job 18:11-14). What lies ahead for the foolish rich man, “He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world” (Job 18:18)?

No wonder Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to be saved (Matt 19:24). He had just seen a fine young man turn away from following Him due to his money (Matt 19:21-22). Never desire something so dangerous! You cannot serve two masters, so choose God today and hate riches (Matt 6:24). Be thankful for what you have, and give any extra away to those in need (I Tim 6:17-19).

Wise reader, reject any confidence in riches that come your way (Ps 62:10; I Tim 6:17). Do not seek them, as they have damned many souls before you (I Tim 6:7-10). Remember that infinite wisdom says godliness with contentment is great gain (I Tim 6:6). Choose wise Agur’s prayer as your own, and be content with moderate means (Pr 30:8). Build instead your confidence in the LORD by good works (Pr 18:10; I Tim 6:19).