A sentence by sentence commentary through the entire book of Proverbs. By Jake Norton
CHAPTER 1 Sentence #1 – Proverbs 1:1-4 1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; 2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; 4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. The first sentence in the book of Proverbs is comprised of the first four verses, and it tells us of what the reader is to“know”, “perceive”, “receive”, and “give” at the conclusion of reading its thirty one chapters. The first verse tells us of the book’s authorship (with a few exceptions later in the book), who is King Solomon, the wisest man on earth (1 Kings 4:2934). “To know wisdom” is the first reason for God giving us the book. As we will see time and time again throughout the study, we are talking about God’s wisdom, not the wisdom of the world. There is a big difference between the wisdom of the world’s philosophical system and God’s wisdom. If one is to obtain earthly wisdom, he is to receive something that is “not from above, but is earthly, sensual,” and “devilish” (James 3:15). This is NOT the wisdom that is talked about all throughout the Proverbs. The wisdom to be found in Proverbs is “the wisdom that is from above… full of mercy and good fruits” (James 3:17). I look around this world, and I see many pious Christians, who get caught up in the science and philosophy of this world, and even though by man’s standards they may be considered intellectual, they completely miss the point. Paul said that “of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom”… you do NOT have to be a college graduate to have God’s wisdom – all you need is Jesus Christ! Isn’t He the one that said if any man “lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to ALL MEN liberally… and it shall be given him”? “To know… instruction” is the second reason God gave us the book of Proverbs. As we will find out later in our study, the instruction spoken of here is one of chastening. As we will see in Proverbs 20:11; 22:6, 15;23:13; and 29:15 – the world’s standard of discipline doesn’t quite match God’s. “To perceive the words of understanding” – did you catch that? The words of understanding! The difficulty of the next 911 verses is not understanding what the verses mean, but the ability of the reader to biblically apply the text to his everyday life. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart” is easy to understand isn’t it? Then why do we panic the first time something doesn’t go quite the way we planned for it to? Why do we blame God when a loved one gets cancer, or a close friend loses his job? I believe the reason that
the “plain” words (Proverbs 8:9) of a proverb are often not adhered to is because Job 28:28 implies that one must “depart from evil” in order to perceive understanding. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone tell me to “trust your instincts”, “go with your gut”, “search your heart” etc… when the trouble is, that according to God, my heart “is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked”! The only way we will ever be able to fully grasp these few things mentioned in the first four verses of Proverbs as we go through the book, is if we will not only believe what it says, but also apply it as well. “To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment” – we already noted that we are to “know instruction”, but now we are told to receive it. May God help us to come out of this study with the same type of mindset David portrays in Psalm 118:18 – “The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.” The comparison of justice and judgment is really quite clear throughout Proverbs – justice is the ability to discern between what is right and what is wrong, while judgment is to not only know what is right and what is wrong, but to then act on that knowledge with the bible as the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. That is the problem with the world today – they acknowledge the problems our nation is facing with issues such as teenage pregnancy, yet instead of facing the root cause of the problem (SIN!), they show a quick video, then follow up by handing out free contraceptives to all those who wish to commit fornication without “consequence”. If there is one thing I’m tired of hearing from Christians, it’s that we’re not allowed to call sin what it is anymore – SIN! Don’t tell me to “judge not, that ye be not judged” if you can’t even tell me where it’s found in the bible, let alone what Jesus said four verses after He said it! Why is it that 1 Corinthians 2:15 is not quoted? One of the main reasons we have a bunch of liberal churches, full of liberal Christians, is because most preachers are too insistent upon being politically correct to call people out on their sin anymore. Don’t you know that sin is the reason that Jesus Christ had to be beaten, mocked and crucified 2,000 years ago? Why do we treat it like it’s no big deal? If Paul (Galatians 2:21) under inspiration of the Holy Spirit withstood Peter to his face for his sin, you better think twice before you end up like one of those quoting Matthew 7:1 outside its proper context. “and equity” – I will touch more on equity when we get to Proverbs 2:9 and 17:26, but for now just know that whenever the word is used in the bible, the context is God judging sin, balancing out what is right and what is wrong. You see, with God, there is no middle ground. You are either with Him, or against Him (Matthew 12:30). “To give subtilty to the simple” is the last thing mentioned in the first sentence from the book of Proverbs. Subtilty is tied with having discretion which is something that every Christian ought to be able to possess. It is most often seen when one is of old age, but if you’ll note verse four, it’s available to even the most immature of men if they’ll simply believe and apply the book God gave him. Again, it is one thing to believe what the bible says to be true. Applying it to your everyday life is a completely different matter. May God help us as we go through this book that is packed full of wisdom and truth, to believe and apply it to our hearts and minds.
Sentence #2 – Proverbs 1:5-6
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: 6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. “A wise man will hear” - There are many things that wise men do in the book of Proverbs. It is said of the wise man that he wins souls (11:30), receives commandments (10:8), stores the commandments in his heart (10:14), hearkens unto godly counsel (12:15), speaks with caution (29:11), seeks knowledge (18:15), disperses knowledge (15:7), departs from evil (14:16), and works hard (10:5). We will get to each of these throughout the study, but the first mark of a wise man mentioned here in Proverbs 1:5 is that “a wise man will hear”. I believe that the reason we no longer see biblical Christianity flowing out of our churches is because people just do not listen. They go to church, they read the bible, they may even witness, but they just simply do not listen to what God said. I know many a Christian who believe that going to church two out of the three times it gathers in a week, is not wrong. May I submit to you that this is not because they’ve never read Hebrews 10:24-25, and it’s not because they are terrible, liberal Christians either… I think that they just do not listen! Our text says that “a wise man will hear” – are you a wise man? Do you listen to what God said? Do you believe it’s a good idea to have a “social” drink every once in a while, or did you listen to what God said? Did God not say that “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”? Did He not say that we shouldn’t even look at it in Proverbs 23:31? We’ll hit on those verses in more detail later in the book, but again let me say that for the most part we’re not dealing with bad Christians who don’t love God. In fact, many are probably far better than I will ever be. But do you listen to God when you hear Him say something to you? Are you “a wise man” who hears what He says, or do you say “oh my god” like it’s no big deal (Deuteronomy 5:11)? Do you “keep company” with “fornicators, covetors, idolators, railers, drunkards, and extortioners” (1 Corinthians 5:11) from your church, or do you “restore them in the spirit of meekness” (Galatians 6:1) like God told you to? I could go on and on with this, but hopefully you get the point. We unfortunately have come to a point in our nation, where we read the bible, we study the bible, but we apparently just don’t “hear”. Our text in Proverbs 1:5-6 is very clear, that if you will become like the “wise man” who “will hear”, you will receive three things from God: • An increase in learning (vs. 5) •
Godly counsel (vs. 5)
An understanding of the proverbs (vs. 6)
This goes right along the lines with what Jesus said in Mark 4:24, “Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.” If you will become like the wise man, and hear what God said, God will bless you in abundance for it. So as we go through the book of Proverbs and study how to be what God calls a “wise man”, let’s keep in mind that the very first thing that is said of the wise, is that they listen to the word of God. It’s not just an available resource in time of need, it’s not just a “road map” to get us through life, but it’s the living word of God that is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”(Hebrews 4:12)
Sentence #3 – Proverbs 1:7 7
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Before I get into why this verse is one of the most vital concepts for every soul winner to grasp hold of, I need to first discuss what “The fear of the Lord” means. Forget about everything anybody has ever told you about what it is, because we are only concerned with what the bible says it is. First let me tell you what “the fear of the Lord” is not. It is not “godly reverence”, like many would lead you to believe. Certainly we are to revere the creator God, for after all, “What is man, that” he is “mindful of” us (Psalm 8:4, Hebrews 2:6)? But does “the fear of the Lord” have anything to do with respect? Common sense would suggest that fear and respect are two completely different terms with two completely different meanings, yet I have heard many bible teachers claim they are one in the same. Do you really believe that when it says the shepherds were “sore afraid” of the angels on their way to see Jesus, that they were showing reverence to them? I’m pretty sure that when God said in 1 John 4:18 that “fear hath torment” he was not talking about respect. As a matter of fact, I can’t find one reference in the entire bible where the word fear should lead anybody to believe that it means anything other than being scared or terrified! Paul makes a clear distinction between the two in Hebrews 12:28 when he says “whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence AND godly fear”. So now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at Proverbs 1:7. It says that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”. I believe that if every soul winner would take this and apply it when witnessing, we would see a lot more people trust Jesus Christ for salvation (Romans 10:9,10). I believe that if every preacher in America would grab hold of this promise and preach it week after week, then our nation might actually have a chance (Psalm 9:17). Think about this for a moment, if the bible says that “the fear of the Lord” is the starting place where any man must begin to receive knowledge, why when we witness, do we start with the Romans Road? If “the fear of the Lord” is the beginning of knowledge, why don’t we start with Revelation 20:11-15? Any “conversion” that did not start with man fearing God because of his sin, was no conversion at all. They may have said a prayer and they may have even come to church afterwards, but if they did not believe that if they were to die without God that they’d spend an eternity in the lake of fire, then they are no better than those who “believed in vain” in 1 Corinthians 15! I can promise you this, the best day of your life was not when you got saved. The best day of your life was when you got scared of God! Why? Because until that day came, according to Proverbs 1:7, you didn’t have a chance at getting saved. The moment you realize that without the precious blood of Jesus Christ you are going to die and spend eternity without God, is the single most important moment in your entire life. Getting saved is the easy part, it’s getting lost that takes some time! “But fools despise wisdom and instruction” is the second half of verse 7. There are many reasons God would label a man to be a fool, among those are: • Despises wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7) •
Makes a mock at sin (Proverbs 14:9)
Meddles in other people’s business (Proverbs 20:3)
Has his eyes in the ends of the earth (Proverbs 17:24)
Resists punishment for correction (Proverbs 17:10)
Trusts in his own heart (Proverbs 28:26)
Denies the existence of God (Psalm 14:1)
Does not believe the Old Testament (Luke 24:25)
Questions the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:36)
Accepts honorary titles (Matthew 23:9, 17, 19)
Talks too much (Ecclesiastes 5:3)
Trusts in earthly goods and worldly possessions (Luke 12:20)
The first in our list of fools in Proverbs is one who despises wisdom and instruction. If you’re one who despises the word of God, who cringes when you hear strong biblical preaching, or who mocks those who study the bible, God calls you a fool. Do you long to study the bible each and every day, growing in wisdom as God instructs you on how to live your life? Or do you despise it like the fool in Proverbs 1:7? If God considers you a fool to despise His word, then take comfort in the fact that the opposite must be true as well. You would be a wise man to have a longing desire to study and learn the bible, so that you can grow in wisdom as God instructs you on how to live your life!
Sentence #4 – Proverbs 1:8-9 8
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 9 For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. “My son” – the son spoken about here is undoubtedly Rehoboam (1 Kings 11:43), and the instructions that follow are more than applicable to those whom have a wise father and mother like he did (Solomon and Naamah). I thank God every day for the parents He gave me. They instilled the fear of God (Proverbs 1:7) inside me at a young age, and it never left me. My dad has instructed me as well as I believe a man could on how to live a biblical Christian life. He taught me to “let God be true, but every man a liar”(Romans 3:4), and he not only taught me what I believe, but why I believe it as well. That’s the problem with much of my generation. They know what they believe, but they lack the discernment to “study” (2 Timothy 2:15) in order to have “answers” (1 Peter 3:15).Unfortunately, many may not have a godly father and mother to apply the passage to. Spiritually however, every saved Christian can apply the verse to their hearts and minds. “hear the instruction of thy father” – spiritually, every Christian has a Father, and our text says we would do well to “take heed” (1 Corinthians 10:12) to His instructions. The bible says that the moment you received Jesus Christ as your Savior and became a “son of God” (John 1:12), the incorruptible seed of “the Word” (John 1:14) came inside of you to “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). Are you listening to that guide?
“and forsake not the law of thy mother” – everybody knows and understands that we have a spiritual, heavenly Father. What everybody does not know is that we also have a spiritual, heavenly mother. Contrary to what the Catholic “church” might tell you, your heavenly mother is not Mary the mother of Jesus. God tells us our heavenly mother is “Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all” (Galatians 4:26). So the “law of thy mother” in our text here is the law of New Jerusalem, which is the mother of all saved, born again Christians. And you can bet your life on the fact that the same law of New Jerusalem is the same law that God gave you and I to go by in this life! The bible stands though the hills may tumble, it will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble; I will plant my feet on its firm foundation, for the bible stands! If it’s good enough to go by “in heaven” (Psalm 119:89), then it’s sure good enough to go by in this life as well! May you faithfully strive to be biblically minded Christians, so that the law of God can be an “an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck”!
Sentence #5 – Proverbs 1:10 10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. Here we have the second word of instructions given from Solomon to his son (Rehoboam) in the chapter. In order to properly understand the verse, it is important to know what the words “entice” and “consent” mean. Some of the new translations have changed the word “consent” to make it “easier” to understand, but I am perfectly content to look up the word for myself. In fact, one of the finest books I’ve ever read is called “The Language of the King James Bible” by Gail Riplinger. Her claim is that “the King James Bible contains God’s Built-in Dictionary, defining each word, in its context, using the very words of the Webster’s and Oxford English Dictionaries!” In the book, she goes through the 1000 most difficult words in the KJB and shows how God defines all of them, within the context of the verse and/or all throughout the other times it is used in scripture (for more information on Riplinger’s book you can visit her website). You do NOT have to know Greek or Hebrew to understand the bible, and you do NOT have to dumb down the language in order for people to understand the scriptures. In fact, when you do that, I believe you miss out on what I believe is one of the most amazing things about God and His word – that He was able to write a book that can stand the test of time and the change of cultures, without the need for an appendix! This truth will come in handy as we continue to go through the book of Proverbs and come across words that may be foreign to our everyday speech. To get an understanding of what Solomon means by “entice”, let’s look at the first time the word is mentioned in Exodus 22:16. And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. As you read this verse and the ones that follow (Deut 13:6, Judges 14:15; 16:5, 2 Chron 18:19-21) you see from the context that the word means “to deceive”. What I find even more interesting about the first mention, however, is if you will notice the word “betrothed” is used AGAIN in Exodus 21:8 talking about the same type of situation, and God describes this as the man having “dealt deceitfully with her”!
The other word in the verse that may need some clarification is “consent”. Consent means “to hearken”, and this information can be gathered again by simply looking at the context of its usage all throughout scripture. Take careful notice of how God specifically uses the word “hearken” as a synonym for the word in Deuteronomy 13:8 and 1 Kings 20:8. So again, there is absolutely no need for a Strong’s concordance, or even a Greek and Hebrew dictionary! All you need is a willingness “to study” (2 Tim. 2:15) the book that God gave you! God really did mean it when He said that “the entrance of” His “words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:30). So now that we know that to entice is to deceive and to consent is to hearken, we can properly understand the verse. It is clear that “sinners” in the Old Testament has a completely different connotation to that of the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the word is always used of wicked men of extremely bad character (Gen. 13:13, Numbers 16:38). In the New Testament however, Paul says “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”(Romans 3:23). When Jesus sat down with the “publicans and sinners” He wasn’t just with lost men, He was sitting down with an extremely rough crowd (Luke 15:1). This truth can also be clearly seen by the verses that we’ll look at in the next sentence of Proverbs, where Solomon warns his son to watch out for murderers and thieves (sinners). The verse does still have definite New Testament application for the church, and we would do well to “take heed” (1 Corinthians 10:12) to the passage as well. We’re told over and over again in the New Testament to “be not deceived”(1 Cor. 6:9, 15:33; Gal. 6:7; Eph. 5:6; 2 Thess. 2:3; 1 John 3:7) by those that sin as well as “sin” itself (Romans 7:11). Take a look at all of the filth that we as Christians have to put up with on a daily basis; God says don’t be deceived by it. It’s unholy, it’s unrighteous, it’s sin! God says “consent thou not” when bitterness creeps into your heart, God says“consent thou not” when the lusts of your flesh try and deceive you, and God says “consent thou not” when you want to dishonor your family, your church, and more importantly the name of Jesus Christ by hanging out with a crowd that blasphemes the Creator God on a daily basis! If there is any possible way to keep sin out of your life, it’s to heed to Proverbs 1:10, and don’t even let it meddle in your mind for even a second. Much later in this study, we’re going to find out that as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). We’re to beblameless, holy, and undefiled Christians if we want to please the Lord Jesus Christ and have any chance at doing anything for Him. Many times we don’t see our lost friends and family members saved from their sin because they see on a daily basis how we treat it like it’s something that we have no power over. Take God’s advice – “consent thou not” (Prov. 1:10), “take heed” (1 Cor. 10:12) and “flee” (2 Tim. 2:22) so that you can have victory over sin!
Sentence #6 – Proverbs 1:11-16 11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: 12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: 14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: 15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: 16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
Even though we find a group of men making “haste to shed blood” (vs 16), the motive of these murderers can be clearly seen in verse 13 – “we shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil”. So the text is not a description of blood thirsty murderers, but rather lazy good for nothing men who want to have the luxuries that others have without the need to work. When you read through the bible, you realize over and over again that there is “no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The men Solomon is warning his son about are nothing but modern day socialists, the only difference being that they have to kill people in order to get what they want instead of getting a free government handout. Jesus spoke of the character of these men in John 10:10 when He said “the thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy”. For many years now the devil has been effectively utilizing socialism/communism in an attempt to remove the fear of God and His laws from our nation. At the very heart of socialism is the “obliteration” (stealing) of private property. The early church is often criticized of being communistic or socialistic in nature, as they are found having “all things common” (Acts 4:32) and setting up “distribution… unto every man according as he had need” (Acts 4:35). The critics fail to take note of Acts 5:4 however, where it is clearly seen that all of the leaders in the church were firm believers in private ownership of property! The reason that they were able to make having “all things common” work is because the pooling of goods was entirely voluntary and they gave “not by constraint, but willingly” (1 Peter 5:2). On top of all of that, they were a group of people who feared God (Acts 5:11) and genuinely cared for one another. The bible says they “were of one heart and of one soul” (Acts 4:32), they were full of “gladness and singleness of heart”, and every day they were found “with one accord in the temple” (Acts 2:46). Why did it work for the church and why does it not work today? Because as we look around our nation and see here in our text, without the Holy Spirit of God, all you have is a bunch of “low life’s” who will literally do whatever it takes to get “substance” without having to work for it. Take Solomon’s advice, and “walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path” (vs 15). Another interesting point to note is the fact that these men reference the “pit” in verse 12, and speak of it as Moses did in Numbers 16:30-33. They know and acknowledge that there is a hell waiting for the wicked, and yet they’re so stuck on the “here and now” that they decide to kill people for money.
Sentence #7 – Proverbs 1:17 17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. “in vain” - the application of the passage is clear. The fact that the fowler is spreading out his net while the bird watches is vanity or worthless because the bird is so “greedy” (Proverbs 1:19) it’s not going to fly away regardless of any potential consequences that may come from the net. All the bird cares about is the bait. The fact that there is a huge net lingering on all sides of it does not cause him to lose focus on his need of the hour. And as soon as he gives into the temptation, he is destroyed. What a clear application there is in this verse to the sin of this world. There isn’t a born again Christian on this earth who is out sleeping around, that isn’t aware “God will
judge” (Hebrews 13:4) them for their actions. Just like the bird and the net, they have clearly seen and heard about the consequences of their sin, and yet just like that bird, they give into the lusts of their flesh. And just like that bird, they too will be destroyed. The bible says to “be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). The moment that boy or girl gives in to the lusts of their flesh, the bible says their “flesh shall reap corruption” (Galatians 6:8). Don’t be a foolish bird! You know God said to “flee fornication” (1 Corinthians 6:18), stay away from the net! You know God’s going to judge you for your gossip, stay away from the net (1 Timothy 5:13)! If you can see “in plain sight”in God’s word that He won’t let you get away with your sin, why are you acting as if your unaware of the big net that surrounds it that is about to destroy your life? Don’t be the foolish bird in this passage, be the wise bird in Proverbs 6:5, that delivers itself from the hand of the fowler! The only way that bird is going to deliver itself is if he flees“youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22), and flies away from the temptation that is set before him. Unfortunately most Christians think they can hang around the net without taking the bait. Little do they realize it’s only going to take one drink, one puff of a joint, or one romantic night alone with their significant other for their lusts to dive right in after that bait, and they too will be destroyed. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7)
Sentence #8 – Proverbs 1:18 18 And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. In case you skimmed over verse 17, God makes it clear in verse 18 that “your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). These men that were enticing Solomon to help murder the “innocent without cause” (vs 11) so that they could steal their “precious substance” and fill their “houses with spoil” (vs 13) are now fearful for their own lives. Their sin found them out! The fact that these men reference “the pit” in verse 12 is proof that they had knowledge of the Old Testament, so they should have also known that God set it up from the very beginning that the punishment for murder is death. God said “whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed:” (Genesis 9:6). These men are fearful “for their own lives” because there is absolutely nothing they can do to escape God’s judgment upon their sin. God had that net up “in plain sight” (vs 17) so that they would have no reason other than blatant disobedience to fall into the consequences of their sin. If you don’t believe Numbers 32:23, then go ahead – keep on sinning. But sooner or later, God will judge not only you, but those around you as well (2 Samuel 12:15-18; 13:1-19). If you think God’s going to let a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17) in Christ live like the world without paying for it, you don’t know the God of the bible. Consider the nation we live in and how “knowing the judgment of God… they… commit such things are worthy of death”and ”have pleasure in them” (Romans 1:32). America has without a doubt begun reaping the consequences of it’s actions. They’ve “changed the truth of God into a lie” (Romans 1:25) and God has only given them a small taste of what’s ultimately coming (Psalm 9:17) by allowing terrorists and national disasters to strike on our own soil. “God is love” (1 John 4:8) but He is also righteous, holy and just (Psalm 145:17). He will not
tolerate your sin or mine, so learn from these men by being ever mindful that “your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23)! Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. Job 4:8
Sentence #9 – Proverbs 1:19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof. The “ways” referenced in the verse are most likely talking about their actions from verses 11-14. This could safely be assumed because Solomon says “walk not thou in the way with them” immediately following in verse 15. Again, these men are not blood thirsty they are greedy. They want the “precious substance” (vs 13) so bad they are willing to shed “innocent” (vs 11) blood for it, and these actions have them scared for “their own lives” (vs 18) because they know that “the wicked shall not be unpunished” (Proverbs 11:21). Our text here says that the root of everything that happened in the previous eight verses is greed. This is the second time in the bible that we find the word greed, the first time being Psalm 17:12: Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places. It is important to take note that pride (Psalm 17:10) is what causes the lion “to be greedy of his prey”. The reason men desire the things they don’t need is because they think their deserving of them. The bible plainly teaches man is to be content with two things – food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8). Unfortunately many of us get caught up in the various things we don’t have to the point where we become “greedy of gain”. Consider this verse in Proverbs 15:27: He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live. God says when a man allows himself to become “greedy of gain” that he “troubleth his own house”! Just about every Hollywood star has been married more than once, and has had children with more than one person, and you don’t think greed has any correlation in all of that mess? God says it does! We ought to learn “to be content”(Philippians 4:11) like Paul and we ought to be training up our children to be the same. Unfortunately most parents in our day and age rear up spoiled kids who are never content and never satisfied with what God has blessed them with. I believe what we have here in Proverbs 15:27 is the most appropriate Christmas verse in all of the bible for our generation - “he that hateth gifts shall live”! Why don’t we teach our kids that verse around Christmas time? Call me a scrooge but I’m pretty sure the Lord Jesus Christ is not magnified by Christians giving each other presents to honor His birthday. We should be laying gifts at His feet like the wise men did in Matthew 2:11! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy spending time with family and giving and receiving gifts, but the point that Solomon is driving home here in Proverbs 1:19and 15:27 is that greed “troubleth” (15:27) the household and “taketh away the life of the owners thereof” (1:19). We have been given “eternal life” (1 John 5:11) and yet so often we become discontent with the way our “temporal” (2 Corinthians 4:18) life is going. This ought not be so.
Sentence #10 – Proverbs 1:20-22 20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, 22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? The text here in Proverbs 1:20-22 is an amazing one simply because God said in Proverbs 8:11that “wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it”. So according to the bible, there is nothing more valuable on this earth than wisdom! What is even more fascinating is that our text says that “wisdom crieth without… in the streets… in the chief place of concourse… in the openings of the gates… in the city”, and Proverbs 8 continues this thought when it says that “wisdom standeth… in the top of high places… by the way in the places of the paths… at the gates… at the entry of the city… at the coming in at the doors”. It is such an amazing thing that wisdom, which is more valuable than “all the things that may be desired” (Proverbs 8:11), is not only valuable but easily accessible! If the bible is true, someone who is not able to find wisdom must not be looking for it. God said that wisdom has a “voice” (1:20, 8:1), and she’s literally crying out offering herself to man. Unfortunately, most are looking for the money, sex and pleasures of this world instead of wisdom, and they want little to do with Jesus Christ “who of God is made unto us wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:30). How about you? What have you done to obtain wisdom? There’s really very little to do for the Christian, because God said that if any man “lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally” (James 1:5). Have you asked Him for it lately? Throughout the Proverbs we’ll find that there are three groups of men in desperate need of wisdom – the simple (7:7; 14:15; 22:3), the scorner (9:7-8; 13:1; 14:6; 19:25; 21:24), and the fool (1:7; 12:15; 14:9; 29:11). Wisdom rebukes all three in vs 22: “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity”? The simple is someone who not only lacks intelligence, but also motivation to be intelligent. The thought of bible study seems difficult, and doing anything beyond sleeping, working, eating, and playing is absurd. Yet here is wisdom crying out to the simple - “how long will ye love simplicity”? Why are you content living a life of ignorance? Why don’t you open up a bible so God can “make wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7)? “How long will… the scorners delight in their scorning”? Most of the modern versions incorrectly use the term “scoffers” in place of “scorners” here. A scoffer is simply one who takes sin lightly, and mocks the bible. That is not who wisdom is crying out to in this passage. Wisdom is crying out to “the scorners”. Scorner is a much stronger word used in the much stronger bible. It describes the person who absolutely despises the word of God. A scorner not only rejects the God of the bible, he enjoys hating Him. They take pleasure in making fun of the wisdom of God (2 Chronicles 30:10, Proverbs 19:28) and for this reason, wisdom is crying out to them.
“How long will… fools hate knowledge”? A fool doesn’t hate knowledge because he doesn’t have access to it. The fool hates knowledge because he is too prideful to submit to an Almighty God. “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). They have a heart problem. We will see in Proverbs 2:10 how when wisdom enters into the heart, knowledge becomes pleasant instead of hateful. Again, the fool does not lack knowledge, he hates it. The only way for the fool to overcome this hatred, is for wisdom to enter into his heart (Proverbs 2:10). The reason it is so difficult to win an atheist to Christ, is because not only do they “hate knowledge” (Proverbs 1:22), but they also “despise wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7) which according to our text is the cure to overcoming their hatred for knowledge! It is a tragic mess that they’ve gotten themselves into, and unfortunately most do not come out of it.
Sentence #11 – Proverbs 1:23 23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. There is much to be considered in this passage, but first it is important to define “reproof”. The bible says in2 Timothy 3:16 that “all scripture is profitable” for four things, and one of them is “reproof”, and because of this, knowing its definition is vital to our understanding of the entire word of God. If you were in a bible college, your professor would tell you to look up the Hebrew definition of the word, but why not “study” the English bible God gave you to “shew thyself approved” (2 Tim. 2:15)? God gave us a bible that contains the definition of reproof, and it can be found in Proverbs 9:8. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. We see here that “reproof” is synonymous with “rebuke” in the King James Bible, and it is the exact definition you will find in the Hebrew text and Webster’s Dictionary. And who said you needed to learn Greek and Hebrew to be able to understand the word of God? We will come across 21 different passages in the book of Proverbs alone where reproof is discussed and we will find the following to be true: Reproofs of instruction are the way of life (6:23) He that refuseth reproof erreth (10:17) He that hateth reproof is brutish (12:1) He that regardeth reproof shall be honoured and is prudent (13:18, 15:5) He that hateth reproof shall die (15:10) He that heareth reproof getteth understanding (15:32) In our text wisdom, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30), tells us to “turn you at my reproof”. We are commanded to turn towards God’s rebuke against man. It is important to notice that this turning towards God because of His rebuke comes BEFORE He says He “will make known my words unto you”. The text implies the same principle that can be found throughout the entire bible – which is that in order for God to make His truth known, man must first acknowledge Him as Almighty God by turning from his sin. Then and only then will God make known his“words”! It should not come as a surprise to find out that many modern versions of the bible change “words” in the verse to “thoughts”, “mind”,
or “counsel”. This is because those with a modern version don’t believe they have“every word of God” (Proverbs 30:5, Luke 4:4).Proverbs 2:6 makes it clear that if you’re ever going to get knowledge from God, you are going to get it from His mouth not His mind! So while the insertion of “mind” and “thoughts” for the “words” of God in the verse may seem harmless, it is contrary to how God really deals with revealing His truth to mankind. If you want the “words”, God says you must first “turn you at my reproof (rebuke)”. At the end of the day, we should be able to take great delight in this passage because God says “as many as I love, I rebuke” (Revelation 3:19), and the proper response to this rebuking of the Holy Spirit of God is repentance (Revelation 3:19), which again is a turning from sin towards God. Right in the middle of turning from God’s rebuke and God making known His words is the phrase “behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you”. The order in which these three phrases are laid out for us strongly emphasizes New Testament salvation. Those who do not have the “Spirit” (Jude 19) cannot possibly understand the “words” of God, and those who have not first turned FROM sin and TO Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:9) cannot possibly possess the“Spirit” of God. Paul speaks of the unsaved man as a man that “receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God… neither can he know them” (1 Corinthians 2:14). If a man misses heaven it will be because he never turned from his sin so that God could “pour out [his] spirit” on to him so that He could then “make known [His] words”.
Sentence #12 – Proverbs 1:24 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. “Because I have called” - the caller in this passage is wisdom, but again with the complete revelation of the New Testament, we know it is undoubtedly Jesus Christ “who of God is made unto us wisdom” (1 Cor. 1:30). “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof” the Lord Jesus Christ is about to lay down the punishment for ignoring His “reproof” from verse 22. Those who in this life refuse to heed the warnings of reproof from God, should be sure to read the next two verses carefully. God is not one to tolerate sin, and when He reproves it “ye do well that ye take heed” (2 Peter 1:19) to it. Jesus said of the man that doesn’t take God at His word, that “the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you” - here is where no “your best life now” preacher dare spends his time preaching from in the pulpit. We have gone from a merciful, loving God who“stretched out [his] hand” (vs. 24) for the lost, to a God who is now mocking the anguish and destruction of sinners in the lake of fire. Clear cross references for this
passage can be found in Psalm 2:4, 37:13, 59:8. While it may seem uncharacteristic of our loving God to laugh at those “in derision” (Psalm 2:4, 59:8), it should be noted that it was those who rejected His reproof that had the first “laugh” (Psalm 22:7) when God’s only begotten son was laying naked on the cross. God is not a cruel God who gets some sort of sick pleasure out of torturing people (see Ezekiel 18:23, 32), but rather He is a God who rejoices in getting glory over sin. The God of the bible is one who takes pleasure in hearing the sound of divine justice overcoming those who rejected the truth of His word, and if you end up as one of those “in derision”, it will be because you “believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess. 2:12). If it’s not unthinkable for unholy men to have “pleasure in unrighteousness”, why is it so unthinkable for a holy God to take pleasure in righteousness? So God’s response to those who “refused” (vs. 24) the word of God and have now received “fear… calamity… desolation… destruction… distress… anguish” (vs. 26-27) is laughter. And even though this God may not be preached about anymore for fear of being intolerant, the bible says He is still on the throne making a mockery of sin. This is why Jesus said to “fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). It’s important not to leave out the God of the bible for the sake of being politically correct, because without the “fear of the Lord” (Proverbs 1:7) there isn’t a soul on earth who will miss “distress and anguish” in hell. The sooner the person you’re witnessing to realizes that “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31) the better chance you will have at seeing them trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ for salvation.
Sentence #13 – Proverbs 1:28-30 28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. “Then” - they have ignored the “reproof” (vs. 23) and “refused” (vs. 24) the call from God to turn from their sin. Because of this, complete “distress and anguish” (vs. 27) has come upon them – so now comes the “then”. Notice“then” does not come in verse 23 when God offers to “make known [His] words” to them. “Then” does not come in verse 24 when God “stretched out [His] hand” - no, “then” comes AFTER it’s too late. They did not take God seriously and the proof is in the passage. “Then shall they call upon me” - NOW their listening, God. Now that they know you mean business, their willing to turn at your reproof (vs. 23). Now that’s it’s TOO LATE, they are ready to call upon you, God. How many men have refused the word of God, and slipped out into eternity only to wake up in “distress and anguish” (vs. 27) in hell and realize God really did mean business? “Then shall they call upon me”. If only they had taken God seriously. If only they had listened to the God of the bible, and believed on the name of Jesus Christ. If only they had been willing to“turn” (vs. 23) from their sin. This passage does not only discuss matters of eternity. This passage implies that God has refused to answer the call from a man who has FIRST refused the wisdom from the words
of God. This passage implies that there will come a day ON EARTH when man can’t find God even if he wanted to! God says they “shall seek me early, but they shall not find me”. They’ve had their chance. He’s given them the opportunity to get the wisdom of Christ, but they rejected it and it’s now too late. They can call, but the bible says He “will NOT answer”. God has “blinded their eyes” (John 12:40) so that they can no longer see “light” (Eph. 5:8). The bible teaches that if you reject light long enough from God, there will come a time when He will blind your eyes so you will not be able to find it. But God wouldn’t do that would He? Have you ever read Ezekiel 14:8-10? Or Isaiah 55:6-7? The text teaches of the man that “hated knowledge”, “did not choose the fear of the Lord”, “would none of [God's] counsel” and “despised all [God's] reproof”, that there will come a day when GOD will “cut him off” (Ezek. 14:8). Think about it – if Ephesians 5:13 says that “all things that are reproved are made manifest by THE LIGHT”, then if God has “blinded” (1 John 2:11) a man’s eyes, how will he ever get “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4)? Learn from the mistakes of countless others who have gone before us, and heed to the word of God. Jesus Christ is calling out for you to turn from your sin so He can make His words known to you (vs. 23). Don’t let it be you who wakes up one day on earth or in hell only to find that the light of Christ is no longer in sight. For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Sentence #14 – Proverbs 1:31 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. Here we see the biblical matter of sowing and reaping (Proverbs 22:8, 2 Corinthians 9:6, Galatians 6:7). The bible teaches if a people or nation want to reject the word of God, then He will give them exactly what they want – a world without God. As we saw in verse 28, God is MIA and nowhere to be found. He’s “left the building”. They can call “but [He] will not answer” (vs. 28). As you look around our nation today and observe the blatant sodomy, covetousness, fornication, unthankfulness, and disrespect from its citizens, one might wonder why God hasn’t yet “turned [it] into hell” (Psalm 9:17). Where’s the sowing and reaping for America? Why do the wicked prosper? The answer is found in Romans 1. In Romans 1 we find a nation that: • “changed the truth of God into a lie” (Rom. 1:25)allowed the women to “change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men” (Rom. 1:26-27) •
“did not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Rom. 1:28)
was “filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, coveteousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful” (Rom. 1:29-31)
God said not only did “such things [that] are worthy of death” but also that took “pleasure in [doing] them” (Rom. 1:32)
Now wouldn’t you think in the midst of reading all of that American-like wickedness we would find God sending down fire from heaven like He did with Sodom and Gomorrah? Unfortunately we read about something much worse. Instead of reading about a nation being “turned into hell” (Psalm 9:17), we read that “GOD GAVE THEM UP” (Rom. 1:24, 26)! Do you see what God has done? Because America has decided to live in iniquity, God has given her up! And as a result of this, our nation’s citizens will “eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices”(Proverbs 1:31). The reason we can murder millions of babies and not feel the wrath of God on our nation is because God’s judgment is not fire from heaven – it’s giving the people what they want. The nation you live in is no longer a Christian nation that fears God and promotes the bible. Instead it promotes “unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, coveteousness, [and] maliciousness” (Rom. 1:29). Why do people keep wondering when God will give up on America? He’s done with it! The bible teaches that when a nation turns “the truth of God into a lie” (Rom. 1:25) that God will give that nation up! The question is not when WILL God turn His back on our country, it is when DID He? The fact that God has done this is the worst thing that could have ever happened to America. The wicked men and women of our nation are not living free of consequence for their actions, they are living in a world without God! Can you think of a greater punishment this side of eternity than that? The unfortunate part about this is that those who do not know God do not realize they are being punished, and they will continue to live in complete ignorance of the God of the bible until they stand before Him face to face at the Great White Throne of Judgment (Revelation 20:12-15). So as unfortunate as it is to realize, when comparing Proverbs 1:31 with Romans 1, we can safely assume that God has forsaken America. He has turned His back on her and the only way He is ever going to turn around is if she turns from her wicked ways. As Christians, we are the minority. Turning this thing around may seem like an impossible task, but it is the responsibility we’re left with. Thinking back to a similar time in Israel’s national history in Jeremiah 7, what did God tell Jeremiah to do when he was the minority of his wicked nation? It wasn’t to pray for her that’s for sure. In fact He specifically told Jeremiah “pray not thou for this people” (Jeremiah 7:16)! Now I realize that may be a tough pill to swallow, but it is what God said. Instead He told Jeremiah to “stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD” (Jeremiah 7:2). God says the only thing we are to do is preach the word – that’s the only hope for our nation. So we need to quit begging God to bless a nation that He’s clearly forsaken and do all we can to let this wicked and perverse country hear what the perfect and holy God of the bible has to say (Luke 13:34-35). It is the only hope America has if she ever wants to be free from this great punishment; God’s turning away from her people.
Sentence #15 – Proverbs 1:32 32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. It is plain to see from verse 32 that those things which might be considered “good” here on earth, can be a people or nation’s undoing. Health, wealth, and good pleasure in this life is apparently not all it’s cracked up to be, for the bible specifically says that “prosperity” is what will destroy the fool. “The simple” are a bit smarter than the fool, albeit both end up in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:15). For they apparently don’t need to be lured in by the pleasures of this world to lose their souls, they are just willfully ignorant (Psalm 19:7, Romans 2:15) . It is the “prosperity of the wicked” (Psalm 73:3) that gets the fool, however. Psalm 73 is a passage that every Christian ought to always keep in “remembrance” (2 Peter 1:15). Asaph looks out at a nation much like ours today, and sees the “prosperity of the wicked”, and this makes him “envious at the foolish”(Psalm 73:3) in his heart. Here he is, a God fearing man who struggles to get by, while the ungodly people of his day“have more than heart could wish” (Psalm 73:7). The bible says that the thought of the ungodly prospering was “too painful for” (Psalm 73:16) Asaph to bear. How about you? Does it bother you that the unrighteous seem to enjoy their sin more than you enjoy your bible? Are you “envious at the foolish” (Psalm 73:3)? It’s time for you to realize the same thing Asaph did when he “went into the sanctuary of God” - he remembered “THEIR END” (Psalm 73:17)! You see, it’s not about this life. It never has been. The wicked may prosper now, and they may enjoy eating “the fruit of their own way” (Prov. 1:31) now, but God says “it is they that shall be destroyed for ever” (Psalm 92:7)! While it may often seem that those who do not fear and love God have it better than we do, we would do well to remember that we’ve got a better life coming! Let us be as Moses, who thought it best to esteem “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” (Hebrews 11:26). Did you catch that? The “reproach of Christ” is better than the ungodly prosperity of the fool that the world has to offer you. Those of us who have been “accepted in the beloved”(Eph. 1:6) will always be the ones better off, and that goes not only for eternity, but this life as well!
Sentence #16 – Proverbs 1:33 33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. “But whoso hearkeneth unto me” - God calls for man to hearken. “Hearken” is not found anywhere in most of the modern bibles, and instead it is exchanged with “listen”. There is clearly a difference in the two terms, as it is possible to listen without hearkening, but it is not possible to hearken without having first listened. God didn’t stop at a “wise man will hear” in verse 5, there was more to it than that. It would be one thing for a child to hear a preacher say “children obey your parents”, but it would be a completely different matter for that child to hearken to what was preached by doing what their parents told them. So
there’s more to the bible than just listening to what the word of God has to say. God wants you to obey it like we saw earlier in the chapter and again here in verse 33. This matches the principle taught in James 1:22, so “hearkeneth” must be the word God wanted to “preserve”(Psalm 12:6-7) in your English bible. Its meaning is still generally understood, but the law of first mention (taught by many to look up the first time a word is used in scripture to get a clear look at its definition) holds up if you look back in Genesis 3:17. Adam didn’t just listen to the tempation from Eve, the bible says he “hearkened unto the voice of [his] wife, and hast eaten of the tree”. “shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil” - two promises that are given to the man who will hearken to the word of God are safe dwelling and quietness from fear of evil. There is no life more satisfying, than that of those who live by the bible. A marriage between one saved man and one saved woman who love the Lord and live by the bible will be a happy one. A teenager who will “flee youthful lusts [and] follow righteousness” (2 Timothy 2:22) will have more joy than the one who makes choices based on his “fleshly wisdom” (2 Corinthians 1:12). Do you want peace? Do you want joy? Do you want “quiet from fear of evil”? Then hearken unto the word of God and its“righteousness [which] tendeth to life” (Proverbs 11:19). You can be in the midst of “trouble on every side”, while at the same time “not [be] distressed” (2 Corinthians 4:8). David went up WITHOUT FEAR against the greatest enemy his nation had ever faced, and slew Goliath because he had confidence that God would deliver him into their hands (1 Sam. 17:46). So we see in the text that there is a certain peace that God’s word brings that “passeth all understanding”(Philippians 4:7), and it’s available to “whoso [that] hearkeneth”! Yes, it applies to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament (Deut. 12:10; 33:28, 1 Sam. 22:23 etc), and yes, it applies to the Jews in the tribulation (Psalm 32, Zech. 14, Amos 9 etc), but it also applies to the “whoso” of Proverbs 1:33! If you’ve been struggling with fear, it’s time for you to acknowledge where it came from (2 Timothy 1:7) and hearken unto the word of God.
CHAPTER 2 Sentence #17 – Proverbs 2:1-5 1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. The prize in the passage is understanding (vs 5). If you will follow the simple steps in vs 1-4, God says He will grant you understanding. This understanding is not of “good and evil” (Gen. 3:5) like Eve wanted, it’s not understanding of science like men long for (1 Tim. 6:20), and it’s not understanding of Greek or Hebrew like many suggest is necessary to grasp the word of God – none of these are on the table. The understanding that’s available to the man who will submit to vs 1-4 is the understanding of the “fear of the LORD” (vs 5). As previously discussed in Proverbs 1:7, the“fear of the Lord” is vital for a man to possess in order to obtain salvation. We also saw how “fear” means exactly what it says, “fear”! For someone to teach anything contrary to that would mean they’d have to be looking somewhere besides the bible to define the term. Fear always means to be “scared” or “terrified” no matter where you look in scripture. So forget everything your college professor may or may not have told you, and let’s look at the four things God says a man must do in order to “understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God” (vs 5). “My son, if thou wilt receive my words” - the first thing required is to receive the words of God. A man can go to church, pay a tithe, listen to the singing, bear through the preaching, and leave the church house having still not received the word of God. It takes a willing mind to receive the word of God, and this can be clearly seen in Acts 17. The Bereans were a group of Christians who God says “received the word with all readiness of mind” (Acts 17:11). They didn’t receive it with their ears but with their mind. It was also said of these men that they “searched the scriptures daily”, which likely played an important role in their ability to receive the words of God. I’ve heard many a preacher be criticized for people not getting anything out of his preaching, but perhaps the problem lies on the shoulders of the congregation if in fact they’ve not been faithful to read the bible all week! In any event, the first requirement for understanding “the fear of the LORD” (vs 5) is to receive God’s words. What better way to receive God’s words than to read them on a daily basis? “and hide my commandments with thee” - requirement number two is to hide His words that you’ve already received! Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee”. It’s possible to have received the word on Sunday, but forgotten it by Tuesday. The key is retaining the knowledge God gave you! This is exactly why the church in Hebrews had to be rebuked. They had been sitting under strong bible teaching for so long, that the bible says they should have been to the point where they could be “teachers”, but instead they were still in “need of milk” (Hebrews 5:12). It’s not a
shameful thing to be a newborn babe in Christ, but it should only take so long before you begin to grow from the “sincere milk of the word” (1 Peter 2:2). So the first two requirements for understanding the fear of the Lord revolve around the words and commandments of God. Both are plural in the text, because God wants you to receive “every word of God” (Proverbs 30:5) and not just the general message. The way God says to go about meeting these requirements is found in vs 2 – “Incline thine ear” (requirement #1), and “apply thine heart” (requirement #2). “Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding” - the next two requirements are where we really earn it. It’s difficult to gather from verse 3 that a silent prayer in a man’s mind is going to cut it here. God says you want knowledge and understanding? Then beg me for it! James 2:4 is a great passage to claim, but keep this passage in mind as well. If you want to learn the bible, if you want to “understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God”, then get on your knees and cry out to God for help. Saying a quiet prayer in your mind on your way to work doesn’t seem to line up with the requirement. “If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures” - the last requirement is to look. You’ve received the word, retained the word in your heart, begged for it, and now all that’s left is to look. And don’t just look like you’ve lost the remote, look like you’ve lost your wallet! My suggestion on where to start looking would be that since the whole passage so far has been surrounded by the “words” and “commandments” of God, then the best place to start would be the bible. And more specifically, I’d look in the book of Proverbs, because as we saw in chapter 1 it is the source for wisdom, knowledge and understanding. So there you have it, a four step way to understanding the “fear of the LORD” and finding “the knowledge of God”(vs 5). It is worth pointing out that these four things are not necessary to possess the fear of the Lord, but more to understand and comprehend it. It is also important to note, that since the first step in vs 1 requires a humble spirit, verse 5 can’t mean that we’re going to possess the same knowledge God possesses, but rather the “of” in the verse signifies that knowledge ABOUT God is the prize to be gained. We’re not going to possess the same knowledge as God, but it is certainly possible to learn more about God and how He operates (Romans 11:33, Job 11:7, Isaiah 48:5-7) this side of eternity.
Sentence #18 – Proverbs 2:6 6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. The modern educational system says in order to obtain “knowledge and understanding” you need a diploma. The bible says you get it from God. So called religious leaders want you to come to them for guidance, but contrary to what they and the “powers that be” (Rom. 13:1) want you to believe, true wisdom comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. God draws a clear distinction between wisdom that comes from God and the wisdom that comes from secular education. The bible says of the self-righteous intellects of
our nation that they only “seemeth to be wise in this world”, and that in order to “be wise” they must first “become fool[s]“ (1 Cor. 3:18). So according to God, the only purpose the knowledge I received from my degree in IT serves is that I can now better provide for my family. God said “let no man deceive himself” (1 Cor. 3:18) into thinking that education in anything other than the bible will make him wise or give him knowledge. See, according to Psalm 51:6, true wisdom dwells within a man’s heart and not his mind. The psalmist in Psalm 90 said “teach us to number our days, that we may applyour hearts unto wisdom”. Today we’re cramming so called knowledge, factual information, and sometimes even biblical information into our young people’s minds, instead of putting God’s words into their hearts. This would be why many in this world do not see abortion as murdering an innocent human being, but rather extracting a fetus from its mother’s womb. This would also be why our nation just elected another antiGod/anti-bible president into office! The text here in Proverbs 2:6 says that true wisdom, knowledge, and understanding is dispersed not from the idea of God, but from “out of his mouth”. We’ll later find out in chapter 30 that “every WORD of God is pure” (vs 5), and that we’re not to “add… unto his WORDS” (vs 6). The moment you venture outside of what God actually said for knowledge and understanding, is the moment you will be deceived – maybe even by God Himself (Ezekiel 14:8-10). This is why Joyce Meyer is so far off biblical Christianity. The day she decides to stop making up visions and opens up a bible will be the day she starts making sense! The main truth to gather from the passage is God. Solomon will soon tell us to “lean not unto thine own understanding” (Prov. 3:5), because it is God who gives wisdom (1 Kings 4:29) and God is the only one that should get the glory for it. Throw out religion, education and entertainment and get more of God’s word. It’s the only way to get true wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. (John 8:43-47)
Sentence #19 – Proverbs 2:7 7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. “He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous” seems to imply that doing what is right will merely qualify a man for free wisdom (vs 6). Once God has laid it up for that man, the bible says he still needs to ask for it (James 1:5).
Not only does a righteous man have access to wisdom from God, the verse says God will be a “buckler” to him as well! A buckler is a special type of shield used specifically for pushing back the enemy. Many new versions use“shield” instead of “buckler” which is true, but not completely accurate. It would be like using the word “shoe” instead of “boot”. What a wonderful thing it is to know, that God is not only “a shield unto them that put their trust in him” (Prov. 30:5) but He also acts as a ”buckler” by pushing back our adversaries. As Christians, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12). It’s comforting to know that those “who walk uprightly” are not alone in the fight! This passage is similar to that of 2 Samuel 22:31 and Psalm 18:2. God rewards the righteous for putting faith and trust in His words by providing safety from their adversaries. Thinking back to Proverbs 1:33, He also even removes the “fear of evil” as well. What an awesome God we have who promises to love and protect us in exchange for believing and obeying His precious book!
Sentence #20 – Proverbs 2:8 8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. There are many benefits to studying the Proverbs. Besides the obvious “receiv[ing] the instruction of wisdom” (Prov. 1:3), another benefit of the Proverbs is the reader can gather a great understanding of who God is and what He is like. Here in verse 8, we read about two of God’s habitual practices all throughout scripture – judging sin and preserving righteousness. A great sister verse to this passage is Psalm 37:28. For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. There you have it – God loves to judge! And not only that, He loves to bless those who pass His judgment because of the righteousness that they’ve received by putting their faith and trust in His word (Genesis 15:6,Romans 3:20-27, 4:3). Unfortunately, in exchange for the God of Psalm 37:28, the typical modern day churches (Rev. 3:14-18) have replaced Him with a God who accepts sinners who refuse “to repent” (Acts 17:30) of their sin. What the free-love so called “christians” don’t realize is, the God of the Old Testament who reigned down fire from heaven on Sodom and Gomorrha is the same God of the New Testament church age. The text here in Proverbs 2:8 says that “He keepeth the paths of judgment” – meaning He’s not going to ever stop judging sin! Thankfully, there are still a few bible preaching churches out there that refuse to compromise on the bible by giving the people the “come as you are” God that they want. The problem then becomes, does God permit Christians to judge? The typical answer even in bible believing churches is “judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). Yes, Jesus did say that, but it’s a sure bet that 99% of the time those who quote that verse in this context have no clue which book of the bible the verse is even located in, let alone what Jesus said four verses later (which would contradict their point).
The truth is, that God DOES want Christians to judge. Going back to Psalm 37, we saw where God “loveth judgment” in verse 28, but we also read in verse 30 that “the mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of JUDGMENT”! This can only confirm in our minds that the “spiritual judgeth all things” (1 Corinthians 2:15) and that those who quote Matthew 7:1 in an attempt to justify their sin have no clue what the bible really teaches about judgment. God loves it (Psalm 37:28), and the righteous are to do it (Psalm 37:30, 1 Cor. 2:15). The real issue is not whether or not we’re to judge – it’s by what standard are we to judge? This would be the bible of course. The other thing Proverbs 2:8 teaches us about God is that “He preserveth the way of his saints”. To preserve something is to keep it safe from decay. For example, we keep milk in the refrigerator so it won’t rot, which is the same reason they didn’t put new wine into old bottles in the Old Testament (Matthew 9:17). So God says here that He’s going to “preserve the way of his saints”, and our Psalm 37:28 reference goes even further by stating that they will be “preserved FOR EVER”. This promise can be claimed by the saints of both testaments. David had no doubt of his soul’s dwelling place being “in the house of the Lord for ever” (Psalm 23:6) and neither should anybody else who’s put their faith and trust in the words of God. The bible says of those whose sins have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, that they are “PRESERVED IN JESUS CHRIST” (Jude 1:1) “unto His heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18)!
Sentence #21 – Proverbs 2:9 9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. God’s already told us how to obtain wisdom (vs 1-6), now He’s going to show us the fruit that will follow for the man that’s truly obtained it. After a man receives wisdom from God (vs 1-6), the bible says he will “understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity”. If you want to “understand a proverb” (1:6), you’ve got to first “receive the instruction of wisdom” (1:3). As previously noted, this wisdom does not come from education or philosophy (Col. 2:8), but rather the words that can be found in the English bible God gave you (vs 6). Standing in sharp contrast to the word of God, this world has its own view on what righteousness, judgment and equity should look like. The world sees races of people, while God sees “one blood” (Acts 17:26) amongst everyone. The world’s view of “unborn flesh” is that it does not contain life, while God says if that baby has blood pumping through his veins then his flesh is in fact alive (Lev. 17:11). The world cries hatred when Christians stand up against homosexual marriage, when God says two men and a wedding ceremony doesn’t qualify for a marriage at all (Gen. 2:24). The world sends murderers to prison, when God said they should be “put to death” (Num. 35:31). The world promotes protected sexual activity, while God says “flee fornication” (1 Cor. 6:18). Because the understanding of “righteousness, judgment and equity” that is on the table comes as a result of receiving wisdom from “out of [God’s] mouth” (vs 6) and not the world, it’s necessary to point out that our nation and many of its churches clearly do not possess God’s wisdom. When a church allows a woman to stand in the pulpit and preach, that church does not have wisdom from God. When a man stays at home with the kids while his wife is out providing for his family, that man does not have God’s
wisdom.Psalm 99:4 says that “The king’s strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob”. If you don’t understand how a holy God can execute judgment upon sin, then you don’t possess God’s wisdom. So while God really does want us to understand issues of morality and civil government (vs 9), He says we have to handle verses 1-6 first!
Sentence #22 – Proverbs 2:10-17 10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; 13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; 15 Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths: 16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; 17 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul” – here we find where the wisdom that comes from God takes its dwelling place. It’s clear from either testament that God’s not interested in head knowledge (see Romans 1:21-23). When God gives out wisdom, He disperses it into a man’s heart – not his mind. The scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day knew the Old Testament inside and out, yet we find Jesus Christ rebuking them by saying they “honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8). In spite of the fact that it is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), and that it is evil from the day it starts beating (Genesis 8:21), God longs for the worship and admiration from the heart of man (Proverbs 23:26). The “knowledge [that] puffeth up” (1 Corinthians 8:1) He seems to be willing to do without. “Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee” – discretion is a characteristic possessed by God Himself (Jeremiah 10:12) and means to discern. Contrary to what is being taught all over in our “fundamental” churches, discretion received out of the wisdom from God is the key to making practical and every day decisions on issues that the bible doesn’t address. Many Christians resort to “God’s will” when making decisions that don’t seem to have a biblical answer at all, but this doesn’t work out practically. For example, when someone fresh out of high school is praying about which college to go to, they will most likely be told to find a verse in the bible that tells them which one to choose. Unfortunately, this can only lead to confusion because there are no colleges mentioned in the bible! This is where discretion comes in. Instead of looking for a verse that has a college’s name in it, why not learn from the Proverbs and beg God for wisdom? If there’s one thing we’ve seen from the last ten verses, it’s that God wants and is willing to give man wisdom as long as he’s willing to search for it! Where people seem to get confused is what do you do when you’re forced to make a choice between two issues that aren’t addressed in scripture? This is why God blesses a man with discretion. Discretion is one of the reasons the book was written (Proverbs 1:4), and is one of the marks of a mature Christian. It is said of a man who exercises discretion that he “deferreth his anger” (Proverbs 19:11) because he carefully analyzes each decision he makes so as to make wise choices (James 1:19). Later in the book we’ll discuss God’s comparison between a beautiful woman without discretion to “a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout” (Proverbs 11:22)! Alongside discretion
in the verse is understanding, which has been touched on earlier in the chapter. Both are necessary for deliverance from the “evil man” (vs 12-15) and the “strange woman” (vs 16-19) in the verses that follow. “To deliver thee from the way of the evil man” – notice that this wicked man is considered evil well before he is found “walk[ing] in the ways of darkness” in verse 13. He starts out simply repeating the“froward things” (vs 12) he hears and sees on television, and ends up taking “delight in the frowardness of the wicked” (vs 14) shortly thereafter! Be careful of the atmosphere you allow yourself or your children to be involved in, because the seemingly harmless foul mouth will most likely lead to the “crooked paths”found in verse 15 (see Psalm 1). “To deliver thee from the strange woman” – who this woman is and how she operates will be discussed in great detail as we finish out the chapter and also in chapters 5, 6, 7 and 9. All throughout the Proverbs, the strange woman is a a historical representation of a Hamite woman outside the land of Israel (Judges 11:2). She is also a “church” (if you can call it that), and a doctrinal picture of the one world religious sytem that is to come – “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:5). Her main method of operations is flattery (2:16, 6:24, 7:5), which as we will see in the next verse does not end well for her followers. To the New Testament Christian, we could compare her to the brethren who “by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:18).
Sentence #23 – Proverbs 2:18 18 For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. One of the things I’ve quickly learned from studying the bible is that you can’t take it literally enough. Like I mentioned in the previous passage, this strange woman is a clear doctrinal picture to the one world religious system found in Revelation 17 during the Great Tribulation. We will go over this doctrinal truth in more detail when we get to chapters 5-9, where we will go through Revelation 17-20. The strange woman who is found“drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Revelation 17:6), is found in ruins a chapter later (Revelation 18:2). Evil surrounds this woman on every side, and “her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death” (Proverbs 7:27, Revelation 17:8) – and unfortunately this death is going to be literal for any that “go unto her” (vs. 19) in the Great Tribulation (Revelation 18-20). This verse may not get the “feel good” passage of the year award, but spiritually speaking it has application for the New Testament Christian as well. When someone uses the term “satanic music”, my guess is that the first musician to pop into your mind would not be Frank Sinatra. His famous song “My Way” however, isProverbs 2:18 in a nutshell. Consider the last verse in his song for example: For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught. To say the things he truly feels; And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows And did it MY WAY! The lyrics of this song show this man’s heart for who he truly was – a man who would rather leave his family for an adulteress than obey the bible. Regardless of what your flesh may lead you to believe, all of the filth and perversion that makes up this world will leave you for dead. Sure it seems fun, and true it may be pleasurable, but don’t forget that “there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). And don’t also forget that there is way more joy living for Jesus than there is the world (Galatians 5:22)! Sorry Mr. Sinatra, her mouth may be “smoother than oil”, but I also know that “her end is bitter as wormwood” and “her steps take hold on hell” (Proverbs 5:3-5)! I know that if I choose MY WAY and let the strange woman onto my television screen, I’m going to pay for it. I know that if I choose MY WAY and get involved with someone I’m not married to, then “God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4) me and possibly my family as well (2 Samuel 12:14-15). Don’t get involved with the strange woman!
Sentence #24 – Proverbs 2:19 19 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. Proverbs 2:19 is THE REASON David cried out “take not thy holy spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11) after he committed adultery with Bathsheba. He went into “her house [that] inclineth unto death” (Proverbs 2:18) and because of the process we’ll look at in Proverbs 7, he was “slain by her” (Proverbs 7:26). Because of his sin the bible says he was as good as dead – physically and spiritually! Spiritually, because it’s not until after Acts 2 that the “circumcision of Christ” (Colossians 2:11) becomes available. And if it weren’t for“the sure mercies of David” (Acts 13:34) he received in 2 Samuel 12:13, because of his adultery he should have lost “his own soul” (Proverbs 6:32) as well. Think about that for a moment. Can you imagine King David, the man after God’s “own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14), and the first one mentioned in Matthew 1 in the lineage of Jesus Christ – in hell? According to Proverbs 6:32 that’s exactly what a man in the Old Testament who committed adultery had coming for him! Now because we can have the same “sure mercies of David” (Acts 13:34) through the blood of Jesus Christ, there is no sin that can separate us from God – even that of fornication. That being said, don’t let this fool you into thinking Proverbs 2:19 shouldn’t scare you out of committing sexual sin, because even in the New Testament “God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4) as He sees fit. Your soul may no longer be at stake, but if God would take a man’s child over it (2 Samuel 12:14), trust me it’s not worth the temporary enjoyment. “None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life” – doctrinally the meaning is clear. In the tribulation there is no going back once you’ve been deceived by “THE MOTHER OF HARLETS” (Revelation 17:5). “None” (Proverbs 2:19) is the exact number of souls who will escape sure damnation after having enjoyed “the wine of her fornication” (Revelation 17:2).
Sentence #25 – Proverbs 2:20
20 That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. Verse 20 is a continuation from verse 11 and is the product of deliverance from the “evil man” and “strange woman” in verses 12-19. The first half of Proverbs 2 deals with how a man obtains wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, while the second half describes the benefits of having received “every good path” from verse 9 (also see Psalm 99:4). The text here in verse 20 is the first of three conclusionary statements made in the chapter. Here we see that God’s desire in life is for us to “walk in the way of good men and keep the paths of the righteous”. This goes well with the term “blameless” in the New Testament, as found in Titus 1:6-8 – “a lover of good men”. A quick look at the New Testament will expose modern day Christianity for what it has become – unbiblical. 2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? In both letters to Corinth, Paul emphasized that light cannot coexist with darkness. Marriage would be the primary example, but we see that it goes much further than that when he uses the words “fellowship” and“communion”. Close and everyday fellowship with unbelievers should be pursued only “for the gospel’s sake” (1 Corinthians 9:23), all other fellowship should be avoided. While that may not seem like the “Christian way”, it’s definitely the biblical way. 1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. This verse will likely never be preached on by your pastor, but it’s still in the bible. Even if your friend is blood bought and reedemed, the bible says if he’s a “fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner” – you shouldn’t be fellowshipping with him. Yes that’s narrow minded, yes it’s politically incorrect, and yes God said it! Any complaints should be taken up with Him at the judgment seat (2 Corinthians 5:10). So we see here in our text that we are to “walk in the way of good men and keep the paths of the righteous” (Proverbs 2:20), and at the same time we are to stand up against the sin of this world by witnessing to the unrighteous (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 9:23). Pretty black and white is it not?
Sentence #26 – Proverbs 2:21 21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. This verse has direct application to the land of Canaan God promised the nation of Israel (Deut. 7:1-3), and it shows how this promise was contingent upon them being willing to “observe and to do all his commandments” (Deut. 28:1). Under no circumstances, should we be led to believe this passage teaches anything else! Was Job not “perfect and upright” (Job 1:1)? Then why did he suffer? WE ARE NEVER PROMISED PHYSICAL
COMFORT FOR OBEYING GOD’S COMMANDS. What we are promised is spiritual peace (Psalm 37:37; Gal. 5:22). The affliction (Psalm 119:75) we go through in this life, is meant to draw us to God and His word for comfort (Psalm 119:76, 78, 82, 147). The bible says “we count them happy which endure” affliction (James 5:11). So there is no room for Joel Osteen’s “Your Best Life Now” in the passage, it is simply a reference to the promise God gave the nation of Israel way back in Genesis 15:18-21.
Sentence #27 – Proverbs 2:22 22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it. The AV 1611 makes no mistakes, for while we look around and see “the prosperity of the wicked” (Psalm 73:3), there is coming a day when “the wicked shall be turned into hell” (Psalm 9:17) and the“wickedness of the wicked [will] come to an end” (Psalm 7:9) – the only down side is we’re told to “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently” (Psalm 37:7) for “a little while” (Psalm 37:10) before it happens! See, we like the promises like we just saw in verse 21, but on a daily basis we see wickedness glorified and personified as prosperity. And like Jeremiah, we cry out “wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper?” (Jeremiah 12:1) – completely overlooking the truth found in Psalm 37:16. This last sentence found in Proverbs 2, is a clear reference to the second advent of Jesus Christ, that is described in great detail all throughout the bible (Isa. 2, 11, 26, 27, 63, 65, 66; Rev. 6, 11, 12, 14, 19, 20 etc.). It is a promise to the righteous that abstaining from the filth of this world is worth the wait. Jesus Christ IS coming back on that “white horse” (Rev. 19:11) “clothed with a vesture dipped in blood” (Rev. 19:13), and He WILL “judge and make war” (Rev. 19:11) against the unrighteous. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Joshua 24:14)!
CHAPTER 3 Sentence #28 – Proverbs 3:1-2 1
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Just like we saw at the end of chapter two, here is another case when “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) will keep you from misapplying an Old Testament promise to a New Testament Christian. While the text should be applied spiritually and practically to the church, it is doctrinally a promise of health and peace to the bearded, pork abstaining, law abiding, Old Testament Jew. Just like the Jews in the Old Testament didn’t receive the same spiritual blessings we receive from the Holy Spirit, we shouldn’t be expecting to live for hundreds of years because we lived by the bible! That being said, even though the righteous isn’t promised long life today, the text works out really well practically for us anyways. Because as we’ll see in later verses in Proverbs, “righteousness tendeth to life” (Proverbs 11:19) in any dispensation. Someone who ignores God’s many warnings to flee from alcohol, drugs, fornication and covetousness will without question not enjoy the long life filled with peace and happiness they could have had if they had lived their life in accordance with the word of God. So even though the verse isn’t a promise of health and peace to the obedient Christian, it does tend to work out that way (Proverbs 11:19) as a general principle. Spiritually, the passage is up for grabs as well. We know from Galatians 6 that if we sow to the Spirit, we will reap everlasting life. So anybody who has gone through Romans 10:9-10 will receive these same promises in the spiritual realm, which is far better than the doctrinal application the Old Testament saints had anyways!
Sentence #29 – Proverbs 3:3-4 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. According to Psalm 85:10, “mercy and truth are met together” and go hand in hand. Here in Proverbs 3, we’re instructed to do three things with mercy and truth so that we can “find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man” (vs 4). “let not mercy and truth forsake thee” – the first instruction seems to have multiple applications. We are to cling to God’s mercy and truth (Psalm 86:15), but we’re also to proclaim it as well. According to the text, mercy and truth should be evident in our lives during both scenarios. This is because it is “by mercy and truth [that] iniquity is
purged” (Proverbs 16:6)! Where there is no mercy and truth, sin is going to be present (Proverbs 14:21). “bind them about thy neck” – it is interesting that we’re told to bind God’s mercy and truth about our necks, but His laws and commandments upon our fingers (Proverbs 7:3). The study is interesting because the laws and commandments were written by the “finger of God” (Exodus 31:18), and the neck is often associated with mercy and truth, starting all the way back in Genesis (Genesis 33:4; 46:29; 49:8). In 2 Kings 17:14, we also find that the hardening of the neck causes unbelief. This makes it vitally important for us to make sure that mercy and truth are present in our churches and families. “write them upon the table of thine heart” – once again we find God’s concern is not head knowledge. There have been many head conversions in our day, but very few and genuine heart conversions that transform a sinner into a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17). If you don’t believe me, go down to the local bar one Friday night and see how many “Christians” you meet. The Proverbs must be properly planted within a man’s heart, in order for them to take root and provide their desired output (Proverbs 1:1-4). If we do that, verse 4 tells us that we will “find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man” just like Samuel and Jesus Christ did (1 Samuel 2:26; Luke 2:52). This should be encouraging to the reader, because it is often assumed that in order to find favor with God, we must be at enmity with man. We’ll soon find that the opposite is true, because “when a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7)!
Sentence #30 – Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. The next three statements God makes in Proverbs 3:5-6 would be revolutionary if we could just apply them to our everyday lives because the reward for doing so is God Himself directing our paths. There would be no more need to go “get peace about it”, for the paths you’re in would be a direct result of God granting “thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4)! Two of the three statements are found here in vs 5. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart” – sounds simple right? In light of Romans 8:35 and 2 Corinthians 12:10, not so much. The bible defines true faith or trust in God as believing that God exists and created the world (Hebrews 11:3, 6), and that His word is “given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). True faith also rejects any that “speak not according to this word, because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). This faith or trust in God and His word presents us as “thoroughly furnished unto all good works”(2 Timothy 3:17). It’s easy for a man to “trust in the Lord” when the mortgage is paid for, food is on the table, and the heat is running. But it seems like whenever trials and tribulations come, the flesh begins to shake and the heart loses faith in the word of God. This back and forth battle between the flesh and the spirit proves that our trust in the Lord was not “without wavering” (Hebrews 10:23), and that we may have been trusting in the Lord during the good times, but not with “with all thine heart” like God said to. “and lean not unto thine own understanding” is the second response to be made in order for God to be willing to “direct thy paths” (vs 6). “There is a way that seemeth
right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25), this is why it is important to reject man’s opinions, philosophies, and education, and to turn to the word of God. While it is almost impossible for an educated psychologist, scientist or Hebrew scholar to “lean not unto thine own understanding”, the true bible believer finds it a much easier task. Unfortunately, there aren’t many educational institutions left that teach the bible (starting inGenesis 1) is to be the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. Even many of the Christian ones are resorting to the false teachings of John Calvin, and Westcott and Hort – all of whom relied on their “own understanding” of the scriptures. To gather understanding ANYWHERE apart from the word of God, will be a sure way to not have God directing your paths. Why lean on your own understanding when you have none?
Sentence #31 – Proverbs 3:6 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. “In all thy ways acknowledge him” – is the last of three statements from Proverbs 3:56 dealing with God’s requirements for directing a man’s paths. Jesus Christ is to be acknowledged in EVERYTHING that we do and WHEREVER we go. The workplace, the home, the church, the ballgame, at the store – He is not to be ignored. Our studies should be affected by Him, our conversation should be altered by Him, our friends should be determined by Him, and all decisions should be made regarding Him. The reason Christians don’t have a problem with social drinking, is because Jesus Christ is not being acknowledged. There are more “church” kids committing fornication because Jesus Christ is not being acknowledged. When a man acknowledges Jesus Christ in ALL his ways, the worldly music goes away, the worldly friends go away, the arguments cease, the thoughts of divorce and separation fade, and what the bible actually says becomes more important. When a man acknowledges Jesus Christ, he’ll witness to everybody he can, he’ll study the word of God every opportunity he gets, and he’ll worship Him through joys and sorrows. Jesus Christ wants and deserves acknowledgement, “IN ALL THY WAYS”! What an amazing thing it is, for the King of Kings to desire our acknowledgement. If only He could get it from time to time. “And he shall direct thy paths” is the prize for obeying Proverbs 3:5-6 (also see Psalm 37:23). As you can see, there are no visions being given, there is no requirement for “getting peace” about anything, and there is not a “spiritual experience” in sight. The only things necessary to be in God’s will is what you see in the text!“Trust in the Lord”, “lean not unto thine own understanding”, “in all thy ways acknowledge him”, and God will “direct thy paths” - that is what the bible says. This modern day idea that you have to have a special word from God that He didn’t give to everybody else in order to know what decisions to make in life, is not anywhere in the bible.
Sentence #32 – Proverbs 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. The command is simple – “be not wise in thine own eyes”, and the instructions on how to do so are plain – “fear the LORD, and depart from evil”. If you’re looking in the bible for
self-confidence, you’re looking in the wrong place. God never encourages man to think highly of himself, but rather low of self and high of Him. Instead of building up self, the bible teaches to fall on your knees and tremble at God’s word (Isaiah 66:2). When modern day psychologists who barely pass for preachers tell you to “trust your heart”, God says your “heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). God even goes out of His way to tell you that at your very best state, you are still “altogether vanity” (Psalm 39:5). So the mindset of a biblical Christian is not going to be one of selfconfidence, but one of humility and utterance of Psalm 8:4. God is all-powerful, man is dust; God is wise, man is foolish; God is holy, man is unrighteous; so seek His righteousness, because man has none! Notice the command here in verse 7 is not to not be wise, but to not be wise according to YOU. There are lots of people who think they possess wisdom, when in reality God sees them as foolish. This is true because in order for God to consider us wise, He must first see that we think of ourselves as foolish and come seeking His wisdom. One of the wiser decisions we can make in life is to consider ourselves unwise and seek the wisdom of God. This principle is taught rather bluntly by Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:18-19. Admitting you know nothing without God’s word is the only way to avoid being taken in your “own craftiness” by God Himself (1 Cor. 3:19). Here in verse 7 we’re given plain instructions on how to become wise according to someone outside of man’s worthless opinions – “fear the LORD, and depart from evil”. These two phrases have a clear connection in the bible (Proverbs 8:13), for one does not fear God without departing from evil, and one does not typically hate evil if he doesn’t fear God. This is why we’re to “stand in awe and sin not” (Psalm 4:4). While many Christians choose to remain of the world so they can better “reach them”, the bible is clear on the matter – “depart” from it!
Sentence #33 – Proverbs 3:8 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. The truth presented here is based upon our willingness to “fear the LORD, and depart from evil” (vs. 8). The Holy Spirit chose to use the “navel” and “bones” of our bodies to make this practical application – fearing God and departing from evil “shall be health… and marrow” to our PHYSICAL bodies. This doesn’t mean that godly people are free from cancer, however. Regardless of how long we fear God, our bones will one day deteriorate (Psalm 32:3). And as long as sin remains in this world, death is sure to follow for us all. The application to be made here is that bible believing Christians who abstain from fornication, alcohol and other like substances (evil from vs. 7) will be better off physically than those who do not. So the “words” (Prov. 4:20) of God are “life unto [us] that find them” spiritually, and “health to all [our] flesh” physically (Prov. 4:22).
A sentence by sentence commentary through the entire book of Proverbs.