Wisdom from Proverbs
Proverbs 22:1-10 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
A good name is to be more desired than great wealth;
Favor is better than silver and gold.
2 The rich and the poor have a common bond,
The Lord is the Maker of them all.
3 A prudent person sees evil and hides himself,
But the naive proceed, and pay the penalty.
4 The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches, honor, and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
One who guards himself will be far from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he grows older he will not abandon it.
7 The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.
8 One who sows injustice will reap disaster,
And the rod of his fury will perish.
9 One who is generous will be blessed,
Because he gives some of his food to the poor.
10 Drive out the scoffer, and strife will leave,
Even quarreling and dishonor will cease.
Many people consider the Bible inaccurate or irrelevant. Even for them, it is hard to argue with the wisdom of Proverbs. The writer says: A good name is to be more desired than great wealth; Favor is better than silver and gold. Unfortunately, in our culture wealth has become esteemed above honor and reputation. We use gold and silver to buy favor. 1 Timothy 6:10 says: The love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Money itself is not evil, but the love of money and the lust for it is the root of all sorts of evil. The love of money and the lust for it are not limited to the wealthy. Those who are not rich can also be pierced with grief by longing for money. In Matthew 19:23-24 Jesus says: “Truly I say to you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” I often wonder why, even so many in the church, desire the very thing that will make it difficult to enter the kingdom of God. The writer says: One who is generous will be blessed, Because he gives some of his food to the poor. Jesus says: “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
The writer says: The rich and the poor have a common bond, The Lord is the Maker of them all. A prudent person sees evil and hides himself, But the naive proceed, and pay the penalty. Perhaps if we all recognized the common bond that we have, that the Lord is the maker of us all, there would be less division and dissension. Unfortunately though, a Godless culture seeks to create division in any way possible. Perhaps if we all acknowledged God, we would hide from evil. In Isaiah 5:20 God says: Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! It would seem to be prudent to avoid evil, darkness and bitterness rather than naively embracing them and paying the penalty.
The writer says: The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches, honor, and life. Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; One who guards himself will be far from them. Sometimes it seems that for a time it is the perverse who are successful in our society and culture. Their success is fleeting though, while the rewards of the humble and those who fear the Lord are eternal. Psalm 91:1-7 says: One who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will lodge in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who rescues you from the net of the trapper And from the deadly plague. He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may take refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and wall. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; Of the plague that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that devastates at noon. A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you. The reward for those who fear the Lord is to hear the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:23: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
The writer says: Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he grows older he will not abandon it. Unfortunately, we are seeing and experiencing what happens when those who know and follow the Lord fail to train up their children. Some one or something fills the void. We are now seeing at least the second generation of people and children being trained to follow human ideologies. We see history being rewritten. Anything and anyone who disagrees with the new way of thinking is canceled. We no longer value truth. Because we don’t want to hurt the feelings of some, achievement is no longer honored. To create equality, everyone is brought down to the level of the least.
The writer says: One who sows injustice will reap disaster, And the rod of his fury will perish. Drive out the scoffer, and strife will leave, Even quarreling and dishonor will cease. If we truly want strife and quarreling to cease, we need to no longer listen to those who scoff at the truth. We need to hold the media accountable. We need to hold politicians accountable. We need to drive them out if they sow injustice and stoke the flames of division.
It is not too late. In 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 God says: If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send a plague among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Amen.