Proverbs 24:23-34 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
These also are sayings of the wise:
To show partiality in judgment is not good.
24 One who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Peoples will curse him, nations will scold him;
25 But for those who rebuke the wicked there will be delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.
26 One who gives a right answer
Kisses the lips.
27 Prepare your work outside,
And make it ready for yourself in the field;
Afterward, then, build your house.
28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor for no reason,
And do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, “I shall do the same to him as he has done to me;
I will repay the person according to his work.”
30 I passed by the field of a lazy one,
And by the vineyard of a person lacking sense,
31 And behold, it was completely overgrown with weeds;
Its surface was covered with weeds,
And its stone wall was broken down.
32 When I saw, I reflected upon it;
I looked, and received instruction.
33 “A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest,”
34 Then your poverty will come like a drifter,
And your need like an armed man.
Knowledge, education and wisdom are not the same. Education does lead to knowledge, but a person can have an abundance of knowledge and still have no wisdom. Wisdom rightly applies what is learned and known. One can be wise even if they have had very little education if they are willing to learn from others. The book of Proverbs is an impartation of the wisdom for life that was learned by others.
The text says: These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judgment is not good. One who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,” Peoples will curse him, nations will scold him; But for those who rebuke the wicked there will be delight, And a good blessing will come upon them. There are many today who say that our culture and society shows partiality in judgement. Their remedy though is not to be impartial, instead they promote even more partiality, giving preference and advantage to those who they believe have been wrongly judged. The partiality that Proverbs speaks of, showing partiality to wickedness over righteousness, is indeed a partiality our culture embraces. 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! Surely there is no wisdom in being partial to darkness over light or evil over good.
The text says: Do not be a witness against your neighbor for no reason, And do not deceive with your lips. Do not say, “I shall do the same to him as he has done to me; I will repay the person according to his work.” Today in our culture and society, truth has become relative. Each person has their own truth. They are deceived and deceive when they speak against others. Rather than treating people as they have treated us, in Luke 6:27-28;31 Jesus says: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are abusive to you... Treat people the same way you want them to treat you.” Romans 12:17-21 says: Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Imagine the difference there would be in our society and culture if more people followed this Biblical wisdom and instruction rather than the way of the world. By the way, to be clear, the burning coals that we heap on the head of our enemies are not for their destruction. They are like the coal in Isaiah 6:6-7: Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your guilt is taken away and atonement is made for your sin.” They are coals from the altar of sacrifice, for their forgiveness and cleansing.
The text says: I passed by the field of a lazy one, And by the vineyard of a person lacking sense, And behold, it was completely overgrown with weeds; Its surface was covered with weeds, And its stone wall was broken down. When I saw, I reflected upon it; I looked, and received instruction. “A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest,” Then your poverty will come like a drifter, And your need like an armed man. The move in this country toward giving “free” provision to everyone will not bring about equal wealth and provision to all. It will instead create more poverty. It will rob people. The truth is, the motivation for those who want to provide the “free” things is not to bless others, it is so that they can control them. There is an old Chinese proverb that says: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. The principle of sharing with others is indeed a Godly and Biblical principle. That being said, the Bible does not support welfare or socialism. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13 says: If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now we command and exhort such persons in the Lord Jesus Christ to work peacefully and eat their own bread. But as for you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary of doing good. In truth, policies and programs that promote dependence and an unwillingness to work should not be called welfare because they neither treat people well or fair. 2 Corinthians 9:6-10 says: The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows generously will also reap generously. Each one must do just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that, always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written: “He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.” Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit, for the wisdom of Your Word. May it truly be, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.