Day 159 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue in Proverbs.
Proverbs 19 – Whoever makes haste with his feet likely refers to an impulsive person who acts without thinking or planning. He has a desire to get somewhere but does not have sufficient knowledge to reach his goal.
Verses 5 and 9 begin and end this section with virtually identical wording. Verse 5 stresses the importance of honest testimony. In this context, which focuses on poverty and misfortune, “false witness” could relate either to those who exploit the poor in the courts or to poor people who give false testimony in return for money.
In many cultures, any sign of disrespect challenges a man’s honor. He can defend it only by fighting the person who insults him. Overlooking such disrespect brings honor to a man.
The growling of a lion is frightening and precedes an act of violence. Dew is gentle and gives life. The proverb does not say that a king’s anger (or favor) is always right, but that it is powerful.
Verse 13 balances verse 14 by recognizing that family life can be painful. Some wives are a great burden to their husbands, and some husbands are a great burden to their wives (see Proverbs 21:9). “Continual dripping—this is not a minor irritation but a source of structural damage that can ruin a house. House and wealth may be inherited from fathers and can come to many people, but a prudent wife is a gift from the Lord.
Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep. The lazy person is always too tired to work. Then his laziness grows until he is in dire poverty.
The simple learn by seeing someone else receive a beating, but the wise learn from a simple word of correction. Notably, although the simple can learn prudence, the scoffer does not have this teachable spirit.
How does the wisdom of this chapter help you today?
Proverbs 20 – Friendship and conflict. People can let you down, even when you are suffering. If such companions are all you have, you may well “come to ruin” (Proverbs 18:24). Promises of friendship are common, but steadfast loyalty is rare and precious. It is wise to choose as a friend one who “sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
How does the book of Proverbs define a true friend? “A friend loves at all times” (17:17). The gospel creates faithful friends, who “rejoice with those who rejoice” and “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). This constancy comes from the grace of God reflected in Jesus Himself, our ultimate Friend (John 13:1; 2 Timothy 4:16–18). After the disciples promised Jesus their loyalty, they all forsook Him (Matthew 26:35, 56). But the risen Lord, when He appeared to them, greeted them not with accusations but with peace (John 20:19, 21, 26). Jesus knows all our weaknesses and still stands by us. One proof that His steadfast love is getting through to us is that we love one another as He has loved us (John 13:34; 15:12–13).
How do you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to be there for your friends?
Proverbs 21 – Like 20:22–25, this section has three proverbs on divine judgment followed by a fourth proverb that is related but does not explicitly mention the Lord. God is a much higher judge than the king, whom He controls.
The stream of water describes water flowing through a channel or an irrigation ditch, which a skillful farmer can direct to flow wherever he wishes.
Verses 9 and 19, on the quarrelsome wife, begin and end this unit on the rewards for the wise and the troubles of the wicked.
Just as the wicked offers no mercy to his neighbor, so his own pleas for help will . . . not be answered. God both knows and judges the wicked.
When justice is practiced, it is a joy for those who have walked in its ways and a terror to those who have perverted it.
Verse 17 does not imply that pleasure or wine or oil are wrong in themselves. However, when they are enjoyed apart from thanksgiving to God, or enjoyed more than following in God’s paths, and thus to excess, they will destroy a person’s life.
Wisdom can enable a person to achieve prosperity, but one should always pursue a good name more than riches. Having a “good name” means being regarded as righteous and kind.
Laziness leads to constant greed and craving. The diligence of the righteous allows them to be generous.
The wicked man changes his behavior depending on the situation (puts on a bold face). In contrast, the upright person thinks about his ways and chooses the right way regardless of the circumstances.
Which truth in this chapter is most helpful for you right now?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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