February 22, 2019

Here are some thoughts on some verses in Proverbs 22.

Proverbs 22:1 (NLT) — 1 Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.

If given the choice of a good reputation or great riches I wonder what most people would choose? This is where it would come in handy to know God. Because this is God’s word I guess we know what God would want us to choose. This verse indicates that God is more concerned with my reputation than he is with my wealth. To God the wealth of respect is greater than the wealth of material goods. And besides God can provide me with all the wealth in the world if that is his choosing but only I can provide the good reputation. So knowing God what would you choose? Remember us Christians carry around the name of Jesus. So the reputation we have is probably the reputation that Jesus will have at least to those who know us. Thank God for his grace:)

Proverbs 22:2 (NLT) — 2 The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both.

Both will have to answer to God for how they treated each other. Both are sinners. Both have to come to God the same way > through Jesus Christ. Both will give an account on judgment for the lives that they lived.

Proverbs 22:3 (NLT) — 3 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

The contrast is between the “shrewd” (prudent) person and the “simpleton.” The shrewd person knows where the dangers and pitfalls are in life and so can avoid them; the naive person is unwary, untrained, and gullible, unable to survive the dangers of the world and blundering into them.

Biblical Studies Press. (2005). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.

A prudent person is also a person who studies the word of God. There are many warnings of danger in God’s word so the prudent person avoids the dangers by knowing the word of God. The simpleton has no time for God’s word so consequently that person must experience most of the danger first hand. The prudent person sees the danger of an eternity without God. Therefore to ensure against this danger that person receives Jesus. Now eternity is not a foe because Jesus has become a friend. The simpleton by refusing Jesus goes into eternity with no friend to give him or her safe passage.

Proverbs 22:4 (NLT) — 4 True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.

These two qualities are connected. Humility is a proper view of self; fear of the LORD is a proper view of God. The person who has these two qualities is well on their way on the path the wisdom.

Riches, honor, and life follow close on the heels of humility and fear of the Lord. They are the natural outcome of fearing God. Rich is relative. Riches do not necessarily have to be in monetary form. One could be rich in contentment or rich in joy and peace, or rich in love. One could be rich in a family where all the members are living for the Lord. So if you had to choose between being rich in things and money or rich in the fruit of the Spirit which would you choose?

Proverbs 22:5 (NLT) — 5 Corrupt people walk a thorny, treacherous road; whoever values life will avoid it.

For the dishonest life is full of dangers and difficulties. Easy money,easy sex, fame and power are just a few of the popular things that are on the thorny road.

“If you want fewer temptations, change the road you’re on. “(Waltke) I love that quote:)

Proverbs 22:6 (NLT) — 6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.

“What is the way in which a child should go? A more literal rendering of the Hebrew at once answers this question. Such translation would be: ‘Train up child according to his way. ’In every child there are special and peculiar powers. The true business of training a child therefore, is that of discovering what those powers are, and developing them…Herein is revealed the need for individual work. No two children are alike.” (Morgan)

Isn’t that wonderful advice. Instead of trying to fit the child into your mold fit them into what God designed the to be. Can you understand the frustration of a child who has to live to please his parents by being something she isn’t designed to be. She might be designed for soccer and would find real freedom and satisfaction in that instead of being pushed to be a violin player. I would think a child directed in his of her talents and abilities would be more apt to also be directed in the ways of the Lord.

Solomon’s life is an indication that this proverb is a principle rather than an absolute promise. However our children certainly have a better chance in life if we take the time to train them in the ways of the Lord while also training them in their God given ways. The emphasis should be on ‘take the time’. 

Be Inspired Hilltop!