February 26, 2019

Proverbs 22:15 (NLT) — 15 A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away.

This does away with the common thinking that we human beings are basically good. If we were basically good then we would have to be taught how to be bad and yet we see that no child has to be taught to be selfish, or how to disobey, or how to be stubborn. We are not born as morally neutral beings. We are born with a sinful nature which we inherited from Adam and Eve.

So Children left on their own will do foolish things, things that are the opposite of good(foolishness). They need to be taught what is good and acceptable and what is not. Punishment is needed to bring about correction. A child is not to be punished for childishness or for being a child but for being a foolish child. The rod knocks the nonsense out of them. This punishment must not be done in anger along with hurtful demeaning words. It must be done in love and kind explaining words with the goal of tearing down foolishness and building up good moral character. It must never be done to get even or to put down or to damage. Our children are like wet cement and it is our privilege as parents to form them into the masterpieces that God has created them to be.

Proverbs 22:16 (NLT) — 16 A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.

This verse gives me hope as I look around and see all the injustices that are happening in the world. The verse is saying that nobody gets by with anything. The Lord sees all and he has the last word. Now I may not see justice being served in all situations in my lifetime but it is enough for me to know that there is coming a time when it will be.

Proverbs 22:17-18 (NLT) — 17 Listen to the words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction. 18 For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart and always ready on your lips.

Listen = to lean in and pay close attention so you don’t miss a word.

Example: listening at the door to  two people talking inside the room. You are so intent on hearing what is being said that unconsciously you begin breathing very slowly so as not to miss a word.

Many people will take what they hear behind closed doors and run to repeat it. Take the wisdom you hear, be in a hurry to repeat it to yourself and apply it to your life. Wisdom is useless without application. this is not a half hearted response It is the whole person living out the word of God.

“The ear is the exterior organ that receives the information and the heart is the interior organ that directs the whole body.” (Waltke)

Proverbs 22:19 (NLT) — 19 I am teaching you today—yes, you— so you will trust in the Lord.

The goal of knowing the word of God is so that we will always trust the Lord. Imagine the contentment, the peace and lack of jealousy one could enjoy if one could go through life and in each and every situation always trust the Lord. Particularly in those instances when things aren’t going your way or when your voice isn’t being heard or when you are being ignored or treated like a servant or a second class citizen or you don’t get the recognition you feel you deserve.  When the word of God has found a home in your heart it brings along with it contentment and joy. God’s love and God’s truth are not altered by our circumstances.

Proverbs 22:20–21 (NLT) — 20 I have written thirty sayings for you, filled with advice and knowledge. 21 In this way, you may know the truth and take an accurate report to those who sent you.

The more we pursue the wisdom of God’s word the more confident we will be in the truth of the word. It is true that what you focus on the longest becomes the strongest. Being filled with the truth will enable us to accurately speak the truth to all who may inquire of us. O and by the way no one gives the Lord advice or knowledge. Our Lord knows all. We are put here to take His advice.

Proverbs 22:22–23 (NLT) — 22 Don’t rob the poor just because you can, or exploit the needy in court. 23 For the Lord is their defender. He will ruin anyone who ruins them.

Don’t take advantage of people in any way. You may legally do what you are doing but morally it is wrong > Example: Abortion is legal but morally it is wrong.

Proverbs 22:24–25 (NLT) — 24 Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, 25 or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.

You are better off hanging out with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John:)

Proverbs 22:26–27 (NLT) — 26 Don’t agree to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for someone else. 27 If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.

People very seldom show mercy to those who owe them. It is always better not to be in debt. You could lose everything. If you have the means to put up security why not just give it to them as a gift and save a bunch of hassle.

Proverbs 22:28 (NLT) — 28 Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers set up by previous generations.

Cheating is out of bounds for us Christians. We are called to stay within the boundaries of honesty.

Proverbs 22:29 (NLT) — 29 Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.

The fact is that we all serve the King, King Jesus. Do your best, you are doing it for the King and He will reward you. He will give you favor. Raises are in His hands. Promotions are in His hands. True skill earns recognition and advancement. And remember that one day we will stand before the King.

Be Inspired Hilltop!