This is the sermon for Wednesday evening January 21st, 2009. On Wednesday nights we are going through the book of Proverbs.
EVERDAY WISDOM PART 18
A few comparisons.
We are continuing our series in the book of Proverbs entitled, “Everyday Wisdom.”
In our culture we do a lot of comparing, and we have short, pithy comparison proverbs in our day as well. Phrases like: “That’s like comparing apples to oranges;” or when we are eating something for the first time, and someone ask what it tastes like, many times we come back with this response: “It tastes like chicken.” What we are doing is comparing what we are eating with the taste of chicken.
What does it mean to compare anyway? Well, the dictionary definition is, “To examine two or more objects, ideas, people, etc.. in order to note the similarities and differences.”
In Chapter 19 we see some comparisons that Solomon has written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He wrote these down so that we can receive wisdom to help correct us in our everyday lives. Here are a few of the comparisons that we will be looking at tonight: The rich and poor; The wise and foolish; and Father’s and Sons.
Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to shed light on these comparisons and the passages we will be looking at in Proverbs 19.
The rich and the poor.
Proverbs 19:1 CJB – Better to be poor and live one’s life uprightly than engage in crooked speech, for such a one is a fool.
It is more important for us to live our lives in honesty and to walk in the integrity of the Lord, or live pleasing to the Lord, than to have wealth and riches. In fact, it is better to be rich in character and poor in wealth.
There is another very similar proverb in Proverbs 28.
Proverbs 28:6 CJB – Better to be poor and live an honest life than be crooked in one’s ways, though rich.
Wealth brings many friends, poverty brings abandonment of friends.
Proverbs 19:4 CJB – Wealth brings in many friends, but the poor man loses the one friend he has.
At first this passage seems to be a positive reflection on wealth and friendship, but in the Hebrew, it actually has a negative thought to it.
People run to wealthy people, often times to get things from them, quite honestly. This simple truth shows the condition of the human heart. If we can get something for nothing, especially from someone who has worked hard all their lives for their wealth, then we will do whatever it takes to become their friends.
But if they were to lose their money, or if they don’t have any money, then either the friendships cease to exist or they were non- existent in the first place.
Be careful how you treat the poor among us.
Proverbs 19:17 CJB – He who is kind to the poor is lending to (the LORD); and he will repay him for his good deed.
According to this passage, when you give to the poor, you lend to the Lord, and the Lord will repay the deed.
Even if it just a cup of water, the Lord will be gracious and repay the deed back.
Matthew 10:42 ISV – Truly I tell you, whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple will never lose his reward.”
The wise and foolish.
Not true comparisons here, but I’d thought I’d make my own.
Fools ruin their way and they are raging against God.
Proverbs 19:3 CJB – A person’s own folly is what ruins his way, but he rages in his heart against(the LORD).
The word, “ruins,” in this passage also means in Hebrew, “to twist, to pervert, to overturn.”
People may blame God and others for the direction that they are taking in life, but ultimately, it is their own fault, their own decisions, and their own sins that are to blame. J.H. Greenstone in his comments on this passages states, “Man’s own failures are the result of his own folly (foolishness) and should not be attributed to God.”
This idea of blaming God and others for our mistakes and sins is nothing new, it is as old as the human race itself.
Notice Adam’s response to God when he and Eve sinned and they were hiding because of their nakedness.
Genesis 3:12 CJB – The man replied, “The woman you gave to be with me – she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.”
While the wise can handle wealth and money, those who are foolish cannot!
Proverbs 19:10 CJB – It isn’t fitting for a fool to live in luxury, and even less for a slave to govern princes.
The word, “luxury,” in v. 10 means, “A state of pleasantness and delight; a state of wealth and refinement.”
Foolish people cannot handle wealth because they will spend it irresponsibly.
Give you an example. Some people have many bills to pay, but instead of trying to pay those bills off, they will spend their money on needless things, thereby, getting themselves in even more trouble not only financially, but with their creditors.
The wise on the other hand knows the importance of paying off what you have promised to pay. And while there is a sense of living in refinement and luxury, this refinement and luxury do not dictate who they truly are.
Let’s look at our final point for this sermon.
Fathers and Sons.
Proverbs 19:13a CJB – A son who is a fool is his father’s ruin…
Fool here in this passage in Hebrew means, “A simpleton, very arrogant.” From the definition of the Hebrew word I feel this means that this is a child that does not listen to the wise instructions of his father. Because he doesn’t listen to his father’s wise advice and warnings, he will bring ruin or calamity upon him.
This word for ruin in Hebrew means, “wickedness, perverse thing, iniquity, engulfing ruin.”
Some translations state that this foolish child will bring his father grief.
This is so true. This child avoids the warnings to stay away from wickedness and perverse things, and thereby grieves the father greatly.
Let’s look at a few more passages concerning Fathers and Sons in closing tonight.
The Father should discipline his son, but be careful in discipline as well.
Proverbs 19:18 CJB – Discipline your child while there is hope, but don’t get so angry that you kill him!
The son who mistreats from his father brings reproach.
Proverbs 19:26 CJB – One who mistreats his father and evicts his mother is a son who brings them shame and disgrace.
The son who refuses to listen to the fathers instructions will stray from the path of knowledge.
Proverbs 19:27 CJB – My son, if you stop heeding discipline, you will stray from the principles of knowledge.
What should be our response to tonight’s sermon?
Well, the negative things we saw in these passages tonight, avoid them. The positive things, ask the Lord to help you apply them to your life.
God’s word provides wisdom for our life. Let’s become more than just hearers, but doers as well.