Now let us turn to Proverbs, chapter 6. The first part of the Proverbs is exhortation to my son. It's just good fatherly advice to sons. And chapter 6 continues in these exhortations that are opened by the phrase:
My son, if you be surety for thy friend, or if you have stricken hands with a stranger, you've become snared with the words of your mouth, you've been taken with the words of your mouth. Now do this, and deliver yourself, my son, when you've come to the hand of your friend; go, and humble yourself, and make sure thy friend. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver yourself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, or as a bird from the hand of the fowler (6:1-5).
Someone said the best way to lose a friend is to loan him money. And unfortunately, many friendships have been lost over this very thing. If you have guaranteed for a friend, if you've been a surety for him. You say, “Well, that's all right, just put it on my account, or I'll guarantee it,” my son, you're in trouble. Go to your friend quickly. You've snared yourself with your mouth. Deliver yourself from him if at all possible. Humble yourself and get out of the situation. Or worse yet, if you've made an agreement with a stranger. That is, you say, “Okay, we'll do it,” and you shake hands with the stranger. You've stricken hands. And of course, it is interesting over there to watch them in their negotiations even to the present day.
One of our favorite little side trips when we are in Israel is to go down to the sheep gate on Friday morning and watch as the Bedouins and all bring in their sheep to market. And the buyers and the sellers gather together and it is a sight that you just will never forget as you stand there and watch these Mercedes cabs come up, filled with these men with their caffias and all, they open up the door and out pours these men and the sheep and everything else. They open up the trunk and out come the sheep, you know. And the pickup trucks and all, and they herd all of these sheep into this area near the corner of the wall across from the Rockefeller Museum every Friday morning. And then these guys will begin to haggle and bargain over the sheep.
Now when they bargain, they yell at each other. I mean, they just stand there. They shake their fists. You expect them to pull a knife out from under their robe at any time and go at it 'cause they're just yelling like they're really angry. And it's quite a scene with all of the yelling and shouting, and the guy will turn and walk away, and turn around and yell at the guy. And then walk a bit and turn and yell some more, you know. And after they've gone through this for a while, pretty soon you see them slap their hands. You know, they'll…and the guy will reach in, get his wallet, pull out his money, and take the sheep and go off. And it's really quite a quite a scene. The striking of the hands is an indication, “All right, that's a deal, you made a deal.”
Now, my son, if you strike hands with a stranger, you're in trouble. Be careful about that. Deliver yourself as quickly as possible as a deer from the hand of the hunter or as a bird from the snare of the fowler.
So the first little exhortation is against guaranteeing for somebody else. The second little exhortation is against slovenness.
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when are you going to awake? Yet a little sleep, and a little slumber, and a little folding of your hands to sleep: and so shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth, and thy want as an armed man (6:6-11).
So a little exhortation against laziness. Go to the ant. Now, we are told that Solomon was a very prolific writer. That he wrote 3,000 proverbs, several songs, and he wrote books on biology and botany. And so he was a man who was very familiar with nature. And we will pick this up as we get to some other proverbs as he talks about the characteristics of other animals and insects.
But here he is saying, “Now go to the ant, learn of her ways and be wise.” And watching ants is a very interesting experience. They are perhaps one of the most industrious of all little insects. The worker ants and how they go out and how they gather. How you see them. And I love to watch ants. I sometimes used to sit out in the backyard with bread and I’d just break off pieces of bread and throw it down and watch them as the little ant would get hold of it and try and pull it and pull it, and pretty soon another would get on and they'd hold the thing and just to watch them in their labor as they are laying up their food. So industrious. "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; learn of her ways, and be wise. Which having no guide, or overseer, or ruler." And you wonder how they communicate. Yet, they evidently do communicate because you get a couple of them in your house and they discover something sweet, man, they communicate it to all their cousins and relatives and everybody else. And soon the whole tribe is in there.
I've often thought about miniaturization, you know. Everything is, the whole concept is that of miniaturizing everything. Have you ever wondered how big an ant's brain must be? Talk about something that’s miniature. And yet, there is no doubt the capacity to communicate and surely the capacity of working together. And I think that this is the lesson to learn. Without a foreman out there yelling instructions and everything else, somehow they get this bread, chunk of bread together and pretty soon, they're carting the thing off. You can see this chunk of bread just moving across the ground. It may take them a little while, a little struggling and all. But ultimately, they get things coordinated without a guide, an overseer, or a ruler. Yet, learning to just work together. "Providing her meat in the summer, gathering her food in the harvest."
So be careful of laziness for a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of your hands to sleep and comes poverty. It's inevitable.
Now the next one that he talks about is the person who is:
A naughty person, a wicked man, who walks with a perverse mouth (6:12).
The loud mouth braggart.
Who winks with his eyes, speaks with his feet, and teaches with his fingers; Perversity is in his heart, he devises mischief continually; he sows discord. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy (6:13-15).
That's perverse person, the wicked man who has a perverse mouth, winketh with his eyes. Of all the crazy things, this evening when I knew I was going to be talking on this verse, before service I got an eye twitch underneath my left eye, and it’s twitching. I looked in the mirror and crazy twitching. I thought, “Man, I hope nobody thinks I’m winking at them tonight when I have to teach on this verse.” So I popped a bunch of vitamin B pills. I figured maybe I’ve got a shortage of B-stress or something and didn’t have any yeast to put down, but hopefully get this twitching eye stopped. But it’s not winking; don’t put me in the category of this man. The thing that interests me is as God always says concerning the wicked, “Their calamity is coming.” And in this case, it’s coming suddenly and that without remedy. How tragic when God says of a man there’s no cure. He’s beyond, no hope, no remedy.
Now in the next little section we have:
Six things the LORD hates; in fact, there are seven that are an abomination unto him (6:16):
Now I should seek to hate the things that God hates. And I should surely seek to avoid the things that God hates. So it is important that we look at these seven things, and it is more important that we not be guilty of any of these seven things.
First of all, God hates:
A proud look (6:17),
The Bible says, "Pride cometh before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18). That proud look. How many times we are told in the Scriptures to humble ourselves and we shall be exalted. The second thing God hates is:
a lying tongue, then hands that shed innocent blood, [next] a heart that devises wicked imaginations, [next] feet that are swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaks lies (6:17-19),
One who bears false witness against someone else with a lie. And finally,
he who sows discord among brethren (6:19).
God hates the dividing and the divisions that oftentimes come within the body of the church. Paul said, “Mark those which cause division among you. Avoid them” (Romans 16:17). God hates those who sow discord among brethren. “How beautiful and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1). How that is honoring to God. And how God hates anyone who is guilty of just sowing discord among the brethren.
In the next section here, and all of these fall in little groups actually. It is dealing with listening to your parents’ counsel and advice.
My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not the law of your mother: Bind them continually upon your heart, and tie them about your neck. When you go, it shall lead you; when you sleep, it will keep you; when you awake, it will talk with you. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is a light; and the reproof of instruction are the way to life (6:20-23):
Important: the advice, the counsel of the parents. That is, that of course, assumes the godly parents. Their counsel is like a lamp. It is like a light to show you the way.
Now the next one, he picks on the evil woman again. The warning against women who are evil.
To keep thee from the evil woman, and from the flattery of the tongue of strange women. Lust not after her beauty in your heart; neither let her take you with her eyelids (6:24-25).
They may be false.
For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a crust of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon a hot bed of coals, and his feet not be burned? So is he that goes in to his neighbor's wife; whosoever touches her shall not be innocent. Now men do not despise a thief, if he steals to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he is found, he shall restore sevenfold; and he shall give all the substance of his house. But whoso commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding: and he does it to the destruction of his own soul. A wound and dishonor shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though you give him many gifts (6:26-35).
So keep yourself from the flattery of the strange woman. Do not lust after her beauty in your heart. In the New Testament, Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, as He is talking concerning the law as it was being taught to them in that day and the law as it was intended when given by God was showing by many examples that when God gave the law, God was interested in the attitude of a man’s heart more than the actions of a man’s life. Because it is possible to have the right actions with the wrong attitude. And it is also possible to have the wrong actions with the right attitude. But God is looking at the heart.
Now the law said, and the Pharisees were teaching them that the law said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). And yes, the law did declare, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” But Jesus said, “I say unto you, if any man looks upon a woman and lusts after her in his heart, he’s already committed adultery” (Matthew 5:28). In other words, it’s the inner attitude of a man that is so important. That is why last week he said, “Keep your heart with all diligence, because out of the heart come the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). So James tells us, “Let no man say when he is tempted that God tempted me the other day. For God doesn’t tempt man to do evil. But a man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. And lust when it is finished brings sin” (James 1:13-15). If you follow it through it will lead you right into sin. It begins in the heart. “Oh wow, you know. Look at that.” Lookout! Don’t. Cut it off at that point. As Paul said to Timothy, “Flee youthful lusts” (II Timothy 2:22). For it will drown a man’s soul in hell. Run if you must. Do as Joseph. Get out of there as quickly as possible if you feel that you know it’s getting too hard to handle. Man, just turn and run as fast as you can go.
He continues his exhortation to the son in chapter 7. Still talking about these women that are the wrong sort.
My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the pupil of your eye. Bind them upon your fingers, write them on the table of your heart. Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, and from the stranger who flatters with her words (7:1-5).
So keep the commandments. Say to wisdom, “Thou art my sister.” Be wise, my son.
For at the window of my house I looked through the casement, and I beheld among the simple ones, and I discerned among the young people, a young man who was void of understanding, and he was passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way towards her house, and in the twilight, and in the evening, and in the black and the dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of a harlot, subtile of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now she’s in the streets, she’s lying in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and she kissed him, and with an impudent face she said unto him, I have made my peace offerings; this day I have paid my vows (7:6-14).
Which was declaring, “I am ceremonially clean. I have gone, you know, I’ve had my period.” And after the period a woman was then to bring the peace offering to offer, and now you’re ceremonially clean for sexual relationships. Now this to me is interesting. It is an interesting kind of a paradox. Here she is observing the law for purification, following the law. “I’ve paid my vows, you know, and I brought my peace offerings. I have my peace offerings, paid my vows and all, you know. So I’m now ceremonially clean. I’m able to have intercourse.” And yet a harlot, yet seeking to entice a man. And this strange paradox of obedience to the law, and yet disobedience to God. And unfortunately, we observe this strange paradox so often.
In the religious circles where somehow we have a weird kind of a twisted judgment, thinking that because I’ve gone to church, because I’ve done my righteous thing, that I now have some kind of a license to do the unrighteous thing. And this admixture of light and darkness, walking after the Spirit and trying to live after the flesh. Trying to please God and still following the lust of my own flesh. It’s an incongruency. And yet we see it so often in the religious circles where people are trying to get this strange admixture of the flesh and the Spirit.
So here she is. “I’ve done my peace offering, and I’ve got it with me. I’ve paid my vows. Come to my house, you know, my husband’s gone. He took a bag of money. He’s gone on a trip. He’s not going to be back ‘til the new moon. So, you know, come on over.” And how wrong it is. How often some of the young people from the College and Career or Singles fellowship tell about meeting someone here. And because they met them in church, they figured that they would be morally upright and all, and how that the guys just keep trying to come on when they’re out on a date or something. And though they come to church and they’ll read the Word and they’ll sing the choruses, they’ll raise their hands and all, and yet turn right around, and you get out in the car or something and they’re trying to make advances that are improper advances. These things ought not to be, that weird kind of an inconsistency.
“So she caught him, she kissed him, and with an impudent face she said to him, ‘I have a peace offering with me; this day I have paid my vows.’”
Therefore I came to meet you, and I diligently sought you until I found you. And I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestries, with the carved works, of fine linen from Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves (7:15-18).
Now here again is a total misconception that prevails to the present day. Somehow people have a weird terminology calling sexual intercourse love. It can be an expression of love. But it is generally, when outside of marriage always an expression of lust. And so rather than saying, “Come, let’s take our fill of love,” in reality you should say, “Come, let’s take our fill of lust. Let’s seek to fulfill the desires of our flesh.”
There isn’t true love in that. True love is giving, not seeking to receive. Seeketh not its own. But yet people have classified this love from the time of Proverbs and they still do today. “Oh, we made love last night.” No, that’s degrading to the term of love. Unless, as I say, it’s as God has ordained within the sacred bonds of marriage and it becomes that beautiful expression between husband and wife, where as God said, “The two become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
For my husband is not at home, he’s gone on a long journey: He has taken a bag of gold with him, he’s not going to come back until the appointed day. And so with her fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. And he’s going after her straightway, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool goes to the correction of the stocks; Until a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hastes to the snare, and he knows not that it is for his life. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, and going down to the chambers of death (7:19-27).
So in speaking of and warning his son concerning the whorish woman, first of all, he makes mention of the fact that she can bring a man to a crust of bread. Oh, I think of the lives and the homes and the values that have been destroyed by these kind of women. All of the homes that are suffering today because some little gal’s flirting in the office. Flattering, telling you how smart you are, how strong you are, how macho you are. And you get home and your wife is maybe saying, “Why don’t you ever want to do anything, you know? And when you going to mow the lawn? You’re so lazy, you know.” And you’re getting this kind of a crossfire. Pretty soon, you’ve imagined yourself to be in love, and pretty soon you’re brought to a crust of bread. Destroyed. “She has cast down many wounded, many strong men have been slain by her.” Oh, God, I think of the many strong men who have been slain by the weakness of their own flesh. “Her house is the way to hell.”
In chapter 8 we have an ode to wisdom. Wisdom is personified. And because of the personification of wisdom in this chapter, some have even likened wisdom unto Jesus Christ. “For in Him are hid all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). So there are analogies that can definitely be drawn. Because Christ is the soul, the heart of wisdom. “In Him all the treasures of wisdom.” So there are definite analogies that can be made to wisdom and to Jesus Christ, and there is definite parallels. There are definite parallels.
Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? (8:1)
Now, of course, we have just this is in sharp contrast to the previous chapter where this loud, stubborn, little impudent female is running around with her words of flattery in the streets and all. But, “Doth not wisdom cry? And understanding put forth her voice?”
She stands at the top of the high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She cries at the gates, and at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors: Unto you, O men, I call; my voice is to the sons of man. O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing perverse or froward in them. They are all plain to him that understands, and right to them that find knowledge. Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold (8:1-10).
In other words, prefer wisdom to wealth.
For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired cannot be compared to wisdom. I wisdom dwell with prudence, and I find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil (8:11-13):
Now wisdom is speaking and declares,
pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the perverse mouth, I hate. Counsel is mine, sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all of the judges of the earth. I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honor are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue better than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures. The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or before the earth ever was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men. Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me finds life, and shall obtain favor of the LORD. But he that sinneth against me wrongs his own soul: and all they that hate me love death (8:13-36).
So we see how that Solomon is exhorting concerning wisdom. How wisdom is crying out for people, “Come, know me. Understand me. Listen to me.” And the value of wisdom, treasure.
Now you remember when David died and Solomon was appointed king in his place. The Lord came to Solomon and said, “Ask of Me whatever you want.” And Solomon prayed unto the Lord and said, “Oh, Lord, I ask that You will grant unto me wisdom in order that I might govern over these, Your people.”
Now Solomon was aware of the awesome responsibility that was placed upon him when he took the scepter from his father David and began to rule over Israel. He realized what an awesome responsibility this was. And he also realized his own inability to stand up to this awesome responsibility. “Oh God, I need wisdom to know how to govern over these, Your people. That I might go out and in before them in such a way and that I might be a proper king.” And God said unto Solomon, “Solomon, inasmuch as you’ve asked for wisdom, you’ve asked for a good thing. Because you didn’t ask for riches, you didn’t ask for fame, you didn’t ask for your enemies to be delivered in your hands, but you asked instead for wisdom, excellent choice. And because you didn’t ask for riches, fame, your enemies, but you’ve asked for wisdom instead, I’m not only going to give you wisdom, but I’m also going to give you great riches, fame and all.”
And so God gave unto Solomon wisdom above all of his predecessors. So that from all over the world, people came to sit at the feet of Solomon to hear the wisdom of this man. So it is proper that this man who was given so much wisdom by God and knew the value and the benefits of wisdom should exhort unto wisdom.
And in then the personification of wisdom, I’m sure as we were reading through, you could see the parallels and the analogies that could be made to Jesus Christ. How that He was with the Lord in the beginning of the creation and the beautiful picturesque speech of the creation of the earth before. I wonder what it was like before God created the universe. I wonder what there was. What dimensions and whatever, you know. “Before the earth ever was, before He laid the foundation, before He set the boundaries of the sea, before He raised up the mountains, I was there.”
Chapter 9 continues in its praise of wisdom.
Wisdom hath built her house, she has hewn out the seven pillars: She has killed her beasts; she has mingled her wine; and she has furnished her table. And she has sent forth her maidens: and she cries upon the highest places of the city, Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she says to him, Come, and eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding (9:1-6).
In other words, wisdom is inviting everybody to come and partake of her. That is why David said to Solomon, “Hey, son, wisdom’s the principal thing. Get wisdom.” Now Solomon’s saying, “Wisdom is inviting people. I prepared a banquet. I’ve prepared for you. Come and partake of me.” And now he says in verse 7,
He that reproves a scorner will be mocked (9:7):
If you have a scorner and you reprove him, what is he going to do? He’s going to turn right around and mock you. He’s not going to receive it.
and he that rebukes a wicked man [going to get smashed in the nose]. So reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: but if you rebuke a wise man, he will love you for it (9:7-8).
So if you rebuke someone and he punches you in the nose, you know he’s wicked. If he loves you for it, you know he’s a wise man. One of the proverbs says, “A fool hateth instruction.”
So give instruction to the wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (9:9-10):
Now this sounds very much like verse 6 of chapter 1 where after Solomon introduces Proverbs and tells you what a proverb is and what the purpose of proverbs are, he begins with the first proverb declaring, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:6). Now he says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” And it sounds like these are parallel statements, but there’s a vast difference between the two. And the difference lies not in the difference between wisdom and knowledge, but the difference between the word beginning in the Hebrew that is translated in both places beginning. They are two different Hebrew words with two different meanings.
After telling what a proverb is and what the purpose of proverbs are, to gain understanding and to know the way of righteousness and so forth, he then declared, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” The word in verse 6 of chapter 1 is a Hebrew word which means "the sum total of knowledge." All knowledge is encompassed in the fear of the Lord. In other words, if a man doesn’t fear the Lord, he’s dumb, stupid. The fear of the Lord is really the sum of knowledge.
The word beginning here is the Hebrew word for primary or commencement, the starting place. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” the starting place for wisdom. It’s the sum total of knowledge but it’s the starting place of wisdom. Now the difference between wisdom and knowledge is that knowledge will give you facts. Wisdom will direct you to the correct action in lieu of these facts.
There are a lot of people that have a lot of knowledge, but they don’t have much wisdom. They may have a lot of facts. They may have a lot of knowledge stored up in their head, but they’re absolutely dumb when it comes to their actions. I am constantly amazed at what dumb things smart men do. Men who have their Ph.D.s and all of this vast knowledge, and yet they don’t have any wisdom. They’re just off their rockers.
The government keeps a group of men that are almost humanoids. And they sit day after day at these desks in these think tanks, and these guys when they start shaving, just shave all the way, you know. Their heads are bare and big heads, and they just sit there at the desk day after day after day just sitting, and the government pays them royally for this. And they are thinking in these far out abstract concepts. And they may sit there for a month and never say a word to anybody. You can walk in, walk around. They don’t even recognize that you’re there. And yet, they come up with these outlandish, far out concepts. Pretty soon after several months, they’ll go up the board and start writing out formulas and all these kind of stuff, designs. And then the government has other men who have to take these formulas and designs and see if they’ll really work.
We have a friend who was in the second phase, and he told us about these little humanoids almost that sit there at their desks, and of these wild kind of concepts. How that they are thinking about how to transmit brainwave patterns from the outsides so that people can see without eyes. You know, just by the transmitting of brainwave patterns that go across the place so they get the illusion of sight and so forth, though they don’t have eyes. Or transmit the sound in without the hearing apparatus, normal hearing apparatus; you’ll be able to hear. And all these kind of things that they are actually working on and developing and trying to create. Far out kind of concepts.
Now these guys have a lot of knowledge, but they don’t have much wisdom. This friend of mine was telling me that quite often they’ll be stuck, because, he said, they cannot, many of them cannot add a simple column of figures. Their minds are too complex to deal with simple math. And of course, they don’t have any family life. I mean, they just live an isolated kind of existence in their own sort of in their own minds, and they are just trained to get into themselves and into their own minds and concepts. Far out kind of stuff.
So knowledge is having an accumulation of facts. Wisdom is knowing what to do with them. The proper use of knowledge or the application of knowledge. So the importance of wisdom. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning,” that’s the starting place of wisdom.
Last chapter we read, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13). Fear of the Lord. The word fear bugs some people because we have in our minds the concept of a phobia. But the word translated fear is not a phobia type of fear. But it is that kind of awe and reverential fear as we really think about God, His greatness, His power, who He is. Just that awe that comes over you. So that fear of the Lord, desiring to do what God would have me to do. Love what God loves. Hate what God hates. That desire recognizing who God is. To seek to please Him, that’s what the fear of the Lord is about. That’s the beginning of wisdom.
and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding (9:10).
We are living in a day and age when we have so confused the issue of good and evil, right and wrong. That people really don’t know what is right or what is wrong. We have the Situation Ethics. And now more recently, this value clarification where there is the denial of any kind of universal base of good or truth or right. It’s all relative to the situation. But understanding the knowledge of the holy, that which is holy, that which is pure, that’s what understanding is about. It’s understanding God and what He has declared.
Wisdom is still speaking and it says.
For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. If you be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. A foolish woman is clamorous (9:11-13):
He evidently knew much, a lot about women. He had enough wives to have quite an understanding. No doubt in the law of averages, you have a thousand wives you’re going to have some really weird ones, contentious ones and everything else. And he’ll get to them later on. “A foolish woman is clamorous.”
she is simple, she doesn’t know anything. For she sits at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, to call the passengers who go right on their ways: Whoso is simple, let him turn in to her: and as for him that wants understanding, she says to him, [Hey] stolen waters are sweet, bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he doesn’t know that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell (9:13-18).
Now in chapter 10 we have individual proverbs. Most of these individual proverbs are in contrast, where they are contrasting the wise with the foolish, or the wicked with the righteous. Or the diligent with the slothful. I mean, you’ll see in each of them a contrast, and there is really not any kind of a tie between the proverb. Each one is a separate little, neat little truth all packaged by itself. Each one is self-explanatory. Thus, there isn’t really much that you can say without being redundant.
The Proverbs of Solomon (10:1).
So now we’re getting into the little individual, pithy statements.
A wise son makes a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother (10:1).
You see, that’s my boy. Or that’s her boy. The wise son is my boy. The foolish son is hers.
Treasures of wickedness profit nothing (10:2):
Or gain that is made through wickedness.
but righteousness delivers from death. The LORD will not allow the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked (10:2-3).
An interesting proverb. God will take care of His own. He’ll not allow the soul of the righteous to famish. But ultimately, the wicked are going to have the substance taken away.
He becomes poor that deals with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent makes rich (10:4).
Now, one thing that is noted in the proverbs and in the Bible is that God does respect and desire that in your business dealings you always be absolutely honest and upright. Don’t be trying to always shyster the other guy or take advantage of another guy. Or we read a little further where the buyer says, “It’s not worth a thing, it’s not worth a thing.” But when he walks away, he brags about what kind of a deal he got. “It’s worth nothing. It’s worth nothing.” And you go away, “Man, did I ever have a deal! Look what I bought for $5. Really took that sucker.” And he speaks against that kind of stuff. “He who deals with a slack hand.” Deal honestly. Don’t deal with a slack hand. But be diligent. He’ll become poor that deals with a slack hand. It’ll come back to you. You won’t stay in business. You won’t last in business. But if you are honest and diligent in business, then you’re going to get the reputation for that. You cannot keep your reputation from getting around. It’ll either be good or bad.
He that gathers in summer is a wise son: but he who sleeps in the harvest is one that causes shame. Blessings are on the head of the just: but violence covers the mouth of the wicked. The memory of the just is [sweet or] blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot (10:5-7).
Think that one over. How do you want people to think of you when you’re gone? The memory of the just will be blessed. But if you’ve been rotten then your name will rot.
The wise in heart will receive commandments: but the prating fool shall fall. He that walks uprightly walks surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known. He that winketh with the eye causes sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall. The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covers the mouth of the wicked. Hatred stirs up strifes: but love covers all sins (10:8-12).
This is quoted in the New Testament where we are told, “But love covereth a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8). Hatred, if you’re filled with hatred, it’s just going to stir up strife. Everybody’s going to hate you. But if you’re a loving person, they’re willing to overlook your faults. It just covers so many faults if you’re a loving person. If you’re a hateful person, man, then people are looking, they’re scrutinizing you for faults. They can’t wait to find it. It satisfies them when they can find something wrong and to see the flaws. But if you’re a loving kind of a person, then they’re just going to overlook all kinds of mistakes. So if you’re not a perfect person, then you better be a loving person and you’ll be able to get along all right. For “love covers a multitude of sins, all sins.”
In the lips of him that has understanding wisdom is found: but the rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding. Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. A rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty. The labor of the righteous tends to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin. He that is in the way of life that keeps instruction [or he that is in the way of life keeps instruction]: but he that refuses reproof errs. He that hides hatred with lying lips, and he that utters a slander, is a fool (10:13-18).
Now there is no contrast here. There are just two things that are declared. The man who hides hatred with his lying lips, that is the deceitful, hypocrite, and the man who utters a slander. You utter something slanderous about someone else, you’re a fool.
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin (10:19):
In other words, the more you talk, the more you’re going to… the greater possibility you’re going to sin.
but he that refraineth his lips is wise (10:19).
Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool, rather than to open it and remove all doubt. That’s Proverbs 1:4 by Chuck. I took it from the nineteenth here. There’s nothing new under the sun.
The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is worth little. The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for lack of wisdom (10:20-21).
I love this one.
The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and he adds no sorrow with it (10:22).
Oh, the blessings of the Lord. How rich they are. How rich is the time that we can spend together in a Christian fellowship and all. And there’s no sorrow with it. You know there are a lot of people out doing things and all, oh, have a great time, but oh, man, the sorrow that follows. The remorse as, you know, the chickens come home to roost, and as it begins to come back on you. But the blessings of the Lord, they just make you so rich and there’s no sorrow attached to it. It’s just good all the way.
It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding has wisdom. The fear of the wicked shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted. As the whirlwind passes, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation (10:23-25).
The wicked are to be destroyed, but the righteous will endure forever.
As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to him that sends him (10:26).
I don’t know what vinegar is to the teeth, but I do know what smoke is to the eyes. It smarts. And if you send a sluggard to do a job, man, it smarts. So is the sluggard to him who sends him.
The fear of the LORD prolongs ones days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish. The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth. The mouth of the just brings forth wisdom: but the perverse tongue shall be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaks perversity (10:27-32).
So all of these little nuggets, as I say, they are contrasts. And this is classic Hebrew poetry. For they found beauty in the ideas and the thoughts that were expressed rather than in the rhyme or the rhythm. Whereas, to us poetry has to be in rhyme and has to be in a rhythm to be attractive to us, but with the Hebrew poetry, it’s all in the thoughts that are expressed. And usually in either the contrasting thoughts which in this chapter we have an excellent example as we were contrasting the righteous with the wicked and all, all of these contrasts to the Hebrew, that’s just beautiful. They revel in the thought, the contrasting thoughts. Where for us, you got to have the rhyme. You got to have the rhythm, you know. And then we dig on the rhyme or the rhythm of a thing.
There are strange things done neath the midnight sun
By the men who toil for gold.
The arctic trails, oh, their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold.
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the clearest they ever did see.
Was a night on the marge of the Lake Lebarge
When I cremated...
You know, the rhyme and the… We love it. You love to throw the rhyming words together. And the rhythm of it carries us. But with the Hebrew poetry, there is, there isn’t the rhythm, there isn’t the rhyme, there’s just the thoughts. And you get the beauty in the contrasting thoughts, or in the compounding of a thought, which some of these were in the compounding. A couple of them were compounding of thoughts, but most of them were contrasting thoughts.
So you get the idea of what a proverb is now as we move into these little three liners or whatever. You begin to catch the idea of the contrast of a proverb, and also of what constitutes poetry in the Hebrew idea and all.
So next week we will continue on eleven through fifteen. A lot of wisdom, a lot of understanding, a lot of knowledge packed away in these proverbs. And I pray that as we study them, that you will gain, you’ll begin to receive the words of wisdom and instruction, justice, judgment and equity; give you knowledge and discretion. Father, we thank You for the study of Your Word and we ask You, Father, make us wise. Men of understanding hearts. Oh God, help us to come into the fear of the Lord where we might have a proper respect for You. Learning to love the things that You love. Hating those things that You hate. That we might walk in righteousness and in the uprightness of our heart before Thee, Lord, knowing that Thou, Lord, seest us day by day. Nothing is hid from Thy sight. So may we live, Lord, as in Thy presence and conscious of Thy presence. So let us walk in all purity, holiness, righteousness. Oh God, make us pure even as Jesus Christ is pure. In His name we pray. Amen.