June 11th

Proverbs 28-31

  • 28:1— When we’re entrapped in sin, we constantly have to watch our backs and wait for the other shoe to drop. When we are living faithfully, there is freedom from this fear.
  • 28:5— This is an interesting point. If we seek the Lord, he steers us to what is good and pleasing in his sight.
  • 28:13— It is so hard to admit where we are wrong, but it brings freedom for us and others.
  • 28:14— We harden out hearts through perpetually choosing sin over faithfulness. Perpetually choosing sin is guaranteed to destroy us
  • 28:16— Leaders are appointed to protect their people and have higher standards upon them.
  • 28:27— We are blessed to be a blessing. When we fail to use those blessings to help others, we often cease to receive those blessings.
  • 29:1— When we don’t listen to correction, we are doomed to destruction.
  • 29:2— The righteous treat people well, but the wicked are hard on the people.
  • 29:6— This verse depicts the weight of sin and the freedom in righteousness
  • 29:11— Over and over in the proverbs restraint is valued. Wisdom is knowing when to act or speak and when to refrain
  • 29:18— God’s visions and law keep people in line with God’s ultimate purpose for them and for the world.
  • 29:23— We are to humble ourselves and allow God to lift us up when appropriate.
  • 29:27— This is an interesting thing to think about. The lifestyle of a righteous man is equally as detestable to a wicked man as the opposite.
  • 30:4— These are a series of rhetorical questions to which the answer is always God alone.
  • 30:5-6— God’s words are good, true, and helpful. We tend to want to change them up to better suit us, but this is wrong
  • 30:7-9— These are beautiful requests asking God to give exactly what is needed, no more and no less.
  • 30:11-14— These verses warn us that there are people out there who have evil in their heart and act upon it.
  • 30:15-16— These verses explore the depth of greed out there. No one is specifically identified as possessing these qualities, but the qualities are made clear
  • 30:24-28— These are fascinating examples of creatures who have been given little but make the most of it. Presumably, we could learn a lot from them
  • 31:4-7— Here, leaders are instructed not to get drunk because it can only harm their reign. Instead the proper place for mind-altering drinks is listed.
  • 31:10-24— These verses describe an excellent wife. Her characteristics include productivity, generosity, care for others, integrity, and preparedness
  • 31:25-31— These verses make it clear what should matter in a woman’s worth. Physical beauty is not one of them

June 10th

Proverbs 25-27

  • 25:2-3— God’s mind is far greater than that of a king, but a king’s mind is greater than that of a common person
  • 25:4-5— Kings, in order to be faithful and successful, should be taken away from bad advisors and influences
  • 25:6-7— Jesus gives similar advice on choosing where to sit at a banquet. Choose humbly and be pleasantly surprised if you’re honored
  • 25:8-10— Hastiness comes up again as a bad thing. Wisdom definitely falls in line with patience and thinking through things
  • 25:11-14— These verses give clear, simple ways to bless and harm others
  • 25:15— Instead of trying to win battles with power, often we need to use kindness
  • 25:16— Good, practical advice. Too much of a good thing, is bad
  • 25:19— When needed, these things will all ultimately fail you
  • 25:20— Know your audience. A heavy heart needs you to mourn with it. Don’t make it worse.
  • 25:21-22— Kill them with kindness
  • 25:28— Self-control is what protects us from temptation and sin, just like walls protect a city from attack.
  • 26:2— If a curse is cast but has no cause, it will not come to fruition.
  • 26:3-4— We are not to mimic the fool or we will have the same fate
  • 26:6-8— Teaching wisdom to those determined to be foolish is a waste
  • 26:9-12— A list of foolish people and how foolish it is to entrust foolish people with anything.
  • 26:13-16— This sluggard guy sounds awful! It does not sound like someone I want to be
  • 26:17— When we step into minor quibbles that are not our business it is ultimately harmful and unnecessary.
  • 26:21— Hothead men tend to ignite controversy everywhere they go
  • 26:23— The glaze is used to make a simple pot look fancier and more appealing. Like this, speech pretending to have love also attempt to cover up the evil in one’s heart
  • 26:24-26—Hate in our heart can be masked by kind sounding words, but will eventually shine through.
  • 26:27— If we create opportunities to harm others, it will ultimately come back on us.
  • 27:3— It is hard to resist the provoking of a fool
  • 27:5— Open rebuke gives a person an opportunity to self-correct. Hidden love has good intentions but doesn’t actually help the other out
  • 27:7—This is very true of our culture. We are not “hungry” for anything because all our needs are met so we tend to be ungrateful for what we have. Those in need are often grateful for anything and everything made available to them
  • 27:10— To have a friend you have to be a friend. And place a lot of value on those who are close and actually helpful rather than those who should be on paper, but actually aren’t.
  • 27:12— Humans are designed to walk away from danger, but without wisdom, we tend to ignore our natural urgings. Wisdom keeps us safe
  • 27:14— Everyone has had a noisy neighbor before. I think we can all agree it’s not a blessing
  • 27:15-16— This is simply encouraging men to make wise choices about the women they choose. A combative nature would most likely be evident before marriage.
  • 27:17— As believers, we are called to help hold one another accountable and to spur each other on towards faithfulness
  • 27:18— The one who works at something, gains the reward
  • 27:21-22— These tools and metals are referring to a purifying process. This is to suggest that a fool cannot be separated from his folly.
  • 27:23-27— The investment you put in those with whom you’re entrusted will benefit you later.

June 9th

Proverbs 22-24

  • 22:1— Being worthy of respect is far more valuable than money
  • 22:2— Both the society of the original hearers of these proverbs as well as our current society tend to rank people. Money is one of the biggest ranking scales. But God sees beyond our monetary wealth.
  • 22:3-4— Throughout Proverbs there is a continual juxtaposition between the wise and the foolish, their actions, and their results. These verses continue to spell this out.
  • 22:6—It is difficult to guide and discipline a child. In our society, it is even harder to assure they are raised in the faith. As difficult as it is in the moment, it is the easiest way to assure they will be faithful for a lifetime
  • 22:8-9— These verses give the consequences of the actions mentioned in yesterday’s proverb and then offers an alternate option
  • 22:11-12— Kindness and graciousness will always gain you favor, while hateful words are eventually found out
  • 22:15— It is not the fault of the child that he is foolish. It is his nature. It is the job of the parent to discipline him and lead him to wisdom
  • 22:16— God does not take kindly to the powerful oppressing the weak in any circumstance. He calls us to care for the poor, the widow, the orphan, the child, and the one who is new to the faith
  • 22:17-19— When we have words of wisdom on our lips, they are the ones that come out of our mouths first. This is the same reason we want to have Scripture memorized
  • 22:22-23— The poor and powerless are easy to steal from and oppress but this proverb reminds us that God has their back and will right the wrongs done to them
  • 22:24-25— We have to be careful with the company we keep. They can tend to influence us into their own sin if we have any weakness in that particular area.
  • 22:26-27— This advises against making promises you can’t keep
  • 23:4-5— Though wealth seems to bring earthly status, it is fleeting and not worth spinning our wheels over.
  • 23:6-8— This is a warning against false kindness and false generosity
  • 23:10-11— Moving a landmark amounted to stealing it. Entering the fields of the fatherless would be to wrong someone who is powerless. These wrongs would be avenged.
  • 23:13-14— Though we may not agree with the method, it is clear that the Proverbs believe in disciplining and teaching children the right way.
  • 23:15-16— It is a parent’s greatest joy to see their child walk faithfully
  • 23:17— We often do envy sinners. Life seems easier for folks who actively engage in sin and it sometimes seems like they have all the fun. We are to look to something greater and longer term.
  • 23:19-21— Solomon did not advocate laziness.
  • 23:25-28— Here the proverb tries to warn of the temptations and consequences of lust.
  • 23:29-35— Warnings against indulging in alcohol in excess. We lose our ability to control ourselves and thus cannot give God control
  • 24:1-2— A sinful life often looks glamorous, but it leads to trouble and should not be envied
  • 24:5-6— Wisdom and knowledge are more than just nice things to have. They benefit us in a variety of practical ways. War was a big deal to the culture the proverbs were originally written for.
  • 24:8— This goes further than don’t do evil. Don’t even plan to do evil.
  • 24:10— This verse calls out all those who feel strong in their faith or otherwise who then topple over when difficulties come. The strength of our faith is determined when tested
  • 24:11-12— We cannot claim ignorance and pretend not to know that people are moving towards death and destruction. If we ignore them, it says God will do the same to us
  • 24:13-14— This portion makes a very tangible comparison of how wisdom benefits us
  • 24:15-16— This warns against sliding into a pattern similar to those who seek to harm righteous people. Those unhealthy patterns ultimately lead to destruction
  • 24:17-18— Everyone is God’s child. We should not gain joy from another’s misfortunes
  • 24:21-22—Kings were chosen and anointed by God. If you weren’t on the side of the king, you weren’t on God’s side and would most certainly face destruction. Just think back on how David handled people who mistreated Saul even after Saul was unfaithful and rejected by God
  • 24:24-25— Call a spade a spade. If someone is sinning, don’t compliment them for it or tell them it’s ok. Call out the sin
  • 24:30-34— It is easy for us to become lazy and to fall into destruction. It usually starts small and builds without us noticing.

June 8th

Proverbs 19-21

  • 19:1— This is in exact contrast to how our society lives and thinks.
  • 19:3— This is in exact contrast to how our society lives and thinks.
  • 19:4— Just a few verses earlier, the author tells the reader to choose your friendships carefully and here explains that we often choose our friends for the wrong reasons.
  • 19:6-7— Once again we’re confronted with our bias towards wealth. Poor men tend to be left in a lurch by everyone where as people come out of the woodworks for someone with money or influence.
  • 19:8-9— Verses 8 and 9 stand in contrast with one another giving options for success and failure.
  • 19:14— Advice to choose your spouse wisely.
  • 19:17— This is reminiscent of the separation of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25. Those who served the poor and needy actually served Jesus. Though the poor person is not able to repay the generous person, the Lord is able.
  • 19:18-19—Other translations say “while there is hope” instead of “for there is hope”. The writer urges the reader to discipline a child while they’re still moldable unless you want to contribute to their destruction
  • 19:20— God puts people in our lives to advise and guide us. We should pay attention to them.
  • 19:24— This verse is basically repeated in Proverbs 26:15. Clearly Solomon was not pleased with laziness and did not believe it displayed godliness or wisdom.
  • 19:27-29— Sometimes circumstances allow or force us to discontinue faithfully listening to wise counsel. Just look at Rehoboam’s story from yesterday’s reading. He ceased to hear instruction to be kind to his constituents.
  • 20:1— Handle your liquor or don’t have it at all.
  • 20:3— Avoiding unnecessary conflict is wise. Fools tend to rush into it.
  • 20:7— What an encouragement to live faithfully so our children can see it, learn from it, and be blessed.
  • 20:8-10— None of us can claim to have made our own hearts pure. Jesus is the only one who can do that for us.
  • 20:12— The Lord gives us our senses – these are just some of the ways he’s given us to experience him.
  • 20:13— Laziness doesn’t pay. We have to work to take care of ourselves
  • 20:17— This is so true of sin in general. The rewards of our sin are often so glamorous and exciting, but only for a short time. Ultimately they are destructive and painful.
  • 20:19— Often the person who tells you great gossip well tell yours as well. Better not to associate with them at all
  • 20:20-21— God clearly meant the “honor your father and mother” law
  • 20:24— This is a very intriguing question. It is basically that God guides our paths and leads us to where we need to go. If he is capable of that, who are we to expect to understand why or how he does it?
  • 20:27— It is the Spirit’s job to test our hearts and help convict us in the places where we are not obeying God.
  • 21:4— We always have reason to be humble because we are not God
  • 21:5— The Proverbs encourage us over and over again to think through our actions and decisions and not act hastily
  • 21:11-12— Because we are prideful, we often hate instruction or punishment. We rarely recognize that it is for our ultimate good and we need it to grow
  • 21:17—– It is not bad to love pleasurable things, but it is bad to let them rule us
  • 21:20— The wise man takes care of what he has and keeps it safe. The foolish man uses is frivolously
  • 21:23— Our mouths tend to get us into trouble. It is wise to watch our words and think through them carefully
  • 21:26— What a powerful verse! When we are lazy and sloth-y, we tend to constantly want and need. The righteous, on the other hand, are willing to give and give abundantly

June 7th

Proverbs 16-18

  • 16:1-3—A powerful explanation of our plans versus God’s. When we offer up our plans to God and give him ultimate authority, we are certain to see success.
  • 16:4— God does not create us wicked, but we sin and fall short. Thus the need for a day of judgment.
  • 16:6— We often wonder how we can quit a certain sin or be more faithful. This proverb gives good insight – fear the Lord and you can turn away from evil.
  • 16:9— A great image of the relationship we’re allowed to share with God in creating our future.
  • 16:11— Many tax collectors and others who worked with money would cheat on the weights so people had to pay far more than what was actually owed.
  • 16:12-13— The irony here is that at least half of the Kings of Israel are listed as “doing evil in the sight of the Lord.” The throne was established by God, but many of the kings fail to live up to their calling.
  • 16:16-17— It is rare that we put much of anything above the pursuit of wealth, but this proverb confirms that wisdom and understanding are far more valuable.
  • 16:18— Our pride often tells us we deserve or are capable of more than we’re called to. Humility allows us to wisely and graciously take what God gives us.
  • 16:22— Good sense is life giving because it assures we make decisions that will prosper us. Folly, on the other hand, comes when we listen to unwise counsel
  • 16:24— Grace and kindness are both beneficial to the giver and the recipient
  • 16:25— And this is why we should seek God in all things
  • 16:26-27— This is the difference between someone who works for good, productive results versus someone who works for harmful, careless results
  • 17:1— Though many of us seek wealth for our families, peace is a far greater blessing.
  • 17:2-3— Throughout Scripture there is a theme of birthright and status not guaranteeing that you receive that is due to you. God does not judge as we judge, he looks at the heart
  • 17:4-5— This proverb seems to describe the actions of a bully and how they will not prosper
  • 17:10— A wise person responds to rebukes while a foolish person can be told over and over and over
  • 17:12— Well, I think that sums up how undesirable and destructive folly is.
  • 17:15— Condoning evil and persecuting good are both equally detestable to God
  • 17:17— True, godly relationships are able to withstand difficulty and trials.
  • 17:22— Joy, a fruit of the spirit, is more than just enjoyable, it’s life giving
  • 17:24— We often to look to everything else to satisfy us, but wisdom will guide us faithfully where we are supposed to go
  • 17:26— Presumably the fine would be unwarranted if it was placed on a righteous man
  • 17:28— This is the origin of the well-known adage, “Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
  • 18:2— This is one of the key skills in listening. Listen to understand the other person, not to make your next point.
  • 18:6-7— A creative way of saying our mouths write checks are rears can’t cash
  • 18:9— Verses in Colossians and Ephesians also encourage us to work to the best of our ability. We are to work like we’re working for God, not man.
  • 18:11— Solomon makes it clear that wealth is a false sense of security
  • 18:15— Often when we welcome some piece of knowledge and wisdom, we acquire even more than we sought in the first place
  • 18:17— This verse backs up the adage that there are always two sides to every story. Withhold judgment of decisions until you have heard from both parties.
  • 18:20-21— This is very similar to Proverbs 12:14 where it explains that kind, honest words reap a good harvest like a farmer who plants good seed
  • 18:23-24— This is encouragement to choose friends carefully. You can’t be best friends with everyone and it’s not wise to try

June 6th

Proverbs 13-15

  • 13:1— This Proverb relates perfectly to the parable of the Prodigal Son as well as the Psalm. Both the father to the son and God to the Israelites gave wise counsel on how to live. They had the choice to listen or to choose their own way. When we choose our own way, we suffer the consequences.
  • 13:2-3— We should be slow to speak and quick to listen. Our words are often destructive and are best not spoken.
  • 13:5-6— We view most sins as harmless, but this verse explains that sin can overthrow us and lead to our ultimate demise.
  • 13:7-8— This is similar to a comparison made in Proverbs 12:9. Because of the honor/shame society the Israelites lived in, they would much rather be seen as honorable or as having wealth, whether it was true or not, so they would not receive shame.
  • 13:9-10— A reminder that evil does not win out. It can be frustrating when evil seems to get the upper hand, but in the end, Jesus wins
  • 13:11— Most often, wealth gained little by little takes time and effort to grow. This inevitably grows the wealthy person’s appreciation for it.
  • 13:12-14— These verses explain the benefit of God’s word and wisdom. God does not simply want us to grow in these things as busy work, but because they are life-giving and necessary
  • 13:16— This is reminiscent of the saying, “If someone tells you they’re crazy, believe them.”
  • 13:19— This reminds us that it can quickly become apparent what kind of company you keep depending on whether or not they consider your attempts to turn away from evil an abomination or not.
  • 14:8— Our wisdom is not simply for good looks or just convenient. Our wisdom should be used to discern where God is calling us and where we should go
  • 14:9-10— Foolish people mock us when we choose to do what is right and choose to obey God and repent. We should give their mocks no merit
  • 14:12— We should seek what is right to God instead of leaning on what we think or understand.
  • 14:14—There are a number of references in the New Testament to bad sources only producing bad fruit and good sources only producing good fruit. We cannot expect to produce great things if our hearts are not great as well
  • 14:16—This is similar to the familiar phrase, “look before you leap.” The foolish tend to jump into things without weighing the consequences while the cautious are able to turn away from evil because they seek God’s wisdom first
  • 14:17— There are several references in the Proverbs that equate quick decisions with foolishness. This would suggest that steadiness and quality of thought is considered more prudent in almost all cases.
  • 14:20-21— These two verses work together to juxtapose how the poor are often treated versus how we are intended to treat them
  • 15:1-2— The book of James dedicates a large section to taming the tongue. The tongue is compared to a horse’s bridle or a boat’s rudder. It steers and can control us. This Proverb supports that.
  • 15:4—We often think perverse words or thoughts are all in fun or can be stopped at any time. Instead, these words and thoughts are the fruit of what we are putting into ourselves. From a good tree comes good fruit. From a bad tree comes bad fruit
  • 15:5— Each one of us could probably recall a specific piece of advice from our parents we did not listen to and wish we would have. Wisdom is knowing to listen to that advice.
  • 15:11— Sheol was the name of the place people thought the dead went. Abaddon was an angel said to be in charge of an army of locusts. He is also mentioned in Revelation
  • 15:12-14—When we are already steeped in sin, we often avoid those who are wise or righteous because we don’t want to be called out and have to abandon our sin. This behavior becomes a deeper and deeper hole we dig for ourselves
  • 15:16-17— Beautiful verses explaining where real value lies
  • 15:18— Yet another example of prudence and wisdom being associated with rational thought out responses
  • 15:22-23— We are designed to be in relationship at all times. We are not to trust others above God, but we are to seek wise counsel from those who are in active relationship with God
  • 15:25— Pride normally means we rely on ourselves but wisdom tells us the Lord is the only one we can rely on. Everything else crumbles
  • 15:28— The continual theme in Proverbs of wisdom being slow and thoughtful is repeated here.
  • 15:31-32— We often know the wise choice, whether it’s been told to us or it’s just obvious. It’s our choice to follow wisdom or choose another way.

June 5th

Proverbs 10-12

  • 10:2— Intriguing considering our cultural priorities
  • 10:11-12— The difference in result when our words are righteous and when they’re wicked.
  • 10:19— We should all seek to be listeners first
  • 11:1-3— God cares about the way we conduct business. He cares about the morals and ethics we show to the world.
  • 11:12-13— It seems that we still have the same problems that ancient Jews did. They struggled with slander and trustworthiness and we do as well. The Proverbs are helpful for us even today.
  • 11:15— This is warning not to make promises you can’t keep and specifically not to promise something that someone else is intended to keep because you can never guarantee it.
  • 11:16-17— This verse is problematic in that the Proverbs usually teach that unrighteous behavior leads to our downfall, but here it follows that suit except when speaking of violent men.
  • 11:18-19— Note that it may not be much comfort to us that good wins out in this verse. Though the wicked’s wages are deceptive, they still earn wages.
  • 11:22— Jewish people consider pigs to be unclean. Wasting gold on an unclean animal is like wasting the beauty and goodness of a woman on someone who will throw themselves around as if they weren’t created in the image of God.
  • 11:24-26— This should not be mistaken for “the prosperity gospel” that God wants to make all the faithful people rich. Vs. 24 might sound like this, but often we go richer and things far more important than money when we choose to trust God with our finances.
  • 11:27— If you look for trouble, you’ll find it
  • 11:28— Because we have so much, it is so easy for us to rely on our own wealth and abilities to take care of ourselves. This Proverb warns that this strategy will ultimately fail.
  • 12:4— Wives can choose to bless their husband or harm them. This manifests in a variety of ways.
  • 12:11— We are to care for and work with what God has given us. Too often we seek out anything else we think might bring us pleasure. These are vain pursuits.
  • 12:12-14— We often want the wealth and success of someone who gained it illegitimately because it seemed easy, but we should find joy in the fruit born by righteous efforts.
  • 12:15— Though advice from others should never trump what God calls us to do, we are to seek wise counsel from those around us who can be trusted
  • 12:16— This is a helpful thought for those of us who are easily angered.
  • 12:18— Think about how true this has been in your own life. Careless words can be so hurtful and wise words so healing. This can be a reminder to us to choose wise words for others.

June 4th

Proverbs 7-9

  • 7:6-23— Sin and temptation are attractive, constantly available, and trying to draw us in at all costs.
  • 8:1-11— We’ve learned how folly cries out to us and entices us into sin and temptation. This passage reminds us that wisdom calls out too and gives us the opportunity to choose that instead.
  • 8:27-32— God created the earth with wisdom – this makes sense because of the complex balance and intricacies in the environment.
  • 9:1-6— Wisdom is something we can all gain if willing.
  • 9:7-8— Good advice is wasted on those who insist on folly, but folks who want to learn and grow wiser are willing to listen to criticism and rebuke.

June 3rd

Proverbs 4-6

  • 4:1-27—A father’s instructions to his son
  • 5:1-23—This is a warning against committing adultery
  • 6:1-19—A short series of warnings about unwise practices to avoid in life
  • 6:20-35—Yet another warning against adultery. Clearly adultery is considered profoundly unwise. What’s weird is that the Book of Proverbs is believed to have been written by King Solomon, who had hundreds of wives and concubines- concubines being by definition mistresses, and therefore a form of adultery- and it’s ultimately his lust for this women that ruins him and ruins his kingdom. So, it seems that Solomon didn’t bother to take his own advice…

June 2nd

Proverbs 1-3

  • 1:1-6—Consider this short passage as a statement of purpose for why the author wrote the book of Proverbs.
  • 1:7-9—All that we know should be filtered through our fear and respect of the Lord.
  • 1:10-19—Temptation is so enticing and it knows our weak spots. Ultimately, sin destroys us.
  • 2:1-22—These proverbs are all intended to teach the value of wisdom- i.e. this is why you should seek out wisdom instead of anything else.
  • 3:1-12—Wisdom involves trusting in the Lord- in fact, the two can’t be separated
  • 3:13-35—A summary of all the ways in which a person is blessed when they gain wisdom.