Sunday, June 28, 2009

Proverbs 10: 1-11

Contrast of the Righteous and the Wicked

The proverbs of Solomon
A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish son is a grief to his mother.
Ill-gotten gains do not profit,
But righteousness delivers from death.
The LORD will not allow the righteous to hunger,
But He will reject the craving of the wicked.
Poor is he who works with a negligent hand,
But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely,
But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.
Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
The memory of the righteous is blessed,
But the name of the wicked will rot.
The wise of heart will receive commands,
But a babbling fool will be ruined.
He who walks in integrity walks securely,
But he who perverts his ways will be found out.
He who winks the eye causes trouble,
And a babbling fool will be ruined.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

Today's Thought Questions:
  1. Did you realize that God had something to say about laziness? Reread verses 4 and 5.
  2. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

Here we are! The proverbs of Solomon!! I am so grateful for the almost month-long journey into the lead-up of these wise sayings. The nine chapters of background truly set the stage for understanding.

As we read in our background chapters, Solomon does compare the sluggard with the ant, so no surprise to see some proverbs about laziness. "Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich." In the KJV, 'slack' is used for 'negligent,' and the Hebrew for slack means not just remissness and slothful but extends to include treachery and deceit. [Strong's]

When we get sloppy with our actions, the results are not good. When we're in those situations, do we ever find excuses that have nothing to do with ourselves? That would be the deceit. Can sloppiness lead to danger? Man, we've got to be careful.

Verse 5 talks about sleeping during the harvest. Again, back to the ants of 6:8, we know that the wise, hard-working ants will have food to sustain them, so long as they work to gather it. You earn the privilege to eat when you work the fields. Likewise, we are not privileged to eat that for which we did not work.

"But in the seventh year the land is to have a sabbath of rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest."

--Leviticus 4 & 5

Thinking again about wisdom, if we do not do the work to seek wisdom, receive understanding, apply wisdom, we might as well be sleeping during a time when wisdom might serve us best.

Although the message is not new, 10:3 spoke to me. Look at it in the King James--

"The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked."

We've talked about this before. Once you have tasted wisdom and witnessed the blessing, you don't want to pass up another dinner invitation! God knows that when we are on that road to righteousness that we want to stay on it. But we can't do that without consistently being fed by Him, by His Word and His direction. This first part of the proverb is a wonderful promise to us, that our souls--our inmost being--will not be famished if we have righteousness as our goal for living.

But, turning to the second part, God will cast away what He cannot tolerate to be near--"the substance of the wicked." Notice, the phrasing does not run parallel to the first part of the proverb. We don't read that God casts away the soul of the wicked. It's the substance. In Hebrew, this word substance implies one's desire, and it's not a healthy desire, obviously. It's desire "in the sense of eagerly coveting and rushing upon; by implication, of falling." [Strong's] Remember chapter 1?

"...for their [the sinner's] feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood.

--Proverbs 1:16

The wicked are not cautious, but speedy. They are without wisdom, so they are quick to discover sin. BUT... even with such foolishness, God does not expel the soul of the sinner from Himself. Our Savior and amazing grace stand in the gap, preventing that kind of demise, at least for a time. Wisdom continues to call, and we need to be alert not to babble and miss the life-saving blessing she offers.


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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Questions:

Proverbs 10: 12-21
  1. Read verse 18. Rewrite in your own words.
  2. Verse 21 examines the speech of a righteous person. Do you consider your words 'nourishing'?
  3. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

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Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).


B His Girl said...

Yes, I knew about being lazy. I am trying to step up to what God is calling me to do even though it is difficult. Growing into the shoes He has planned for us takes work!
It's a tie on these two proverbs:
He who walks in integrity walks securely,
But he who perverts his ways will be found out.
He who winks the eye causes trouble,
And a babbling fool will be ruined.

Not sure why they speak to me but they do. I think about walking in God's ways often. I pray about that. Also I the other reminds me of someone up to no good, but I know there is nothing really done in secret.

Sue J, I teach a Sunday School class and today it my lesson, I turned to Prov. 9 and connected it to our lesson. It was a great tie in. It expanded our thoughts. Thanks, Barbara

Sue J. said...


How exciting to read about your Sunday School class! I mentioned to someone the other day that I'm just dropping Proverbs thoughts all over the blogosphere because that's what's been on my head these days! It's so wonderful to be able to study and have God show you opportunities to then USE His Word!

That's not lazy, girl! That is the diligence that He's talking about. You keep it up!!