The violence…

The wicked will be swept away by their own violence, according to this verse. God must have a big broom!

The New International Version says, “The violence of the wicked will drag them away, for they refuse to do what is right.” But that broom will overlook every person the Lord considers righteous! 

Why will the wicked be cleaned away like cobwebs? It’s really simple. They refuse to do the just thing. Which means they – the wicked – would rather do the unjust thing!

Keep this verse in mind the next time you have an important decision to make. And do the right thing.

Pay attention to wisdom

My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it. ~Proverbs 5:1-6 NIV

WomanWhether or not you accept wisdom from God could save your life. Not only does this passage imply that, it also serves as an introduction to the rest of chapter five.

You are urged to pay attention to God’s wisdom. “Attention” means:

  • the act or power of carefully thinking about, listening to, or watching someone or something,
  • notice, interest, or awareness, or
  • special care or treatment.

You’re expected to know this, and to do something about it. As you incline your ears toward the Lord, he has special words of insight on this. Why? So that you can make intelligent decisions, while your lips repeat God’s word quietly to yourself.

By contrast, the lips of an “immoral woman” drip with honey. They look good, and sound good. But in the end, you’ll find they are meaningless. Such an immoral woman doesn’t even know the course her life is on.

This chapter of Proverbs ends with verses 22-23, which say, “The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.”

God knows you’ll be tempted. But through prayer, rather than your own great foolishness, you can be forgiven.

Stay out of trouble

Daily Proverbs

He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own Is like one who takes a dog by the ears. ~Proverbs 26:17 NKJV

If you’re a dog owner, you know one of the best ways to irritate your pet is to grab them by the ears. Gentle rubbing behind the ears is usually welcome, but most dogs truly hate having their ears roughed up.

Solomon’s recommendation in Proverbs 26:17 is that you choose to stay out of trouble whenever you can avoid it. You may be tempted to intervene in someone else’s quarrel. And once in a while, it may be necessary. But be smart: Deciding to grab a dog by the ears often means your fingers will be bitten.

Every person faces life situations that are stressful, challenging, difficult – even dangerous. The Lord promises Christians grace and wisdom in great measure to navigate these troubles.

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The listening ear

Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given. Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear. ~Proverbs 25:11-12 NIV

JudgeThere is only one kind of gold. But there are two ways of receiving it.

First, there are “apples of gold in settings of silver.” That seems short for a really fancy kind of jewelry. More importantly, it parallels a just ruling.

Imagine the satisfaction of learning that a judge rules in your favor. That means that he really listened to you, and respected your argument.

The second is a liittle less satisfying, and a lot more difficult to do. Consider what “the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear” means. Again, it ends up being beautiful jewelry. But the circumstances are very different.

Merriam-Webster defines a rebuke as “to speak in an angry and critical way to someone.” Listening to a judge speak to you in this manner could be humiliating. But the difference here is the wise judge, and the listening ear. That’s a rare combination!

Are you listening – really listening – when someone gives you solid advice? If you are, it could be just what you need to hear.

Don’t falter!

If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done? ~Proverbs 24:10-12 NIV

evangelism“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!”

~Charles H. Spurgeon

This passage is aimed squarely at you. And it’s promising great reward to those who obey. The Lord promises here to repay you, no matter what you’ve invested. No matter how much it cost.

Have you learned how to share the Gospel? There are several reputable organizations that will train you. Some will even take you out and show you how it works.

Maybe you’re one of the few Christians who is comfortable sharing your faith. If that’s true, good for you!

Learn to “give a defense for the hope that is within you.” Others may be counting on it.

 

Don’t wear youself out getting rich

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. ~Proverbs 23:4-5 NIV

Get Rich QuickThis passage caused us a great deal of trouble, until we understood it properly.

It says, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich…” and “do not trust your own cleverness.” More importantly, look what it does not say: “Do not get rich.”

These verses don’t prohibit you – or anyone else – from becoming truly wealthy. After all, the Bible is full of references to people of great riches: Solomon, Abraham, and others. Scripture doesn’t prohibit gaining personal wealth. In fact, your talent may well be making money.

What this passage does prevent is wasting your time, going after something that’s unlikely to happen. 

Chasing after money isn’t worth it. It’s something that all too easily disappears.