Showing posts from 2017

Proverbs 1:18

Proverbs 1:18 "And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives."

Solomon is almost done with his paternal preaching on problematic peer pressure in verse 18.  In previous verses, Solomon has encouraged his son to avoid sinners while exposing the earmarks of their enticements.  In verse 17, he provided an illustration for his son to remember when recognizing those earmarks – the common sense of a bird avoiding obvious danger.  Now that he is almost finished with his initial counsel on the topic, Solomon points his son to the end of the sinner.  In verse 15, he tells his son to stay off their path and here in verse 18, he tells his son what the end of that path looks like.  In verse 15, he tells his son to avoid their way and here in verse 18, he tells his son where that way leads.
Having lived long enough to see the end of the sinner, this wise father speaks truth for the sinner.  Having received wisdom from God about men, this wise teacher sheds s…

Proverbs 1:17

Proverbs 1:17 "Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird."

For the first time in his collection of proverbs, Solomon references the animal kingdom.  When God gifted Solomon with wisdom, He gave the king insight regarding God, man and creature.  Each of his three books of the Bible include healthy references to Nature. From the beginning, wise men like Job have used the creatures of Nature to illustration basic but important truths. Solomon, the wisest of all men, made it one of his hobbies to observe Nature in order to enhance his teaching and counsel.  He knew the animal kingdom of his country well and undoubtedly learned much of the world’s animal kingdom through his travels and through his imported personal zoo (1 Kings 10:22).  Nature held a special place in Solomon’s mind and in his writings.  1 Kings 4:33, “He spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowls,…

Proverbs 1:16

Proverbs 1:16 "For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood."

Here in chapter one, Solomon spends as much as time as he does trying to persuade his son to choose his friends carefully because he knows how influential peers are, especially among young people.  If Rehoboam chooses the wrong crowd to call friends, they will become more influential in his life than his father will be.  They would have most of, if not all of his ear.  They would have most of, if not all of his heart.  The rest of Solomon’s book of wisdom would fall on his son’s deaf ear if the wrong friends were chosen.  The rest of Solomon’s wisdom would have little to no impact on Rehoboam if the wrong friends were chosen. Therefore, he spent substantial time on identifying and avoiding the wrong crowd early in this book of maxims.
In verse 15, the young man and all potential readers were urged not to walk with sinners.  They were urged to refrain their feet from the path of the wicked.  They were urg…

Proverbs 1:15

Proverbs 1:15 "My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:"

This is the third time in eight verses; the third time in the first chapter of his book where Solomon addresses his son with affection in order to get his attention.  By saying, “my son,” this father is directing his son to their relationship; to the special bond a father and son possess.  By saying, “my son,” this father is communicating to his son parental responsibility as well as parental affection.  By starting these three verses with the phrase, “my son,” Solomon is telling Rehoboam that what he is about to read was not written flippantly or lightly; the counsel was written with paternal love and should be taken very seriously.  By using, “my son” at the beginning of these verses, this father is telling his son that this is more than a general proverb; this is precise counsel crafted in unconditional love for the good of the young man he is responsible for – the young man he lo…

Proverbs 1:14

Proverbs 1:14 "Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:"

Early in the Book of Proverbs, Solomon is offering his young son and other readers the opportunity to learn how to recognize a dangerous crowd.  He identifies a sinful crowd by the type of invitation they offer.  In verse 11, they invite others to join them in their hunt for innocent prey.  In verse 12, they invite others to join them in their kill of that prey. Here in verse 14, they invite others to join them in their consumption of the kill.  This passage seems like the recruitment done by a pride of talking mischievous lions in a Disney Movie: “Come with us, let us lurk privily for the innocent!”
“Come with us, let us swallow them up alive!”
“Come with us, let us all have one prize!”

Like a pride of lions, this evil gang was looking to make their group stronger with numbers. More lions meant more kills. More kills meant more meat.  More meat meant more consumption. This invitation was motivated by consumpt…

Proverbs 1:13

Proverbs 1:13 "We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:"

Solomon wrote his proverbs to help people, especially his young son.  In order for his readers to benefit from the book, Solomon knew he needed to capture and keep their attention.  There is probably no greater threat to the teacher’s effort to get and keep the attention of the student than the distraction of mischief-makers. In the classroom, one influential trouble-maker can derail the entire lesson.  In the classroom, a pair of problem students can render the teacher’s efforts useless by recruiting others to join them in their mischief.  Solomon understood that sinners could easily derail his efforts to help his son and others become morally successful in life.  It was for this reason that he chose to inform his readers early on to beware of the enticement and distraction of mischief-makers. 
In verse 11, Solomon exposed their heartless intentions to harm the innocent.  In verse 12, …

Proverbs 1:12

Proverbs 1:12 "Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:"

In trying to help his son pay more attention to father and mother, Solomon highlights the danger of succumbing to negative peer pressure.  He describes evil peers with precision so as to give his son all of the insight necessary to recognize the crowd that poses the most risk to his life.  First, he exposed their Approach as being one of enticement in verse ten.  Secondly, he exposed their Aim as being the baseless harm of the innocent in verse eleven.  Thirdly, Solomon exposed the Appetite of sinful peers as being ravenous in verse twelve.  The exposure of these important details would give the young reader the knowledge necessary to identify & ultimately avoid an unsafe group of peers.
Let it be known to believers of all ages that we should avoid the group of people that have an insatiable appetite for wrongdoing against other people.  The group of sinners in Proverb…

Proverbs 1:11

Proverbs 1:10-11 "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:"

Starting in verse 10, Solomon spends some quality time on peer pressure, a topic especially important for young readers like his son.  While he encouraged his son to listen very carefully to his parents, he discouraged his son from listening to mischievous peers.  To help identify which peers he shouldn’t give in to, Solomon took time to describe the type of person he was warning of.  The first detail provided was their self-proclaimed intention to privately lay wait for blood.  But their intention by itself wasn’t the problem; the problem is who they were waiting to harm and why.  They intended to wait to harm the “innocent without cause.”
The intention to contend with another person in itself isn’t an indication of evil but the intention to contend with an innocent person without a justified reason is a…

Proverbs 1:10

Proverbs 1:10  "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not."

Over the course of its thirty-one chapters, the Book of Proverbs will offer wisdom to men and women of all ages.  This book is a wealth of wisdom for all of mankind in all the world.  That truth being said, the first ten verses should reveal why the book comes so highly recommended for the young man and young woman.  Already in ten short verses, we read of the author’s intent to give those virtues that young people desperately need to avoid life-long dilemmas.  In but ten short verses, Solomon points the young to the old; the inexperienced to the experienced; the simple to the wise; the child to the parent. Solomon’s first piece of advice has to do with who to listen to.  His next piece of advice to the young is who not to listen to.
Success for every young person starts with hearing the right people while failure for every young person starts with heeding the wrong people.  The first time Solomon addresses his…

Proverbs 1:9

Proverbs 1:8-9 "My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck."

For the first time in his Book of Wisdom, Solomon pulls out the paint brush and palette full of colors.  One of the reasons so many people like Solomon’s writing is because he crafted sentences in many shapes, sizes and colors.  More than any author in the Bible, Solomon used images to communicate truths.  Many of his proverbs were taught through mental images that he knew would not soon be forgotten.  This was his preferred method of communication in all three of his books contained within the Old Testament; a method that confirmed his wisdom.
The image he chose to use first had to deal with the outward appearance of man.  In communicating the importance of listening to the wisdom of father and mother, Solomon used the coveted image of ornaments and jewelry.  He knew how important the outward appea…

Proverbs 1:8

Proverbs 1:8 "My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:"

Verse 1 identifies the author of this Book of Wisdom and verse 8 identifies the primary recipient of this Book of Knowledge.  Solomon, the king of Israel wrote this book to his young son.  This fact is confirmed throughout the book with the phrase, “my son” being used a total of 23 times.  The king of Israel wanted the future king to be able to govern his people properly, which he knew would require wisdom.  This king was passionate about the need for leaders to possess wisdom.  When he assumed the throne years earlier, God offered him a blessing and told him to fill in the blank. Solomon’s response foreshadowed great political success – “give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?” (2 Chronicles 1:10). 
By experience, Solomon knew that wisdom would propel his son to success.  He also rea…