• Proverbs 9 - 13

    Invitations of Wisdom and Folly

    1 Wisdom has built her house;
          she has set up its seven pillars.
    2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
          she has also set her table.
    3 She has sent out her servants, and she calls
          from the highest point of the city,
    4 “Let all who are simple come to my house!”
          To those who have no sense she says,
    5 “Come, eat my food
          and drink the wine I have mixed.
    6 Leave your simple ways and you will live;
          walk in the way of insight.”

    7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
          whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
    8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
          rebuke the wise and they will love you.
    9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
          teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.

    10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
          and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
    11 For through wisdom your days will be many,
          and years will be added to your life.
    12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
          if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.

    13 Folly is an unruly woman;
          she is simple and knows nothing.
    14 She sits at the door of her house,
          on a seat at the highest point of the city,
    15 calling out to those who pass by,
          who go straight on their way,
    16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!”
          To those who have no sense she says,
    17 “Stolen water is sweet;
          food eaten in secret is delicious!”
    18 But little do they know that the dead are there,
          that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.

    Wisdom and Folly have invited us to dinner. Two separate dinners and two separate homes. Proverbs 9 asks the question; Which invitation will we accept?

    17 “Stolen water is sweet;
          food eaten in secret is delicious!”

    Here again Folly is being a temptress. She will tell you lies. The wisdom of God is our shield against these things. It is wise to be alert and know when Folly is trying to lead you astray. Accept Lady Wisdom's invitation.

    32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God.
          “Therefore turn and live!”

    Turn away from folly and seek the Lord's wisdom in all things.

    Proverbs of Solomon

    1 The proverbs of Solomon:

    A wise son brings joy to his father,
          but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.

    2 Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value,
          but righteousness delivers from death.

    3 The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
          but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

    4 Lazy hands make for poverty,
          but diligent hands bring wealth.

    5 He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,
          but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

    6 Blessings crown the head of the righteous,
          but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.

    7 The name of the righteous is used in blessings,
          but the name of the wicked will rot.

    8 The wise in heart accept commands,
          but a chattering fool comes to ruin.

    9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
          but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.

    10 Whoever winks maliciously causes grief,
          and a chattering fool comes to ruin.

    11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
          but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

    12 Hatred stirs up conflict,
          but love covers over all wrongs.

    13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,
          but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.

    14 The wise store up knowledge,
          but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.

    15 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city,
          but poverty is the ruin of the poor.

    16 The wages of the righteous is life,
          but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death.

    17 Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life,
          but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.

    18 Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips
          and spreads slander is a fool.

    19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words,
          but the prudent hold their tongues.

    20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
          but the heart of the wicked is of little value.

    21 The lips of the righteous nourish many,
          but fools die for lack of sense.

    22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth,
          without painful toil for it.

    23 A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes,
          but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.

    24 What the wicked dread will overtake them;
          what the righteous desire will be granted.

    25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone,
          but the righteous stand firm forever.

    26 As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
          so are sluggards to those who send them.

    27 The fear of the Lord adds length to life,
          but the years of the wicked are cut short.

    28 The prospect of the righteous is joy,
          but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.

    29 The way of the Lord is a refuge for the blameless,
          but it is the ruin of those who do evil.

    30 The righteous will never be uprooted,
          but the wicked will not remain in the land.

    31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom,
          but a perverse tongue will be silenced.

    32 The lips of the righteous know what finds favor,
          but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

    Proverbs 10 is a lesson that nearly everyone of us needs to heed. I find myself speaking many times when I should not. It can be difficult to hold your tongue at times. Spreading gossip is cruel. When we gossip about others we are perpetuating lies.

    32 The lips of the righteous know what finds favor,
          but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

    Remember when we would play the game "telephone?" Recall how just in a matter of a few people retelling a simple sentence how distorted from the original it was? Gossip has this same problem. Each time someone repeats gossip about someone the story gets more and more distorted. Hurting those we are speaking about.

    Proverbs 12:18

    The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
          but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

    The next time you are tempted to gossip... Remember "telephone"

    1 The Lord detests dishonest scales,
          but accurate weights find favor with him.

    2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
          but with humility comes wisdom.

    3 The integrity of the upright guides them,
          but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

    4 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
          but righteousness delivers from death.

    5 The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
          but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.

    6 The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
          but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.

    7 Hopes placed in mortals die with them;
          all the promise of their power comes to nothing.

    8 The righteous person is rescued from trouble,
          and it falls on the wicked instead.

    9 With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors,
          but through knowledge the righteous escape.

    10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
          when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

    11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
          but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.

    12 Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense,
          but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.

    13 A gossip betrays a confidence,
          but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

    14 For lack of guidance a nation falls,
          but victory is won through many advisers.

    15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer,
          but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.

    16 A kindhearted woman gains honor,
          but ruthless men gain only wealth.

    17 Those who are kind benefit themselves,
          but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

    18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
          but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

    19 Truly the righteous attain life,
          but whoever pursues evil finds death.

    20 The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse,
          but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.

    21 Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished,
          but those who are righteous will go free.

    22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
          is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

    23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
          but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.

    24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
          another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

    25 A generous person will prosper;
          whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

    26 People curse the one who hoards grain,
          but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.

    27 Whoever seeks good finds favor,
          but evil comes to one who searches for it.

    28 Those who trust in their riches will fall,
          but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

    29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind,
          and the fool will be servant to the wise.

    30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
          and the one who is wise saves lives.

    31 If the righteous receive their due on earth,
          how much more the ungodly and the sinner!

    In the time of Solomon, there were no grocery stores. When people needed to buy food they would go to the marketplace, generally near city gates or just out in the streets. There were many dishonest merchants and their scales would be inaccurate so when someone wished to purchase an amount of grain the scale would be off in the merchants favor.

    1 The Lord detests dishonest scales,
          but accurate weights find favor with him.

    Dishonesty ultimately hurts the one being dishonest. It definitely hurts the ones we are dishonest to. Dishonesty leads to mistrust and added stress in our lives.

    23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
          but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.

    If you are wise and do what you know to be right in all things, you will be pleasing to God.
    It is OK to be proud, but as with everything. Practice moderation. We have all heard the saying "Pride cometh before the fall"
    That is Proverbs 16:18

    Pride goes before destruction,
    a haughty spirit before a fall.

    Being proud of yourself or for your friends and loved ones is a wonderful thing, however, being overly proud... feeling you are the best and looking down on those around us is not pleasing to God. Be modest in what you do, and God will be proud of you.

    1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
          but whoever hates correction is stupid.

    2 Good people obtain favor from the Lord,
          but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.

    3 No one can be established through wickedness,
          but the righteous cannot be uprooted.

    4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown,
          but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

    5 The plans of the righteous are just,
          but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.

    6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
          but the speech of the upright rescues them.

    7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
          but the house of the righteous stands firm.

    8 A person is praised according to their prudence,
          and one with a warped mind is despised.

    9 Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant
          than pretend to be somebody and have no food.

    10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
          but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

    11 Those who work their land will have abundant food,
          but those who chase fantasies have no sense.

    12 The wicked desire the stronghold of evil doers,
          but the root of the righteous endures.

    13 Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk,
          and so the innocent escape trouble.

    14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
          and the work of their hands brings them reward.

    15 The way of fools seems right to them,
          but the wise listen to advice.

    16 Fools show their annoyance at once,
          but the prudent overlook an insult.

    17 An honest witness tells the truth,
          but a false witness tells lies.

    18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
          but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

    19 Truthful lips endure forever,
          but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

    20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
          but those who promote peace have joy.

    21 No harm overtakes the righteous,
          but the wicked have their fill of trouble.

    22 The Lord detests lying lips,
          but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

    23 The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves,
          but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.

    24 Diligent hands will rule,
          but laziness ends in forced labor.

    25 Anxiety weighs down the heart,
          but a kind word cheers it up.

    26 The righteous choose their friends carefully,
          but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

    27 The lazy do not roast any game,
          but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

    28 In the way of righteousness there is life;
          along that path is immortality.

    Lying is probably the sin that traps us most often. Deceit breeds stress and anxiety. It seems that one lie leads to another. Once we get trapped in the circle of lying to cover up lies... it spirals out of control. The stress and worry of being discovered in deceit can stress you out... you lose sleep, you have troubles keeping track of what you have told different friends.

    Honesty truly is the best policy.

    28 In the way of righteousness there is life;
          along that path is immortality.

    1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,
          but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.

    2 From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things,
          but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.

    3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
          but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

    4 A sluggard’s appetite is never filled,
          but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

    5 The righteous hate what is false,
          but the wicked make themselves a stench
          and bring shame on themselves.

    6 Righteousness guards the person of integrity,
          but wickedness overthrows the sinner.

    7 One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
          another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

    8 A person’s riches may ransom their life,
          but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes.

    9 The light of the righteous shines brightly,
          but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.

    10 Where there is strife, there is pride,
          but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

    11 Dishonest money dwindles away,
          but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

    12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
          but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

    13 Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it,
          but whoever respects a command is rewarded.

    14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
          turning a person from the snares of death.

    15 Good judgment wins favor,
          but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.

    16 All who are prudent act with knowledge,
          but fools expose their folly.

    17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
          but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.

    18 Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame,
          but whoever heeds correction is honored.

    19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
          but fools detest turning from evil.

    20 Walk with the wise and become wise,
          for a companion of fools suffers harm.

    21 Trouble pursues the sinner,
          but the righteous are rewarded with good things.

    22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
          but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

    23 An unplowed field produces food for the poor,
          but injustice sweeps it away.

    24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
          but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

    25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
          but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.

    There is a recurring theme in all Proverbs. God loves the ones who strive to be good, pure, and righteous. I said earlier that when parents correct our behavior it is out of love. Solomon concurs in Proverbs 13:24

    24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
          but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

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    This blog is written by leaders of SVCC. The people who write here are not perfect or "holier than thou."  They just strive to seek after God with all their hearts.

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