Proverbs

Proverbs 9:7-12

7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
10 The fear of the LORD is the
Proverbs 9:1-6

1 Wisdom has built her house;
she has hewn her seven pillars.
2 She has slaughtered her beasts;
she has mixed her wine;
she has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her young women to call
from the highest places in the town,
4 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"
To him who lacks sense she says,
5 "Come, eat of my bread
Proverbs 8:32-36

32 "And now, O sons, listen to me:
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it. 34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favor from the LORD,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself;
all
Proverbs 8:22-31

22 "The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of old.
23 Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before
Proverbs 8:12-21

12 "I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
and I find knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
and perverted speech I hate.
14 I have counsel and sound wisdom;
I have insight; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,
and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me princes rule,
and nobles, all who
Proverbs 8:1-11

1 Does not wisdom call?
Does not understanding raise her voice? 2 On the heights beside the way,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates in front of the town,
at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
4 "To you, O men, I call,
and my cry is to the children of man.
5 O simple ones, learn prudence;
O fools, learn
Proverbs 7:16-27

16 I have spread my couch with coverings,
colored linens from Egyptian linen;
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
let us delight ourselves with love. 19 For my husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey;
20 he took a bag of money with him;
at full moon
Proverbs 7:6-15

6 For at the window of my house
I have looked out through my lattice,
7 and I have seen among the simple,
I have perceived among the youths,
a young man lacking sense, 8 passing along the street near her corner,
taking the road to her house
9 in the twilight, in the evening,
at the time of night and darkness.

10 And behold, the woman meets
Proverbs 7:1-5

1 My son, keep my words
and treasure up my commandments with you;
2 keep my commandments and live;
keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; 3 bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, "You are my sister,"
and call insight your intimate friend,
5 to keep you from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with
Proverbs 6:25-35

25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26 for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,
but a married woman hunts down a precious life. 27 Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
28 Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet
Proverbs 6:20-24

20 My son, keep your father's commandment,
and forsake not your mother's teaching.
21 Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline
Proverbs 6:16-19

16 There are six things that the LORD hates,
seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
19 a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.

What God hates, so should we; and yet, we may…
Proverbs 6:12-15

12 A worthless person, a wicked man,
goes about with crooked speech, 13 winks with his eyes, signals with his feet,
points with his finger,
14 with perverted heart devises evil,
continually sowing discord;
15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;
in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.

The worthless man considers himself cunning, able to get away with mischief. And yet, all he is…
Proverbs 6:6-11

6 Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise. 7 Without having any chief, officer, or ruler,
8 she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
11 and poverty
Proverbs 6:1-5

1My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
have given your pledge for a stranger,
2 if you are snared in the words of your mouth,
caught in the words of your mouth,
3 then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor:
go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor.
4 Give your eyes no
Proverbs 5:20-23

20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son,
with a forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
21 For a mans ways are before the eyes of the Lord,
and he ponders all his paths. 22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23 He dies for lack of discipline,
and because of his great
Proverbs 5:18-19

18 Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.

The answer to illicit pleasure is legitimate pleasure, that which rightfully and delightfully belongs to the one who is married. I find this embarrassing to read publicly because it is so…
Proverbs 5:12-14

12 and you say, How I hated discipline,
and my heart despised reproof!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
or incline my ear to my instructors.
14 I am at the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled congregation.
These verses remind me of the old Roy Clark song, Yesterday, When I Was Young:
So many wayward pleasures lay in store for me…
Proverbs 5:7-11

7 And now, O sons, listen to me,
and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8 Keep your way far from her,
and do not go near the door of her house, 9 lest you give your honor to others
and your years to the merciless,
10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
Proverbs 5:1-6

1 My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
incline your ear to my understanding,
2 that you may keep discretion,
and your lips may guard knowledge.
3 For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil,
4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps follow
Proverbs 4:24-27

24 Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.

Just don't do it. Don't try to fit in…
Proverbs 4:20-23

20 My son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Let them not escape from your sight;
keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them,
and healing to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.

"Where did that come from?" we will ask when we…
Proverbs 4:18-19

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know over what they stumble.
Consider these words in light of Ephesians 5:8-14:
for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit
Proverbs 4:16-17

For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
For they eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
Here we are given insight into the psyche of the wicked. When we come across crime, especially something like vandalism, we ask how someone could do such a thing, as though the perpetrators' conscience should…
Proverbs 4:14-15

Do not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of the evil.
Avoid it; do not go on it;
turn away from it and pass on.
Can the instruction from Scripture be any clearer regarding our attitude toward wickedness? Why then do we delight in entertainment that glorifies violence and immorality? Why do we put ourselves in compromising situations? Why do we…
Proverbs 4:10-13

Hear, my son, and accept my words,
that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
and if you run, you will not stumble.
Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.

All that the…
Proverbs 4:1-9

Hear, O sons, a father's instruction,
and be attentive, that you may gain insight,
for I give you good precepts;
do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father,
tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
he taught me and said to me,
"Let your heart hold fast my words;
keep my commandments, and live.
Get wisdom; get insight;
do not
Proverbs 3:35

The wise will inherit honor,
but fools get disgrace.
The wise inherit the honor often received for showing good judgment, rendering fair decisions, and coming up with good solutions. It is one thing to be famous, yet another to be liked, and another to be honored. Fools can be popular and liked (as can foolish activities such as TV programs) even as they are recognized as fools (often…
Proverbs 3:34

Toward the scorner he is scornful,
but to the humble he gives favor.
The difference between God's scorn and that of the scorners is that God's is just and directed towards those who deserve it. The scorners in this proverb are those who scorn what is good. You see this everywhere in the world where the righteous and the moral are mocked. The Ten Commandments are ridiculed. The…
Proverbs 3:33

The Lord's curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
Rewards and trials fall on us throughout our lives. Consider then by what manner you most want to receive them and from whom.

One minister of a large, popular church has received many rewards. He has one of the largest congregations in the country and is one of the most…
Proverbs 3:32

for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord,
but the upright are in his confidence.
Do not choose the ways of a devious person, because in so doing you put yourself at odds with the Lord. The sinner forgets this all important factor. The person who loves to "stir things up," who finds it amusing to take advantage of others must stand before the Almighty God…
Proverbs 3:30

Do not contend with a man for no reason,
when he has done you no harm.
Do not pick a fight. It seems an easy enough rule to follow, and yet we transgress it more than we may think. We don't consciously say to ourselves that we want to start a fight, but then our actions may reveal more than we care to admit. Just trying to have…
Proverbs 3:31

Do not envy a man of violence
and do not choose any of his ways.
Do not envy a person who violates the law of God. Our society exalts violence. TV shows are as popular according to the amount of violence, promiscuity, and rancor that can be displayed. Reality shows are only as interesting as the producers are able to manipulate conflict among the contestants. Shows awarded for…
Proverbs 3:29

Do not plan evil against your neighbor,
who dwells trustingly beside you.


This is certainly a heinous act. It is terrible to do wrong to anyone, but especially against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you. Arent we glad we are not like that!
Have we never desired for our neighbors, when they have offended us, to get their just desserts? Are we guilty of imposing motivations and…
Proverbs 3:27

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.

Break this into three parts. First, we are told not to withhold good. We tend the think that as long as we are not doing evil, then we are being good. But here we are commanded not to withhold good. Apparently, we are guilty of transgression simply by
Proverbs 3:28

Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give it" - when you have it with you.


The previous proverb instructs us not to put off doing good. This proverb tells us not to delay doing what we can. The most effective means to avoid doing good for our neighbor is to procrastinate. Tomorrow usually ends up being never. But even if we…
Proverbs 3:25-26

Do not be afraid of sudden terror
or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.

It is the suddenness of destruction that strikes fear in us. One moment all is well; another moment and terror comes. And so will be the Day of Judgment. It will come suddenly, but it will
Proverbs 3:21-24

My son, do not lose sight of these -
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.


To lie down and not be afraid now that
Proverbs 3:19-20
The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; By his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.
Consider this proverb from two perspectives. For one, we are to understand that creation is not a cosmic happen-chance. It is the work of God, the intentional work of God. He founded the earth; he established the heavens, and brought forth…
Proverbs 3:13-15

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Essential for a meaningful life is knowing what to value. The cause of much unhappiness is prizing things that are either of little value…
Proverbs 3:16-18

Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.
Wisdom proves her value. She provides long life. She keeps the possessor out of danger and provides discernment for knowing…
Proverbs 3:11-12

My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
Are you experiencing trials at this time? Do you feel like you are going through a specially difficult time? Then consider the "devotional" written by the writer of Hebrews on this proverb.

It is for discipline that
Proverbs 3:9-10

Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
This proverb is referring to tithing the firstfruits of all your produce. We talk about giving all of ourselves to the Lord and yet somehow find it difficult to part with ten percent of our income. Surely it…
Proverbs 3:7-8

Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
Verse 7 presents a good definition of humility. First, be not wise in your own eyes. This is not false humility but a recognition of your limits. The essence of wisdom is recognizing how little you know. There are many scholars…
Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Here is the guide to life for the Christian. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Trust God in all circumstances to know what he is doing, to keep his promises, to bring all things to a conclusion…
Proverbs 3:3-4

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.
These are new words in the Proverbs - steadfast love and faithfulness. Note the overall focus on steadiness. We are to have a love that is steadfast. This same term for love…
Proverbs 3:1-2

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you. How to live longer and healthier is vitally important in our society, especially to those entering retirement years. When we reach middle-age we begin to measure our life-span. We are at the halfway mark to death if we remain…
Proverbs 2:20-22

20 So you will walk in the way of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will inhabit the land,
and those with integrity will remain in it, 22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.

What do you gain by walking the path of the good? You gain…
Proverbs 2:16-19

16 So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words,
17 who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God; 18 for her house sinks down to death,
and her paths to the departed;
19 none who go to her come back,
nor do they regain the paths of life.

This is the first mention of…
Proverbs 2:12-15

12 delivering you from the way of evil,
from men of perverted speech,
13 who forsake the paths of uprightness
to walk in the ways of darkness,
14 who rejoice in doing evil
and delight in the perverseness of evil,
15 men whose paths are crooked,
and who are devious in their ways.
Yes, there are men "out there" who want to harm you and take advantage of…