EDITOR’S NOTE: Through no fault on their part, we inadvertently ended up with two submissions for this passage and date. We included both and are confident you’ll receive a double blessing today.
Proverbs 22:4 tells us, “The payoff for meekness and Fear-of-GOD is plenty and honor and a satisfying life”. So many times we value our life on the value of the things we own or what we do for work. Do we have the biggest house, a fancy car, do we take exotic vacations and of course, our kids attend to the best schools. Where do we place our priorities?
As we see from Proverbs, money is not what leads to a satisfying life. What leads us to a satisfying life is meekness and the Fear of God. In our western society we are overly exposed to advertisements. Every day we are told what is going to make us happy and fulfilled. When we see all the things we don’t have we soon lose track of all the blessings we do have. We have a God who showed us how to live and how to treat others. We are to love God and our neighbors as ourselves. It is when we humble ourselves and allow ourselves to be a blessing to others we find this satisfying life.
I’m always amazed when I see some “primitive” cultures who are not told every day what they don’t have, how satisfied and fulfilled they seem to be with what they do have. Let us each day thank God for what he has blessed us with and not desire what the world tells us we need to be happy. In Proverbs 22:2 it says, “The rich and the poor shake hands as equals—GOD made them both”! We are all God’s children whether rich or poor. May we each day be meek, fear God and thank God for our blessings and what’s important in our lives.
is a retired chiropractor who now has more time for traveling (visiting grandkids), camping, golfing and working in the yard. You notice which item he put last.
The Value of a Good Name
1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
2 The rich and the poor have this in common,
The Lord is the maker of them all.
3 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself,
But the simple pass on and are punished.
4 By humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches and honor and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards his soul will be far from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender.
8 He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow,
And the rod of his anger will fail.
9 He who has a generous eye will be blessed,
For he gives of his bread to the poor.
10 Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave;
Yes, strife and reproach will cease.
11 He who loves purity of heart
And has grace on his lips,
The king will be his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the faithless.
13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be slain in the streets!”
14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit;
He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there.
15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of correction will drive it far from him.
16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches,
And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.
Sayings of the Wise
17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your heart to my knowledge;
18 For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
Let them all be fixed upon your lips,
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord;
I have instructed you today, even you.
20 Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21 That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
That you may answer words of truth
To those who send to you?
22 Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate;
23 For the Lord will plead their cause,
And plunder the soul of those who plunder them.
24 Make no friendship with an angry man,
And with a furious man do not go,
25 Lest you learn his ways
And set a snare for your soul.
26 Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge,
One of those who is surety for debts;
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take away your bed from under you?
28 Do not remove the ancient landmark
Which your fathers have set.
29 Do you see a man who excels in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before unknown men.
Listen to Your Father
1 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you;
2 And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man given to appetite.
3 Do not desire his delicacies,
For they are deceptive food.
4 Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
6 Do not eat the bread of a miser,
Nor desire his delicacies;
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
8 The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
And waste your pleasant words.
9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10 Do not remove the ancient landmark,
Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11 For their Redeemer is mighty;
He will plead their cause against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction,
And your ears to words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with a rod,
And deliver his soul from hell.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;
16 Yes, my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak right things.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day;
18 For surely there is a hereafter,
And your hope will not be cut off.
19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.
20 Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
22 Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her who bore you rejoice.
26 My son, give me your heart,
And let your eyes observe my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit,
And a seductress is a narrow well.
28 She also lies in wait as for a victim,
And increases the unfaithful among men.
29 Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it swirls around smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
And your heart will utter perverse things.
34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
35 “They have struck me, but I was not hurt;
They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”
Do Not Envy Evil Men
1 Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
2 For their heart devises violence,
And their lips talk of troublemaking.
3 Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
4 By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.
5 A wise man is strong,
Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;
6 For by wise counsel you will wage your own war,
And in a multitude of counselors there is safety.
7 Wisdom is too lofty for a fool;
He does not open his mouth in the gate.
8 He who plots to do evil
Will be called a schemer.
9 The devising of foolishness is sin,
And the scoffer is an abomination to men.
10 If you faint in the day of adversity,
Your strength is small.
11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
12 If you say, “Surely we did not know this,”
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?
13 My son, eat honey because it is good,
And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste;
14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul;
If you have found it, there is a prospect,
And your hope will not be cut off.
15 Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not plunder his resting place;
16 For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again,
But the wicked shall fall by calamity.
17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him.
19 Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the wicked;
20 For there will be no prospect for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.
21 My son, fear the Lord and the king;
Do not associate with those given to change;
22 For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin those two can bring?
Further Sayings of the Wise
23 These things also belong to the wise:
It is not good to show partiality in judgment.
24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Him the people will curse;
Nations will abhor him.
25 But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.
26 He who gives a right answer kisses the lips.
27 Prepare your outside work,
Make it fit for yourself in the field;
And afterward build your house.
28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
For would you deceive with your lips?
29 Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work.”
30 I went by the field of the lazy man,
And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding;
31 And there it was, all overgrown with thorns;
Its surface was covered with nettles;
Its stone wall was broken down.
32 When I saw it, I considered it well;
I looked on it and received instruction:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest;
34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.
A Prayer for Guidance
To the Chief Musician. With flutes. A Psalm of David.
1 Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my meditation.
2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.
4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You.
5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
8 Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.
9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.
11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.