Verse 1 – A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.
A person’s name is his reputation in life and how they are remembered after death. Favor and grace from God is a benefit of wisdom.
Verse 2 – The rich and the poor have this in common, the Lord is the maker of them all.
Verse 3 – A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.
Verse 4 – By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.
Riches in scripture is not always referring to money. Does God want us to prosper? Yes, just as our soul prospers. I believe when we feed our souls with God’s wisdom from His Word, we become rich in favor and honor in this life and the life to come.
Verse 5 – Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; he who guards his soul will be far from them.
Thorns are a hazard when walking a path, just as snares can be traps. One huge advantage a Christian has is, being able to see danger up ahead and avoid it.
Verse 6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
When parents teach their children, starting at a very young age, the principles and standards of God’s ways, children may rebel and stray for a time, but they will not forget right from wrong. However, what we see today is children are not being trained anything about a God who loves them and they live anyway that seems right to them.
Verse 7 – The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
When we borrow money in a bank loan or on a credit card, we are not settled until it is paid off. Is it wrong to borrow money? No, just make sure you pay it back, and consider the cost.
Verse 8 – He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, and the rod of his anger will fail.
Galatians 6:7 – Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. When people sow discord, strife, contention all around, they are mocking the opposite of what God teaches in His word. Word’s have power, and so do our actions.
God set up, “Seed, time, and harvest.” His Word is a seed to our spirit, planted in our very being. The more word you have, the more seed is planted. It’s watered and nourished by the Holy Spirit. After a while it begins to grow and will come out into a harvest. Watch what you plant into your spirit. God watches over His Words and brings them to pass.
Complaining and dissension will also take root and grow up and no one wants that kind of harvest. Learn to say what God says about yourself and others and you will have a good harvest. Speak evil and you will reap evil and trouble.
Verse 9 – He who has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he gives his bread to the poor.
Verse 10 – Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; yes, strife and reproach will cease.
Verse 11 – He who loves purity of heart and has grace on his lips, the king will be his friend.
We should choose friends that are kind and that encourage us, friends that will pray with you or for you, and that care about you.
Verse 12 – The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, but He overthrows the words of the faithless.
Knowledge here refers to those who live right and speak God’s truth. It takes discipline, determination, and hard work to live God’s way, but it’s worth it in the end.
Verse 13 – The slothful man says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!”
Solomon likes to use a little humor. The lazy man uses the excuse that he will be killed if he goes out of the house.
Verse 14 – The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit; he who is abhorred of the Lord will fall there.
Verse 15 – Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.
Verse 16 – He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.
I can think of all kinds of people this verse speaks of: Some politicians, landlords, and people who lend money with high interest. Then there’s the one who gives to the one who is already rich as in a bribe or secret gift to feel important or gain a favor.
Proverbs Concerning Various Situations
Verse 17 – Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge.
Verse 18 – For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; let them all be fixed upon your lips,
Verse 19 – So that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you.
Verse 20 – Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels knowledge,
Verse 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?
God has given us the instruction manual for living a righteous life. We read; we apply; when we stray and go in our own way, we fail. When we neglect to apply the wisdom and knowledge of God’s word, things can fall apart.
Verse 22 – Do not rob the poor because he is poor, nor oppress the afflicted at the gate;
Verse 23 – For the Lord will plead their cause, and plunder the soul of those who plunder them.
Verse 24 – Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go,
Verse 25 – Lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.
We should avoid people with short fuses. Anger leads to arguments which leads to fighting. People tend to be like whom they spend time with.
Verse 26 – Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, one who is surety for debts;
Verse 27 – If you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you?
Be cautious in whom you lend money to.
Verse 28 – Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set (boundary).
The ancient boundaries in Israel were an agreement between the people and God. How many times down through history have enemies of God taken Israel’s land? Too many for me to go into here, but look up and see what God called the “Promise land”, which is outlined in The book of Numbers chapter 34. Now look at what Israel occupies today. See the difference?
Verse 29 – Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.
God has given to each skills and talents. When we work hard to master those skills, we are not really working for ourselves, we are to work as to the Lord. In whatever vocation we choose to earn a living, use it as an opportunity to spread the “Good News” of the gospel of Christ!