Proverbs 25

Proverbs Chapter 25 #Relationships #Behavior #Attitude #Wisdom #Integrity

Contents

Now that we are getting close to the end of this book, I am going to add some of the theological research that goes along with this book.

1 These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out. The writer confirms who wrote this chapter of the book of Proverbs. Not all of the chapters of the book were written by Solomon. According to Rooker, the Book of Proverbs is divided in the following manner and some sections were composed by other wisdom authors of the time.

  • the Proverbs of Solomon’s Reflections on the Way of Wisdom (chaps. 1-9)
  • Proverbs of Solomon (10:1-22:16)
  • Anonymous Wise Sayings (22:17-24:22)
  • More Anonymous Sayings (24:23-34)
  • More Proverbs of Solomon (chaps. 25-29)
  • Sayings of Agur (chap. 30)
  • Sayings of Lemuel (chap. 31)
  • Each of the three major sections (points I, II, and V) has the same title, “The proverbs of Solomon.” This fact along with the title of the book clearly indicate why the book is viewed as primarily a work of Solomon.

Each of the three major sections (points I, II, and V) has the same title, “The proverbs of Solomon.” This fact along with the title of the book clearly indicate why the book is viewed as primarily a work of Solomon. Also, the determines the purpose of “the proverbs of Solomon” is “to know, to discern, to receive, to give, and to understand.” These verbs are repeated throughout this book. (2003, Eugene H. Merrill, Mark Rooker, Michael A. Grisanti. The World and the Word, An Introduction to the Old Testament – p.547. Holman Bible Publishers. Nashville. Google Books).

RELATIONSHIPS

Relationships With People

  • 18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow. Because the are destroying their neighbor’s reputation!
  • 17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee. Keep a healthy distance from your neighbor. Just give them their space!
  • 19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint. Never place your trust in the name of any person whose word is NOT their bond. The emotional pain that you will receive then they prove to be who they are is like the pain of a broken tooth of a foot that has popped out of its joint!
  • 20 As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart. When a person is sad telling them to “pull up their socks or suck it in” is cruel. Be quiet with them. Help them to walk through the sadness. Singing praises, or praise song in their presence is negating the pain that they are experiencing.
  • 26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring. As Christians, we are to stand up for what is right in God’s eyes and not what is socially popular, acceptable, or politically correct.
  • 28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. An out of control person will be despised by everyone. When anger is the only mode of speech that one can and will demonstrate it is like a city that has no protection, no walls around it to protect it. In the ancient near east when kings went to war against each other, they would think twice before attempting to attack a city that was surrounded by a fortress. Remember Jericho. When a person is calm – even in a situation that is explosive – it unnerves the onlookers! It is better to walk away than to create a scene when one’s feelings have been hurt. There are times when my face will show my emotions and I don’t want it to. It makes me angry with myself. Normally, you will not be able to tell what I am thinking. I will keep working and keep moving because that is what I am there for!

How to resolve conflicts God’s way.

  • 8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. Get the facts before you start to brawl about something 9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another: 10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away. If your neighbor will listen to you talk to them first and foremost about the problem. Don’t gossip to everyone who will listen to you trash talk about each person with whom you have a problem. Matthew 18:15-20 “15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18” The resolution of the problem will come from God himself. When spiritual discipline is needed that needs to come from the leader whom God has placed over His people. Let them choose to ignore the overall leader because the Lord says “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.19 [HE REPEATS IT HERE.] “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” When the Father seals it-it is done! Don’t try to make a point by going behind the leaders back and still doing what you want to do. Scripture says that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft!” We know how much our Heavenly Father abhors witchcraft! I Don’t want Him to place my behavior in that category! When we are willing to be obedient and respect the people, who are in authority over us, we will find that their words are like.11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. 12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.” Remember that God has the solution. I don’t do drama, and I don’t like repeating myself over, and over, and over again! But for some people, that is what it takes for them to realize that this is the word and there will be no other word spoken over a specific situation. Because sometimes 15 “By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.” When we resolve conflict God’s way this happens! “13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.”We don’t have to worry about whether or not when a person approaches us on the job, in church, or even on social media, if they are going to blast us out because we responded in an appropriate manner to them when we experienced conflict. If they choose to have a sour face towards you-the attitude is not yours. Don’t put on that cloak! Still, say “Good morning-and address them by name!” Reiterate what the ground rules are of the “standard operating procedures” for the position. Then move on! Keep a smile on your face!
  • 21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.  Many of us think that Paul came up with this statement, but in fact, it came from the book of Proverbs.Romans 12:20 (KJV) Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.”
  • 23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue. If we want someone who is saying something ugly about another person to stop just give them as we would say today ‘the evil eye!’
  • 24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house. As a classic introvert, I would rather live in one room all by myself than to be in a huge house with people who never stop talking. I really need my personal space. Peace is better than comfort – in my opinion.

Relationship with God

  • 4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. 5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness. Transformation takes purification, testing, and trails. Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1. Psalms 51:1-17 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.14 Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Isaiah 48:10 tells us – “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” The furnace of affliction purifies our hearts. Psalms 66:10-12  10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.11 Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy [place].” He never promised us a rose garden! Actually, have you ever tried cutting roses from your garden without being pricked by a thorn or two?
  • 14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain. This is so easy to do when one is unsure of themselves and their relationship with the Lord. If we ever find ourselves wanting to state that we have a gift that someone else is receiving praise for-we must immediately check ourselves and go before the throne of God. It is a sin to do so. Merrill, Rooker, and Grisanti, highlighted the role of the prophet and how to identify false prophets.

THE ROLE OF THE PROPHET

Merrill, Rooker, and Grisanti present the major terms used in the Old Testament to identify a prophet.

Four terms are used in the Old Testament to designate a man or a woman who performed prophetic activity. These terms are: nābî, “prophet,” ʾîš’ĕlohîm (“man of God”), and rōeh and ḥozehwhich are both translated “seer.” Some have argued that each of these terms reveals a distinctive role. 3 However, the terms often appear interchangeable (see 1 Kgs 16:7,12 with 1 Chr 29:29; 2 Chr 19:2; Isa 29:10; 30:10). First Samuel 1:9 indicates that the term nābî ʾ became the predominant designation at least by Samuel’s time (eleventh century). 4 Nābî ʾ occurs over 300 times in the OT and is cognate to the Akkadian verb nābu, “to call.” Based on this parallel scholars have concluded that the Hebrew prophet was one who had been “called by God.” The prophet was one who was commissioned to speak on God’s behalf, not unlike a modern-day ambassador representing his homeland. 

The use of the term nābî ʾ took on its technical meaning with the Mosaic legal prescription (Deut 18:15-18). Although Moses was Israel’s unique prophet (Exod 33:11; Num 12:6-8; Deut 34:10-12), he became the prototype for later prophets who would address the nation with the word of God. The biblical prophets, like Moses, did not volunteer to serve God, but they were called from various stations in life to proclaim God’s word. 6 Like Moses, they often performed miracles (Exod 4:1-5; 1 Kgs 17:21-24; 2 Kgs 2:14-15; Isa 38:7-8). Yet their main task, as with Moses, was to announce God’s message. As Deut 18:18b states, “I will put My words in his [the prophet’s] mouth.” Here, in the official legislation of prophecy, is a special statement about the nature of the prophetic word. As Lindbom states:

“The prophet is not in himself a politician, a social reformer, a thinker, or a philosopher; nor is he in the first place a poet, even though he often puts his sayings in a poetical form. The special gift of a prophet is his ability to experience the divine in an original way and to receive revelations from the divine world. The prophet belongs entirely to his God; his paramount task is to listen to and obey his God. In every respect he has given himself up to his God and stands unreservedly at His disposal. *” (Lindblom, (as cited by Merril, Rooker, and Grisanti, p 380.)

The prophets received the word of God through divine revelation. Visions and auditions might come to them suddenly and without premeditation (Num 12:6-16). 8 This communication of God’s truth to the prophets explains the frequent occurrence of phrases such as “Thus says the Lord,” “The word of the Lord came to” (1 Sam 15:10; 2 Sam 24:11; 1 Kgs 19:9; Jonah 1:1; Hag 1:1; 2:1,20; Zech 7:1,8; 8:1), “The spirit of God came on” or a slight variation thereof (Num 11:24-30; Judges 6:34; 1 Sam 10:10; Isa 61:1; Ezek 11:5), and “The hand of God was on” or a slight variation thereof (Jer 15:17; Ezek 33:22; 37:1) at the beginning of a prophetic announcement. The phrase “The word of the Lord” occurs in 221 of its 241 OT occurrences in the prophetic writings (Merril, Rooker, and Grisanti, p 380.)

Attitude

16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it. Don’t be a glutton! 27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory. Let someone else’s lips praise you rather than your own! “2 Timothy 3:2 (KJV) warns us about the latter days.  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,Traitors, heady, highminded.” We see that in the latter days that conceit, narcissistic behaviors, boasting etc., will be the norm and people will praise persons who exhibit them. Anyone who” search their own glory” is not receiving honor from the Lord.

INTEGRITY/ACTIONS

  • 2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. 3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable. A human leader has to investigate to find out the truth of the matter but Daniel 2:22  makes it clear that God sees and knows all. He does not have to investigate to determine what I am thinking or what I have done, or plan to do “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him.” See these scriptures too. (Hebrews 4:13; Deuteronomy 29:29; Luke 8:17; Jeremiah 33:3.)
  • 6 Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: 7 For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen. Humility and a haughty spirit are opposites. Chose to be humble. The Lord told us Luke 14:8-10  (KJV) When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.”

THE BENEFITS OF WISDOM

25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Good news will always make a person happy but good news from a distant relative or friend is even better.

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