August 7 – OT Reading

Proverbs 19-21

 

Proverbs 19

On Life and Conduct

19 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool. Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who hurries his footsteps errs. The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the Lord. Wealth adds many friends, But a poor man is separated from his friend. A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape. Many will seek the favor of a generous man, And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts. All the brothers of a poor man hate him; How much more do his friends abandon him! He pursues them with words, but they are gone. He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good. A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will perish. 10 Luxury is not fitting for a fool; Much less for a slave to rule over princes. 11 A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression. 12 The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, But his favor is like dew on the grass. 13 A foolish son is destruction to his father, And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping. 14 House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the Lord. 15 Laziness casts into a deep sleep, And an idle man will suffer hunger. 16 He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, But he who is careless of conduct will die. 17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, And He will repay him for his good deed. 18 Discipline your son while there is hope, And do not desire his death. 19 A man of great anger will bear the penalty, For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again. 20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days. 21 Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand. 22 What is desirable in a man is his kindness, And it is better to be a poor man than a liar. 23 The fear of the Lord leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil. 24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, But will not even bring it back to his mouth. 25 Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd, But reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge. 26 He who assaults his father and drives his mother away Is a shameful and disgraceful son. 27 Cease listening, my son, to discipline, And you will stray from the words of knowledge. 28 A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice, And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity. 29 Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And blows for the back of fools.

 

Proverbs 20

On Life and Conduct

20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise. The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life. Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, But any fool will quarrel. The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, So he begs during the harvest and has nothing. A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out. Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man? A righteous man who walks in his integrity— How blessed are his sons after him. A king who sits on the throne of justice Disperses all evil with his eyes. Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin”? 10 Differing weights and differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the Lord. 11 It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself If his conduct is pure and right. 12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The Lord has made both of them. 13 Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food. 14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer, But when he goes his way, then he boasts. 15 There is gold, and an abundance of jewels; But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing. 16 Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger; And for foreigners, hold him in pledge. 17 Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel. 18 Prepare plans by consultation, And make war by wise guidance. 19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip. 20 He who curses his father or his mother, His lamp will go out in time of darkness. 21 An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning Will not be blessed in the end. 22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”; Wait for the Lord, and He will save you. 23 Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord, And a false scale is not good. 24 Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord, How then can man understand his way? 25 It is a trap for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!” And after the vows to make inquiry. 26 A wise king winnows the wicked, And drives the threshing wheel over them. 27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the innermost parts of his being. 28 Loyalty and truth preserve the king, And he upholds his throne by righteousness. 29 The glory of young men is their strength, And the honor of old men is their gray hair. 30 Stripes that wound scour away evil, And strokes reach the innermost parts.

 

Proverbs 21

On Life and Conduct

21 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes. Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts. To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin. The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty. The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death. The violence of the wicked will drag them away, Because they refuse to act with justice. The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright. It is better to live in a corner of a roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. 10 The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes. 11 When the scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise; But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge. 12 The righteous one considers the house of the wicked, Turning the wicked to ruin. 13 He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be answered. 14 A gift in secret subdues anger, And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath. 15 The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, But is terror to the workers of iniquity. 16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding Will rest in the assembly of the dead. 17 He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich. 18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, And the treacherous is in the place of the upright. 19 It is better to live in a desert land Than with a contentious and vexing woman. 20 There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up. 21 He who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor. 22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty And brings down the stronghold in which they trust. 23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles. 24 “Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names, Who acts with insolent pride. 25 The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, For his hands refuse to work; 26 All day long he is craving, While the righteous gives and does not hold back. 27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, How much more when he brings it with evil intent! 28 A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever. 29 A wicked man displays a bold face, But as for the upright, he makes his way sure. 30 There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the Lord. 31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the Lord.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

August 6 – OT Reading

Proverbs 16-18

 

Proverbs 16

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

16 The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives. Commit your works to the Lord And your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil. Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished. By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil. When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness Than great income with injustice. The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. 10 A divine decision is in the lips of the king; His mouth should not err in judgment. 11 A just balance and scales belong to the Lord; All the weights of the bag are His concern. 12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, For a throne is established on righteousness. 13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And he who speaks right is loved. 14 The fury of a king is like messengers of death, But a wise man will appease it. 15 In the light of a king’s face is life, And his favor is like a cloud with the spring rain. 16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. 17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life. 18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. 19 It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly Than to divide the spoil with the proud. 20 He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. 21 The wise in heart will be called understanding, And sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. 22 Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, But the discipline of fools is folly. 23 The heart of the wise instructs his mouth And adds persuasiveness to his lips. 24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. 25 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. 26 A worker’s appetite works for him, For his hunger urges him on. 27 A worthless man digs up evil, While his words are like scorching fire. 28 A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends. 29 A man of violence entices his neighbor And leads him in a way that is not good. 30 He who winks his eyes does so to devise perverse things; He who compresses his lips brings evil to pass. 31 A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness. 32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. 33 The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord.

 

Proverbs 17

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

17 Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it Than a house full of feasting with strife. A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully, And will share in the inheritance among brothers. The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests hearts. An evildoer listens to wicked lips; A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue. He who mocks the poor taunts his Maker; He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished. Grandchildren are the crown of old men, And the glory of sons is their fathers. Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool, Much less are lying lips to a prince. A bribe is a charm in the sight of its owner; Wherever he turns, he prospers. He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends. 10 A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding Than a hundred blows into a fool. 11 A rebellious man seeks only evil, So a cruel messenger will be sent against him. 12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his folly. 13 He who returns evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house. 14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out. 15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord. 16 Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, When he has no sense? 17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. 18 A man lacking in sense pledges And becomes guarantor in the presence of his neighbor. 19 He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door seeks destruction. 20 He who has a crooked mind finds no good, And he who is perverted in his language falls into evil. 21 He who sires a fool does so to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy. 22 A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. 23 A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom To pervert the ways of justice. 24 Wisdom is in the presence of the one who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth. 25 A foolish son is a grief to his father And bitterness to her who bore him. 26 It is also not good to fine the righteous, Nor to strike the noble for their uprightness. 27 He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. 28 Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.

 

Proverbs 18

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

18 He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom. A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind. When a wicked man comes, contempt also comes, And with dishonor comes scorn. The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. To show partiality to the wicked is not good, Nor to thrust aside the righteous in judgment. A fool’s lips bring strife, And his mouth calls for blows. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, And his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, And they go down into the innermost parts of the body. He also who is slack in his work Is brother to him who destroys. 10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe. 11 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own imagination. 12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor. 13 He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him. 14 The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, But as for a broken spirit who can bear it? 15 The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. 16 A man’s gift makes room for him And brings him before great men. 17 The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him. 18 The cast lot puts an end to strife And decides between the mighty ones. 19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a citadel. 20 With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. 22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the Lord. 23 The poor man utters supplications, But the rich man answers roughly. 24 A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

August 5 – OT Reading

Proverbs 13-15

 

Proverbs 13

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

13 A wise son accepts his father’s discipline, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. From the fruit of a man’s mouth he enjoys good, But the desire of the treacherous is violence. The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, But the soul of the diligent is made fat. A righteous man hates falsehood, But a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully. Righteousness guards the one whose way is blameless, But wickedness subverts the sinner. There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing; Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth. The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth, But the poor hears no rebuke. The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked goes out. 10 Through insolence comes nothing but strife, But wisdom is with those who receive counsel. 11 Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, But the one who gathers by labor increases it. 12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. 13 The one who despises the word will be in debt to it, But the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded. 14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn aside from the snares of death. 15 Good understanding produces favor, But the way of the treacherous is hard. 16 Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool displays folly. 17 A wicked messenger falls into adversity, But a faithful envoy brings healing. 18 Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored. 19 Desire realized is sweet to the soul, But it is an abomination to fools to turn away from evil. 20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm. 21 Adversity pursues sinners, But the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity. 22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. 23 Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor, But it is swept away by injustice. 24 He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently. 25 The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, But the stomach of the wicked is in need.

 

Proverbs 14

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

14 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, But he who is devious in his ways despises Him. In the mouth of the foolish is a rod for his back, But the lips of the wise will protect them. Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox. A trustworthy witness will not lie, But a false witness utters lies. A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none, But knowledge is easy to one who has understanding. Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge. The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, But the foolishness of fools is deceit. Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is good will. 10 The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its joy. 11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, But the tent of the upright will flourish. 12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. 13 Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, And the end of joy may be grief. 14 The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied with his. 15 The naive believes everything, But the sensible man considers his steps. 16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless. 17 A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated. 18 The naive inherit foolishness, But the sensible are crowned with knowledge. 19 The evil will bow down before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous. 20 The poor is hated even by his neighbor, But those who love the rich are many. 21 He who despises his neighbor sins, But happy is he who is gracious to the poor. 22 Will they not go astray who devise evil? But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good. 23 In all labor there is profit, But mere talk leads only to poverty. 24 The crown of the wise is their riches, But the folly of fools is foolishness. 25 A truthful witness saves lives, But he who utters lies is treacherous. 26 In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge. 27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death. 28 In a multitude of people is a king’s glory, But in the dearth of people is a prince’s ruin. 29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly. 30 A tranquil heart is life to the body, But passion is rottenness to the bones. 31 He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him. 32 The wicked is thrust down by his wrongdoing, But the righteous has a refuge when he dies. 33 Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding, But in the hearts of fools it is made known. 34 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people. 35 The king’s favor is toward a servant who acts wisely, But his anger is toward him who acts shamefully.

 

Proverbs 15

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

15 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Watching the evil and the good. A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit. A fool rejects his father’s discipline, But he who regards reproof is sensible. Great wealth is in the house of the righteous, But trouble is in the income of the wicked. The lips of the wise spread knowledge, But the hearts of fools are not so. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But He loves one who pursues righteousness. 10 Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way; He who hates reproof will die. 11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord, How much more the hearts of men! 12 A scoffer does not love one who reproves him, He will not go to the wise. 13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. 14 The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on folly. 15 All the days of the afflicted are bad, But a cheerful heart has a continual feast. 16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord Than great treasure and turmoil with it. 17 Better is a dish of vegetables where love is Than a fattened ox served with hatred. 18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute. 19 The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns, But the path of the upright is a highway. 20 A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother. 21 Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, But a man of understanding walks straight. 22 Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed. 23 A man has joy in an apt answer, And how delightful is a timely word! 24 The path of life leads upward for the wise That he may keep away from Sheol below. 25 The Lord will tear down the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow. 26 Evil plans are an abomination to the Lord, But pleasant words are pure. 27 He who profits illicitly troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live. 28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. 29 The Lord is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous. 30 Bright eyes gladden the heart; Good news puts fat on the bones. 31 He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof Will dwell among the wise. 32 He who neglects discipline despises himself, But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding. 33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

August 4 – OT Reading

Proverbs 10-12

 

Proverbs 10

Contrast of the Righteous and the Wicked

10 The proverbs of Solomon.

A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish son is a grief to his mother. Ill-gotten gains do not profit, But righteousness delivers from death. The Lord will not allow the righteous to hunger, But He will reject the craving of the wicked. Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully. Blessings are on the head of the righteous, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot. The wise of heart will receive commands, But a babbling fool will be ruined. He who walks in integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will be found out. 10 He who winks the eye causes trouble, And a babbling fool will be ruined. 11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. 12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions. 13 On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found, But a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding. 14 Wise men store up knowledge, But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand. 15 The rich man’s wealth is his fortress, The ruin of the poor is their poverty. 16 The wages of the righteous is life, The income of the wicked, punishment. 17 He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who ignores reproof goes astray. 18 He who conceals hatred has lying lips, And he who spreads slander is a fool. 19 When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise. 20 The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, The heart of the wicked is worth little. 21 The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of understanding. 22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it. 23 Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, And so is wisdom to a man of understanding. 24 What the wicked fears will come upon him, But the desire of the righteous will be granted. 25 When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation. 26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy one to those who send him. 27 The fear of the Lord prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened. 28 The hope of the righteous is gladness, But the expectation of the wicked perishes. 29 The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the upright, But ruin to the workers of iniquity. 30 The righteous will never be shaken, But the wicked will not dwell in the land. 31 The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom, But the perverted tongue will be cut out. 32 The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked what is perverted.

 

Proverbs 11

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

11 A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, But a just weight is His delight. When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the treacherous will be caught by their own greed. When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, And the hope of strong men perishes. The righteous is delivered from trouble, But the wicked takes his place. With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. 10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting. 11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, But by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down. 12 He who despises his neighbor lacks sense, But a man of understanding keeps silent. 13 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter. 14 Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory. 15 He who is guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it, But he who hates being a guarantor is secure. 16 A gracious woman attains honor, And ruthless men attain riches. 17 The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm. 18 The wicked earns deceptive wages, But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward. 19 He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life, And he who pursues evil will bring about his own death. 20 The perverse in heart are an abomination to the Lord, But the blameless in their walk are His delight. 21 Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished, But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered. 22 As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. 23 The desire of the righteous is only good, But the expectation of the wicked is wrath. 24 There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. 25 The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered. 26 He who withholds grain, the people will curse him, But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it. 27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him. 28 He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf. 29 He who troubles his own house will inherit wind, And the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted. 30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls. 31 If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth, How much more the wicked and the sinner!

 

Proverbs 12

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

12 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid. A good man will obtain favor from the Lord, But He will condemn a man who devises evil. A man will not be established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous will not be moved. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones. The thoughts of the righteous are just, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, But the mouth of the upright will deliver them. The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand. A man will be praised according to his insight, But one of perverse mind will be despised. Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant Than he who honors himself and lacks bread. 10 A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel. 11 He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense. 12 The wicked man desires the booty of evil men, But the root of the righteous yields fruit. 13 An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will escape from trouble. 14 A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words, And the deeds of a man’s hands will return to him. 15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. 16 A fool’s anger is known at once, But a prudent man conceals dishonor. 17 He who speaks truth tells what is right, But a false witness, deceit. 18 There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19 Truthful lips will be established forever, But a lying tongue is only for a moment. 20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy. 21 No harm befalls the righteous, But the wicked are filled with trouble. 22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal faithfully are His delight. 23 A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims folly. 24 The hand of the diligent will rule, But the slack hand will be put to forced labor. 25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad. 26 The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, But the way of the wicked leads them astray. 27 A lazy man does not roast his prey, But the precious possession of a man is diligence. 28 In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

August 1 – OT Reading

Proverbs 7-9

Proverbs 7

The Wiles of the Harlot

7 My son, keep my words And treasure my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live, And my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” And call understanding your intimate friend; That they may keep you from an adulteress, From the foreigner who flatters with her words.

For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice, And I saw among the naive, And discerned among the youths A young man lacking sense, Passing through the street near her corner; And he takes the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, In the middle of the night and in the darkness. 10 And behold, a woman comes to meet him, Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. 11 She is boisterous and rebellious, Her feet do not remain at home; 12 She is now in the streets, now in the squares, And lurks by every corner. 13 So she seizes him and kisses him And with a brazen face she says to him: 14 “I was due to offer peace offerings; Today I have paid my vows. 15 “Therefore I have come out to meet you, To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you. 16 “I have spread my couch with coverings, With colored linens of Egypt. 17 “I have sprinkled my bed With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. 18 “Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with caresses. 19 “For my husband is not at home, He has gone on a long journey; 20 He has taken a bag of money with him, At the full moon he will come home.” 21 With her many persuasions she entices him; With her flattering lips she seduces him. 22 Suddenly he follows her As an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, 23 Until an arrow pierces through his liver; As a bird hastens to the snare, So he does not know that it will cost him his life.

24 Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, And pay attention to the words of my mouth. 25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths. 26 For many are the victims she has cast down, And numerous are all her slain. 27 Her house is the way to Sheol, Descending to the chambers of death.

 

Proverbs 8

The Commendation of Wisdom

8 Does not wisdom call, And understanding lift up her voice? On top of the heights beside the way, Where the paths meet, she takes her stand; Beside the gates, at the opening to the city, At the entrance of the doors, she cries out: “To you, O men, I call, And my voice is to the sons of men. “O naive ones, understand prudence; And, O fools, understand wisdom. “Listen, for I will speak noble things; And the opening of my lips will reveal right things. “For my mouth will utter truth; And wickedness is an abomination to my lips. “All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; There is nothing crooked or perverted in them. “They are all straightforward to him who understands, And right to those who find knowledge. 10 “Take my instruction and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold. 11 “For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things cannot compare with her.

12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And I find knowledge and discretion. 13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate. 14 “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine. 15 “By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. 16 “By me princes rule, and nobles, All who judge rightly. 17 “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me. 18 “Riches and honor are with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness. 19 “My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, And my yield better than choicest silver. 20 “I walk in the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice, 21 To endow those who love me with wealth, That I may fill their treasuries.

22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. 23 “From everlasting I was established, From the beginning, from the earliest times 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 were settled, Before the hills I was brought forth; 26 While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, Nor the first dust of the world. 27 “When He established the heavens, I was there, When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep, 28 When He made firm the skies above, When the springs of the deep became fixed, 29 When He set for the sea its boundary So that the water would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth; 30 Then I was beside Him, as a master workman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, 31 Rejoicing in the world, His earth, And having my delight in the sons of men.

32 “Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, For blessed are they who keep my ways. 33 “Heed instruction and be wise, And do not neglect it. 34 “Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts. 35 “For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the Lord. 36 “But he who sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love death.”

 

Proverbs 9

Wisdom’s Invitation

9 Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars; She has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine; She has also set her table; She has sent out her maidens, she calls From the tops of the heights of the city: “Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks understanding she says, “Come, eat of my food And drink of the wine I have mixed. “Forsake your folly and live, And proceed in the way of understanding.”

He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you. 12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

13 The woman of folly is boisterous, She is naive and knows nothing. 14 She sits at the doorway of her house, On a seat by the high places of the city, 15 Calling to those who pass by, Who are making their paths straight: 16 “Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,” And to him who lacks understanding she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet; And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” 18 But he does not know that the dead are there, That her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

Wisdom Will Come Into Your Heart

 

Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

 

This week we take a look at the Book Of Proverbs.

But before we do, here is a quick re-cap of the first four chapters of 1 Kings. King David is old and his reign has come to an end. Solomon has been anointed as the new King.

In 1 Kings Chapter 2, Solomon consolidates his position by eliminating his enemies – Joab the former commander, Adonijah who attempted a coup, and Shimei the man who cursed his father, King David.

Solomon would also send into exile the former priest Abithar, for his part in the attempted coup by Adonijah.

In 1 Kings Chapter 3, the Lord appears to Solomon in a dream and Solomon prays to the Lord for an understanding heart – to judge the people and to discern between good and evil.

This prayer pleases the Lord and He tells Solomon in verse 12, that He will give him a wise and discerning heart, the likes of which has not been seen before or after Solomon’s time.

So we read in 1 Kings 4, that Solomon spoke with such practical wisdom and incredible insight that people traveled great distances to hear him and gain from his wisdom.

We have placed Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes here in our reading plan, breaking away from 1 Kings for a bit, as we subscribe to the belief that they were written by King Solomon to a large extent.

Often called “God’s treasure book of wisdom”, the teachings in Proverbs guide us in how to lead wise, godly lives and how to avoid the pitfalls of unwise, ungodly conduct.

I learned a long time ago there are different ways to gain wisdom. We can learn through the school of hard knocks or we can learn by the study of God’s Word and His people; in conjunction with the experiences of the Godly people He places in our life.

The Lord is committed to instructing us, and seeing us grow through the work of the Holy Spirit, but how that guidance and growth takes place is up to us.

We can learn in the storm or we can learn in His sanctuary.

You have to ask yourself, would I rather learn in crisis, learning the hard way, or would I rather learn through the Word and the experiences of others?

And that is why the Book of Proverbs is so priceless – it has a broad, timeless appeal because of its great variety of subjects and their relevance to everyday life.

The way to read the book of Proverbs is to slow down and prayerfully think it through, one proverb at a time.

Reading Proverbs is much like savoring a fine tea or great cup of coffee.

To those who spend the time in Proverbs and heed what God has to say here, He makes this priceless promise – “Wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul” (Proverbs 2:10).

Until next time… keep reading!

Jim

Excerpts for this blog were taken from the following sources: Bible Knowledge Commentary, Gospel Transformation Bible notes, Courson’s Old Testament Application Commentary

July 31 – OT Reading

Proverbs 4-6

Proverbs 4

A Father’s Instruction

4 Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, And give attention that you may gain understanding, For I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction. When I was a son to my father, Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother, Then he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live; Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. “Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you. “The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding. “Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her. “She will place on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty.”

10 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings And the years of your life will be many. 11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; And if you run, you will not stumble. 13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked And do not proceed in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on. 16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness And drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. 19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble.

20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them And health to all their body. 23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. 24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you. 25 Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. 26 Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. 27 Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.

 

Proverbs 5

Pitfalls of Immorality

5 My son, give attention to my wisdom, Incline your ear to my understanding; That you may observe discretion And your lips may reserve knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey And smoother than oil is her speech; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, Her steps take hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

Now then, my sons, listen to me And do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her And do not go near the door of her house, Or you will give your vigor to others And your years to the cruel one; 10 And strangers will be filled with your strength And your hard-earned goods will go to the house of an alien; 11 And you groan at your final end, When your flesh and your body are consumed; 12 And you say, “How I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof! 13 “I have not listened to the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined my ear to my instructors! 14 “I was almost in utter ruin In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

15 Drink water from your own cistern And fresh water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be yours alone And not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. 20 For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress And embrace the bosom of a foreigner? 21 For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He watches all his paths. 22 His own iniquities will capture the wicked, And he will be held with the cords of his sin. 23 He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.

 

Proverbs 6

Parental Counsel

6 My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor, Have given a pledge for a stranger, If you have been snared with the words of your mouth, Have been caught with the words of your mouth, Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself; Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor. Give no sleep to your eyes, Nor slumber to your eyelids; Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, Which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, Prepares her food in the summer And gathers her provision in the harvest. How long will you lie down, 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 Your poverty will come in like a vagabond And your need like an armed man.

12 A worthless person, a wicked man, Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth, 13 Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, Who points with his fingers; 14 Who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil, Who spreads strife. 15 Therefore his calamity will come suddenly; Instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing.

16 There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which 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 run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.

20 My son, observe the commandment of your father And do not forsake the teaching of your mother; 21 Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk about, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life 24 To keep you from the evil woman, From the smooth tongue of the adulteress. 25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart, Nor let her capture you with her eyelids. 26 For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, And an adulteress hunts for the precious life. 27 Can a man take fire in his bosom And his clothes not be burned? 28 Or can a man walk on hot coals And his feet not be scorched? 29 So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; Whoever touches her will not go unpunished. 30 Men do not despise a thief if he steals To satisfy himself when he is hungry; 31 But when he is found, he must repay sevenfold; He must give all the substance of his house. 32 The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it. 33 Wounds and disgrace he will find, And his reproach will not be blotted out. 34 For jealousy enrages a man, And he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 35 He will not accept any ransom, Nor will he be satisfied though you give many gifts.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)