Series: Always Relevant: God Is
Proverbs 22:17:21 MSG
Proverbs 22:22-27 MSG (3 of Solomon’s Principles)
Proverbs 22:22-23 MSG
Proverbs 22:24-25 MSG
Proverbs 22:26-27 MSG
Proverbs 22:26-27 ESV
Galatians 6:7-8 ESV
If I’ve learned on thing in life it’s to give God’s Word attention in my life. It's important to give God's word attention.
Proverbs 22:17-21, says:
“Listen carefully to my wisdom; take to heart what I can teach you.You’ll treasure its sweetness deep within; you’ll give it bold expression in your speech.To make sure your foundation is trust in God, I’m laying it all out right now just for you.I’m giving you thirty sterling principles— tested guidelines to live by.Believe me—these are truths that work, and will keep you accountable to those who sent you.”
The thirty sterling principles Solomon spoke of can be found in Proverbs 22:22 through Proverbs 24:34. For our purposes today, we will look at a few of those principles.
Solomon tells us, don’t walk on the poor, stay away from angry people, and don’t gamble on a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
A few of his great words to live by are found in Proverbs 22:22-27.
In Proverbs 22:22-23 Solomon wrote, “Don’t walk on the poor just because they’re poor, and don’t use your position to crush the weak, because God will come to their defense; the life you took, he’ll take from you and give back to them.”
When I read that scripture I was a little taken ‘back’ by Solomon’s wisdom concerning the poor. Immediately I was reminded how very much God loves the poor.
God protects the poor.
Solomon made it clear that if the poor are crushed God will defend them. I love that! I’ve never been a person of means, but I have also never considered myself to be poor. I’ve never wondered where my next meal will come from or how I’ll pay for gasoline for my car.
In ministry I’ve known people who have been in that position. Once, when we moved to a small town, a women went to the Sheriff to ask where she could get a meal for her children. When he made a few phone calls he found out all of the pastors in town were gone for the day. Without asking me, he directed the woman to my house.
She showed up right before dinner.
I had just fixed dinner for my four children and she had four children so I gave her our meal. My children were hungry and they weren’t terribly happy that I gave away their dinner. But, I reminded them we had a food in the refrigerator and the cupboards and I just needed about 20 minutes to cook something. My children did not go hungry.
I did ask the Sheriff in the future if he would please let me know he when he was sending someone to my house for a meal. I say that because while I’m not a terrible cook, there were three women in our neighborhood who went to our church who had incredible culinary skills! Alma, Helen, and Ruth would have gladly given them a feast they’d never forget!
It was a good lesson for me. I was reminded of God’s good provision. I was reminded that I’d never had to ask someone else to feed my children. I think that would be extremely difficult to do.
In Proverbs 22:24-25 Solomon wrote, “Don’t hang out with angry people; don’t keep company with hotheads. Bad temper is contagious-don’t get infected.”
Reading this proverb also reminded me how very much God has blessed me. See, I do not like conflict. I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. In that same vein I’ve never felt comfortable when someone loses their temper. I’m not talking about mild anger, I’m talking about full blown yelling.
I walk away.
I’ve been told that sometimes walking away isn’t the best course of action. I’ve been told I should face it and learn to deal with it. However, according to Solomon, he says it’s best to walk away. He even suggests that when we walk away we won’t be drawn into someone else’s anger.
That gave me hope.
His proverb reminded me that walking away is a wise course of action.
Then in Proverbs 22:26-27 we are told, “Don’t gamble on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, pawning your house against a lucky chance. The time will come when you have to pay up; you’ll be left with nothing but the shirt on your back.”
The Message version gives us a perfect visual aid of Solomon’s wise words about taking a chance with our resources.
The ESV is an accurate translation but in this case it’s not so picturesque. It says in verses 26-27, “be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you?”
Solomon is reminding us to be cautious about taking a chance with the resources God gave us. Ultimately, that’s the key. My money is not money I have earned. It’s money God provided for me. Everything I own is a gift from God, and Solomon is saying we need to use the resources God gave us wisely.
Finally, we are reminded that when all is said and done we will always reap what we have sown.
Galatians 6:7-8 tells us, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life!”
The best way to reap a good harvest is to sow good seed. When we sow to the Spirit we will reap from the Spirit!
When we look at trustworthy principles found scripture Solomon’s words are a great place to start! They are yeet…giving principles the attention they deserve.
Especially in our everyday lives!
Spiritual Practice: Pay Attention
Think about God's word and sowing good seed.
In God, Deborah