OVER HIS SHEEP

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THE LORD IS PATIENT AND FAITHFUL

God has time and lets us use it as we please.  If we use our time to please him we will also have eternity in which he will please us.  But man is given to self esteem and delusions of self importance, and is impatient for rewards.  If we forget the Lord we may be tempted to act as if he has forgotten us.  He will remember us for who we really are and for where our treasure is.  No one is above his judgment.

Proverbs 28:1-14

1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Guilt leaves one always looking over their shoulder for the judgment.  But those who live in and for righteousness, not even death will deter them from victory.  How is a president of the United States so ensnared that he needs so many lawyers and a stream of obvious lies if he is not being hunted?

2 For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.

When a nation is guilty of failures or crimes nature makes short work of their leaders.  There may be assassinations, purges, or election defeats when the news is bad.  A great leader can expect a long and prosperous career of good government.

3 A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.

How can someone who understands the pain of poverty force that on others who have the same pain?  This is compared to a storm that flattens the crops and leaves the land with no harvest.  He should not expect a kindly reception.

4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.

Yielding to the temptation to cheat makes you an advocate of all other lawbreakers, great and small.  By staying on the straight path of the law you are part of the defense of the land against the outlaws.

5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the Lord understand all things.

The mind possessed by evil cannot comprehend that God is aware and waiting to bring judgment.  Those who are aware of their need for God seek his guidance and he gives them that understanding.

6 Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

We have a world of corruption among the wealthy today, and they are unaware of their pending demise.  God is aware and planning to settle the accounts on their transgressions.  Having a clear conscience with a light bank account is not a source of anxiety.  Having the assurance that God is our provider removes fear and brings peace.

7 Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.

A quiet peaceful life without crime gives peace to parents.  But there is a burden of grief for the parents of one who hangs out with gangsters.

8 He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.

One who by natural cheating gains his own wealth will in time sacrifice that to another who will return that money to the poor.  God will balance all accounts in his time and way.  No one can buy enough lawyers to escape from God.

9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

If a man still has hope for his prayers he should not ignore the law of the God he is praying to.  A man who is called a Christian cannot live without the actions of obedience.  Faith without works is an abomination to God.

10 Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.

Making a pit to trap a victim in is an evil that God can see.  He is the one who determines your path, and it will lead you right into your own trap.  The godly man shall be judged and rewarded for his righteousness.  Even the world can witness the open threats and plans of the evil man.

11 The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.

We have seen the rich men of America assume power over every government office with evidence of conceit, deceit, and greed manifesting over everything they touch.  But even as God holds them in derision, the poor people are aware of the whole deception.  They will not be mislead by fake news or propaganda.  Evil will not stand.  This is a promise of God.

12 When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.

There is prosperity and contentment when wise men can rule in peace.  But in an evil administration even members of his own party want to retreat from the policies of the evil leader.  They resign, they testify against him in court, and they vote against his policies to preserve their own careers.

13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy

It is so hard to write this as I watch my nation and its leaders ignoring all the wisdom of this book.  But so did the man who wrote this book, thus leading Israel to the judgment and captivity in Babylon.  David had given his son the lesson of confessing his sins and had already been forgiven, proving God’s mercy.  How can we miss this so often?

14 Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.

Well the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and we do well to remember that and be aware of all the danger around us.  Once confidence replaces caution the door is open to the invaders.  When we are sure that we can weave deception we are deceived and destroyed.  God is over us, as real as the mountain that overshadows the valley.

ASSURANCE

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GOD RESPONDS TO GOOD AND EVIL

There are behaviors that God honors, and others that he corrects.  Those who ignore correction live on a hard road, while prosperity greets the diligent worker.  God is aware of all of our ways and provides the fruit of life or death accordingly.

Proverbs 27:14-27

14 He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.

Oh I remember my drill sergeant in the Army yelling at us to get out of bed.  The happy “morning person” may turn into a person in mourning if he agitates the wrong “night person”!

15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.  16 Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.

Well here I am on a rainy day, but at least it was a fast summer shower.  When it turns into a week-long cold wet drizzle we really long for a break.  And a never ending list of complaints and strife are equally chilling.  But whoever tries to avoid or stop her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or to hold oil in your open hand.

17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

An iron file can sharpen a hardened knife blade, and so a good man can sharpen the person and character of his friend.

18 Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.

If you care for a food crop or fruit tree you can expect a harvest for your table.  Similarly if you serve your employer well you should expect to live well by your earnings.  What part of this has escaped the capitalist masters of our modern world who cannot pay a wage that will pay the rent?  God will give us an answer when we miss his message here.

19 As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

There is a reflection in the water that reveals our facial features.  In the same way there is an image of our heart that is reflected in what others see in us.

20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Well that is pretty clear, there is room for a lot of disaster in the unsatisfied desires of an evil heart.  Turn all that loose and you have your ticket, there is plenty of room for you in hell.

21 As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.

The refining of ore is to burn off the non-precious materials, leaving only the valuable metals behind.  A man should burn off the nonsense and sin in his life to give the world only that which is godly and valuable.

22 Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

If you grind a fool in the millstone you will not be able to grind the ignorance out of him.  Life usually does that, and it doesn’t work.

23 Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.  24 For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?

Be a hard worker and take care of your business because finances are fleeting and have to be well tended.  Not even kings are assured of eternal reign and their affairs too may turn in a moment.

25 The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.  26 The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.  27 And thou shalt have goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

We witness this every year here in Wyoming.  Springtime always delivers the grasses and the good crops spring up with the first warm weather.  There are sheep, cattle, goats and pigs being born and feeding well.  There is food and profits for families and for the businesses of the community.  the cities also see prosperity as much as we acknowledge God as our provider.  Give thanks for what you have, and for that which God will yet provide in the future.

IN THE WAY

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ROAD

THE GOOD ROAD

This wisdom is a paved road over the rocky wilderness of human nature.  Use this map to enjoy an easy journey instead of a slow agonizing stumble through the uneven world of enemies who dress like friends.

Proverbs 27:1-13

1 Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

There is no power in our hands to make the future do what we want.  If God is willing we may have a good life, but there will be bumps in the road.  Promises that you can not deliver will cost you friends.

2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

Do not toot your own horn or declare your greatness because your audience has no reason to believe your words.  When they hear testimony from another they may consider that to be valid and unbiased.

3 A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both.

A landscaper placed some big rocks too close to my driveway.  Moving one was a challenge to my bad back.  But an angry man who cannot hear reason or control himself is too much for the people around him to bear.

4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

Violence and harsh words are horrible but envy breeds contempt and selfish desires that divide friends.

5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.

It is better to have a friend who will tell you off honestly than to have a friend that you never know about.  One will give correction that can keep you from harm while the other can never be known as a possible ally in troubles.  Be real.

6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Well here we know that a friend will save you from yourself, but a secret enemy will encourage you to walk right into a deadly trap.  One hurts for a while, the other leaves you dead forever.

7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

A spoiled brat has no pleasure in the best delicacies while a truly hungry person can eat anything and appreciate all of it.

8 As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.

How can I know my place if I don’ know my Lord?  He aligns our desires with our destiny so I need to know him to know myself.  If I never know my place I am like a bird that forgets to tend its nest, its mate, and its offspring.  We are born to a purpose.

9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.

Don’t we need a bath and cologne at times though!  When we have a real friend who gives us advice that brings prosperity we have the best refreshing.

10 Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.

Friends have days when they need help, and we are not to turn our back on their need.  This builds a relationship of faith that your own blood family may not possess.  A neighbor who is near to your own faith is like our Lord Jesus, who is closer than a brother.

11 My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.

When you have a father or a friend who cares about you then shield him from the challenge of those who see you as a reflection of him.  Live your life as a reflection of the good you receive from him.  Even so we are to be a reflection of the good that our Lord has done by redeeming us from the curse we once lived under.  We are his ambassadors to the world.

12 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.

We who can turn to the Lord for knowledge and understanding do have warning of the evil around us.  The bible contains the prophesy of the times we live in and the warning of where the world is going.  Those who deny the old faith are unaware and bold to walk into their own destruction.  The world in the headlines confirms all of these old warnings.

13 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

When a man has offered to co-sign or assure a loan to a stranger he is not showing wisdom.  Similarly if he offers support to a strange or possibly immoral woman he may be a risk for you to support.  In this case you may take some form physical security deposit ( a garment here) if you are asked to support his finances.

Relationships are elusive, and often put us at risk to foolish emotions from friends and neighbors.  We can protect ourselves and our friends by hearing this wisdom.  All wisdom is optional but foolish choices are expensive.  Go enjoy the freedom of wisdom.

LAY, LIE, LOSE

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LAY OR LIE

BE WARNED, AND BE INNOCENT, AND BE PATIENT

Friends can become a burden when they are lazy and prone to whine about the mess they made.  They can become a burden if they always need a handout.  Even worse are those who have great plan to enrich themselves at your expense by lies.  The unwary can be caught in many kinds of traps that can be very evil.  But have confidence in God to keep his promise to care for you.  No matter how high evil rises God will bring them down.

 

Proverbs 26:15-28

15 The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.

Really lazy people are unbelievable.  They can be too lazy to raise a hand even to feed themselves.

16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

A lazy man has all the excuses, and thinks they are all great wisdom.  He can’t listen to any number of better reasons to get to work.

17 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

One who buts in to somebody else’s argument is as wise as one who grabs a dog by the ears.  That’s easy to figure out, right?  Expect a real bad series of injuries!

18 As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, 19 So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?

If you cheat a neighbor or friend and then say that it was just a joke, he will not see the joke.  You will be the same to him as one who comes in with guns and bombs.  There is no way to call that a joke and get peace; you have a war.

20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.  21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.  22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

If there is no trouble making liar the argument dies down, even as the fire needs wood.  When a trouble maker joins the conversation the fire of anger is fed like the fire with fresh wood.  The lies of a troublemaker cut like a knife in the belly.

23 Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.  24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;  25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart. 

Why would anyone silver plate a broken clay pot?  The evil mouth hides useless garbage under a similarly silvery tongue.  This evil mouth lies and lays traps for the innocent.  When this one says nice things it is all a lie hiding seven sins in his heart.  Somehow I think there are a lot of elected officials like this.  Maybe even a president…or two.

26 Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.  27 Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.

Oh but don’t worry, God has a promise here that this evil will be told to the world.  Whoever digs a pit to trap others will fall into his own trap.  Whoever tries to launch a rock at someone else will have it roll back and crush him.  Trust God to balance you accounts, and don’t avenge yourself.

28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

People who lie are haters who have no care or feelings for their victims.  A mouth full of kind words and flattery destroys the world around it.  So wait and watch as God delivers his promises against all your enemies.  Let him do his job, and do not disrespect him by trying to avenge yourself.  Savor this as a chance to build your faith in God.

TRIPLE TROUBLE

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SLOTH

THREE STEPS DOWN

What is natural is death.  We can be ego driven and fail to hear a warning to save your life.  To believe a lie or to invent your own foolishness is human nature without some effort to hear truth.  Being lazy one may never act on the need to live righteously.  It’s easier to just sit back, watch your show, take a nap, relax…

Proverbs 26:1-14

1 As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.

Oh we know these weather conditions in Wyoming!  Trees die when we get late freeze or snow, and crops are damaged by rain or hail.  It causes a lot of damage, as does giving undeserved praise to a fool.  To give a good review to one who does not do well is deception and puts others at risk.  Don’t touch this.

2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

Birds are not very good about coming when they are called.  They are busy chasing bugs on the wing or gathering nest material.  What does a foolish curse accomplish?  Cursing someone who is not guilty is not going to be honored by God.  Why beat your gums to make a fool of yourself in god’s hearing?

3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.

Funny, a horse needs a whip, but an ass only needs a bridle.  But a fool is dumber than either in needing a hard rod whipping.  Dumber than an ass.  But be careful to know what defines foolishness.  Another book of this bible gives one definition:

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.  Psalm 14:1

Having no faith in God is depressing and lowers their opinion of those who do.  It moves them to do evil and there is no good in them.

4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.                    5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. 

Don’t do it…if you can avoid it.  Don’t engage a fool in that big discussion because it will just tempt you to stoop to his level in foolish arguments.  Oh I’m sure you never got sucked into one of those on Facebook!  On the other hand some fools need to be shut up, so engage and shut them down.  Humiliation is sometimes good medicine.  Just make sure that you are not the one being foolish.

6 He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.

We know an exercise that involves passing a message thorough a chain of people, and how it gets twisted.  But even if a message is carried by only one fool it sure to go bad.  the damage that one fool creates will breed more pain than an amputation or poisoning.

7 The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

Wisdom and knowledge should produce prosperous life, but not for everyone.  A real fool can turn a healthy thing into a horrible mutilation of truth.

8 As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.

Goliath must have had a really big hard head, but David’s sling gave it a stunning and destructive blow.  Loading a sling is leading to a lot of damage, and so is promotion and flattery to one who is undeserving.

9 As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouths of fools.

If we missed number seven, words of wisdom coming from a fool miss the target and hurt like the nasty acid filled thorns.  When God repeats himself it means that you should have learned this the first time.

10 The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.

God is not accountable to us and does things that we don’t understand.  He knows where fools and unrighteous men are going and what their end will be.  He knows if they will face his rejection or acceptance and when that will be.  He receives whosoever will, and we don’t have to let our feelings be hurt if we don’t understand.

11 As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

Oh watch a fool go back, he will lap up the very thing that was killing him.  Recidivism is a word we learned in the prison ministry.  Some people cannot stay out of prison, whether physical or mental.  They are slaves to their sin, and cannot escape.

12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

OK, I have ideas that others do not believe in.  But I know that I am not the expert and none of us have all the answers.  When someone can’t hear another view and has all the answers, he probably has nothing at all.  We have read about the trouble a fool can brew, but he has nothing on the know-it-all.

13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.

Lazy is a curse that invents excuses from imaginary fears.  Maybe not a lion, but perhaps other job applicants are better qualified.  Oh, man I can’t mow the lawn today because it’s too long.  Well, it’s too late in the day to start the job now…

14 As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.

A door turns, but it never goes anywhere.  The snooze button never gets you anywhere either.  This is just another dead end road that leads to failure and poverty.  Being lazy, conceited, or foolish is a trinity of death.  God repeats himself to turn us away from the dark parts of human nature.  These are natural behavior that compel us to seek supernatural help.  God has delivered his part in these words, so we must deliver ourselves to him to be enabled.

GRACE RULES

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MERCY

KINDNESS AND GRACE PREVAIL

There is a lot of evil in the world, and God will deliver us at some point.  How great it is when things do go well for the righteous.  It will be hard to watch as the bible warns us of a decline of our civilization.  We have responsibility as individuals for our choices, so these wisdoms are a guide.  We can remember that Israel lived through bad times and bad leaders.  God is with us to deliver us and to help us to deliver others.  And he can send people who live the good example of kindness for us.

Proverbs 25: 15-28

15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

Impatience is not a tool for making your case with the boss.  A long pattern of patient demonstration of value is the path to prosperity.  Wisdom can work without raising its voice, and knowledge makes its point calmly.

16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.  17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.

A good thing is not always good for all time.  Overeating or any overindulgence may lead to regrets.  Similarly a welcome by your neighbor may grow old if you become a constant presence.  There are times when friends need their space.

18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.

Accusing your neighbor of a crime he is not guilty of is more than a blow.  It hammers, cuts, and pierces.  Now the courts may buy your lies, but the judge is the God who knows your heart.  This is a path of death for you far worse than what you can do to your enemy.

19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

I am remembering a scene in the movie “Platoon” where one soldier drifted off to sleep during his guard duty.  One of his buddies opens an eye to see shadowy figures creeping up on them, then all hell breaks loose.  We count on other people in many ways and a double minded or unreliable partner is a disaster.

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.

After a great loss mourning is a natural process.  Really silly efforts to induce cheer are like fingernails on the blackboard or diving into a freezing pond.  Better not to be the one who delivers this performance; it may not get good reviews.

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.

Caring for your enemy is a good thing for you but not so good for him.  God rewards your kindness while the unrepentant enemy of God really makes his experience worse.

23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

Gossip, slander, lies about another person are incredibly destructive and hurtful.  It deserves a fierce look and it will not stand that look for long.

24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

In a secret corner of the attic you may find dust, but that is still a better place to live than a mansion ruled by a loud violent woman.

25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

Good news from a far country is a connection to people who you know but seldom hear from.  That news is as refreshing as a big cold drink in the desert.

26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.

I grew up beside a polluted river, where storms could flush raw sewage to the top.  That is a pathetic testimony to our stewardship of the earth.  But worse is when good men are oppressed or imprisoned by the evil and the greedy.  That is the horrible testimony of the government of our nation today.

27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.

Lots of honey is fun but it wants revenge if you don’t know when to stop.  Oh we also like to get respect from others, but it should be embarrassing to be fawning after attention to the point that others are repelled.

28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Being wild, unpredictable, quick to anger and lacking wisdom is destructive and shameful.  Consider the inner city that has seen poverty, neglect, and decay for decades.  The man who is so out of control is worse off than those ghettos, or even a war zone.  Do we have such leaders today?  God knows the way to guide you through this too.

CAUTION FOR LIFE

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PRIDE-NOT

WISDOM WAITS

Are we ready to go to war?  God knows things that we don’t know and it is dangerous to run into harm’s way.  Our leaders may know things we don’t and our enemies may be more righteous than we realize.  Humility may save you from disgrace if you allow others to have grace.

Proverbs 25: 1-14

25 These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.  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.

Solomon is accredited by the scribes for this wisdom.  God has the sovereign right to his own secrets that we will never know.  However he is the one who anoints kings, so he has the right to honor them with a revelation.  The king can investigate anything, but no one else has access to that knowledge.  In America our presidents have hidden lies that took us to war, and decades later we find out.  But we may never know all the weight of things that motivated their decisions.  God alone will be their judge, and only they know the secrets he has slipped out to them.

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.

Refining the ore of valuable metal, shining the silver makes it workable for the artist.  In the same way if one removes the corrupt people from the counsel of the king, he will not be under the influence of evil.  His reign can turn in the right direction if he has only wise advisers.

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.

No, don’t step up to the boss’s table and seat yourself.  If you deserve a seat with the leaders, the boss knows it without your help.  Wait for his invitation to come when you have earned it.  Otherwise he will put you down where you belong.

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.  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.

Do not be quick to start a fight where the outcome is uncertain.  Even when you are sure you have the advantage there is a chance the opponent will win the fight.  Or you may win only to face a judge who does not share your opinion.  Take the opportunity to have a private conversation with your neighbor and honestly seek to understand his point of view.  DO NOT tell any story about him to a third party.  That is even worse that fighting with him, and you will still get beat up for sure when he finds out.  Take this lesson now, or get spanked again in the New Testament:

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.  Matthew 18:15

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.

Saying the right thing is more than gold and silver, it is like artwork made from the precious metals.  And one who hears and accepts correction with grace will honor the source of that wisdom as valued as gold.

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.

When harvest didn’t involve heavy machinery it could be a hard working day.  It could be refreshing to have a fresh snow blow in to cool the working men.  When important messages must be delivered it is refreshing to know that someone is a reliable messenger.  even today companies and governments need accurate communications.  We have enough fake news…

14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.

Are you a hero, a legend in your own mind?  A resume that is embellished with absent skills and fake experience will leave you stranded in a dry place.  The job you get by false claims will discover your shame.

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