STIFF NECKED PEOPLE
These words of wisdom can deliver us from disaster. We can observe men around us doing all the errors we are warned against by these proverbs. but I am not alarmed by them as much as the religious people who ignore their transgressions and still consider them to be Christians. Especially when our leaders are opposed to these wise directions and lead our nation to share their destruction. But don’t feel alone; Solomon defied these same proverbs even after God gave them to him. Israel was delivered into captivity because of the sins of Solomon. Like our leaders today he had the opportunity to experience wealth, power, popularity, and temptation. But Solomon will redeem himself at the end of his life with better advice. Will our leaders be able to turn in time? It didn’t save Israel and it probably won’t save this nation.
15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.
Being lazy lulls one into the kind of sleep that cuts us off from the world of the living. Without work life ends in hunger, poverty, and desperation. No one can keep you from working at some trade, and it does bring prosperity.
16 He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.
This is not a suggestion, this is the way to life, and that is even important after death to avoid the second death: obey God’s commandments. But if you hate this idea then you will die twice, and being judged for the second death is all pain ad all regret.
17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
You cannot lose by helping the poor as you are supporting the will of God. There will be a path that rewards you in this as God is faithful.
18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
There is hope when a child is young enough to receive a clear impression of consequences to sin. If you yield to his tears, they will become your own tears when he fails as an adult.
19 A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.
Yes, anger does not admit failure, and it goes on the attack again even after failure. If you pay his bail he will be right back at the same battle that did him in before.
20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
If our father should chastise us other good advice will come now, and we should listen. We are not born with wisdom, but we still have a chance to become wiser if we finally stop and listen. It worked for Solomon, after a fashion.
21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.
How many time do we think about what we would do “if he does that”? Are the thoughts all coming from God? Do you hear any good thoughts from God, or do you even want to?
22 The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.
Kindness is what you welcome from others, and kindness is what makes you welcome to others. Honesty is a kindness to yourself and others, so treasure that over treasure.
23 The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
Fearing God keeps you in his favor and brings prosperity in the place of destruction. Not touching the stove avoids pain and still cooks a good meal.
24 A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
Was Napolean lazy? Not like this. A lazy man keeps his ability out of the sight of those who could use his help. He won’t even let his abilities out for his own benefit.
25 Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.
For a man who scorns the rules of society harsh punishment is a warning to other fools. But the wise can improve themselves in response to constructive suggestions or even correction.
26 He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.
If we waste our father’s training, correction, material support, and love we cause him to grieve. If we snap at our mother and reject her love, we follow the path that causes our community to disrespect us and our whole family.
27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
Stop listening to the popular ideas of the modern world that deny the wisdom of this book. Popularity is not the validation of truth. Every contrary behavior is self destructive while wisdom endures all trials.
28 An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.
Those who exalt sinful ways scorn the idea that God will have a real judgment of our lives. That reality is waiting without their acknowledgement, so they feed on more and more transgressions in their delusion of safety.
29 Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.
The judgment of God is real, ready, and painful for those who deny its reality. The fear of the Lord of judgment is the first step for those who chose to be found righteous. Fear God and find life instead of death.