Some practical observations from the Book of Proverbs


These principles are good for saved and lost alike. God doesn't have one set of rules for the lost to live by and another set of rules for the saved to live by. Both live by the principles set down in the Word of God. Some lost people have learned to live by these Godly principles without really understanding where they come from. They have become a success in this life because they have obeyed Godly principles.

Proverb Principles - Money

I. Riches.

1. Prov. 6:1-5 - Don't cosign a note for a friend. (This isn't talking about a father for a son or daughter.)

a. Prov. 11:15 - He that is surety for a stranger shall regret it.

b. Prov. 17:18 - A person that strikes hands in the midst of strangers is void of understanding.

2. Prov. 6:6-11 - You must work to have anything. It's not wrong to prepare for times of famine. (This is not necessarily talking about retirement.)

3. Prov. 10:4 - A person becomes poor by not paying attention to his money. (A penny saved is a penny earned.)

4. Prov. 10:5 - There is a time to work and a time to sleep.

5. Prov. 11:28 - If you trust in your riches, you shall fail.

6. Prov. 12:27 - Some people are poor because they don't take care of what they have.

7. Prov. 13:4 - Both the poor and rich want, but you have to be really sharp to possess.

8. Prov. 15:27 - Greed destroys our house, he that hateth gifts shall live.

9. Prov. 21:5 - Haste makes waste.

10. Prov. 22:29 - A man skilled in business shall stand before the powerful, not before the insignificant.

11. Prov. 27:23, 24-27 - Look well to your wealth, because it goes easier than it comes.

12. Prov. 28:19 - He that tills his ground shall always have plenty.

13. II Sam. 24:18-25 - Give unto God that which cost you. (Full value.)

Proverb Principles - Children

Ecclesiastes 12:1

II. Responsibility of children.

A. The Blessings and opportunities of Children.

1. Ecclesiastes 12:1 - Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

2. Prov. 1:8 - My son, her the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.

a. Prov. 2:1 - If the son will listen to his dad, he will discover wisdom.

b. Prov. 3:1 - Don't forget the commandments,, but let your heart obey.

c. Prov. 3:11 - Don't despise the chastening of the Lord (our of your parents).

d. Prov. 3:13 - Tells the boy how the man is happy. So he will know how to be happy when he becomes an adult.

e. Prov. 3:21 - Let not wisdom leave you.

f. Prov. 4:1 - Children should hear and heed the instructions of their father.

g. Prov. 4:10 - Hear and receive that you may live long on the earth.

h. Prov. 4:20 - Another admonition to listen.

i. Prov. 5:1 - Listen so you can understand a father's wisdom.

j. Prov. 6:1 - Don't cosign a note for your friend. (This is not talking about a father cosigning a note for his son or daughter.)

3. Prov. 6:20 - My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother.

4. Prov. 7:1 - My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

5. Prov. 20:11 - Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work [be] pure, and whether [it be] right.

6. Prov. 23:22 - Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.

B. Correcting children.

1. Prov. 10:13 - The rod is for him that is void of understanding.

2. Prov. 13:24 - Sparing the rod proves you don't love you children. If you really love them, you will chasten them betimes (early, while there is still opportunity, before things get to bad).

3. Prov. 22:15 - The rod of correction (discipline, not just beating) will drive foolishness from the heart of the child.

4. Prov. 23:13 - Your child won't die if you beat (smite, hit) him with the rod. (This is talking about discipline, not just beating a child because you are angry.)

5. Prov. 23:14 - Beating your child with the rod of correction shall save his soul from hell. (This actions shows the child in a quite literal way there is a penalty to be paid for sin.)

6. Prov. 26:3 - A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for a fool's back. (Different instruments of discipline.)

7. Prov. 29:15 - Rod and reprove give wisdom, but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

8. Prov. 29:17 - Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest, yea, he shall give delight unto they soul.

C. The curse upon Children.

1. Prov. 10:1 - The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son [is] the heaviness of his mother.

a. 17:21 - The father of a fool has no joy (because his foolish son is a constant reminder and heaviness to him.)

b. 17:25 - He is a grief to his father and a bitterness to his mother.

c. 19:13 - A foolish son is like a chasm, an engulfing ruin, or destruction.

d. 19:26 - Wasteth his father (violently destroy, or devastate): chasteth away his mother (runs his mother off): shame (to make ashamed): reproach (to cause embarrassment or confusion).

e. 28:7 - A wise son keepeth the law, but a companion of riotous men (worthless bums who roam the streets, not working, but living off others by begging or crime) brings shame to his father.

2. Prov. 30:17 - The eye [that] mocketh at [his] father, and despiseth to obey [his] mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

a. This is the natural result of disobedience. There might not be any judicial decision, or any police called out. This is probably why so many young people today are committing suicide and winding up in jail, having committed such hideous crimes as killing their friends, hacking up adults, and all sorts of things to horrible to describe.

Proverb Principles - Government

Proverbs 29:2

III. Government.

Introduction: Some things about true control of self, or others.

1. Prov. 16:32, [He that is] slow to anger [is] better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

a. Prov. 25:28, He that [hath] no rule over his own spirit [is like] a city [that is] broken down, [and] without walls. - The person that can't rule their own selves is like a broken down city, falling into decay.

2. Prov. 8:15, By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. {16} By me princes rule, and nobles, [even] all the judges of the earth.

A. Prov. 8:16, By me princes rule, and nobles, [even] all the judges of the earth. - Princes rule by wisdom, not by chance.

1. True wisdom comes from God.

2. True wisdom is not "common sense", it is "uncommon sense".

3. Any wise (even in the world's wisdom) ruler understands that in the multitude of counselors there is wisdom.

4. He doesn't try to make every decision himself, or be in charge of every committee, but delegates the authority and responsibility of these things, so more can get done.

B. Prov. 12:24, The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute. - The hand of the diligent shall rule, but the lazy shall work harder to pay taxes.

1. Diligent means sharp, or one that makes strict decisions (especially concerning their future welfare).

2. Rule means to have dominion, bear rule, or cause to have rule.

3. Tribute means a gang/body of forced laborers, or slave gang.

a. In the Old Testament, this means the country will be taken over by another country, which will force the captives to work in very difficult circumstances.

b. They were to lazy to have the necessary defenses, therefore their country was overrun.

4. In our day, it means those to lazy to be involved in government issues that affect them will pay taxes to support the wicked (and sometimes stupid) programs established by those elected to office.

5. Prov. 22:7, The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower [is] servant to the lender.

a. Both of these axioms are true.

b. The rich rule, not because they are smarter than everybody else, but because they have the means necessary to cause things to happen.

c. The borrower does not work for himself, but for the other person, so he can make the payment the other person has coming.

C. Prov. 14:28, In the multitude of people [is] the king's honour: but in the want of people [is] the destruction of the prince.- When the ruler has a high popularity rating, it is good, but when the polls show a drop of popularity, it is bad.

1. Prov. 11:14 - In the multitude of counselors there is safety.

a. The opinion of the majority shows the best course to take.

b. If the majority is wrong, they will stand behind you, because they have input into the decision.

c. When the majority of people reject a ruler, there is reason to believe he ought to be rejected.

D. Prov. 17:2, A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren. - The wise servant shall rule before a foolish son.

1. A foolish son may be ushered into office by his parents, but the people (if they have any say at all) will not allow him to stay in office.

2. The people are looking for wisdom, and will reward it accordingly.

E. Prov. 17:7, Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince. - A lying ruler is bad.

1. He can't be trusted.

2. He has probably lied about other things.

3. Somebody will catch it because he has lied to the multitude.

4. Prov. 29:12, If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants [are] wicked.

F. Prov. 17:26, Also to punish the just [is] not good, [nor] to strike princes for equity. - It isn't good to publicly beat those in authority because that destroys confidence in all authority figures. They should be punished, but because of their position, it must be done very carefully.

G. Prov. 19:6, Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man [is] a friend to him that giveth gifts. - Many will seek the favor of those in authority, not because they are liked, but because of their influence.

H. Prov. 19:10, Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes. - Luxury, daintiness, exquisitely good things, is not beautiful, comely or seemingly for a fool, and it makes much less sense for a servant to have rule over a prince.

1. This passage is talking about managerial capabilities.

2. A fool doesn't understand what it takes to obtain the "better things of life", any more than a servant understands what it takes to rule others.

3. If you give a "fool" a lot of money, and they'll waste it because they don't understand what it can do for them.

4. This has happened to our government as we have given much money, through welfare, to generations of Americans.

5. They haven't learn how to make money, but have learned to expect more money from us.

6. They don't understand the "work ethic" any more than the servant, the common ordinary worker understands the managerial capabilities necessary to run a company.

7. If they did understand the procedures, why aren't they running the company, or owning a company of their own?

8. This verse is not saying there can't be a move from fool to prince, or from employee to employer.

9. The best employers are those that have been employees, because they know what the worker is going through.

10. An excellent employer is one who will never ask his employees to do something he has not done, or can not do, or will not do.

11. It is saying there are varying degrees of understanding for the various stations of life.

12. You must learn to follow before you'll ever make a good leader.

13. You must learn to respect authority before others will ever respect the authority you have.

14. Politics today.

a. Jessie Jackson proclaims he is the first senator of Washington D. C. without being elected to that non-existence office. He doesn't understand the very first thing about why Washington D. C. has never had a representative. He is a political power, yet what does he do for a living?

b. President Clinton and his wife, Hillary, are trying to institute a national health care plan without consulting the insurance companies, any hospital financial experts, or doctors. They are doing it behind closed doors, until legalities forced them out in the open, and even then continued the closed meetings. He didn't even have a health care plan during his campaign, but worked it out after he was elected, and will present it to the nation on July 15, 1993. He does not know how much it will cost, or how effective it will be, but proclaims we will save enough by having a national health care plan to pay off the national debt!

I. Prov. 23:1, When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what [is] before thee:

1. This is because you are looking at the very best part of his life: eating and drinking the very best of the country.

2. You do not see the hard work that goes into his position.

3. You do not see the single decision that affects thousands of lives.

4. You do not see the sleepless nights, agonizing over a problem, seeking the best solution.

J. Prov. 25:7, 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. - Don't try to be a big shot in the presence of important people.

K. Prov. 25:15, By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone. - It takes a while to influence a ruler that knows anything.

1. A ruler is slow to make decisions, because he understands the long running effect of each decision.

2. A ruler that is quickly influenced one way will be just as quickly influenced another way.

3. This is one point about President Clinton that the news has made.

4. How can he be so convinced that our nation needs a national health plan when he has only been involved in it such a short time?

5. The saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me" isn't so. Words can break the heart, while sticks and stones can only break bones.

L. Prov. 25:28, He that [hath] no rule over his own spirit [is like] a city [that is] broken down, [and] without walls. - The person that can't rule their own selves is like a broken down city, fell into decay.

1. The city can't control outside forces because they can't control inside forces.

2. A secret service agent let it slip that Hillary Clinton got mad at her husband (our president) and they both yelled at each other, and she threw some objects at him.

3. Isn't it nice to have a first lady like this? (I speak in jest!)

4. There is no protection for the long run, because these people can't control their own feelings.

5. Another point is that President Clinton refuses to make decisions on some major items until his wife, Hillary, has a chance to look it over.

6. In other words, he has to find out what his wife thinks about some subjects before he knows what he thinks about it!

M. Prov. 28:2 - For the Transgression (rebellion) of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state (condition) thereof shall be prolonged.

1. Many political people will go along with the crowd even though they know and understand the route they are taking will lead to eventual destruction.

2. It takes a man of true understanding and knowledge to go against the tide.

3. That man of courage will prolong the life of a nation.

4. It only takes one man to turn the tide of a nation.

N. Prov. 28:16 - The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.

1. Prov. 28:15, [As] a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; [so is] a wicked ruler over the poor people.

O. Prov. 29:2, When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. - When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, when the wicked rule the people mourn.

1. It must be understood that is a principle God has established for the world to live by.

2. This principle concerns both the lost and saved.

3. When the wicked rule, even lost people mourn.

4. Saved people certainly mourn for what will happen in their nation.

5. But it is during times like this that saved people learn that God controls the heart of the king.

6. God will allow only those events that are good for His people.

P. Prov. 29:26, Many seek the ruler's favour; but [every] man's judgment [cometh] from the LORD.

Q. Prov. 31:4 - It is not for kings, O Lamuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: {5} lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of the afflicted.

Proverb Principles - Morals

IV. Morals.

1. Prov. 6:27-29 - Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? {28} Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? {29} So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

I. You can't get away with adultery.

A. It is especially important in today's society to understand that you will always

1. Remember you are what you put into your mind. This principle works just like the fact: Your body is what you put into it.

2. Remember everything you have ever seen.

a. You say you want to watch a movie with wicked sex scenes in it? You will always remember that sex scene, it will probably be more pronounced than the other scenes, and the circumstances in the movie that brought about that sex scene. If you are ever in that type of situation, you will let that movie determine your reaction.

b. You say you want to watch a movie that is filled with violence? You will always remember that violence, it will probably be more pronounced than the other scenes, and the circumstances in the movie that brought about that violence. If you are ever in that type of situation, you will let that movie determine and justify your reaction.

3. You will always remember everything you hear. You say you want to watch a movie that has cursing in it? You will always remember hearing that cursing and the circumstances in the movie that brought about that cursing. If you are ever in that type of situation, you will let that movie form your opinion about your reaction.

4. An example: Cary Grant in a movie. He was married, but his wife didn't love him. He was in love with another woman. They two engaged in illicit love. Before the movie was over, the producers showed that Cary Grant was right in his illicit love affair, and the wife was wrong. This movie was released in the late 30's or early 40's, just about the time divorce began to be accepted.

II. You can't get away with lawlessness. Laws are changed to reflect what society believes is right or wrong. What was right yesterday becomes wrong today because the laws change. What was wrong yesterday becomes right today because the laws change. But one thing is for sure: God's laws never change. What He says is right is right. What He says is wrong is wrong.

A. Proverbs 1:10-19, My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. {11} If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: {12} Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: {13} We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: {14} Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: {15} My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: {16} For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. {17} Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. {18} And they lay wait for their [own] blood; they lurk privily for their [own] lives. {19} So [are] the ways of every one that is greedy of gain;[which] taketh away the life of the owners thereof

B. Proverbs 4:14-19, Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil [men]. {15} Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. {16} For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause [some] to fall. {17} For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. {18} But the path of the just [is] as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. {19} The way of the wicked [is] as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

C. The end of the wicked.

1. Proverbs 2:17,22 - The wicked shall be cut off from the earth.

2. Proverbs 3:33 - The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked.

3. Proverbs 5:22 - The wicked acts of the wicked shall capture him, and his sins won't let him go. (You'll always remember your acts of wickedness.)

4. Proverbs 12:21 - There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.

D. Comparisons between the righteous and the wicked in Proverbs 10.

1. Verse 3 - The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.

2. Verse 6 - Blessings [are] upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

3. Verse 7 - The memory of the just [is] blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.

5. Verse 11 - The mouth of a righteous [man is] a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

6. Verse 16 - The labour of the righteous [tendeth] to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.

7. Verse 20 - The tongue of the just [is as] choice silver: the heart of the wicked [is] little worth.

8. Verse 24 - The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.

9. Verse 25 - As the whirlwind passeth, so [is] the wicked no [more]: but the righteous [is] an everlasting foundation.

10. Verse 27 - The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

11. Verse 28 - The hope of the righteous [shall be] gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.

13. Verse 29 - The way of the LORD [is] strength to the upright: but destruction [shall be] to the workers of iniquity.

14. Verse 30 - The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

15. Verse 32 - The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked [speaketh] frowardness.

  1. 11:5 - The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his ways, but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.