Comparisons and Contrasts

READ : Proverbs 25-28 We now begin the third section of Proverbs. These proverbs are a collection apparently discovered many years after their writing and copied by scribes in Hezekiah’s court. In the first part of this collection are many proverbs beginning with the word like. They compare a physical truth with a spiritual truth. Jesus in His parables expanded this form. Many of His parables begin with: “The kingdom of God is like.” A person who gives wise criticism …

Avoid Adultery, Drunkenness and Laziness

READ : Proverbs 22-24 Included in this passage is a departure from the common structure of Proverbs. Along with isolated sayings are longer sections dealing with one subject. There is a section on adultery (23:26-28). I met a man who when he was young never went to church but read his Bible regularly, especially Proverbs. Once he and his friends were walking along when one suggested they visit a house of prostitution, but this young man refused to go with …

The Power of Words

READ : Proverbs 18-21 Several proverbs talk about “a fool.” In each case he shows his folly through his words. A fool is not interested in understanding, but only in giving his opinion. What he says leads to his hurt. He is ready to give an answer to a question before he has really heard what the question is. Words are so important that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (18:21). As someone has said, “Never …

A Gentle Tongue

READ : Proverbs 15-17 Proverbs stresses the proper use of the tongue. A God-controlled tongue gives a “soft answer” and therefore helps in peacemaking. Such a tongue “dispenses knowledge” and “is a tree of life.” Those who hear the speech of a good man benefit from it. His lips “spread knowledge” and are “a delight.” The rest of the Bible speaks similarly. We are taught to be careful how we use that powerful instrument, the tongue. It can do much …

Portrait of a Good Man

READ : Proverbs 12-14 The proverbs describe a good man. He “loves discipline” and “listens to advice.” He is not a know-it-all, but realizes he has much to learn. His thoughts “are just”; that is, his thought life is honest, not like the wicked whose thoughts are “treacherous.” His words are true but also gracious, so that they “bring healing” in the relationships of human beings to each other. He “ignores an insult”; he does not allow the unkind words …