Proverbs 22 (NRSV)
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 (NLT)
A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume.
“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.”
–William Shakespeare, Othello
2 The rich and the poor have this in common:
the Lord is the maker of them all.
3 The clever see danger and hide;
but the simple go on, and suffer for it.
4 The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
is riches and honor and life.
1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
the cautious will keep far from them.
6 Train children in the right way,
and when old, they will not stray.
I learned this verse decades ago in the King James Version:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
“What is the way in which a child should go? A more literal rendering of the Hebrew at once answers this question. Such translation would be: ‘Train up child according to his way.’In every child there are special and peculiar powers. The true business of training a child therefore, is that of discovering what those powers are, and developing them…Herein is revealed the need for individual work. No two children are alike.”
–G. Campbell Morgan
7 The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Consumer debt in the USA
The survey, conducted in 2016, found that the average card debt was $5,700 for households that carry a balance – 38 percent of all households.
8 Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of anger will fail.
9 Those who are generous are blessed,
for they share their bread with the poor.
10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife goes out;
quarreling and abuse will cease.
11 Those who love a pure heart and are gracious in speech
will have the king as a friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
but he overthrows the words of the faithless.
13 The lazy person says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be killed in the streets!”
In his imagination, the outside world and the work required to function in it are so frightening that it is best avoided.
14 The mouth of a loose woman is a deep pit;
he with whom the Lord is angry falls into it.
“Unlike the sluggard’s fantasy of a man-eating lion roaming the city streets, these harlots are very real deadly predators in the streets.”
–Bruce K. Waltke
15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a boy,
but the rod of discipline drives it far away.
The Words of the Wise
Proverbs 22:17 begins a new section of the collection. We move from the long section (Proverbs 10:1 through 22:16) containing almost entirely two-phrase wisdom sayings with very little arrangement according to theme or context. Starting here, the structure of the wisdom sayings is often longer and they are more arranged according to some theme.
17 Incline your ear and hear my words,
and apply your mind to my teaching;
Mark 4:23 (NLT)
“Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have made them known to you today—yes, to you.
20 Have I not written for you thirty sayings
of admonition and knowledge,
21 to show you what is right and true,
so that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
22 Do not rob the poor because they are poor,
or crush the afflicted at the gate;
23 for the Lord pleads their cause
and despoils of life those who despoil them.
Matthew 19:21 (NIV)
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
24 Make no friends with those given to anger,
and do not associate with hotheads,
25 or you may learn their ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.
Quotes about angry people:
People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.
Anybody can become angry–that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way–that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.
Getting angry doesn’t solve anything.
26 Do not be one of those who give pledges,
who become surety for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should your bed be taken from under you?
28 Do not remove the ancient landmark
that your ancestors set up.
29 Do you see those who are skillful in their work?
They will serve kings;
they will not serve common people.
Sometimes there is just no song like an old song. And we know there is no singer like Mahalia Jackson. HERE is “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.