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RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Wednesday, January 24 2024

Contributor: Esther Alajiki

As we continue to glean wisdom in our study of the book of Proverbs, we will be exploring Chapters 18 -24 for additional wisdom and contrasting the ways of the wise and unwise and how this impacts on our daily living and relationships with God and men.

Chapter 18 - Contrast the Upright and the Wicked
Verses 1-7: "1He who [willfully] separates himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom. 2A [closed-minded] fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his personal opinions [unwittingly displaying his self-indulgence and his stupidity].6A fool’s lips bring contention and strife, And his mouth invites a beating. 7A fool’s mouth is his ruin, And his lips are the snare of his soul. 10The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs to it and is safe and set on high [far above evil]."

Verse 15: "The mind of the prudent [always] acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise [always] seeks knowledge."

Verses 20-21: "A man’s stomach will be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; He will be satisfied with the consequence of his words. 21Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words."

• Revelation
The verses talk about the fools and way of life, A fool has no delight in understanding, is haughty, trusts in his wealth, spreads gossip lies. Slothfulness .etc. the wise man or woman has great satisfaction in knowledge, understanding, wisdom, diligence, is humble and trusts in the Lord.

• Application
We must intentionally reflect on the choices we make as these directs the course of our lives and relationships. We need to desire and pursue wisdom.

Chapter 19: On Life and Conduct
Verse 8: "He who gains wisdom and good sense loves (preserves) his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good and prosper."

Verses 15-16: "Laziness casts one into a deep sleep [unmindful of lost opportunity], And the idle person will suffer hunger. 16He who keeps and obeys the commandment [of the LORD] keeps (guards) his own life, But he who is careless of his ways and conduct will die."

Verse 18: "Discipline and teach your son while there is hope, And do not [indulge your anger or resentment by imposing inappropriate punishment nor] desire his destruction. Verse 23: The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil."

Verse 29: "Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And beatings for the backs of [thickheaded] fools."

• Revelation
Our lives and conduct must align with the word of God is we want to prosper and live long, the fear of the Lord will protect us from evil. It is a must to train the children at the appropriate age and time in the appropriate way, There is not an endless window of opportunity to chasten and wisely discipline our children. Age and circumstances limit the opportunity for effective training, so it must be done while there is hope.

• Application
We must allow God to guide us and we will enjoy the peace that passes all understanding and will not be visited with evil but the wicked will not escape penalty. God wants us to choose wisely.

Chapter 20: On Life and Conduct
Verses 3-4: “It is an honor for a man to keep away from strife [by handling situations with thoughtful foresight], But any fool will [start a] quarrel [without regard for the consequences]. 4The lazy man does not plow when the winter [planting] season arrives; So he begs at the [next] harvest and has nothing [to reap].”

Verses 17-18: “Food gained by deceit is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel. 18 Plans are established by counsel; So make war [only] with wise guidance.”

Verse 24: “Man’s steps are ordered and ordained by the LORD. How then can a man [fully] understand his way?”

Verse 27: “The spirit (conscience) of man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching and examining all the innermost parts of his being.”

• Revelation
Lack of consequential thinking has consequences. Sin. Laziness, evil… may be sweet at first, but later its consequences bring despair]. Don’t only plan ensure you have wise counsel, ensure God is the one that leads you, he is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.

• Application
If God seats upon the throne of our heart, our lives will reflect his blessing. Press in to God.

Chapter 21 – God is Sovereign
Verse 2: "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts"
God’s discernment goes beyond unmasking those who fool others; he even finds out those who have fooled themselves.

Verse 16: “A man who wanders from the way of understanding, Will rest in the assembly of the dead.”
Solomon began on the way of understanding, the departure from the way of understanding doesn’t have to be calculated and deliberate; it may feel like wandering.

Verse 21: “He who follows righteousness and mercy Finds life, righteousness, and honor”            This is the path of wisdom, God’s path for those who will listen and surrender to God, it isn’t easy and is often opposed and mocked yet it is rewarded by God.

Verse 27: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; How much more when he brings it with wicked intent!”
When a sacrifice is offered, the priest or observers may not be able to see wicked intent, but God can.

Verses 30-31: “There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the LORD. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the LORD.”
God is sovereign

• Application
Take heed, God sees in secret and open and we must fear him above all.

Chapter 22 How to Live a Life of Wisdom
Verse 3: “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself . . .”
Prevision is the best means of prevention

Verse 6: “Train up a child in the way he should go . . .”
With the gift of a child is the responsibility to train

Verses 17-21: “The value of the words of the wise . . .”
The heart and mind must be open to receive wisdom, true wisdom makes us more dependent on God

Verses 22-23: “Treat the poor fairly . . .”
God Himself will plead their cause and will plunder the soul of those who plunder the poor.

Verses 24-25: “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, . . .”
Warning against the angry man - Wisdom chooses friends carefully and should make no friendship with an angry man.

Verses 26-27: “Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts;”
Stay away from the debts of others - personal debt is to be avoided don’t become surety for debts of another person.

Verse 29: “Do you see someone skilled in their work?”
The reward of excellent work: Wisdom pushes us toward excellence- excellence of a man or woman’s work can give them great standing in the world. More importantly, it gives them standing before the King of kings, who promises to reward the one who works diligently unto Him (Colossians 3:23-24).

• Application
We must daily and intentionally allow the wisdom of God to order our lives

Chapter 23 Warnings
Verses 1-3: “When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, . . .”
Curb your appetite or control yourself - Consider carefully what is before you; - Don’t grab everything set before you, it could fill your stomach but empty your spirit. (most initiation into witchcraft is through food, there are so many examples of people destroyed by food)

Verses 4-5: “Do not wear yourself out to get rich . . .”
Do not make an idol of wealth- Though working hard is a mark of wisdom, God must be first in our heart.

Verses 6-8: “Do not eat the food of a begrudging host, do not crave his delicacies . . .”
Do not eat at the table of a stingy man. - He doesn’t want you to really enjoy yourself at his table, be discerning.

Verse 9: “Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.”
Do not waste your words on the fool. The fool will not receive or appreciate your wisdom. It will be as Jesus later described – like throwing pearls before pigs (Matthew 7:6). Pray instead.

Verses 10-11: “Do not move an ancient boundary stone”
Do not steal from others – God is watching and there is a special curse for the thief. Zechariah 5:3

Verse 12: “Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.”
Do not neglect wisdom. - wisdom can be given out, but it must be received to be of any lasting good. The reception of wisdom isn’t passive; it is active, it must be received and applied.

Verses 13-14: “Do not withhold discipline from a child . . .”
Do not fail to correct your children. – connect and correct not brutalize.

Verses 17-18: “Do not let your heart envy sinners . . .”
Do not envy sinners - Be zealous for the fear of the LORD don’t be jealous of the wicked. Ps 73.

Verses 19-21: “Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path . . .”
Warnings about wine and women. The self-indulgent are reduced to destitution, Their full stomachs empty their minds

Verse 23: “Buy the truth and do not sell it—wisdom, instruction and insight as well.”
The attitude to have towards wisdom - Buy the truth, and do not sell it, and wisdom and instruction and understanding.

Verse 26-28: “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways . . .”
The danger of the immoral woman - Solomon could point to his own life as an example of wisdom when it came to the dangers of an immoral woman - Samson broke the bonds of his enemies, but he could not break the bonds of his own lusts

Verses 29-35: “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? . . .”
The misery of abusing alcohol - eventually, the abuse of alcohol or drugs will bite and sting.

• Application
As a Christian Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people] Ephesians 5:15.

Chapter 24
Verses 3-9: Wisdom for the home
“Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches. . .”
Moral and spiritual values must be built through wisdom and established through understanding. The blessing of building a home with God’s wisdom, God’s understanding, and God’s knowledge will bring precious and pleasant riches in the spiritual sense and often in the material sense. God’s blessing is on the home that seeks and honors His wisdom. Wisdom strengthens, lack of wisdom results in folly.

Verses 11-12: Help those on their way to destruction
“Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.”

Verses 15-20: The resilience of the righteous
“For a righteous man may fall seven times, and rise again. . .”

Verses 21-22: Respect for God and king.
“My son, fear the LORD and the king . . .”

Verses 23-25: The importance of true justice.
“It is not good to show partiality in judgment. . .”

Verse 27: Order your work wisely.
“Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; And afterward build your house.”
Work should be done with proper planning and in the proper order.

Verses 30-34 The tragedy of the lazy man.
“I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense. . .”
The lazy man did not plant the thorns or nettles, and he did not deliberately break down the stone wall. Yet his laziness made these things happen just as much as if he had deliberately done them. the spiritual sluggard has a neglected spirit - barren, instead of being sown with the seeds of grace becomes overgrown with thorns and nettles.

• Application
Build your life with God’s wisdom, and you will be fruitful and prosperous physically and spiritually.

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