Have you ever seen the set of wooden dolls which fit one inside another inside another inside another… and so on. There may be ten stacked inside one another. They are called matryoshka nesting dolls. They do not look like much when they are stacked inside one another, but watch how much is there as you unpack it and spread them out. Proverbs strikes me much the same way. If we are not careful, we may just read quickly over a chapter of Proverbs, saying… “that is nice” or “that is clever” and never really internalize the wisdom it contains. We should take our time to prayerfully consider the warnings and wisdom contained in each chapter. Carefully unpack each verse and consider it. Do not hurry. Appreciate each one for the wisdom it contains and take a few moments to consider how it applies to your life.
Precepts and Warnings
1Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
2For their minds devise violence,
And their lips talk of trouble.
3By wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
4And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.
5A wise man is strong,
And a man of knowledge increases power.
6For by wise guidance you will wage war,
And in abundance of counselors there is victory.
7Wisdom is too exalted for a fool,
He does not open his mouth in the gate.
8One who plans to do evil,
Men will call a schemer.
9The devising of folly is sin,
And the scoffer is an abomination to men.
10If you are slack in the day of distress,
Your strength is limited.
11Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
12If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work?
13My son, eat honey, for it is good,
Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste;
14Know that wisdom is thus for your soul;
If you find it, then there will be a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.
15Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not destroy his resting place;
16For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.
17Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18Or the LORD will see it and be displeased,
And turn His anger away from him.
19Do not fret because of evildoers
Or be envious of the wicked;
20For there will be no future for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.
21My son, fear the LORD and the king;
Do not associate with those who are given to change,
22For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin that comes from both of them?
23These also are sayings of the wise.
To show partiality in judgment is not good.
24He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him;
25But to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.
26He kisses the lips
Who gives a right answer.
27Prepare your work outside
And make it ready for yourself in the field;
Afterwards, then, build your house.
28Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
And do not deceive with your lips.
29Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work.”
30I passed by the field of the sluggard
And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense,
31And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles;
Its surface was covered with nettles,
And its stone wall was broken down.
32When I saw, I reflected upon it;
I looked, and received instruction.
33“A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest,”
34Then your poverty will come as a robber
And your want like an armed man.
Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.