Let’s look at Proverbs 22 now. The Thirty Sayings of the Wise begin in verse 17. These are mainly multiple verse units that have a particular context. They speak to something specific. I wasn’t familiar with these Thirty Sayings when I read through Proverbs in the past. Now that I am studying Proverbs more in depth though, I see them and what each saying covers. I noticed these sayings start in Chapter 22. It is similar to the way I have covered themes in each chapter. They are just numbered and called “Sayings.” They aren’t given any specific theme name.
It is so valuable to have a good reputation. To be known by something good is very important especially instead of known for something negative. I’m sure that you have noticed that the proud, the wicked and foolish are all negative, whereas the generous, humble, prudent, wise, righteous, pure, etc, are all positive characteristics to be known for. Have you figured out yet, what you are already known for and what you need to work on more? This is such a great reason to study the book of Proverbs!
Verse 1 “A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”
The Generous, Humble And Pure In Heart
We will be blessed when we are humble! The rewards are riches and honor and life, according to Verse 4. The king values and loves the one with a pure heart and speaks with grace!
Verse 9 “The generous will themselves be blessed,
for they share their food with the poor.”
Verse 11 “One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace
will have the king for a friend.”
Verse 4 “Humility is the fear of the Lord;
its wages are riches and honor and life.”
We sure have read much about the one who stirs up trouble, haven’t we? Verse 10 tells us to drive out the mocker, then strife(fighting, division) will go away! The problems like fighting will end! A person who is under God’s wrath falls into the pit like an adulterous woman’s mouth! We read about the adulterous woman and how easy her words and her mouth, bring men to trouble earlier in Proverbs.
Verse 10 “Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;
quarrels and insults are ended.”
Verse 8 “Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity,
and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.”
Verse 14 “The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit;
a man who is under the Lord’s wrath falls into it.”
The prudent, the wise prevent themselves from getting into trouble. They see danger ahead and they don’t want to deal with bad consequences. Those who are simple(the foolish), don’t pay any attention to what they could face when they make bad decisions. Verse 7 is real good how it tells us that “the rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender.” This really is true! When we are in debt, we do feel in bondage. If we aren’t able to pay our debt, we can have items taken away, we can have bad credit and it is hard because we can’t do even good things for our families and others when we have debt to pay off. It is very relieving to pay off debt! I highly recommend Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey!
Verse 3 “The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”
Verse 5 “In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls,
but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.”
Verse 7 “The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is slave to the lender.”
As a parent, I can attest to how true these verses are! Verse 6 though sometimes, I don’t understand exceptions, like how old they are when “they will not turn from it”. I know that we have done our best, though as imperfect parents, we made mistakes but we did try to teach our kids godliness and expose them to the Lord at a very young age. Foolishness is in our hearts as a young child, but discipline will drive it far away. It is important to use discipline to teach our kids the right way. Some people do and some don’t believe in spanking. I do, but there are also other ways to teach and correct our kids. Not every method works for each child the same way. We have to find what works and teach them.
Verse 15 “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.”
Verse 6 “Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
Those who are selfish, they hurt the poor to make themselves better and gives to the rich, will find themselves in poverty themselves someday.
Verse 16 “One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth
and one who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty”
We have read about the lazy, the sluggard before. They often expect everyone else to do something for them, instead of taking care of their responsibilities themselves.
Verse 13 “The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside!
I’ll be killed in the public square!””
The Lord, His Role In The Life Of People
The Lord created both the rich and the poor! He knows all and sees all! There is not one better than the other in His eyes. He watches over knowledge, He confuses, He frustrates the words of the unfaithful.
Verse 2 “Rich and poor have this in common:
The Lord is the Maker of them all.”
Verse 12 “The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.”
Thirty Sayings Of The Wise
Saying #1 Verses 17-21
Pay Attention, what did I tell you?
Saying #2 Verses 22-23
Don’t mistreat the poor! The Lord will take up for them, for their situation! God will deal with you according to how you treat the poor.
Saying # 3 Verses 24-25
Don’t make friends with someone who is hot-tempered and angry. You may learn their habits and get yourself in trouble!
Saying #4 Verses 26-27
Be careful what you pledge, what you sign for! If you use your possessions as collateral, they will be taken from you if you can’t pay! Even your own bed will be taken from you!
Saying #5 Verse 28
Don’t change contracts or covenants which were set up years ago, with your ancestors. Keep these agreements whether they were oral or written. This honors your forefathers! It includes land boundaries.
Saying #6 Verse 29
People who are skilled in their work will work for kings, they will not serve for officials of low rank. (I take this to mean in today’s culture, that people who are skilled and work hard, will work for higher authority and more professional people instead of low ranking jobs).