Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Proverbs 14:18-35

18 The simple inherit folly, 

but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

19 Evil men will bow down in the presence of the good, 

and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

20 The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, 

but the rich have many friends.

21 He who despises his neighbor sins, 

but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.

22 Do not those who plot evil go astray? 

But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.

23 All hard work brings a profit, 

but mere talk leads only to poverty.

24 The wealth of the wise is their crown, 

but the folly of fools yields folly.

25 A truthful witness saves lives, 

but a false witness is deceitful.

26 He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, 

and for his children it will be a refuge.

27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, 

turning a man from the snares of death.

28 A large population is a king's glory, 

but without subjects a prince is ruined.

29 A patient man has great understanding, 

but a quick-tempered man displays folly.

30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, 

but envy rots the bones.

31 He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, 

but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

32 When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, 

but even in death the righteous have a refuge.

33 Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning 

and even among fools she lets herself be known.

34 Righteousness exalts a nation, 

but sin is a disgrace to any people.

35 A king delights in a wise servant, 

but a shameful servant incurs his wrath.

Questions to consider:

  • What is the author’s attitude toward the poor?
  • Compare verse 27 with 13:14 and 10:11.
  • How do verses 34-35 relate to Solomon’s own interests?
  • Try to memorize a proverb. Do you still remember yesterday’s?

Possibilities for prayer:

In verse 31 we see God’s heart for justice. Oppression is compared to showing contempt for God, but kindness to those in need is a way to honor God. Let’s ask for an understanding of what justice can look like in this world, for our hearts to desire to see that justice come to this world, and that we would be finding means of bringing that justice to reality.