Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Proverbs 22:1-16

1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; 

to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

2 Rich and poor have this in common: 

The LORD is the Maker of them all.

3 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, 

but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

4 Humility and the fear of the LORD 

bring wealth and honor and life.

5 In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares, 

but he who guards his soul stays far from them.

6 Train a child in the way he should go, 

and when he is old he will not turn from it.

7 The rich rule over the poor, 

and the borrower is servant to the lender.

8 He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, 

and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.

9 A generous man will himself be blessed, 

for he shares his food with the poor.

10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; 

quarrels and insults are ended.

11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious 

will have the king for his friend.

12 The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge, 

but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.

13 The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside!" 

or, "I will be murdered in the streets!"

14 The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; 

he who is under the LORD's wrath will fall into it.

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, 

but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.

16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth 

and he who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.

Questions to consider:
  • Summarize the characteristics of the (a) righteous and wise man, and the (b) wicked and foolish man.
  • Can you recall a situation in your life where the proverbs you’ve memorized and read have been helpful?
  • Memorize another proverb!

Possibilities for prayer:

Verse 2 in this passage strikes me as rather humbling. We all have things, accomplishments, in our lives of which we are proud. We all have moments when we look down on another person, or judge someone for doing or saying something of which we don’t approve. But this particular proverb reminds us of the way in which we are all the same, no matter our successes or failures, our wealth or poverty. God is our maker, no matter who we are. Today, let’s ask God to give us humble hearts, to teach us to not see ourselves as better than those around us, and to value the goodness of each person as a creation of God.