Giving an Answer Before He Hears (Notes on Proverbs)

My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs

The following is an excerpt from the book, My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs.

He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him” (18:13). James wrote, “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger” (James 1:19). It is easy to jump to conclusions before understanding a matter. When we do this, we inevitably say things that are incorrect and unwise. Therefore, the wise man will wait to speak and pass judgment on a matter until after he knows the whole picture. A few verses after this, Solomon says, “The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him” (18:17). If we speak without a complete understanding of the facts, we may find ourselves to have made an error in judgment, thus bringing “folly and shame” to ourselves.

You can read more comments on the book of Proverbs in My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

Have You Found Honey? (Notes on Proverbs)

My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs

The following is an excerpt from the book, My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs.

Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, that you not have it in excess and vomit it” (25:16). Self-control is not only necessary in order to refrain from doing things that are wrong. It is also necessary to control our use of those things which are good. It is true that one can have too much of a good thing. Honey is good. In describing the great blessings of the promised land, the Lord called it “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8). But even though it was one of the good things of the land, Solomon says, “It is not good to eat much honey” (25:27). We sometimes hear the phrase, “everything in moderation.” Of course, this would not apply to things that are sinful in themselves. But of those things that are good, we must exercise self-control so that we do not overuse or abuse the good things with which God has blessed us.

You can read more comments on the book of Proverbs in My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

More Hope for a Fool (Notes on Proverbs)

My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs

The following is an excerpt from the book, My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs.

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (26:12). The one who is “wise in his own eyes” is the one who has rejected divine wisdom for the “way which seems right” to him (14:12; 16:25). He is contrasted with the fool in this passage. Therefore, we must understand the “fool” of this verse to be one who simply lacks wisdom, not one who has rejected wisdom. Because he only lacks wisdom, there is hope for him that if he can receive the right instruction, he can acquire wisdom. However, for one who is “wise in his own eyes,” in his arrogance he sees no need to listen, learn, or acquire godly wisdom, even though his deficiency of wisdom will be apparent to others. Solomon offers two examples to illustrate this point. “The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can give a discreet answer” (26:16). Though the impoverished and miserable condition of the sluggard is apparent to those who know him, in his arrogance he cannot see the need to change anything about his life. “The rich man is wise in his own eyes, but the poor who has understanding sees through him” (28:11). The rich man of this verse is not a righteous man who happens to be blessed with riches. He is a rich man who puts his trust in riches. This rich man may believe that he is fully self-sufficient and that his prosperity is a sign that he has more than enough wisdom on his own and needs no wisdom from God. Yet the poor man who has understanding (divine wisdom) will be able to see the folly of the rich man’s arrogance.

You can read more comments on the book of Proverbs in My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

In the Fear of the Lord There is Strong Confidence (Notes on Proverbs)

My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs

The following is an excerpt from the book, My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs.

In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge” (14:26). We have already noticed that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” and “wisdom” (1:7; 9:10). As one fears God, grows in knowledge, and gains wisdom, he is able to have “strong confidence” – not in himself, but in God and the divine promises to those who are faithful to Him. This is not arrogance, as some who are over confident in themselves, but rather is the recognition that if one humbly submits to the will of God, he will be rewarded. Furthermore, when one is faithful to God, he will not have a guilty conscience over some hidden sin. He will not be fearfully awaiting the negative consequences that come from wickedness, not knowing when his evil deeds will finally catch up with him. Solomon later writes, “The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (28:1). With firm reliance upon God and His promises and providence, the righteous are able to be confident in the face of any situation. The wicked have no such foundation. Therefore, any time there is even the threat of trouble, the wicked man has no one to trust in but himself.

You can read more comments on the book of Proverbs in My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

His Own Iniquities Will Capture the Wicked (Notes on Proverbs)

My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs

The following is an excerpt from the book, My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs.

His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin. He will die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray” (5:22-23). One of the lies of sin is to convince us that we are still in control, rather than sin becoming master over us. But sins (iniquities) capture, or bind, us. Paul later wrote, “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” (Romans 6:16). When we pursue sin, rather than righteousness or divine wisdom, we become slaves of sin. The end result is that we “die for lack of instruction.” This shows us that God’s instruction teaches us to repudiate sin. Many believe that sin is tolerable because it cannot cause a child of God to be lost. This idea is false. The word of God plainly teaches us to avoid sin (cf. Titus 2:12). Therefore, if one ignores this instruction and chooses to live without it, he will be captured by his iniquities, which will ultimately result in death – either physical death (as is Solomon’s primary point) or, as we extend the application, spiritual death (Romans 6:23).

You can read more comments on the book of Proverbs in My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!