21 April, 2002 PM
PLACE: BBC Blarney
Verse: Prov 4:7 Lesson
Verse: Prov 11:30
A. From Chapter 20, until Chapter 25, God lays out a direct comparison of the following thoughts – contrasting, and comparing them over and over
Refuses Reproof and Correction
The Shameful and lazy
Talks a lot
Short and Wasted Life
B. God constantly explains that there are some things that are just plain smart (wise) to have integrated into our lives – into our ways of thinking
C. That’s what this chapter, and the several ones to follow are all about
D. These chapters are like a classroom for the Christian in moral development – character development – discerning what is right and wrong
E. It shows clear lines of distinction between things that are good in our lives, and things that are bad – things that help, and things that hurt – things that please God, and things that please the devil!
F. There are a load of results/rewards for living a righteous life – a godly life. And there are a lot of results to living and ungodly life
G. Let it be said, that it is not an impossible thing to live your life rightly – if it were not possible, then this Book is a waste of time (2Tim 3:16,17)
Message – The Fruit of a Righteous Life (Proverbs 11)
A. The Wisdom of Having a Right Balance (Pr 11:1; Dt 25:13,14; Lev 19:35,36; Ex 30:13)
1. In Business
a. No cheating customers
b. No cheating companies
c. No cheating the government
2. In the Home
a. Fair rules – graduated responsibility and freedom
b. Consistency by the parents – the kids need to know that you live consistently – not perfectly
c. Have time for the necessary things for a home to thrive
1) Rest – set aside times just for doing nothing
2) Bible – devotions, prayer time, Bible study
3) Eating - not rushed, and together as a family!
4) Hard work as well
3. In Your Body
a. Some exercise (1Tim 4:8)
b. Heavy on the Godliness
c. Personal ministry to others – instead of time alone
d. Eat right – balanced meals, healthy meals
e. Rest right – don’t waste time in front of TV, or empty tasks
4. In your Mind
a. Do you ever focus on your problems you face?
b. Spend just as much time on the blessings – thank God for the good things in your life!
c. Do you have discouragements? Disappointments? Frustrations?
d. Balance each out with
1) Encouraging thoughts
2) Things that show that God is for you – meditate on Scripture
3) Things that you are satisfied with – get satisfied with everything the Lord has provided!
5. In the Church
a. Not just Sunday morning Christians
b. Not just takers – Dead Seas
c. But Givers
d. And Pray-ers
e. And Workers – so that pastor is not doing the most
6. If we are imbalanced in these areas, we make God sick!
B. The Wisdom of Right Attitudes – specifically, Lowliness (11:2)
1. Lowliness is an attitude of OTHERS FIRST
2. You actually are happy enough to make someone else happy
3. You find your happiness in making someone else happy
4. This was the attitude of four people in the Bible
a. Jesus (Zech 9:9; Mt 11:28,29)
b. David (Ps 51:1-4) after sinning – his problem was two fold:
1) Focusing on self needs only
2) Holding on to his pride and prestige
c. Nebuchadnezzar – had to be brought low so he could be saved (Dan 4)
d. Christians (Philp 2:3)
C. The Wisdom Of Being People Of Integrity (11:3; 19:1; 20:7)
1. Meaning: Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.
2. Someone who keeps their word – their promises because they know God expects them to
3. Other words –
b. Moral strength
c. The New Testament word for it is BLAMELESS
4. This is one of the most important things that sets a Christian apart from the world – our determination to do right
5. Christians are to be people who:
a. Stay out of trouble! Don’t invite trouble into their lives!
b. Keep their promises
c. Are moral in their decisions – not reactionary – only do what feels good, or comes “naturally”
d. Work their back-end off in everything they set out to do (Eccl 9:10)
6. Some examples of people of integrity
a. Job (Job 1:1; 2:3)
b. Daniel – promised his God that he would pray, and so he prayed, even when it became against the law
7. Make some promises to God (vows) and then KEEP them!
8. A person of integrity is not a person who never fails – but one that when they fail, they face it, repent of it, fix it, and go on! They never let their failures become their lives – their lives are built upon truth and right.
D. The Wisdom of having Personal Righteousness (11:4-7)
1. It Delivers from death – from early death – gives long life – keeps you out of trouble
2. It Directs your ways – limits your options/choices
a. Living right is kind of limiting in a way
b. But it is also very liberating, because it makes life much simpler
c. EX: being allergic to all desserts except apple pie – so your choice for dessert is easy!
d. Not that all of life has only ONE choice, but that it is usually pretty restricted for a Christian!
3. Delivers you from naughtiness (from all the troubles that are devised against you)
a. The devil devises our demise
b. Right living, defeats the devil because he needs you to sin for him to win
4. Right living is contrasted with:
a. Those who trust in riches instead of righteousness (Mt 6:33)
b. Those who are trapped by their own sins and sinfulness
c. Those who have no fulfilment of their expectations (Mt 7:13)
d. Those who have no hope
e. Those who reap for their sin
f. Millions of people go from
1) Mass to misery
2) Baptism to banishment from God
3) Riches to wrath at death
4) Pleasure to pain
5) Hope to Hell
6) All because their righteousness is not enough (Mt 5:20)
E. The Wisdom of Right Expectations – Soon Deliverance (11:8)
1. No matter what you do go through… It is not the end
2. For the Christian, we have the rapture to look forward to – deliverance from this present world – no matter if it IS getting wickeder, and filthier (looking darker and more impossible to get through)
3. Jacob’s trouble is coming (Jer 30:7) – the time of 7 years of trouble, to get the Jews saved, and to pay back the world for its rejection of Jesus Christ
4. Christians will miss it all – AMEN!
5. Every morning you need to get into the mental habit of looking out at the sky and saying, Even so, Come Lord Jesus! It could be today. If not, then I know it will be soon!
Semi-Conclusion – A Christian is a smart person, because their wisdom
A. The Wisdom of Having a Right Balance
B. The Wisdom of Right Attitudes
C. The Wisdom Of Being People Of Integrity
D. The Wisdom of having Personal Righteousness
E. The Wisdom of Right Expectations
Part Two of the Lesson
A. The Wisdom of Right Words (11:9,11)
1. Your mouth will either help, or destroy people
2. A hypocrite only looks out for himself, and in the process destroys everyone else to protect themselves
3. Right words mean everything – right words are knowing what to say
a. Right words bless – cities, people, churches
b. Right words deliver you from troubles
c. Lying, and deceiving will only be found out
d. The mouth of the wicked (politicians, evil men, and women) will only destroy cities
1) Radio talk show hosts
2) TV soaps
4) All results in making our cities what they are today – hell-holes!
4. Make sure that right words pour forth from your lips – safe words are
a. Bible words (Josh 1:8)
1) “You are a blessing!”
2) “What an answer to prayer this is!”
3) “God is so good to have worked all this out!”
4) “Excellent!” (Ps 8)
5) “Amen!” instead of “Right on!” or “Yeah dude!”
b. Clean words
c. Simple words
B. The Wisdom of Deference (11:10,11) – making things different, clearly different (the norm is to make everything just shades of grey)
1. Equal rights is not right
a. The rights of the victim outweigh the rights of the criminal
b. The rights of the obedient outweigh the rights of the rebellious
c. The rights of the offended outweigh the rights of the offender (Mt 17:27; 18:6; Rom 14:21)
2. Honour the righteous –the righteous need to take a stand!
3. Or else the wicked will take the stage (28:12, 28)
4. Condemn the wicked – don’t ignore them – rebuke them (Eph 5:11)
a. Cities will again rejoice instead of mourn under the grip of:
2) Totalitarian state – police state
b. Capital punishment is right to have – condemning the wicked, and protecting the innocent (Rom 13:4)
1) How much is a life worth?
2) 7 years? That’s the average time murderers spend in prison
3) The issue is not deterrence – it is justice – and GOD determines what is just and right – it will match our conscience
4) God established capital punishment for wilful murder (Gen 9:6, 12)
5) It is to be the equalling force against evil doers (Ex 21:12-15; Lev 24:17-23; Num 35:9-34)
6) There are crimes that are worthy of death (Acts 25:10-12)
7) There is a difference between wilful murder, and accidental murder (man-slaughter)
8) It is not for revenge – but retribution – the fulfilment of God’s requirements, not our own needs!
9) It is to be carried out only by the civil government
Part Three of the Lesson
A. The Wisdom of a being a Good Neighbour (11:12)
1. We take our neighbours for granted – God places you among people just like He places you under parents – they are to be respected
2. Treat them with respect (3:28; 14:21)
3. Protect them (3:29) – very important!
4. Stay away from opportunities to violate trust of neighbours (6:29)
5. God gave you a neighbour to keep you honest (18:17)
6. Never go against your neighbour unless it is very serious (24:28; 25:8)
7. Don’t gossip to your neighbours (25:9) – if you have a problem with someone, go to them only about it!
8. Don’t wear out your welcome (25:17)
a. They will open their doors to you, but don’t make them like you!
b. If they do like you, go out of your way to not be a burden
9. Never lie about your neighbours (25:18) – it makes you out to be only cruel – a bully
10. Don’t joke about your neighbours to your neighbours (26:18,19)
11. Let your neighbour be a blessing to you, instead of only your family (27:10)
12. Don’t beat around the bush with your neighbour about things – they know you – so, be straight up with them (29:5)
13. All this is part of the second commandment – love thy neighbour!
14. Just WHO are your neighbours?
a. Those nearest to you that aren’t family
b. Those whom you come in contact with in life
c. Those you don’t come in contact with, you are not primarily responsible for
d. Nevertheless, Jesus commands us to go and find folks ANYWHERE, and treat even THEM as your neighbour – give them the Gospel
15. Jesus is the epitome of a Good Neighbour!
B. The Wisdom of Carefulness (11:13) – about what you say
1. A Talebearer is a tale-teller, a gossiper
a. These words only hurt other people (18:8) – you may THINK it is beneficial, but you had better be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and shut up if you think what you say may hurt someone
b. The gossiper will have few friends (20:19)
c. The gossiper is the source of a lot of strife (26:20)
1) Strife in homes between husbands and wives
2) Strife on the job – talking about the boss, about each other, and the peculiar things people do, etc. Always pride!
3) Especially at school! Favourite pastime is always talking about other people – it is very wicked!
4) How is it that a gossiper has so much power?
a) Because people listen to feelings, and to others instead of to God’s word
b) Because people in the flesh are looking for a reason to NOT do what God says (love your wife, etc), and gossip about a person’s past, or their actions today may be just what you are looking for!
2. Gossiping is about revealing things that probably were told in secret
3. A Christian may hear something that is a secret, and should keep it such – part of being a careful hearer
4. To go blabbing about something secret is defiling of the hearer
5. You had better realize just how important even your idle words are to God (Mt 12:36)
6. A faithful spirit is one that
a. May hear secrets
b. But is responsible with the information
c. He conceals the matter
d. Unless it is life and death – there is a time to speak
7. There is so much more honour in keeping your mouth closed, instead of always talking – feeling like you must say something always
8. Jesus was always extremely careful about what he said about what he knew
a. See John 8:1-11. Jesus knew exactly what had gone on in the adulterous situation, and kept quiet – was careful
b. When Satan accuses us to God, Jesus KNOWS all about it, and because of the blood that he shed for EVERY sin, He shuts the devil up – even though He KNOWS we are guilty (Rev 12:10)!
C. The Wisdom of Right Counsel (11:14)
1. Counsel is instruction from someone wiser than yourself - not dumber
2. When people don’t seek counsel (what should I do? should I do this, or this? How much should I charge?) they fall:
a. They fall into the trap of pride – to big to be sorry
b. They fall into the trap of discouragement
c. They fall into temptations that they should have conquered
3. Seek not just one person, but a bunch of wise people’s advice
a. When finding a mate
b. When moving
c. When seeking if God is calling you into the ministry
d. When in trouble
4. Notice the wisdom of right counsel
a. Listening to counsel enables you to one day GIVE counsel (1:5; 12:15; 19:20)
b. Counsel originates with God (8:14; 19:21)
c. God’s word is the source of all counsel (22:20) – anybodies’ counsel that is good will agree with the Bible
d. There are right counsellors (20:18)
e. And there are wrong, or bad counsellors (12:5)
f. Right counsel will first attempt to make peace (12:20) – MARK THIS DOWN (Heb 12:14; Rom 12:18)
g. Right goals in your life are obtained not by will-power, but by listening to wise counsel (15:22) – wait power!
h. The best friend you have will try and counsel you – not just let you do what you want (27:9) – spoiled Christians, like babies
5. Jesus IS right counsel (Pr 8:14). So:
a. Seek wisdom first from above (James 1:5)
b. And then from faithful Christians who are worthy of respect
D. Concluding thoughts:
1. You CAN be a good neighbour, if you:
a. Treat them like Jesus would
b. Live openly a Christian life – don’t hide your relationship with Jesus
c. Go out of your way to always be a blessing to them, as much as is possible
2. You CAN be Careful with your mouth
a. If you think it matters what you say (Mt 12:36)
b. If your mouth gets saved and not just your soul (Gal 4:19)
3. You CAN always find right counsel –the problem is LIVING by it
a. Trust the counsel of God’s word
b. Obey the right counsel of godly people in your lives
E. The Wisdom of Staying Away from Suretiship (11:15)
1. We learned this back in Pr 6:1
2. Surety is a personal guaranty
3. When a person becomes guarantor for someone else, it is they who will usually end up paying!
4. People need to take responsibility for their own bills
a. Not the church
b. Or the government
5. That’s why the Bible says to GIVE, not lend – lending makes people become owners of other people
6. That’s also why God says to a MAN, WORK!
7. It is ok to co-sign for a very good friend, but realize:
a. Friends and money don’t mix
b. Friends are separated by problems with money – is that what you want? It destroys many a marriage!
c. Family is made for suretiship, but be careful parents! Make sure the child is a worker, and trustworthy!
F. The Wisdom of Graciousness in a Woman (11:16a)
1. This is one of the greatest characteristics of the Lord – this is the greatest opportunity of a woman to be like Christ (Jn 1:14-17; Ps 145:8)
a. Nothing suits a woman more than the ability to be a blessing to others out of a motive of grace, and not manipulation!
b. See the example of Rebecca RUNNING to water ten camels (Gen 24:20)
c. See also the example of the woman pouring her alabaster box full of ointment on Jesus (Mt 26:10-13)
d. Grace is undeserved kindness – and God intends for a godly woman to show undeserved kindness to
1) Her husband
2) Her children
3) Her neighbours
4) Her guests
2. This is a taught characteristic – not natural (Titus 2:3-5)
3. She is gracious (full of grace) in the following areas:
a. Her words – soft, careful, measured, full of grace – yet solid
b. Her ways – full of grace, not ram-rodding her will
c. Her works – they are beautiful on purpose – not just a job to do
d. Her worship – very gentle, and easily broken – not stiff-necked, and unbending like unsaved men.
4. Matches the NT church – supposed to be full of grace (Heb 13:9)
5. NOTE: Because churches have only focused on women and grace, they have forsaken TRUTH, and gotten out of balance, and now women are BRASH and PROUD and very HARD!
G. The Wisdom of Strength in a Man (11:16b)
1. A man needs to be a man
2. Areas of strength that need to be nurtured and developed
a. Leadership – making of right decisions
b. Love – firm commitment – not self-gratification
c. Hard work – not being given everything they want – MAKE THEM WORK!
3. It is STRONG men who hold onto riches
a. The world is out to rob men of the riches of
1) Purity – undefiled minds
3) The Bible – replacing it with only TV and music, etc
4) Good health – replacing it with cigarettes, cigars, booze, VD
b. Strong men will HOLD ONTO their riches (Rev 3:11)
4. How to raise up a strong generation of men
a. Honour strength
1) Stop honouring tears, and effeminate feelings – stop making men feel guilty for being MEN!
2) Start honouring children for attempting to do RIGHT
3) Teach boys especially to hate sin, and love God
b. Hone strength – do manly things – camping, working hard, earning money, leading
c. Hold back strength – the strongest man is not the one who always proves it, but who knows it, and will not use all their strength because it may hurt someone else. Jesus is the example!
H. The Wisdom of Mercy (11:17)
1. What is mercy?
a. The opposite of cruelty
b. Not giving what another person deserves – holding back!
c. It is over-looking some sins, and failures in another person
2. Jesus commends mercy in His people (Mt 5:7)
a. Mercy enables a person to be able to sleep with a good conscience
b. Mercy ensures that you will receive mercy from God
3. This is one of the greatest inner qualities of a person (1Pet 4:8)
4. A great example of mecry is Joseph towards his brethren!
5. God’s MERCY is the MAIN attribute of God throughout the Old Testament (Ps 130:3,4; Lam 3:22)
6. Mercy is part of a trinity of mind-sets
d. All three are present throughout all of history
7. Cruelty takes over the heart of the unmerciful person and ruins
a. Body - health
b. Family (Eph 5:30) –it’s like a cancer in a family and community
c. An example of this is Pharaoh against the Jews as slaves
8. When do we need mercy?
a. At salvation
b. In the body – amongst each other
c. In the world – show some mercy on people who are going to hell – don’t help them along – that’s why Christian’s don’t fight unless absolutely necessary
I. The Concept of Sowing Righteousness (11:18-21,23)
1. Sowing – planting – long-term investing the efforts of a life for either good, or for evil
2. Those investments will one day pay off, and pay off big (Gal 6:7,8)
a. You reap WHAT you sow
b. You reap later than you sow
c. You reap MORE than you sow
3. The wicked person’s life
a. Covers their actions so they DON’T get caught and exposed, and lose out on their designed goal
b. Results in:
1) Making God sick – an abomination is something filthy and vile (11:20) – forward is crooked, deceitful, unreal!
2) Getting punished
3) Paying the ultimate price for sin – death (Rom 6:23)
4) No matter if the whole world joins together against God’s spiritual laws (11:21)
a) Points to the general trend Back to Babel (Isa 8:9,12-14)
b) This world will hurt for all the anti-God programming that it is investing in!
4. The righteous person - A life of righteousness – godly living (Titus 2:11-15) will result in:
a. A better life – better quality of life
b. A longer life
c. A spiritual life – one that God is part of
d. A rewarded life – this effort we put out is not charity – God will pay us back
e. A satisfied life (19:23)
f. A delighted God (11:20)
g. Deliverance from trouble God has to bring on the wicked (11:21)
5. The danger of having ONLY a righteous life and not a righteous Saviour!
a. Mt 5:20
b. Titus 3:5
c. Rom 3:20,28
d. Gal 2:16
e. Eph 2:8,9