Teacher To Pupil

Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
18 For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have taught you today, even you.
20 Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21 To make you know the certainty of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer him who sent you?

Proverbs 22:17-21 NASB

These verses are the first of a section termed thirty sayings of the wise—also called excellent things. * In this subset, Solomon directly addresses the reader as a particular person and delivers more wise sayings for us to chew on and implement. Again, Solomon says, “Hear the words I am telling you.”

Keep These Words

Solomon pleads with the reader to value his teaching:

  • Your ear must receive and implement it
  • Your heart must function in faith with it
  • Your heart cannot do its job without the ear involved

These words are not for mere learning, but for readiness and a life alert for use. They are wise words we can apply in times of success and failure. Solomon promises a good result if these words are kept in our minds and hearts, ready to be implemented at the proper time.

The Truth of God

These sayings can bolster the believer’s trust in the Lord. They are not like commands of a master to a servant, but ones which the teacher gives the pupil for the benefit of the pupil.

When we know God’s truth, that truth bolsters our faith. Learning these wise sayings and hiding them in our heart is paramount. Be wise and ready to put these jewels to use in times of trials and success. Again, Solomon says, “Hear the words I am telling you.”

Prayer: Father, open my ears that I may hear, open my eyes that I may see, open my heart to learn more and more of your ways.

* Matthew Henry on Proverbs Chapters 22-24, biblehub.com

Train Your Children in God’s Ways

Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek
God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents],
Even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 AMP).

We’ve heard this wise saying many times—godly training is the key for believers in raising a child. Teach God’s ways for your children to last a lifetime. God says the enormous time and energy expended in this is will be rewarding. Prepare your children to know and love Jesus in their youth.

Parents’ Responsibility

This proverb places the action and responsibility upon believing parents to train/teach their children. Believers know the glory and greatness of the Father, his majesty, and overwhelming goodness they have in him. When God gives children to believing parents, much is expected of the parents.

In Ephesians 6:4 Paul gives broad examples of what parents are to do:

  • Teach them from God’s Word on how to live
  • Show them principles of a holy life and talk
  • Bring them up with love and grace not harshness

God Loves Children

Proverbs 22:6 explains the training of your children must be focused on their  ability and talent. Every child is different. Parenting is difficult. Knowing God loves your child is a comfort, but it doesn’t make the job easier. That may be an understatement.

As children enter adulthood they make their own decisions. This is the wonderful and sometimes painful part of parenting. Sadly, many accounts in Scripture document the children falling away after being taught God’s ways.

Trust in the Lord in This

My child, never forget the things I have taught you.
Store my commands in your heart.
If you do this, you will live many years,
and your life will be satisfying (Proverbs 3:1-2 NLT).

Thankfully, many times godly character wins by perseverance, continued guidance of the Word and the Holy Spirit. Prepare your children to know and love Jesus in their youth.

Prayer: Father, help us as parents to know how to be practical in teaching our children your ways. Selah.

 

A Good Name

A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Rich and poor have this in common:
the Lord is the Maker of them all

(Proverbs 22:1,2 NIV).

A good name infers solid character and trustworthiness. Solomon is most noted for much wealth and many wives. God wholly endorsed his credibility. He was noted for requesting God for wisdom- the right thing. Our purpose is to live a life as Jesus would—knowing and serving God.

Right Living

The writers of Proverbs state a name in good standing is important, has enduring power, and shows good character. Being right with God is the foundation for living. Throughout biblical history few people are known to have godly character.

God’s Ways

A good name implies fairness or fair dealing, impartiality, righteous ways, honesty, and integrity. Gospel accounts show Jesus displays all these character traits.

Jesus taught and trained the disciples with compassion through words, and action. They learned rather slowly, so don’t be surprised that learning godly character is a long process, rather than a short one. Our purpose is to live life as Jesus would, serving God.

Prayer: Father, keep me in your Word, the lamp unto my feet. Reveal me how to live solid character and trustworthiness. Selah.

God Examines Our Heart

Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs and examines the hearts
[of people and their motives]
(Proverbs 21:2 AMP).

Twice Solomon makes this statement to make sure the reader understands that the Lord knows what they are thinking and doing (see also Proverbs 16:2). Yes, our desire is to do right. However, we often struggle in how we are to live it out. The Lord wants us to think and do what is right all the time.

Man’s Way

With repetition of Proverbs 16:2, God brings to our attention our self-centered thinking or conceit. Some Bible commentators * say these verses are because the Israelites were prone to waywardness in following God. Today we have thoughts of pleasure, profit, or self-righteous assuming these ways will end in our happiness too.

God’s Examination

As King David said. . . “Examine me, O Lord, and try me; to test my mind and heart” (Psalm 26:2 NASB) We know this Scripture, but do we make it personal? We need to pray this verse. It addresses the inner-man and deep things he already knows even before we do!

As David prayed in Psalm 26, so should we want to have our heart examined by God. This will prayer keep our thoughts and intentions to those God has and not merely ones we conjure up. The Lord wants us to think and do what is right all the time.

Prayer: Father, thank you for loving me even when you see the wrong motives of my heart. Help me to follow your ways, to do and think what is pleases you.

*Proverbs 21:2, Matthew Poole’s Commentary, biblehub.com and Proverbs 21:2, Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, biblehub.com.

 

Eyes and Ears

Ears to hear and eyes to see
both are gifts from the Lord
(Proverbs 20:12 NLT)

Solomon states that these senses are gifts from the Lord! Twenty times in Scripture “eyes and ears” are used together to affirm that God tells his people to hear and see his message. Enjoy God’s gifts. Sharpen your hearing and eyesight to receive what God wants us to do.

God Through Moses

In Deuteronomy 29, God speaks to Moses and makes a Covenant with the sons of Israel. God’s people didn’t understand that he cared for them daily in their difficult journey into the Promised Land. God, through Moses, said they didn’t have eyes to see nor ears to hear what God was doing.

God Through Jesus

In Matthew 13, Jesus tells 8 parables to tell people they have eyes to hear and ears to hear. But, he says they neither hear, nor receive his teaching. Later he explains to the disciples helping them understand. It’s God’s perspective – and better understood now, with the written Word of God.

In Mark 8, Jesus performs the feeding of the 5,000— but the disciples seem to miss the point of the miracle. Jesus explains they saw and heard his miraculous works but they were thinking of actual food — necessary provision. Jesus wants them to receive his teaching — reliance on and provision by God.

Jesus speaks to us today, so listen to him intently. We should know what God wants for us. The Word of God tells us must to appreciate and use every gift he gives us. Sharpen our eyesight and hearing to receive what God wants us to do.

Prayer: Father, thank you for giving me eyes to see and ears to hear. Show me how to understand what your Spirit teaches through your Word.

Scriptures for “eyes to see – ears to hear”: Duet 29:4; 2 Chr 6:40 and 7:15; Ps 34:15; Isa 6:8,11:3,32:3,33:15,35:15, 43:8; Jer 5:21; Ezek 12:2, 40:4, 44:5; Matt 13:15,16; Mark 8:18, Rom 11:8 and 1 Pet 3:2.

Live To Please God

When people live so that they please the Lord,
even their enemies will make peace with them.
(Proverbs 16:7 New Century Version)

How do we live in ways that please the Lord? Obey his commands, seek his face, do no evil, love one another, love your enemies? In short, it may boil down to simply what the Lord requires. We believers must live to please the Lord rather than ourselves.

Please God

What does the Lord require of man? The prophet Micah, wrote succinctly on this matter. He said to do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8 my paraphrase). Solomon’s desire was to please God by asking for the right thing.

The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. For God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or death of your enemies—I will give you what you asked for!” (1 Kings 3:10-12 NLT).

Live for Him

If it can be that simple, how do we miss the mark so often? The New Testament shows many things we can do to please God. The Apostle Paul’s profound instructions to the believers at Colossae helps me. This prayer encourages them and it applies to all believers – then and now.

We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you complete wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit (Colossians 1:9b,10 NLT).

So, do we merely obey God’s commands? No, it’s that and much more, Jesus came and revealed to us the attitudes and actions that please God. We believers must live to please the Lord rather than ourselves.

Prayer: Father, your Word is a revelation on how we should live (as well as an illustration on how not to live). Guide me daily in my walk with you. Selah.

Put God In Charge

Mortals make elaborate plans,
but God has the last word.

Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
God probes for what is good.

Put God in charge of your work,
then what you’ve planned will take place.

and your plans will succeed (Proverbs 16:3 MSG).

The wisdom held in many of Solomon’s wise sayings may astound and confuse a believer. We know God wants us to listen to what he desires for us. To fully commit all that we do and say to the Lord is greater than making our own elaborate plans.

Divine Influence Needed

We may come up with hundreds of schemes that we wish God would bring into effect — but they may not for his good or his glory. Without divine influence, we’re simply begging God to bless our own ideas. *

God Is Perfect

We must keep in mind God’s purpose (through the Word and the Holy Spirit). We want God-imparted ideas and plans. When we carefully listen and read what God wants for us, we can know we’re on the right path, and our works will succeed. Because God is perfect, we can trust him.

To fully commit all that we do and say to the Lord is greater than making our own elaborate plans.

Prayer: Father, help form my thoughts and intentions based on your plans for me. Selah.

* Clarke’s Commentary, Proverbs 16:1-3, biblehub.com,