Growing with God’s Word in Wisdom and Strength
Proverbs 24:1-34: With twelve more wise sayings, today’s reading concludes the section of thirty wise sayings. The thirtieth saying (verse 21) again emphasizes the importance of having reverence for the LORD. The chapter then contains more sayings that include advice on how to act and what to say in matters involving legal judgments.
Being wise is better than being strong; yes, knowledge is more important than strength.
1Don't be envious of evil people, and don't try to make friends with them.2Causing trouble is all they ever think about; every time they open their mouth someone is going to be hurt.
3Homes are built on the foundation of wisdom and understanding.4Where there is knowledge, the rooms are furnished with valuable, beautiful things.
5Being wise is better than being strong; yes, knowledge is more important than strength.6After all, you must make careful plans before you fight a battle, and the more good advice you get, the more likely you are to win.
7Wise sayings are too deep for stupid people to understand. They have nothing to say when important matters are being discussed.
8If you are always planning evil, you will earn a reputation as a troublemaker.9Any scheme a fool thinks up is sinful. People hate a person who has nothing but scorn for others.
10If you are weak in a crisis, you are weak indeed.
11Don't hesitate to rescue someone who is about to be executed unjustly.12You may say that it is none of your business, but God knows and judges your motives. He keeps watch on you; he knows. And he will reward you according to what you do.
13My child, eat honey; it is good. And just as honey from the comb is sweet on your tongue,14you may be sure that wisdom is good for the soul. Get wisdom and you have a bright future.
15Don't be like the wicked who scheme to rob honest people or to take away their homes.16No matter how often honest people fall, they always get up again; but disaster destroys the wicked.
17Don't be glad when your enemies meet disaster, and don't rejoice when they stumble.18The Lord will know if you are gloating, and he will not like it; and then maybe he won't punish them.
19Don't let evil people worry you; don't be envious of them.20A wicked person has no future—nothing to look forward to.
21Have reverence for the Lord, my child, and honor the king. Have nothing to do with people who rebel against them;22such people could be ruined in a moment. Do you realize the disaster that God or the king can cause?
23The wise have also said these things:
It is wrong for judges to be prejudiced.24If they pronounce a guilty person innocent, they will be cursed and hated by everyone.25Judges who punish the guilty, however, will be prosperous and enjoy a good reputation.
26An honest answer is a sign of true friendship.
27Don't build your house and establish a home until your fields are ready, and you are sure that you can earn a living.
28Don't give evidence against others without good reason, or say misleading things about them.29Don't say, “I'll do to them just what they did to me! I'll get even with them!”
30I walked through the fields and vineyards of a lazy, stupid person.31They were full of thorn bushes and overgrown with weeds. The stone wall around them had fallen down.32I looked at this, thought about it, and learned a lesson from it:33 Go ahead and take your nap; go ahead and sleep. Fold your hands and rest awhile,34but while you are asleep, poverty will attack you like an armed robber.
Reread verses 3 and 4. What does building a home on the foundation of wisdom and understanding mean to you? Do you agree with verse 5 that wisdom and knowledge are better than strength? Why or why not? Does verse 6 provide an adequate answer?
Lord God, you are my rock and my foundation. Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding come from you alone. Teach me to follow your teachings always. Amen.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-18: The Philosopher describes his view of life.