Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is perverse in his speech and is a [self-confident] fool. v. 1 (Amplified Bible)
â€˜Integrityâ€™ means I have a set of values that guides my life. It is personal much like my relationship with Jesus. Some would equate it with their â€œgood nameâ€. The values do define who I am. Integrity has no price. It cannot be bought or compromised.
Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes. v. 2 (NLT)
I have heard some wise people say, â€œThe Spirit without the Word â€“ you will blow up!â€ and â€œThe Word without the Spirit â€“ you will freeze up!â€ and finally, â€œThe Spirit and Word together â€“ you grow up!â€ Jesus said He did not come to get rid of the Law but to complete it (Matthew 5:17). And Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit in a promise (John 14:16). As His disciples, Jesus shows me that I am to temper my zeal with the knowledge of His wisdom. Moving ahead of His timing is just as disobedient as dragging my feet and not moving.
People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord. v. 3 (NLT)
Oh, how often I have found myself in my prayers telling God what my plans are â€¦ and then asking Him to bless them! A wise friend offered a prayer a few years ago that has stuck with me. â€œLord, may I come along side Your plans.â€ When I come toward Godâ€™s plan, then I am moving in the right direction. Moving down lifeâ€™s path my way is foolish and when it doesnâ€™t work â€“ itâ€™s always easier to blame someone else â€“ even God. Taking responsibility for my mistakes, my sins, is the beginning of repentance which turns me in Godâ€™s direction and brings blessings of forgiveness and restoration.
He who gets wisdom loves his own soul. He who keeps understanding shall find good. v. 8 (WEB)
Solomon repeats again the words of Proverbs 4:7. Must be important!
A foolish child is a calamity to a father; a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.
Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth, but only the Lord can give an understanding wife. v. 13-14 (NLT)
God makes an understanding wife. If you hear Henry say that he is blessed by me, all the thanks goes to God! God has truly changed me like the potter changes a lump of clay into what His vision sees in me.
If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord â€” Â and he will repay you! v. 17 (NLT)
Mercy to the needy is a loan to God, and God pays back those loans in full. v. 18 (The Message)
What a wonderful promise! And remember: Godâ€™s promises are extravagant. I may think that I am giving but God promises a return on my â€˜investmentâ€™.
Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter end. v. 20 (WEB)
You can make many plans, but the Lordâ€™s purpose will prevail. v. 21 (NLT)
Listen! Listen! Listen! God has been patient to teach me patience. He has taken me around the teaching mountain many times because He wants so much for me to learn His important lessons. It is when I hear His voice and know His purpose in my life that I learn the joy of walking in the middle of His will.
Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm. v. 23 (NLT)
Jesus is my friend but He is also Mighty God. There are days I need that â€˜closer than a brotherâ€™ friendship but I must never forget to Whom I am so close!
If you stop listening to instruction, my son, you will stray from the words of knowledge. v. 27 (WEB)
The word of the day is â€“ LISTEN!