“The rich and the poor have this in common, The Lord is the maker of them all.” Proverbs 22:2 NKJV
Today’s reading, and wise sayings, are designed to help us put most basic relational and occupational situations in perspective. And they summarize it right here in the beginning. We are all the same – created beings and God is NOT the same because He is the creator.
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is from the book of Proverbs, chapters 22-24 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).
Now that I work as a “maker” because the popular wording is no longer artist or designer. And people are “creators” and “content creators” – and the class about online marketing that I am taking has changed its name this month to “creator’s circle” when it used to be insiders circle.
As someone who was born very creative and blessed with the talents to accompany they creativity and gifted the opportunity to develop the skills to round things out – all by God’s grace – I have always been careful about participating in such a holy act. Even when I was not serving the Lord – I was careful to not grieve grace in what I chose to paint or create. I did walk the line though, sometimes.
God is a God of order, intention, and purpose. And creation is His. We must know and stay in our place. Unlike His creative and musical angel who thought too highly of his creativity and failed to give glory to God for creating him that way – he tried to take the glory for himself and fell and became our enemy as well as God’s. Choices. We have the same choices.
We are created beings – we ALL have some creativity. Some it is just procreation. Some it is creative and analytical problem solving. So are artist or makers.
But in all of these endeavors we are not really making or creating – we take things and change it and call it creating and making. Only God creates something out of nothing and only His word creates.
Side note for all those persevering in prayer for your prodigal children – I have discussed this very unpopular opinion before, but since it is in today’s reading I thought I would hit the nail one more time. I too am praying for a prodigal (moreover I am a prodigal) so I have much experience with the matter.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
First – Proverbs are wise advice for the general population – not wisdom for specific situations and therefore some of this will not apply to all situations. So it is possible to raise a child right and have them part from it.
Second – this book is not promises or prophecy. God is not promising us that if we raise our children right they will not part and therefore also NOT promising that they will then return to God. Which also means we did not fail as a parent if our child chooses to walk away and not come back.
Third – the context of this verse is about the value of a good family name and how to have and maintain a good family name – family reputation, so to speak. This has nothing to do with children coming back to God.
So – when seeking God for a prodigal child go to the parable on the prodigal. Go to the prophets who spoke of the nation of Israel turning back to God when they went astray. The Bible is full of redemption stories to pull from for your specific promise from God and the right verse to swing like a sword into your specific situation. But this one is not a sword when fighting for the soul of a prodigal.
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is month two of the two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: Proverbs 22-24 NKJV
The Value of a Good Name
22 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
2 The rich and the poor have this in common,
The Lord is the maker of them all.
3 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself,
But the simple pass on and are punished.
4 By humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches and honor and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards his soul will be far from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
[a]And when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender.
8 He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow,[b]
And the rod of his anger will fail.
9 He who has a [c]generous eye will be blessed,
For he gives of his bread to the poor.
10 Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave;
Yes, strife and reproach will cease.
11 He who loves purity of heart
And has grace on his lips,
The king will be his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the faithless.
13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be slain in the streets!”
14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit;
He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there.
15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of correction will drive it far from him.
16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches,
And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.
Sayings of the Wise
17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your heart to my knowledge;
18 For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
Let them all be fixed upon your lips,
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord;
I have instructed you today, even you.
20 Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21 That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
That you may answer words of truth
To those who [d]send to you?
22 Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate;
23 For the Lord will plead their cause,
And plunder the soul of those who plunder them.
24 Make no friendship with an angry man,
And with a furious man do not go,
25 Lest you learn his ways
And set a snare for your soul.
28 Do not remove the ancient [g]landmark
Which your fathers have set.
Listen to Your Father
23 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you;
2 And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man given to appetite.
3 Do not desire his delicacies,
For they are deceptive food.
4 Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
5 [j]Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
6 Do not eat the bread of a[k] miser,
Nor desire his delicacies;
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
8 The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
And waste your pleasant words.
9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10 Do not remove the ancient [l]landmark,
Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11 For their Redeemer is mighty;
He will plead their cause against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction,
And your ears to words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with a rod,
And deliver his soul from [m]hell.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;
16 Yes, my [n]inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak right things.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day;
18 For surely there is a [o]hereafter,
And your hope will not be cut off.
19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.
20 Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
22 Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her who bore you rejoice.
26 My son, give me your heart,
And let your eyes observe my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit,
And a seductress is a narrow well.
28 She also lies in wait as for a victim,
And increases the unfaithful among men.
29 Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it [p]swirls around smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
And your heart will utter perverse things.
34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the [q]midst of the sea,
Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
35 “They have struck me, but I was not hurt;
They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”
Do Not Envy Evil Men
24 Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
2 For their heart devises violence,
And their lips talk of troublemaking.
3 Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
4 By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.
5 A wise man is strong,
Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;
6 For by wise counsel you will wage your own war,
And in a multitude of counselors there is safety.
7 Wisdom is too lofty for a fool;
He does not open his mouth in the gate.
8 He who plots to do evil
Will be called a [r]schemer.
9 The devising of foolishness is sin,
And the scoffer is an abomination to men.
10 If you faint in the day of adversity,
Your strength is small.
11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
12 If you say, “Surely we did not know this,”
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?
13 My son, eat honey because it is good,
And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste;
14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul;
If you have found it, there is a [s]prospect,
And your hope will not be cut off.
15 Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not plunder his resting place;
16 For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again,
But the wicked shall fall by calamity.
17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Lest the Lord see it, and [t]it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him.
19 Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the wicked;
20 For there will be no prospect for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.
21 My son, fear the Lord and the king;
Do not associate with those given to change;
22 For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin those two can bring?
Further Sayings of the Wise
23 These things also belong to the wise:
It is not good to [u]show partiality in judgment.
24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Him the people will curse;
Nations will abhor him.
25 But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.
26 He who gives a right answer kisses the lips.
27 Prepare your outside work,
Make it fit for yourself in the field;
And afterward build your house.
28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
[v]For would you deceive with your lips?
29 Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work.”
30 I went by the field of the lazy man,
And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding;
31 And there it was, all overgrown with thorns;
Its surface was covered with nettles;
Its stone wall was broken down.
32 When I saw it, I considered it well;
I looked on it and received instruction:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest;
34 So shall your poverty come like [w]a prowler,
And your need like [x]an armed man.
- Proverbs 22:6 Even
- Proverbs 22:8 trouble
- Proverbs 22:9 Lit. good
- Proverbs 22:21 Or send you
- Proverbs 22:26 Lit. strikes
- Proverbs 22:26 guaranty
- Proverbs 22:28 boundary
- Proverbs 22:29 is prompt in his business
- Proverbs 22:29 obscure
- Proverbs 23:5 Lit. Will you cause your eyes to fly upon it and it is not?
- Proverbs 23:6 Lit. one who has an evil eye
- Proverbs 23:10 boundary
- Proverbs 23:14 Or Sheol
- Proverbs 23:16 Lit. kidneys
- Proverbs 23:18 Future, lit. latter end
- Proverbs 23:31 goes around
- Proverbs 23:34 Lit. heart
- Proverbs 24:8 Lit. master of evil plots
- Proverbs 24:14 Lit. latter end
- Proverbs 24:18 Lit. it be evil in His eyes
- Proverbs 24:23 Lit. recognize faces
- Proverbs 24:28 LXX, Vg. Do not deceive
- Proverbs 24:34 Lit. one who walks about
- Proverbs 24:34 Lit. a man with a shield