by Pastor Adekoya
Greetings in Jesus wonderful name!
It’s a privilege and a delight for ne to be assigned to take us on Proverbs 19-24. Thanks to Pastor Damilola Akinyera for the privilege. Thanks to everyone here that is committed to feasting on the word and for your encouraging responses which I believe makes whatever sacrifice of time the reviewers have to make really worth it. The Lord remains your exceeding great reward!
…NEITHER IS POVERTY AN OPTION!
Most of the times, reading the book of proverbs, you see Solomon drawing a line/scale of preference often between two not-absolutely-to-be-admired sceneries, ideologies or situations. Such is the case of proverbs 19:1
KJV: Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
ESV: Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
Solomon’s emphasis here is on integrity both in words and in deeds. He says, in other words “it’s better to be poor but have integrity than to be a fool or/ and to get wealth via dubious or crooked means”.
23. AMP: That which is desired in a man is loyalty and kindness [and his glory and delight are his giving], but a poor man is better than a liar
We see here again than a poor man is preferred to a liar, as integrity (just like loyalty and kindness) endears you to people are possibly opens you up to more great opportunities.
I, however, want us to see that Solomon is not actually advocating for poverty as an option to be embraced in life but, place on a scale of preference, he rates a poor man with integrity better than one who though might be rich but is loosed in his words and is a fool.
Hypothetically, a rich fool who is perverse in his speech will end up becoming poor and wretched, while there’s hope still for a man who is poor but has integrity.
As much as a perverse or crooked way of life and foolishness, including all other ungodly and unchristlike traits are never to be embraced, poverty as well is not an option, nether!
In the same proverbs 19, we have a number of verses that clearly reveals that, though there are others things/traits/realities that are worse than being poor, poverty itself is not an option to settle for.
4. AMP: Wealth makes many friends, but the poor man is avoided by his neighbor.
7. AMP: All the brothers of a poor man detest him — how much more do his friends go far from him! He pursues them with words, but they are gone.
Perverse lips, crooked ways of life, lying as a lifestyle are rated as worst that being poor, neither is poverty itself a good one!
TWO BIBLICAL ANTIDOTES AGAINST POVERTY.
I will make use of Two “Gs” from our teaching on the Proverbs About Money:
1. LEARN/WORK TO GET MONEY:
15. KJV: Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.
ESV: Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.
24. KJV: A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
For the Lord to bless the work of your hand, you must have work in your hand or learn to work with your hand.
The only other way of survival apart from learning to work with your own hands and minding/doing your own business is to live a dependent life. But remember, overdepending on others for survival soon makes you become (like) a plague to be avoided!
2. LEARN TO GIVE MONEY:
Paul, writing to the Ephesians, admonished the indolents and the pilferers among them to start working with their own hand that they “may have to give…” Ephesians4:28
That is, by working with your own hands, you will HAVE… And when you have, you should GIVE. So, you have, so that you can give, aside taking care of personal needs!
Back to proverbs 19
17. KJV: He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
ESV: Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
NIV: Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.
Imagine the Lord paying you back or rewarding you for giving to the needy? That will be in an overflowing, abundant, press-down-shaken-together order!
However, giving to the needy around us should not be seen as a way of gambling or a sort of business transaction because the Bible reveals that the Lord will pay you back. So then, you give One thousand just because you expect the Lord to return it with One million as soon as possible, and you keep reminding Him that He’s owing you. Quoting Proverbs 19:17!
People with such trade-by-barter mindset concerning giving easily get frustrated, embittered and soon quit giving!
Yes, the Lord will definitely pay you back in His own way and at His own time. But, our giving should be motivated by love, out of a willing and cheerful heart, and as a lifestyle. Such is most pleasing to the Lord and your reward is sure!
So, giving is an antidote against poverty because giving what or out of what you have provokes the release of blessing on your life and the blessing in return translates into you having more, and the giving circle continues!
May the Lord continually bless the works of your hand and all your cheerful giving!
WISDOM BEGETS/IMPARTS LIFE!
9 NIV: The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.
We can see a connection between wisdom and life, and between understanding and prosperity.
When the Wisdom of God personified in the Person of Christ came, He promised us life, which is what we receive when we believe and invite His to our heart.
Invariably, the more we grow/advance in our love-life with Jesus, the more we experience His life flowing to us, within us and from us in to others overflowing dimension. You know how to grow in your love life with Jesus? It is by daily seeking to know Him more and appreciating what He has done for you. By so doing (as you grow in your knowledge and understanding of Him), your prosperity (spirit, soul and body) is guaranteed. Matthew11:29, 3John1:3
JUST LIKE A BIOLOGICAL FATHER, GOD IS “GLORIFIED” AS WE LIVE/ACT WISELY!
Vs13. NIV: A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof.
It brings glory to God our Father to see wisdom actively at work in and through us. Or, how can we be called by His name (The Omniscient One) and live otherwise?!
No wonder He package His Wisdom in us in the Person of Christ to live in us and with us at new birth. We therefore manifest wisdom (the highest form, version or level of wisdom that be) as we learn to live in response to the leadings and the bidding of the Spirit of Christ in us. That is why each time we act contrary to the Spirit’s bidding, we act foolishly and later realize it. That is when the foolishness of the carnal man begins to play out in blaming God for his own wrongs!
Vs3 KJV: The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the Lord.
ESV: When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord.
NIV: A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the Lord.
AMP: The foolishness of man subverts his way [ruins his affairs]; then his heart is resentful and frets against the Lord.
As sons of God in Christ, led by the Holy Spirit, we can testify that God is never to be blamed for any wrong step step we ever took or a wrong decision ever made if you are to be true to ourselves. At one point or the other, the Spirit of God had nudged us away from or against taking some decisions and steps we later took and ultimately boomeranged. If I ever made any mistake (like I’ve done many times!) I simply acted foolishly and God is never at fault because I could testify that He nudged me to do otherwise!
There will be no room for stumbling or any cause for regrets when/if we wholly follow as the Lord leads. The most interesting thing is that, He leads us in line with His purpose for our life.
Vs.21 AMP: Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.
Oh, how resourceful, fruitful, impactful and fulfilling will our lives be if we can just learn to act day by day in response to the wisdom of God alive in us!
May we all receive grace to live, addictedly, only as the Lord leads!
On the second part of that verse…
If you before now have lived in a house with a leaking roof you then can relate and understand the comparison between a leaking roof and a quarrelsome woman: so annoying, infuriating, discomforting, and humiliating to have an outsider witness it! I can practically relate because I’ve picturing the situation with me back in 2005/2006 in my one-room apartment at Ikeja Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way. Especially when the heavy rain descends in the middle of the night, while you’re already enjoying your sleep! It was so bad at a point that I had to choose which part to manage and stay under while I set plates and bowls (even cooking pots) at the most terrible parts before God delivered me in 2007. So, derogatory and dehumanizing. Imagine having a woman that brings such experience??? I declare and decree that our women are behaving well; the virtues expected of a goodly and godly woman flow through them helplessly and ceaselessly, and our women shall indeed be the pride of their husbands, in Jesus wonderful name!
Having prayed, all our women/ladies should consciously and submissively humble themselves to imbibe godly characters so that your man/husband can testify of you according to verse 14:
AMP: House and riches are the inheritance from fathers, but a wise, understanding, and prudent wife is from the Lord.
And our men, grace to do this
11 KJV: The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
ESV: Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
AMP: Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense.
….is released, in Jesus name!
That is important so you don’t become the verse 19 kind of man/person:
NIV: A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again.
CANDIDATES OF HIS FAVOUR!
12. KJV: The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass.
This verse brings to my mind the wrath of God (The King) to come upon the disobedient those who refuse to receive and respond in faith to the gospel of Christ and by implication, rejects the person of Christ Himself. The Bible describes the unleashing of God’s wrath in such an apocalyptic way so much that you don’t wish anyone in your life to experience it as much as you don’t want to be a victim yourself!
29. KJV: Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.
ESV: Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and beating for the backs of fools.
The most foolish thing to do now in Time is to reject Jesus. That will amount to scoffing at, or scorning the finished work of salvation. Judgment awaits such because they are condemned already. John 3:17
Glory! Jesus already assured us that believe on His name that we shall not come in to condemnation. Apostle also wrote that, for those of us in Christ, there is no more condemnation!
The King’s wrath awaits scoffers and scorners of the gospel of Christ that presents God’s free gift of salvation to all mankind.
But, if you already received salvation by faith only in the resurrected Christ, hallelujah, you’ve escaped the King’s wrath and, you’re a candidate for His favour that refreshes and nourishes.
Enjoy the King’s favour day by day, in Jesus wonderful name!