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Proverbs 29

Posted on by Bill Mann

A message by Pastor Bill Mann on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at Kings Grace Fellowship.
Proverbs 29

Introduction

With only 3 chapters left I realize that this journey is coming to an end. I sincerely hope that it’s been a benefit to you. I have loved Proverbs my entire adult life because it is filled with time-honored principles that when not only followed but embraced will give you “God’s” best.

Let’s first read this passage, then take a look at some of the highlights.

Proverbs 29 (NKJV)
1 He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. 2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan. 3 Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice, But a companion of harlots wastes his wealth. 4 The king establishes the land by justice, But he who receives bribes overthrows it. 5 A man who flatters his neighbor Spreads a net for his feet. 6 By transgression an evil man is snared, But the righteous sings and rejoices. 7 The righteous considers the cause of the poor, But the wicked does not understand such knowledge. 8 Scoffers set a city aflame, But wise men turn away wrath. 9 If a wise man contends with a foolish man, Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace. 10 The bloodthirsty hate the blameless, But the upright seek his well-being. 11 A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back. 12 If a ruler pays attention to lies, All his servants become wicked. 13 The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The Lord gives light to the eyes of both. 14 The king who judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever. 15 The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. 16 When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall. 17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul. 18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. 19 A servant will not be corrected by mere words; For though he understands, he will not respond. 20 Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 21 He who pampers his servant from childhood Will have him as a son in the end. 22 An angry man stirs up strife, And a furious man abounds in transgression. 23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor. 24 Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing. 25 The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. 26 Many seek the ruler’s favor, But justice for man comes from the Lord. 27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.

Highlight #1 – Playing The Fool (v. 11)

Proverbs 29:11 (NKJV)
11 A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back.

I found this verse interesting. Our English translations tames some of the words down a bit, but the Hebrew is blunt and makes a distinct contrast between the fool and the person walking in wisdom.

Literally the word for fool here means, “stupid”, but not in the sense of ignorance, rather in the sense of “choosing to be stupid.” Who would choose to be stupid? Case in point would be the many “love songs” that speak of a forbidden love.

As I read this of course I thought of Facebook. As has been said many times, not everything needs or should be posted to Facebook. Four words stick out to me: 1) fool, 2) vents, 3) wise, and 4) holds.

  1. The Fool

It would be nice to do a character sketch on “the fool”, but we don’t really have time in this setting to do so. One commentary speaks of the accumulation of little things that make a person foolish.

Whereas  “ . . . wisdom, . . . has so many different connotations and nuances . . . “ [1] the same is true of foolishness. “ . . . there are numerous characteristics of a life of foolishness or folly. In general, a fool in the Bible is a person who lives life as if God and God’s will were of no consequence: ‘The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’ ’ (Pss. 14:1; 53:1; cf. Prov. 1:7).” [2]

There are many things a fool does, one of those things is to vent all their feelings without regard to biblical principles or of potential consequences. In this case, venting is to “let it all hang out” without care or caution in order to be “real.” But the wisdom nugget is this: Weather or not you are speaking, or writing a post beware of being the fool. Temper you speech and/or post with grace and truth. Find out facts before you speech or write. And, one does not need to comment.

  1. The Wise

In contrast the wise man (or person) stays calm, cool, and collected. Anyone can let it all fly, but a wise person considers their words BEFORE they speak. They may even pray before speaking. I think this verse from James applies:

James 1:19 (NKJV)
19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;

And back in Proverbs 29:

Proverbs 29:20 (NKJV)
20 Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Let me sum it like this: Be careful little mouth (or big) what you say . . . . and  . . . . be careful little fingers what you type. 

Highlight #2 – Good Parenting (vv. 15, 17)

Proverbs 29:15 (NKJV)
15 The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Proverbs 29:17 (NKJV)
17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul.

We have already spoken about this in Chapter 22 (v. 15), but because of the repetition I personally feel that it’s uber important!

Let me be clear, child abuse is any form is wrong. But “loving” correction is necessary to help bring a child into functional adulthood. I think loving correction needs to be defined. When I think of “loving correction”, I think of the following.

  1. Being in control of oneself
  2. Being consistent
  3. Not bringing up the offense again
  4. Genuine assurance of love, acceptance, and forgiveness

What about “the rod” of correction? Would it be easier to understand if it had said a “willow branch”? A paddle? A belt? A time out? Whatever the correction method, it must contain some common elements:

  1. It stops the action (in acute dangerous situations)
  2. It gets the necessary attention
  3. It articulates grief over the sin (bad choices)
  4. It’s adequate for the crime (not too little, not too much)
  5. Articulates option for the future (draws boundaries)

There could be more, but this is what came to me as I pondered these passages. If there were only one take away I would want you to get from this highlight, it would be this:  Parents must disciple their children and if necessary upon occasion that discipline may cause temporary, but useful pain to both.

Highlight #3 – The End Of Pride (v. 23)

Proverbs 29:23 (NKJV)
23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor.

As I read this passage I remembered a pastor friend of mine once gave a message entitled, “Backward Principles For Forward Living.” In that message he used the passage where Jesus said:

Mark 8:34–35 (NKJV)
34 . . . “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

The correlation here is that often we think that in order to “save face” we have to fight for it. But the opposite is true. Our humility will win the day. (This of course must be within the context of a given situation.) Bible commentaries have much to say about pride. Here are some examples:

Pride is “Arrogance or delusions of greatness on account of one’s achievements, status or possessions. Scripture frequently speaks of God humbling the proud.”[3]

“Pride refers to an unwarranted attitude of confidence. While pride can have a positive connotation of self-worth or boasting, it is often used in Scripture to refer to an unhealthy elevated view of one’s self, abilities, or possessions.”[4]

“The real nature of pride can be seen in the fact that it leads to many other evils and ends in destruction.”[5]

My favorite quote is this: “Pride is viewed as a great evil because it involves pretending to a greatness and glory that belong rightly to God alone.”[6]

And of course, the Bible has much to say about pride as well. Some classic examples are:

Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)
18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

James 4:6 (NKJV)
6 “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:10 (NKJV)
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

So my take away is to be aware that at any time and over anything I could become prideful which will bring a down fall. Someone has said, “If pride made a devil out of an angel, what might it do to me?”[7]

Remarks

  1. Playing The Fool – Lord please help me not be foolish. Guide me in the things I say and write.
  2. Good Parenting – Father, help me/us raise these kid(s). Teach me to discipline them as you discipline me. I Know you love. Help my kids know that I love them.
  3. The End Of Pride – Jesus, I repent of the pride I’ve held onto concerning ________. Forgive me. Help me to walk in humility in all things.

[1] Paul J. Achtemeier, Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature, Harper’s Bible Dictionary (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), 317.
[2] Paul J. Achtemeier, Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature, Harper’s Bible Dictionary (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), 317.
[3] Martin H. Manser, Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies (London: Martin Manser, 2009).
[4] William A. Williams, “Pride,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).
[5] Martin H. Manser, Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies (London: Martin Manser, 2009).
[6] Martin H. Manser, Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies (London: Martin Manser, 2009).
[7] Unknown

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