Proverbs 22

Proverbs 22 has more wisdom from Solomon.  “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life”.  It would be easy to claim this promise as a fast way to get rich.  Just living right means wealth and honor and a long life.  That’s not exactly what it says, but certainly can feed the mentality that being a believer means life will be full of riches in many ways.  God doesn’t promise us wealth as a believer.  Riches come in many ways, as does honor and life.  We will be blessed as we walk with the Lord, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be wealthy.

Raising kids is always a challenge.  Solomon tells us “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it….Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him”.  There is plenty of debate around how to raise and in particular discipline kids.  Solomon gives us hope that if we do it God’s way, it will turn out well.  Children are sinners just like their adult parents, and they too need to be disciplined to learn that disobedience carries a price.  If we teach them as youngsters, hopefully they have to learn it much less as they become adults.  We need to stay the course and train them up God’s way.

This chapter of Proverbs talks more about money than most. “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender”.  Money gives power to those who have it, at least on the surface.  But more important to remember is the price of being a borrower, where you become a slave to the one you owe money to.  Far better to not get into that place.  He goes on to also remind us the best way to deal with money is with a loose hand.  “Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor”.  I’m not suggesting we aren’t careful with it, but that we don’t treat it as our own.  It belongs to God and we are merely a steward, so we need to listen to His direction on how to handle it.

He winds down the chapter reminding us about wisdom and knowledge.  “Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips”.  God’s truth and wisdom is available to us in a number of ways.  We merely need to be willing to listen to it.  We need to have relationships with people who have already learned and applied it.  When we take God’s wisdom and knowledge in, we will succeed.  “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men”.  There is so much power in merely knowing God’s truth and ways.  It is the true source of success!

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