Archive for February 15th, 2019

Proverbs 18:9-12

In Proverbs 18:9-12 Solomon begins by reminding us that hard work is an important characteristic we all need to exhibit. There are times of entertainment or leisure where perhaps laziness can be excused. There is never an excuse to be lazy or slacking off at work.  As an employee, we owe our best to those who pay for our time.  Work is an exchange of time for money, and as the seller of time, we owe complete focus and effort. “Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” We often think of laziness as a fairly innocent sin, but it is not. The lazy man is a close associate (brother) to the one who brings great destruction.

  • Laziness is theft – you live off the work of others.
  • Laziness is selfishness – you live for yourself and comfort.
  • Laziness is neglect of duty – you don’t do what you should.

The Lord is powerful, and we can access that through Jesus name.  God provides a wonderful and strong defense. This is not rooted in a magical saying of His name as if it were a charm or a spell, but in the name of the LORD as a declaration of His character, His person. In all that He is and all that He stands for, Yahweh (the LORD) is a strong tower. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” Because the name of Yahweh represents His character in all its aspects, the believer can think about the aspects of God’s character and find a strong, safe refuge in them. It can be as simple as this:

  • Lord, You are a God of love – so I find refuge in your love.
  • Lord, You are a God of mercy – so I find refuge in your mercy.
  • Lord, You are a God of strength – so I find refuge in your strength.
  • Lord, You are a God of righteousness – so I find refuge in your righteousness.

In contrast to the righteous who find their strong tower in God and His character, the rich man (here used in the sense of the man who trusts in his riches, who is only rich and nothing else) finds refuge in his wealth. Money doesn’t make one happy.  It doesn’t solve the world’s problem, and scripture tells us that it actually is the root of evil sometimes. “A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his imagination.” But that focus is misguided. The rich man sees his wealth as safe and sure as a high wall around a strong city. Yet this is only in his imagination; both the LORD and the wise know that wealth is not a truly strong city and not a high wall.

We can be our own worst enemy when we begin to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.  Pride comes before the fall. Since pride leads the way to destruction we should expect that the haughty heart will lead us to bad outcomes. “Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” Wise people know that humility leads the way to honor. If you want destruction, be haughty; if you want honor, show humility. Humility is to think of yourself, if you can, as God thinks of you. It is not to think more highly of ourselves as we ought, but keeps who we are in perspective with the Creator and Lord of the universe.  Pride destroys, plain and simple.

%d bloggers like this: