Thursday, August 27, 2015

Proverbs 22.17-21 - Prologue to Proverbs' "Thirty Wise Sayings" - 150913AM-SS

COLLECTION 3: The Thirty Sayings of the Wise (22.17-24)
     A. Prologue: Saying 1 (22.17-21)
     B. Section A: A Decalogue of sayings about Wealth (22.22-23.11) [#'s 2-11]
     C. Section B: An Obedient Son (23.22-24.2) [#'s 12-20]
     D. Section C: Trying Times (#'s 24.3-22)
               1. Strength in Distress (24.3-12) [#'s 21-25]
               2. Prohibitions against Involvement with the Wicked (24.13-22) [#'s 26-30]
"A portion of the book of Proverbs (22:17–24:22) seems to imitate, at least in part, the literary structure of the Egyptian Instruction of Amenemope. Both contain a general introduction that is followed by thirty chapters or units of very similar advice on proper behavior. There is some dispute among scholars on the identification of the thirty units within the biblical text, since there are breaks in the sections that may indicate unrelated segments (see “my son” diversions at 23:15, 19 and 26). Also arguing against the connection is the fact that the NIV had to slightly emend the text to arrive at thirty units and had to provide the noun sayings so that there would be something that there were thirty of. Beyond this difficulty is the fact that the thirty sections in Proverbs would each be only a few verses long (four to six lines), while the thirty chapters in Amenemope average twelve to sixteen lines in length. The closest parallels between Amenemope and Proverbs come to an end at 23:11, and the remaining units have close ties to other pieces of wisdom literature, including the teachings of Ahiqar. This may indicate that the biblical writer or wisdom school had a general familiarity with Amenemope and other wisdom literature, but also a measure of literary independence."  --Victor Harold Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Pr 22:20.
A. Prologue: Saying 1 (22.17-21) 
1. Motivating the Son to Learn

A series of proverbs demands much of the reader, if it is not to remain for him a string of platitudes.  ...                                                                                                                                                                                   
Does he read with alert concentration (17)?
How much is retained and ready for passing on (18)?
Does he receive it in the spirit in which it is given – to deepen his trust (19), guide his decisions (20), and strengthen his grasp of truth (21)? 
Does he see himself as the virtual envoy (cf. send thee, 21) of those whose knowledge of the truth depends on him?  --Derek Kidner in TOTC
22.17                             And
Incline                            apply
your ear and hear          your heart
the words of the wise,   to my knowledge;

The words/knowledge go from the external ear to the internal orientation of the heart.
incline... To “incline the ear” means to “listen carefully” (cf. NCV); the expression is metonymical in that the ear is the instrument for hearing. It is like telling someone to lean over to hear better. --NetBible Study Notes
wise... The essential idea of ḥākam represents a manner of thinking and attitude concerning life’s experiences; including matters of general interest and basic morality. These concerns relate to prudence in secular affairs, skills in the arts, moral sensitivity, and experience in the ways of the Lord.  --Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
apply... The most frequent object of šît is the word “heart.” The phrase “to set the heart” is used ten times. The phrase is used once even for God, “What is man … that you set your heart on him’.” (Job 7:17). Negatively the phrase means “to ignore, dismiss, take no notice of”...   --Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament 

For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
Let them all be fixed upon your lips,

pleasant... NIV, TNIV, HCSB, NLT--"pleasing"
keep... "exercise great care to protect them" and entails memorizing them forever.
within you... lit. belly, womb  --BLB;  "In your belly may be a shortened form of the Egyptianism "in the casket of your heart: (see 18:8; 20:30)."  --Waltke in NICOT
fixed... be established, be fixed; to prepare, be ready  --BLB
             ...always be ready to speak what was retained. --NetBible Study Notes 

2. Janus (transition)
So that your trust may be in the LORD;
I have instructed you today, even you.

trust... trust, confidence, refuge
This active trust in the Lord, who reveals His will through the adjusted sayings, entails a constant commitment to the Lord and His words, not an autonomous reliance on oneself (cf.3:5-6 ) or a passive resignation to fate.  This faith distinguishes Solomon's sayings from those of his peers in the ancient Near East.  --Waltke in NICOT
instructed... yādaʿ   lit. cause to know, teach  --BLB
today...  Heb “I cause you to know.” The term “today” indicates that the verb should have the instantaneous nuance, and so an English present tense is used in the translation (“am making…known”).   --NetBible Transaltion Notes 

3. The Father's Purpose
Synthetic parallels:
Have I not written excellent (or thirty) things 
Of counsels and knowledge
That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
That you may answer words of truth to those who send you?

excellent...  Three. This number plays a significant role in the Old Testament. ... A threefold act gives a sense of finality, of definitiveness.  --Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
šālišîm (Qere), šlšwm (Kethib).  This word is difficult. KJV, NASB, NIV marg. translate “excellent things” as the pl. of šālîš. RSV, NIV and many translate “thirty sayings” as from šĕlōšîm. Another possibility is šilšōm “formerly” (NIV marg., NASB marg.). The question is complicated by the somewhat similar Egyptian work “Wisdom of Amen-em-Opet” which is divided into thirty chapters and urges attention to “these thirty chapters.” Some claim that a dependence on this work can be found in the following sayings of Prov 22:22–24:22 which can be divided into thirty sayings. First, it may be said that dependence on the Egyptian work is sometimes overemphasized and cannot be found at all in the latter part of this section. Second, the division into thirty sayings is not certain. They may be divided differently.   --Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
counsels...  or plans 
knowledge... (daʿat) knowledge.  expresses a multitude of shades of knowledge gained by the senses. Its closest synonyms are bîn "to discern" and nākar "to recognize."--Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament know the certainty of the words of truth...  Heb “to cause you to know the truth of words of truth” (NASB similar). --NetBible Translation Notes 
know...  yādaʿ is used to express acquaintance with a person in such statements as “do you know Laban?” (Gen 29:5; Ex 1:8; II Sam 3:25). The Pual participle designates kinfolk (II Kgs 10:11, etc.) and acquaintances (Job 19:14; Ruth 2:1, etc.).  yādaʿ is also used for the most intimate acquaintance. God knows Moses by name and face to face (Ex 33:17; Deut 34:10). He knows the Psalmist’s sitting and arising (Ps 139:2).
yādaʿ is also used for sexual intercourse on the part of both men and women in the well-known euphemism “Adam knew Eve his wife”... 
--Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament 
certainty...  (qōšṭ) truth (Prov 22:21, only): just words, truth, i.e., communicable words or thoughts that are just and right according to a standard, and so a sound teaching -Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew
Basically this root denotes binding or tying something to something. --Theological Wordbook of the
truth... (ʾĕmet) reliability, trustworthiness, i.e., a state or condition of being dependable and loyal to a person or standard (Ge 24:27); 2.true, certain, sure, i.e., that which conforms to reality, and is so certain not to be false 3.honesty, integrity  --Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew

At the heart of the meaning of the root is the idea of certainty. (One interesting illustration of the relationship between “belief” and “being established” is seen in Isa 7:9. Ahaz is told that unless he believes (Hiphil) he will not be established (Niphal), i.e. without faith he has no stability.) --Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
answer words of truth...  Heb “to return true words”; NAB “a dependable report”; NIV “sound answers.”

1. Note the progression in verses 17-19a   (It can be cyclical with deepening circles.)
Where are your kids?
2. Written:  What have you written for your children?
3. What end purposes are given for parents “sayings” to their children?
To trust in the Lord
To be reliable truth speakers
4.  What causes “sayings” to be memorable?  What are you making memorable for your children?

Write a 1-3 work summary of each of the next ten sayings.
Think about what your 30 truths would be for your children.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Musings on Proverbs and a Few Tidbits

Two things are front and center in these verses. First is the moral/spiritual component of wisdom and foolishness. Second is the primary role parents have of blessing their children (and grandchildren) with a teachable Godward orientation that will guide them safely through sinner's Siren's songs.
Proverbs 1.7-9
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
My son, hear the instruction of your father, ...

And do not forsake the law of your mother;
For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck."

A Shield:
Proverbs 2.6-8
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; ...

He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
8 He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
What is the Lord protecting us from? We can imagine all sorts of calamities, but the context seems to have something specific in mind. The wisdom God gives protects us (as the following verses make explicit) from deviating from the paths of justice and failing to walk uprightly. Isn't that what we are most hoping to be protected from?

We envy those who succeed through oppression when we lose focus on and desire for God's grace and eternal blessings.
Proverbs 3.31-33
"Do not envy the oppressor,
And choose none of his ways.
For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD, ...

But His secret counsel is with the upright.
The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the home of the just.
Surely He scorns the scornful,
But gives grace to the humble.
The wise shall inherit glory,
But shame shall be the legacy of fools."
Lord, help me live in humility (in faith) before You and treasure your grace, intimate counsel, and blessing on my life.

Proverbs 4.18-19
"But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know what makes them stumble."...

These verses remind me of Paul's prayer for the Colossians " thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness..." and reminds us that left to ourselves without God's wisdom we don't really even understand why we are stumbling.
Lord, give me the moral acumen to walk in understanding.

The words "preserve" and "keep" point to the need to continually give and pay attention to wise, godly instruction. Since the temptations are persuasive and will not stop, we must continually hear and heed sound instruction. Sin is crouched in the grass waiting for an opportunity.
Proverbs 5.1-3
"My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
Lend your ear to my understanding
That you may preserve discretion, ...

And your lips may keep knowledge.
For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey,
And her mouth is smoother than oil;"
Lord, keep me continually in your Word and Your way.

Proverbs 6.30-33
"People do not despise a thief If he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold; He may have to give up all the substance of his house.
Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away."

These verses compare the sins a of stealing a man's material wealth and his wife. Both are wrong, b...ut adultery leaves it's mark on a man (and woman) that goes much deeper. It takes someone who really lacks sense to get tangled up in that.
Lord, please make my good judgement always outweigh my wayward desires.

The seductress of Proverbs six comforts the simple that it is unlikely that he will encounter the wrath or shame from the husband. Being simple, he does not realize that it is her and in the sin itself where the deadliest danger lies. I am not superman who can sin without it affecting my soul and destiny whether I am caught or not. Even in private...immoral thoughts and actions are deadly.
Proverbs 6
19 For my husband is not at home;
He has gone on a long journey;

25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths;
26 For she has cast down many wounded,
And all who were slain by her were strong men. (or lots of men)
27 Her house is the way to hell,
Descending to the chambers of death.

Have a blessed day!
Proverbs 8.34-36
Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors....

For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the LORD.
But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
All those who hate me love death."

So, lady wisdom is not the only one crying out to people passing by. The foolish "woman" calls the simple to what she believes in.
Proverbs 9.13-15
"A foolish woman is clamorous;
She is simple, and knows nothing.
For she sits at the door of her house, ...

On a seat by the highest places of the city,
To call to those who pass by,
Who go straight on their way:"

Proverbs 10.27-29
"The fear of the LORD prolongs days,
But the years of the wicked will be shortened.
The hope of the righteous will be gladness,
But the expectation of the wicked will perish. ...

The way of the LORD is strength for the upright,
But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity."

The fear of the Lord, expectation of the righteous, and the way of the Lord stand in sharp contrast to the shortened existence and ultimate destruction of the wicked.
Lord keep me focused on You, hoping in You, and walking with You.

Verse 22 presents a powerful image that parents often use as a reminder for their daughter. The broader context of the proverbs around it this proverb paints the picture of the foolish wicked who have a distracting desirable quality in spite of being fundamentally unsound.
Proverbs 11.22-23
"As a ring of gold in a swine's snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.
The desire of the righteous is only good, ...

But the expectation of the wicked is wrath."
Lord, create and strengthen in me a new heart so Your new man dominates and defines all of me.

Proverbs 12.22-23
"Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
A prudent man conceals knowledge,
But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness."...

I am thinking about the similarities between some one who lies and someone who says too much foolishness about someone or something. Let our words be few and true.

In chess when you have the right pieces deployed to the right parts of the board at the right time in the game good things tend to happen. In life good friends and a righteous life put you in circumstances were good things tend to happen.
Proverbs 12.20-21
"The one who associates with the wise grows wise,
but a companion of fools suffers harm.
Calamity pursues sinners, ...

but prosperity rewards the righteous." [NET]
Lord, help me have friends and a life that put me in the path of your blessing.

Proverbs 14.7-9
"Go from the presence of a foolish man,
When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.
The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way,
But the folly of fools is deceit....

Fools mock at sin,
But among the upright there is favor."

This string of proverbs teaches us that the foolish live in deception about the seriousness of their sinful ways. When you hear them make light of their sin steer clear! The "prudent" understand the eternal nature of their way (choices and habits) and are viewed favorably in the Galatians 5.23b sense.
Lord, give me an eternal understanding about my choices and the humble desire to value righteousness with the wise.

"...for He [the Most High] is kind to the thankful and evil." Luke 6.35b
And the opposite of thankful is... Hmmm.

While verse 26 seems to provide the wholesome contrast of honest work, the way of the man that seems right is seen in three progressions in verses 27-30.
Proverbs 16.25-30
25 There is a way that seems right to a MAN, But its end is the way of death.
26 The person who labors, labors for himself, For his hungry mouth drives him on.
27 An ungodly MAN digs up evil, ...

And it is on his lips like a burning fire.
28 A perverse MAN sows strife,
And a whisperer separates the best of friends.
29 A violent MAN entices his neighbor,
And leads him in a way that is not good.
30 He winks his eye to devise perverse things;
He purses his lips and brings about evil.

Proverbs 17:10-11
"Rebuke is more effective for a wise man
Than a hundred blows on a fool.
An evil man seeks only rebellion;
Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him."...

A foolish and evil man is predictably stuck in his wicked ways. Lord, give me a tender conscience and tender heart that turns with your gentle prompt.

Proverbs 18 begins with a proverb about the foolishness of being independent of the good counsel from friends.
"A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment."
The last three complement it with a theme of the value of good "friends."
"22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, ...

And obtains favor from the LORD.
23 The poor man uses entreaties,
But the rich answers roughly.
24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
Lord, thank you for my wife that shows Your favor on me, and help me have and value friends that speak truth to me.

Your financial advisor will tell you what to do for future financial success. In these proverbs we learn how to prepare ourselves to be kind, satisfied, and wise in our old age.
Proverbs 19.20-23
"Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.
There are many plans in a man's heart, ...

Nevertheless the LORD's counsel—that will stand.
What is desired in a man is kindness,
And a poor man is better than a liar.
The fear of the LORD leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil."
Lord, help me to listen and store up a heart of wisdom, kindness, and blessing for my old age.

The attentiveness, diligence, and shrewdness described in these verses are more valuable than gold and rubies. They are the means to obtain and keep success in many spheres of life.
Proverbs 20.12-15
"The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The LORD has made them both....

Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.
'It is good for nothing,' cries the buyer;
But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.
There is gold and a multitude of rubies,
But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel."

These two proverbs help flesh out Ephesians 4.28 with the idea that a desire to give is the best motivation for honest work.
Proverbs 21.25-26
"The desire of the lazy man kills him,
For his hands refuse to labor.
He covets greedily all day long, ...

But the righteous gives and does not spare."
Lord, give me and my family generous, hard working hearts.

Proverbs 22.17-19 are the first half to the prologue of thirty wise sayings. Wisdom (any teaching) that does not lead to trust in the Lord is hollow. It is a lovely, beautiful thing to learn, remember, and think about that kind of wisdom. Let's do something lovely today.
"Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your heart to my knowledge;
For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
Let them all be fixed upon your lips, ...

So that your trust may be in the LORD;
I have instructed you today, even you."

From the Howard Hendricks tribute page...
My favorite Prof quote. . . "Gentleman here in class we are building a strong foundation upon which you will build your ministry. Today we are pouring concrete, yet most of you have shown up with a paintbrush." --Danny Hays

First things first: This is about as close to an admonition about being a workaholic as you will find in Proverbs. The focus here is more on what you devote yourself to. Don't expend to much time and energy on things that are not eternal.
Proverbs 23.4-5
"Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
Will you set your eyes on that which is not? ...

For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven."

Proverbs 24 does teach us to look at the "deserved" misfortune of others and learn a lesson.
"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:"

But earlier in the chapter it warns us against taking pleasure in another's downfall.
17 "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;"

Lord help me be wise, but not smug.

These two cerebral cartoons work together to teach the importance of moderation and self-control.' Bragging on yourself too much will make everybody around you sick, and not moderating your ego and emotional responses can leave you open to serious attacks.
Lord, give me the humility, wisdom, and the steady patience I need today.

Proverbs 25.27-28
"It is not good to eat much honey; ...

So to seek one's own glory is not glory.*
Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls."

* "Heb. 'and the investigation of their glory is not glory.' This line is difficult to understand but it forms an analogy to honey—glory, like honey, is good, but not to excess." (NETBible trans. Notes)

Short meditations from Proverbs

Proverbs 3.19-20
"The LORD by wisdom founded the earth;
By understanding He established the heavens;
By His knowledge the depths were broken up,
And clouds drop down the dew."...

These verses with the backdrop of Job 38.1-4ff remind us that we are totally unqualified to challenge or question God, but must observe His works in amazement with the rest of creation.

The contrast between the clarity and eternal acumen of the wise and the ignorance and cloud of the wicked is instructive. It is also interesting that the wise are contrasted with the wicked.
Proverbs 4.18-19
"But the path of the just is like the shining sun,[
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
The way of the wicked is like darkness; ...

They do not know what makes them stumble."
Lord, help ne to walk in the light in close fellowship with you.

I'm thinking about the timing of reading these verses the Sunday that I am preaching on sin from 2 Samuel 11-12 and Psalm 51. I'll bet David was able to give some earnest and heartfelt advise on this topic
Proverbs (.18-20
Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving hind and a graceful doe, ...

Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.
For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress
And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?

I am not the exception that can sin without consequences. Help me to walk in discretion and good sense.
Proverbs 6.28-29
"Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet?
So it is with the man who sleeps with another man's wife.
He who embraces her will not go unpunished." (NET)

Two things are addressed in this Proverb. One is the deadly consequences of being entangled with an immoral person. The second that applies to all of us is the arrogant and foolish idea is that somehow I am smarter than thousands of others to be able to do this great sin and slip away unharmed and unaffected.
Proverbs 7.25-27
"Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths;
For she has cast down many wounded, ...

And all who were slain by her were strong men.
Her house is the way to hell,
Descending to the chambers of death."
Lord, keep me humble and aware that I am under your watchful gaze.

Proverbs 8.4-7
"To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
O you simple ones, understand prudence,
And you fools, be of an understanding heart....

Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
And from the opening of my lips will come right things:
For my mouth will speak truth;
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips."
Lord, give me ears to hear what you are saying and a heart to understand.

“What one generation neglects, the next generation rejects." Pulled this from a Beyond Barriers e-mail.

While one would think that the wise person has it all together and does not need or appreciate instruction/correction, it is actually just the opposite.
Proberbs 9.7-9
"He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; ...

Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning."
Lord, give me the humble teachable spirit that pleases You and benefits me.

Proverbs 11.20-21
"Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD,
But the blameless in their ways are His delight.
Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished;
But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered."...

A good thing to keep in mind as I read the news.

Wicked intentions are transitory, rotten and passing. Lord, grow my "root of righteousness" deep and strong.
Proverbs 12.2-4
A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.
A man is not established by wickedness, ...

But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.

Proverbs 13.8
"The ransom of a man's life is his wealth,
but a poor man hears no threat."
One way of looking at this proverb is that the more we have invested in heaven and the less we have invested in this earth, the less influence this world has on us.

Proverbs 14.20-22
"The poor is disliked even by his neighbor,
but the rich has many friends.
Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner,
but blessed is he who is generous to the poor....

Do they not go astray who devise evil?
Those who devise good show steadfast love and faithfulness."
Who will be a generous friend to his poor neighbor? "Devise good" implies intentional planning.

These three proverbs join around the theme of a humble, teachable spirit. When we resent rebukes and instruction, we put a roadblock on the path to the honor that comes from a life that pleases the Lord.
Proverbs 15.31-33
"The ear that hears the rebukes of life
Will abide among the wise.
He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, ...

But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom,
And before honor is humility."

A firm belief in verse 33 helps make verse 32 a reality.
Lord, help my awareness and confidence in your soveriegnty develop a godly self-control of my spirit.

Proverbs 16.32-33
32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, ...

And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD.

Proberbs 17.27-28
"He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.
Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace;
When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive."...

Talk less.

I am thinking about why two proverbs about a fools mouth getting him is trouble are next to one about gossip. Hmmmm...
Proberbs 18.6-8
"A fool's lips enter into contention,
And his mouth calls for blows.
A fool's mouth is his destruction, ...

And his lips are the snare of his soul.
The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles,
And they go down into the inmost body."

The results of a fool's ignorant activity to get rich quick frustrates them and in their foolishness they lash out at God.
Proverbs 19.1-3
"Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity
than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
Even zeal is not good without knowledge, ...

and the one who acts hastily sins.
When a man's folly brings his way to ruin,
his heart rages against the LORD."
Lord, help me the know and be satisfied with you.

Proverbs 20
"A wise king sifts out the wicked,
And brings the threshing wheel over them.
The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD,
Searching all the inner depths of his heart....

Mercy and truth* preserve the king,
And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne."
The wise King both sifts out the wicked and preserves his throne with mercy and truth. That is a special balance.
* ('emeth:firmness, faithfulness, truth)

Verses 1 and 30 share the theme that the Lord is the one who sovereignly brings things to past. And 2 and 29 share the theme of the futility of thoughts against the Lord. These verses form "bookends for the whole chapter.
Proverbs 21.1-2
1. The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD,
Like the rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes. ...

2. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the LORD weighs the hearts.
Proverbs 21.30-31
30 There is no wisdom or understanding
Or counsel against the LORD.
31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But deliverance is of the LORD.

Proverbs 22:1-2
"A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
The rich and the poor have this in common,
The Lord is the maker of them all."...

"The rich should remember that his treatment of the poor is equated with his treatment of their Maker (17:5), and the poor should learn not to despise, envy, or revolt against the rich (3:13), or sycophantically to ingratiate himself with him or compromise his conscience to get his smile. Rather, he should both respect him and yet evaluate him as merely God's creature." --Bruce Waltke in NICOT

This is the eighth of thirty sayings of the wise in the first section of the sayings that focuses on wealth.
Proverbs 23.6-8
"Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies,
for he is like one who is inwardly calculating "Eat and drink!" he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten, and waste your pleasant words."

Proverbs 24.10-12
"If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?"

Righteous associates and advisors aren't just important for kings. Lord, surround me and my family with people that point us to You.
Proverbs 25.4-5
Take away the dross from silver,
And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry.
Take away the wicked from before the king, ...

And his throne will be established in righteousness.

The seventh "unhealthy" person described in Proverbs 25 is the hater. It is not enough to "be nice" to people. Love should come from our hearts not just our lips because hate will destroy the hater.
Proverbs 25.23-28
23 Fervent lips with a wicked heart
Are like earthenware covered with silver dross
24 He who hates, disguises it with his lips, ...

And lays up deceit within himself;
25 When he speaks kindly, do not believe him,
For there areseven abominations in his heart;
26 Though hishatred is covered by deceit,
His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.
28 A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.

God, give me the eyes and heart of Christ toward other people.

Good, honest friends are our most valuable assets. It would be helpful for us to think in this way about our church and make the effort to develop trust and loyalty with our church families.
Proverbs 27.9-10
"Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel. Do not forsake your friend and your father's friend, and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away."

Am I more interested in looking good or becoming good? Lord, help me be a good repenter.
Proverbs 29.13-14
"Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, ...

but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity."

The iconic quote from Proverbs 29.18 in the KJV, "Where there is no vision the people perish," has often taken on a meaning of it's own largely disconnected from it's meaning and context. Word-centered instruction/correction are a core ingredient to our children's (and our) future happiness.
Proverbs 29.17-18 [NET]
"Discipline your child,
and he will give you rest;
he will bring you happiness. ...

When there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
but the one who keeps the law, blessed is he!"
Lord, cause your Word to do it's work in my heart to produce self restraint and happiness in me,

Proverbs 30.4-6
"Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has bound the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth? ...

What is His name, and what is His Son's name, If you know?
Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
Do not add to His words,
Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar."
1. Five worshipful meditations.
2. Where to fine the answer.
3. A great promise.
4. Don't go beyond what God has said.
Lord, may your Word increase my wonder of and trust in You.