Monday, July 17, 2017

Proverbs December 2016 Meditations

It seems that we have this idea of Proverbs as this sentimental book of witty sayings, but in fact there are some rather severe warnings like this one in chapter one where it warns the "son" against ignoring wisdom for too long.

Proverbs 1.27-28
27 When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28 "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.

Lord, help me to be prompt and enthusiastic to your calls on my life.
E.V. Hills preached a sermon "What You Have When You Have Jesus." After three verses imploring the search for wisdom, understanding, discernment, etc. these verses tell some of what you have when you have Wisdom.

Proverbs 2.5-8
5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.
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.

Lord, help me understand the knowledge and fear of you.
Proverbs 3.1-2
My son, do not forget my law, 
But let your heart keep my commands; 
For length of days and long life 
And peace they will add to you.

We have learned to "do" what we should or what we have to, but this father calls on us to give the body of the command life by having our heart in it.

Lord, help me love and obey You with all my heart.
If we tend to be like those you spend the most time with, then if you want some respect...

Proverbs 4.8-9
Exalt her (Wisdom), and she will promote you; 
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
9 She will place on your head an ornament of grace; 
A crown of glory she will deliver to you."
In the middle of a chapter that argues against immoral relationships and for an exclusive marriage relationship Solimon reminds us of three consequences of leaving his wise council in this area. And they are still true today.

Proverbs 5.9-11
9 Lest you give your honor to others, 
And your years to the cruel one;
10 Lest aliens be filled with your wealth, 
And your labors go to the house of a foreigner
11 And you mourn at last,
When your flesh and your body are consumed,

Lord, help me not depart from your wise words.
Some sins are more serious than others as this comparison between the starving thief and adulterer illustrates. The not so subtle implication is that it takes a special kind of stupid to get involved with another man's wife.

Proverbs 6:30-32
30 People do not despise a thief
If he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving.
31 Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold;
He may have to give up all the substance of his house.
32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding;
He who does so destroys his own soul.

Lord, help me bind my heart to your commands and walk in Your ways.
Proverbs 7.10-12
And there a woman met him, 
With the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart. 
She was loud and rebellious, 
Her feet would not stay at home. 
At times she was outside, at times in the open square, 
Lurking at every corner.

I am thinking about the contrasts between this woman and the family-focused, meek, spiritual woman described in 1 Peter 3.1-6. She stands with industrious wife of Proverbs 31 is sharp contrast to this floozy.
Justice and righteousness are often not the path to lots of temporal wealth, but their is a wealth that is better than silver and gold.

Proverbs 8.20-21
(Wisdom speaking)
I traverse the way of righteousness, 
In the midst of the paths of justice, 
That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, 
That I may fill their treasuries.

Lord, lead me in the paths of righteousness and justice.
These three sayings conclude the section about Lady Wisdom in this chapter with an appeal to the simple to consider the the benefits of wisdom and understanding and the consequences of rejecting them.

Proverbs 9.10-12
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you will bear it alone."
Every path leads somewhere. 

Proverbs 10.7-10 [net]
7 The memory of the righteous is a blessing, 
but the reputation of the wicked will rot.
8 The wise person accepts instructions, 
but the one who speaks foolishness will come to ruin.
9 The one who conducts himself in integrity will live securely,
but the one who behaves perversely will be found out.
10 The one who winks his eye causes trouble,
and the one who speaks foolishness will come to ruin.
Three of these four sayings are directly related by their subject, righteousness / the righteous. Righteousness directs and delivers the righteous from many of the entanglements, pitfalls, and destinies that wickedness lays in the paths of the wicked.

Proverbs 11.5-8
5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright,
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
6 The righteousness of the upright will deliver them,
But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.
7 When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish,
And the hope of the unjust perishes.
8 The righteous is delivered from trouble,
And it comes to the wicked instead.

Lord, give me the wisdom and resolve to stay in your righteous way.
Verses 13-14 form the conclusion to the first half of this chapter. The wicked man sets a trap for himself. The righteous person's speech/deeds bring a different result.

Proverbs 12.13-14
13 The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, 
But the righteous will come through trouble.
14 A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, 
And the recompense of a man's hands will be rendered to him.

Lord, help me to speak and do good for You.
Proverbs 13.1
A wise son heeds his father's instruction, 
But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

And not just sons... The aptitude to identify and value wise instruction (discipline) is both the path to and a key characteristic of wisdom.

Lord, help me love and follow your instruction and correction.
The results of contrasting attitudes toward the Lord and His ways are featured in verse two. The fear of the Lord keeps us walking in His wise ways and away from the foolishness that creates grief for us.

Proverbs 14.1-3
1 The wise woman builds her house, 
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands. 
2 He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, 
But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.
3 In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride,
But the lips of the wise will preserve them.

Lord, help me to hallow You by walking in Your righteous and wise ways.
Verses 10-11 work together to highlight the consequences of unrepentant rejection of he way and the certainty of justice because of God's omniscience. Twelve reinforces the incorrigiblity of the scoffer.

Proverbs 15.10-12
10 Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, 
And he who hates correction will die.
11 Hell and Destruction are before the LORD; 
So how much more the hearts of the sons of men.
12 A scoffer does not love one who corrects him,
Nor will he go to the wise.

Lord, help me to be an excellent "repenter."
These two saying are the center two of six about good earthly kings (rulers) and The King. They highlight the importance of doing what is ethically right and receiving counsel to do what is right.

Proverbs 16.11-13
12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, 
For a throne is established by righteousness. 
13 Righteous lips (counsel) are the delight of kings, 
And they love him who speaks what is right.

Lord, I long for The Righteous King to rule earth in the future and in my life now. Help, me to love righteousness.
The best time to stop a fight is before it starts. 

Lord, help me to be a peacemaker.

Proverbs 17.14 (HCSB) 
To start a conflict is to release a flood; 
stop the dispute before it breaks out.
Proverbs 18.20-21
20 A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; 
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. 
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, 
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

These proverbs speak of more than physical wages or clinical life and death. The tongue can isolate the owner from the community or or bring him the enjoyment and fellowship of the community. The NLT explains it this way...
"Wise words satisfy like a good meal;
the right words bring satisfaction.
The tongue can bring death or life;
those who love to talk will reap the consequences."

Be careful little mouth what you say.
These verses describe a chaotic society of dishonest corruption and tipsy turvey incompetence where the fool is promoted and the servants have to actually run things (like Nabel). Nine is worded in a way that reminds us that these wrongs will eventually be righted.

Proverbs 18.9-10
9 A false witness will not go unpunished, 
And he who speaks lies shall perish.
10 Luxury is not fitting for a fool, 
Much less for a servant to rule over princes.
Van Leeuwenhoek observes that, "Taken together, the two sayings present an ironic between the good for which one haggles and priceless wisdom."

Proverbs 20.15-16
"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.

Lord help me be a good haggler that understands and values Your priceless wisdom.
These two verses contrast the excessive consumption of fine things with the equally extravagant pursuit of righteous and mercy.

Proverbs 21.20-21
20 There is desirable treasure, 
And oil in the dwelling of the wise, 
But a foolish man squanders it.
21 He who follows righteousness and mercy 
Finds life, righteousness, and honor.

I'm thinking about the connection between righteousness and mercy.
Saying four of The Thirty Sayings of the Wise reminds us of a wise limit to generosity and the desire to help a friend, etc.

Proverbs 22.26-27
Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, 
One of those who is surety for debts; 
If you have nothing with which to pay, 
Why should he take away your bed from under you?

Lord, don't let my good judgement be swept away by compassion.
The Lord will advocate for the downtrodden. This "Saying of the Wise" gives a practical guideline for being on the Lord's side.

Proverbs 23.10-11
10 Do not remove the ancient landmark, 
Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11 For their Redeemer is mighty; 
He will plead their cause against you.
Proverbs 24.15-16 (nlt)
Don't wait in ambush at the home of the godly, 
and don't raid the house where the godly live.
The godly may trip seven times, 
but they will get up again. 
But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.

Thank you, Lord, for supplying the ability to get up again.
Proverbs 25.1
"These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied:"

This introduction to thIs section of Proverbs reminds us that those who collected and arranged the Proverbs also had a hand (through choices about which to include in what order) in giving meaning to the book. God is looking for people with the talent to play first fiddle and the humility to play second.

Lord, help me add value to other's work and ministry.
These three sayings.are the last three of six about the hateful person and remind us he will be revealed for what he is at some point.

Proverbs 26.26-28
26 Though his hatred 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.

Lord, help me be true and full of love.
These two sayings can be paired as a reminder to thoughtfully check our hearts for the insatiable desires (consumerism) that plague us all.
Proverbs 27.19-20
19 As in water face reflects face, 
So a man's heart reveals the man. 
Hell and Destruction are never full; 
So the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Lord, help me mortify in myself inordinate affections, evil desires, and covetousness (which is idolatry).
Pride and riches are often combined as a corrupting force, but the poor who keeps hearing the law can understand and resist his corrupting influence.

Proverbs 28.9-11
9 One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, 
Even his prayer is an abomination. 
10 Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, 
He himself will fall into his own pit; 
But the blameless will inherit good.
11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding searches him out.

Lord, help me be swayed in my thinking and perception only by your word.
These three sayings reinforce the importance of consistent discipline, rebuke, and correction of children. Successful parenting brings joy to the parents and the larger society.

Proverbs 29.15-17
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.
Proverbs 30.10 
Do not malign (slander) a servant to his master, 
Lest he curse you, and you be found guilty.

"This stands appropriately enough between the prayer of 7–9 and the portraits of 11–14, for arrogance (11) breeds oppression (14), while the fear of God (7–9) engenders respect for the weak. If the servant is innocent, his curse will count (cf. 26:2), for there is a Judge." --Derek Kidner in the Tyndall Comm. on the OT

Lord, help me remember to bless and encourage those who serve me in business and stores, etc.
Among all the qualities of this Proverbs Woman we find this triad of wisdom, kindness, and industry which we do not always see together. Wisdom is the law of kindness.

Proverbs 31.26-27
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, 
And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 
27 She watches over the ways of her household, 
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

Lord, help me be industrious, wise, AND kind.

Proverbs - November 2017 meditations

Proverbs one concludes with a warning about the major indigestion that comes when the next course is the fruit of our ways and we have chosen to turn away from wisdom and be complacent.

Proverbs 1.31-33
31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.

32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will 
destroy them; 
33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil."

Lord, give me ears to hear and an urgency to respond and walk in Your way.
The first four verses of this chapter provide the "if" you seek for wisdom and the balance of the chapter provides a "then it will." These two verses emphasize the asking and diligent seeking for wisdom.

Proverbs 2.3-4
3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, 
And lift up your voice for understanding, 
4 If you seek her as silver, 
And search for her as for hidden treasures;

Lord, Make me desperate for You and Your wisdom,

These verses wisely advise against betraying trusts and creating strife where none is called for.

Proverbs 3.29-30
Do not devise evil against your neighbor, 
For he dwells by you for safety's sake (or securely, unsuspecting, trusting) 
Do not strive with a man without cause, 
If he has done you no harm.

Lord, make me a faithful, loyal man of peace.


Proverbs 4.11-13
11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;
And if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your life.

A few observations...
The instruction of the father leads to paths that are described as both wise and upright.
Verse twelve mirrors the idea of the father's instruction being a "light unto my path" and clearing the paths of things that would trip the son up.
"Grab and guard" reminds us of the slippery nature of wisdom illustrated by Solomon. It takes vigilance and focus to keep it.

Lord, help me to be vigilant to grab and guard your ways.
Among the serious warnings about extra-marital sex and the immoral woman is this racy encouragement for husbands (and wives) to have some passion in their marriage.

Proverbs 5.18-19
18 Let your fountain be blessed, 
And rejoice with the wife of your youth. 
As a loving deer and a graceful doe, 
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; 
And always be enraptured with her love.

I'm thinking of the irony that it is the "worthless person" who is always one step ahead, scheming, and signaling associates who is blindsided when it all catches up with him.

Proverbs 6:12-15
A worthless person, a wicked man, 
Walks with a perverse mouth; 
He winks with his eyes, He shuffles his feet, 
He points with his fingers;
Perversity is in his heart,
He devises evil continually,
He sows discord.
Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly;
Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy.

Lord, help me to walk honestly fearing/trusting you.


The immoral woman appeals to the simpleton with the classic presumptive pride that their sin will go undetected and that they are the special exceptions to normal cause effect consequences. Moses told the Israelites to be sure their sin would find them out.

Proverbs 7.18-20
Come, let us take our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with love.
For my husband is not at home;
He has gone on a long journey;
He has taken a bag of money with him,
And will come home on the appointed day."

Lord, help me walk in the wise humility that is aware You are watching, weighing, and rewarding all I do, say, or think.
In chapter eight Wisdom personified cries out with a word for rulers of all kinds. It is by wisdom, not just by raw power, personality, or persuasion.

Proverbs 8.14-16
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom;
I am understanding,
I have strength.
15 By me kings reign, 
And rulers decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles,
All the judges of the earth.

Lord, help me lead wisely as Jesus instructed us in Mark 10.42-45.
Proverbs 9.1-3
Wisdom has built her house, 
She has hewn out her seven pillars; 
She has slaughtered her meat, 
She has mixed her wine, 
She has also furnished her table. 
She has sent out her maidens, 
She cries out from the highest places of the city,

Will we hear and partake?

1. The repetition of "she..." does this or that highlights her industry, activity, and investment.
2. The lavish table reminds us of the "manifold enjoyment of the higher spiritual realities of Solomon's wisdom."
3. "Sends out" reminds us of the part we should have in bringing others to Wisdom's feast. (How beautiful are the feet...)


A pair of saying that reinforce the importance of diligence. 

Proverbs 10.4-5
He who has a slack hand becomes poor, 
But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
He who gathers in summer is a wise son; 
He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.

Lord, help me to be diligent in Your harvest.

These verses go beyond the personal impacts of righteous to its effect on the larger social context.

Proverbs 11.10-11
When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; 
And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.
By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, 
But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

Lord, help me be the kind of upright man that brings blessing to those around me.

These three sayings contrast the righteous with the wicked who's lack of a good work ethic and enumeration with what the wicked have put him on a course where his words transgress and end up trapping him.

Proverbs 12.11-13
11 He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, 
But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.
12 The wicked covet the catch of evil men, 
But the root of the righteous yields fruit.
13 The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
But the righteous will come through trouble.

Lord, give me a work ethic and contentment with what I need that results in righteousness.

Part of the difference between the righteous and wicked is the humility and teachable spirit,

Proverbs 13.9-10 [net]
9 The light of the righteous shines brightly, 
but the lamp of the wicked is put out. 10 Arrogance leads to nothing but strife, 
but wisdom is gained by those who take advice.

Lord, help me be quick and careful to listen.

After comparing the revelation of Wisdom to the discerning and the fool and contrasting their responses, a proverbial pair connects a nation's ethics and the king's responsibility to reward good officials and punish evil ones. --Waltke

Proverbs 14:33-35 [nkjv]
33 In the heart of the discerning wisdom comes to rest,
And in the midst of fools she reveals herself. [Waltke trans.]
34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a reproach to any people.
35 The king's favor is toward a wise servant,
But his wrath is against him who causes shame.

Lord, give me the discernment to follow righteousness that will exalt my neighborhood, city, state, and nation.

The tale of two sons. One heeds correction from his parents, enjoys a degree of success that wise living brings, and has wisdom to share. The other rejects his father's discipline, has trouble during his life, and never develops a heart for wisdom.

Proverbs 15.5-7
A fool despises his father's instruction, 
But he who receives correction is prudent. 
In the house of the righteous there is much treasure,
But in the revenue of the wicked is trouble.
The lips of the wise disperse knowledge,
But the heart of the fool does not do so.

Lord, help my life to be a positive tribute to your wisdom.

We have an encouragement for those tempted to "envy the wicked" and warning to those who think they are the exception who can sin with impunity. 

Proverbs 16.4-5 [net]
The LORD works everything for its own ends - 
even the wicked for the day of disaster.
5 The LORD abhors every arrogant person; 
rest assured that they will not go unpunished.

Lord, keep me looking into Jesus and the joy that is set before me. (Hen 12.1-3)

This section, 16.31-17.6, about righteousness and old age contain two sayings that remind us that peace is better than riches and character is better than birth order. And "God strips bare all pretensions and tests all human hearts." -- Waltke

Proverbs 17.1-3
1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness, 
Than a house full of feasting with strife. 
2 A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame,
And will share an inheritance among the brothers.
3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the LORD tests the hearts.

Lord, help me grow wise and righteous as I grow older.

These two reminders about the power of our words conclude the section (13-21). "Whatever a person dishes out, whether beneficial or harmful, he himself will [likely] feed on through what his audience in return dishes out to him." --Waltke

Proverbs 18.20-21
20 A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; 
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, 
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Lord, help my lips to give life and fullness.


This trio of sayings speaks to the parents and to the son in a caution against an uncontrolled temper. Parents should be diligent and undeterred in training there children who are also admonished to heed their parents discipling and discipline.

Proverbs 19.18-20
18 Chasten your son while there is hope,
And do not set your heart on his destruction.
19 A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; 
For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.

Lord, help me and my children to be wise in our later days.
This first of four pairs of saying in the section 20.12-19 remind us that both a combination of aptitude for wisdom and a good work ethic will are necessary.

Proverbs 20.12-13
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The LORD has made them both.
13 Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.

Lord, give me the aptitude and diligence to learn your ways.
The contrasts between these two saying make for some good pondering.

Proverbs 21.3-4
3 To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. 
4 A haughty look, a proud heart, 
And the plowing of the wicked are sin.

Lord, l want my "plowing" to be characterized by a humble righteousness and justice that make my "sacrifices" a delight to you.

Note: There seems to be some question about the meaning of one of the words that results in some translation having "lamp" instead of "plowing."

Verses 17-22 provide an introduction for Solomon's thirty wise sayings and a key objective for parenting (or by extension discipleship).

Proverbs 22.
20 Have I not written to you thirty (or excellent) things 
Of counsels and knowledge, 
21 That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, 
That you may answer words of truth 
To those who send to you?

And this just in time for the Thanksgiving gatherings... 

Proverbs 23:19-21
Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.
Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

This 16th of the "Thirty Wise Savings" reminds us of the influence our friends have on us.
1. The word "guide" reminds us of the importance of intentionally arranging our lives in ways that encourage us to live wisely.
2. The words "winebibbers and gluttons" are the stock descriptions of the "wrong crowd."
3. Choosing good friends is a vital part of walking in wisdom. They have a greater influence on us than we might imagine.

Lord, help me to arrange my life to walk in Your ways.

Proverbs 24.21-22
My son, fear the LORD and the king; 
Do not associate with those given to change;
For their calamity will rise suddenly, 
And who knows the ruin those two can bring?

1. I am thinking about what "fear" means in this context. It seems to have a practical side.
2. I noticed with interest that "two" can bring ruin.

Proverbs 25.17-18
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house,
Lest he become weary of you and hate you.
18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor Is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.

These two sayings reinforce the importance of good rationships with our neighbors (the people we live next to, work with, go to church with, etc.). While it is always wrong to be dishonest, the cerebrial cartoon in 18 emphesizes the double wrong of betraying some who should be able to trust and depend on you.

Lord, help me to be a good and faithful "neighbor."
This pair of sayings that urge moderation and restraint are especially applicable at certain times of the year.

Proverbs 25.16-17
16 Have you found honey? 
Eat only as much as you need, Lest you be filled with it and vomit.
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house, 
Lest he become weary of you and hate you.

Lord, help me to keep balance of just enough.

These three sayings in the midst of a section of twelve sayings about fools remind us of some liabilities of working with fools.

Proverbs 26.8-10
8 Giving honor to a fool
is like binding a stone in a sling.
9 A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like a stick with thorns,
brandished by the hand of a drunkard. 10 The one who hires a fool 
or who hires those passing by
is like an archer who wounds everyone.

Lord, help me to be wise and helpful to those I work with.
"Face of his friend" is a Hebrew pun since the working edge of a sword or knife is called its face in Hebrew. The wounds of a friend are faithful (v. 6) unlike the words of the fawning neighbor (v. 14). (Waltke)

Proverbs 27.17
17 As iron sharpens iron, 
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. (Lit and a man sharpens his friend’s face)

This saying infers 
1. Wise, righteous friends.
2. A strong enough relationship and the wisdom to endure and appreciate constructive criticism.

"Paradoxically, because the wicked do not fear God, they live in fear of man, but because the righteous fear God, they do not fear people. These different psychologies are because of their guilty consciences..." --Bruce Waltke

Proverbs 28.1
The wicked flee when no one pursues, 
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

Lord, help me have the confidence that comes from the walking in the paths of righteousness.

Proverbs 29.19-21
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.

These sayings seem to highlight the importance of discipline in a young person's life to develop the character needed to succeed when older.
Proverbs 30.29-31
There are three things which are majestic in pace, 
Yes, four which are stately in walk: 
A lion, which is mighty among beasts 
And does not turn away from any; 
a strutting rooster (hcsb)
A male goat also, 
And a king whose troops are with him.