Sunday, December 23, 2018

December 2017

A sobering warning to the son (child) from Wisdom to set the stage in chapter one.

Proverbs 1:27–28
When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
“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 be prompt and complete in my response to Your admonitions and calls on my life.


Proverbs 2:11–12
11 Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you,
12 To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things,

What is a primary value of understanding and discretion? Keeping us on the path of righteousness is more important that many of the “quality of life” issues that we are so consumed with.

Lord, give me the good sense to keep following your ways.


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.

Lord, help me remember.

“Even as Cain murdered the righteous Abel, sending him to a premature death, after which Cain lived out a normal life span, so the father represents a traveler’s “innocent blood” (1:12) as being dispatched to a premature death by venal sinners who walk on top of his grave. These initial situations discredit the popular interpretation that life and death in Proverbs refer respectively to living to an old age and to a premature death. For justice to be done, as Proverbs assures it will be (e.g., 3:31–35; 16:4–5), Abel and the innocent traveler must be vindicated and delivered from death in a future that lies beyond their clinical deaths. If their clinical death is the last word for the waylaid innocent, then the first lecture, along with other biblical stories about the deaths of martyrs, deconstruct the Bible’s claim that God upholds justice. “. -Waltke in NICOT

Proverbs 4:25–27 
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.

26 Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.

27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.

Lord, keep my mind from wondering. Keep me focused and traveling on Your straight path.

The regrets of the son who did not incline toward the instruction (discipline) of his father and law (torah) of his mother and did not embrace the discretion that would have protected him from the femme fatale.

Proverbs 5:12–14 (NLT)
You will say, “How I hated discipline!
If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers?
Why didn’t I pay attention to my instru
I have come to the brink of utter ruin,
and now I must face public disgrace.

Lord, help me to love Your wise warnings and listen to the instructors and teachers You provide.

The regrets of the son who did not incline toward the instruction (discipline) of his father and law (torah) of his mother and did not embrace the discretion that would have protected him from the femme fatale.

Proverbs 5:12–14 (NLT)
You will say, “How I hated discipline!
If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers?
Why didn’t I pay attention to my instru
I have come to the brink of utter ruin,
and now I must face public disgrace

Lord, help me to love Your wise warnings and listen to the instructors and teachers You provide.


Proverbs 6:12–15 (NLT)
What are worthless* and wicked people like?
They are constant liars,
signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye,
a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
Their perverted hearts plot evil,
and they constantly stir up trouble. 

But they will be destroyed suddenly, 

broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing. 
* lit. ‘of Belial’. Belial always implies wickedness as well as worthlessness (e.g. 1 Sam. 2:12; 1 Kgs 21:10); sometimes sheer destructiveness (Nah. 1:11, 15; Ps. 18:4); eventually it becomes explicitly a name for the devil (2 Cor. 6:15), who is the father of all such qualities. —Kidner in TCOT

Lord, help me be an honest blessing to those I meet.

The story of the simple (naive) young man and the femme fatale has this dialogue she uses to entice him.

Proverbs 7:13–15
So she caught him and kissed him;
With an impudent face she said to him:
“I have peace offerings with me;
Today I have paid my vows.

So I came out to meet you,
Diligently to seek your face,
And I have found you. .

I am always warned by and wonder at her thought that finishing her sacrifice was just a religious task to be completed before pursuing this immorality.

Lord, keep me from empty acts of devotion and keep my eyes on Your wise way.

Verses 22-31 celebrate wisdom’s antiquity. Sometimes “antiquity” is seen as inferior because it is out of touch with all the “new and improved” ways, but wisdom’s antiquity is described here as having seen all the fades come and go and having a foundational understanding of how things work.

Proverbs 8:27–30 
When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

When He established the clouds above,
When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
When He assigned to the sea its limit,
So that the waters would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him.

Lord, help me understand and follow your timeless wisdom.


In the second half of this chapter we find a rival of Wisdom calling out to the simple.
Proverbs 9:13 
A foolish woman is clamorous;
She is simple, and knows nothing.

Tg. Prov 9:13 translates it, “a foolish woman and a gadabout, ignorant, and she knows not good.”

She is (among other things...
1. turbulent (or unruly, hōmîyâ; see 7:11), “Loud” (hōmîyâ) comes close to the idea of riotous; McKane (366) defines her as restless and rootless.
2.gullible, undisciplined, Simple (13b, av, rv) is lit. ‘silliness’, emphasizing that for all her wiles, she shares her victims’ basic deficiency,
3.ignorant (5:6), The ignorance here in Proverbs must be moral ignorance.

Lord, help me discern between folly and wisdom.

Proverbs 10:29–30 (NET)
29 The way of the Lord is like a stronghold for the upright,
but it is destruction to evildoers.

30 The righteous will never be moved,
but the wicked will not inhabit the land.

v.29. The “way of the Lord” refers to God’s providential administration of life. Thus divine justice will be security for the righteous and disaster for the wicked. —Alan Ross in EBC

Lord, help my hope to be built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. Keep me safe on that foundation.

Proverbs 11:16–17 (NET):
16 A generous woman gains honor,
and ruthless men seize wealth.

17 A kind person benefits himself,
but a cruel person brings himself trouble
.* trans. note: Heb “brings trouble to his flesh.” study note: There may be a conscious effort by the sage to contrast “soul” and “body”: He contrasts the benefits of kindness for the “soul” (translated “himself”) with the trouble that comes to the “flesh/body” (translated “himself”) of the cruel.

Proverbs 12:28 
In the way of righteousness is life,
And in (its) pathway (there is) no death

There is an eternal life that transcends clinical death.
cf. Proverbs 14:32
The wicked is banished in his wickedness, 
But the righteous has a refuge in his death.

Thanks be to God who gives us the victory over death.

Proverbs 13:19 
A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul,
But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.

The desire that comes to pass and is “sweet to the soul” has a taste that detests evil, but since to the fool it is repugnant to turn away from his impiety and immorality, he will never experience this pleasant gratification. —Waltke in NICOT
Perowne says: “In spite of the sweetness of good desires accomplished, fools will not forsake evil to attain it” (Proverbs, 103). Cf. Prov 13:12; 29:27.

Lord, give me a moral palate that delights in Christ and finds sin bitter and distasteful.

Proverbs 14:29–30 (NET)
29 The one who is slow to anger has great understanding,
but the one who has a quick temper exalts folly. 

30 A tranquil spirit revives the body,
but envy is rottenness to the bones.
cf. Proverbs 19:11
* “ nurse a resentment is bad for body as well as soul: it is no sacrifice when we renounce it. Cf. 17:22.” —kidner in TOTC

“The patient person is relaxed when wronged; he controls his emotions to think and act according to piety and ethics. He is not “ruffled or goaded” into overreacting to avenge himself or seek revenge rather than trusting the Lord.” Waltke in NICOT

Lord, give me the good sense to have a “relaxing trust” in You.

Proverbs 15:30–31 (NET)
30 A bright look brings joy to the heart,
and good news gives health to the body. 

31 The person who hears the reproof that leads to life
is at home among the wise. 

The wise winsome teacher brings wisdom and joy to his disciple.

Lord, help me to graciously receive and give Your life and joy-giving instruction.

Proverbs 16:25 is the well known saying, “ There is a way that seems right to a man...”. Verses 27-30 give specific examples.

Proverbs 16:27-28 
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.

* Lit. A man of Belial

Lord, help me make my living by honest work.


Proverbs 17:21–22 (NLT)
21 It is painful to be the parent of a fool;
there is no joy for the father of a rebel. 

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. 

Having adult children who are characterized by foolish decisions and turning against the Lord is a heavy loads.

Lord, help me be a help, encouragement, and comfort to those who are carrying heavy load.

Proverbs 18:16 (EBC Pr-Is (Rev)): Here the proverb simply says that a gift can expedite matters but says nothing about bribing judges. See Genesis 43:11 and the appeasing gift for Joseph.*. The next proverb provides a balance by emphasizing the importance of hearing both sides.
*. Alan Ross in EBC

Proverbs 18:16–17
16 A man’s gift makes room for him,
And brings him before great men.

17 The first one to plead his cause seems right,
Until his neighbor comes and examines him.

Lord, help me be generous and wise.

Proverbs 19.5 (& 6)
5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who speaks lies will not escape.

6 Many entreat the favor of the nobility,
And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts.

The saying in verse five applies the principle of verse one* to the courtroom. Seeking the favor of "nobility" (or a generous man) is fraught with snares and temptations. Integrity must guide one straight along the wise and right path.
* Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.

Lord, Never let me lose sight of the path of integrity.

The Lord has given us ears and eyes to learn, but we must be diligent to ise them.

Proverbs 20:12–13 (NICOT)
12 As for the hearing ear and the seeing eye,
indeed both of them the Lord has made.

13 Do not love sleep lest you become poor.
Open your eyes, be filled with food.

Lord, help me to be diligent in what you have for me today.

Proverbs 21:4–5 (NKJV): 
4 A haughty look, a proud heart,
...the plowing of the wicked* are sin.

5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.
* the plowing consists of the arrogance and pride. There is some question about whether the haughty look and proud heart are the result of the work of the wicked or are the work of the wicked.

Lord, give me the humble and diligent heart to plan well.


Proverbs 22:15 
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of correction will drive it far from him.

“The child is morally immature; the training must suppress folly and develop potential (see also 13:24; 23:13, 16; 29:15).” —Allen Ross in EBC


Saying # 17 reinforces and expands the fifth command.

Proverbs 23:22–25 
Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her who bore you rejoice.

Lord, help me follow You in a way that brings my parents joy.

This is the 21st of the 30 Sayings of the Wise." It is a reminder that through wisdom, not violence, injustice, or "get-rich-quick" schemes a lasting house is built.

Proverbs 24.3-4
3 Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established; 

4 By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches. 

Lord, help me apply and rely on your wisdom.

Proverbs 25.13-14
Like the cold of snow in time of harvest 

Is a faithful* messenger to those who send him,
For he refreshes the soul of his masters.
Whoever falsely boasts of giving Is like clouds and wind without rain.

*.H539 - 'aman: morally to be true or certain; (Niphal) to be established, be faithful, be carried, make firm

In 20:6 the sage asks, "Who can find a faithful man?" Lord, give me the desire and ability to be that man.

These three proverbs highlight the incompetence of a fool. (Verse 10 is apparently a very difficult verse to translate. I have used Bruce Waltke's translation.)

Proverbs 26.8-10
8. Like one who binds a stone in a sling
is the person who gives honor to a fool.

9. A thornbush in the hand of a drunkard,
and a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

10. An archer who pierces every passer-by,
and one who hires a fool, and one who hires those who pass by.

A reminder not to rest on past accomplishments and grow complacent.

Proverbs 27.23-24
23 Be diligent to know the state of your flocks,
And attend to your herds; 

24 For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.

Lord, help me apply this principle with renewed vigor this year.

These two sayings reinforce the danger of greed and injustice that can blind one to their ultimate futility.

Proverbs 28.21-22
21 To show partiality is not good, 
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress. 

22 A man with an evil eye*hastens after riches, 
And does not consider that poverty will come upon him


Lord, give me a wholesome ambition that is always tempered by Your wisdom and justice.

The impulsive rush to judgment that gives way to anger can also make one gullible to lies.

Proverbs 29.11-12
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. 

Lord, give me the discernment and consistency to lead well.

There are some things that are as puzzling today as they were in Agur's day.

Proverbs 30.18-20
There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Yes, four which I do not understand:
The way of an eagle in the air,
The way of a serpent on a rock, 

The way of a ship in the midst of the sea,
And the way of a man with a virgin.
This is the way of an adulterous woman:
She eats and wipes her mouth,
And says, "I have done no wickedness.

I want a principle within of watchful godly fear.
A sensibility to sin, a pain to feel it near...

Proverbs 31 is rightfully remembered as the description Lemuel's mother gave him of a virtuous wife, but it also includes instructions about being King. It is noteworthy that we see this theme in both parts.

Proverbs 31
8 Open your mouth for the speechless,*
In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
*[or ensure justice for those being crushed.-- nlt]
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,
 plead the cause of the poor and needy.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Proverbs Reflections: November 2017

A little real scary reading about sinners coming to entice sons (and daughters) to join them in their violent pursuit of easy money.

Proverbs 1.10-14
My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
If they say, "Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood;
Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; 

Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
And whole, like those who go down to the Pit;
We shall find all kinds of precious possessions,
We shall fill our houses with spoil;
Cast in your lot among us,
Let us all have one purse"— 

Lord, help me to hear and follow wisdom's call over the clamor of enticing sinners.
It is both amazing and disturbing how good we are at convincing ourselves that we are the exception who can go down the wrong path and still end up at our desired destination. Here the warning is against easy sex with a "wayward woman" (CSB) with an obvious implied application for the daughter, too.

Proverbs 2.18-19
For her house leads down to death,
And her paths to the dead;
None who go to her return,
Nor do they regain the paths of life—

Lord, keep me seeking Your wisdom and walking down Your path.
There's a fictitious story told about a wealthy businessman who was able to negotiate with God to bring whatever he could fit in one briefcase to heaven with him when he died. When he arrived at the pearly gates, St. Peter was curious to see what he had brought. The man proudly opened the briefcase to reveal a briefcase full of the finest gold bars money could buy. Peter looked with confusion and replied, "Paving stones!? Why paving stones?"

Proverbs 3.13-14
Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.

Lord, I want Wisdom and understanding and their fine proceeds.
Two reasons for the wise son to avoid the wicked...

Proverbs 4.16-17
16 For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; 
And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall. 

17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, 
And drink the wine of violence.

Lord, help me take firm hold of instruction and discern the wicked for who they are.
While the Lord is watching and weighing all we do, say, and think, we usually find a way to get tangled up in our sin and their consequences all by ourselves.

Proverbs 5:21-23
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, 
And He ponders all his paths. 
His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, 
And he is caught in the cords of his sin. 

He shall die for lack of instruction,
And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

Lord, help me remember and live in your instruction.

While all sins are damnable, not all sins are equal in their seriousness and consequences. For example...

Proverbs 6.30-32
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.

In this tragic "case study" the young man lacking sense (csb) abandons his father's wise teaching and wanders down toward the immoral woman's location in the late evening. What could possibly go wrong?

Proverbs 7.7-9
And saw among the simple, 
I perceived among the youths, 
A young man devoid of understanding, Passing along the street near her corner; 
And he took the path to her house 

In the twilight, in the evening,
In the black and dark night.

Lord, give me a love for Your wisdom and the sense to stay away from places where and when extraordinary temptations are lurking.

Chapter eight depicts Wisdom crying out to people and describing herself as much more than clever life hacks.

Proverbs 8.12-13
"I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, 
And find out knowledge and discretion. 
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; 
Pride and arrogance and the evil way 
And the perverse mouth I hate.

Wisdom is not the only one calling out to people. Folly is calling out to senseless people (csb) to engage in porn and easy sex, and they just don't have the sense to realize what a horrid trap it is.

Proverbs 9:16-18
"Whoever is simple, let him turn in here"; 
And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
"Stolen water is sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant." 
But he does n
ot know that the dead are there,
That her guests are in the depths of hell.

Oh! Lord, my God, please save me from being morally stupid.

Proverbs 10:4-5
4 He who has a slack hand becomes poor, 
But the hand of the diligent makes rich. 

5 He who gathers in summer is a wise son; 
He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.

Lord, give me the desire and ability to work hard and work hardest at the key times.
These three sayings contrast the righteous and the wicked and highlight the value of righteousness.

Proverbs 11.3-5
3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, 
But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. 

4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, 
But righteousness delivers from death. 

5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright,
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.

Lord, help me to seek, know, and practice righteousness.

A triad of sayings about the tongue speaking righteousness, health, and truth.

Proverbs 12.17-19
17 He who speaks truth declares righteousness, 
But a false witness, deceit. 
18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, 
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.
19 The truthful lip shall be established forever,
But a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Lord, give me a heart that overflows Your goodness and the good sense to keep my mouth shut when it doesn't.

These sayings combine ethical speech with diligence. Traits or character qualities often cluster.

Proverbs 13.2-4
2 A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth, 
But the soul of the unfaithful feeds on violence. 

3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, 
But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. 

4 The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing;
But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

Lord, help me please You with my words (and thoughts).

We often focus on the aspect of the fear of the Lord that causes the wicked to cower and tremble, but the confidence that God is watching, weighing and rewarding can be a liberating force for good in our lives.

Proverbs 14.25-27
25 A true witness delivers souls,
But a deceitful witness speaks lies. 

26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence,
And His children will have a place of ref
27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death.

Lord increase my confidence in You to reward good, and help me be bold to do good.
A humble, teachable heart is the evidence and fruit of the fear of the Lord.

Proverbs 15:31-33
31 The ear that hears the rebukes of life 
Will abide among the wise. 

32 He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, 
But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding. 

33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom,
And before honor is humility.

Lord, help me be humble.

I see echoes of Vanity Fair and By-Path Meadow in these verses. 

Proverbs 16.16-17
16 How much better to get wisdom than gold! 
And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. 

17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; 
He who keeps his way preserves his soul.

Lord, keep me pressing forward on the path and not getting sidetracked.
Sandwiched among a warning about fools and strife are two sayings that warn against turning justice on its head.

Proverbs 17.12-15
12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs,
Rather than a fool in his folly. 

13 Whoever rewards evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house. 

14 The beginning of strife is like releasing water;
Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts. 

15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.

(Also, note the bonus nature tip.). (Also notice the implied relationship between strife and the perversion of justice.)

Lord, help me be a righteous steward of your justice.
These two sayings are more part of chapter 19 and 24a is difficult to translate with certainty. One lesson from these two sayings is the importance of good friends.

Proverbs 18.23-24
23 A poor person makes supplications, 
but a rich man answers harshly.

24 A person who has friends may be harmed by them, 
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Lord, help me be a faithful and compassionate friend.
I am thinking about the connections between despising God's commands and the poor.

Proverbs 19:16-17
16 He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, 
But he who is careless [or despises] of his ways will die. 

17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, 
And He will pay back what he has given.

Lord, help me take care with Your law and Your poor.
Proverbs 20.8-11
8 A king who sits on the throne of judgment 
Scatters all evil with his eyes. 

9 Who can say, "I have made my heart clean, 
I am pure from my sin"? 

Search me, O God, and know my heart; 
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Psa. 139

Proverbs 21:15-16
15 The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, 
But is terror to the workers of iniquity.

16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding 
Will rest in the assembly of the dead.

Lord, keep me on Your way so that Your justice will be my delight.
These are the first three of five sayings that form the introduction to the "Thirty Sayings of the Wise" and encourage the son to listen and apply himself to the words of the wise so his trust will be in the Lord. Parents and grandparents should teach their children wise sayings that help and encourage them tto trust the Lord

Proverbs 22.17-19
17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your heart to my knowledge; 

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

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

Lord, help me trust You and lead others to do the same.

Saying of then Wise #18 for the obedient son. It is very thought provoking that the heart affection for the father's teaching competes against the draw of the promiscuous woman. There is a lot of food for thought there.

Proverbs 23:26-27 (nlt)
O my son, give me your heart. 
May your eyes take delight in following my ways.
A prostitute is a dangerous trap; 
a promiscuous woman is as dangerous as falling into a narrow well.

Lord, help Your ways to be the object of my thoughts and desires.
Sayings of the Wise # 26
There is no such thing as overeating when it comes to obtaining wisdom.

Proverbs 24.13-14
My son, eat honey because it is good, 
And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste; 
So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; 

If you have found it, there is a prospect,
And your hope will not be cut off.

Lord, help me love and enjoy Your wisdom more than any dessert.

Thoughtful and appropriate responses, even to our enemies are pleasing to the Lord.

Proverbs 25.21-23
20 Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather, 
And like vinegar on soda, 
Is one who sings songs to a heavy heart. 

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; 
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; 

22 For so you will heap coals of fire on his head,
And the LORD will reward you.

Lord, give me the wisdom and thoughtfulness to be a blessing even to my enemies.

An old twist on the modern understanding of combustion. There are three necessary elements to a fire: oxygen, heat, and fuel. In these sayings a gossip and / or a contentious man spirit fuel the fire.

Proverbs 26.20-21
20 Where there is no wood, the fire goes out;
And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.

21 As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire,
So is a contentious man to kindle strife.

Lord, give me the heart and self-control of a peacemaker.
Anticipating things that can go wrong and taking appropriate precautions instead of being naive...

Proverbs 27.11-13
11 My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, 
That I may answer him who reproaches me.

12 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; 
The simple pass on and are punished. 

13 Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger, 
And hold it in pledge when he is surety for a seductress.

We ask the question, "Would you do some sin for a million dollars?" But the sad fact is we will usually compromise for much less, (even a piece of bread?)

Proverbs 28.21-22
21 To show partiality is not good, 
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress. 

22 A man with an evil eye [a greedy man] hastens after riches, 
And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.

Lord, help me to be content and trust in you.
Proverbs 29.8-9
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.

At first glance, it is difficult to see (and not immediately obvious) what these verses have in common, but when you reflect, you see the common theme of aggressive self-interest and lack of self-control in all three verses.

Lord, help me to value peace and Your ways more than my natural urges.
This set of sayings make a point about a son who scorns his parents (a serious crime in the OT economy).

Proverbs 30.15-17
The leech has two daughters—Give and Give!
There are three things that are never satisfied,
Four never say, "Enough!":
The grave,

The barren womb,
The earth that is not satisfied with water—
And the fire never says, "Enough!"
The eye that mocks his father,
And scorns obedience to his mother,
The ravens of the valley will pick it out,
And the young eagles will eat it.

Lord, give me the shalom and contentment in my heart to honor my parents (literally and figuratively).