March Madness Proverbs Day 23

March 23, 2007

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You should know the drill by now. Today’s chapter is Proverbs chapter 23. Read it, then come back here!

From the Life Application Bible:

Verses 1-3: The point of this proverb is to be careful when eating with an important or influential person because he or she may try to bribe you. No good will come from the meal.

Verses 4-5: We have all heard of people who have won millions of dollars and then lost everything. Even the average person can spend an inheritance – or a paycheck – with lightning speed and have little to show for it. Don’t spend your time chasing fleeting earthly treasures. Instead, store up treasures in heaven, for such treasures will never be lost. (See Luke 12:33, 34 for Jesus’ teaching.)

Verses 6-8: In graphic language, the writer warns us not to envy the life-styles of those who have become rich by being stingy and miserly, and not to gain their favor by fawning over them. Their “friendship” is phony – they will just use you for their own gain.

Verses 10-11: The term redeemer referred to someone who bought back a family member who had fallen into slavery or who accepted the obligation to marry the widow of a family member (Ruth 4:3-10). God is also called a Redeemer (Exodus 6:6; Job 19:25).

Verse 12: The people most likely to gain knowledge are those who are willing to listen. It is a sign of strength, not weakness, to pay attention to what others have to say. People who are eager to listen continue to learn and grow throughout their lives. If we refuse to become set in our ways, we can always expand the limits of our knowledge.

Verses 13-14: The stern tone of discipline here is offset by the affection expressed in verse 15. However, many parents are reluctant to discipline their children at all. Some fear that they will forfeit their relationship, their children will resent them, or they will stifle their children’s development. But correction won’t kill children, and it may prevent them from foolish moves that will.

Verses 17-18: How easy it is to envy those who get ahead, unhampered by responsibility to God’s laws. For a time they do seem to prosper without paying any attention to what God wants, but they have no future. To those who follow him, God promises a hope and a wonderful future, even if they don’t realize it in this life.

Verse 29-30: The soothing comfort of alcohol is only temporary. Real relief comes from dealing with the cause of the anguish and sorrow and turning to God for peace. Don’t lose yourself in alcohol; find yourself in God.

Verses 29-35: Israel was a wine-producing country. In the Old Testament, winepresses bursting with new wine were considered a sign of blessing (3:10). Wisdom is even said to have set her table with win (9:2, 5). But the Old Testament writers were alert to the dangers of wine. It dulls the senses; it limits clear judgment (31:1-9); it lowers the capacity for control (4:17); it destroys a person’s efficiency (21:17). To make wine an end in itself, a means of self-indulgence, or as an escape from life is to misuse it and invite the consequences of the drunkard.

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