Proverbs about Trusting God

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.” (3:5-6)

“Do not be afraid of sudden fear
Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes;
For the Lord will be your confidence
And will keep your foot from being caught.” (3:25-26)

“He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.” (11:28)

“He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.” (16:20)

“The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the LORD.” (21:31)

“Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.
So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have taught you today, even you.” (22:17-19)

An arrogant man stirs up strife,
But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But he who walks wisely will be delivered. (28:25-26)

“The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.” (29:25)

“Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (30:5)

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Proverbs about Pride and Humility

If you think you excel as an expert at humility, you are probably wrong! Here are some proverbs on this subject.

  • “Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself; Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.” (6:3)
  • “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.” (8:13)
  • “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.” (11:2)
  • “The Lord will tear down the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow.” (15:25)
  • “The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.” (15:33)
  • “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.” (16:5)
  • “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly Than to divide the spoil with the proud.” (16:18-19)
  • “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor.” (18:12)
  • “Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin.” (21:4)
  • “‘Proud,’ ‘Haughty,’ ‘Scoffer,’ are his names, Who acts with insolent pride.” (21:24)
  • “The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches, honor and life.” (22:4)
  • “A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.” (29:3)
  • “If you have been foolish in exalting yourself Or if you have plotted evilput your hand on your mouth.” (30:32)

Proverbs about Wealth

  • Honor the Lord from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine. (3:9-10)
  • Take my instruction and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold. (8:10)
  • Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. (10:4)
  • The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, The heart of the wicked is worth little. (10:20)
  • Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. (11:4)
  • A gracious woman attains honor, And ruthless men attain riches. (11:16)
  • He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf. (11:28)
  • There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing; Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth. (13:7)
  • Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, But the one who gathers by labor increases it. (13:11)
  • Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox. (14:4)
  • The poor is hated even by his neighbor, But those who love the rich are many. He who despises his neighbor sins, But happy is he who is gracious to the poor. (14:20-21)
  • Great wealth is in the house of the righteous, But trouble is in the income of the wicked. (15:6)
  • Better is a little with the fear of the Lord Than great treasure and turmoil with it. (15:16)
  • Better is a little with righteousness Than great income with injustice. (16:18)
  • rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own imagination. (18:11)
  • The poor man utters supplications, But the rich man answers roughly. (18:23)
  • Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool. (19:1)
  • Wealth adds many friends, But a poor man is separated from his friend. (19:4)
  • House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the Lord. (19:14)
  • One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, And He will repay him for his good deed. (19:17)
  • What is desirable in a man is his kindness, And it isbetter to be a poor man than a liar. (19:22)
  • Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food. (20:13)
  • He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be answered. (21:13)
  • He who loves pleasure will becomepoor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich. (21:17)
  • good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold. (22:1)
  • The rich and the poor have a common bond, The Lord is the maker of them all. (22:2)
  • The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches, honor and life. (22:4)
  • He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the richwill only come to poverty. (22:16)
  • Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens. (23:4-5)
  • The rich man is wise in his own eyes, But the poor who has understanding sees through him. (28:11)
  • A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth And does not know that want will come upon him. (28:22)
  • Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion. (30:8)

Proverbs about Truth versus Lies

Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man. (3:3-4)

He who speaks truth tells what is right, But a false witness, deceit. (12:17)

Truthful lips will be established forever, But a lying tongue is only for a moment. (12:19)

A trustworthy witness will not lie, But a false witness utters lies. (14:15)

Will they not go astray who devise evil? But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good. (14:22)

truthful witness saves lives, But he who utters lies is treacherous. (14:25)

By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil. (16:6)

An evildoer listens to wicked lips; A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue. (17:4)

A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape. (19:5)

What is desirable in a man is his kindness, And it is better to be a poor man than a liar. (19:22)

Loyalty and truth preserve the king, And he upholds his throne by righteousness. (20:28)

A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever. (21:28)

Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
To make you know the certainty of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer him who sent you? (22:21-22)

Buy truth, and do not sell itGet wisdom and instruction and understanding. (23:23)

If a king judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever. (29:14)

Every word of God is tested;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
Do not add to His words
Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar. (30:5-6)

“Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion.” (30:8)

Proverbs about the King

As residents of the United States, we may not know as much or think as much about royalty as many throughout history and around the world. But there is still much that we can learn from looking at what the Proverbs have to say about the king. Here are some reasons why these Proverbs are important for us:

  • “The king” represents the power of government which God Himself has established on earth (see Romans 13), and much of what we read in these proverbs can help us understand the role of government.
  • Jesus Christ is our perfect king, and the proverbs that speak of the ideal king can help us understand the perfection of the Christ.
  • Some proverbs speak of the imperfect men who will serve as king, and these can help us understand how we can assess and respond to our own leaders.
  • Some aspects of royalty are aspects of leadership in general and can teach us about the roles that leaders should play in our society as well.

Consider the proverbs:

“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And I find knowledge and discretion. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate. Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine. By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, All who judge rightly.” (8:12-16)

“In a multitude of people is a king’s glory, But in the dearth of people is a prince’s ruin.” (14:28)

“The king’s favor is toward a servant who acts wisely, But his anger is toward him who acts shamefully.” (14:35)

“A divine decision is in the lips of the king; His mouth should not err in judgment.” (16:10)

“It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, For a throne is established on righteousness.” (16:12)

“Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And he who speaks right is loved.” (16:13)

“The fury of a king is like messengers of death, But a wise man will appease it.” (16:14)

“In the light of a king’s face is life, And his favor is like a cloud with the spring rain.” (16:15)

“The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, But his favor is like dew on the grass.” (19:12)

“The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life.” (20:2)

“A king who sits on the throne of justice Disperses all evil with his eyes.” (20:8)

“A wise king winnows the wicked, And drives the threshing wheel over them.” (20:26)

“Loyalty and truth preserve the king, And he upholds his throne by righteousness.” (20:28)

“The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.” (21:1)

“He who loves purity of heart And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.” (22:11)

“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men.” (22:29)

“My son, fear the Lord and the king; Do not associate with those who are given to change.” (24:21)

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” (25:2)

“As the heavens for height and the earth for depth, So the heart of kings is unsearchable.” (25:3)

“Take away the wicked before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness.” (25:5)

“Do not claim honor in the presence of the king, And do not stand in the place of great men.” (25:6)

“The king gives stability to the land by justice, But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.” (29:4)

“If a king judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever.” (29:14)

“Under three things the earth quakes, And under four, it cannot bear up: Under a slave when he becomes king, And a fool when he is satisfied with food, Under an unloved woman when she gets a husband, And a maidservant when she supplants her mistress.” (30:21-23)

“The locusts have no king, Yet all of them go out in ranks.” (30:27)

“The lizard you may grasp with the hands, Yet it is in kings’ palaces.” (30:28)

“There are three things which are stately in their march, Even four which are stately when they walk: The lion which is mighty among beasts And does not retreat before any, The strutting rooster, the male goat also, And a king when his army is with him.” (30:29-31)

“Do not give your strength to women, Or your ways to that which destroys kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Or for rulers to desire strong drink.” (31:3-4)

Work and Rest

Many people may feel that work is a nothing but a curse that was imposed upon man as a punishment after Adam and Eve sinned and ate the forbidden fruit in the garden.

It is true that man’s work became frustrating and difficult as punishment for what Adam had done, but the concept of work, in and of itself, is not the concept of a curse but of something divine. How do we know this? Scripture repeatedly uses the word “work” to refer to God’s act of creation:

“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” (Genesis 2:1-3)

Work was not the only thing that became more difficult during the fall. Relationships and childbearing were also cursed. Of course, this does not mean that society should refrain from relationships or from childbearing anymore than from work. Rather than seeing these things as curses in and of themselves simply because they are often difficult or frustrating, scripture would have us see them as beautiful opportunities to join with God in creation.

Genesis seems to emphasize the fact that work is divine in the way that it repeats the word “work” multiple times to describe God’s actions, but scripture is equally clear about another important part of life: rest. All throughout scripture, the Sabbath rest is emphasized and reemphasized and is specifically applied to all people.

Many of us who do indeed look at work as a curse have no problem seeing rest as divine. But as with all things, we must of course strive for balance in our lives. The book of Proverbs gives us plenty of warning against resting too much and too often:

“How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? ‘A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest’—Your poverty will come in like a vagabond And your need like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:9-11)

Some of us want to do nothing but work, and we have to be reminded of our limitations and our need to step back and recuperate and see the bigger picture from time to time. Others of us want to do nothing but rest, and we have to be reminded that while our work here is often cursed with difficulty, it is in reality a sharing in the work of God as He created this world and sent us out with a commission to “fill the earth and subdue it.”

May we all do some work, and get some rest, this week.

Mentors in Scripture

Every time I read the opening chapters of the book of Proverbs, I cannot help but notice how often Solomon addresses his wisdom to “my son.” I count 19 times in the first 8 chapters where Solomon refers to the hearer or reader of his words as “son” or “sons.”

What a fantastic resource the book of proverbs can be to a young man who is growing up, or has grown up, without a father in his life. What a rich source of fatherly guidance.

For that matter, the book of proverbs is a wonderful resource for all of us, young or old, male or female, whether we had two parents in the home or not. After all, the Bible tells us, “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men… and his fame was known in all the surrounding nations.” (1 Kings 4:29-31)

Even if you had the most wise and loving parents in the universe, there is still more wisdom for you to find in the book of Proverbs. Even if your friends are the best examples of godly living that anyone could imagine, they are still imperfect humans who may sometimes lack the perfect knowledge revealed in scripture.

Let Solomon be a mentor to you through the book of Proverbs.

Of course, the reason why Solomon was so wise was because he got his wisdom from God. The words recorded in the book of Proverbs are God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). When we open the Bible to learn, we are literally being taught by God. Jesus Himself said so in John 6:45, “It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.”

We all need someone wiser than us to help us to learn and grow in life. Think of a classic mentor-trainee relationship such as Daniel and Mr. Miyagi in “Karate Kid.” That is what God offers to be for us. In John 13:13 Jesus said “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.” In Luke 6:40 He said, “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.”

Will you allow God to be your teacher? Will you submit yourself to His instructions, even when you do not understand them, knowing that He can help you to become more like Him?

And will you spend time with the mentors that God has appointed throughout history to teach us various lessons, both through listening to their wisdom and through observing their mistakes?

There is much to learn from the words and actions of men and women like Adam, Eve, Enoch, Noah, Job, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Rachel, Joseph, Moses, Zipporah, Miriam, Joshua, Rahab, Deborah, Gideon, Jael, Sampson, Naomi, Ruth, Hannah, Samuel, David, Abigail, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Esther, Mordecai, Ezra, Nehemiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Jonah, John the Baptist, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary the sister or Martha, Anna the Prophetess, Peter, Andrew, James, John, Paul, Silas, Pheobe, Priscilla and Aquilla, Lydia, Dorcas, Barnabas, Timothy, and Titus. And that is just to name a few!

The Bible is full of father figures, mother figures, big brother and sister figures, and friends to help you learn and grow. Hebrews 12:1 describes them as a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us and cheering us on in our walk of faith.

Avail yourself to their guidance and support through God’s word.

Wisdom is Calling

In the first chapter of the book of Proverbs, beginning in verse twenty, wisdom is personified:

“Wisdom shouts in the street, she lifts her voice in the square;
At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:
‘How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.’”

When someone is standing out in a busy square shouting and calling out while people bustle all around and go about their own business, our typical response is to ignore them and go about our own business as well.

As a matter of fact, amid the “noisy streets,” as Solomon describes them here in the Book of Proverbs, it is surprisingly easy to tune out such a crier. Especially if you live in a big city and you see the same person out preaching or protesting every day, it could be easy to tune them out so thoroughly that you cease to even notice them.

The urgency of wisdom contrasts sharply here with the mundane business of those around her who are totally unconcerned.

Maybe we are guilty of tuning out wisdom as well. Maybe we have known what we ought to do and failed to do it for so long that foolishness has become our default. Wisdom does not even cross our minds anymore. Her cries blend right in with all the other noise.

Perhaps we just do not have time to sit down with Wisdom, while the world rushes by all around us, and listen intently to her appeal.

There may come a time when we have ignored her for so long that irreparable damage has been done.

“Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
And you neglected all my counsel and did not want my reproof;
I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity 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,
Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord.
They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof.
So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices.”

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Does Good Science Prove God Exists?

I remember clearly the summer after my freshmen year of college. I spent the majority of my free time diving into the worlds of contemporary science and philosophy looking for absolute, irrefutable proof that God was real. I figured that one way or the other, whether God was real or not, I would be able to prove it if I did enough research.

My search turned out to be a very disappointing one. Scientifically, I learned how little we actually know about all kind of topics, especially those as mysterious as, for instance, the beginning of the universe. Philosophically, I learned, for instance, that I couldn’t even “prove” that my memories had actually happened, or that anyone or anything real existed outside of my own head.

“Proving” that God existed in a strict, mathematical kind of way was out of the question.

But I have learned from extensive research that contemporary science frequently does point to God. In fact, even though most scientists have definitively decided for themselves that there is no God, they continue to uncover Him on piece at a time.

  1. Scientists now almost universally acknowledge that the universe is not eternal, rather it had a beginning. Something outside of the universe caused it to come into existence.
  1. Scientists now also acknowledge that whatever caused our universe to come into existence, it contains vast amounts of meaningful, fine-tuned information. Scientists call this fine-tuned information “universal constants” and “laws of nature.”
  1. Serious, respected mathematicians who attempt to calculate the chances that this information would arise randomly, without an intelligent Creator, find that the probability is almost exactly 0.
  1. The leading view among scientists today about the mystery of consciousness is that it is either a fundamental constant of reality, or directly results from them.

Thus, contemporary scientists recognize that the universe has an outside cause, full of meaningful information, which in all probability results from intelligence and not randomness, and which contains or directly results in consciousness 

They may not admit it; they may not even realize it. But they are uncovering God, despite their best efforts, one piece at a time. 

Science Research

Blessed are the Peacemakers

Jesus of Nazareth preached to the crowds: “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.  From this we can see that both Jesus and God the Father esteem those who diffuse tension and bring understanding between conflicting people or groups.

On another occasion, Jesus told us “you have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

Make no mistake about it, we certainly recognize on a personal as well as a national level that peace is not a state so desirable that no sacrifice is too great to achieve it.  There are more important things than peace.  We cannot sacrifice truth to obtain it.

One of my professors put it this way: turning the other cheek is not a prescription for how to respond when children are being murdered, it is an example of how we should respond when our honor is called into question.

And we, like all peoples throughout history, certainly do value our honor.

Yes, Jesus acknowledge that His message would at times result not in peace but the sword.  He even acknowledged that family members would turn on each other because of Him (Matthew 10:34-36).  But His word makes it clear that we must do all that we possibly can to be at peace with all men (Romans 12:18).

This would include, as already mentioned, responding with dignity and nonviolence rather than retaliation when out honor is challenged.  It would also include being wise about when, where, and how we share the truth.  Consider these Biblical principles for dealing with conflict:

The way in which a truth is spoken can affect how it is received: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)

Our speech should never be lacking in grace: “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” (Colossians 4:6)

Sometimes it is best to say nothing at all: “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7)

Even a friendly “good morning” does more harm than good when poorly timed: “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, It will be reckoned a curse to him.” (Proverbs 27:14)

May it be the prayer of all Christians that we can speak the truth in love.  To sacrifice truth is to misrepresent Christ to ourselves.  To sacrifice love is to misrepresent Christ to those we would seek to persuade.

Peace Handshake