Saturday, July 16, 2022
11 The rich think their wealth protects them;
they imagine themselves safe behind it.
12 Pride first, then the crash,
but humility is precursor to honor.
13 Answering before listening
is both stupid and rude.
14 A healthy spirit conquers adversity,
but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?
15 Wise men and women are always learning,
always listening for fresh insights.
16 A gift gets attention;
it buys the attention of eminent people.
17 The first speech in a court case is always convincing—
until the cross-examination starts!
-Proverbs 18:11-17 The Message
11 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
and like a high wall in his imagination.
12 Before destruction, a man’s heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor.
13 If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame.
14 A man’s spirit will endure sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?
15 An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16 A man’s gift makes room for him
and brings him before the great.
17 The one who states his case first seems right
until the other comes and examines him.
-Proverbs 18:11-17 ESV
Verse 11 study: If you believe a rich person is robust against a defense, you are only kidding yourself. Money doesn’t provide safety, and many ways to lose money’s power. The government may cease to back it; thieves may steal it; inflation could rob it of all its value. God never loses his power. He is dependable. Where do you look for security and safety? God or uncertain wealth? This verse reminds us to not trust wealth.
The Parable of the Rich Fool 13 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." 14 But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?" 15 And he said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." 16 And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' 18 And he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry."' 20 But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God." -Luke 12:13-21
Verses 13, 15, and 17 studies: Here are the three basics principles for making decisions:
- Get the facts before answering.
- Be open to new ideas.
- Hear both sides of the story before judging.
All of these principles center around seeking additional information. It’s challenging work, but the only alternative is prejudice, judging before getting the facts. Unfortunately, this alternative is not an excellent route to go.
Verse 13 studies: Fools blurt out opinions on matters without listening to the facts. Don’t be that person that doesn’t listen before speaking. Instead, be the person not to jump to conclusions.
Verse 14 study: A broken spirit is one’s personhood that has been crushed by life’s difficulties. It’s accompanied by depression. Healing such wounded personalities is part of Jesus’ ministry.
13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart, the spirit is crushed. -Proverbs 15:13
22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. -Proverbs 17:22
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. -Luke 4:18
Verse 16 study: Gift is not a bribe but an asset or talent that opens along the way. It is the practical effect of a gift noted.
Verse 17 study: An argument is a dispute and persuasiveness until challenged by the other person. This piece of practical wisdom shows the importance of getting the truth.