Reid Ferguson

Proverbs 10

 

Probers for Living

Series: Digging Deeper into Proverbs

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1 The proverbs of Solomon.
A wise son makes a glad father,
but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.
2 Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.
3 The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
4 A slack hand causes poverty,
but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
5 He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
7 The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot.
8 The wise of heart will receive commandments,
but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
10 Whoever winks the eye causes trouble,
and a babbling fool will come to ruin.
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12 Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses.
13 On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found,
but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.
14 The wise lay up knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.
15 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city;
the poverty of the poor is their ruin.
16 The wage of the righteous leads to life,
the gain of the wicked to sin.
17 Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,
but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
18 The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever utters slander is a fool.
19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die for lack of sense.
22 The blessing of the Lord makes rich,
and he adds no sorrow with it.
23 Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool,
but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
24 What the wicked dreads will come upon him,
but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25 When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more,
but the righteous is established forever.
26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
so is the sluggard to those who send him.
27 The fear of the Lord prolongs life,
but the years of the wicked will be short.
28 The hope of the righteous brings joy,
but the expectation of the wicked will perish.
29 The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the blameless,
but destruction to evildoers.
30 The righteous will never be removed,
but the wicked will not dwell in the land.
31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.

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Solomon: Wickedness or Righteousness?

 

Proverbs 10 sets the stage for the following 12 chapters which form the second great division in this amazing book. The chapter also points out the 12 recurring areas of consideration that Solomon is wanting to reinforce for his son (and the Spirit to reinforce for us). As we are aware of these, lets’ take a closer look at several.

Proverbs 10:2 Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death.

Comment: Remember, no matter what it is we “think” we might gain by any particular sin – it is a lie. In the end, you will suffer for it. It IS destructive. Only the righteousness of Christ, received by faith and lived out in the power of the Spirit delivers from death. The supposed treasures gained by our sin will always prove to be loss. Always.

Proverbs 10:3 The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

Comment: “I can’t get no satisfaction” is the anthem of the wicked. No matter what the delight, no matter how excessively pursued, the heart still yearns for it knows not what.

Let the Christian take note then, that when his or her own heart seems perpetually discontent, that we are somehow failing to indulge fully in the Lord who is our portion. There IS satisfaction and contentment to be had, but if we seek it in the same things the wicked do – looking to the things of this life – we will suffer the same craving pangs they do. And how much worse is it – to starve, when the cupboard is in fact abundantly full?

Proverbs 10:4 A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

Comment: This is as true in the spiritual as it is in the natural. One simply cannot make true spiritual progress apart from the discipline of working at it. The Bible must be read. Prayer must be engaged in. Fellowship must be sought out and cultivated. Worship must be participated in.  We would never dream of telling our doctor that he was legalistic for telling us we must eat, drink, exercise and breathe. These are the things which make for the sustaining of life. So it is with our souls. They will grow weak and impoverished if we do not tend to them. This isn’t legalism – it is life.

Proverbs 10:5 He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. 

Comment: There are seasons when we gather spiritual fruit which if we ignore, will leave us empty in the times when gathering cannot be done. Pay attention to those times when your heart is especially stirred to seek the Lord and His Word. Take time to drink deeply, make notes, put away those treasures. And if there is a scant season ahead, you will something to draw from and be satisfied.

Do you have a good pastor who preaches the Word to you well – take the best advantage of it you can. He may soon be gone.

Are you in a good church? Don’t harp on its faults – plug in all you can, you may be called upon to move or it providentially may suffer a split or dissolution. Take advantage of it while it is still available.

Do you have resources at hand for reading and understanding the Word? Use them – lest you suddenly find yourself without them, and bereft of their benefit.

~ Reid

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Reid Ferguson

Reid serves as the pastor for preaching and vision at Evangelical Church of Fairport in Fairport New York. A native of Rochester, N.Y., he has served in various ministry areas during his life, including: a founding member of the former Mark IV Quartet, Youth Pastor at ECF, former board member of the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals (F.I.R.E.), and author of The Little Book of Things You Should Know About Ministry (Christian Focus Publications, 2002). Pastor Reid blogs regularly at Responsive Reiding.

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