This Week’s Reading Schedule
Monday, April 23: Ruth 1-4 (whole book)
Tuesday, April 24: Psalm 21-25
Wednesday, April 25: Proverbs 1-4
Thursday, April 26: Proverbs 5-7
Friday, April 27: Proverbs 8-10
Next week we will read Galatians, James, and Romans, which is a lot for one week, but the following week we will go back over Romans chapter by chapter, comparing James and Galatians (and the Gospels).
The overall year’s plan is here.
I don’t think I can improve on the warnings that the writer gives here. How many people have I met who, after they gave in to their desires and sinned, said, "How I have hated instruction! … I was almost in utter ruin"? (vv. 12,14).
Proverbs gives us a chance to make the wise choice beforehand, as hard as it may be, rather than living in mourning after we make bad choices.
Proverbs has many warnings about becoming "surety" for a neighbor. This means putting up collateral or signing for the neighbor’s debt.
The note on the NET Bible says that the Hebrew word for neighbor suggests that the neighbor is not well known. Thus, they suggest that this is a warning to someone who’s been gullible. Experience even in the modern world, however, suggests to me that it is wise in almost every case to avoid being a co-signer on a loan.
Don’t be lazy!
This passage also gives us another case of looking to God’s creation for what it speaks to us. I’ve heard it said that God has two Bibles because nature is a Bible as well. We are commanded to pay attention to it (Ps. 19:1-5; Rom. 1:19-20). We can learn about God through his creation. The writer of Proverbs is doing this by pointing the sluggard to the ants.
A description of a wicked person. It ends by pointing out that the destruction of the wicked will come, and that suddenly.
These are central things that the Lord hates. It seems worth memorizing these.
This passage eventually gets back to warning against sexual immorality. Again, I can’t add to the warnings, but I think one verse sums it up well:
The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it. (v. 32, NASB)
Other key statements (in my opinion):
Reproofs for discipline are the way of life. (v. 23, NASB)
It is hard to love reproof, but we desperately need it (Heb. 3:13). Psalm 141:5 says:
Let the righteous smite me; it will be a kindness. Let him reprove me; it will be excellent oil. (KJV)
In fact, the very purpose of the Scriptures is tied up in "correction, reproof, rebuke, and instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16).
Then there is:
Bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. (v. 21, NASB)
You can spare yourself a lot of reproof from others if you learn the Scriptures and keep them in your heart and thoughts. And since the context of that verse is the advice of your father and mother, it is good to treasure not just Scripture but the admonition you have received from others and learn and grow from it.
I’ll leave this chapter to speak for itself. The warnings about the adulterous woman continue, and they are very strong warnings. The first few verses of this chapter speak of treasuring God’s Word and Commandments, which we’ve already talked about.