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Stories From Proverbs Chapters 10 - 29

   The book of Proverbs, beginning with chapter 10, now takes on a new appearance, beginning with chapter 10. With few exceptions, two consecutive verses speak on two different topics. Each verse generally consists of two lines where the second line is:
      (1) in contrast to the first:
The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: But violence covereth the mouth of the wicked, Proverbs 10:11;
      (2) used to complete a single thought:
In the way of righteousness is life; And in the pathway thereof there is no death, Proverbs 12:28; or
      (3) compared to the first:
He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favor Than he that flattereth with the tongue, Proverbs 28:23.
   No matter which of the above it is, each verse should be of vital importance to each of us. Wisdom has built her house and if we are to live in it, then we should let these chapters tell us how to conduct our lives.
   If one considers each verse as a thread of a certain color (that is, dealing with a certain subject), one can go through these chapters and find many threads of the same color, which, when woven together, make a strong rope. We shall find what is said concerning our conduct in relation to our friends and neighbors, to our parents and children, to our superiors and subordinates, to the foolish. In essence they will show us the relation of righteousness to unrighteousness, of law-abiding to law-abusing, of law-keeping to lawbreaking — and the results of each. Remember, in reading the Scriptures and applying them to our lives, that
The eyes of Yahweh are in every place, beholding (taking note of) the evil and the good, Proverbs 15:3.
For Yahweh shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret (hidden) thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil, Ecclesiastes 12:14.
   The Scriptures are full of such observations. As examples see Gen. 3:8, 9 with respect to Adam; Gen. 22:11, 15 - 18 with respect to Abraham; Gen. 39:21with respect to Joseph; and Ps.139:7-13 with respect to David.

Wisdom Dwells With Prudence
   I Wisdom dwell with prudence and find out knowledge of witty inventions, Proverbs 8:12. Strong's Concordance has reworded the first part as follows:
   I Wisdom have made subtlety my dwelling.
Webster's Dictionary says, is the ability to make fine distinctions in meanings necessitating a need of mental keenness; while prudence is the capability of exercising sound judgment in practical matters — to be discreet in conduct.
   One should not confuse a prude with being prudent. A prude is a person who is overly modest or proper such that his conduct annoys others.
   All of the words translated prudence have an underlying meaning of intelligence and understanding when allied with Wisdom. Thus, to dwell in the house of Wisdom one must be prudent as the two of them virtually walk hand-in-hand:
In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: But the rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding, Proverbs 10:13.
It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: But to exercise wisdom (is as sport) to a man of understanding, Proverbs 10:23.
Wisdom is before (is the goal of) him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth, Proverbs 17:24.
When wisdom entereth into thine heart and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee, Proverbs 2:10 - 11.
   And for what good?
To deliver you from the ways of evil men ... to walk in the ways of good men and keep the paths of the righteous, Proverbs 2:12, 20.

Are You Prudent?
   It is no stretch of the imagination to consider Wisdom without prudence (understanding and discernment) as a “day without sunshine” — a truly unhappy situation for then this wisdom is nothing more than man's wisdom and not that which comes from above. We are told to "keep sound wisdom and discretion (Proverbs 3:21)" for "the discretion of a man deferreth his anger and it is his glory to pass over a transgression (Proverbs 19:11)." See also 1 Peter 2:19 - 21.
   For examples, we read in Genesis 40:14 - 15 about Joseph being taken captive into Egypt and being falsely imprisoned,
   But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.
   Also, in 1 Samuel chapter 24, we read of how King Saul sought after David.
   The Scriptures definitely speak out very strongly when it says if we are wronged that we should not render evil with evil. The following three Scriptures speak of this:
Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing, 1 Peter 3:9.
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men, 1 Thessalonians 5:15.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men, Romans 12:17.
   By rereading these same three Scriptures, the answer is given as to what one should do.
   Romans 12:14 and 21 tell us of overcoming evil with good.
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not ... Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good, Romans12:14, 21.
   If we are who we say we are then Proverbs 11:23 tells what it is we must exhibit.
   The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
   Here are more Scriptures saying not to retaliate.
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also, Matthew 5:39.
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also, Luke 6:29.

The Boundary of Man
   Yahweh's mind is infinite (Great is Yahweh, and of great power: His understanding is infinite, Psalm 147:5), while man's is only finite. Man can see many of the heavenly bodies created by Yahweh but it is Yahweh Who knows their number as well as their names.
He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names, Psalm 147:4.
Lift up your eyes on high, and behold Who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth, Isaiah 40:26.
   With modern scientific advances, man can peer into his own body, but Yahweh can look into man's heart (mind) and can see what really makes him tick.
Shall not Yahweh search this out? For He knoweth the secrets of the heart, Psalm 44:21.
   When a child is born into this world, his sphere is restricted to his immediate surroundings. As he grows older he must learn to cope with many new situations. He needs help.
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame, Proverbs 29:15.
   This is where the parents must perform their duty as fathers and mothers.
   Now listen and harken to the words of Yahweh which were spoken to the Israelites of old, but are for us today also.
Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which Yahweh your Elohim commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to posses it ... And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up, Deuteronomy 6:1,6, 7.
   The word translated “teach” in the phrase “thou shalt teach them diligently” in verse seven, means to inculcate, to rub in by repetition. The commandments, statutes and judgments referred to in verse one basically speak on the subject of our relation to others and to Yahweh. Parents are to instill these into the hearts and minds of their children. They are commanded to do so.

   More often than not, in order to bring up children in the nurture and admonition of the Messiah, it takes discipline. Webster’s Dictionary defines discipline as training that develops self-control, character, or orderliness and efficiency or treatment that corrects or punishes. But to bring up a child correctly in the eyes of Yahweh, discipline (punishment or chastisement) alone is not enough. Chastisement without love will only breed hatred.
Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Messiah, Ephesians 6:4.
   Nurture means discipline. A child needs to be disciplined to know which actions are acceptable and which are not. A child is filled with careless habits in mind and body and these must be dealt with.
Foolishness is bound In the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him, Proverbs 22:15.
   Foolishness here means careless habits. Ruling out child abuse, which is chastisement without love, the goal of discipline should not only be an immediate arrestment of the undesirable action, but saving of his life so that he may obtain his spiritual reward of everlasting life. Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying, Proverbs 19:18.
Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell, Proverbs 23:13 - 14.
   Yes, parents,
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it, Proverbs 22:6.
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame, Proverbs 29:15.
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes, Proverbs 13:24.

Instruction — Take It Or Leave It
   Much has just been said about the parents’ role in their relationship with their children concerning discipline with love. But what about the other side of the fence? Are the children to sit back and take the lumps or should they fight back? Let us find out what Yahweh says about this.
   Children, obey your parents ... Honor your father and mother:
Children, obey your parents in Yahweh: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;), Ephesians 6:1 - 2.
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which Yahweh thy Elohim giveth thee, Exodus 20:12.
   Your obedience to your parents is commanded of you. When your parents discipline you (He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes, Proverbs 13:24.), they are trying to help you — to show you the correct way to live even though it may not be apparent to you at the time because you are more concerned with your immediate surroundings.

Scriptures on Correction
   On this subject of correction, Yahweh speaks to us concerning both sides of the ledger.

On the One Hand
Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die, Proverbs 15:10.
He that refuseth instructions despiseth his own soul, Proverbs 15:32a.
He that refuseth reproof erreth, Proverbs 10:17b.
He that hateth reproof is brutish, Proverbs 12:1b.
Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction, Proverbs 13:18a.

On the Other Hand
A wise son heareth his father's instruction, Proverbs 13:1a.
He that regardeth reproof shall be honored, Proverbs 13:18b.
The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise, Proverbs 15: 31.
He that heareth reproof getteth understanding, Proverbs 15: 32b.
He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction, Proverbs 10:17a.
Whoso loveth instruction (correction or discipline) loveth knowledge, Proverbs 12:1a.
He that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise, Proverbs 12:15b.
A reproof entereth more into a wise man, than an hundred stripes into a fool, Proverbs 17:10.
   Here, then, we have Scriptures relating to instruction, whether it be for correction or discipline. It is up to you to take it or leave it. The choice should be obvious if you desire everlasting life in the coming Kingdom.
   These chapters in Proverbs also relate other characteristics in the parent-child relationship but these will be treated under other subject areas in future articles.    However, one really can not leave this subject without quoting two more scriptures concerning the relationship of a child to his parents:
He that wasteth (preyeth upon) his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach, Proverbs 19:26.
Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer, Proverbs 28:24.

Being Prudent
   A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent, Proverbs 15:5.
   Being prudent is the underlying theme of Proverbs 10 - 29. A few characteristics of a prudent person are as follows:
   1. Public disgrace:
A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame, Proverbs 12:16. Here covereth shame means to have sense enough to prevent public disgrace;
   2. Meddling:
The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit, Proverbs 14:8. Here, “to understand his way,” means “is not to pry into other peoples affairs”;
   3. Gullibility:
The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going, Proverbs 14:15. Here, one should not accept all things on someone’s say, but should prove all things, as I Thessalonians. 5:21, says: Prove all things; hold fast that which is good;
   4. Wise in heart:
The wise in heart shall be called prudent, Proverbs 16:21a. Here, one should have understanding; and
   5. Foresee evil and forsake it:
A prudent man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself, Proverbs 22:3a. An example of this is someone trying to provoke you into an argument. Don't slip by arguing with him but listen to him and then walk away without any rebuttle.
   By now you should realize the importance of Wisdom and Prudence coexisting together. To say you have Wisdom from above but are without understanding is to put Yahweh's word to shame. Solomon received Wisdom and understanding. Pray that you may have them also because each of these characteristics will make you a better person — a person capable of conducting Yahweh's work which He has commissioned His chosen people to do.

-Elder Roger G. Meyer

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