Proverbs 22

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As we begin a new year, we’ll be studying the book of Proverbs for the first 31 days of the year. The new year is a great opportunity to invite your friends, families, and Life Groups to read along with you in 2023. If you missed the first day’s reading or are looking for an overview of the book, click here to catch up!

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Read Proverbs 22

22 A good name is more desirable than great riches;
    to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Rich and poor have this in common:
    The Lord is the Maker of them all.

The prudent see danger and take refuge,
    but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Humility is the fear of the Lord;
    its wages are riches and honor and life.

In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls,
    but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.

Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

The rich rule over the poor,
    and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity,
    and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.

The generous will themselves be blessed,
    for they share their food with the poor.

10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;
    quarrels and insults are ended.

11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace
    will have the king for a friend.

12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
    but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.

13 The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside!
    I’ll be killed in the public square!”

14 The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit;
    a man who is under the Lord’s wrath falls into it.

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
    but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

16 One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth
    and one who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.

Thirty Sayings of the Wise

Saying 1

17 Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;
    apply your heart to what I teach,
18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart
    and have all of them ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
    I teach you today, even you.
20 Have I not written thirty sayings for you,
    sayings of counsel and knowledge,
21 teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth,
    so that you bring back truthful reports
    to those you serve?

Saying 2

22 Do not exploit the poor because they are poor
    and do not crush the needy in court,
23 for the Lord will take up their case
    and will exact life for life.

Saying 3

24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
    do not associate with one easily angered,
25 or you may learn their ways
    and get yourself ensnared.

Saying 4

26 Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge
    or puts up security for debts;
27 if you lack the means to pay,
    your very bed will be snatched from under you.

Saying 5

28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
    set up by your ancestors.

Saying 6

29 Do you see someone skilled in their work?
    They will serve before kings;
    they will not serve before officials of low rank.

Go Deeper

This chapter, at first read, can feel scattered. What is Solomon trying to teach the people of God through these verses? With a closer look, we can see a common thread woven throughout this section of Scripture. Solomon mentions riches, silver and gold, the poor, the generous, giving and oppression, discipline and training up children. All of these can be tied back to what we see described as character that honors God. This passage helps us see some of the traits that should mark our lives as we seek to live lives of obedience and bring glory to God.

In this chapter, Solomon contrasts two important types of people: the rich and the generous. We see the rich characterized as people who hoard up wealth, withhold from the needy, and only give to others who are already rich. Their character is revealed as unjust. The generous, on the other hand, take what they have and share with those in need around them. They are blessed because of their generosity. Their character shines through as just and humble. Their riches lie in the respect they earn from their strong character, not in silver and gold. Verse 2 tells us that the Lord is over the rich and the poor, reminding us that one group is not better or of more value than the other. The generous honor and show value by giving freely to all people, not withholding from those who have less.

Humility leads to honor, while injustice will only lead to poverty down the road. To honor God with our lives, we are called to live in a way that reflects His great generosity towards us. We give freely and abundantly because we know what has been given to us freely and abundantly is of more value than any earthly wealth – our salvation. We also know that this earth and everything in it will one day fall away (Matthew 24:35). We are free from hoarding money and wealth because we have an eternal treasure to look forward to. May we be a people marked by abundant generosity, seeing the needs around us and giving freely, so that people would know God by the way His people reflect Him. Let’s let our character reflect the character of our good, generous, gracious God and bestow value on the people we encounter.


  1. Where are you tempted to hoard or withhold what God has given you?
  2. Where can you begin to live more generously? Where are you already living generously? 
  3. How does remembering God’s generosity toward you encourage you to live differently?

A Quote

A thought to be challenged by as we think about generosity in our own lives:

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc, is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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2 thoughts on “Proverbs 22”

  1. When we are tempted to hoard or withhold by choosing a self-centered lifestyle, Ephesians 2:4-10 reminds us
    “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show us the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—not by works so that no one can boast, For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” No earthly wealth we could save, salvage, or store can compare with what Christ offers now and for eternity. Let’s be done with slaving to our sinful nature and live alive in Christ.

  2. BUT GOD is so good. I am in a state of awe and do not want out of it. Words are so unworthy of how much, how often, when we should be in worship to our Father!!! Oh how He loves us so!! How much praise honor and glory!!! WOOHOO!!!

    Thank You God Thank You God in Jesus name!!

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