Proverbs 24

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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 24

Saying 20

24 Do not envy the wicked,
    do not desire their company;
for their hearts plot violence,
    and their lips talk about making trouble.

Saying 21

By wisdom a house is built,
    and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
    with rare and beautiful treasures.

Saying 22

The wise prevail through great power,
    and those who have knowledge muster their strength.
Surely you need guidance to wage war,
    and victory is won through many advisers.

Saying 23

Wisdom is too high for fools;
    in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.

Saying 24

Whoever plots evil
    will be known as a schemer.
The schemes of folly are sin,
    and people detest a mocker.

Saying 25

10 If you falter in a time of trouble,
    how small is your strength!
11 Rescue those being led away to death;
    hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
    does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
    Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

Saying 26

13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good;
    honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.
14 Know also that wisdom is like honey for you:
    If you find it, there is a future hope for you,
    and your hope will not be cut off.

Saying 27

15 Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous,
    do not plunder their dwelling place;
16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,
    but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.

Saying 28

17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
    when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,
18 or the Lord will see and disapprove
    and turn his wrath away from them.

Saying 29

19 Do not fret because of evildoers
    or be envious of the wicked,
20 for the evildoer has no future hope,
    and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.

Saying 30

21 Fear the Lord and the king, my son,
    and do not join with rebellious officials,
22 for those two will send sudden destruction on them,
    and who knows what calamities they can bring?

Further Sayings of the Wise

23 These also are sayings of the wise:

To show partiality in judging is not good:
24 Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent,”
    will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations.
25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty,
    and rich blessing will come on them.

26 An honest answer
    is like a kiss on the lips.

27 Put your outdoor work in order
    and get your fields ready;
    after that, build your house.

28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause—
    would you use your lips to mislead?
29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me;
    I’ll pay them back for what they did.”

30 I went past the field of a sluggard,
    past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
    the ground was covered with weeds,
    and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
    and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.

Go Deeper

In continuing with the book of wisdom, Proverbs 24 contrasts the wise person from the foolish and evil person. Believers of God are warned not to envy the wicked, but rather to find treasure in attaining Godly wisdom. There is profound strength that comes through relying on God’s knowledge rather than our own, and it is truly only God who has wisdom to offer us. Everybody has a flawed understanding of what is truth because of this broken world as well as our own sin which clouds our perspective. Thankfully, God graciously grants not only the gift of His wisdom to those who seek it, but more so He grants salvation to those who admit their sin and accept Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection as the payment for their sins. This Gospel is the beginning of a relationship with the Creator of everything, and it is He who holds all wisdom.

After instructing us about our relationship with the Lord, the author transitions to our relationships with others. Verses 11-12 are central to this chapter, and invite us to look more closely at how God functions as well as how He calls those of us who are believers to function. While we are called to flee evil and pursue godliness, we are not called to cast aside those who do not know Christ. If given the opportunity, followers of Christ should seek deliverance for the lost out of sincere love for them. God has taken extraordinary measures to free the lost in the Old Testament (Exodus 14:10-22), New Testament (Luke 23:34), and in the lives of believers currently. Although we cannot save the lost (that is solely God’s role), we do get to share the deliverance and freedom that is available for all through Christ Jesus with those who are lost! 

In this world, it can be tempting to turn a blind eye to those who do not know Christ. We can seek the path that is most comfortable, and sometimes withdraw from nonbelievers all together. Yet this passivity does not acknowledge that God has created, knows, and values every heart. God created us to live in community with believers (Romans 12:4-5), and also commands us to spread the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20). It is prideful to disregard those who don’t know Christ because the same grace that abounds for every believer is loving, powerful, and intimate enough to extend to every unbeliever as well.

Christians are invited to be part of the rescue team that loves the lost. We are not to partake in evil, withdraw from the lost, or rejoice in anyone else’s suffering. We love others because Christ first loved us (1 John 4:19), and that is wisdom in action. Jesus has secured an eternal victory that is open to all who believe in Him, and will be the perfect Judge of who are the wise and who are the foolish. Christ followers can desire evil to be convicted and rebuked while on Earth, but can also ultimately trust in God’s sovereignty and justice for the world. When we press into this trust, it stirs our hearts to rely on the Lord’s strength. This strength is what sustains us so that we do not become apathetic or bitter towards those that don’t know Christ, but rather engage in the fight for their deliverance and freedom.


  1. Who makes up your community?
  2. Who in your life is easy for you to love? Who is hard to love?
  3. How do you view and engage with believers? How do you view and engage with nonbelievers?

Try This

As you reflect on today’s reading, try these three steps to categorize your thoughts:

  1. Reflect on what Christ has delivered you from in your life. Praise God for His grace! If you do not feel like He has freed you from anything, ask for the eyes to see Him more deeply!
  2. Confess any unforgiveness, bitterness, envy, or apathy in your heart towards others.
  3. Pray for the people in your life (your family, close friends, classmates, life group, co-workers, etc.) that do know Christ and that don’t, and pray for a heart that desires freedom for each of them.

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3 thoughts on “Proverbs 24”

  1. “If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength” (v10). Every moment is a training ground for a future moment. Our faith is like a muscle and must be exercised to be strengthened. The places of hardship and suffering offer experiences where our faith can grow exponentially. In these times, the treasures of truth stored in our heart can inform the path we take through the struggle. When my heart is tempted to falter, I remind myself of the sovereignty of God over all things. I am not alone. He is with me and for me and enables me to overcome. Next time when trouble comes instead of adopting a “woe is me” attitude may we step into a “let’s go” mindset armed with the truth of the gospel and the sword of the spirit. Get ready to sweat, it won’t be easy but it will be worth it!

  2. When we do not know the whole story it is so easy for us to judge people and their motives but from our perspectives. I am in the middle of that situation. I do not know details, just on the outside looking in. It feels if though communication is a key factor. I am not a boat rocker, I do not like any sort of confrontation. As I am aging that is changing some but for the most part I just walk away. There are no evil schemes (I don’t believe) but still there are lost treasures due to communication. Yes I can go to that person(s) and perhaps I will but for this season of application it is too late but I should go to them because I am grieved with perhaps a dash of unforgiveness. Truly I believe communication is the key here because communication was lost and if I do not speak it will be lost again. All of this to say I want to be wise. I pray for wisdom daily, sometimes minutely in some situations. This too shall pass but for all of life communication is a key to unlocking doors. You don’t know what I am thinking and I don’t know what you are thinking unless we talk about it.

    God thank You for good communication skills with wisdom. Thank You for good right correct opportunities to put that communication into a voice with a correct Godly heart to speak and for the listener to have Godly ears to hear. God help me to make it about Your glory and honor for Your kingdom for this time right now in Jesus name amen.

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