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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 25
More Proverbs of Solomon
25 These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.
4 Remove the dross from the silver,
and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
5 remove wicked officials from the king’s presence,
and his throne will be established through righteousness.
6 Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence,
and do not claim a place among his great men;
7 it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,”
than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.
What you have seen with your eyes
8 do not bring hastily to court,
for what will you do in the end
if your neighbor puts you to shame?
9 If you take your neighbor to court,
do not betray another’s confidence,
10 or the one who hears it may shame you
and the charge against you will stand.
11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver
is a ruling rightly given.
12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.
13 Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
he refreshes the spirit of his master.
14 Like clouds and wind without rain
is one who boasts of gifts never given.
15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
16 If you find honey, eat just enough—
too much of it, and you will vomit.
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—
too much of you, and they will hate you.
18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.
19 Like a broken tooth or a lame foot
is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.
20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day,
or like vinegar poured on a wound,
is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.
24 Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
25 Like cold water to a weary soul
is good news from a distant land.
26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well
are the righteous who give way to the wicked.
27 It is not good to eat too much honey,
nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.
28 Like a city whose walls are broken through
is a person who lacks self-control.
Proverbs 25 covers many facets of life and relationships including business, neighbor, home, and oneself. Undisturbed heart, character, and integrity are foundational to positive, successful relationships in every area of life. The good news is this foundation is possible for all of us as we submit our hearts and lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ.
The first 15 verses of this proverb flow between the thoughts of God and those of man. Solomon wrote most of the Proverbs and, to this day, he is considered one of the wisest people to ever live. His wisdom was God-given because he asked for it. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Both Solomon and James make it clear that seeking wisdom is good and valuable. As a king, Solomon explains the wisdom of speaking and acting with humility and self-control. The proverb warns us to never judge or speak harshly or hastily, and it emphasizes the importance of being discrete.
Verses 16-20 encourage sincerity and respect with neighbors. Is there anything better than a kind, dependable, and thoughtful neighbor? As believers who are called to love our neighbor, we can heed the wisdom to be humble, helpful, and unselfish. These verses teach us to trust people who tell the truth. Our God loves to see us walking in love toward our neighbors!
Verses 21-24 teach us to be kind to our enemies. This is where the rubber meets the road for many of us, but Jesus taught us the same saying, “Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. ‘I’ll do the judging,’ says God. ‘I’ll take care of it.’ If you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch; or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness” (Romans 12:19-20, MSG).
Kindness and love always win over revenge and hate. Scripture makes it clear we are to treat others with kindness and leave the judging to God. In verse 24, we are taught that if we live with someone who is contentious, it is better to avoid him or her and hold our tongue than to engage in the quarrel. The verse also causes us to pause as we examine ourselves to see if we are guilty of contentious behavior at home. There are always moments of disagreement in relationships, but constant criticism and battle in any marriage is a recipe for disaster and deep hurt. The Lord asks us to examine ourselves and our hearts regularly in Psalm 139:24: “See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Let God examine your heart and lead you in His everlasting way of love. As you remain humbly committed to His ways, watch Him work inside your own heart and that of others.
Finally, verses 25-28 encourage us to develop self-control and humility that will endure. Seek God’s glory always and not your own. Ask the Lord to continue to pour His living water into you as He promises it to anyone who simply asks for it. Commit to studying the Scriptures, like Proverbs, to grow in His fruit of the Spirit. Growing in God’s ways of relating to other people will impact your home, business, neighborhood, school, and, yes, even your enemy. To God be the glory!
1) What is the meaning of “undisturbed heart and character” mentioned in the first paragraph? Why is that important? How can you develop this in your own life?
2)What makes a good neighbor? Are you a good neighbor? Think of one thing you can do to reach out in kindness to your neighbor.
3)Is your home a place of joy and contentment? If not, why not? What can you do to improve your home life or your marriage? Is your dating relationship positive and joy filled? If not, what is important for you to consider?
By the Way
Read the words of Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Which fruit of the Spirit do you most need to embody today?
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