Friday, November 8, 2013

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 12:9-11

He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

Wisdom’s Opposing Counterparts: Proper Use Of God’s Blessings: Proverbs 12:9-11
9) [He that is] despised, and hath a servant, [is] better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.
10) A righteous [man] regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked [are] cruel.
11) He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain [persons is] void of understanding.

In this section of our study, we are presented with wickedness which is the counterpart to a wise, righteous lifestyle…. 

Here we can see that wickedness is the counterpart to showing appreciation and the proper use of  the three main types of blessings He has given to us..

9) [He that is] despised, and hath a servant, [is] better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.
1.  A wise man, although taken lightly or disrespected by the lost, recognizes the truly important things in life.  He will not waste his substance on trying to impress others.  Instead he will use his substance wisely in God honoring ways, will end up being blessed materially by God. 
This is compared to:
2.  The opposing attitude will cause wasting of a man’s substance on things that enhance his public appearance and the world’s attitude about him (jewelry, rich clothing etc etc ).  Because he uses his God-given wealth selfishly, he will not be blessed but will end up needy and lacking the most basic necessities of life.

Wisdom recognizes that our physical possessions and wealth are given by God honor and glorify Him.  As they use their possessions to serve Him they are blessed by Him in return.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.   (Luke 18:11-14)

10) A righteous [man] regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked [are] cruel.
1.  A wise man recognizes that animals are given to him for his use, not his abuse, and, therefore, he recognizes their value, their purpose and their Godly origin.  This causes them to treat them as other blessings of God, caring for them properly and using them in ways that please and honor God.
2.  The opposing lifestyle is one of abuse and misuse of animals while going against God’s guidelines for their use.

Wisdom recognizes the creation of nature as a blessing from God.  It acknowledges it purpose, and man’s responsibility for its proper care and usage.   Please note below six basic principles concerning man’s role in the care and use of nature:

1.  Nature was given to bring honor to God by revealing His greatness and to be used in God honoring ways:
The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.   (Revelation 4:10-11)
2.  Man has the authority to control nature and use it for his purposes…
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
(Genesis 1:28)
3.  Man must care for nature and work for its continuance…
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”   (Genesis 2:15)
4.  Man may use both vegetation and animals for food…
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.  And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.   (Genesis 1:28-30)
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.  And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth [upon] the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.  Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.   (Genesis 9:1-3)
5.  Man is to use nature for food with a thankful spirit and prayer…
For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:  For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.  (1 Timothy 4:5)
6.  To prohibit man from using nature to meet his physical needs is false teaching and a sign of the last days…
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;  Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.     (1 Timothy 4:1-4)

11) He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain [persons is] void of understanding.
1.  The wise man will be labor for his own bread and be satisfied with what God has supplied to him.  He will thank the Lord for both the supply of his food and the ability he has been given to obtain it.
2.  The opposing attitude is one of laxness, not content to use their God-given abilities to meet their own needs, but seek to supply their needs by hunting down those who are cannot give them what they desire.  They do not understand that it is their own responsibility to supply their physical needs when they are able.

Wisdom appreciates our abilities and the supply of our physical needs God has given to them and seeks to use them in the way they were intended.  Wisdom is content with what needs that God supplies, not looking to unlawful acts to obtain that which their flesh desires.

A Song of degrees. Blessed [is] every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.  For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy [shalt] thou [be], and [it shall be] well with thee.   (Psalms 128:1-2)

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with [his] hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.   (Ephesians 4:28)


The wise lifestyle will recognize, obtain and use properly the many varied temporal blessings that come from Almighty God…
The three basic (many times overlapping) types of these blessings are:
1.  wealth, monetary blessings – money, land, businesses, other possessions
2.  natural blessings that are a part of creation – plants, animals, all of nature
3.  blessings given to meet our physical needs – ability to labor, food, health, companionship etc

All of these blessings are given to us with the Godly intent to glorify and honor the Lord.  Let us all, out of appreciation for them, use them to bring praise to His holy name.

May we all clearly see the differences between living wise, righteous lives and living a life characterized by wickedness and enmity against God.
By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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