Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 29:22-24

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

The Effects Of Foolishness: An Attitude of Self Reliance (1): Proverbs 29:22-24
22) An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.
23) A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
24) Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth [it] not.

In this chapter, Solomon examines the effects of foolishness on the lives of the foolish and those who are around them….

In this devotion, we will look at one of the great effects of foolishness… an attitude of self-reliance instead of a trusting reliance upon the Lord for all of our needs and desires.  Marks of an attitude of self-reliance….

22) An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.
1.  A man with flaring nostrils provokes threatening confrontations with others
2.  A man who burns with anger overflows with rebellion and hatred

When a person relies upon themselves to meet all of their life needs, they experience a need to control anyone who affects their life.  Anger and wrath are instruments of manipulation that are used in an attempt to control others… 
1.  The threat of physical harm can be made very effective when combined with displays of anger.  This leads to submission and control over those who fear harm coming upon them.
2.  Anger produces a spirit of hatred towards others and rebellion against those in higher authority.  Again these result in attempted control of others… 
a. The hatred of others can result in active opposition to their well-being.  It can involve opposing good entering into their lives or maliciously bringing harm to their lives.  In either case, it reveals attempted control over their personal lives.
b. The rebellion against higher authorities  is basically saying that a person will control their own life and will not allow others to control it.  Again, we can see the idea of self-reliance clearly in rebellion against authority

Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.  But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish.  For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.   (James 3:13-18)

23) A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
1.  A person’s arrogance will result in his humiliation
2.  but those who possess a submitted, lowly attitude will be sustained by the respect of others that he receives.

When a person relies upon himself to his life needs, to the exclusion of the Lord, he is clearly displaying an attitude of arrogance.  This attitude is proclaiming he believes he possesses all that is needed to find total care and satisfaction in and of himself. 

As we all know the Bible stands in direct attitude to this attitude, as it clearly declares to us that it is only in Christ that we can find true satisfaction and the meeting of our most important need, salvation from our sins and genuine peace and joy.  But our need of Him goes much further.  It is only through His temporal blessings upon us that we have the health, strength and talents that are needed to labor and meet our physical needs of life.  That is why NONE of us should believe that we can “take care of ourselves”.   Apart from the Lord’s constant blessings on our behalf, we would all become destitute and hopelessly unable to care for our smallest needs.

The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.   (Isaiah 2:11)

24) Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth [it] not.
Unlawful gain and dishonesty…
1.  When a person shares in the spoil of a thief, he brings harm to himself which is display of self-hatred.
2.  This person hears the threats of retaliation from the victims of the robbery will not respond to them.  Because of his selfishness he would rather enjoy the unlawful gain that he received than to be willing to give it back and reveal the one who stole from them.

Many times, when a person is relying upon himself for the meeting of his needs, when in desperate situations, he will stop at nothing to meet his needs.  This includes choosing unlawful means of gain, as well as choosing his own benefit over relieving the injustice that has come upon others. 

“Thy princes [are] rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.  (Isaiah 1:23)


So far in our study, we have seen that some of the indications of a self-reliant spirit are:
1. Anger
2. Pride
3. Unlawful gain and dishonesty

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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