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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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Pastor's Pen - July 20, 2007
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July 20, 2007

Proverbs 22-23
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Proverbs
Chapter 22
  1. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
  2. The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.
  3. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
  4. By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
  5. Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.
  6. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
  7. The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
  8. He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.
  9. He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
  10. Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.
  11. He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.
  12. The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.
  13. The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.
  14. The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.
  15. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
  16. He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.
  17. Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
  18. For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.
  19. That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.
  20. Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,
  21. That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
  22. Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
  23. For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.
  24. Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:
  25. Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
  26. Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.
  27. If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?
  28. Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
  29. Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.


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Proverbs
Chapter 23
  1. When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
  2. And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
  3. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
  4. Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
  5. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
  6. Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
  7. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
  8. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
  9. Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
  10. Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
  11. For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.
  12. Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
  13. Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
  14. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
  15. My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
  16. Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
  17. Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
  18. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
  19. Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
  20. Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
  21. For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
  22. Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
  23. Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
  24. The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
  25. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
  26. My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
  27. For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.
  28. She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.
  29. Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
  30. They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
  31. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
  32. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
  33. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
  34. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
  35. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.


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Thought for the day:
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 Proverbs 22:6 is a very controversial verse in fundamental circles today. It reads,

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Because of the problems that many Christian families are having with their older children, and because of the Scriptural requirement that pastors have their children under subjection (I Tim 3:4), this verse has been analyzed and re-interpreted by many. Because of this, I believe it is wise for us to see exactly what is being taught here. Actually, the verse is very straightforward, and means exactly what it says. If parents will raise their children in the proper Biblical way, when the child gets older he will stay in the spiritual path that the parents have put him on.

 I have seen this verse interpreted in several different ways. One is that the verse is not talking about spiritual things, but rather educational things. You are to train your child according to his natural abilities. In other words, these people believe that the Bible is saying that if your child has a musical talent, and you teach him to love music and play the piano, when he is older he will continue to play the piano. While I'm sure that this might be true, it is not the emphasis of Proverbs 22. Proverbs is a book that is concerned with spiritual issues. In addition, a child's "natural bent' is away from God, and certainly no commentator would recommend to parents that they encourage their child down the path of godlessness. I think that it is clear that the verse is speaking of spiritual matters.

 I have also heard people claim that this verse contains a promise for parents with wayward children. They believe that the verse teaches that if you have raised your child correctly and if he goes astray, you can have confidence that he will eventually return to the proper path. Again, this is not what Solomon is saying. He states "will not depart", not "shall eventually return." While we would certainly pray that the prodigal son would return, this verse does not guarantee it, as so many have hoped.

 The final interpretation that I have heard on this verse is that it is not a promise, but rather is given as a general "rule of thumb". Those who hold to this position teach that there is really nothing that a parent can do to keep their children on the correct path. They may find their children responsive and obedient, but it is possible that they could do everything right as a parent and still have their child forsake the Lord. I believe that this verse is a promise. There is no "maybe" involved here. Solomon says, "Train them right, and they'll stay right". This doesn't mean that our children will never sin, for everyone is a sinner. It does mean that our children will do their best to believe correctly and live Biblically if we invest the time and effort required to raise them in accordance with the Word of God.

 Often this verse, when interpreted correctly, is used to beat up Christian parents whose kids are not living like they should. While it must be true that parenting mistakes were made, the intent of this verse is not to cause emotional distress to those whose parenting days are over. The purpose of this verse is to provide a promise to parents who are still raising their children. Bringing children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is a tough, time-consuming job. It takes work to keep tabs on where your kids are, and who they're spending their time with. It takes lots of time to homeschool them, or lots of money to put them in a spiritually strong Christian school. It takes time to discipline correctly, and character to see to it that you are not only consistent in it, but also loving, appropriate and fair. It takes humility to admit your parenting errors to your children. It takes determination to live the type of Christ-honoring life in front of your kids that you want them to live when they are older. Sometimes parents may strive to do all this, and when they fall in bed at night exhausted ask themselves the question, "Is it worth it?". Solomon's answer: "Yes", because your efforts will result in your children staying on the path that you, and God, want them to be on.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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