Pathways Through Proverbs
September 19, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 19
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Following Scripture Verses
- Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
- Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.
- The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.
- Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.
- A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
- Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.
- All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.
- He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.
- A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.
- Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.
- The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
- The king's wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass.
- A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.
- House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
- Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.
- He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.
- He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
- Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
- A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.
- Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
- There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
- The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.
- The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
- A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
- Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.
- He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.
- Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
- An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.
- Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.
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In today's verse Solomon shows the great value that God places on helping those who are hurting financially. He uses the term "hath pity", but I believe that the remainder of the verse shows that this pity is not simply an emotion, but it also involves activity, for the Bible uses the term "lendeth" in the next phrase. This teaches us that true concern produces action. If a man says that he feels sorry for someone, but that sorrow doesn't motivate him to try to help the other person, then his pity serves no real purpose. Paul told the Corinthians that giving proved the sincerity of their love (II Cor. 8:8), and James stated that simply telling a needy man to be warmed and filled accomplished nothing if there was not some benevolence attached to it (James 2:15-16).
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It is important to note that when we help the poor we are said to be lending that money to the Lord. Most of the time we don't think of it that way, but that is the way God sees it. If giving to the poor is considered to be lending to God, then it could probably be said that ignoring the poor is like ignoring God. Perhaps we should think about this the next time we consider hoarding our money when someone else has a need.
Finally, the verse concludes by teaching that, since our giving to others is considered to be a loan to God, He will see to it that we are reimbursed. Sometimes we selfishly think that if we give our funds away then we will be left without that which we need to survive. This will never be the case, for God Himself will see to it that we are repaid.
How do you respond when you see a need that you can help to meet?
Pastor Mark J Montgomery