Proverbs 22:  The Rich and Poor

By humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4


God Made Us All

 

22:1 This proverb points out that a reputation has more value than possessions or wealth.  A name cannot be replaced easily, not even with lots of money.

1  A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.

22:2 This sentence eloquently repeats the theme of riches:  God makes both the rich and the poor.  This means that those who favor the rich over the poor have not only missed the point of creation, they have insulted the Creator.

2  The rich and the poor have this in common, The Lord is the maker of them all.

22:3 The term prudent means “shrewd.”  There is no wisdom in being reckless.

3  A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished.

22:4 The route to the good life – riches and honor and life – is humility and the fear of the Lord.

4  By humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches and honor and life.

22:6 Training children While this proverb, like the others, states a general principle that has universal application, it will not prove true in every case.  If your child should abandon God’s ways when mature, don’t blame yourself.  Human beings are not computers to be programmed.  Each of us has the freedom to make moral choices.  At times, those given the best Christian nature will turn from God despite it.

6  Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

22:9 The words expressing the idea of generosity in this verse are “a good eye.”  A good eye observes the needs of others first.  A bad eye sees only its own self-interest.

9  He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor.

22:10 The scoffer should be expelled from the community because his influence is harmful to everyone.  The wise know that the scoffer is not a laughing matter, because he is laughing at holy things, at God Himself.

10  Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease.

22:11 A person who is marked by purity of speech and heart becomes the confidant of a good king.  Compare this proverb with Ps. 15, which describes a person who wats to become a friend of the Lord.

11  He who loves purity of heart And has grace on his lips, The king will be his friend.

22:12 The eyes of the Lord are the final arbiters of knowledge and justice.  The eyes of human beings are simply not trustworthy.  When the king takes his position seriously, he also makes decisions that are proper and upright.

12  The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, But He overthrows the words of the faithless.

22:13 The proverbs about lazy people provide comic relief by poking fun at how the lazy invent all sorts of excuses for avoiding work and risk.  They will do anything to avoid doing anything.

13  The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!”

22:14 This proverb takes us back to the immoral woman, or the “strange woman.”  Her mouth is an open pit, destruction to anyone who falls there.

14  The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit; He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there.

22:16 All human affairs are in God’s hands, even though at times the wicked prosper.  God made both the poor and the rich and He will justly determine their destinies.

16  He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.

22:17-21 Incline your ear:  A person’s trust must be in the Lord.

17  Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your heart to my knowledge; 18  For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; Let them all be fixed upon your lips, 19  So that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you. 20  Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge, 21  That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?

22:22, 23 Most violations of justice target poor and afflicted people because they are weal and defenseless. But anyone who does this makes an enemy of God, who will plead their cause.

22  Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; 23  For the Lord will plead their cause, And plunder the soul of those who plunder them.

 

 ** How many times the cause of the poor, foreigners and widows are pleaded in the Bible?  Too many to count.  God’s eyes are on them and how we treat them.  When we mistreat them or ignore their pleas, God takes it personally.  He makes such people His own enemy.   

When a small group of super rich and powerful turns us all into slaves and even deprives us of humanity, we become fearful of them.  But, it is the eyes of the Lord we need to worry about and fearful of.  I’m glad that it is the Lord we need to fear.  Because I know He is kind and fair.

 

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Matthew 10:28

3  A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished.

** This is the time to be prudent.  We don’t need to foresee evil.  It is here and now.

7  The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender.

** We all are being turned into borrowers rather than owners.  We don’t even get to own software anymore.  We need to “subscribe” apps at a higher price than the price we used to pay to own them.


22 1  A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.

2  The rich and the poor have this in common, The Lord is the maker of them all.

3  A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished.

4  By humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches and honor and life.

5  Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards his soul will 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 rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender.

8  He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will fail.

9  He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor.

10  Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease.

11  He who loves purity of heart And has grace on his lips, The king will be his friend.

12  The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, But He overthrows the words of the faithless.

13  The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!”

14  The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit; He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there.

15  Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.

16  He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.

Precepts and Warnings

17  Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your heart to my knowledge; 18  For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; Let them all be fixed upon your lips, 19  So that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you. 20  Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge, 21  That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?

22  Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; 23  For the Lord will plead their cause, And plunder the soul of those who plunder them.

24  Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, 25  Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul.

26  Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, One of those who is surety for debts; 27  If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take away your bed from under you?

28  Do not remove the ancient landmark Which your fathers have set.

29  Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.