Proverbs 16-20

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The 16th of the month, 2006/5766   Verse 7 When a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.  I love this verse.  I like rewards.  Isn't it nice to know that obedience has its rewards?  This is a conditional promise.  You meet the conditions and you get the reward.
Practical application: Think back to the last thing God asked you to do. Have you done it or are you in the middle of doing it?  If not, confess your sin of rebellion or unbelief (fear to do what He asked you to do) and then ask for strength to obey.  Begin to step out of the boat and do what it is God has asked of you.  Before you know it you'll be in the midst of obedience and you'll see that the adversary has much less control than he's ever had.  You'll see natural enemies become placid and peaceful!  Lovely.
Proverbs 16 

16:1 The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the L-rd. 
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the L-rd weighs the spirits. 
3 Commit your works to the L-rd, And your thoughts will be established. 
4 The L-rd has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom. 
5 Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the L-rd; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished. 
6 In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the L-rd one departs from evil. 
7 When a man's ways please the L-rd, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. 
8 Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice. 
9 A man's heart plans his way, But the L-rd directs his steps. 
10 Divination is on the lips of the king; His mouth must not transgress in judgment. 
11 Honest weights and scales are the L-rd's; All the weights in the bag are His work. 
12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, For a throne is established by righteousness. 
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And they love him who speaks what is right. 
14 As messengers of death is the king's wrath, But a wise man will appease it. 
15 In the light of the king's face is life, And his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain. 
16 How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. 
17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul. 
18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. 
19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud. 
20 He who heeds the word wisely will find good, And whoever trusts in the L-rd, happy is he. 
21 The wise in heart will be called prudent, And sweetness of the lips increases learning. 
22 Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly. 
23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips. 
24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. 
25 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. 
26 The person who labors, labors for himself, For his hungry mouth drives him on. 
27 An unGodly man digs up evil, And it is on his lips like a burning fire. 
28 A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends. 
29 A violent man entices his neighbor, And leads him in a way that is not good. 
30 He winks his eye to devise perverse things; He purses his lips and brings about evil. 
31 The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, If it is found in the way of righteousness. 
32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. 
33 The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the L-rd. 
The 17th of the month, 2006/5766  Verse 13 Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house. I had a big problem with this when I was raising my daughter.  She'd do something wrong and I'd correct her and then do something nice for her.  My husband was dumbfounded at my behavior.  It wasn't until she was gone and raised I realized what was behind this behavior.  I was afraid of losing her love because I had corrected her.  Fear was behind my motivation.  I didn't want our relationship to be like relationship with my mother.  Fear is never a good motivation. I had misappropriated my love for my daughter and put fear in the mix. I eventually learned that my word for punishment had to be as good as my word for good promises.  God is true to His word.  When He promises punishment He comes through.  When He promises reward His word is good. 
Practical application: The adversary is perverted and a twister.  He takes truth and twists it and reverses the results.  So what should we do?  Make rewards fit the behavior. Let your children know the consequences to bad behavior.  Let them also know the rewards of good behavior.  Be good to your word no matter what.  Discipline your flesh when you're tempted to reward bad behavior.  Your child won't die if you say "NO".  He/she will know his/her boundaries and evil won't get a foothold in your home.
Proverbs 17 

17:1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife. 
2 A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame, And will share an inheritance among the brothers.   
3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the L-rd tests the hearts. 
4 An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.   
5 He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished. 
6 Children's children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father. 
7 Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool, Much less lying lips to a prince. 
8 A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; Wherever he turns, he prospers. 
9 He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends. 
10 Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on a fool. 
11 An evil man seeks only rebellion; Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him. 
12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his folly. 
13 Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house. 
14 The beginning of strife is like releasing water; Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts. 
15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the L-rd. 
16 Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, Since he has no heart for it? 
17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. 
18 A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge, And becomes surety for his friend. 
19 He who loves transgression loves strife, And he who exalts his gate seeks destruction. 
20 He who has a deceitful heart finds no good, And he who has a perverse tongue falls into evil. 
21 He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy. 
22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. 
23 A wicked man accepts a bribe behind the back To pervert the ways of justice. 
24 Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth. 
25 A foolish son is a grief to his father, And bitterness to her who bore him. 
26 Also, to punish the righteous is not good, Nor to strike princes for their uprightness. 
27 He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.  
28 Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.
The 18th of the month, 2006/5766 Verse 19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle. Offense is one of the adversary's favorite weapons.  If he can get us offended he can steal the word, the seed of God's voice that has been sown in our hearts.  When we allow ourselves to get offended, we are opening the door to the enemy.  He is targeting our hearts all the time.  His major goal is to steal the word that God has spoken to us.  Imagine if Moses allowed himself to be offended at something one of his friends or family said about him.  He could have lost the word that God told him "go deliver my people".  He might have lost the word "go up to Mt. Sinai".  Where would we be if that had happened?  Consider if Abraham had been offended at God for asking him to sacrifice Isaac?  If he hadn't been willing, perhaps God might not have been able to sacrifice his son.  Where would we be today?  You might not think you're very important in the kingdom of God, but in I Corinthians 12:22 we're told "the most feeble is the most necessary".  Even if you're the weakest link, you're really vital to the body of Messiah.  Don't offer offense and don't allow yourself to be offended.  You could be the next Moses or Abraham!
Practical application: Offense is like the cape of a bullfighter.  If you're the bull and the matador is the devil, he's doing his best to get you to chase the cape.  Just when you're exhausted from chasing offense, he will run you through with his sword.  When someone says or does something offensive, ignore it and let it drop.  Learn to recognize how you feel when offense comes.  Now when it comes again, you will have trained your senses to recognize the "cape" of offense and resist it. The adversary is after the seed sown in your heart, and he'll get it if you allow yourself to become offended by anyone and anything.
Proverbs 18
18:1 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment. 
2 A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart. 
3 When the wicked comes, contempt comes also; And with dishonor comes reproach. 
4 The words of a man's mouth are deep waters; The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook. 
5 It is not good to show partiality to the wicked, Or to overthrow the righteous in judgment. 
6 A fool's lips enter into contention, And his mouth calls for blows. 
7 A fool's mouth is his destruction, And his lips are the snare of his soul. 
8 The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body. 
9 He who is slothful in his work Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer. 
10 The name of the L-rd is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. 
11 The rich man's wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own esteem. 
12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility. 
13 He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him. 
14 The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit? 
15 The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. 
16 A man's gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men. 
17 The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him. 
18 Casting lots causes contentions to cease, And keeps the mighty apart. 
19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle. 

20 A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth, From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. 
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. 
22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the L-rd. 
23 The poor man uses entreaties, But the rich answers roughly. 
24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. 
The 19th of the month, 2006/5766  Verse 20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days. As I approach 50 years of age I thank God that I've been open to instruction and counsel.  I would hate to reach old age and be dump as a stump. I think the term "common sense" has been improperly used.  I believe it's an oxymoron.  I don't think practical sense is common at all.  In fact these days it's quite rare.  So what should we do?
Practical application: Look for good counsel.  Don't be afraid to learn after you've graduated.  I homeschooled my daughter through high school and one of the lessons I pumped at her was "learn to love to learn" or "never stop learning".  I think we put far too much emphasis on a piece of paper that says "I have achieved".  We shouldn't stop learning ever.  I'm learning Russian and am constantly studying something to do with computers, languages, web authoring, and of course the Word of God.  I plan to keep learning right into eternity.  If someone can show me how to do a thing, I'm looking for that person.  If someone has already walked in the paths I'm on I'm quick to listen and glean what I can for myself.  I even learn from rebellious folks.  Of course I'm learning what NOT to do, but I'm learning.  If I can learn from men that I can see, I'll be in line to learn from God who I cannot see.
Proverbs 19 

19:1 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool. 
2 Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, And he sins who hastens with his feet. 
3 The foolishness of a man twists his way, And his heart frets against the L-rd. 
4 Wealth makes many friends, But the poor is separated from his friend. 
5 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies will not escape. 
6 Many entreat the favor of the nobility, And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts. 
7 All the brothers of the poor hate him; How much more do his friends go far from him! He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him. 
8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good. 
9 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies shall perish. 
10 Luxury is not fitting for a fool, Much less for a servant to rule over princes. 
11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression. 
12 The king's wrath is like the roaring of a lion, But his favor is like dew on the grass. 
13 A foolish son is the ruin of his father, And the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping. 
14 Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the L-rd. 
15 Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger. 
16 He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, But he who is careless of his ways will die. 
17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the L-rd, And He will pay back what he has given. 
18 Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction. 
19 A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again. 
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days. 
21 There are many plans in a man's heart, Nevertheless the L-rd's counsel--that will stand. 
22 What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor man is better than a liar. 
23 The fear of the L-rd leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil. 
24 A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl, And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. 
25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge. 
26 He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother Is a son who causes shame and brings reproach. 
27 Cease listening to instruction, my son, And you will stray from the words of knowledge. 
28 A disreputable witness scorns justice, And the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity. 
29 Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And beatings for the backs of fools. 
The 20th of the month, 2006/5766  Verse 8 A king who sits on the throne of judgment Scatters all evil with his eyes. I can just envision Y'shua on the throne during the millennial reign.  There will be righteous and unrighteous people before him.  I can see him looking towards someone who is misbehaving and that person realizing Y'shua's eyes are on him.  As soon as he sees him his behavior will change.  Now I see the truly wicked before the last judgment seat.  They will have no response to the scars in Y'shua's hands, his brow and his side.  When his piercing eyes look their way they will be cast into the lake of fire for eternity.
Practical application: Do you know that if you were to die today you'd enter into eternity with the God of glory? If you were to stand before the throne of Y'shua/Jesus would you be holy and righteous enough to stand.  If you haven't made Y'shua Lord of your life you won't be able to stand.  It's time for you to fall before the God of heaven and ask for forgiveness of the sin you are.  Here is a place where you can find the sinner's prayer and make sure you'll be able to stand. --->
Proverbs 20 

20:1 Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise. 
2 The wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion; Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life. 
3 It is honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel. 
4 The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing. 
5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, But a man of understanding will draw it out. 
6 Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man? 
7 The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him. 
8 A king who sits on the throne of judgment Scatters all evil with his eyes. 
9 Who can say, "I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin"? 
10 Diverse weights and diverse measures, They are both alike, an abomination to the L-rd. 
11 Even a child is known by his deeds, Whether what he does is pure and right. 
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The L-rd has made them both. 
13 Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread. 
14 "It is good for nothing," cries the buyer; But when he has gone his way, then he boasts. 
15 There is gold and a multitude of rubies, But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. 
16 Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger, And hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress. 
17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel. 
18 Plans are established by counsel; By wise counsel wage war. 
19 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips. 
20 Whoever curses his father or his mother, His lamp will be put out in deep darkness. 
21 An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning Will not be blessed at the end. 
22 Do not say, "I will recompense evil"; Wait for the L-rd, and He will save you. 
23 Diverse weights are an abomination to the L-rd, And dishonest scales are not good. 
24 A man's steps are of the L-rd; How then can a man understand his own way? 
25 It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy, And afterward to reconsider his vows. 
26 A wise king sifts out the wicked, And brings the threshing wheel over them. 
27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the L-rd, Searching all the inner depths of his heart. 
28 Mercy and truth preserve the king, And by loving kindness he upholds his throne. 
29 The glory of young men is their strength, And the splendor of old men is their gray head. 
30 Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, As do stripes the inner depths of the heart.