The Genesis To Revelation Bible Course
By WILLIAM M. GROOM, Th.M., D.D.
Lesson No. 19 – Proverbs
COPYRIGHT, 1921 BY THE BIBLE STUDY PUBLISHING CO.
The Book of Proverbs
* KEY VERSE–Pr 9:10.
* KEY PHRASE–“HEAVENLY WISDOM FOR THE EARTHLY LIFE.”
Read the whole of Proverbs. Matthew Arnold says it is “a delicious book.” For the family altar read:–
* Sunday–Foundation Maxims,–Pr 1:1-19.
* Monday–Christian Wisdom described,–Pr 3:1-24.
* Tuesday–Wisdom the best way,–Pr 4:1-18.
* Wednesday–Against various evils,–Pr 6:1-20.
* Thursday–Christ is wisdom in this chapter,–Pr 8:1-17.
* Friday–Warnings and instructions,–Pr 28:1-13.
* Saturday–A virtuous woman,–Pr 31:10-31.
NAME The name is taken from the opening words. “The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel.” A proverb is a short and pithy saying that forcibly expresses some practical truth. God’s ways of wisdom are seen in the Book of Proverbs.
WRITERS–Solomon, Hezekiah, Agur, and Lemuel. A collection was completed under Hezekiah, about 800 B. C.
PURPOSE–To provide a handbook of wisdom, which would apply to the earthly conditions of the people of God. We have had divine laws, and divine histories, and divine Psalms, now we have divine wisdom. This book contains in small compass a complete body of divine ethics, politics, and economics, exposing every vice, recommending every virtue, and suggesting rules to govern self in every relationship of life. Many a young man has laid the foundation of his character upon this book. It is a living book. Its teachings apply to all men and all conditions today.
The Duties of Man to:–
4. Parents and Children.
5. Civil Life.
Great Fact I. The Duties of Man to God
The first of all duties, the foundation of all morality and religion, is the fear of God. Pr 1:7. This must be followed by perfect trust in Him and distrust in self, Pr 3:5. Religious worship and service must not be neglected. “It disgraces a man to deny his promise and after his vow to back out.” Pr 20:25 R. V. but God looks chiefly at the heart, Pr 17:3. It is this which makes men acceptable or abominable in His sight, Pr 11:20. If we sin we must confess our guilt, Pr 28:13 and meekly submit to His chastisement, Pr 3:11.
LESSON–Summed up, our duties to God are: trust in Him, reverence and service for Him, our hearts right before Him, confession and submission to Him. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. There should be, however, not only the selfish fear that He might hurt us, but the fear of love, fearing lest we hurt Him. We shall not begin to be wise until our lives are in right relationship with Christ, the Fount of all wisdom.
If we trust Christ wholly and acknowledge Him constantly, Proverbs 3:6, we have every assurance that He will guide our feet along the paths of life, lead us into all truth, help our souls up the heights of holiness, and direct our steps into the gates of the Heavenly City.
Great Fact II. Duties to Ourselves
The chief lesson urged is the utter necessity of avoiding fleshly lusts and evil companionship, Pr 1:10. Among deadly sins to be avoided special mention is made of pride, which is hateful to God and is the enemy of wisdom, Pr 16:18. Greed and covetousness lead to fraud and wrong, Pr 28:28. and produce only temporary profit, Proverbs 14:30. Envy is as rottenness in the bones, Pr 14:30. Luxury and intemperance which are induced by imitating the non-Christian rich. are strongly condemned and shown to ensure most fatal results in Proverbs 23:21. Anger leads to folly, causes quarrels and makes a man hateful, Pr 14:17. Idleness ruins equally a man’s character and prosperity, Pr 13:4. Much is said about the necessity of guarding the tongue, in the power of which are life and death, Pr 12:22 and Pr 18:21. We should avoid self-praise, Pr 27:2.
LESSON–Our conduct has a good or evil effect upon ourselves, and is exposed to Divine judgment. The author of this book of Wisdom, therefore, pleads with us to avoid evil companions, pride, greed, envy, intemperance, anger, idleness, and sins of the tongue. It is impossible for us to do this, however, except we have Christ the Wisdom of God within us. The old Spartan, who tried to make a corpse stand upright, but found that it would fall, said, “Ah, it needs something inside!” Yes. it needed life! If we have that life. then our souls will be drawn to all that is worthiest and noblest. His presence will guard us against evil, enrich us with every true blessing, and gladden us with lasting joy.
Great Fact III. Duties to Our Neighbours
We should sympathize with the afflicted, and try to cheer them, Pr 12:25. Should help the poor in their need, because they are brethren, and children of the same Father, Pr 14:31. A neighbor
should be judged honestly and truthfully, Pr 17:15. We should live with him in peace, Pr 3:29; should not slander him, Proverbs 11:12-13; should encourage sincere friendship, Pr 18:24; should be strictly honest in all transactions with him, Pr 11:1.
LESSON–Kindness is due our neighbors and fellowmen, therefore we should be sympathetic, helpful, peaceable, friendly and honest. Extreme unsociability is a form of sin. Themistocles, when he had a farm for sale, advertised the fact that he had a good neighbor, His point was that good neighbors are worth having. Thomas Pane, the infidel, once observed to a preacher, “What a pity it is that man has not a perfect rule for the government of his life.” The preacher replied, “There is such a rule. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself!” The infidel was put to confusion, realizing that our religion covers all the duties of life. Two neighbors, one a Christian and the other not, who lived on the opposite side of the same street, were dying at the same time. One of them said to the other, “I feel that I am dying, and my neighbor over the way, I hear is dying too. They say he is going to heaven; I know I am going to hell He must have known that I was perishing, but he never warned me of my danger or told me of the way of salvation. We were together every day, and we talked about the weather and markets and politics and a thousand other things, but he never spoke to me about my soul. His silence I regarded as the sanction of my sin. He may be going to heaven, but he will be followed to heaven with the curses of my lost soul!” To those who need our help, especially spiritual help, God help us to be real neighbors!
Great Fact IV. Duties of Parents and Children
Godly parents are a blessing to children, Pr 20:7, and should instruct them in holiness from the earliest years, Pr 4:1. Should train them in the right way, Pr 22:6, and correct them when they
do wrong, Pr 13:13. Children on their part, should attend to the instructions of parents, and gladden their hearts by prompt obedience and a virtuous life, Pr 1:8. Let the mother of the family realize her high position, and be the crown of her husband, Pr 12:4; and build up her house, Pr 14:1. If she needs an example let her emulate the virtuous woman, Pr 31:10-31. Be it far from her to imitate the contentious wife, whose peevish ill temper is like the continuous dropping of water through a leaky roof, and renders family life insupportable, Pr 19:13. Servants should be wisely treated in order that they should not presume too much, Pr 29:21.
LESSON–The Bible hallows and sanctifies all the relationships of life and we should read it frequently and thoughtfully if we would measure up to the standards God requires. Parents should remember that what they are, and what they do will determine the character and happiness of their children. A. child born in China inherits the sinfulness and ungodliness of Chinese parents. Children brought up among the Arabs, Hottentots or Indians inherit all the failings and vices of their various countries. Ham’s children departed from the good ways of Noah, so all Africa became debased. Shem’s children were true to the living God, so through them has come all the good things about our religion. What is true as to nations, is true as to families. Parents ought to pray that great grace may be given to them.
Children should always obey their parents (unless contrary to the right), while they are in the home, but honor them forever.
Great Fact V. Duties in Civil Life
It is the duty of men to render obedience to the powers that be; punishment speedily overtakes the rebellious, Pr 16:14. God is the maker of the rich and poor in the land, Pr 22:2, therefore
the rich ought to help the poor, Pr 14:21, and not treat them roughly, Pr 18:23. All commercial transactions should be conducted with, the strictest honesty and the withholding of what is
due is especially denounced, Pr 11:26. It is a foolish thing to stand security for another’s debt; you are sure to smart for it, and then you can blame only yourself, Pr 6:1-2.
LESSON–It is the duty of the Christian to support all legislation against child labor, vice, crime, monopolies and everything that is opposed to a better social order. We are citizens of two worlds, and our aim should not be only to take people to Heaven but to bring Heaven down to the people. Jesus Christ taught that the only way to solve bad conditions is to put into men good motives; that men are not free to do what they like, but what they ought! That the first stone of the Golden Age was laid at Calvary. The men of our cities should set up their altars, and their prayers, their votes and their efforts against graft and lax enforcement of the law, and so co-operate with God “in making all things new!”
Questions on the Lesson
1. From where is the name of the book taken?
2. What is a proverb?
3. Who wrote the proverbs?
4. Who collected them and when?
5. What is the purpose of the book?
6. Show that this is a good book for young people.
7. Give the keyword and key verse. R VAMP the treat facts.
8. What are our other duties to God?
9. Name the things we should avoid.
10. What do we need inside?
11. How should we act toward our neighbors?
12. What rule of life have we?
13. If we are silent do we sanction our neighbor’s sin?
14. What should parents do for their children?
15. What is expected of children?
16. Will children be like their parents?
17. What should be the attitude of Christians toward legislation?
18. How may we solve bad conditions?
19. What should citizens set up?
20. What are men free to do?
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414 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Esther 4:14 KJV