23 These also are sayings of the wise:
To show partiality in judging is not good: 24 Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations. 25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come on them.
26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
27 Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.
28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause — would you use your lips to mislead? 29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.”
30 I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; 31 thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. 32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — 34 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
Sayings of the Wise
Wise people tend to say similar things because the basic principles of wisdom are universal. This universal foundation of wisdom is the person of God. Wisdom reflects his character. It is surprising, though, how determined to be stupid some Christians are. This is all attributed to faith. Some Christian schools spend beyond their means, believing for the money that they don’t have. According to Proverbial principles of wisdom, founded in God, this is stupid. Some people believe their faith has given them insight that causes them to be arrogant – they lack the basic insight of wisdom. Some people believe that preachers who prepare and study lack faith, the leading of the Spirit must be spontaneous. According to the godly principles of hard work and preparation, this is foolishness.
Wise people, godly people, uphold honesty, they relax after hard work, they don’t look for power over others, they are not lazy.
- What characteristics of the wise are stated in the passage?
- What do foolish people do?
- Why would God be central to living wisely in these ways?
- How do some today use talk of the Holy Spirit to forego hard work and preparation?
- Where would God have you work harder or rest wisely?