Archive for the ‘Proverbs’ Category

IN REAL LIFE, MOST OF US ARE A MIX of wise and foolish, prudent and silly, thoughtful and impulsive. Nevertheless it helps us to see what the issues are by setting out the alternatives as a simple choice. That is what Proverbs 9 does for us. It pictures two women, Wisdom and Folly, calling out to people. In some ways, this drive toward a simple choice—wisdom or folly, good or evil, the Lord or rebellion—is typical of Wisdom Literature. It is a powerful, evocative way of getting across the fundamental issues in the choices we make.

Let us begin with Folly (Prov. 9:13-18). The way Folly sits in the door of her house reminds the reader of a prostitute. She calls out to those who pass by, to those who otherwise “go straight on their way” (Prov. 9:15). She is “undisciplined and without knowledge” (Prov. 9:13). What she offers is never fresh: it is warmed over, stolen stuff, garnished with promises of esoteric enjoyment—not unlike the promise of illicit sex (Prov. 9:17). Those who are snookered by her do not reflect on the fact that her seductions lead to death (Prov. 9:17).

Wisdom, too, builds a house and calls people in (Prov. 9:1-6). But her house is stable and well-built (Prov. 9:1). Like Folly, Wisdom calls “from the highest point of the city,” where she can be heard (Prov. 9:3, 14); but unlike Folly, Wisdom has prepared a delicious and nourishing meal (Prov. 9:2, 5). The “simple,” i.e., those who do not yet have wisdom but are willing to acquire it, may come and feast, and learn to “walk in the way of understanding” (Prov. 9:6).

Of course, to speak of informing or correcting the simple immediately draws attention to how the counsel of Wisdom will be received. There is a sense in which someone who accepts wisdom is already proving wise; the person who rejects wisdom is a mocker or wicked. Hence the powerful contrast of the next verses (Prov. 9:7-9): “Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you” (Prov. 9:8)—with the two alternatives fleshed out in the verses on either side of this one (Prov. 9:7, 9).

The high point in the chapter comes with Proverbs 9:10-12: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). Normally, there are blessings even in this life for those with such priorities and commitments (Prov. 9:11-12). Above all, this definition of “the beginning of wisdom” powerfully shows that the wisdom held up in Proverbs is neither esoteric insight nor secular intellectual prowess; rather, it is devotion to God and all that flows from such devotion in thought and life.


As we continue our series through Proverbs we’ll look this Sunday at the topic of the “sluggard” which simply means “a person who is habitually inactive or lazy.”  You might want to discuss this topic with your friends or family before this Sunday to have your own thoughts about it before you come in.  You also might want to remember your pastors in your prayers as they prepare for this sermon.  Below you’ll find some of the principal texts from Proverbs dealing with this issue.  As you go through these passages think about:

  1. What are the material consequences of laziness?
  2. What does the lazy person want?  What motivates him?
  3. Is the lazy person free? Or does the lazy person experience a form of bondage/ slavery?
  4. In what areas of my life do I exhibit these tendencies?
  5. What hope do I have in Jesus for those aspects of my life?

Proverbs 6:6

Go to the ant, O sluggard;

consider her ways, and be wise.


Proverbs 6:9

How long will you lie there, O sluggard?

When will you arise from your sleep?


Proverbs 10:4-5

A slack hand causes poverty,

but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,

but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.


Proverbs 10:15

A rich man’s wealth is his strong city;

the poverty of the poor is their ruin.


Proverbs 10:26

Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,

so is the sluggard to those who send him.


Proverbs 12:11

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,

but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.


Proverbs 12:24

The hand of the diligent will rule,

while the slothful will be put to forced labor.


Proverbs 13:4

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,

while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.


Proverbs 15:19

The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns,

but the path of the upright is a level highway.


Proverbs 19:24

The sluggard buries his hand in the dish

and will not even bring it back to his mouth.


Proverbs 20:4

The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;

he will seek at harvest and have nothing.


Proverbs 21:25

The desire of the sluggard kills him,

for his hands refuse to labor.


Proverbs 22:13

The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!

I shall be killed in the streets!”


Proverbs 24:30-34

I passed by the field of a sluggard,

by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,

and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;

the ground was covered with nettles,

and its stone wall was broken down.

Then I saw and considered it;

I looked and received instruction.

A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest,

nd poverty will come upon you like a robber,

and want like an armed man.


Proverbs 26:13

The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!

There is a lion in the streets!”


Proverbs 26:14

As a door turns on its hinges,

so does a sluggard on his bed.


Proverbs 26:15

The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;

it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.


Proverbs 26:16

The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes

than seven men who can answer sensibly.










Nobody wants to be stupid.  Most people want to be smart.  Only a few people desire to be wise.  Trinity Church will begin studying the ways of the wise as we dig deep into the book of Proverbs.   Sermons in this series can be accessed by clicking the links below.

Introduction to Proverbs (Prov 1.1-7) preached by Iain Boyd on June 6th, 2010

Who is the wise person? (Prov 1.8-33) preached by Iain Boyd on June 13th, 2010

Christ the wisdom of God (Prov 2) preached by Bishop Mark Lawrence on June 20th, 2010

Wisdom and the sufficiency of Christ (Prov 3.1-12) preached by Rob Sturdy on June 27th, 2010

Wisdom and the Heart (Prov 4) preached by Rob Sturdy on July 11th, 2010

The Sex Sermon (Prov 5) preached by Iain Boyd on July 18th, 2010

The Wisdom and Work of Christ preached (Prov 6.1-19) by Rob Sturdy on July 25th, 2010

Godly Parenting preached by Thad Butcher on Aug 1, 2010

How Sin Works (Proverbs 7) preached by Rob Sturdy on Aug 8, 2010

The Glory of God in Wisdom (Proverbs Eight) preached by Iain Boyd on Aug 15, 2010

Christ’s Sacrifice for our Foolishness (Proverbs 9) preached by Rob Sturdy on Aug 22, 2010

God and Wisdom (Proverbs Series) preached by Iain Boyd on Aug 29th, 2010

Man and Wisdom (Proverbs Series) preached by Rob Sturdy on Sept 5th, 2010

The Power and Weakness of Words (Proverbs Series) preached by Iain Boyd on Sept 19th, 2010

Friendship (Proverbs Series) preached by Rob Sturdy on Sept 26th, 2010

The Wise Man (Proverbs Series) preached by Iain Boyd on Oct 3rd, 2010

The Wise Woman (Proverbs Series) Preached by Rob Sturdy on Oct 10, 2010

The Fool (Proverbs Series) Preached by Iain Boyd on Oct 17th, 2010

The Wise Marriage (Proverbs Series) Preached by Iain Boyd on Oct 31, 2010

Wise Parenting (Proverbs Series) Preached by Rob Sturdy on Nov 7th, 2010