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(#142) The Proverbs of Solomon 19:22-Be A Man, Son

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 19:22: “What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor man is better than a liar.”

“Kindness” is evenness of temperament, constant return of goodness, consideration of others. It is a universally-recognized, timeless, and desirable, trait in humanity. “Love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4), and uninspired people see its wisdom: “It’s nice to be important, it’s more important to be nice” (Anon); “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” (Aesop); “Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses” (Confucius); “Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see” (Mark Twain); “A kind word is like a Spring day” (Russian proverb); “Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns” (Anon).

It is a man-trait, especially, because it takes a real man to be strong enough to return good for evil. “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thessalonians 5:15). Kindness is a show of strength, but often mistaken for weakness. Regardless of who persecuted Jesus Christ, or how, He was more of a man than they, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:21-24).

“A poor man is better than a liar” shows that poverty should not be used as an excuse for immorality. “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich” (Proverbs 28:6).

The God of the Israelites was: “Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them” (Nehemiah 9:17). Jesus Christ based one of His best-known commandments upon this characteristic of God: “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil” (Luke 6:35). Christians should develop the same characteristic: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:12-13).

God’s kindness extended through Jesus Christ should touch a sinner’s heart (Titus 3:3-4), and the sinner should kindly return toward God (Acts 16:22-34). “Be a man, Son,” obey the Gospel today (Mark 16:16), and make this a kinder world!

Cruel words can make us cry, but so can deeds of kindness.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #evil, #kindness, #man, #nice, #proverbs, #strength, #unthankful

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(#58) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:14-There Is NO Silent Satisfaction

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 12:14: “A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, And the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him.”

Satisfaction with “good” cannot be hidden in the heart, but expressed in words, for which God will “recompense” (payback). Each one who expresses satisfaction with the good they have, will have good come back. Other proverbs which express this include: “A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth, But the soul of the unfaithful feeds on violence” (Proverbs 13:2); “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth, From the produce of his lips he shall be filled” (Proverbs 18:20); “Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; For their heart devises violence, And their lips talk of troublemaking” (Proverbs 24:1-2). We say what we intend, and “the fruit of the mouth” that plans to do good, will provide, that is, follow through with action. Those who can only speak “violence” are telling everyone around them of their intentions. This is what gangsters, politicians, racists, demonstrators, and mass murderers do: they state what they intend, and then follow through with their acts of “violence.”

If we appreciate the good God gives every one of us, we must not be silent with our thanksgiving to Him. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6); “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18); “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Psalm 100:4). God will admit no one “into His gates” who cannot give thanks for all He does. Jesus Christ cleansed 10 lepers, but only one returned “giving thanks” (Luke 17:12-19), and Jesus noticed by asking, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” God notices all who do not give Him thanks for all of our blessings. People are “without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:20-21). But so, also, do the husbands, wives, children, relatives, preachers, brethren, partners, bosses, workers, waiters/waitresses, clerks, stockers, and everyone not now specified, deserve to expect to be “thanked” for the good they do for us. In “the last days” leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D.70, being “unthankful” is included in the list of sins committed, and “from such people turn away” is the warning (2 Timothy 3:1-5). If we are thankful, it may surprise us how often it will be returned!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #god, #proverbs, #recompense, #thankful, #thanksgiving, #unthankful, #violence, #wisdom