Proverbs Chapter 22
Proverbs 22:1 “A [good] name [is] rather to be chosen than great riches, [and] loving favor rather than silver and gold.”
A good reputation is more important than wealth.
Riches such as gold and silver are not permanent. They are nice to have, but are not nearly as valuable as more permanent things.
The good name of a family will help their children and grandchildren for a very long time. This certainly has to do with God’s loving favor, as well, which no earthly treasures can compare with.
Proverbs 22:2 “The rich and poor meet together: the LORD [is] the maker of them all.”
We are all (rich and poor), of the family of God. I like what one commentator said about this Scripture. He said God made the poor to work to make the wealth of the rich, and that He made the rich to provide jobs for the poor so they could make a living.
The poor should not envy the rich because great responsibility goes with wealth. The rich should not oppress the poor, because they have a master over them that is watching their behavior. The rich and poor should live in harmony as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Everybody is equal before God, rich and poor alike.
Proverbs 22:3 “A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”
We see in this “prudent man” a person who is careful and plans ahead. If they see danger ahead, they withdraw until the danger passes.
The simple that is more abundant in number, move without thinking ahead. They move with the crowd and many times right into destruction. The punishment can be inflicted by others or by themselves in their headlong pursuit into danger.
Proverbs 22:4 “By humility [and] the fear of the LORD [are] riches, and honor, and life.”
In Matthew, we read of the humble and their reward:
Matthew 5:3 “Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
We also read in Matthew:
Matthew 18:3-4 “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
You see, being humble will get you eternal life in heaven. God’s riches will be yours also. You will be joint-heirs with Jesus (Romans 8:17).
Proverbs 22:5 “Thorns [and] snares [are] in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.”
We see again here, a comparison of someone perverse who is snared in the trappings of earthly things and then a person who is walking in the Light of Jesus on the straight path which leads to everlasting life.
This evil person here, not only sets traps for others, but has thorns and snares in his own way because he is disobedient to God.
Those who have no regard for others find themselves on a path of problems. The person who keeps his soul, walks in the path that the Lord has provided for him. It is well lit and is a straight and narrow path.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
The verse stresses the simple principle that education in the home forms the man throughout his lifetime.
There is only one right way, God’s way, the way of life. That way is specified in great detail in Proverbs. Since it is axiomatic that early training secures lifelong habits, parents must insist upon this way, teaching God’s Word and enforcing it with loving discipline consistently throughout the child’s upbringing.
Children who are trained to go to church when they are young, will generally be church goers all of their lives. Many who survived being captured in recent wars tell that many times the thing that kept them from losing their mind was remembering Scriptures they had learned as children in Sunday school. Many parents have seen a child that was raised in church wander away from God for a period of time.
I personally know of none who have not come back as they grew older and had families of their own. An excellent source of teaching young children is in a program called AWANA, that is available in many churhes. Our children should be memorizing Scriptures along with their lessons, and AWANA teaches them to do just that. These Scriptures can never be taken away from them. When they memorize them, they are theirs to draw on forever.
Proverbs 22:7 “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower [is] servant to the lender.”
We know that for every rich man there are numbers of poor. Jesus said, “the poor you will have with you always”.
Earlier we learned that the rich provide jobs for the poor. The person who employs people also rules over them. In this case, the rich are the boss.
While this is naturally true, the Law and Prophets condemned those who were oppressive.
In the second half of verse 7, we see not a contrast but a condition of the rich and poor. If you owe someone money, you are subject unto their wishes until you pay them. Your work you do, during the time you owe them, is used to pay them rather than to cover your own needs. In that sense, the borrower is servant to the lender.
Proverbs 22:8 “He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.”
The principle of sowing and reaping is emphasized in this and the next scripture.
Whatever you sow, you will reap. We see, here, that if you sow iniquity, you will not gain anything. We see in the second half of this that angry attacks will not prosper, in fact, they are sure to bring failure.
Proverbs 22:9 “He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.”
We see in this someone who sees the needs of those around and gives food to the hungry. This person not only sees his own needs, but the needs of others. He gives to the poor, and God blesses him for his generosity. Give and it shall be given unto you.
The Lord said, “Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these you have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
You see the rewards for those who see others’ needs and gives to them are for this world and heaven, as well.
Proverbs 22:10, “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.”
People who stir up problems are of no advantage to keep around. The sooner you get rid of them, the sooner your problems will go away. Those who constantly criticize are tearing down, not building up. Cast them out and get on with the job at hand.
Proverbs 22:11, “He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.”
In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 Jesus says:
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
We have discussed in previous lessons that the words that come from the mouth, originate in the heart. We would see in this verse above that these words would be pure, because they come from the pure heart. Everyone loves a good report.
This king is the friend of this person, because he is guided by the Lord. The king wants to hear the Lord’s word.
Even the most powerful are drawn to the wise.
Proverbs 22:12, “The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.”
We have studied in a previous lesson that the eyes of the Lord is referring to God’s omniscience.
We see the eyes of the Lord watching over and protecting those who are following in His ways. This person, as we have said, is knowledgeable unto salvation. In the second half of this, we see that the Lord does not help the sinner further his sins.
Proverbs 22:13, “The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.”
This lazy (slothful), man has really reached into the ridiculous for this excuse not to work. The lazy give lame excuses for not leaving the house to work. This is a good example of that.
First of all, lions don’t hang around town. They would be in the jungle, not in a city. As I said, this is the feeblest excuse he could give for not working.
Proverbs 22:14, “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.”
We see all through these lessons that the strange woman is an adulteress. The flattering seductions of such a woman, lure men into a pit, and God makes their sin its own punishment.
She says things with her mouth that flatters and causes men to follow her into her sin. Those who follow an adulteress will surely fall in the pit. Adultery is a very bad sin and might not only cause you to miss heaven, but now there are terrible diseases you might catch. There is punishment right here on the earth for this sin and if not repented of, an eternity in hell as well.
Proverbs Chapter 22 Questions
- What is a good name to be chosen over?
- The ________and ________ meet together, God is maker of both.
- How do the poor help the rich?
- How do the rich help the poor?
- How should we live, both rich and poor?
- A prudent man does what when he seeth the evil?
- What happens to the simple who rush on without thought?
- In verse 4, we find 3 things that come from humility and fear of the Lord. What are they?
- In Matthew 5:3, we read the poor in spirit inherit what?
- Who are we to be humble like?
- In the way of the froward, there are what 2 things?
- Finish this statement: “Train up a child in the way he should go___________.
- Why is it so important to memorize Scripture?
- Who rules over the poor?
- Who is the borrower servant to?
- If you sow iniquity, you will reap what?
- What is meant by having a bountiful eye?
- If you cast out the scorner, what shall go away?
- Why do pure words come from the righteous?
- In the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the pure _______ __________”.
- Who shall the pure in heart see?
- What is meant by the eyes of the Lord preserving knowledge?
- What is the ridiculous excuse for not working, that the lazy man gives in verse 13?
- What is meant by the “strange woman”?
- 25.What comes out of the strange woman’s mouth?