If you’re just joining us, welcome. You’ll find a short introduction to the Proverbs reading plan on Day 1.
Section Four. Work and Wealth: Wisdom concerning our material world
This week’s proverbs will turn our attention to biblical wisdom concerning how we interact with the material world. We’ll explore the topics of diligence and laziness, justice, generosity and gluttony, wealth and poverty, and good versus evil.
Day Twenty-Three: Security and Justice
You have only ever had one provider. One of the most frequent commands in the Bible is, “Do not fear.” This command is less about feeling the sensation of fear and more about what our fear tells us about our view of God. We’re called to live without fear because God, who made us, knows our needs and takes care of us.
Of course, as we’ve already seen in this study, sometimes God’s provision comes in the form of loss, by way of inheriting the natural consequences of our actions. But God calls us to honor Him by trusting in His goodness, rather than our possessions, to give us security.
These proverbs help us understand security and justice from a biblical perspective.
But whoever listens to me will live securely
and be free from the fear of danger.
Righteousness guards people of integrity,
but wickedness undermines the sinner.
Proverbs 3:9-10 ESV
Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Hold on to instruction; don’t let go.
Guard it, for it is your life.
Q. Look at Proverbs 1:33. What benefit is there in listening to God? What is your security?
Q. Why does Scripture talk about giving in terms of “firstfruits” (Proverbs 3:9)? What is the wisdom of giving from the top of our resources as opposed to the bottom? In what ways does giving “firstfruits” combat the power of greed in our hearts?
Q. Look at Proverbs 4:13. What does it look like to “hold on to instruction”?
Dishonest scales are detestable to the Lord,
but an accurate weight is His delight.
The uncultivated field of the poor yields abundant food,
but without justice, it is swept away.
The one who gives an answer before he listens—
this is foolishness and disgrace for him.
The first to state his case seems right
until another comes and cross-examines him.
Don’t move an ancient boundary marker
that your fathers set up.
Q. Name a time when you have fallen prey to the sort of folly described in Proverbs 18:13. How does answering without listening contribute to injustice? Why do you think people are so quick to speak confidently about things we don’t fully understand?
Q. What does Proverbs 22:28 have to do with preserving justice? What do you think is the wisdom behind this specific instruction not to move an ancient landmark?
Q. These proverbs tie the plight of the poor to whoever reads these words of God’s wisdom. What does the plight of the poor have to do with you? Why should you care? Why is it wise and godly to care?