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Proverbs 17:1(KJV): "Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

" A diet of the finest food does not compensate for a turbulent atmosphere. It is better to have little to eat in a household of peace than to feast in a household of strife. Eating the finest food does not compensate for a quarrelsome atmosphere. Many marriages are suffering because both mates are working outside the home to maintain a high standard of living. This may include a large house in a prestigious neighborhood, fine cars and food, vacations, education, etc. While all these things are good, if families sacrifice their time together to obtain them, they will lose what is really important. Parents should pray and ask the Lord what standard of living He desires for their family. Perhaps a smaller home, one car, and less clothing, would be the answer to reduce the stress that comes with trying to maintain more than they are able to afford. The Bible tells us how to have a happy home. Many families today are hurting because they have not learned how to love and serve each other. When mates are selfish, they bicker. The Bible instructs us to love one another and avoid this kind of railing at each other (1 Peter 3:8-12). Christian husbands and wives should love and honor each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is loveGod is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him (1 John 4:7-8,16). The kind of love that is mentioned here is not the kind of love that is in the world. The original language of the New Testament was Greek. In Greek there are three words that are all translated as love. In the above verse, the word for love is agape. It is a love that is divine. It is selfless and gives sacrificially. In Greek there are three words for love: (1) Love that is divine, called agape''; (2) Love of high ideals, called phileo'' (our city of Philadelphia is named for this brotherly love); and (3) Love of physical passion, called eros'' (our word erotic stems from this word). Since the original text of the New Testament was written in Greek we know the verse above was referring to agape'' love and not the other two. Yes, it is far better to have less of this worlds goods, with Gods love in our lives, than to have much worldly wealth but not know God. Our Father promises that He will always take care of His children, and He will supply our daily needs. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5). 2 A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren. A good businessman would rather entrust his business to a capable, diligent employee, rather than to a prodigal son who cares nothing for his fathers company. Many an irresponsible natural-born son has lost his inheritance, while

many a faithful employee has been promoted in business and eventually inherited the company in place of a son. Some have even sold their inheritance for a passing pleasure. Genesis 25:20-34 recounts such a story of two brothers: Esau, a hunter and Jacob, a farmer. Esau was the firstborn, which gave him a birthright of inheritance. On one occasion, he was famished and faint from hunting. Jacob had prepared a pot of lentil stew and Esau came in and asked Jacob for some of it. Jacob told him that he would feed him the stew in exchange for his birthright. Esau despised and cared so little about his birthright, that he sold it to his brother in a moment of hunger and weakness. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright (Genesis 25:34). Many Christians despise their eternal inheritance in a similar way. When a child of God sells out for temporary pleasure, he may miss a great calling that God had for him. Opportunities can be lost forever, if we fail to obey when God calls and prompts us to do something. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears (Hebrews 12:15-17). What Esau had done could not be undone. He sold his birthright to Jacob under an oath and God would not permit the reversal of that oath. God can, and does, forgive any sin that we may commit, but we are still left with their consequences. For instance, a woman with an illegitimate child can ask God to forgive her of her fornication, and she will be clean in Gods sight as far as her sin is concerned, but she will still have the child to raise. Another example is of those who find the Lord in prison. They can receive forgiveness from God, but they must still live with the consequences of their sin and pay their debt to society. The good news is that they now can live above their circumstances, and in many cases, their sentences are cut short because of His grace and mercy. Every day, God brings us opportunities to serve Him, to witness, or to serve others. Some people sell out just to get some quick relief from their burdens of the moment. Lost opportunities cannot be restored to us. Like Esau, we may seek for them with tears, but they are lost forever, and who knows but that the fate of other souls depended on them? Proverbs 17:3(KJV): "The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts." In this verse, we see the analogy between the refining of silver and gold and the refining of Gods people. God tries the hearts of all people in order to find out what is in them. He does this by giving us a choice when we are faced with temptation. We can yield to the pressure that Satan brings against us, or we can resist it and stand in faith to receive Gods promises. No matter what Satan does, we have been given a way to overcome him through the Holy Spirit (1

Corinthians10:13). We can praise God in our trials, believing that He will bring us through victoriously, or we can turn on God and blame Him for all our troubles. Just as the refining pot is heated to bring out the impurities in silver and gold, the devil heats up our circumstances. In moments of temptation, we are faced with what is in our hearts. Sometimes fear, doubt, and unbelief will come to the surface. These will conquer us, if we do not turn to God. Only by calling upon Him to deliver us from the evil in our hearts can we have victory. The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it (perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind)? I the LORD, search the mind, I try the heart, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings (Jeremiah 17:9-10 AMP). Evil does not proceed from God; it is present in our hearts and the world because of our sin. He has instructed us on how to overcome it, and He made a way through the Holy Spirit for us to do so. We must choose to resist sin; God will not do it for us. When we do what is right and obey His Word, the Spirit empowers us to overcome every sin and Satanic attack. Each time we pass a test, we grow in His righteousness. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness (Malachi 3:3). In the refining process, gold is reduced to a liquid by very high temperatures. Its impurities come to the surface and the dross is skimmed off. This process is repeated many times, at higher temperatures. When there is no more dross that surfaces and the refiner can see his own image in the gold, he knows that it is completely pure. This is a picture of the refining process we go through as Gods children. Like gold, we are not destroyed by this process, however uncomfortable it may be. We simply become pure and pliable, reflecting the beauty of Christ Himself. 4 A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue. 5 Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished Verse 4 God hates all sin, but we saw in Proverbs 6:16-19 that there are seven sins which God particularly hates, and lying is one of them. Giving an ear to a known liar is just as bad as telling a lie. At times, we are all exposed to lies without knowing it, but most peoples attitudes reveal if their words should be trusted or not. Haughty, critical, and demeaning people cannot be trusted to speak without bias. Those with the habit of spreading gossip and trying to get people to side with them against others must also be avoided. Such people are not content to do mischief themselves, but they try to enlist others to join them. We certainly must not encourage such people by listening to them.

Verse 5 God hates pride, which leads us to despise anyone who (in comparison to ourselves) is poor in talent, intelligence, looks, spirituality, or skillsin addition to those who are economically poor. He is interested in every soul. He loves the poor and desires that we love them, too. We are all poor before Him! Expressing His love to others in practical ways opens a door through which we might lead them to salvation. As Christians, we have been commissioned not only to preach the gospel to the poor, but teach them laws that govern the affairs of life. People are destroyed through lack of knowledge. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children (Hosea 4:6). Only the knowledge and application of Gods Word can overcome our problems. The poor need this knowledge. The Bible is not only filled with the spiritual principles of life, but also wisdom in the area of physical laws. Some of the subjects that are covered in the Bible are: nutrition, sanitation, land conservation, animal husbandry, ecology, social etiquette, government administration, and family structure. This is just a partial list, since the Bible has much to say on many subjects. When we seek Gods answers to any problem, we can find something that the Bible has to say about it. We should never be glad when calamity occurs, not even the destruction of the wicked. We can be glad when justice is done, but if we have Gods heart, we will be saddened that the wicked did not repent. Say unto them, As I live, saith the LORD GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house ofIsrael? (Ezekiel 33:11). Proverbs 17:6-7(KJV): 6 Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. 7 Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince. Verse 6 These verses inform us of the generational blessings God intends for both parents and children to enjoy. However, because of the devils influence in the world, Satan attempts to thwart this purpose by alienating the children from their parents and vice versa through worldly influences. Wickedness used to be confined to specific geographical areas, like cities or individual countries, but nowdue to the internet, films, and televisionhumanistic ideas have exerted a uniformly evil influence not only acrossAmerica, but also across the entire world. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate (Psalm 127:3-5). A fathers children were

meant to bless him by being a defense to him if any enemy should speak against him. Godly children will not only defend their father and mother, but will honor them, as the Bible admonishes them to do. They will glory in having good parents and be thankful to God for their heritage. Many families today lack this generational blessing, as both parents and children have broken Gods laws and do not have a godly relationship with each other. One of the Ten Commandments states the importance of children honoring their parents. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD they God giveth thee (Exodus20:12). One of the purposes of the righteous is to declare the glory of God to the next generation (Psalm 145:4; Psalm 127:3-5; Psalm 71:18 NIV). From these and other scriptures, we can see that each generation is called to build upon the foundation left by the previous one. All generations need each other in order to complete the work that God has called His body to fulfill. Fathers and mothers need to be godly examples to their children so that the torch will be passed down to them, and they in turn will pass it on to their children. Verse 7 A man is judged by how he speaks. It is a foolish Christian who does not align his words with Gods. It is unseemly for a fool to frame his thoughts in persuasive or elegant words. There are many people who speak well, but their words are humanistic rubbish. This is as inappropriate as a gold ring in a pigs snout (Psalm 14:1). Those in positions of leadership need integrity to rule well. A liar can never be a good leader, since dishonesty will eventually undermine the trust of all his followers. A godly leader should carry himself as a prince would. We even use the expression, he is a prince of a fellow, to describe one who has integrity and honesty. Proverbs 17:8-9(KJV): 8 A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth. 9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
Verse 8 The gift described here is a bribe. A bribe is a gift given or promised to induce a person to do something illegal, wrong, or against his wishes. Like a jewel, it dazzles both the one who offers it, as well as the one who receives it. If people do not have strong convictions, their opinions can be bought with a bribe. As Christians, we not only should refuse any kind of bribe, but also any involvement in anything that we know the Lord disapproves of. A bribe blinds our eyes to truth. And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous (Exodus 23:8). The Word of God forbids judges and officers from taking bribes. Judges and police officers must be honorable if our judicial system is to work properly. They must hold their offices without being a respecter of persons. They are to rule righteously, according to the law and not personal preference. In the Biblical judicial system, all people were treated fairly regardless of color, religious belief, or economic status (Deuteronomy16:18-20). God is the ultimate righteous Judge, and He will judge all people according to their deeds. He will be completely fair, since He has access to all hidden evidence and He knows who is guilty and who is

innocent. Human beings will not be able to lie when they come before God; He knows what is in every mans heart and nothing is hidden from Him. God, the Judge of all the earth, will do what is right (Genesis18:25). Verse 9 This verse gives us a means of testing ourselves to see if we are walking in Gods love. If we really seek to love, we will not only forgive an offense, but we will also cover it. We will not go about recounting the incident, especially to the offenders friends. It is evil to try to break up a friendship. We only strengthen a bad situation when we continue to bring it up. We must ask God to deliver us from gossip and harboring unforgiveness. We should never take up anothers offense, but encourage people to settle their differences between themselves; not siding with either party. Certainly, we can side with what is right, but we should not take part in a dispute unless it directly involves us. Those in disagreement should work out their differences according to the Word of God. We should pray and seek peace with all people (Romans 12:16-19).

Proverbs 17:10-12(KJV): 10 A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool. 11 An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him. 12 Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly Verse 10 When corrected, our natural inclination is to defend ourselves. Reproof may come as a painful lash, but if we desire wisdom, we will receive it with thanksgiving (Proverbs 9:8-9). One distinct quality that sets the wise person apart from the fool is humility. We tend to think of wisdom as the ability to understand difficult concepts. While this is a characteristic of wisdom, there is more to being wise than understanding something. True wisdom, like all the great things of God, is something that any of us can attain, if we are willing to humble ourselves. This is comforting to me. I may not be the smartest person in the world, but I know that, if I am willing to humble myself when I am reproved, it will make me wiser. No one has to remain a fool. It is possible to grow in wisdom, just as it is possible to grow in foolishness. This is a sobering thought! A wise man will benefit from reproof, while a fool might be lashed all day long and still never change his ways. Verse 11 As illustrated by the story of the prodigal son, if we are bent on rebellion, a stern and pitiless messenger will be sent against us in the hopes of bringing us to our senses so that we will repent. Satan was the stern and pitiless messenger into whose hands the prodigal son fell. He was reduced to squalor and starvation, and he had to learn obedience the hard way. Eventually, he was able to make the wisest decision of his lifeto turn back to the loving arms of his father. Verse 12 A bear may injure our bodies, but a raging fool is even more deadly; he can wound our soul. A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident (Proverbs14:16). Self-confidence in these verses could be translated as self-righteousness. It does not refer to the confidence or righteousness of God, but a devil-may-care attitude that does not tolerate

correction by anyone, especially by one perceived as inferior. We may learn by observing self-righteous people with whom we may have no choice in associating with, but we are foolish ourselves if we become close to them. Nothing blinds us more quickly to wisdom than thinking that we are already wise. It is easier to get free of an angry bear than a proud spirit that has no fear of God. One who is gripped by this kind of foolishness cannot even perceive Gods correction through his circumstances, Instead, he persists in rebellion to the end. If we have been proud of our intellect or abilities; if we have been haughty toward those who have tried to correct us; if we have led others astray through our own foolishness, it is not too late to humble ourselves and change our ways. Let us humbly receive the Word of God, which is able to save our very souls! Proverbs 17:13-15(KJV): 13 Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house. 14 The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with. 15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD. Verse 13 Those who have been helped by someone and then return an evil act toward them will find they are cursed with evil in their own house. A man helps a homeless person and is mugged. A supervisor helps a friend become a manager and that same friend fires him in order to secure his own position. Parents invest their money and time in nursing a sickly child who grows up only to ignore them when they are elderly. These are but a few examples of how good can be rewarded by evil. Those who selfishly return evil for good will only bring evil upon themselves. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7). Verse 14 Strife can begin with a few unkind words and end in a bitter quarrel, just as a small crack in a dam quickly widens until the whole dam bursts. We must stop contention before it becomes a quarrel. One way to do this is to learn what triggers a quarrel and to refrain from saying such things. Another way is to walk in humility. Proverbs13:10says contention comes by pride. It is not wise to approach others with a proud, demeaning attitude. We should remain humble when others arrogantly challenge us wrongly. It does not mean that we compromise our position, but that we maintain a basic respect for all people, because they are made in Gods image and He loves them. Verse 15 It is easy to see that it is an abomination to justify a criminal or condemn a righteous person, but we ought also to be careful not to oppose those doing a good work for God simply because we do not agree with them in some area. We should repent if we have been guilty of doing this. Likewise, we should be careful about what we support. Many companies, for instance, produce popular products but support abortion and other evil things. Some people are now attacking the Bible and calling it hate literature, because it calls their sins

sin. Isaiah has some strong words for those who do these things: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 5:20-24). Proverbs 17:16-18(KJV): 16 Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it? 17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. 18 A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend. Verse 16 Even if a fool has the money to pay for an extensive education, he cannot purchase true wisdom, which comes only to those who have a heart for it. Mere knowledge of Gods Word is not enough; one must obey it in order to walk in wisdom. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to obey the Bible and walk according to its commands. Verse 17 Like a brother who cannot change the fact that he is our brother and cares about us no matter what we do, a true friend will always love us, whether in times of plenty or times of adversity. Even if we fail him, and no longer deserve his friendship, he remains our friend. No matter how good our brothers or friends may be, they may fail us because they are human. They may be unable to come when we need them. Jesus, however, is not restricted by anything. He is both our elder brother (Romans8:29) and the faithful friend who sticks closer than a brother. A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Proverbs18:24). He will never leave us nor forsake us. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5). We can always depend upon Him, even when we fail Him. He is a mighty Lord, abundantly available for help in time of need, and His love never changes. Verse 18 We are told that it is not wise to become a guarantee for anothers debt and seal it by a witness who is a friend or neighbor. This financial advice is given so that we can avoid having problems in our relationships. As we saw in Day 36, we are advised not to become security (surety) for anothers debts. Many friendships have been destroyed because this advice was not taken. Though the borrower may have the best intentions, sometimes he is unable to pay his note. When this happens, it leads to complications. These complications, at best, greatly strain the relationship between the guarantor, borrower, and the

neighbor who was witness to the pledge. If problems arise when the borrower is unable to pay his note, it forces the witness to side with one party or the other, thus endangering their friendship also. 19 He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction. 20 He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief. 21 He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy Verse 19 Those who love to sin and enjoy strife are seeking destruction. This is not talking about those who occasionally fall into sin and repent, since the Lord will help those people overcome their weaknesses. However, those who run toward evil will find it and eventually be destroyed. This verse also states that those who raise their gate high are inviting destruction. What does this mean? It can be referring to those who leave the gate to their houses open all the time, thus inviting the wrong kind of people into their homes. We must shut our homes at night and be discreet about who we invite into them. We do not want to tempt others to come in, by boasting and not being discreet about what we have. It can also be referring to the gate of our lips. When we open wide the gate of our mouths, we invite destruction into our lives. We must be wise and speak those things that will turn the enemy away. One example would be if we speak softly to someone who is railing at us, we will not stir up his wrath against us. A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger (Proverbs 15:1). Verse 20 Guarding what we say and think is important. Those who allow their thoughts to turn to evil will eventually also do what is wrong. A perverse mind and a foul mouth pave the way for mischief and difficulty. We need the Lords help to guard our minds and our mouths in order to say what edifies and blesses others. Then we, in turn, may be blessed. Verse 21 Fool is used to translate the Hebrew words kesel and nabal. Kesel might be said to mean self-confident fool and nabal, wicked fool.[1] The self-confident fool is wise in his own eyes. The wicked fool despises God and pursues evil. Both are rebellious. A fool causes his parents grief and shame. His attitude and speech embarrass them even when he is not in trouble with an authority (such as a teacher or a policeman). Parents truly can have no joy in a son or daughter who is a wicked fool. The parents of a self-confident fool may not have grief, but neither can they have joy. Their child is neither getting into major trouble nor is he reaching his potential by seeking God. It breaks the heart of a Christian parent to see a child walk after the world and not after Christ. Sons and daughters of any age who

honor their parents can avoid many of the traps of the devil, and they will live long, blessed lives (Ephesians 6:1-3).

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