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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 19:4-7

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SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 God’s Word Affects: Our Relationships With Others (1): Proverbs 19:4-7

4) Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.
5) A false witness shall not be unpunished, and [he that] speaketh lies shall not escape.
6) Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man [is] a friend to him that giveth gifts.
7) All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth [them with] words, [yet] they [are] wanting [to him].

In the next section of this chapter, we find a large section (vs 4-19) devoted to showing us many principles from God’s Word in forming and developing solid relationships with others…

EXPOSITION:

4) Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.
Principle #1 – Friendships are formed and sustained when benefits can be received through the relationship.
1.  The possibility of personal gain is a wonderful motivator to the forming of relationships.  Whether that gain would be physical or spiritual type of wealth, it is important that we show ourselves as beneficial to those around us.
2.  Those who offer nothing of value to give in a relationship, many times will be rejected by those around them.

When others see us do they see possible benefits to forming a relationship with us?  As the children of the Lord, we are spiritually rich beyond measure.  We have much to offer to anyone who would form a relationship with us.  The key is to, through a Godly testimony, show to others the many graces that have been imparted to us from our heavenly Father.

He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me.  My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.  They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight.  I called my servant, and he gave [me] no answer; I intreated him with my mouth.  My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children’s [sake] of mine own body.”  (Job 19:13-17)

5) A false witness shall not be unpunished, and [he that] speaketh lies shall not escape.
Principle #2 – Honesty is another key factor in the forming and sustaining of strong relationships.
1.  Those who speak deceit will not remain without blame nor recompense
2.  Those who speak lies will not be released and walk away unharmed.

Those who are deceitful will always reap the physical and spiritual results of that deceit.  One result of deceitful living is that it dampens the ability to form quality friendships with others.  When others see a lifestyle of deceit in an individual, they will reject them as possible friends, knowing they cannot be trusted.

A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”   (Proverbs 6:19)

6) Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man [is] a friend to him that giveth gifts.
Principle #3 – Friendships require a gracious, humble, giving of oneself for those who are undeserving of our aid.
1.  Citizens make requests of a prince, not deserving their request to be granted.  They are hoping for his grace to be shown.
2.  Likewise, anyone who is willing to give to the undeserving are showing themselves to be friendly and make themselves prime candidates for friendship.

When we show that we have a gracious spirit that is willing to give to the undeserving, many will seek to form relationships with us.  Why is this? They recognize a willingness to accept them as they are and a desire to be of aid to them, in spite of the condition in which they currently find themselves.

A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.”   (Proverbs 18:16)

7) All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth [them with] words, [yet] they [are] wanting [to him].

Principle #4 – Relationships, and the acts of others on our behalf, should not be taken for granted.
Solomon now gives us an illustration summarizing what we have seen so far…
1.  Those who bring nothing beneficial to a relationship are rejected by others, even those of his own family.
2.  Although he runs after others seeking their continual aid, his words fall short, and he is unsuccessful in his attempts to persuade them.

Many times, relationships fail when the deeds of our friends are ignored, unappreciated, or neglected.  They do not desire to continue in their relationship realizing “it is all give and no take”, feeling their friend is taking advantage of them.  To the best of our ability we are to seek to show appreciation and be willing to give back to those who sacrificially give on our behalf.

If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?”   (James 2:15-16)

SUMMARY:

Just  quick note:  Many of the principles discussed in this section revolve around the selfish nature of mankind:
1.  We only want to form relationships with those from whom we can benefit
2.  We will break off relationships when we feel abused, and unappreciated
3.  We will come before others asking for benefits when we know we do not deserve them.

Keep in mind, the Lord is not justifying this type of behavior.  He is simply teaching us that, based upon the selfishness of fallen mankind, several principles are to be followed to form long-lasting relationships.  Aren’t we all glad that our Lord didn’t have this selfish attitude towards us when He came to the earth and gave Himself for us?

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;  And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  (Philippians 2:5-11)

In this first part of our study these are the principles we have learned about the forming and keeping of our relationships with others:
Principle #1 – Relationships are formed and sustained when benefits can be received through the relationship.
Principle #2 – Honesty is another key factor in the forming and sustaining of strong relationships.
Principle #3 – Relationships require a gracious, humble, giving of oneself for those who are undeserving of our aid.
Principle #4 – Relationships should not be taken for granted, nor should the actions of our friends on our behalf be ignored, unappreciated, or neglected.  To the best of our ability we are to seek to give back to those who sacrificially give to us.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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16 Comments

  1. […] SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 19:4-7 « SettledInHeaven … […]

  2. Oh so true, thank you for this post! Love how you explain the Word.

  3. Shofar says:

    Pastor Rob, what do the scriptures say about someone whom you’ve helped many times, helped many others in his family through the years, considered him to be a brother in the Lord, but then shows little appreciation by being incommunicado and ‘forgets’ you? Is it possible that this person was insincere all along? Just wondering.
    ~Liz

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Liz,

      Based on 1 Cor 13:, they are obviously not showing a spirit of love and godliness towards you as they should. Obviously, it is possible that they have never been saved. This would account for their seeming selfish and insincere attitudes.

      However, I do know from past experiences, because none of us are perfect, there are times when we forget to appreciate others as we should. Also, because of other things taking priority in our lives, we can let our close relationships slip and grow farther apart from those we love. It is all a part of living life in our sinful flesh being exposed to a fallen sin filled world.

      A good example of this is Peter’s denial of the Lord…. although he loved Him, think of how hurtful it must have been to him to realize how he had left his relationship slip to the point he denied the One who was doing so much for him.

      I know, in either case, it is very hurtful when we feel abused and mistreated, and we feel as if our love is not being returned to us. My only advice to you would be to pray about confronting them about this issue, in a kind non-judgmental way. Perhaps, they do not realize they have “left things slip” and are hurting you in the process.

      Lord bless you. I’ll be praying for you in the situation.

      • Shofar says:

        Thank you, Pastor Rob for taking the time to respond with words of counsel and suggestions. We have tried over the past 6 months to contact this pastor friend but he doesn’t seem to care about preserving our friendship it seems. We think he’s being callous and hope it won’t be held against him because the strong impression he leaves us is that he only had in mind to take advantage of us and exploit us to get what he could benefit from the relationship over the past years. Thank you again.
        -Liz

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    Pastor Rob,
    Again, I think you did a good job extrapolating principles from these passages; just looking at them makes me feel that they would be very hard to preach through verse by verse, but you did a good job of seeing application for the believers. I also think it was good the much needed point need to be made that much of these points are observation of how friendship work that is centered on so much of self and selfish gain; that we should be more than that as Christians

    • Rob Barkman says:

      If I had to do things over again, I think I would have taught through Proverbs by subject. I other words, group all the verses that use the term “knowledge” together and then do several devotions from those. Then I would move on to another term and keep going till I covered all the main topics, and all the verses, in the Proverbs. That would have been a difficult undertaking as well, but it may have eliminated a lot of the repeating of ideas that we are having in this series.

      Because of the way Solomon wrote them down, it is a struggle to be able to do the verse by verse thing. Many times, one verse seems totally unrelated to the previous verse and the verse following… that is why it seems so difficult to preach through.

      To put them in a usable order for a year-long devotional I have tried to group three or four verses together for each day. I could do one verse a day, but it would take about 4 years to teach through. I am not up to that. There are too many other subjects I want to cover in devotional series. (And I am feeling the pains of old age and physical issues, I don’t want to plan too far ahead for now, don’t know what tomorrow may hold)

      So I try look at a group of three or four and them ask the Lord to help me to see some subject that all those verses can be applied to. I have to say, He has always been faithful and has given me some type of subject to cover for each group I have done so far. I am trying hard not to use any commentaries at all for this series. The only references I use are 3 Hebrew lexicons and a few different versions (KJV, NIV, ESV) to get a clearer understanding of the vocabulary of the verses.

      I truly believe that Proverbs is one of the most important books (from a practical Christian lifestyle) standpoint and really needs to be taught through in some manner. I am so thankful the Lord has allowed me to get this far and am trusting Him to allow me to finish the series. For many years I have been burdened about doing a v by v study of Proverbs and I am thrilled I am actually able to finish what I have wanted to accomplish for so long. I have preached through most of the Proverbs over the years but never in an organized v by v way.

      I’m glad that I am over 2/3 finished in my studies, I am currently finishing chapter 22:, so I can see the end is in view.

      Thanks for the kind words, Lord bless you Bro SJ.

      • SLIMJIM says:

        Rob,
        I’m impressed and edified that you are going through Proverbs verse by verse. I wasn’t able to have the fortitude to do it when I taught the kids at my church some years back…

        • Rob Barkman says:

          I do appreciate your kind words, but in all sincerity, please don’t be either one. Anything that I have been able to do has been through Christ’s enabling (which I am sure you understand). What you see as a pretty good job being done, I see as a definite WIP.

          I am studying about 4 weeks ahead of the posting itself and it always amazes me that when my posting is actually published I see so many mistakes and rewording that I missed the first time through. I am just thankful the Lord is using them, in spite of all my errors to be a blessing to people.

          Brother, thanks so mcuh for you over-kind encouraging words, it really helps me to keep going and also to know that there are others like yourself that understand the situation I am facing as I try to work my way through these verses.

          Lord bless you brother. Thanks for your faithfulness in your blog as well. I have learned MUCH about apologetics since I have been reading your stuff. It’s been a blessing.

  5. Thank you for your perseverance in progressing through Proverbs and always finding something new. Praise God for His undertaking for you and His guidance as you seek to help us in our appreciation of the Word.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Thank you so much Angela for the very kind words. I, too am very thankful for how the Lord has met the needs of the hour every time I set down to study these things. Thank you for all our encouraging words throughout this study. They have been a much needed blessing. I trust you and Myles continue to be blessed and well.

  6. Hello Rob! You have a really great thing going on around here. The post is edifying, the conversation is wonderful, and I am blessed.

    Thanks so much for sharing. God blesses.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Noel,

      So glad to hear the Lord has blessed you. Thanks so much for the encouraging words. The Lord has been so good to me and the ministry here. May He always be glorified in it. I hope you realize that you are playing a big role in the blog by always sharing the post with others (twitter). It is greatly appreciated. May the Lord continue to bless you my friend.

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