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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 19:20-23

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

 

God’s Word Affects: Our Relationship With The Lord: Proverbs 19:20-23

20) Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
21) [There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
22) The desire of a man [is] his kindness: and a poor man [is] better than a liar.
23) The fear of the LORD [tendeth] to life: and [he that hath it] shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

EXPOSITION:

Solomon describes four key areas of life that will enhance or degrade our relationship with the Lord….

20) Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
Area number 1 – Our receipt of God’s Word.  We are to receive and retain the Word of God in two different ways…
1.  We are to hear and seriously, prayerfully, consider the advice that God gives to us.  When we take His counsel seriously, we will always follow it.  When we do not follow the counsel that we have heard, it is because we are taking His warnings and commands far too lightly
2.  We are to choose, and then take hold of, the warnings and corrections that He gives.
3.  When we do both of these, we will find ourselves gaining wisdom that will be profitable to us as we continue to age physically and mature spiritually, in our service to Him.

The Word of God, when received and taken seriously, will be beneficial to us throughout our lifetimes.  It will bring us to spiritual maturity and success in achieving His goals for our lives.

Mark the perfect [man], and behold the upright: for the end of [that] man [is] peace.”   (Psalms 37:37)

 21) [There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
Area number 2 – Our plans for the future
1.  God’s people, because they still have a sin nature within them, possess many opposing goals and plans for their lives.  Some of these goals are in alignment with the will of God, others are in opposition to it.  For the lost, due to their dominating sin nature hold to, only, a variety of desires that oppose the Lord’s revealed will.
2.  The only goals that will come to fruition, in both the lives of lost and saved, are those goals that are a part of God’s sovereign plan for mankind.   As Sovereign Lord over all, He is the One who ultimately controls all.

By recognizing His Lordship over all, and trusting Him with our future successes in service to Him, we will find ourselves making plans that are in alignment with His will for our lives.

“The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.”   (Psalms 33:10-11)

22) The desire of a man [is] his kindness: and a poor man [is] better than a liar.
Area number 3 – The desires of our heart
1.  Our desires should center upon wanting to honor and glorify God through a testimony of love and mercy.  When those around us see our kind lifestyle, they are seeing the person of the Lord through our testimonies.
2.  Although a poor man is looked down upon by others, they can still successfully reveal Christ to others out of a testimony of kindness.  They show that they are rich in the spiritual things of God, while lacking the physical things of this world.

But, when men are looked down upon by others due to a testimony of deceitfulness and selfishness, they cannot successfully testify of Christ to others.  They prove to all that they are spiritually destitute and their lifestyle is of no lasting value to anyone.

For if there be first a willing mind, [it is] accepted according to that a man hath, [and] not according to that he hath not.”   (2 Corinthians 8:12)

23) The fear of the LORD [tendeth] to life: and [he that hath it] shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

Area number 4 – Our respect for Him
1.  When we hold the highest possible respect for the person of the Lord, and fear His chastening hand, it will lead us to willful submission to His will for our lives.  This, in turn, results in repentance and a saving faith in Him (spiritual life) as well as a blessed successful life of service for Him.
2.  As we see ourselves being used of Him and accomplishing much for His glory, it will bring to our heart a knowledge of His gracious hand of spiritual accomplishment in our lives.
3.  The man who properly fears the Lord and is faithful to Him will be blessed and protected by the Lord.  He can rest assured that the only events that touch his life are those that are for his ultimate benefit and for the glory of His Lord.

And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.”   (2 Timothy 4:18)

SUMMARY:

The four basic principles that will greatly enrich our walk with Christ:
Principle #1 – The Word of God, when received and taken seriously, will be beneficial to us throughout our lifetimes.
Principle #2 – By recognizing His Lordship over all, and trusting Him with our future successful service for Him, we will find ourselves making plans that are in alignment with His will for our lives.
Principle #3 – When men are looked down upon by others, due to a testimony of deceitfulness and selfishness, they cannot successfully testify of Christ to others.
Principle #4 – The man who properly fears the Lord and is faithful to Him will be blessed and protected by the Lord.

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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18 Comments

  1. Terry says:

    thanks so much Rob, you are just terrific!

  2. blmaluso says:

    Wonderful teaching. Thank you!!!

  3. A bit of a question Pastor Rob in Area number 1 of this Bible study. Does God give counsel or advice? Left to ourselves it may seem that God has opinions, opinions that we can take or leave and not take seriously one way or the other.

    “We are to hear and seriously, prayerfully, consider the advice that God gives to us.”

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Tahlitha,

      You sure are right… from the standpoint of the Lord, what He desires for our life is not optional.

      But from our standpoint, we can either choose to follow His instructions or not. That’s why the Scriptures describes the Lord’s instructions for us as “counsel” or “advice” (both mean the same thing). A few other examples are Isa 28:29 and Zech 6:13.

      His counsels to us are not like the commands of a king that the citizens were forced to follow. They are like counsel and advice we are to choose to follow. Although we are held accountable to follow them we are not forced to do so. That is why they are looked upon as “advice” and not “commands” in the context of our need to willingly choose to follow them.

      That is the main issue being covered in this passage…”Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. [There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” … the need for us to willingly hear the Lord’s advice to us and apply it to our lives.

      Although our sinful desires will oppose our acceptance of His teachings, we are to accept them as truth and apply them to our lives.

      As a matter of fact the Hebrew word translated “counsel” in Provs 19:20 is the word `etsah and is translated in the KJV as “advice”, “advisement”, “counsel”, “purpose”. It comes from a root Heb word that means “to guide by the giving of advice”. So as strange as it may seem, in that sense, the teachings of God’s Word are advice that He gives to us that we must choose to follow.

      If you notice the very next sentences I wrote (after the one you quoted) say…

      “When we take His counsel seriously, we will always follow it. When we do not follow the counsel that we have heard, it is because we are taking His warnings and commands far too lightly.”

      I was trying to get to the very point that you are asking about. Describing His advice as commands emphasizing the need to willfully choose to take His counsel seriously, to prayerfully seek His clear direction in the issue at hand.

      For example, once we believe we have His advice (or command) for our life, we then should take it very seriously.
      We should:
      1. seek His face and be certain that we have properly understood His desires for us in this issue.
      2. prayerfully consider that these directions are coming from our Lord who has saved us and now rules over us.
      3. humbly ask Him for the grace to follow this counsel, we have received from Him, knowing our flesh will be constantly in opposition to His desires.

      These types of things.

      Over the years, as I have talked to many Christians who have come to me for counseling, I have learned that at least 75% of the time the person ALREADY KNOWS what the Lord wants them to do in a certain situation. They are simply trying to find a way around what they already know. It is because we all take the counsel of God way too lightly and do not want to submit to His desires for them. if we took His advice more seriously, we would find ourselves choosing the path He has laid our before us and be much more faithful to Him.

      That is the very issue that Proverbs 29:20 is addressing. Hope this helps. Lord bless you. Thanks for the good question.

  4. sagescenery says:

    Love your blog! I nominated you for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award! You may pick it up at: http://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/wonderful-team…adership-award/
    You don’t have to accept the award, but please know that you are appreciated!! God Bless!

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Thank you for the award. It is much appreciated. However, it is the policy of SIH ministries to not accept awards. It is only through the grace of God that SIH ministries exist and continue to prosper. For those of us who are simply being used of Him, we deserve no awards nor acclaim.

      But I did want to express to you that your thoughts toward SIH are an encouragement. Thank you so much. May the Lord richly bless you.

  5. Your 4 principles gleaned from these proverbs are truly very fundamental keys to deepening our walk with Christ. Thank you again for this post.

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    I’m constantly amazed at the developed understanding in Proverbs of God’s Sovereignty. Thank you for this study

    • Rob Barkman says:

      I have to say, it amazes me how in EVERY book of the Bible, you can see the presentation of His Sovereignty. I do not know how we can deny the truthfulness of it.

  7. alwayzhis says:

    Your blog is always filled with “the truth” of the Word. I so appreciate the way you write… I don’t think I have ever told you just how refreshing your blog is; as it does what all of us who are born-again, blood bought children of God should be doing with our lives.
    I thank our Lord Jesus and Father in heaven for your commitment to the “truth”. Be blessed Rob
    Stephanie

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Stephanie,

      Thank you so much for the kind words. The longer I live my life, the more I understand how rich and wonderful is the Word of God. It is a never ending source of life changing wisdom from God. I thank the Lord for His truth and the privilege to share just a bit of it with others. May the Lord bless and honor your service to Him as well. I trust your blog ministry will continue to thrive for His glory.

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