1 ¶ A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
Let’s go back to a previous verse.
Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
A scorner isn’t a good thing to be and we’ll run across him again in Proverbs. This verse is obvious and is a great subject for a sermon but for understanding the Bible we don’t need to go into too much detail except that once again, if you can’t handle criticism or rebuke, when you are wrong, and I’m not saying that any self righteous, “hey, I’m spiritually all that and a bag of chips”, who comes along to tell you that you aren’t living up to THEIR expectations is right, then you have a spiritual problem. When honest, Biblical rebuke comes your way you need to think on it and pray about it.
Particularly, a wise son or daughter listens to their parents’ instruction.
2 ¶ A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
The idea of eating violence shows this to be a metaphorical statement where an idea, like eating, which usually means food, becomes a metaphor for an action you receive. Here it is said that good things will happen to a man by the good things that come out of his mouth, such as encouraging, uplifting, or edifying words while the SOUL of the transgressors shall eat violence.
Think of this in today’s terms. The Christian professes their faith in Christ, spreads the gospel, and speaks good words and God blesses that good particularly the good of declaring your trust in Christ, those words, if genuine, guaranteeing eternal life. The soul of the person who rejects Christ will suffer violence forever and ever, as in eternity.
Here’s another metaphor in the Bible;
Job 11:12 For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's COLT.
Obviously, no one believes that a person is born with hooves and a tail, braying and kicking at the doctor’s and nurses. This is a metaphor. The Bible is full of them but some people don’t care to be discerning enough to recognize them.
Back to the verse here in Proverbs, Matthew 12:37 makes this idea abundantly clear.
“For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
3 ¶ He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
The Biblical definition of “to keep” is “to guard” as in the Keep of a Castle, a prominent tower which was the last stand of defense in attack. Again, one of the main principles of God’s words are that you need to know how to WATCH YOUR MOUTH!! What you say has a profound impact on people around you and says a lot about you as a person and as a Christian. Jesus has said in Matthew 15:11;
“Not that which goeth into the MOUTH defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the MOUTH, this defileth a man.”
4 ¶ The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
Another repeated warning in the Bible is that lazy people are always wanting and never having anything. Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, referred to a group of people whose gods must have been called by the names, Poverty and Helplessness, and they sure were faithful to them. Many people are poor because they will do nothing for themselves but will always depend on others to do for them.
Now, for a spiritual application, notice that the soul of the diligent shall be made fat, of course, as a consequence of their diligence. Taking for a moment into consideration that the soul and the body are spoken of interchangeably in the Old Testament because the soul is not separated from the sins of the body until the new birth (Colossians, chapter 2 is an important reference on this point), let’s look at the life of the Christian for a moment.
Job 34:3 For the EAR TRIETH WORDS, as the mouth tasteth meat.
If you are too lazy to feed yourself on the word of God daily and often or to come to church to hear God’s word preached then you will always find that your faith is wanting and that you are in need of someone else to encourage you, to lift you up, because you simply don’t want to take the time to allow God to speak to you through His word. But, he or she who is diligent about God’s word in studying it and reading it and hearing it, their soul shall be made fat, which was a sign of prosperity until about 40 years ago when it became a sign that you needed to buy a pair of running shoes and a sweat suit, but that’s another story.
Face it, sluggard, you use excuses to avoid God like, “I can’t read well”. Okay, then you can listen. “I don’t have time to listen”. Then I suspect you aren’t listening to gospel songs or hymns or sermons on CD by your favorite celebrity. I don’t care if the singing of the Foursquare Goody Gospel Quartet brings
tears to your eyes or if the preaching of Reverend I. Standonthepulpitshoutingspewingspitoverthefirst-fiverows gets your blood going. You need to hear God speaking to you through His word. You need to read it. You need to hear your own preacher and other men you can see right in front of your eyes and ask questions of afterward. Good hymns and good preaching on the radio or CD player are great for the Christian’s soul but they are not a substitute for God speaking directly to you from His very words or your own preacher preaching to you from that word, unless you don’t really believe they are God’s words in the Bible. You’ll answer for that.
1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, GIVE ATTENDANCE TO READING, to exhortation, to doctrine.
2 Timothy 2:15 STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
And, for the Judaizers among us who want to put us back under the Law there’s;
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
See, there’s no way around it, not under the Law or under Grace, thou sluggard.
5 ¶ A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.
Remember, among other verses, this proverb;
Proverbs 12:22 ¶ Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
When was the last time you lied to the IRS? How about the local township or borough? What about your spouse or child? There are no such things as harmless, little white lies. A lie is a lie. How casually do you lie to yourself? How easy is it for you to change something you did just to make it easier for others to accept?
6 ¶ Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
Again, this principle is important and has been repeated in different ways. Our faith in and trusting on Christ, recognizing His demands on us, will keep us standing up following Him. But, the very fact that the sinner rejects Christ overthrows Him. There are many sermon illustrations that can be had from this verse about doing right and the consequences of doing wrong, but, since our righteousness is only the imputed righteousness of Christ and not anything we’ve generated from our own flesh, and that the only thing that sends you to eternal agony is the rejection of Christ this application came to mind.
Make a boxing analogy about consequences and decisions.
7 ¶ There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
Both of the commentators I’ve been reading after I wrote down my own thoughts agreed that this is a contrast between the person who wants the world to think he or she is wealthy, lives ostentatiously, pretentiously, and vainly but is in reality poor and heavily in debt and the person who has much but puts himself over as being impoverished to the world in order to keep people from stealing from him or asking anything of him. Both are said to be wicked people because the one puffs himself up for no reason and the other denies his surplus to help the poor or the work of the church.
Spiritually speaking I would point out this verse in Revelation written to the Laodicean church;
Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
There be many in Christianity who think themselves spiritually rich who are impoverished. In fact, one of the prerequisites for entering into Christ’s physical kingdom of Heaven is to realize that you are spiritually bankrupt and impoverished which, as I have read, is often the explanation of this verse in what the Catholics call The Beatitudes.
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Then there are those who have much to offer God’s work, many contacts, a large number of people who respect them and will hear them, but they remain silent, usually for fear of rebuke or criticism of men. They have been mightily blessed by God but for some reason, like the servant in the parable, prefer to bury their blessing, to sit on it, and not to use it for God’s glory. This, too, is a great evil.
Are you a spiritually bankrupt and impoverished person trying to look like one of the Apostles to others or are you someone God has blessed in a great way who is close mouthed and doesn’t want others to know what you believe lest you should face ridicule? I could see some great sermons coming out of this one.
8 ¶ The ransom of a man’s life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
One of the pitfalls of acquiring wealth is that you get this target put on you for people, as in government, to go after your wealth, and for people in private to envy you and cast aspersions at you for having money. In the church there is often class envy and expectation that the wealthy member is a endless supply of money for projects and building funds. Paranoia can accompany wealth so that you can’t trust those who were once your closest friends. Family can become a nuisance especially if they have their hand out. No one is going to condemn the poor for having too much money, obviously. As our country has become socialist over the last century there has developed an assumption that if you have money you must have gotten it dishonestly. That’s part of the propaganda process for socialism, that you must automatically assume that wealth by its very nature must be an ill gotten gain. FDR even proposed to Congress in the early 1940’s that no American be allowed to keep after tax earnings above $25K, about $260k in today’s money.
Spiritually, the more riches you have in Christ, the more the world wants to kill you. Christians in foreign countries are targeted, even if peaceful and law abiding, simply for trusting in Christ. The closer their walk with Christ, the more the culture in which they live hates them. The nominal Christian, the more blasé’ he or she is about their faith, the less they have to worry. In our country people don’t usually get worked up about your faith unless you are politically active or don’t respect their private property as in their home, or are deliberately obnoxious as in standing on a street corner with a megaphone screaming Bible verses and insults that can barely be understood or, if at work, you have your nose out of joint at “their worldly ways” and have nothing to offer your coworkers but an “I don’t think that’s right” coming out of your mouth every few seconds. But, that is changing. One day you’ll be asked what you believe and you will suffer, as in the Roman Empire, just for believing it. The more the fruit of the Spirit you show the more they’ll peg you down as one of them.
In most of the world, though, right now, spiritual riches mark you, and the local magistrate wants to put you away and take your possessions for not honoring Allah, Brahma, or anyone of a thousand versions of Satan they worship in that particular country. Perhaps it is the atheistic god of Marx. If the average person in a Muslim country, no matter what he personally believes, is spiritually poor he can just go along to get along and be fine. I don’t believe the vast majority of people actually believe in Christ, Allah, Buddha, etc. I just believe they want to identify with the predominant group in their country. That’s how it used to be with us. Most people honored Christianity, not because they believed in Christ or trusted Him necessarily, but because they wanted to identify with the group. The group now, here in the West, identifies with Sodom and Gomorrah as that is the predominant religion in America, self worship.
But, riches, physical or spiritual, make you a target and are coveted by others. Poverty makes you invisible except to a politician looking for someone to throw money at in exchange for votes.
9 ¶ The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
John 1:4-9 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Now, go back to Genesis, chapter 1:3-5.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Now, notice this in John 13;
13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. 28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against
the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
And then this to this church and to us in Romans 13:12;
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
Christ is the light of the righteous, those who trust in Him, and those who are made righteous by His righteousness. We live in the night, as His light does not physically sign in this world except through us. But, the night is far spent and soon He’ll return and that will be morning.
Psalm 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Psalm 130:6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
Christ represents the light of dawn breaking through the blackness of night. He is our light. We rejoice because of that light. The wicked unbeliever’s light shall soon be extinguished.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this thejudgment:
This is not to say that Christ is created light but to make a typological comparison with the light of Christ and the darkness of the wickedness of this present world, in case someone feels argumentative.
10 ¶ Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Notice how pride and contention are placed in contrast to well advised and wisdom. Here is a comment in Philippians, chapter 1 by Paul about how the gospel was even preached in his day while he was locked up.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 18 What then? Notwithstand-ing, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Contention is used repeatedly in the rest of Proverbs, as we shall see, and refers to an argument, a disagreement, or a person who is argumentative or disagreeable. A contentious person is someone you would do well to stay away from, ignore, or let them know right off the bat that you aren’t going to tolerate their stuff. Pride, which we know was Satan’s primary sin, goes hand in hand with contention.
Obviously, a wise person is not contentious. A well advised person is not, either. The point made here is that you don’t get an argumentative person or a contentious person except by the fact of their great swelling pride. The contentious nature of our politics and our families is the result of ungodly pride. Only by pride does contention come. The wise man or woman is not contentious. We used to say about certain people that they’d argue with a stop sign. This is not an admirable character trait and has nothing to do with being an independent thinker but with just being a pain in the neck.
A person who has wisdom will consult the Holy Spirit through the Bible, the counsel of Godly friends and relatives, his Pastor, and others before considering an action. The prideful man seeks only his own counsel before he flies off the handle.
Make a boxing analogy.
11 ¶ Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
This might be the wealth that entertainers and athletes make in our modern day culture. Vanity is empty and devoid of meaning.
Man’s religion is vanity.
2 Kings 17: 15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.
His gods are vanity.
Psalm 31: 6 I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.
Jeremiah 8: 19 Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them
that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?
Jeremiah 14: 22 Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can
the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore
we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.
All of his aspirations and earthly hopes are vanity as are the things he worries about, frets over, and takes pride in.
Ecclesiastes 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
Wealth gotten by vain things; such as a woman making money from her looks, or a man depending on physical sporting skill has far less value to God than someone who earns their living by labor. It is a general rule, right now, although not applicable in every case, but apparent enough that we can see it, that celebrities make a living from things that don’t endure, such as looks or athletic ability, things that fade quickly. However, the man or woman who actually earns their living by labor will increase. This is a promise under the Law, a literal promise to the Jews of ancient Israel, had Israel followed the Lord as they promised they would.
But look at the world around you now. We see case after case of rising stars that soon become falling stars. If you seek fame or celebrity status and desire to become famous and seen by many on the stage, TV, or movies you have a spiritual problem; I don’t care if you are George Clooney or Joyce Meier. The person who seeks self glory rather than God’s glory is a vain person and wealth gotten by vanity usually does not last.
If money comes easy to you, don’t expect it to stay long. If you have to earn it, you’ll respect it more, or should. Of course, this is a general principle and does not address someone stealing your hard earned living or you being reckless and irresponsible with it. Don’t blame God if you can’t handle the money you earn. Wishing for a lottery win or an inheritance from a long lost rich aunt won’t change the fact that you can’t handle money, it handles you.
12 ¶ Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
We all know that when we don’t get something we’ve hoped for in a time that is convenient in our minds we get disheartened and discouraged. Many of us have prayed for something we thought was necessary to us time and time again only to have no answer, it would seem. The people of ancient times looked for a redeemer, expected to see God face to face, and from the vantage point of a resurrected body as is evidenced by the oldest written book in the Bible; Job. This was written, some reckon as early as 2000 BC. While some have it only as old as 1800 BC.
Job 19: 25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
Part of this expectation was met in the person of Jesus Christ walking on the earth but much of it was hope deferred.
Wisdom is called a “tree of life” back in Proverbs 3:18; the fruit of the righteous, those souls won for Christ, is called a “tree of life” in 11:30; a wholesome tongue in 15:4 is a tree of life, and in both Genesis and Revelation we have the tree of life which gives eternal life. Christ is our wisdom as has been pointed out, He is the righteous and we are only righteous because of Him, and He is the living Word of God, and only He grants eternal life as you compare each of the instances “tree of life” is used in Proverbs.
Christians are supposed to be;
“ Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13
Are you heart sick, waiting to be with Christ, to see Him face to face or do things of this world like the town lights when you’re trying to see the stars at night sort of block your vision of Him?
13 ¶ Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
To review, despise means to hold in contempt or to regard with low esteem. A 17th century person might have said that his friends despise him if they played a mean joke on him or mocked him. The Bible defines despise as it is used.
Genesis 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
In Leviticus 26:15, 43 despise and abhor are linked. 1 Samuel 2:30 renders despised to be lightly esteemed or held in low regard in opposition of honor.
1 Samuel 2:30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.
In this verse, it is clearly said that the person who holds God’s word in low esteem, who lightly regards His commandments will be destroyed and He that fears them shall be rewarded. Now, clearly, under the Law, this is a promise to the Jews, IN THIS LIFE. It is also a clear promise to us, by extension.
Do you regard God’s word highly? Do you read it as much as you can every day or listen to it while driving in your car or doing housework? Does it take preeminence over entertainment on TV or the radio? Do you talk about it with your spouse and children? Is it on your mind a lot? Do you think about the difficult verses and try to place things in context? Do you rightly divide it? Do you let God speak to your heart through the words in this Book? Have you given the power of God’s word in your life a chance by giving it preeminence?
Or are you someone who holds God’s word in contempt? If not by your own words and thoughts, then by your actions, or lack thereof. The Waldensians of the Alps said;
“The Holy Scriptures alone are sufficient to sanctify the believer.” Their pastors or barbe had to memorize the entire New Testament so they could recite any part at will to someone they were witnessing too.
Do you even read it through? How many times have you read or listened to the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation?
14 ¶ The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
In older times there was a fountain in the center of many towns from which the citizen and the stranger could drink. We are to be a fountain of life to both our fellow Christians and to those people who are not a part of the household of faith in Christ. The words and law of the Living Word, Christ, lead to life and away from the traps, the snares of Satan, which are death.
Hebrews 2:14 ¶ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Romans 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
15 ¶ Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
I want to restate something I said at the very beginning, when discussing the first four verses of chapter one;
“To perceive the words of understanding is very significant in that without understanding you can’t discern between good and evil.
1Kings 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
Understanding is mentioned seventeen times in the book of Job and is a major topic of that book including Job 32:8 that explains God’s inspiration. Mankind has had several things explained early on that he keeps asking the same questions about such as why do bad things happen to good people. God has explained also what is good and what is bad in His sight. Can you wrap your mind around it? Not if you don’t let Him speak to you through His Book rather than some twisted sermon on the radio or a CD you were given.
Animals don’t have understanding.
Psalm 32:9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
Neither do some men in high places.
Psalm 49:20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.
Remember the commandments given to Christians I mentioned earlier, some of which I listed?
Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Do you have a good understanding? I want to read Galatians 5:22-26 aloud again, plus 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22.”
If you have understanding and peace through Christ and conduct yourselves in an honorable and honest way, with ethics and morals and standards, you will find favour, not only with God but with men. It is possible to think of yourself as a separate, sanctified believer and still be a skunk, a stench in the nose of other people, if you aren’t honest and forthright and dependable in your business dealings and with your family.
The way of the transgressor is hard. The person devoted to his or her sin and self worship, the one who will not deny himself in any matter, will find, most likely, that he will spend a great deal of time flat on his face and in need of help. Now, this is a general principle and certainly does not appear to be true 100% of the time as we have examples of bad actors having what seems to be an easy life. But, YOU can’t live on exceptions, which are exceptions for reasons you or I know nothing about.
If you use your salvation and your separateness as a cloak to hide behind, a cover for lying, cheating, and stealing, as I’ve seen some do, then you’ll have a hard time with the transgressors.
Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
2Corinthians 8:21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
16 ¶ Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.
One of the things that God has stressed to us through Solomon in Proverbs is that we are to be discrete. Look at 12:23 and 13:3 in conjunction with this verse. A prudent man and a fool are in opposition here. The prudent man deals with knowledge. We Christians not only have a hope of eternal life but we believe we have knowledge of eternal life through Jesus Christ. We believe the issues of eternity, for us, have been settled. We need to deal with the Bible in this way. We might not understand parts of it and verses might go right over our heads but we are certain it is God’s word and worth knowing in as many ways as we can know.
When we deal with other people, we need to stay on track and not let our personal prejudices or fears get in the way of our faith. The fool’s stupidity and irrational bigotry is open for all to see. He’ll dip back into the Law to justify his own self righteousness or to condemn someone else and then claim God’s grace when he can’t hide his mess-ups. He’ll scream Bible verses at people without any understanding and then proudly proclaim, “well, I did my part. They got the Bible preached at them, bless God”.
The fool will dump innumerable commandments, many of his own making, on other people, usually women if the fool is a man, or men if the fool is a woman, or children from an adult fool’s perspective. A fool is always trying to make life harder and justification more impossible for someone else while they are, of course, a sanctified, Godly man or woman of God. There are liberal fools who says it’s all good and don’t say Christ is the only way. After all, it’s all good. The fundamentalist fool makes it so that the only people on earth who’ve got it right or even have a chance of getting saved are people who think and act like him or her.
You know how you can tell the difference between a prudent preacher and a fool? The big news media will give all sorts of attention and airtime to fools but they will ignore a man who speaks from knowledge. Usually, they won’t even criticize or mock him. They’ll just ignore him, as if he doesn’t even exist. But, a fool? Why, he’ll be the darling of the news, either on a regular basis if he can maintain some semblance of sanity or, at least, for entertainment purposes when he wants to get his “fifteen minutes of fame”. The big news media will beat a well worn path to a fool’s door but they will run and hide when a prudent man speaks. Satan doesn’t like to take chances that someone might hear the truth.
17 ¶ A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
Matthew Henry says that a wicked messenger is an employee who doesn’t honor his master’s trust and doesn’t deliver the word he has been given, faithfully, while the faithful ambassador is a blessing to the one who sent him. It doesn’t take much to realize the implications for Christians. Those preachers, evangelists, and teachers who do not faithfully render the word of God to the people in the pews but use per(versions) like the NWT have become wicked messengers, not handling the word of God correctly or truthfully.
2Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
Then there are those wicked messengers who have the right Bible but keep trying to put the Christian under the Law given to Moses or perhaps to further their own political or personal agenda.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
If a member of any congregation who is faithful to reading their Bible, leaves a sermon confused and unable to reconcile the words they have heard with the clear truth of the Bible, rightly divided, have been done wickedly by God’s servant like the prophet in 1 Kings 13.
Wicked messengers are all around us these days, preferring to put forward, not the unadulterated words of God, but the tenets of the culture of Christianity that has grown in the last country on earth that even recognizes Christ’s importance. Things like “baptism saves you”, “if you had faith you wouldn’t be sick”, “Sunday is the Sabbath”, and other teaching that frustrated Paul in Galatians when he asked them, “..having begun in the Spirit are you now made perfect by the flesh?” That verse haunts me every day as I contemplate what it means to serve Christ.
A faithful ambassador doesn’t have to be without error to be faithful. He doesn’t have to be incapable of error to be health to the hearer. He simply has to put forward the most honest understanding of the Scriptures he can, what he thinks God has laid on his heart, praying that he not be deceived and that he deceive no one, and have no agenda other than salvation of souls and the teaching of disciples; the edification of the body of Christ.
18 ¶ Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
Either under the Law or under Grace this is a clear statement and the possible subject of many great sermons. When you, young person, will not hear an elder’s advice about what you should study in school, you are consigning yourself to poverty and shame. Long before people foolishly said, “well, hon, its your life so whatever you feel drawn to…..” mother and father would say, “get a trade first and then you will have the money to go to school again, perhaps to study Art History or Medieval Poetry”, or “we’ll pay for a degree in business, engineering, or something practical and then if you want to study underwater Navajo basketweaving you can pay for it yourself”.
You see, receiving sound instruction, is essential to a successful life. Can you hear it? Can you listen to it? When you are criticized, even rebuked for exaggerating, a form of lying, or for being preoccupied with dressing so you appeal to the opposite sex, which is licentiousness, can you take the reproof and correct mistakes? God says over and over that a part of maturity is to be able to take instruction and reproof. I would go even further that He is saying to you that in order to be a mature Christian you must be able to accept such. We make a big deal in business about being flexible in your thinking but are you an inflexible Christian, a carnal Christian, who must have it his or her way and can’t accept reproof or correction?
Here, poverty and shame come with refusing instruction and reproof but honor comes to someone who has an ear for it and the mature soul that can bear it. The moral instruction that an elder gives to a young person is essential to that young person’s success and to his not falling into poverty and shame, but to receiving honor. Of course, it is hard to expect a young person to be able to do so when their parent’s can’t receive it.
19 ¶ The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
One of the great desires of a human being, besides to be loved, is to be happy. The Bible teaches that true happiness comes from being blessed by God.
Genesis 30:13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.
The world says that to be happy one must have good luck and good circumstances. The Bible teaches that to be happy one must walk with God and be blessed by Him. The true Christian’s great desire is not works or a show of piety as Paul warned about in Galatians;
Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Our desire should be to have a close walk with Christ, not by a show in the flesh like a Pharisee but by spiritual things;
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Do you not see how sweet it would be if those things were flowing out of you rather than paranoia, fear, anger, and uncertainty? These things are sweet to the soul. We should want to walk close with God and to experience the spiritual blessings He has in store for us, not to walk in the flesh obsessed with ritual and what we look like. If you’re going to “fly your Christian flag” then let it be by the fruit of the Spirit not by shows of fleshly piety and feigned spirituality.
By contrast, it is a terrible thing in the mind of a fool to depart from evil and malice. He believes that his sin is not only what he wants to do but is the right thing for him to do. He feels compelled to do it. He is driven by it like a Persian soldier was driven by a whip into battle. Just see how your old friends treated you when you stopped drinking or doing drugs with them or, guys, when you stopped chasing skirts. It’s as if they were appalled at YOUR behavior. They wanted nothing to do with you after the initial, “oh, so you’re too good for us now”. Your change in behavior and thought offends them.
But, when our desire is accomplished it is sweet to the soul. If you are driven to works of service for Christ by a sense of duty and compulsion again like a Persian soldier driven by the whip then that is of Satan, and of the flesh. It is when you are drawn by Christ, when you are lifted by the Holy Spirit and what you do is an act of joy and desire that you know it came from God. The desire accomplished is to walk closer and closer with Christ, to wait on Him and to let Him lead. But, it is an abomination for a fool to leave the twisted way he walks. These are two far extremes of thought in this verse.
20 ¶ He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Having the wrong friends is one of the worse things a young person can have. Do not be friends with loud, obnoxious people, people who love to do wrong, or to get over on someone like parents, or generally, Christians who don’t display the fruit of the Spirit. Avoid violent people. I like boxing. I enjoy sparring with people. What I don’t like is people that talk about how cool it is to hurt other people. I avoid people like that. There’s a sickness there, even if they are talking about that “other” like someone we might perceive as an enemy of God. People with a preoccupation for violent war, action, or horror movies, or who get emotional satisfaction from violent sports as in “I like to see ‘em get hit hard and go down and stay down”. These people have a spiritual problem.
Girls, avoid friends who like to show off, who want to be alluring or enticing to boys. Beware of girls who are excessively materialistic, and whose sense of self is based on how pretty they are. The important thing to remember is that you will become partly like who you hang around with.
When I was a young person I was that bad influence that people should not hang around. I tried to outdo other people in how wrong I could be. I cringe now when I remember friends telling relatives and other friends NOT to hang around me because I would corrupt them. Avoid people like that. There are no “cool” bad people. They are fools and they will destroy you. I remember hearing a friend warn his younger cousin when we were in New Orleans, “Don’t follow Fred. I have to answer to your mother.” I remember another friend being thankful I wasn’t with him when he and some friends were confronted by a motorcycle gang, “I’m so glad that Fred wasn’t with us. He’d have gotten us all killed.” These are not good things, not good memories now. They are nightmares, I pray, covered by the blood but terrible testimonies to a young, wasted life. Pick your friends very carefully. Pick good people, people filled with the Holy Spirit, who love the Lord and want to please Him, and not their own flesh.
If you walk with wise people, you, too will be wise. Your regrets will be few. If you walk with fools you’ll likely be destroyed along with them. Lot couldn’t stay in Sodom and not face the destruction. He had to depart from the wicked and go where God led him. So do you.
Young people, you will never meet a worthy lifetime mate IN A BAR. The boy or girl who flirts with you, do you think you’re the first person, that you’re so awesome, that they were overcome with your charm and good looks, that you’re the first person they’ve ever flirted with? And, you know what, even after you’re together as a married couple, you won’t be the last.
1Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
To even listen to the talk and babble of bad people, of people of bad faith, is to be corrupted by them. To associate with them is to bring destruction on yourself. The verse in 1st Corinthians is about bad doctrine, about denying the Lord’s resurrection, but I am applying it to other things as well.
21 ¶ Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.
Evil as malice, maliciousness, wrongdoing, and wickedness chases and overtakes people who insist on playing with it. A sinner never escapes his sin if he insists on living in it. Sin always consumes the person who dabbles in it. You never escape sin by running with it, you have to turn from it. And, as a Christian, you yourself can’t turn from sin without the work of the Holy Spirit inside you unless you have just simply denied an impulse for now, as an act of will. In that case, sin just ducked behind a rock but it’s still coming after you.
Those sinners of us who live by their sin, who identify themselves as their sin, and you know what I mean, have, by an act of will, chosen to be their sin. Their identity is their sin. By virtue of this act of will the Holy Spirit, speaking through Paul, says that they SHALL not, remember that shall is a consequence of an act of will that preceded it (we can do a whole class on will and shall as a consequence of it but one example might be Genesis 3:15 and others would be many verses in Revelation where some things shall happen as a consequence of something God has willed. The things that follow shall are not independent of the “will” before them), shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. It’s not that they couldn’t have, but they simply won’t. Their evil has pursued them and overtaken them.
1 Corinthians 6:9 ¶ Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
And then, in talking about how we treat each other, Paul gives a warning. Now, some people who believe in millennial exclusion say that the following verses mean that if you do these things you will not be a part of the physical inheritance when the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven come together in the Millennial reign of Christ. Others, who are still in the eternal security camp, say that this reveals the people in the church organization, the birds that hide under the shadow of the branches of the Kingdom of God but who aren’t a part of it (Mark 4:32), who live by these things, are frauds, tares, fakes who will be rooted out. There are many other viewpoints. As for me, I am sticking by the implications revealed in the language between the will to do something and the shall that is a consequence.
Galatians 5: 13 ¶ For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Only by letting God’s word work through you and on you do you have a hope of overcoming sin. If you insist that your commitment to Christ, your spirituality is so great, your love for the Lord is so powerful, that you don’t need His word to cleanse you from sin then you will be a spiritual train wreck waiting to happen.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Evil pursues the sinner. But, just as it is said to the Christian in Galatians, chapter 6, we will reap what we sow.
Galatians 6: 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
In this life, we have to trust that God will repay the good we do, however, let me point out that you should not be expecting a reward for something that you ought to be doing anyway. Many Christians think that ANY effort they make toward God should deserve an “attaboy”, which is like your child coming to you saying, “hey, Mom, I didn’t curse once today, break anything, beat up my little brother, or steal any of your stuff, what kind of reward am I going to get?” What are you, the Mafia, trying to extort blessings from God or are you the body of Christ?
Luke 17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? 8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? 9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. 10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
22 ¶ A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
The obvious application to the Jews under the Law in the kingdom of Israel is very clear and needs no explanation. People who would wrest this from its historical context and try to apply it to us in this literal sense will talk about how, to be rich, means that you are good and that God is with you. I hear this, particularly from charismatic oriented brethren.
However, I think the real spiritual application, practically applicable to the Christian, in that we are not promised material wealth, is this. There is none good but God.
Mark 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
Jesus Christ was and is that good man who has left us, His children in a type as per the following verse, a spiritual inheritance, an inheritance of eternal life.
Psalm 22:30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
See the following in context;
Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
But, it gets even deeper, this verse in Proverbs. The reason America is in such a shambles is that Christians stopped reproducing. I’m not talking about having offspring in the flesh with their DNA and all that. I’m talking about, at some point, the children of Christians did not become Christians. Most everyone in America today, whose ancestors were here two hundred years ago or thereabouts, those ancestors had some kind of faith. How come their descendants don’t now? Why? Because, at a point in the 1800’s, during that great time of apostasy and Satan’s counterfeiting of Christianity, called by blind historians, religious and secular, as the Second Great Awakening, which gave us Charismatic religion, Mormonism, Charles G. Finney, and other like things, Christians began looking to the government to enforce religious dogma and to right all wrongs. “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord”, was a reference to Union armies sweeping through the South, killing white and black alike, and annihilating everything in their path. Christianity, or at least the kind that we know, became carnal and fleshy and looked more to man, and not God, for a solution to society’s sins and problems. The welfare state was created that we have now by Christians wanting tax money taken, not church money freely given, to help the poor. The liberal Christian viewed the whole country as a church with the President as a kind of Pastor.
We went from Andrew Jackson refusing to have a national day of prayer and repentance over a cholera epidemic because “you have Pastors for that” and the state of Tennessee making it a law that Pastors could not hold public office to Abraham Lincoln declaring a day of Thanksgiving and now, if a person doesn’t declare himself to be a Christian, regardless of his proven character or lack thereof, we don’t hold him as qualified for office.
By depending on man instead of God or rather, man as giving God a hand, Christianity in practice lost its spiritual power. Christians supported the income tax amendment because it would substitute for the tax revenue lost on liquor if the government went along with the Billy Sunday types who wanted alcohol banned by law. We got liquor back but the powers that be didn’t return our income tax money, did they?
So, fundamental Christianity, Bible Christianity, if you will, was degraded by its hunger for political solutions to spiritual problems such as slavery, the abuse of women and children and other minorities, horrible working and living conditions, abortion (yes, there was a 19th century campaign against abortion that attacked it as a spiritual problem which was very successful as opposed to our modern walking arm in arm with the Catholic church). As political power replaced spiritual power in the Christian church and we turned over to government the New Testament Church’s function of providing for the unemployed, the elderly, and the sick among us with government unemployment benefits, social security, and Medicare/Medicaid we lost the power that emptied jails and bars during revivals in the 1800’s.
Don’t get me wrong. There were good things that came from this era; Sunday School, Charles G. Finney’s prayer benches, Wednesday night prayer meeting, Moody’s bus ministries (which were wagon’s back then) but there were also great monstrosities of perverse Christianity like the sermons during World War One that said if Christ were with us physically today he’d be in the infantry and have German guts hanging from his bayonet.
The good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children. But, they didn’t, did they? Perhaps, they lost their goodness by turning from the power of God to the fleshy strength of the arm of man.
The rest of the verse makes it plain that not only will the good leave an inheritance for their grandchildren but the wealth of the sinners will be theirs, as well. This will happen in the millennium, in the physical reign of Christ on earth for a thousand years. What’s left of all the great monuments of man and his cities, will be of no use to the sinner, burning in Hell. Or, perhaps, if you take the radical view, we have God’s word, translated by men of an apostate religion, Anglicanism, men whom God used in spite of the dictates of their own church organization, and we have the knowledge of the Waldensians of the Alps of pure, New Testament Christianity, in spite of the fact, that they themselves fell into apostasy after being shining lights for a thousand years and their church now is in the World Council of Churches. We, the good, if we hold onto Christ have inherited the wealth of sinners laid up for the just, who are the just, only because of Christ.
Will you leave your spiritual wealth for your grandchildren? Will you, young people, raise your children to be Godly Christians rather than apostate, hell bound sinners? Will you have daily devotions, daily Bible reading, and daily prayers with your family? DAILY? Will they hear you talk about what God has done for you and with you that day rather than what the boss or the world has done to you? Will you live as Christians before them in speech and deed or will you be a hypocrite and show them that God is just an idea and no more than that, to be honored when its convenient ? Will you lead them to Christ with faith, love, and joy particularly in times of suffering, or will you DRIVE THEM from the throne of God with paranoia, hatred, anger, and fear?
Look to the past. Ask yourself what happened to the children of Billy Sunday. Look it up. Where are the spiritual descendants of J. Frank Norris, the Texas Tornado? Are the buildings in which his churches met still churches today? Check it out. It’s either God or the world. You can’t trust in both for the salvation of your body and your soul. Decide now. For your children’s children.
23 ¶ Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.
The poor person works hard to make the ground produce food and it usually does but bad decisions can destroy the fruit of his labor. If you work hard you will probably have more than enough to eat and a warm place to sleep. However, if you covet things you don’t need and use credit to buy them, with an abundance of credit cards and debt, or if you spend your food and rent money on unnecessary things you’ll probably lose what you’ve worked hard for. Don’t be careless with your credit rating or careless with the money you work hard to earn and you’ll keep it longer and live easier than if you use bad judgment.
Worldly money Rule #1 for young folks. Do not want something for nothing. That’s how scammers get you. They appeal to your own sin, your greed, your covetousness, and offer you something you didn’t earn. They’ll take everything you have. Only want those things which you have earned.
Worldly money Rule #2 for young folks. Live within your means. Your rent or mortgage should not exceed your gross paycheck for one week. You shouldn’t have more than one or two credit cards and they should never be used past half the credit available. Be responsible for your own old age by putting something of value that you can spend, away in small quantities each and every week, as long term savings that you never touch until you are too old or sick to work. Also save three months pay for emergencies and keep that topped off.
Worldly money Rule #3 for young folks. There is no free lunch. Everything has a price. The guy on the radio says that your windshield repair is free with most insurance policies. That’s a lie. You pay for your insurance. The guy on the radio says that the hovermobile for the elderly is free with Medicare. That’s a lie. Our taxes pay for Medicare so we all pay for your hovermobile. Somebody pays for everything.
Worldly money Rule #4 for young folks. Respect private property, yours and others.
Bad judgment; greediness, covetousness, living large, wanting a free ride, and not taking care of what you have, wanting more than what you need can put you under an overpass eating cold pork and beans out of a can and drinking rain water. Your hard work can produce much bounty with God’s blessing and your bad judgment can send it all down a rat hole.
Now, let’s look at a spiritual application of this verse.
Revelation 2:8 ¶ And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich)….
The Christian who is poor in worldly wealth but rich in spiritual treasures can gain much for God by his or her hard work as he or she tills the hearts of men to sow the gospel. You don’t have to have a rich church or lots of money for missions and programs and buses and a big sanctuary to produce a harvest for God.
24 ¶ He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
There are many verses of note regarding this worth reading which we will come to;
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Proverbs 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
For young parents I would just give a warning. Correct your children but don’t do it out of anger. Don’t let your anger become wrath. Physical punishment, like spanking, can teach your child not to do wrong but if done when you are angry can teach a child that that is an appropriate response to someone who ticks you off. There is a huge difference between correcting a child for their own benefit with corporal punishment and hitting them because they annoy you. Remember, the reason you spank your child is not because they embarrassed or disappointed you by doing something that, by virtue of their age or physical ability or lack of coordination, they couldn’t help doing but because they did wrong and you want them to learn to do right. Don’t spank your child when you’re angry.
Another point would be regarding this, don’t let your child get away with things at home that you don’t want them to do in public. It is cruelty to permit a child to throw a tantrum in your kitchen with impunity and then to get all bent out of shape in a grocery store. I have known parents, and I was one of them, who used physical punishment at the wrong time and for the wrong reason. Your children belong to God and its your job to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, not provoking them to wrath with inconsistent and inappropriate punishment. Many Christian parents punish their children “with the rod” simply because they’re embarrassed and there is no consistency or desire to improve the child but just a don’t tick me off attitude.
Prepare them to receive Christ, don’t make them psych ward cases. No child was ever hurt by a good spanking, though, with the right attitude by the parent. In fact, more children are hurt by not knowing their boundaries and by not having a parent who means business than by someone not afraid to discipline. A parent who loves their child will discipline them. Discipline is an act of love, not cruelty.
25 ¶ The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.
Again, we can look at this just as a literal, temporal statement regarding a promise made to physical Hebrews in the physical land of Ancient Israel if they had obeyed God or we can view this in light of what we know because of the New Testament. In doing that we realize that our spiritual food, God’s words in His Book will satisfy our soul but those who reject Christ, as unbelievers, as well as those who claim to be believers but despise God’s words, hold them in low regard, and with contempt are always hungry and never satisfied. They go from one new thing to another, one guru to another, searching hopelessly for some spiritual fulfillment. They are never satisfied because the truth is not in Joel Osteen, Rabbi Schneerson, Billy Graham, the Pope, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, or Sheikh Salman. The truth is Christ and in His Bible. We are to feed every day on it and be filled by it.
Here are some Biblical comparisons with scriptures and eating.
Job 12:11 Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat?
Ezekiel 3:1 ¶ Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. 2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. 4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.
Revelation 10:9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.