Those who walk humbly with God in obedience to the commands of His Word and in submission to the disposals of His providence, shall find true riches, honor, comfort and long life in this world, and eternal life at last.
1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
2 The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.
3 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
8 He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.
9 He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.
11 He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.
12 The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.
13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.
14 The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.
15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
16 He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.
17 Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
18 For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.
19 That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.
20 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,
21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
22 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
23 For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.
24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:
25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
26 Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.
27 If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?
28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
29 Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
Proverbs 22:1-2 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 22:3-27 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 22:28-29 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 22:1-16 – “He That Loveth Pureness of Heart”
Great riches are not always a great blessing. When they are held in trust for God, they afford the opportunity of giving a vast amount of happiness to the benefactor as well as to those benefited. But we recall other riches, which do not consist in what a man has, but in what he is. There are four levels of human experience—to have, to do, to know, and to be—and these in their order are like iron, silver, gold, precious stones.
Some of these riches are enumerated here: a good name and loving favor, Proverbs 22:1; the faith that hides in God, Proverbs 22:3; true humility and godly fear, Proverbs 22:4; the child-heart, Proverbs 22:6; the beautiful eye and open hand, Proverbs 22:9; purity of heart and thought, Proverbs 22:11; alacrity and diligence, Proverbs 22:13. If only we would cultivate the inward graces and gifts of our soul-life, all who feel our influence would be proportionately enriched. —Through the Bible Day by Day
In the midst of life we are in death, in the midst of joy we are in sorrow and in the midst of luxury we are in want. There are more kinds of luxury than those which mere wealth can bring, and there are kinds of want as many—luxury is a state of abundance, whether of wealth, or books, or intellect, or privileges beyond our personal need. Want is a state of poverty of clothes, or food, or of physical or mental necessities of whatever sort. The poor need the assistance of the rich in matters of physical comforts and counsel. The rich need the meekness and patience which are the soonest found in the lowly cottage or the pauper’s hut.
Proverbs 22:5—Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward.
This is due to the love of God, shown in the constitution of the world. It would have been malignity indeed to have placed us in the world without the warning signal of pain to show us where we are wrong, and to sting us when we go astray. By the pitiful mercy of our Creator, pain is the inevitable consequence of the breach of physical and moral law; thus men are shown that they are on the wrong path, and driven back in repentance and rectitude. The Greek motto said: “Pain is therefore gain.”
You say that there are many who suffer, who are among the holiest and meekest of mankind; and you wonder how it is that those snares have come so plentifully to their share. But you must remember that though an individual may not have broken the law himself in any special sense, yet he inherits broken law. By virtue of his union with a sinful race he reaps a harvest sown by others’ sins; and by bearing it meekly and lovingly he enters into union with some aspects of the death of Christ, and fills up that which is behind of his sufferings. When wrong is borne sweetly and uncomplainingly, some froward deed that started long before, and had been cursing the world, is for ever arrested and cancelled; as a cannon ball in a bank of sand.
But, in addition, there are some who suffer according to the will of God. Pain, beneath the touch of the Spirit of God, is in the highest degree disciplinary. As the angels watch the result on a soul of God’s sharp ordeal of suffering, they say:
“The keen sanctity,
Which with its effluence, like a glory, clothed
And circled round the Crucified, has seized
And scorched, and shriveled it” —Our Daily Homily