Connecting the Dots
Good and Holy God, I’m grateful for Your Holy Word and for Your Holy Spirit which teaches it to me.
Read Proverbs 22:1-16
 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.  Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.  A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.  Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.  In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares, but he who guards his soul stays far from them.  Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.  The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.  He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.  A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.  Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.  He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.  The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge, but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.  The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!” or, “I will be murdered in the streets!”  The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is under the LORD’s wrath will fall into it.  Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.  He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich-both come to poverty. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat do we learn here about wealth and rich folks?
When my two sons were little, they couldn’t have been more different. Stephen showed a gentle spirit and had innocent-looking brown eyes. David had red hair, freckles, a cheeky grin, and was always in trouble.
One pastime our children enjoyed was connecting the dots to create a picture. Stephen would instigate an action, then realize he’d made a bad choice and stop. He’d learned to connect the dots concerning his actions. David never saw the picture until it was too late. He would keep right on—and get caught (3).
In this passage we learn the importance of connecting the dots. We see the outcome of some actions, the consequence of others. Solomon, the writer of these proverbs and reputed to have been the wisest man ever, shows us the outcome and consequences of being rich (2,7,9,16). He points out the responsibilities of parenthood in words Eli would have done well to heed (6,15). We’re reminded to watch the company we keep (3,5,8,10). The other verses pinpoint our own behavior and our attitude to the Lord and others.
Reflect on the verses that may be most helpful in keeping you from unwise behavior and unhappy consequences.
Lord, I want to be teachable and I pray that You’ll help me learn wise, honorable living from Your Word.
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