“The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but t
                     he righteous hath hope in his death.” - Proverbs 14:32.

          There have been a number of references up through the portion of the Book of Proverbs to the ultimate results or consequences that come to the wicked or the righteous.  It is one of the great contrasts in Solomon’s’ mind as he lays out for us the series of matters that men (not males) face as they walk through life.  His purpose, of course, is to get us to think through the need that we have to see to it that what he calls our path proceeds in a righteous and god-honoring fashion.
          Likewise, it is important that godly people understand that those results/consequences are inevitable and come due to the “path” in which we walk.  Along this thought Solomon wishes us to know the fact that it is “
By his wickedness is the wicked driven forth”.  The term “driven forth” is a term that is not frequently used in Proverbs, let alone in the OT.  It means that they (the wicked) have a very undesirable end from life. That is, he is by the terrible results of his life, is by his death swept away from this earthly life (comp. Ps. 36:12; 62:3).  
          Many interpret this to be teaching that Solomon is referring to both the calamity that is a part of life as well as the anticipation of coming death is being referred to here. If this is so, we can hear Solomon speaking of the shelter (or lack of same) that is a built in part of the lives of the wicked and the godly. 

“The wicked is driven away in his wickedness:
but the righteous hath hope in his death.” - Proverbs 14:32.
          “Driven away” speaks, obviously, flight, compelled flight actually, from whatever it is that is the source of affliction.  We can understand it to be material opposition, financial issues, or any one of a number of other things.  Whatever it seems to be, the conclusion we have to draw is that Solomon is telling us that “the wicked” have no resource upon which to call to give them shelter or protection from whatever it is that is set against them.  They are “driven away” or caused to flee in its’ face.  He wants us to understand that it nothing lacking in a natural ability that is the cause.  Rather, it is his “wickedness” that is the basic and fundamental cause of this being “driven away”.  
          We should note that the second part of the verse suggests that this part of the verse also extend even to the  matter of death. 
But the righteous hath hope (even) in his death. Ho “is confident,” viz. in Jehovah; comp. Ps. 17:7, where the same absolute use of the participle “trusting” occurs (the “trustful” in general, believers). As in chap. 11:7, and if possible even more distinctly than in that passage, we have expressed hero a hope in the continuance of the individual life after death, and a just retribution in the future world. 
          Those who trust and obey the Lord have a sense of security in catastrophe. The contrast is with the wicked who are cast down (
yiddāḥeh; NIV, “brought down”) in the time of calamity; the righteous even in death have a “refuge” (ḥōseh). So the idea is that the righteous hope in a just retribution. A problem often raised is that nowhere in the Book of Proverbs is hope for immortality found. Rather death is seen as a misfortune (see Notes). Nevertheless, this verse may be a shadowy forerunner of that truth.
          Proverbs hints at life after death infrequently. Some scholars think this verse refers to God’s granting courage to face death with dignity and serenity.  The prepositional phrase must be “in his time of trouble” (i.e., when catastrophe comes). Cf. CEV “In times of trouble the wicked are destroyed.” A wicked person has nothing to fall back on in such times.
          We have to conclude that it is the contrast between wickedness and righteousness in life, as a characteristic of ones’ “path” (as Solomon puts it).  It is that characteristic path of life that results in the end that is stated here. 


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 “A wise man fears, and departs from evil: but the fool rages and is confident.” - Proverbs 14:16 (Cf. 12:15; 22:3).
          Once again we see Solomon setting those whom are “wise” over against those whom he defines as “fools”.  Here he speaks of the characteristics of these two groups in their general manifestation of conduct in life.  We should note that he does not tie all groups or identify, say, the rich to the wise or the poor to what he identifies as foolish.  They to groups are NOT to regarded as the same.  “Rich does NOT equal wise and poor does NOT equal fool.  
         There are many church leaders who would like us to think somewhere along the line of “… if you trust the Lord and ask Him (believing of course) He will absolutely give you what you ask for” and they claim that God is in the business of filling our lives with good things if we will but ask in faith.  to try to support this they appeal to many passages of Scripture that, if understood in their twisted fashion, might seem to support this awful idea.  Of course, for many of these false teachers there is a catch.  You have to demonstrate you “faith” and you can do so by sending them money.
 
         The problems with this are several and severe.  Just to name one it seems to be, at least in part, a misunderstanding of this passage and others like it.  Solomon is NOT tying the idea of wisdom to the actions of the individual and NOT to the reaping of some kind of material gain.  It is simply saying what Solomon has sad quite a number of times before - that is that the wise ACT like they possess real wisdom and the foolish ACT like the fools that they indeed are.   
    
                  
“A wise man fears, and departs from evil: but the fool rages and is confident.” - Proverbs 14:16 (Cf. 12:15; 22:3).

         First, we want to notice that Solomon is, once again saying that those who “fear”, as in fearing the Lord, act in concert with that fear.  Namely, in this verse, they depart from evil.  The word “fear” as we have noticed before, refers to the generic fear that we all experience from time to time.  But when it is used in connection with our relationship with the Lord, either actually possessed or which a writer is encouraging his readers to embrace or follow after, it is speaking of an honoring or giving to God and His Word that place in our lives that enables God to rule over and to direct our path of Life and direct our choices.  
         Solomon is making what, upon reflection on our part, is a very logical and easy to understand point, given that he is speaking to an audience that professed to know the living God.  If a man, knowing the Lord, is one who puts that fear into action as a demonstration of the wisdom accrued as a believer who has walked with God. 
          Departing from evil is a concept that appears frequently in the OT, particularly in the Wisdom literature.  Quite naturally, “departing from” speaks of a change of direction or a turn in ones’ path.  In certain contexts, it can speak of standing away from, abandoning or desisting from a practice.  In this case that context is the practicing of evil, to whatever extent happens to be in mind.

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7  “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,

Today I have begotten You.

8  ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.


9  ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’ ”


10  Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.


11  Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.


12  Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!  (Psalm 2:7-12)

          One of the truly marvelous things to note when we are reading the Psalms is to see David relying and depending upon the true fact of the promises of God that God made regarding what we call the “Davidic Covenant”.  Interestingly, the covenant tradition underwent modification during the time of King David (c. 1000 b.c.). What is commonly called the “Sinai covenant” had been established between God and Israel, with Moses acting as mediator. In David’s time an additional element was added; God entered or modified this covenant with David as king. It is one of those “things” that takes some thought when we consider that the Sinai Covenant is (like all other Covenants made between God and His people) is an eternal Covenant.  With the Davidic Covenant we see, not so much an outright replacement of the Sinai Covenant, as it more info from God being “added” to the Sinai Covenant that does not so much replace content and promises there, but redefines and extends it’s meaning and ultimate application.  For instance, one thing that it tells us is that the Covenant made earlier is that truth that one of David’s descendant will be the coming, promised Messiah.
          But it is not new information because that royal covenant was intimated to David through the prophet Nathan (2 Sam. 7:8–16), indicating once again the Divine initiative. It was to be an everlasting covenant with David’s royal lineage (2 Sam 23:5).  So we see here that the reference to a “
decree” here is a reference to the divine oracle spoken when the king took his throne.  David goes on and tells us: The Lord said. Although many suppose that this psalm is for the crowning of a king, the past tense indicates that the king recalls the oracle at a later time of trouble. This could be seen as recalling quite a few of the incidents in David’s past as King.  The particular incident he has in mind is when his Lord said to him “You are my Son”
         In 2 Sam. 7:14, God says that he will take the heir of David as a “son.” The people as a whole are called the “son of God” (see Ex. 4:22–23; Ps. 80:15; Hos. 11:1), and the king is called the “son of God” because he represents and embodies the people (see also Ps. 89:27). Hebrews 1:5 brings Ps. 2:7 together with 2 Sam. 7:14: this shows that the argument of that book assumes that Jesus is the messianic heir of David (the Son of God), into whom God has also folded the priestly office. In Acts 13:33 (a speech of Paul) and Rom. 1:4, Paul portrays the resurrection of Jesus as his coronation, his entry into his Davidic rule. 
          We note the reference to the fact that the day in view in David’s mind was the day that God had “begotten” him.  Of course, this does not mean that God had created him from nothing for the purposes we see given here.  David was a young adult at this time and so we conclude that he cannot and would be referring to his creation or birth.  Rather, given this, we can easily conclude that he is speaking of the time when God “begot” his King” for His “son”, the nation as a whole, those whom He had called His “son”.  This phrase is referred to in quite a number of NT passages:

          ·        Matthew 3:17 
  
17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

          At John the Baptists baptism of our Lord Jesus, God announced that Jesus was “His Beloved Son” meaning much the same thing as He did when He spoke to David way back in 2 Sam. 7:14. 
 
           Mark 1:1, 11; Luke 3:22; John 1:18; Acts 13:33; [Heb. 1:5; 5:5]


         Christians generally interpret the covenant with David as a Messianic covenant. For several centuries the dynasty established by David ruled a united Israel, then ruled the remaining southern kingdom of Judah.       
         However, we do know that in 586 b.c. Judah was conquered by the Babylonians. At that point a descendant of David was no longer ruling an independent kingdom of God’s chosen people. The everlasting nature of the covenant with David was brought out clearly and we are able to see that God’s Davidic Covenant is primarily for the continued rulership, however, not in the pages of ancient history but in the expectation of a Messiah who would be born of David’s descendants. Matthew and Luke both pointed to Jesus’ Davidic descent (Mt 1:1; Lk 3:31). The NT thus extends the covenant acts of God into the new age in the person of Jesus.


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 “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” - Proverbs 3:9, 10.
           It seems that the vast majority of people in these days of greatly concerned with the keeping and/or gaining of wealth.  If we could put our finger on someone from the Biblical era who was absolutely well suited in regard to the matter of finances and wealth, it would surely be one like Solomon (though there are quite a number of others that would at least be in the running for consideration.  The first 10 content of  this chapter develop what we could call the “Precepts of Wisdom”.  In verses 1-10 he speaks of what makes for physical and spiritual well-being.  Verse 11-12 claims that adversity is shaped by God into what can be seen to be the discipline of the a loving father.  Verses 13-18 adds to this by tell us that it inculcates a genuinely true sense of values.  Verses 19-20 seeks to give  us a spiritual understanding of God’s creation; and is followed, in a large section (21-35) that teaches concerning what could be called “practical righteousness.
          We’re giving our attention, in verse 9-10 to think a bit about a Biblical view of possessions.  It does so by demanding that they be used in order to and in a way that honors God.  Solomon has already touched upon this by telling us that we must trust God (v5); which was done by giving our first-fruits, our first and best to God.  He will later (v27,28) instruct us to be fair in the use of it and by giving generously (v25); as well as by obeying the Pentateuch (Dt. 6:9-11) and giving thanks for all He gives to us.  He tells us that the result of this will be prosperity and satisfaction.  It is interesting that what is earlier referred to as the “fear of the Lord” often affects one’s body vigor and their finances with prosperity.
 

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“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”   (Proverbs 20:1.)
          This three-chapter section in Proverbs, 19-22, speaking of various proverbs that give instruction and regulation regarding various aspects of personal conduct.  It is interesting that Solomon here speaks in contrast to the features of a good life described in 19:16–23 (spoken of in another writing); and that it is the description in these prior verses that are at odds with the scoffer or mocker. This person is a complete reprobate and the quintessential fool. Of such a person it can be said: 
         1.      The only hope for correcting his stubborn attitude lies in beatings, which may or may not have the desired effect (19:25); 
         2.      He has no respect for parents (19:26); 
         3.      He will not listen to sound teaching (19:27); 
         4.      He rejects all notions of right and wrong (19:28); and 
         5.      Again, he gets beaten for his behavior (19:29). 
         6.      Finally, here in v1,
wine is called a mocker and strong drink a brawler
         That is, to put things briefly, excessive drinking leads to picking fights as well as to an abandonment of principles of right and wrong. It is implied that drunkenness is common among “scoffers”, or to those who already have a mental/spiritual disposition toward not taking the truth of God anything more than something to be made fun of; and certainly as something to be cast aside as foolishness.  To “mock” in the OT was to make fun of or to belittle a thing or a person.  The point is that the indulgence in wine, and to its’ intoxicating effects, leads to the mocking of the more serious things around us.  

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” - Proverbs 20:1.
          A “mocker” is one who chatters excessively, who speaks boastful concerning his own opinions concerning an issue at hand.  It is almost like they are talking to “hear themselves talk” so to speak.  We note that the verse tells us that “Wine is a mocker”.  it does not merely say that wine makes one a mocker.  The implication here is that wine reduces the normal restraints that one who have in place to keep one from doing what is in view.  It truly goes overcomes those restraints and all but causes one to do that which they normally would not do.  Hence, they use of the word “mocker”.  It is not so much that the feelings and opinions in view are not present in the mind of the person we are thinking of (for our purposes, this is a hypothetical individual).  It can remove, at least to some degree, those normal barriers that act as restrainer to these negative emotions and demonstrations of same.  
           This is not to say that, in believers at least, God’s Holy Spirit neither can or does act as a restrainer to such demonstrations.  It is simply to say that Solomon saw it as a truth that wine and strong drink was not in any way helpful to this restraining, but, instead acts as a release.  It does not “overcome” the acting of the Spirit, but like any other unwise and fleshly indulgence men (not just males) can give themselves to, God warns and helps, but ultimately and as with most such fleshly things, submission is a matter our human will.


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      “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” - Proverbs 3:9, 10.
          It seems that the vast majority of people in these days of greatly concerned with the keeping and/or gaining of wealth.  If we could put our finger on someone from the Biblical era who was absolutely well suited in regard to the matter of finances and wealth, it would surely be one like Solomon (though there are quite a number of others that would at least be in the running for consideration.  The first 10 content of  this chapter develop what we could call the “Precepts of Wisdom”.  In verses 1-10 he speaks of what makes for physical and spiritual well-being.  Verse 11-12 claims that adversity is shaped by God into what can be seen to be the discipline of the a loving father.  Verses 13-18 adds to this by tell us that it inculcates a genuinely true sense of values.  Verses 19-20 seeks to give  us a spiritual understanding of God’s creation; and is followed, in a large section (21-35) that teaches concerning what could be called “practical righteousness.
         We’re giving our attention, in verse 9-10 to think a bit about a Biblical view of possessions.  It does so by demanding that they be used in order to and in a way that honors God.  Solomon has already touched upon this by telling us that we must trust God (v5); which was done by giving our first-fruits, our first and best to God.  He will later (v27,28) instruct us to be fair in the use of it and by giving generously (v25); as well as by obeying the Pentateuch (Dt. 6:9-11) and giving thanks for all He gives to us.  He tells us that the result of this will be prosperity and satisfaction.  It is interesting that what is earlier referred to as the “fear of the Lord” often affects one’s body vigor and their finances with prosperity.
  
“Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase…” (9)
         As in many cases the verb form for “Honor” is in the imperative which, as we have noted before, when applied to me speaks of some form of command or instruction.  This is not just a word of advice or even urging on Solomon’s part.  He is telling his listeners what is completely necessary if the benefits of verse 10 are to be realized. 


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          In our day and age, it is rapidly becoming clear that the evangelical church does not truly stand for the foundations and pillars that have undergird it for some centuries through the past. Quite a few modern leaders, even of huge Evangelical Churches, are casting aside, taking radical and dramatic steps toward what, some decades ago, were the first steps toward theological liberalism.  The result of this betrayal has ultimately been that the people sitting in the pew are being deceived and led along a path that ultimately takes them to spiritual ignorance and a serious lack of knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and of His nature.
         A recent survey of what we can call “Young Evangelicals” demonstrated some distress realities:
82% of this group believe that men have the ability to turn to God of their own initiative.

  • 74% believe that individuals must do something or things that contribute in a functional way to their own salvation.
  • 71% believe that Jesus Christ is the first and greatest being CREATED by God.
  • 65% believe that God knows all that happens but that He has no deterministic part in what or why it happens.
  • 57% believe that their Local Church has the authority to withhold communion and to excommunicate them (this refers to those who are evangelical and attend church at least once per year).
  • 56% believe that the Holy Spirit is a “force” and NOT a personal Being.
  • 54% believe that everyone sins a little, but that most people are good by nature.
  • 48% believe that God accepts the acts of worship in every religion, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
  • 48% believe that even that smallest of sins deserves eternal damnation and that the issue is not a sinful nature or association with Adam.
  • 42% believe that Worshipping alone or with one’s family is a way to replace Church.
  • 39% think that their good deeds help to earn them a place in heaven.
  • and finally 37% believe that God ALWAYS rewards faith with material blessings.

    Just as an aside, in this survey, the Evangelical was defined as those who strongly agree that:
    1.      The Bible is the Highest authority
    2.      Evangelism is very important
    3.      Sin can only be removed by Jesus’ death on the cross.
    4.      Salvation comes ONLY by trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior.
     
      We ought also note that virtually all of the heresies above were dealt with in the 3 great Church counsels ( 1st Council of Nicaea; 1st Council of Constantinople; the Council of Orange; and quite a number of them are refuted by the Book Romans.

          We will continue on further in out study in our next post...

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