Summary: A message about how too many times we let our greatest gifts and talents fall into places they should never be.


TEXT: Proverbs 11:22

Proverbs 11:22 KJV As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

Proverbs 11:22 MOFFATT A golden ring in the snout of a sow, and a pretty woman without sense!

Proverbs 11:22 TAYLOR A beautiful woman lacking discretion and modesty is like a fine gold ring in a pig’s snout.

Proverbs 11:22 MSG Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful face on an empty head.


A. Thomas Watson and His Word Pictures

-A few years ago I found a book written by Jack Hughes who did an indepth study of the sermons of the old Puritan, Thomas Watson. In that study, Hughes pointed out how powerfully that Watson used words to paint pictures. It was if he could use a single sentence and conjure up a picture in your mind that was unforgettable.

-Here are some of the examples that he used for affliction:

A sick-bed often teaches more than a sermon.

God intermixes mercy with affliction. He steeps his sword of justice in the oil of mercy. There is no night so dark but Israel had a fire in it. There is no condition so dismal but we may see a pillar of fire to give us light.

As the hard frosts in winter bring on the flowers in the spring, and as the night ushers in the morning star, so the evils of affliction produce much good to those that love God.

-Here are some examples that he used for bad company:

Take heed of coming into infected company, lest you take the infection; the wicked are devils to tempt to sin. Lot was the world’s wonder that lived in Sodom when it was a pest-house, yet did not catch the disease.

The breath of sinners is infectious. They are like the dragon which ‘cast a flood out of his mouth’ (Rev. 12:15). They cast a flood of oaths out of their mouths. Wicked tongues are set on fire by hell (James 3:6). The sinner finds match and gunpowder, and the devil finds fire.

-Here are some examples that he used for parenting:

Correction is a hedge of thorns to stop children in their full career to hell.

A child indulged and humoured in wickedness will prove a burden instead of a blessing.

A good piece of ground bears not only an early-crop but an after-crop. He who is godly does not only bear God a good crop of obedience himself while he lives, but by training his child in the principles of religion, he bears God an after-crop when he is dead.

The soul of your child in in a snare and will you not pray that it may ‘recover out of the snare of the devil’ (2 Tim. 2:26)? Many parents are careful to lay up portions for their children, but they do not lay up prayers for them.

-There is something about this speech of this man that reaches out and grabs you because he can paint a picture with words.

B. Word Pictures from the Proverbs

-But long before Thomas Watson was working on his word pictures, the writers of Proverbs were doing the same thing.

-From the wisdom of the Proverbs, there are a multiplicity of word pictures. It is almost as if one sentence has enough punch for a whole sermon. In fact in the past I have made reference to some of the Proverbs as being “sentence sermons.”

-All through the chapters of Proverbs you find words that paint pictures. Proverbs 9 shows us the difference between wisdom and folly by the way that wisdom builds a house. Here are the word pictures:

• A house that Wisdom built—v. 1

• It has seven pillars of wisdom in it—v. 1

• The house has been prepared—food and drink for a set table—v. 2

• Gives an important announcement from the news center of the town—v. 3

• Promises to give understanding to the simple—v. 4

• Forsake foolishness for the way of understanding—v. 5

• Instruction and correction are important components of learning—v. 9

• The highest way to learn is by fearing the Lord—v. 10

• Days and years are added to those who are wise—v. 11

-When you read those words, you find that there is a higher life to be attained. But catch the word picture the wise writer of Proverbs uses to describe the way of folly:

Proverbs 9:13-18 ESV The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing. [14] She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town, [15] calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, [16] "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!" And to him who lacks sense she says, [17] "Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant." [18] But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

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