Pearls From Proverbs – Chapter Twenty Nine
Proverbs 29:1 (NASB) A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.
The Good News Bible says it this way, "If you get more stubborn every time you are corrected, one day you will be crushed and never recover."
Warnings rarely come with countdowns. We can't tell when we've had our last chance to change. When we, like the person in this proverb, refuse to consider valid criticism, we leave ourselves open to sudden disaster. The moment we realize that a change is necessary is the best moment to take action. What significant adjustments have been on hold in your life for too long?
Proverbs 29:2 (NASB) When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan.
Leaders have a great influence on those they rule over. We should always pray for our leaders. We should pray that we have godly - wise leader. When wicked or ungodly leaders are in charge - the people groan. Let us pray that righteousness will increase and that we will have righteous leaders.
Proverbs 29:3 (NASB) A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad, But he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.
Ellicott has said, "—This verse is illustrated by the parable of the prodigal son (see Luke 15)." We hope that our children will listen to good instruction and follow it - but that is not always the case. Let us therefore be like the prodigal son's father - always having hope that our children will return to the right path.
Proverbs 29:4 (NASB) The king gives stability to the land by justice, But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.
Matthew Henry has said, "The care and business of a prince should be to establish the land, to maintain its fundamental laws, to settle the minds of his subjects and make them easy, to secure their liberties and properties from hostilities and for posterity, and to set in order the things that are wanting; this he must do by judgment, by wise counsels, and by the steady administration of justice, without respect of persons, which will have these good effects."
But a prince that takes bribes or rules with injustice will ruin the land.
Proverbs 29:5 (NASB) A man who flatters his neighbor Is spreading a net for his steps.
The Message Bible says it this way, "A flattering neighbor is up to no good; he's probably planning to take advantage of you."
Clarke has said, "Beware of a flatterer; he does not flatter merely to please you, but to deceive you and profit himself."
Proverbs 29:6 (NASB) By transgression an evil man is ensnared, But the righteous sings and rejoices.
Here we find that you reap what you sow. A person who lives in continual sinfullness - will be ensnared by it. On the other hand - the righteous will sing and rejoice for there is no snare waiting around the corner for them.
Proverbs 29:7 (NASB) The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, The wicked does not understand such concern.
The righteous don't just look out for their own needs - but also the needs of the poor. The wicked don't understand why one would be concerned about others since all they are concerned about is themselves.
Proverbs 29:8 (NASB) Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger.
Benson has said of this verse, "Scornful men" — That mock at religion, the obligations of conscience, the fears of another world, and every thing that is sacred and serious; who when employed in the business of the state do things with precipitation, because they scorn to deliberate and take time for consultation; who do things illegal and unjustifiable, because they scorn to be bound and shackled by laws and constitutions; who provoke the people, because they scorn to please them; "bring a city into a snare" — Expose it to God’s wrath, and to destruction, by their self-conceit and wilfulness, by their wicked counsels and practices, whereby they seduce and infect the generality of the people; by their contempt of God, of his just laws and righteous judgments, and of the opinion and advice of wise men; "but wise men" — Who do not scorn, but hearken to, the counsels of God, and of prudent men; "turn away wrath" — The wrath of God or of men, who were enraged against it.
Proverbs 29:9 (NASB) When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.
Matthew Henry has said, "A wise man is here advised not to set his wit to a fool's, not to dispute with him, or by contending with him to think either of fastening reason upon him or gaining right from him: If a wise man contend with a wise man, he may hope to be understood, and, as far as he has reason and equity on his side, to carry his point, at least to bring the controversy to a head and make it issue amicably; but, if he contend with a foolish man, there is no rest; he will see no end of it, nor will he have any satisfaction in it, but must expect to be always uneasy."
Proverbs 29:10 (NASB) Men of bloodshed hate the blameless, But the upright are concerned for his life.
Men of bloodshed are looking for a reason to draw blood - therefore they "hate the blameless". The upright are concerned about like not about death.
Proverbs 29:11 (NASB) A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back.
We all have emotions. We all get angry at times. But a wise man will know when to express his anger and how to express his anger. A fool looses his temper at the drop of a hat and does not know how to control it.
Proverbs 29:12 (NASB) If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, All his ministers become wicked.
Ellicott has said, "If a ruler shows that he likes adulation and falsehood rather than unpleasant truths, his attendants will provide him with what he wishes. So Jeremiah complains (Jer_5:31) that prophets, priests, and people were all wilfully deceiving each other."
Proverbs 29:13 (NASB) The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The LORD gives light to the eyes of both.
"The LORD gives sight to the eyes of both" means that everyone depends on God for sight. Both the oppressor and the poor have the gift of sight from the same God. God sees and judges both, and his judgment falls on those whose greed or power drives them to oppress the poor.
Proverbs 29:14 NASB If a king judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever.
The statue of justice has her eyes blindfolded for a reason. She is to render out justice in an impartial way. This is a difficult thing to do.
Proverbs 29:15 (NASB) The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.
Parents of young children often weary of disciplining them. They feel like all they do is nag, scold, and punish. When you're tempted to give up and let your children do what they want, or when you wonder if you've ruined every chance for a loving relationship with them, remember that kind, firm correction helps them learn, and learning makes them wise. Consistent, loving discipline will ultimately teach them to discipline themselves.
Proverbs 29:16 (NASB) When the wicked increase, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall.
When the wicked are in leadership, sin prevails. In any organization—whether a church, a business, a family, or a government—the climate comes from the top. The people become like their leaders. What kind of climate are you setting for the people you lead?
Proverbs 29:17 (NASB) Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; He will also delight your soul.
Matthew Henry has said, "It is a very happy thing when children prove the comfort of their parents. Good children are so; they give them rest, make them easy, and free from the many cares they have had concerning them; yea, they give delight unto their souls. It is a pleasure to parents, which none know but those that are blessed with it, to see the happy fruit of the good education they have given their children, and to have a prospect of their well-doing for both worlds; it gives delight proportionable to the many thoughts of heart that have been concerning them. In order to this, children must be trained up under a strict discipline, and not suffered to do what they will and to go without rebuke when they do amiss. The foolishness bound up in their hearts must by correction be driven out when they are young, or it will break out, to their own and their parents' shame, when they are grown up."
Proverbs 29:18 (NASB) Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.
Where there is ignorance or rejection of God, crime and sin run rampant. Public morality depends on the knowledge of God, but it also depends on keeping God's laws. In order for nations and individuals to function well, people must know God's ways and keep his rules. Having God's Word means little if we are not obeying it.
Proverbs 29:19 (NASB) A slave will not be instructed by words alone; For though he understands, there will be no response.
A slave must be corrected by sterner means (than words); it is only fear of punishment which will move him; “for though he understand, he will not answer,” will not reply to your call, or render obedience to your command. The willing obedience of a son, and the grudging obedience of a slave, are contrasted in Rom 8:15.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" Romans 8:15 (NASB)
Proverbs 29:20 (NASB) Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Spurgeon has said, "The Adige at Verona appears to be a river quite broad and deep enough for navigation, but its current is so rapid as to make it quite unserviceable. Many men are so rash and impetuous, and at the same time so suddenly angry and excited, that their otherwise most valuable abilities are rendered useless for any good purpose."
Proverbs 29:21 (NASB) He who pampers his slave from childhood Will in the end find him to be a son.
Ellicott has said, "Confidential slaves sometimes rose to be the heirs of their master’s property. But here the warning seems to be rather against spoiling a slave by over-indulgence, lest he at the last forget his position, just as old and petted servants are apt to become somewhat dictatorial.
Proverbs 29:22 (NASB) An angry man stirs up strife, And a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.
Matthew Henry has said, "See here the mischief that flows from an angry, passionate, furious disposition. 1. It makes men provoking to one another: An angry man stirs up strife, is troublesome and quarrelsome in the family and in the neighbourhood, blows the coals, and even forces those to fall out with him that would live peaceable and quietly by him. 2. It makes men provoking to God: A furious man, who is wedded to his humours and passions, cannot but abound in transgressions. Undue anger is a sin which is the cause of many sins; it not only hinders men from calling upon God's name, but it occasions their swearing, and cursing, and profaning God's name.
Proverbs 29:23 (NASB) A man's pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.
Pride and humility are opposed to one another. It is humility that God loves and it is pride that God hates.
Proverbs 29:24 (NASB) He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He hears the oath but tells nothing.
This proverb is saying that a thief's accomplice may not tell the truth when under oath. Thus, by his participation in the crime and his perjury in the courtroom, he will hurt himself. Further, a witness who refuses to report a crime becomes an accomplice.
Proverbs 29:25 (NASB) The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.
Fear of people can hamper everything you try to do. In extreme forms, it can make you afraid to leave your home. By contrast, fear of God—respect, reverence, and trust—is liberating. Why fear people who can do no eternal harm? Instead, trust God who can turn the harm intended by others into good for those who trust him.
Proverbs 29:26 (NASB) Many seek the ruler's favor, But justice for man comes from the LORD.
Barnes has said, "To trust in the favor of princes is to build upon the sands. The judgment which will set right all wrong will come from the Lord. It is better to wait for that than to run here and there, canvassing, bribing, flattering."
Proverbs 29:27 (NASB) An unjust man is abominable to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked.
Coverdale has said, “But as for those that be in the right way, the wicked hate them.”
Matthew Henry has said, "The just man abhors the sins of the wicked, and shuns their company. Christ exposed the wickedness of men, yet prayed for the wicked when they were crucifying him. Hatred to sin in ourselves and others, is a needful branch of the Christian temper. But all that are unholy, have rooted hatred to godliness."