Summary: This is a verse by verse look at Proverbs chapter 24.
We will now look at chapter 24.
1 Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; Proverbs 24:1 (NASB)
It is very easy for us to look at others and say, "Boy I wish I could do that." or "I wish I were like that." Be very careful of the character of those who you would set as an example. Don't envy those who are not on the right path.
2 For their minds devise violence, And their lips talk of trouble. Proverbs 24:2 (NASB)
The King James version uses the word "heart" instead of "mind". The matter is that they are consumed with producing violence. It is always on their mind and in their heart. Not only that but they talk about it continually.
3 By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; Proverbs 24:3 (NASB)
A good life is built by wisdom and the foundation of it is established if understanding is present.
4 And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24:4 (NASB)
Here is a continuation of thought from the previous verse. Knowledge should fill the rooms of the house. Wisdom, understanding and knowledge are those things we should strive for in life. If we seek these things - there will be riches - perhaps not physical riches - but riches of value and honor.
5 A wise man is strong, And a man of knowledge increases power. Proverbs 24:5 (NASB)
The athlete who has wisdom—who assesses the situation and plans strategies—has an advantage over a physically stronger but unwise opponent. We exercise regularly and eat well to build our strength, but do we take equal pains to develop wisdom and knowledge? Because wisdom is a vital part of strength, it pays to attain it.
6 For by wise guidance you will wage war, And in abundance of counselors there is victory. Proverbs 24:6 (NASB)
In any major decision we make concerning college, marriage, career, children, etc., it is not a sign of weakness to ask for advice. Instead, it is foolish not to ask for it. Find good advisers before making any big decision. They can help you expand your alternatives and evaluate your choices.
7 Wisdom is too exalted for a fool, He does not open his mouth in the gate. Proverbs 24:7 (NASB)
Matthew Henry says of this verse:
"A weak man thinks wisdom is too high for him, therefore he will take no pains for it. It is bad to do evil, but worse to devise it. Even the first risings of sin in the heart are sin, and must be repented of. Those that strive to make others hateful, make themselves so."
8 One who plans to do evil, Men will call a schemer. Proverbs 24:8 (NASB)
Planning to do evil can be as wrong as doing it because what you think determines what you will do. Left unchecked, wrong desires will lead us to sin. God wants pure hearts, free from sin, and planning evil brings sinful thoughts into our mind. Should you say, "Then I might as well go ahead and do it because I've already planned it"? No. You have sinned in your attitude, but you have not yet harmed other people. Stop in your tracks and ask God to forgive you and put you on a different path.
9 The devising of folly is sin, And the scoffer is an abomination to men. Proverbs 24:9 (NASB)
Wesley has said of this verse:
"The thought - The very inward thought or contrivance of evil, is a sin in God's sight."
I pray that my thoughts were pure - but they are not. That which I can hide from man I can not hide from myself - much less God.
10 If you are slack in the day of distress, Your strength is limited. Proverbs 24:10 (NASB)
Times of trouble can be useful. They can show you who you really are - what kind of character you have developed. In addition, they can help you grow stronger. When Jeremiah questioned God because of the trouble he faced, God asked how he ever expected to face big challenges if the little ones tired him out (Jer_12:5). Don't complain about your problems. The trouble you face today is training you to be strong for the more difficult situations you will face in the future.
11 Deliver those who are being taken away to death, And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back. Proverbs 24:11 (NASB)
We are our brothers keeper. If you see one on the road to death - do you sit back and do nothing? That is not what this verse tells us to do. But it tells us to "hold them back".