Something for Nothing :Proverbs 1

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February 18, 2014 by Chris French

Why do you think Solomon started his Proverbs with unjust gain (Proverbs 1.18-19)?

ProverbsIf his readers, or more specifically his son, heard anything he said he wanted it to be a warning against getting something for nothing, that’s why he mentions this even before he talks about righteousness in chapter 2! Rehoboam struggled with it and so did the rest of Israel…and so do we. Adam & Eve wanted wisdom without learning, Jacob wanted the firstborn’s blessing without being the firstborn, Jews wanted more land for their crops so they moved the boundary marker thus stealing land from their neighbor, and we want things we haven’t worked for.

Our society believes that if I want something I should have it. Apparently Solomon’s culture wasn’t much different although there was probably more blood involved. When he’s warning his son about how people will tempt him with getting something he hasn’t worked for Solomon spins a tale about a group of men who approach Rehoboam wanting him to join their band of marauders. They would hide behind bushes and when someone walked past they would jump out, kill the person and take what they wanted.

You’re not hiding behind any bushes with weapons drawn, but the desire Solomon attributes to these men is still alive and well in 21st Century America. Greed still roams the hearts of men. It may have masked itself a little better and it doesn’t carry a sword anymore, but you have only to look at your credit card statements to see greed living in your house. It’s best friend still hangs around too. I’m betting you’re familiar with him also. Jealousy and greed have been inseparable for a while now. He shows up when your friend gets a new house, a new set of golf clubs, loses weight or is recognized by your peers. Our instant gratification society is just as dangerous as the men Solomon describes.

Have you been burned because of your greed or jealousy? What happened?

In what areas of your life have you wanted something without being willing to put in the effort to make it work?

How do you curb that desire?

Engage with background

This week on the blog we’re looking forward to this Sunday’s lesson. We’re in a great series right now called Straight Talk from Proverbs and each week Kerry speaks from a different Proverb.  We’ve covered Adultery from Proverbs 5, Relationships from Proverbs 3 and Trust from Proverbs 3. This week the topic is Unjust Gain from Proverbs 1. If you missed the first three in this series I would highly recommend you taking the time to listen to them this week. The links have been provided.

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