1. Is it better to be poor with integrity or to be a fool with perverse lips?
“Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool” (Proverbs 19:1).
- “Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich” (Proverbs 28:6).
- Consider what we can learn from SOME of the verses that use the same word as translated “integrity” [Strong’s # 8537; “tom”] in the Old Testament (I Kings 9:4, Psalms 25:21, Psalms 101:2 [perfect heart], Proverbs 2:7 [uprightly], Proverbs 10:9 [uprightly], and Proverbs 20:7).
- Remember these Scriptures: “Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith… Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right” (Proverbs 15:16 and Proverbs 16:8).
- Always remember the value of our souls (Matthew 16:26).
2. Is it good to be without knowledge?
“Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good…” (Proverbs 19:2).
- Hosea 4:1-6, John 8:31-32, Ephesians 5:17, Colossians 3:10, and II Peter 3:18.
- We need knowledge to know how to please God (Ephesians 5:10 and Colossians 3:17).
- To teach others (Matthew 28:19), we need knowledge (Ecclesiastes 12:9, I Peter 3:15, and I Peter 4:11).
- For the interest of discussion, knowledge does have a negative effect (Ecclesiastes 1:18 and Revelation 10:9-10; cf. Romans 9:1-3).
3. How does Proverbs 1:16 and Proverbs 14:29 apply to our current study?
The errors that come through not weighing the spiritual impact of decisions for that one is in a hurry to do wrong: “…and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth” (Proverbs 19:2).
- Rather than rushing into things (Proverbs 21:5, Proverbs 25:8, Proverbs 28:22, and Ecclesiastes 7:9), we should weigh our decisions and the impact of those decisions (Psalms 119:59, Proverbs 4:23-27, and Ephesians 5:15).
4. What perverts the way of man?
“The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD” (Proverbs 19:3).
- Proverbs 9:6, Jeremiah 4:22, and Galatians 3:1-3.
5. Whether right or wrong, does wealth make friends?
Yes: “Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbor” (Proverbs 19:4).
- Proverbs 10:15 and Proverbs 19:4.
- While it is true that wealth makes many friends, it is not right (James 2:1-12).
6. Will false witnesses [liars] escape any consequences for their lies?
No, they’ll be punished: “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape… A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish” (Proverbs 19:5; 9).
- Proverbs 21:28 and Revelation 21:8.
7. Whether right or wrong, does one who gives gifts gain friends?
Yes: “Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts” (Proverbs 19:6).
- Giving gifts makes friends (Proverbs 17:8, Proverbs 18:16, and Proverbs 21:14).
- Gift [bribe] taking is not good (Exodus 23:8).
- People do want to be in the favor of leadership (Proverbs 19:12 and Proverbs 29:26).
8. How hard it is for a poor man to maintain relationships?
Hard: “All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him” (Proverbs 19:7).
- This should not happen (Deuteronomy 15:7-11, Matthew 25:31-46, and James 2:14-16).
- Those who turn their backs on the poor will suffer consequences (Proverbs 21:13).
- It is even sadder that one who is poor would pursue his or her brethren and still be ignored (Leviticus 25:35).
9. Why do we want to be a people of wisdom and understanding?
For the love of our souls and to find good: “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good” (Proverbs 19:8).
- Get wisdom (Proverbs 8:33, Proverbs 16:16, and Matthew 10:16) if you love your soul (Proverbs 3:35 and Proverbs 8:35-36).
- Wisdom and understanding are tied together (Proverbs 4:5-7, Proverbs 17:24, Proverbs 23:23, Proverbs 24:3, and Ephesians 5:17).
- Make sure wisdom is not based in your own thinking (Proverbs 3:7 and Proverbs 21:30).
- Don’t allow wisdom to cause self-glory (Jeremiah 9:23; cf. I Corinthians 3:18).
- Get understanding (Proverbs 4:1, Proverbs 13:15, Proverbs 16:22, Matthew 15:10, Ephesians 4:18, and I John 5:20).