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Proverbs 22:16-24:34


A Devotional Journey 
    led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
        This section evidently includes sayings from a variety of sources.  The first five verses form an introduction to the section, which conveys a similar tone to chapters 1-9.  There are two distinct groups:  1) 22:16-24:22, which includes the 30 sayings (or units) mentioned in 22:20; and 2) 24:23-34, which forms an appendix to the preceding collection and adds a few additional sayings.
        As with the entire book, several themes are interwoven in a pattern which is apparently somewhat random.  The treatment of the poor, care in the selection of friends and the use and understanding of money, and hard work are emphasized. 
        Some of the key proverbs are found in the following verses:
22:24  Don't make friends with a hot tempered man, or one easily angered, or you'll learn his ways and get yourself in trouble,
23:13  Don't withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he won't die,
23:17  Don't let your heart envy sinners, but always live in reverence for God. 
                Surely there is a future , and your hope will not be cut off,
24:19  Don't fret because of evil people or be envious of the wicked,
                for the evil person has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out. 
        Our choices affect much in life.  God teaches through His prophets and those He makes wise that we must be careful what we choose and make sure our decisions support life as it is intended to be.  The wrong friends can and will make us miserable.  A lack of concern for the needs of others will foster a destructive self-centeredness.  Forgetting the justice and overall control of God in the world will cause us to forget our security and move us towards discouragement.  While we may be shocked by the seeming success and prosperity of the most dishonest and unworthy people, we must remember that wickedness is both its own reward and always remembered by God (until repentance occurs and forgiveness is sought).
        Today, ask yourself if you are associating with any of the wrong people.  Are there friends who bring down your spirits, or lead you in the wrong directions?  Make a decision to reorient yourself towards others who are more supportive of the values and lifestyle you want to pursue.  God blesses such decisions.

8 A. Eugene Pearson 2011