Sermons from Tucker Presbyterian Church, Tucker, GA
Proverbs Thematic Sermon: Discernment, Discretion, and Answering a Fool (Erik Veerman)
Discernment, Discretion, and Answering the Fool
Our proverb’s focus this morning is on discernment, discretion, and whether to answer a fool in his folly. Originally, I was planning on preaching these in two sermons, “Discernment and Discretion” and Answering a fool. But I realized that the verses about answering a fool in his folly are really about discernment. So, I thought we’s take them together.
If you’ll take out you proverbs insert, we’re starting with a few verses from chapter 23. If you’d like to read them directly, you can find those verses on page 646 in the provided Bibles. We’ll start with those verses from chapter 23 and then read the read the rest of the selected verses on the insert.
Reading of Selected Proverbs.
Proverbs 23:1-3; 6-9
1 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what is before you,
2 and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
3 Do not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
6 Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy;
do not desire his delicacies,
7 for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
8 You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,
and waste your pleasant words.
9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
for he will despise the good sense of your words.
Pursue Discretion and Discernment
11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig's snout
is a beautiful woman without discretion.
18:13 If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
7b What your eyes have seen
do not hastily bring into court,
8 for what will you do in the end,
when your neighbor puts you to shame?
9 Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
and do not reveal another's secret,
10 lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
and your ill repute have no end.
25:15 With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.
25:17 Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house,
lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
25:20 Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart
is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
and like vinegar on soda.
27:14 Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.
Answering a Fool and His Folly
13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
14:7 Leave the presence of a fool,
for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
17:12 Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs
rather than a fool in his folly.
26:1 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.
4 Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.
6 Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
26:8 Like one who binds the stone in the sling
is one who gives honor to a fool.
26:10 Like an archer who wounds everyone
is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.
29:9 If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
Last year, a guy named Young Baek was crowned king of coffee tasters. It’s a thing. The formal job title is coffee cupper. It’s the person who tests the quality of coffee batches on behalf of producers or buyers. Their taste buds are highly refined. Mr. Baek is constantly practicing and honing his skill. He studies beans from all over the world and soils and altitudes. H
Proverbs Thematic Sermon: The Ant and the Slug (Erik Veerman)
The Ant and the Slug
Thank you to Coleman for his sermon last week on integrity and slander, and flattery, among other things. I listened to it a few days ago. Very well done! And I’m not trying to flatter him.
Well, as we’ve gone through the book of Proverbs, one of the amazing things is how timeless the proverbs are. I think you would agree. This book was written almost 3000 years ago… But no matter whether you lived back then or you live today, the human condition is the same. It’s just manifested in different ways.
This morning we’re considering the theme of sloth or idleness compared to diligence. In fact, it’s one of the more prominent themes in Proverbs. Clearly in King Solomon’s day, it was a significant issue. And I think that it’s also one of our struggles today.
Please take out your Proverbs reading insert. You’ll see that we are starting with a few verses from chapter 6 this morning. The first half of chapter 6 was the only portion of Solomon’s opening lessons that we saved for later. So we’re coming back to part of it now and in a few weeks, we’ll consider the rest of it.
If you would like to read those first verses from you Bible, please turn to Proverbs 6.
Please stand for the reading of God’s Word.
Reading of Proverbs 6:6-11 and selected proverbs
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief, officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
10:4-5 A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
10:26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
so is the sluggard to those who send him.
12:11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule,
while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
12:27 Whoever is slothful will not roast his game,
but the diligent man will get precious wealth.
13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
14:23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.
15:19 The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns,
but the path of the upright is a level highway.
16:26 A worker's appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on.
18:9 Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.
19:15 Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.
19:24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish
and will not even bring it back to his mouth.
20:4 The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
20:13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
21:17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.
All day long he craves and craves,
but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
22:13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!”
22:29 Do you see a man skillful in his work?
He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.
24:27 Prepare your work outside;
get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.
I passed by the field of a sluggard,
Proverbs Thematic Sermon: Integrity, the Power of Truth (Coleman Erkens)
Proverbs Thematic Sermon: Wisdom vs Foolishness Pt. 2: Reaping the Results of Wisdom and Foolishness
We’re continuing our Proverbs thematic study this morning. And let me say, we’ve been in unchartered territory. I’ve actually never heard anyone preach through the second half of Proverbs, so this has been a new experience.
I’ve learned a couple of things:
· First, reading 40-50 Proverbs takes more time than I realized. My sermons have been a few minutes longer than usual, so I’ going to try and adjust. We’ll still read all the verses, but I’ll slightly shorten my content.
· Second, I’ve learned that it’s virtually impossible to reference every verse in my sermon. Last week, I was blitzing through too many verses too quickly. So, what I plan to do instead is point to representative verses that really encapsulate the emphasis. And, I’ll also summarize themes and words without always pointing to specific verses.
· To be sure, I still want to anchor my sermon to the text so, I’ll still reference specific verses, but just fewer of them.
Well, that brings us to our focus this morning - the results of wisdom and foolishness.
Last week, we considered the nature of wisdom and foolishness. The wise pursues wisdom. The fool pursues folly. And remember, our words and actions reveal whether we have a heart of wisdom or whether we need a heart of wisdom. That wisdom is ultimately found in Christ. The good news is that there is not a single one of us, nor anyone in the world, who cannot be redirected to the wisdom of God in Christ.
So, that was last week. This morning is more about the effects and consequences of the one who is wise and the one who is a fool.
If you’ll take your Proverbs bulletin insert… On the inside, you’ll see two groupings of verses. The first is titled near-term effects of wisdom and foolishness. In other words, what wisdom and foolishness cause. I’ll say, those verses do include some action verbs, like a fool “troubles” his household or “belittles” his neighbor. Those words imply an effect, so I’ve included them. The second grouping contains more longer-term results. Many of those are eternal in nature. In other words, where does each path lead?
There’s a little overlap from last week as well.
The first 3 verses are from Proverbs 13:13-15. If you would like to read those out of your Bibles, please turn there. You can find them on page ???.
Reading of selected proverbs:
13. Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself,
but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.
14. The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from the snares of death.
15. Good sense wins favor, but the way of the treacherous is their ruin.
A. The near-term effects of wisdom and folly
11:12 Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
but a man of understanding remains silent.
11:29 Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,
and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
12:8 A man is commended according to his good sense,
but one of twisted mind is despised.
12:16 The vexation of a fool is known at once,
but the prudent ignores an insult.
17:21 He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow,
and the father of a fool has no joy.
21:22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
24:9 The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.
27:3 A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but a fool's provocation is heavier than both.
29:8 Scoffers set a city aflame, but the wise turn away wrath.
B. The long-term results of wisdom and folly
10:8 The wise of heart will receive commandments,
but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.
14:3 By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
but the lips of the wis
Proverbs Thematic Sermon: Wisdom vs Foolishness Pt. 1: The Folly of the Fool; The Wisdom of the Wise
Wisdom vs. Foolishness Part 1: The folly of the fool; The wisdom of the wise
This is the second sermon in our Proverbs thematic study. Last week, we talked through our need for rebuke and discipline and godly counsellors in our lives. Those are important first steps as we move into these themes that deal with our words and actions.
If you’ll take out the Proverbs insert in your bulletin. On the front page, note our next theme focuses on wisdom and foolishness. We’ll be covering this theme in three sermons. The first, today, is on the nature of wisdom and foolishness. What is wisdom like? What is foolishness like? We’ll also consider their worth?
Then, next week, we’ll shift to consider the consequences of wisdom and folly. What are their near-term effects and long-term results?
Part 3 will be later in February or early March.
Go ahead and turn to the inside of the insert, you’ll see the Proverbs for today. There are two sub-categories. A - The nature of wisdom and folly and B - The worth of wisdom and folly to the wise and the fool.
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in abundance of counselors there is victory.
Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the gate he does not open his mouth.
A. The nature of wisdom and folly
10:13-14 On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found,
but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.
The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.
12:23 A prudent man conceals knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
13:16 Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.
14:1 The wisest of women builds her house,
but folly with her own hands tears it down.
14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,
but the folly of fools is deceiving.
14:15-16 The simple believes everything,
but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil,
but a fool is reckless and careless.
14:33 Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding,
but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools.
15:2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
15:7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
not so the hearts of fools.
15:14 The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
17:7 Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince.
17:24 The discerning sets his face toward wisdom,
but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
17:28 Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
19:2 Desire without knowledge is not good,
and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.
18:7 A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
18:15 An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
27:12 The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
29:11 A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
29:20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
B. The worth of wisdom and folly to the wise and the fool
10:23 Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool,
but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
12:14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.
13:19 A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.
14:24 The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly.
15:21 Folly is a joy to him who
Proverbs Thematic Sermon: Discipline, Rebuke, and Godly Counselors (Pastor Erik Veerman)
Discipline, Rebuke, and Godly Counsellors
Thank you… and thank you to David Fraser for bringing God’s Word last week. Always a blessing.
You’ll see there is a second insert in the bulletin beside the hymn sheet. On the front is a chart of the themes in Proverbs that we’ll be covering this winter and spring. Last fall, we worked through Solomon’s 12 wisdom lessons to his son, which are found in chapters 1-9.
But in Proverbs, once you get to chapter 10, there’s a change from focused lessons, to wisdom nuggets. And so rather than work through chapters 10-31 sequentially, we’ll be working through different wisdom categories. Besides the themes listed on the first page, you can also see the number of verses in each theme.
Let me note that most of the verses in Proverbs 10-31 are organized in poetic couplets. They start with a statement and then are followed by either a contrast, or a comparison, or an affirmation. For example here’s one for today: “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” You can hear the two sides of the couplet.
That brings us to our focus today. We’ll be considering the theme of rebuke, discipline, and counsellors. In a few minutes I’ll explain why we’re beginning there.
If you would turn to the inside of the insert. You’ll note the initial 5 verses are from Proverbs 22. If you want to read those from your Bibles, you can do that. In the pew Bible, you’ll find them on page 645. For the rest, I’ll be reading from the insert.
As we come to God’s Word, know that this is the inspired and authoritative word of the Living God. Please stand as we give reverence.
Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
and apply your heart to my knowledge,
for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
That your trust may be in the LORD,
I have made them known to you today, even to you.
Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge,
to make you know what is right and true,
that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
10:17 Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,
but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls,
but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid.
13:1 A wise son hears his father's instruction,
but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
13:18 Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction,
but whoever heeds reproof is honored.
13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
15:5 A fool despises his father's instruction,
but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
15:10 There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way;
whoever hates reproof will die.
15:12 A scoffer does not like to be reproved;
he will not go to the wise.
15:22 Without counsel plans fail,
but with many advisers they succeed.
15:31 The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
will dwell among the wise.
15:32 Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
17:10 A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
than a hundred blows into a fool.
18:1 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment.
19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future.
19:25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence;
reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.
19:27 Cease to hear instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
20:30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
strokes make clean the innermost parts.
23:12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ear to words of knowledge.
23:19 Hear, my son, and be wise,
and direct your heart in the way.