June 11 Read Proverbs 5
In this chapter Solomon gives to his son instruction concerning marriage. Marriage is a gift from God. As with all gifts, it must be used in a wise way. When we commit any sin against the seventh commandment either in or out of marriage, we walk in a very foolish way. Young people need to prepare for marriage by learning all about a God-fearing walk in this beautiful institution. Adults need to maintain the institution, as well as provide a good example for those young people. We must always remember that marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church. To misuse marriage is to spoil that picture. Sing Psalter 360.
June 12 Read Proverbs 6
Throughout the book of Proverbs we have chapters with instruction about a variety of matters. This chapter is no different. One of the areas of instruction is that about work. Simply put, we are not to be lazy. It does not matter what our occupation is; Solomon’s exhortation, which is God’s exhortation, is to use all of our strength in that work. Young people need to remember this as they go to school. That is their work. Adults too must not be thinking just about days off or vacations. As the fourth commandment states, “Six days shalt thou labor…” Let us remember this admonition throughout all of our lives. Sing Psalter 90.
June 13 Read Proverbs 7
Solomon reiterates his admonition to seek wisdom. He shows that in its seeking and finding, a young person will be guarded from an evil not only in Solomon’s day, but in our day as well. That evil is the sin against the seventh commandment in all of its forms. All kinds of media will portray this sin as not only being normal, but also as being desirable. The child of God must fight against this evil all of his life. The only way to win this fight is to use the wisdom that comes from above and that is found in God’s word. Joseph won this fight in Potiphar’s house, and we can as well. The last verses again show the way to peace not only on this earth, but also in the world to come. Sing Psalter 83.
June 14 Read Proverbs 8
Not only do we have a summary of what wisdom is in this chapter, but we also have a revelation of who wisdom is. Wisdom is personified in this chapter, and that person is Christ our redeemer. Verses 22 and 23 make this abundantly clear. The chapter also speaks of the value of wisdom. Young people, are you seeking after this wisdom? In your studies and in your daily life are you seeking after the priceless wisdom that can only be found in obedience to the word of God? Seek it and seek it diligently. This was Solomon’s admonition, and this is the admonition of God himself. Sing Psalter 332.
June 15 Read Proverbs 9
This final chapter on the subject of wisdom is also a chapter containing a clear picture of the antithesis. Wisdom is contrasted with foolishness, and it becomes obvious for which one we must seek. We must do this as little children led by godly parents, elders, and if God provides, godly teachers. We must do this as young people seeking our way in this world. Young people, do not be fooled by the world’s philosophy, which is eat, drink, and be merry. That is the way to destruction. And we must do this as mature adults as we lead our children and young people on the narrow path that leads to heaven. Find true wisdom, people of God, and use it in a right way. Sing Psalter 317.
June 16 Read Proverbs 10
The first nine chapters of this book of wisdom were the doctrinal introduction to the practical part of the book. In chapters 10 to 25 we find various short, pithy sayings which point out to us either a proper aspect of life or an improper one. We could go through this section verse by verse, but that would not serve our purposes with this series of devotionals. In the first verse of this chapter Solomon describes two kinds of people. They may live in the same family. The son who is wise gladdens his parents; a son who is foolish saddens them. Young people, which are you? How do you appear before God? Sing Psalter 89.
June 17 Read Proverbs 11
One of the themes found throughout this section of Proverbs is that of the tongue. How do people perceive us when they hear us speak? Do we break the third commandment and therefore show disdain for God’s holy name? Are we found to hate our neighbor by breaking the ninth commandment? The tongue, as James says, is a mighty instrument. We can curse or we can bless. We can speak the truth in love, or we can lie in order to make us look good in man’s eyes. We need to guard our tongues, and we need to ask for grace to speak good things about God and about our neighbor. Sing Psalter 24.
June 18 Read Proverbs 12
Another theme in this book of wisdom is the difference between the fool and the wise. The fool is one who has no understanding of God and his ways because he is reprobate. The elect sometimes walk in foolish ways, but by God’s grace they are turned from such ways. As you read through this book look at the way of a fool; are you found walking in that way? We need to flee foolishness and pray for grace to walk in the way of the wise. Sing Psalter 96.
June 19 Read Proverbs 13
In this chapter we see several references to the poor and the rich. Like the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, we can really term these kinds of people the poor-rich or the rich-poor. Many of God’s people in this life are financially poor, but yet they have a richness that cannot be measured by man’s accounting. The elect poor can find a peace unattained by the reprobate rich. This peace is found in Christ and applied to the elect by the Holy Spirit by grace. No matter what our financial standing is in this life, let us seek this peace that passes all understanding. Sing Psalter 97.
June 20 Read Proverbs 14
Look at verse 19. Is this not the philosophy of much of the world’s entertainment today? On the TV, at the movies, or on the pages of many books are the ways of sin mocked or portrayed as the way to live. People of God of all ages, what is your entertainment like? Is it entertainment in which God is glorified, or is it entertainment in which sin is made light of or not considered as sin? We must be wise in entertainment, and we must teach our children and young people to be discerning in their choices of entertainment. Sing Psalter 339.
June 21 Read Proverbs 15
There are many ideas that could be explored in this chapter. Let us look at the one found in the first verse. In our conversations with others, especially when confrontation may occur or has occurred, what direction do we take? Do we go the way of inciting fury with the words that we speak, or do we seek to pacify the other with words that do not incite anger? In such conversations no one can say, “It was the other’s fault.” It takes two to cause a situation that leads to trouble. The child of God needs to be the one who seeks to alleviate a situation by words that do not hurt or anger. This takes much grace. We need to pray for this grace to speak words of peace to all with whom we come into contact. Sing Psalter 343.
June 22 Read Proverbs 16
There are many verses in this chapter upon which we could meditate. You might choose a different one than I do. My choices are verses 18 and 19. The subject of pride is addressed quite often in this book of wisdom. Pride was the sin that caused Satan to fall. Pride is the sin that causes many in this world, including in God’s church, to fall. When a person’s speech is peppered with “I”, “me”, and “my,” that person must be very careful, or he will be heading for the fall described in these verses. The church of God is a body with many members. None of those members can be the whole body. Conquering the sin of pride will help a person to please God and bring peace to God’s church. Sing Psalter 206.
June 23 Read Proverbs 17
In the day and age in which we live, we do well to consider verse 9 daily. The idea of cover does not mean to cover up, as many would see it today, but rather not to spread the sin around by means of gossip, as is the instruction of the second part of the verse. The positive part of the ninth commandment as described in the Heidelberg Catechism gives good instruction in this matter. We must seek to promote the advantage of our neighbor by a judicious use of our tongue. When we speak the truth in love, we will not seek to hurt him with our tongues. Wise use of the tongue is another way of promoting unity in the body of Christ. Sing Psalter 335.
June 24 Read Proverbs 18
In verse 29 we see two truths. First, we have the truth of the importance of friends. For the child of God, those friends must be those who believe the truths of God’s word. If this fact is not the starting point of a friendship, usually there will be no friendship. Our young people must seek friends that are like them in faith. Second, we have that last clause in the verse. Who is the friend that “sticketh closer than a brother?” That one can be no other than our Lord Jesus Christ. He has “called us friends,” and then he gave his life for us so that we may have life everlasting. “What a friend we have in Jesus!” Sing Psalter 369.
June 25 Read Proverbs 19
There are several references in the book of Proverbs to the Christian and worth ethic. In this chapter, as well as others, we are warned not to be slothful. Laziness and carelessness in work are marks of a fool. Our children must learn from an early age that the way that they work is evident to the world. Our children and young people must know that their schooling is their work. Those who use the talents and abilities that God has given to his honor and glory will find blessing in that way. Those who do not will be scorned of man and not approved by God. Let us establish good work habits that please our God and let us exhibit them all of our lives. Sing Psalter 246.
June 26 Read Proverbs 20
There are two verses in this chapter that speak of divers weights. This refers to a business practice of that time. A merchant would weigh some type of merchandise for a customer. A fraudulent seller would alter his scale weights, and the customer would be cheated. False business practices are sins against the eighth commandment. So is the practice of cheating in school. God’s people are admonished to love their neighbor according to the second table of the law. We must not steal by any method, whether in business or in school. If we do not love our neighbor, we do not love God. Sing Psalter 25.
June 27 Read Proverbs 21
It does not matter if you are a king or the lowest of subjects. All hearts are in God’s hand. As he directs heads of states, so he directs ditch diggers. We must realize this as we go through our daily lives. God directs all things for his glory and for the good of his people. Government makes the decisions it does even when the leaders of that government do not know God. We also make decisions directed by God. We know God; therefore we must bow to his wisdom. Let us not rebel against God and his work, but rather let us look to him to direct our way. Sing Psalter 265.
June 28 Read Proverbs 22
Are we guilty of tearing down the ancient landmarks? Does the admonition found in verse 28 apply today? There are many of these ancient landmarks found in this book of wisdom. Once of them is found in verse 6 of today’s chapter. In Israel of old the landmark was a memorial to what had been given to the Israelites as they came into the land of Canaan. Naboth refused to sell his. What can be said about us? Are we giving up the landmarks such as verse 6 and others so that we can be more at home in this earth instead of looking ahead to the heavenly Canaan? Let us not tear down those landmarks; let us pray for the grace to live as strangers and pilgrims on this earth. Sing Psalter 228.
June 29 Read Proverbs 23
Another theme found throughout the book of Proverbs is the misuse of alcohol. Alcohol is one of God’s good gifts. It is our use of it that must be tempered by the word of God. Are we prone to misuse it? If we are, then we need to leave it alone until we can control our lusts and desires. In other places of scripture, wine is shown to be the picture of spiritual joy found in the church. But when this symbol is not used correctly, it becomes a way for Satan to infiltrate our lives and bring us into his grasp. Use God’s gifts, but use them in a way pleasing to him. Sing Psalter 322.
June 30 Read Proverbs 24
Verses 28 and 29 give instruction concerning the Christian’s calling toward the wicked. They are very much like the instruction given by Christ on the same subject, though they are given in the negative while Christ’s instruction is given in the positive. This instruction is best summarized in the second great commandment: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” How do we treat our neighbor? Do we treat him as we wish to be treated, or are we always trying to get even or ahead of him? God places these neighbors in our paths. Children, young people, and adults, must show a reflection of the love that God showed to us when he sent his Son to die on the cross? Do we love God? Then we must love our neighbor. Sing Psalter 201.
July 1 Read Proverbs 25
Here we have more of Solomon’s proverbs. There are many comparisons or similes found in this chapter. Some of them are very graphic and give us a good picture of what our behavior should or should not be. We find one of these in the last verse of the chapter. In the list of the parts of the fruit of the spirit, our KJV calls this attribute temperance. Some translate it as self-control. We must apply this attribute to all areas of our lives. Excess usually brings to us sin. Some of these sins lead us into a way the destroys not only our lives, but also the lives of those around us. We must pray to God to receive grace to control our spirit. In doing this God’s Spirit will shine in us and we will bring glory to his name. Sing Psalter 156.
July 2 Read Proverbs 26
In this chapter we find at least two kinds of fools identified, and the child of God is warned to stay away from their folly. First, we have the lazy or slothful person. God had given to us the calling to work. It does not matter if we are a young person or a mature adult. Each child of God has work to do in this life, and with God’s grace can carry it out to God’s honor and glory. Second—and maybe the two are related—a talebearer is identified. We must guard our tongues and use them in accordance to the ninth commandment. A talebearer and his listeners can stir up trouble not only in society, but also in God’s church. We need to flee this sin and seek to love our neighbor as ourselves. May we daily seek to walk in God’s way in these two areas of life. Sing Psalter 190.
July 3 Read Proverbs 27
Verse 17 gives us a description of the kind of friend we must seek. It must be someone who can help us in our daily spiritual life. If our friends are those who have no care for spiritual things, we will never get better in that area of our lives. Just as you need a strong stone or piece of metal to sharpen some tool, so the child of God needs a friend that will help him to get stronger in God’s ways. One way that we can do this is to attend Bible studies. Sitting across the table from other saints and helping each other through the Bible is a good way to become stronger in the faith. We need to be sharp to wield the sword of the spirit against all the wiles of Satan in the last days. Sing Psalter 371.
July 4 Read Proverbs 28
Throughout the book of Proverbs come injunctions to help the poor. We have that in this chapter in verse 27. What is our attitude when the benevolence offering is taken in the worship service? What is our attitude when we see or hear of our neighbor who has needs? Do we remember the words of our Savior that we have the poor among us always? Once again we must be reminded of the second great commandment of the law’s summary, that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Who do we look after first: one’s self or the neighbor? Do we follow the injunction of God for our lives or our own desires? May God be glorified even as we seek to help those in need in our midst. Sing Psalter 398.
July 5 Read Proverbs 29
This seems to be the last chapter that contains the proverbs of Solomon. However, there are some who think those identified in the next two chapters are using pen names for the wise king of Israel. If these are the last words of David’s son, we do well to see his concern for the parent-child relationship. Parents are instructed to teach their children the way they must go. If they do not, the child will come to ruin, and the parents will be shamed before God. Children and young people must walk in an obedient way before God. Again, ruin will come upon them if they do not. Parents and children, we have an urgent calling from God in this matter. May we pray for the grace to heed this call and walk in a way pleasing to our heavenly Father. Sing Psalter 215.
July 6 Read Proverbs 30
Throughout the book of Proverbs the natural creation is used as an example for the child of God. Just as God led Job through creation to show him that God was sovereign, so the writers of Proverbs give to us the example of God’s creation to show how we must walk. Reread verses 25-31 and see what God through these men is teaching us. Take time to observe creation to learn the way we must walk to please God. Paul tells us in the book of Romans that the whole creation awaits Christ’s return. May we walk in its example as we desire that coming. Sing Psalter 375.
July 7 Read Proverbs 31
Some say these final words are words of instruction of Bathsheba to her son Solomon. They instruct him in the way of seeking a wife who is fit for the child of God. We know that Solomon was beset with the sin of seeking many wives, and many wives not fit for the child of God. All of God’s church can take instruction from this chapter on seeking a godly wife. Girls can take much instruction on what they must do to prepare themselves to become such godly wives. God has given to his church the beautiful institution of marriage to picture the relationship between Christ and the church. How do we see this relationship? Do we seek one that is pleasing to God? May our marriages be those beautiful pictures of the spiritual union of Christ and the church. Let none of us do anything to break that bond. Sing Psalter 360.
July 8 Read Ecclesiastes 1
The wisest man on earth, excepting Christ who became man, put his wisdom to use trying to describe life in its many ways. Many think Solomon wrote this after his decline into sin and before he died. Throughout the book we find the words, “vanity of vanity, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” That was Solomon’s conclusion of life without out God. If we try to go through life on our own we will find the emptiness that Solomon did. If we seek to live our lives with God as our help, we will find the meaning that he has put into our lives on this earth. Let us seek God and fear him every day of our lives; in that way life will have meaning. Sing Psalter 135.
July 9 Read Ecclesiastes 2
After considering the natural creation as man uses it and finding it empty, Solomon decides to see if there is any worth in man’s idea of pleasure. Solomon had the means to do this, as he was not only the wisest man that lived, but he was also the richest. He tries all kinds of pleasure to find peace in them. He finds nothing. He realizes that corrupt man uses God’s good gifts in a wicked way. In using them in that way, there is not peace for the soul. As we seek entertainment of any type, we must seek to glorify God and not ourselves, for there is no good “under the sun” without God. Sing Psalter 108.
July 10 Read Ecclesiastes 3
In the first part of this chapter Solomon gives a summary of life. Life is changeable. It may have birth or death, sadness or happiness, or building or destroying. God, however, is not changeable. Because he does not change, we can go through all the changeable things and know that he will deliver us from this valley of the shadow of death. It does not matter what God brings upon us. He brings it upon us for our good, as we read in Romans 8:28. Also, God will be glorified, which is the goal of all things upon this earth. Let us seek to follow his way in whatever way he leads us. In doing this we will find true peace and joy on this earth. Sing Psalter 186.
July 11 Read Ecclesiastes 4
As we read Solomon’s conclusions on many aspects of life, we can find little nuggets of wisdom that will help guide us in our lives. In this chapter consider verses 9–12. The church is a communion of saints. A child of God must not go throughout this life on his own. Solomon has enumerated some of the troubles into which we can fall. When we fall by ourselves, there is no one to help us recover from the fall. He finishes the thought in verse 12 by saying that three friends are better yet. Let us seek to have fellowship with those of like faith. In doing so we can ward off Satan’s attacks, which will grow stronger and stronger as the world draws to a close. God has given to us help in the form of Christian brothers and sisters; let us use it. Sing Psalter 194.