Proverbs 22:21-25
Prov 22:21 (KJB)
That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
Certainty - Faithfulness or reliability
Answer - To bring back
Here Solomon continues the discourse from the previous verse. He explains to them that he has brought them excellent, or day by day, truthful sayings. In this verse he gives the reason as to why he gave such excellent counsel. First, he desired to impart the wisdom of God to them so his hearers would know the certainty or the faithfulness of the words of wisdom and that they are truth. Pilate asked Jesus, “what is truth?” and part of the answer to that is the Scriptures, which is the only real truth found on earth today, in fact, in all generations back to Adam. Solomon wants his hearers to know that these words are truth and that they are reliable because he gives the second reason which is also very important. The first reason is that these words are not just words but are eternal principles and they need to be heeded and lived by because they separate the believers from the unbelievers. They are to know these truths so when someone comes to them and asks them concerning these teachings, they can render a good response by testifying to these words. This principle is taught in the New Testament in 1 Peter. (1 Pet 3:15 KJV) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: It is required by Christians that we are to know the Scriptures sufficiently to be able to give a good response to those who ask us concerning the things of Christ. It is a shame that many Christians cannot give an answer because of high biblical illiteracy among believers.
Prov 22:22 (KJB)
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
Rob not - Take away or tear away
Afflicted - Unfortunate, poor, or humbled
Oppress - Crush
Here is a double admonition to those who are rich and to those who hold positions in government, be it local or federal. First, the verse admonishes a person of means not to rob the poor simply because he is poor. They are not to be abused nor are they to be used in nefarious plans. A poor person may stoop low in morals just for a meal and those of means must never place the poor in a position like that. If a poor person does something criminal for someone important, the one who suffers is the poor person. The second part of this verse teaches us that those in legal professions whether it be lawyer or legislator, are not to crush those who are poor for the purpose of perverting justice for the rich. In ancient times, the gate was where legal court was held and if a rich person went against a poor person in a legal matter, the rich person would win. However, the verse is warning that true justice must be given to both sides. Guilt is not determined by a person’s social status, it is determined by whether or not they committed a crime. A Judge must be objective even if he has a bias in a certain direction.
Prov 22:23 (KJB)
For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.
If there is one thing the corrupt Judges do not expect is that when they render a biased decision based on other criteria than the case and they have intentionally ruled against someone because they are poor, then this verse teaches us that the Lord will intervene. (James 5:6-7 KJV) Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. {7} Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. James 5:6-7 picks up on this very theme that the rich men will be plundered of what they stole from the poor people who have so little. Remember, when Nathan came to David and told him the story of the rich man who took the one little ewe lamb from the poor person. What was David’s response? (2 Sam 12:5 KJV) And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: The man who stole the one lamb was to die. This gives us the insight about how serious God takes the situation of the exploitation of the poor. However, God encourages us in James 5:7 that we are to be patient because when the day of Judgment comes, there will be a definite reckoning of all their evil ways. No one gets away with anything evil.
Prov 22:24 (KJV)
Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:
Friendship - Grazing
Here we have an admonition which could literally save a person’s life. First of all, we are not to make any type of friendship with an angry man. The word “friendship” carries with it the idea of “grazing.” It sounds strange but when you study the eating patterns of the sheep, you will find that sheep do not graze or eat when they are in fear. They will have no problem grazing when they are at ease. The principle here is that we must never get so comfortable with an angry or furious man that we begin to feel at ease with them. Those who are constantly angry or furious, are liable to commit a whole host of crimes including murder. This is why we are not to form a comfortable relationship with anyone who has an angry or furious disposition. For a Christian to form a comfortable relationship with one who has such a disposition, is really paradoxical. Why would anyone want to pal around with someone ready to explode over the most minute thing? Even an unbeliever would have to be cautious about forming a friendship with a person like that.
Prov 22:25 (KJB)
Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
Lest thou learn - You will become familiar
Here is the reason we do not form comfortable relationships with angry men. It is very possible that at the outset you will be repulsed by angry behavior but as you continue to build a relationship their behavior becomes less and less repulsive and you begin to start adopting the ways of this person. Now there are two possible scenarios in this verse. First, if you are an unbeliever, the adopted habits will increase your sinful activity and you will have to give an account at the Judgment Seat of Christ and then be cast into Hell for your sins. If you are a believer and you adopt the ways of an angry man, you will not lose your salvation but you will lose God’s blessing, face His chastisement, lose your testimony, and probably lose any ministry credibility that you have built. A four-fold horror story for any true Christian.