Proverbs. Time and Timing.
Key Notes: When to move slowly and when to move fast. The future belongs to the wise.
Time is very different from timing but they have much in common. This section asks about when we should act, but also about the young and the old, the temporary and the permanent, the past and the future.
Wisdom is old, from the beginning of creation.
"The LORD created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth — when He had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil. When He established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when He made firm the skies above, when He established the fountains of the deep, when He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing before Him always, rejoicing in His inhabited world and delighting in the human race." (Prov. 8:22–32)
WHEN TO MOVE SLOWLY
When you're not sure.
"Desire without knowledge is not good, and one who moves too hurriedly misses the way." (Prov.’:2)
When you get ready to speak.
"To make an apt answer is a joy to anyone, and a word in season, how good it is!" (Prov. 15:23)
"The mind of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil." (Prov. 15:28)
"Do you see someone who is hasty in speech? There is more hope for a fool than for anyone like that." (Prov. 29:20)
"One who spares words is knowledgeable; one who is cool in spirit has understanding." (Prov. 17:27)
"Even fools who keep silent are considered wise; when they close their lips, they are deemed intelligent. " (Prov. 17:28)
"If one gives answer before hearing, it is folly and shame." (Prov.‘:13)
"The one who first states a case seems right, until the other comes and cross-examines." (Prov.‘:17)
When you are angry.
"One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city." (Prov. 16:32)
" The beginning of strife is like letting out water; so stop before the quarrel breaks out." (Prov. 17:14)
"It is honorable to refrain from strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel." (Prov. 20:3)
"Those with good sense are slow to anger, and it is their glory to overlook an offense." (Prov.’:11)
WHEN TO MOVE PROMPTLY.
When you can do good.
"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it." (Prov. 3:27)
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." (Prov. 13:12)
"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it ”—when you have it with you. "
When you have made yourself vulnerable by a foolish promise.
"My child, if you have given your pledge to your neighbor, if you have bound yourself to another, you are snared by the utterance of your lips, caught by the words of your mouth. So do this, my child, and save yourself, for you have come into your neighbor’s power: go, hurry, and plead with your neighbor. Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler." (Prov. 6:1)
When it is time to work.
"How long will you lie there, O lazybones? When will you rise from your sleep?" (Prov. 6:9)
"The lazy person does not plow in season; harvest comes, and there is nothing to be found." (Prov. 20:4)
"Do not love sleep, or else you will come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread." (Prov. 20:13)
When you are starting your career.
"Prepare your work outside, get everything ready for you in the field; and after that build your house." (Prov. 24:27)
"An estate quickly acquired in the beginning will not be blessed in the end." (Prov. 20:21)
"The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to want." (Prov. 21:5)
"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." (Prov. 24:3–4)
When you are aware of sin in your life.
“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? Give heed to my reproof; I will pour out my thoughts to you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, have stretched out my hand and no one heeded, and because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when panic strikes you, when panic strikes you like a storm, and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, would have none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way and be sated with their own devices." (Prov. 1:22–31)
"Behold now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation." (IICor.6:2)
Sin can close on you like a steel trap.
"Right away he follows her, and goes like an ox to the slaughter, or bounds like a stag toward the trap until an arrow pierces its entrails. He is like a bird rushing into a snare, not knowing that it will cost him his life. " (Prov. 7:22)
" For in vain is the net baited while the bird is looking on; yet they lie in wait —to kill themselves! and set an ambush —for their own lives! Such is the end of all who are greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its possessors." (Prov. 1:17)
WHAT IS TEMPORARY AND WHAT IS PERMANENT.
"When the tempest passes, the wicked are no more, but the righteous are established forever." (Prov. 10:25)
" The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short." (Prov. 10:27)
"When the wicked die, their hope perishes, and the expectation of the godless comes to nothing." (Prov. 11:7)
"Be assured, the wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will escape." (Prov. 11:21)
"Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment." (Prov. 12:19)
"The good leave an inheritance to their children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous." (Prov. 13:22)
THE OLD AND THE YOUNG
"The glory of youths is their strength, but the beauty of the aged is their gray hair." (Prov. 20:29)
" Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life." (Prov. 16:31)
"Do not remove the ancient landmark that your ancestors set up." (Prov. 22:28)
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life." (Prov. 9:10–11)
"Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray. " (Prov. 22:6)
The future belongs to the wise.
"Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom for the future." (Prov.’:20)
"Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off." (Prov.’:20)
"My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, you will find a future, and your hope will not be cut off." (Prov. 24:13–14)
" Do not fret because of evildoers. Do not envy the wicked; for the evil have no future; the lamp of the wicked will go out." (Prov. 24:19–20)
You do not know the future.
"All our steps are ordered by the LORD; how then can we understand our own ways?" (Prov. 20:24)
" Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring." (Prov. 27:1)
Some things should be done every day.
"Happy is the one who listens to me (Wisdom) , watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors." (Prov. 8:34)