Proverbs 25 & 1 Thessalonians 4

Proverbs 25

    These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.

    It is the glory of God to conceal things,
        but the glory of kings is to search things out.
    As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
        so the heart of kings is unsearchable.
    Take away the dross from the silver,
        and the smith has material for a vessel;
    take away the wicked from the presence of the king,
        and his throne will be established in righteousness.
    Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence
        or stand in the place of the great,
    for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
        than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.
    What your eyes have seen
        do not hastily bring into court,
    for what will you do in the end,
        when your neighbor puts you to shame?
    Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
        and do not reveal another's secret,
    lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
        and your ill repute have no end.
    A word fitly spoken
        is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
    Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
        is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
    Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
        is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
        he refreshes the soul of his masters.
    Like clouds and wind without rain
        is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.
    With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
        and a soft tongue will break a bone.
    If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
        lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
    Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house,
        lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
    A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
        is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
    Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble
        is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
    Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart
        is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
        and like vinegar on soda.
    If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
        and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
    for you will heap burning coals on his head,
        and the LORD will reward you.
    The north wind brings forth rain,
        and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
    It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
        than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
    Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
        so is good news from a far country.
    Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
        is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
    It is not good to eat much honey,
        nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory.
    A man without self-control
        is like a city broken into and left without walls.

(Proverbs 25 ESV)

1 Thessalonians 4

    Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

    Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

    But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

(1 Thessalonians 4 ESV)

1 Thessalonians 4: The Christian life is a life of love, living quietly and living rightly. The apostle Paul urges the Thessalonians to live out their faith by continuing to work hard in their daily employment in order to support others and also support themselves. 

Many in the church were beginning to show indifference in their line of work out of an expectation that Christ was coming back at any moment. While Christians should certainly be waiting watchfully for that Day our Lord returns, here the apostle Paul exhorts us to also work with persistence while we wait.  

How many of us are passionate about worship but sluggish when it comes to our work? May Paul’s words encourage us to realize that the way we work serves as a way to witness to “outsiders”. The Christian man ought to be the most focused worker, the hardest worker and the best teammate in his particular line of work. Christianity doesn’t necessarily call a man out of the workforce but rather calls him to be a persistent presence in the way that he works.