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Proverbs (Part 036) - Pro 3:27-31

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27. Pro 3:27 - "Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it."

A. Withhold not good from them to whom it is due,
i. Due adj. - 1. a. That is owing or payable, as an enforceable obligation or debt.
ii. This verse is teaching us to pay our debts.
a. This can refer to monetary debts that we owe someone.
(i) It is good to pay off our debts.
(ii) We are to owe no man anything (Rom 13:8).
(iii) Good sometimes refers to worldly possessions (1Jo 3:17).
(iv) If we have borrowed money or other possessions, we should return it as soon as possible.
(v) If we owe someone money for work done for us, we should pay him and not delay (Jer 22:13).
b. This can also refer to non-monetary debts that we owe someone.
(i) The only thing we are to owe one another is love (Rom 13:8).
(ii) God requires us to remember the poor (Gal 2:10; Rom 12:13; Deut 15:7-8).
(iii) We owe it to them because God has commanded us to give to them.
(iv) Husbands and wives also owe each other sexual fulfillment (1Co 7:3-5).
iii. All of these debts should not be withheld from those to whom they are due.

B. when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
i. If we are able to pay our debts, then we must do so as soon as possible.
a. That means that if we owe a sum of money to someone, and we have that amount of money in our bank account, we should pay him in full.
b. That means that if we have money saved to buy something we should not take out a loan instead of paying cash for it.
c. That means that we should pay someone for work he has done for us as soon as possible.
d. If for some reason you cannot pay what you owe, then come up with an agreement with your creditor to pay them off as quickly as possible as you are able.
ii. We should do good unto all men as we have opportunity (Gal 6:10).
iii. If we have the ability to help someone in need, we should do it.

28. Pro 3:28 - "Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee."
A. This verse is a continuation of thought from Pro 3:27.
B. The wicked borrow and do not repay (Psa 37:21).
C. If we have the money or the possessions that we have borrowed from someone, we must return them as soon as we are able.
D. To keep a borrowed item longer than we need it or longer than we agreed to keep it is tantamount to theft.
E. If we owe someone money for work done for us, we should pay him and not delay (Deut 24:14-15; Mal 3:5).
F. To not pay a man for work that he has done for you at the time agreed upon is theft (Lev 19:13; Jam 5:4).

29. Pro 3:29 - "Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee."

A. The neighbor that dwells securely is living free of worry and care.
i. Securely adv. - In a secure manner (in various senses). 1. In a manner free from care or apprehension; carelessly; confidently; without care or misgiving.
ii. Secure adj. - I. Feeling no care or apprehension. 1. Without care, careless; free from care, apprehension or anxiety, or alarm; over-confident.
B. He is therefore not on his guard and not prepared for trouble.
C. A wicked man would have a temptation to plan evil against such a neighbor because he would be an easy target (Pro 24:15).
D. Solomon is warning us to not take advantage of careless people.
E. Let this also be a warning to us to not dwell securely (carelessly) because we will be easy targets for robbery, violence, or fraud (Jdg 18:7 c/w 27-28).
F. We should instead be wise and circumspect, paying attention to our surroundings (Eph 5:14-15).

30. Pro 3:30 - "Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm."
A. This verse is the Bible's version of the nonaggression principle.
B. We should not initiate violence.
i. We should never be the one who "started it."
ii. Defending oneself is allowable, but aggressing against someone else is not.
iii. This is true of individuals and of nations.
C. We should live peaceably with all men as much as it is possible to do so (Rom 12:18).
D. We should not insert ourselves into a confrontation that doesn't concern us (Pro 26:17; 1Pe 4:15).
E. Make sure to have a good cause before you begin to strive with someone or you will be brought to shame (Pro 25:8).
F. It is an honor to cease from strife, not to commence it (Pro 20:3).

31. Pro 3:31 - "Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways."

A. Envy thou not the oppressor,
i. Oppressor n. - 1. One who oppresses; esp. one who harasses with unjust or cruel treatment.
ii. Oppress v. - 1. trans. To press injuriously upon or against; to subject to pressure with hurtful or overpowering effect; to press down by force; to crush, trample down, smother, crowd.
iii. Stupid men (and women) who have oppressive tendencies often gravitate to government where they can trample down people on a large scale (Pro 28:16).
iv. Oppressors have power on their side and wield it against the weak (Ecc 4:1).
v. Often oppressors are wealthy because they take advantage of people and defraud them (Psa 73:3-8), but we should never envy their prosperity.
vi. We are warned repeatedly in scripture to not envy the wicked (Psa 37:1; Pro 23:17).

B. and choose none of his ways.
i. Avoid the temptation to choose the ways of the oppressor and desire to be with him (Pro 24:1).
ii. It may look like they have it good and get away with it, but it will not go well with them forever (Ecc 8:12-13; Psa 73:12-19).