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Proverbs 22:1-16 (ESV)
22 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. 2 The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all. 3 The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. 4 The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. 5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them. 6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. 7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. 8 Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail. 9 Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. 10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease. 11 He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend. 12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge, but he overthrows the words of the traitor. 13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!” 14 The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit; he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it. 15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him. 16 Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
The main section of Proverbs ends with a series of sayings which contrast the wise way and the foolish way. Verse 22:6 is very well known – it is actually a summary of the whole book. The point of Proverbs is to “train up” young people in the way they should live. In verse 9, the word “generous” translates a Hebrew word which means “bountiful eye.” The idea is that a generous person is someone who looks at the world, and sees what he has, what is possible, sees that there is enough, sees hope and promise. The stingy person looks at the same world, and sees what is missing or lacking. As you go about your day, try to live it with a ‘bountiful eye,’ noticing the good things and blessings that God has already provided.