Pastor Chris' Paraphrase of Proverbs 23:4-5
4-5 Don’t slave your life away trying to accumulate more and more stuff. Know when enough is enough, because dreams of getting rich are like chasing birds in the park. You run up and they flap their wings and fly away.
Your life is precious. Don't waste it. Know what's really important. Most people slave away chasing after things that really don't matter. We want more and more; and the more we have, we find we never have enough. Fill your life with meaning and you will be fully satisfied.
"Father, help me invest my life in things that matter and not be be infatuated with possessions and money, which don't really satisfy and are fleeting anyway. Amen."
Read Proverbs 23
New American Standard Bible
Pastor Chris’ Paraphrase
On Life and Conduct
1 When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
Consider carefully [a]what is before you,
2 And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man of great appetite.
3 Do not desire his delicacies,
For it is deceptive food.
4 Do not weary yourself to gain wealth,
Cease from your [b]consideration of it.
5 [c]When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.
For wealth certainly makes itself wings
Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.
6 Do not eat the bread of [d]a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
7 For as he [e]thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.
8 You will vomit up [f]the morsel you have eaten,
And waste your [g]compliments.
9 Do not speak in the [h]hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10 Do not move the ancient boundary
Or go into the fields of the fatherless,
11 For their Redeemer is strong;
He will plead their case against you.
12 Apply your heart to discipline
And your ears to words of knowledge.
13 Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you [i]strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 You shall [j]strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
My own heart also will be glad;
16 And my [k]inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak what is right.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But live in the [l]fear of the Lord [m]always.
18 Surely there is a [n]future,
And your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
And direct your heart in the way.
20 Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.
22 Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.
26 Give me your heart, my son,
And let your eyes [o]delight in my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit
And an [p]adulterous woman is a narrow well.
28 Surely she lurks as a robber,
And increases the [q]faithless among men.
29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long over wine,
Those who go to [r]taste mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it [s]sparkles in the cup,
When it goes down smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things
And your [t]mind will utter perverse things.
34 And you will be like one who lies down in the [u]middle of the sea,
Or like one who lies down on the top of a [v]mast.
35 “They struck me, but I did not become [w]ill;
They beat me, but I did not know it.
When shall I awake?
I will seek [x]another drink.”
Number 6 - 1-3 Be careful what’s really happening when you meet with an influential person. Don’t get distracted by the delicious food they serve, because they may use it to get what they want.
Number 7 - 4-5 Don’t slave your life away trying to accumulate more and more stuff. Know when enough is enough, because dreams of getting rich are like chasing birds in the park. You run up and they flap their wings and fly away.
Number 8 - 6-8 Don’t eat food from an evil person or crave it because it smells so good. He’s hiding his real motives. He says, “Eat! Drink!” but he’s not thinking of you. One way or another, it’ll make you sick to the stomach and you’ll be sorry you ever spoke to them.
Number 9 - 9 Don’t waste your time giving advice to a fool; they’ll just walk all over it.
Number 10 - 10-11 Don’t tamper with established property lines or annex land that belongs to orphans, because their redeemer is strong and he’ll fight you.
Number 11 - 12 Never stop listening and learning.
Number 13 - 13-14 Don’t be soft on your kids. A whipping won’t kill them, but it might save them from hell.
Number 14 - 15-16 Dear child, I’ll be overjoyed if you have true inner wisdom. I’ll smile on the inside every time you speak the truth.
Number 15 - 17-18 Don’t be jealous of sinners; always live in reverent awe of Jehovah. Your faith will pay off in the end.
Number 16 - 19-21 Listen up, dear child, and be wise; follow the right path in life. Don’t hang out with heavy drinkers or people who always eat too much. They’ll eventually lose everything and laze around in rags.
Number 17 - 22-25 Your father gave you life so listen to him and respect your mother when she’s old. Buy truth and never sell it. Get all the wisdom, instruction, and knowledge you can. A father celebrates when his children live right and he's overjoyed when they are wise. So make your parents proud; make your mom glad she gave birth.
Number 18 - 26-28 Commit your life to me, son, and keep your eyes fixed straight ahead on my path. A prostitute will get you in big trouble and an adulteress in a tight spot. She waits to ambush her prey and fills the community with unfaithful men.
Number 19 - 29-35 Who cries out in despair? Who is full of sorrow? Whose life is full of drama? Who does nothing but complain? Who has wounds they could’ve avoided? Whose eyes are always red? Those who stay up late drinking and looking for comfort in a bottle. Don’t get infatuated with the color of the wine or how it sparkles in the cup or how smoothly it goes down. In the end, I’ll bite you like a snake and wound you like a viper. You’ll see strange things and talk out of your head. You’ll feel like you're seasick and staggering on top of a boat tossed by a rough sea. You’ll say “Who smashed my head? I can’t remember. I didn’t even know they were beating me up. But when I get my feet under me, I’ll go do it again.”
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Pastor Chris’ Paraphrase of Proverbs (PCP)
Copyright © 2018 by Chris Mullis