Troubling One’s Own House
1. There are LOTS of ways to bring trouble into our homes.
2. Solomon doesn’t deal with all of them here: just one… DISHONEST GREED.
He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house
A. Greedy of Gain
1. Greedy Defined:
a. Strong’s: to cut off; break off; gain by unrighteous violence; get; finish; be covetous; be greedy.
b. Greed seems to be at the root of this… but it often leads to violence or dishonesty of one sort or another.
c. It speaks of unjust gain… dishonest gain… getting by cheating or violence.
d. In this proverb it is likened to taking bribes.
e. Used in Prov. 1:19 – a band of young, violent thieves… city gang members plotting their evil. (Cf. vs.11-16 – greed causes them to rob and shed blood!)
f. The context in Prov.1:19 speaks of a particular KIND of greed as demonstrated in street gangs.
g. But the term in 15:27 does not come in such a context. Hence, it should be understood in a broader sense: any sort of dishonest gain motivated by greed… and an overall lack of integrity.
2. We too can be greedy of gain in this way.
a. By not being completely forthcoming on our tax returns.
b. By embellishing our resume… exaggerating our skills or accomplishments at that job interview.
c. Shady business deals…
d. Taking bribes…
e. Getting involved in gambling…
f. Stealing from your company…
B. Troubling One’s Own House
1. Trouble Defined: to trouble; stir up; disturb; bring calamity; cause hardship and distress for another; anguish.
2. Prov. 15:6 – in the revenues of the wicked there is trouble.
a. There is trouble because of the WAY that treasure was accumulated!
b. Dishonest gain brings quick, easy money… but there is much trouble associated with it.
c. Drug money brings much revenue to the wicked… but linked to it is much trouble.
d. There is the trouble of:
• No rest… no peace…
• Always looking over your shoulder…
• Always worried about being caught…
• Having to live a lie…
• Even spending time in jail…
• The trouble of realizing that at any moment you could be discovered and lose it all.
• There is the trouble of knowing that the slightest misstep could cause your house of cards to come crashing down.
3. Prov. 11:29 – He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.
a. Instead of inheriting the family estate, he will inherit the wind: nothing!
b. The trouble he brought upon his family caused him to be excluded from the inheritance.
c. This man who was motivated by greed and a desire to exalt himself behaved like a fool… brought shame upon his house… and ended up becoming a servant to those who are wise!
d. In any setting, the one who brings trouble into his own household ends up with nothing!
• The man who steals and gets sent to prison ends up with nothing… and his family has to deal with the trouble he brought upon them.
• The man who commits adultery brings trouble into his household… misery upon all… that doesn’t go away easily.
• The man who cheats on his taxes brings the wrath of the IRS upon his household.
• The man whose face ends up on the 6:00 news brings shame to his household.
e. Dishonest greed brings trouble upon a household… a blot on the family name… and the one involved inherits the wind… ends up with nothing.
• Consider Lot – moved by greed and chose Sodom… and ended up with nothing… led out of the city as it went up in ashes!
• Consider Achan – moved by greed and a desire for dishonest gain… he stole gold and garments… and ended up with nothing… he troubled his house…stoned and burned!
• Consider Gehazi – he was moved by greed and took the gift from Naaman that Elisha refused. He was smitten with leprosy… and his seed forever!
• Boy did these men trouble their own houses!
• I have known believers who have done much damage to their own houses too…
• Often, greed and gain is at the root of it.
• The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
4. There are various WAYS in which a dishonest, greedy man troubles his house.
a. He may trouble his family with the hardships they experience because of him being arrested… losing his job… being imprisoned… losing their house… etc.
b. But he may also trouble his house for years to come by TEACHING HIS CHILDREN to follow his behavior.
→ Our kids pick up on our values by observation.
→ The dishonest, greedy man demonstrates his character not only when he robs a bank. His kids will pick up on as they are growing up.
→ Often those values (or lack thereof) are passed on to the next generation.
c. This may go on for many generations. (Ex. 34:7)
• Alcoholism and drug abuse is often passed on in a family. Partly perhaps to genetics… but mostly through LEARNED and observed behavior!
• You don’t have to worry about a genetic predisposition to alcoholism if you don’t take your first drink!
• If the parents are involved in lying, cheating, stealing, those poor kids don’t stand a chance of growing up honest!
• Domestic violence is also learned and passed on.
• Trouble brought into the home is often kept there… and passed on to future generations to CONTINUE to trouble that household…
d. Kids are like sponges and they are watching and observing everything their parents do.
• And more often than not, those qualities are repeated in their lives.
e. A man who is greedy for gain can trouble his own household even if he does nothing illegal!
• If a man is so driven to succeed materially that he works so many hours that he never has any TIME for his family, he too troubles his house.
• Those kids will grow up with many toys and nice clothes, but will RESENT that dad never spent any time with them.
• Kids grow up fast… and if they grow up angry, bitter, and resentful because Dad was more interested in material gain than in them… that exacerbates the trouble in the home…
But he that hateth gifts shall live.
A. Hating Gifts
1. The gifts here speak of bribes.
2. This is but one example of dishonest, greedy gain.
3. The one who HATES bribes is a man of integrity who HATES dishonest gain.
4. This is the man who refuses to be BOUGHT off with a gift… a bribe.
a. This is plain, old fashioned integrity.
i. Like Abraham who refused the gift offered by the king of Sodom (Gen. 14:22-23)
b. The fact that many are willing to be bought off has always been a problem… since the days of Solomon to today.
→ Politicians are sometimes bought off.
→ Judges are sometimes bought off.
→ Police are sometimes bought off.
→ CEO’s are sometimes bought off.
c. Do YOU have a selling price? What would it take to get you to lie… to cheat… to look the other way… to refuse to blow the whistle?
d. Do YOU hate gifts?
→ Not birthday presents, but bribes!
→ Believers should not only refuse bribes, but HATE them!
→ Do you HATE the fact that people are bought off by money and that justice is being perverted by money?
→ It happens every day! (Prov. 17:23 – that is the purpose of a bribe!)
→ The poor do NOT get a fair shake in this country… even though this is the fairest country in the world… still money talks… money reigns… money is power.
→ It is the ruin of any country! Prov. 29:4
B. He Shall Live
1. His life is lengthened.
a. Prov. 11:19 – those who pursue evil do so to their own death.
b. Gang members don’t live that long. Bank robbers often get shot.
c. Violent men often become victims to violence themselves and their lives are cut off abruptly.
d. In the long run, honesty is not only the best policy; it could add years to your life!
2. His life is improved.
a. Shall live: he shall REALLY live! He shall live a good life… one worth living.
b. Need not fear the police; need not fear getting caught.
c. Doesn’t have to fear being imprisoned.
d. Need not fear losing all he worked for.
e. He doesn’t have to fear losing his family.
f. Can experience peace at home rather than turmoil.
3. So is the life of his family!
a. His family need not fear dad going to jail or losing the house.
b. The family need not fear the shame and embarrassment of seeing dad’s picture on the 6:00 news.
c. Every time you see someone arrested for a crime on the local news… think of all the trouble and shame his family is going through…
4. Our actions not only affect ourselves, but they affect our families too.
a. Of course dad can be guilty of dishonest gain and bring trouble to his household…
b. But so can mom! Mothers… even grandmothers have been arrested for selling drugs. Kids can trouble their own homes too.
→ They can bring shame upon their family by criminal behavior…
→ Shoplifting: Is it really worth it to put your family through all of that trouble just to steal a new pair of sneakers?
→ Why bring poison into the house you have to live in?