Proverbs are just that! They are not promises and one does not have to look very far to find exceptions to the general principles asserted in this book. Consider Proverbs 28:19 for example. It says, “A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.” Everyone knows of hard working people who have lost everything. I know of farmers who have met with bankruptcy and worse because of drought or famine or economic reasons that are some of the hardest working people in the world. And we’ve all heard about those “dreamers” who spend $1.00 for a lottery ticket and win a million dollars.

The truth of Proverbs 28:19 is proven by the exceptions. Dreamers will focus on the exceptions and spend their money in slot machines or lottery tickets as the “dream” about what life would be like as millionaires. To live your life by the exceptions is to court disaster. For every hard working person who loses everything there are millions of hard working people who have full refrigerators, bank accounts, and retirement plans. For every person who wins the lottery there are millions of others who have thrown their money away on fantasy.

Real wisdom is to live life by the rules not by the exceptions. This is what Solomon pleads with his son to do and this is what God pleads with us to do as well.

“And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.” Proverbs 8:32-33