Monday, November 30, 2015

November 2015 in Proverbs

Those who reject the Lord will eat the fruit of their ways, and that is a sad and meager diet.
Proverbs 1.29-31
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the LORD,
They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.
Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own [counsel].
1. The general principle is that you will end up at the destination of the people you are traveling with.
2. The specific warning is against the attractive and sweet, but immoral woman who has not kept the covenant of her God. Outward appearance can be deceiving and the wrong choice tragic.
Lord, help me pursue your wisdom and continue faithful to Your covenant.
Proverbs 2.16-19
16 To deliver you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words.
17 Who forsakes the companion of her youth,
And forgets the covenant of her God.
18 For her house leads down to death,
And her paths to the dead;
19 None who go to her return,
Nor do they regain the paths of life—
It seems sometimes that theologians see some of God's attributes as moral and others as natural or non-moral. That may all be fine and good, but these verses seem to point toward wisdom and knowledge that God used to create the "kosmos" has having moral benefit to me. Big thoughts, but I am thinking about them.
Proverbs 3.19-22
19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth;
By understanding He established the heavens;
20 By His knowledge the depths were broken up,
And clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, let them not depart from your eyes—
Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
22 So they will be life to your soul
And grace to your neck.
One of the neat things to watch at my church is the way some set up or clean up project has a relatively uncoordinated group of people jump in and just get the job done. Doing things for people and around the church like a bunch of ants busy taking care of business.
Proverbs 6.6-8
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
8 Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
Proverbs 7
The admonitions to keep the law of dad near and dear seem a little over the top to our modern ears...
2 Keep my commands and live,
And my law as the apple of your eye.
3 Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your nearest kin,
...untill we see the competition.
21 With her enticing speech she caused him to yield,
With her flattering lips she seduced him.
Right between verses on the value of wisdom and its usefulness to rulers is inserted this defining thought.
Proverbs 8.13
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
Everybody is always talking about diets that help you live longer and better.
Proverbs 9.4-6
4 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"
As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
5 "Come, eat of my bread
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 Forsake foolishness and live,
And go in the way of understanding.
One of the reasons the wicked are headed for trouble is that they are not reliable.
Lord, make me diligent to follow through.
Proverbs 10.24-26
24 The fear of the wicked will come upon him,
And the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25 When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more,
But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.
26 As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
So is the lazy man to those who send him.
These proverbs reinforce the importance of a generous spirit and the blessings that come on those with that spirit.
Lord, give me an Ephesians 4:28 spirit.
Proverbs 11.24-26
There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.
The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.
The people will curse him who withholds grain,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
I don't think that verse four is a stand alone verse about marriage as much as it sets the tone for the seriousness of the next three verses that contrast the deeds of the wicked with the righteous whose "house" stands on a solid foundation.
Lord, help me build my life on your foundation and be a blessing to my wife.
Proverbs 12.4-7
4  An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.
5 The thoughts of the righteous are right,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6 The words of the wicked are, "Lie in wait for blood,"
But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.
7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
But the house of the righteous will stand.
A Sunday school teacher asked the children just before she dismissed them to go to church, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"
Annie replied, "Because people are sleeping"
Proverbs 13.18-19 Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction,
But he who regards a rebuke will be honored.
A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul,
But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.
Again and again disdain for correction is a hallmark of the fool. Lord, make me a good listener and "repenter."
These verses appeal for a gracious, thoughtful attitude toward our neighbors regardless of their affluence.
Lord, help me to see people with your eyes.
Proverbs 14.20.22
20 The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor,
But the rich has many friends.
21 He who despises his neighbor sins;
But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.
22 Do they not go astray who devise evil?
But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good.
Harsh words that stir up anger are foolishness. The Lord keeps watch over us to see who wisely defuses anger.
Lord, I want You to like what You see in me.
Proverbs 15.1-3
1 A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,
But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Here are a couple things that righteous old people should have figured out. Lord, give me Your self-control and understanding.
Proverbs 16.31-33
31 The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
If it is found in the way of righteousness.
32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD.
The humble hunger for knowledge and understanding can save us from some trouble. Lord, make me a humble listener.
Proverbs 18.12-13
12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty,
And before honor is humility.
13 He who answers a matter before he hears it,
It is folly and shame to him.
I smiled today at the IVP Bible Background Commentary's description of the Mark 7.24-30 Syro-Phonecian woman's faith as "holy chutzpah." Lord, give me some of that.
Instruction that highlight's the "Lord's counsel," kindness, and the fear of the Lord puts children on a good trajectory for a life that will please the Lord. These are also good benchmarks for adults to think about.
Proverbs 19.20-23
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.
21 There are many plans in a man's heart,
Nevertheless the LORD's counsel—that will stand.
22 What is desired in a man is kindness,
And a poor man is better than a liar.
23 The fear of the LORD leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil.
The converse of this "wise saying" is to make friends with temperate and wise individuals. I am thankful for people like that God has put in my life.
Proverbs 22.24-25
24 Make no friendship with an angry man,
And with a furious man do not go,
25 Lest you learn his ways
And set a snare for your soul.
Lord, keep my heart and eyes faithful to Your ways.
Proverbs 23.26-28
26 My son, give me your heart,
And let your eyes observe my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit,
And a seductress is a narrow well.
28 She also lies in wait as for a victim,
And increases the unfaithful among men.
Glee at another's misfortune regardless of how deserved is always in bad form and is inconsistent with the Gospel.
Proverbs 24:17-18
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him.
An undependable and erratic person is more than just an annoyance. Lord, help me be a reliable man with a good sense of how to encourage and bless others.
Proverbs 25.
Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble
Is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.
Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather,
And like vinegar on soda,
Is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
The person who has no aptitude for wisdom is ill equipped to safely handle the honor that comes with it. I'm thinking about why.
Proverbs 26.7-8
Like the legs of the lame that hang limp
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Like one who binds a stone in a sling
Is he who gives honor to a fool.
The heat of various trials will refine and purify a wise man's character, and others will speak his praises. A fool on the other hand is foolish to the bone and impervious to correction and lessons from experience.
Lord, grant me that that the genuineness of faith in and from You that will be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
Proverbs 27.21-22
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
And a man is valued by what others say of him.
Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain,
Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.
These verses describe a short sighted, muniplitive, and completely unscrupulous individual who seeks quick gain through any means.
Lord, help me be the principled, faithful man (like verse 19) who values You more than personal gain.
Proverbs 28.21-24
21 To show partiality is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.
22 A man with an evil eye hastens after riches,
And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.
23 He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward
Than he who flatters with the tongue.
24 Whoever robs his father or his mother, And says, "It is no transgression,"
The same is companion to a destroyer.
The simplicity and clear conscience of someone who doesn't have to tip toe around his past offences brings freedom and joy.
Lord, help me to do right and treat even the poor right.
Proverbs 29.6-7
6 In the transgression of an evil person there is a snare,
but a righteous person can sing and rejoice.
7 The righteous person cares for the legal rights of the poor;
the wicked does not understand such knowledge. (NET)
Proverbs 30.7-9
Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, "Who is the LORD?" or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.

No comments:

Post a Comment