Friday, May 22, 2015

Proverbs 4-22 with tidbits

It is enough for me to try to keep what I should be in view. Seeing how far off I can go before real danger is not the wise way.
Proverb 4.25-26
Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.
Ponder the path of your feet,

And let all your ways be established

Lord,don't let me forget!
“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, “lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them... then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ De. 8.11-12, 14
When they had pasture, they were filled;
They were filled and their heart was exalted;
Therefore they forgot Me. Ho. 13.6

Continuing education:
Proverbs 5.1-2
"My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
Lend your ear to my understanding.
That you may preserve discretion,

And your lips may keep knowledge
This seems to present listening as something needed to not only acquire, but also to preserve and keep a heart of wisdom.
Lord, keep me hearing good council from your Word and continue to give me a heart and ears to hear.

Proverbs 6.27
"Can a man take fire to his bosom,
And his clothes not be burned?
Lord, save me from the foolish arrogance that would make me think that I am the exception who can turn from your wise ways without any consequences.

This proverb presents the seductress falsely preaching a predictable peace and safety, but the Apostles admonish a spirit of sober watchfulness for the Lord May return at any time.
Proverbs 7:19-20
"For my husband is not at home;
He has gone on a long journey;
He has taken a bag of money with him,

And will come home on the appointed day
Lord, help me to live in watchful prayer and reject the passive ease of the seductress' assumptions.

In these proverbs wisdom personified is speaking and reinforces the spiritual and soteriological meaning of wisdom in Proverbs.
Proverb 8.35
"For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the LORD;
But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;

All those who hate me love death
Lord, continue to transform my heart to love and walk in your wise ways and experience your favor more and more.

Proverbs 9.4
"Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"
As for him who lacks understanding,
she says to him,
"Come, eat of my bread

And drink of the wine I have mixed
Not just the wise and spiritual are invited to come. Thank you, Lord, for opening your table to me.

I just noticed this from Jonah 1.10 that Jonah had told his shipmates that he was fleeing from the Lord. Apparently it hadn't bothered them much because they did not know who the Lord was. What the Lord wants of us is academic trivia until we really know Him. Lord, help me know and stay aware of who you are.

Here's a proverb with an image that that tornado alley can relate to.
Proverbs 10.25
When the whirlwind passes by,
the wicked is no more,
But the righteous has an everlasting foundation

Today in Sunday school Brian Smoliak taught (after his mother shared a nice story from his childhood) on Ephesians 2.1-10. I am thinking about whether the modern concept of computers, phones, etc. being "synced" is useful for thinking about what it means to be in or with Christ (vv. 5, 6, 7, & 10).

These Proverbs encourage a business model that is designed to be generous and provide a good service to the community. Lord, help us to be a benefit and blessing to our coworkers, clients, and customers with our business and vocations while we make a good living for ourselves.
Proverbs 11.24
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

Proverbs 12.22
"Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight
The contrast between "lips" and "deal" indicate that truth and lies extend beyond our mere words. This is further accented by the Hebrew for "truth" which also includes the idea of something that is firm and/or faithful.
Lord, make my words and life a reflection of your truth and faithfulness to me

Proverbs 13.20
"The one who associates with the wise grows wise,
but a companion of fools suffers harm
." (NET)
This reminds me of a song LeAnn Mosher Miller taught the kids at Mingo Valley years ago. 

Can't shake these words from Micah 7.18 from my mind,
"Who is a God like You,
Pardoning iniquity ...
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in mercy."
Lord, help me to have that kind irrepressible delight in mercy.

Two sides of a coin:
Proverbs 14.26-27
"In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence,
And His children will have a place of refuge.
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,

To turn one away from the snares of death
The awareness that God is watching, weighing, and rewarding all that I do, say, and think gives me confidence when I am doing right and is a deterrent when I am inclined to do something that would displease Him.
Lord, help me to remember.

Proverbs 15.15-17
"All the days of the afflicted are evil,
But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast."
The first line seems to refer to external conditions, but the second line and the next two proverbs seem to turn it toward inward attitudes that are more important to how satisfied we feel than outward circumstances.
"Better is a little with the fear of the LORD,

Than great treasure with trouble.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is,
Than a fatted calf with hatred.
Lord, help joy, faith, and love in my heart trump any unwanted external circumstances.

“If we don’t connect our faith to the world of work, then Christianity just becomes a leisure-time activity.” ~ Dr. Greg Forster

...if a man has done what is called a virtuous action because he hoped to get to heaven or to avoid hell by it, whom has he served? -- CH Spurgeon

In Bunyan's Holy War Diabaious offered the citizens of Mansoul and helmet of "the hope of doing well at last what lives soever you live" to protect them when Emmanuel attempted to retake the city. This arrogant assumption that the rules and consequences don't apply to me is described in Proverbs 16.18-19
"Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud

Proverbs 17.4
"Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;
so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out
." (NET)
Again, the wisdom (and humility) to see that something is just not worth it. Another reason the peacemakers are blessed?

"One of the supreme attributes of God is humility." This is evidenced in and by the incarnation.

To have a humble, loyal, and wise companion who sticks with us through thick and thin is one of God's best gifts. Lord, help me to be that person.
Proverbs 18.22-24
"He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the LORD.
The poor man uses entreaties,

But the rich answers roughly.
A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother

Proverbs 19.20
"Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days
1. We don't become wise by reading the right book. It's a life long pursuit.
2. You LISTEN to council. You RECEIVE "muwcar" which has the idea of discipline or correction with it.
3. So, we all mess up and sin. Some of us have the humility and teachable spirit to receive the profitable correction in those circumstances.
4. The idea of an "old fool" is not God's design and signifies a life of not listening and/or receiving.
4. What a virtue a humble, teachable spirit is! Lord, let that be me.

Proverbs 20.25
"It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy,
And afterward to reconsider his vows
It seems then that we can be foolish and rash with our promises to God just like every other area in life. Lord, help me take you seriously and think before I speak and act... especially to You.

For all my friends who are teachers and parents:
"If a kid's got enough creativity to get into trouble, he's got enough drive to become significant for Jesus Christ." --Dr. Howard Hendricks

Proverbs 21 lays out the downward spiral of the lying and violence of a devious life for those who would "get rich quick." The peace of a pure, working person is better than a contentious life in a big house.
"5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty
6 Getting treasures by a lying tongue Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.
7 The violence of the wicked will destroy them,
Because they refuse to do justice
8 The way of a guilty man is perverse;
But as for the pure, his work is right.

9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman

Proverbs 22-22
"Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate;
For the LORD will plead their cause,
And plunder the soul of those who plunder them
God is watching, weighing, and rewarding (or in this case plundering the life) all we do. Abuse of power is odious to the Almighty.
Lord, help me see the poor and afflicted with the compassion Jesus saw them with.