So here is the reading. I have read, studied, and re-read. I just am not in a “mental”place to write right now. I will try again later. HOWEVER, if you were me, what would you write? Give it a try. I think everyone is probably ready for a different “voice” on here anyway.
I was reading these and glazing over with lack of understanding. I actually flipped over to The Message and then researched the ones that still confused me. Here is the read in the Message.
This one cracked me up! I am a morning person…
14 If you wake your friend in the early morning
by shouting “Rise and shine!”
It will sound to him
more like a curse than a blessing.
BTW, my husband wrote verse 15 and 16 in your Bible!
BUT I want you to stop and just marinate in a familiar verse:
As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
This is the Proverb I use the most. I don’t have many friends but the few that I do I chose wisely. This verse is not about having someone in my life that makes me a better Christian, it is about both of us becoming better Christians because of each other. I have a really close friend, Karen Medana, and when I need sharpening she is the iron I go to. She will not tell me what I want to hear, she will tell me what I need to hear.
At first this was confusing:
23 Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
give careful attention to your herds;
24 for riches do not endure forever,
and a crown is not secure for all generations.
25 When the hay is removed and new growth appears
and the grass from the hills is gathered in,
26 the lambs will provide you with clothing,
and the goats with the price of a field.
27 You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
and to nourish your female servants.
How timely this Proverb is to teach our children of all ages. During this COVID so many people immediately had no money or food. Know the condition of your family so that when an emergency strikes, you can be prepared.
Proverbs 28 and 29: Anyone care to share any thoughts?
Chapters 25—26 contain proverbs that are mainly comparisons. The key words in these chapters are “like … so.” A group of scholars who served during King Hezekiah’s reign (715-686 B.C.) added to the collection of Solomon’s Proverbs. These men lived about 250 years after Solomon.
Proverbs 25- The beginning of the Proverbs relates to those in a higher position. Maybe you can think of this at your job, with the government, in church, etc. I like to think we all are a leader position in something. God will search our hearts and our motives. The one verse that really stuck out to me is:
Remove the dross from the silver,
and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
When silver is refined, it is put to extreme heat. The dross is the “scum” or the waste that floats to the top that gets discarded.
It is in the fire that God not only separates people, but it also refines us on the inside. Stop for a minute and think about the seasons in your life that you have come out of a situation closer to God. I am guessing it was a time when you were struggling and needed him. After he removed the dross what was left: A vessel for Him to fill! Something He can USE!
This proverbs talks about avoiding self-promotion, public disgrace (and I know you think this does not apply to you…our minds go to Politicians) but your social media presence…Does it Glorify God? Does it throw stones or stir up controversy? I still love the WWJD. If Jesus had a Facebook would post that? Man, I have read some of the stuff I have posted in “emotion” and thought “What was I thinking, they will never reach out to me if I hosted a BIble Study now!”
I know this post is super late but I want to talk about this one. It is VERY easy to read a Scripture OUT OF CONTEXT! I just did it!!! Here it is:
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
I read this as “kill them with kindness…don’t worry, God will handle the punishment or consequence”. So this bothered me. Do you want to know what this means!!! In ancient times, when someone’s fire would go out, a neighbor who had a good fire would give him some hot coals out of love to help him get his fire going. They would carry the coals in a bucket on their head. I am sure this was uncomfortable (being loved by an enemy is uncomfortable) BUT what is the end result?? You helped them get their fire back!!
So like the Proverb from Will Smith, the Prince of Bel Air” “are you stoking their fire, or pissing on it” (sorry, but true). I have to get back to the Bible BUT when I was seeking Christianity…I had one neighbor giving me hot coals and another neighbor putting it out.
I am moving on BUT I could stay on 25 all day
Proverbs 26: Mercy! So much. These are “deep” and I really want some of them to resinate so I pulled some of them in a “lighter version” so give us something to think about:
4 Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool;
you’ll only look foolish yourself.
8 Putting a fool in a place of honor
is like setting a mud brick on a marble column.
15 A shiftless sluggard puts his fork in the pie,
but is too lazy to lift it to his mouth.
17 You grab a mad dog by the ears
when you butt into a quarrel that’s none of your business.
20 When you run out of wood, the fire goes out;
when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down.
22 Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
do you want junk like that in your belly?
Clearly, I can post them all!!
Click here to read this chapter in the Message. Post one in comments that poked you in the rib!!
So here we are… the third section of Proverbs! Today just might be your favorite all-time read so far this year!
The value of wisdom 1:1—9:18
The examples of wisdom 10:1—22:16
The application of wisdom 22:17—24:34
NOW the rubber meets the road! Do you apply it?? How do you apply it??
The first 16 “maxims” (do I sound smart using “scholarly words??”) Ha! anyway, verses 1-16 are great! I only got tripped up on a few…and I don’t plan on being in a public square with a lion anyway 😜
Verse 17-major shift- The Thirty sayings of the Wise. This section can be subdivided into 4 sections:
- introduction (22:17–23:11)
- teaching children to obey (23:12–24:2)
- adversity (24:3–12)
- evildoers (24:13–22).
This portion of Proverbs is similar in form and content to the “Instruction of Amenemope”, and that has led some to assume a connection between the two. In 1888 a British archaeologist purchased an Egyptian papyrus for the British Museum. It wasn’t translated until after World War II. The Instruction of Amenemope is a list of thirty wise sayings for his son, teaching him how to live to receive blessings from the Egyptian god of justice and truth. The papyrus in the British Museum is twelve feet long, ten inches high, and broken into twenty-seven pages.
If you compared Solomon’s Proverbs to Amenmope’s, both sets of proverbs contain 30 sayings each, both use the
“my son” terminology and both follow the same structural design. However, a difference between these two collections is significant. The writers of the biblical proverbs said their purpose was: (22:19)
So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I teach you today, even you.
However, Amenemope did not express hope in a personal God. So obviously we find a huge debate over which one was written first. Did Solomon use Amenemope’s as a blueprint or vice versa? (I mean they are really similar…I will put some examples in the comments section)
There are three possible explanations of the parallels between Proverbs and the Instruction of Amenemope:
1. Solomon discovered the Instruction of Amenemope and used it as a blueprint.
2. The dating of the artifacts is wrong, and the Egyptian text was copied from Solomon’s original.
3. Both texts were written independently, and the parallels are either the result of common source material or the fact that similar purpose and form (wisdom literature was quite popular in the ancient world) naturally leads to similar subject matter.
So why did I tell you all that? Because there is a world out there who would love to devalue the Bible in a debate. Prove it’s lack of authenticity. Like when the movie Noah came out (Russell Crowe), and the story was clearly different. You know why I loved that….because people actually opened their Bibles and READ IT and said: “umm the Bible said that??”. ANYTHING that sends believers and non-believers to the direct Word of God I am all for!
“But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this, I rejoice.” Philippians 1:18
I was sad to leave 1 Kings and switch to Proverbs….now I am sad to leave Proverbs to go back to 1 Kings!
So let’s mix it up a little. These are hard! If you are like me, you come to some Proverbs and you read it, have no idea really what it is saying, so you go to the next one. Now this will be hard for some of us, BUT if God wants us to soak up all of His teachings, we will humble ourselves and submit to this:
When you come to a Proverb that does not resonate or you just need clarification you are going to put it in comments. It will give me something to research…
Since I KNOW it is hard to do this, I will start….
I didn’t get past the first 3..
A person’s own folly leads to their ruin,
yet their heart rages against the Lord.
After research: Instead of repenting of the sins that led to ruin, he/she is so convinced that his way of life is right that he is angry against the LORD, holding him accountable for his “ruin”.
These are hard! Ready…your turn. I am just sitting here (there are so many I struggled with I am just researching them). I am ready for you!!
Read today with a soft heart. I was reminded last night that Solomon asked for 1 thing…Wisdom (1 Kings 3). What would you have asked for? I am going to be real: I would ask for a self-cleaning house or an unlimited ATM card or for my children to live long happy lives….BUT God wants us to live life abundantly! You are at a crossroads…choose 1:
- Read or listen to today’s reading, check it off your list, go about your day
- Pray, think about what you are reading….this is the WISDOM. Read them, take some notes so that you can APPLY them. The scripture says it will straighten your path!!
If you read these and you see a “theme” to a few of them, circle them and reread those later today. Maybe you need to put them on flashcards and use it as a bookmark.
If you read one and are like “Oh my stars”, I want that to look at every day”, tell me in the comments and put the word “Art” next to the Proverb and I will make you a special bookmark and mail it to you. ❤
(I made this a short post because my daughter’s boyfriend said my posts were too long) 🙊
We are going to do the same thing as yesterday. Pick one proverb from each chapter. I love hearing when someone picked one I never would have even noticed, as much as I love when someone chooses the same one I circled in my Bible. BUT I want to start with one that is quoted often in misuse: 13:24
Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
We tend to say “Then spare the rod, and spoil the child.” We think we are quoting the Bible…and we are not! We are quoting a Poem by Samuel Butler: “Hudibras” from 1664.
I have heard many people use this in a debate as whether or not we should spank a child. This scripture has been used as a “one size fits all” approach to raising children. Don’t get me wrong, I have been at the grocery store and so badly wanted to tap a mother on the shoulder sometimes and say “Please spank that kid”. But that is not what this scripture means. As parents disciplining their children they are guiding them in the way they should go. To put it simply, it is to instill in our children right from wrong.
In the time the scripture was written, and even still today, shepherds used tools to guide their sheep. They use a staff, or a crook, and a rod. The crook is the curved stick you see most often in pictures with shepherds.
- When sheep fall into a pit or lose sight of their flock, they look down. The curved end of the crook is used to pull the sheep’s head back up and guide it in the way it should go.
- The rod is used to guide sheep who wandered off from the flock. It can also be used defensively to keep the sheep safe from predators.
So read it again and think about your own children:
Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
I circled many and noticed some patterns of “groupings”-like heart, wealth, laziness…etc. were bunched in themes. But if I have to pick just ONE to write on my mirror today, it would be 13:20:
Walk with the wise and become wise,
for a companion of fools suffers harm.
As we begin we will see that a proverb is written in a short concise statement called a “maxim” that has a proven truth to it, a general rule, or a principle. From chapter 10-22 we will read 375 maxims. A shortlist compared to the 3,000 Solomon actually wrote according to 1 Kings 4:32.(Chapter 22-32 are sayings from the wise)
Most of the proverbs in this section are one verse long and contain two lines each. The second line contrasts, compares, or completes the idea expressed in the first line. Sometimes the second line contrasts the first, and other times it merely just explains it. I was studying today with someone and I explained it as a “Wisdom” bumper sticker.
So if you choose, to I would LOVE for you to pick ONE from each chapter (3 total) that spoke to you in some way, and comment on them.
Today is the last day of the introduction. God dedicated 9 chapters to explaining and describing Wisdom. What it (she) is, how to obtain it, the benefits of wisdom as well as the warnings of not seeking wisdom. After today’s read the ball is in your court. These last 3 chapters are intense. There are 2 women- one leads you down a well lit straight path that leads to an abundant life. The other leads you down a crooked path in the dark.
In chapter 7 Solomon ‘s words describe the other woman as crafty, defiant, and with persuasive words. The world today could not have been portrayed more perfectly than Chapter 7. The chapter is concluded with a “Listen to me”. I know when I say that, all eyes better be facing me!
Now then, my sons, listen to me;
pay attention to what I say.
Do not let your heart turn to her ways
or stray into her paths.
Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.
Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death.
After reading that, I was saddened as I was reminded of Matthew 7:
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Chapter 8 answers the questions “Does God WANT you to have Wisdom”- YES. Verse one says:
8 Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[c]
6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.
Wisdom is not a whisper! She is right here calling out from the Bible. You have been reading for 157 days (some crammed together as make-up days). Let me ask you WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU DONE IN YOUR LIFE FOR 157 Days?? If you worked out for 157 you would be stronger. If you dieted for 157 days there would be a change. If you cleaned your house for 157 it would look different. So, I ask you…. has 157 days in the Word made a difference in you!! I am going to answer for you: YES because you wouldn’t have still been reading.
Chapter 8 Verse 17:
I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
and making their treasuries full.
Finally chapter 9: A reminder that Wisdom is calling out, but the woman of folly is loud and undisciplined. As we start tomorrow reading the actual proverbs, take a deep breath and remember that these are to be applied, not just read. They will be loud (but the other woman telling you not to apply them will be loud too. YOU CHOOSE. Dark/Light Straight/Narrow.
How do we start: By being in AWE of GOD! Chapter 9:10:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For through wisdom your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
Proverbs 4 is a “speech” from a father to sons. As a teacher, I know that men/boys are more visual learners so this text is written so that the learner could picture Lady Wisdom and the blessings of holding on to her. “watch over you”, “protect you”, “give you a garland and a glorious crown”. However, the strongest imagery is the two paths.
Yesterday Solomon compared light verse dark. In 2020, we do not relate to that like people in Solomon’s time. Even if we are driving down an unlit county road we have headlights on our cars. If we are walking the dog on a New Moon night, we have our cellphone screen to see our feet. Solomon’s sons would understand the darkness. Now compound darkness with a crooked path.
Imagine sending your child into the night to find their way safely? Do you want them on a well lit-straight path? Or a dark crooked path? We know that on either path life will happen, trouble will be before us. But Wisdom selects our path. What’s the solution: Verse 7
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
How do we get wisdom? Proverbs 2:4 says:
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
Where do we begin? Proverbs 1:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
This just might be my new favorite chapter in the Bible. (I laugh because I say that in my head several times a week).
Take a minute (it is worth it). Think of the straight path and the crooked path. Can you picture them? Now click here and read the Proverb again.
Chapter 5 – talks about sexual immorality. Even though Wisdom is from God, it may come through a long experience of “not holding on to that Wisdom”. Solomon of all people would understand the seduction of another woman, it was his Achille’s heel after all. Chapter 5 is a Proverb of warning, not from a hypocrite, but from someone who experienced it.
We all have a “past” in something. If we repent from the past, and truly have God’s words in your heart, are walking on a straight path, God can give you wisdom.
Chapter 6-The title in my Bible says: Warning against Folly. Folly is foolish.
Verses 1-5 Solomon writes about being responsible with our resources. Taking on other’s debts-generosity verse good stewardship. I like to say “enabling others”. We think about the downside of enabling others, without GOd’s view of how that foolishness is an unwise decision in our own life.
Verses 6-11 talks about the Sluggard (Sounds like a word Willy Wonka would use). A sluggard is a lazy person. “I don’t have time for that” is a phrase I hear (or use myself). Just because we are busy doesn’t mean we aren’t a sluggard. What are we busy with? What are we lazy with? I don’t mind being transparent: Am I busy on things that are not important to God? Am I a sluggard towards things that are important to God?
Verses 12-15 – One verse stood out for me more than the rest:
who plots evil with deceit in his heart—
he always stirs up conflict.
In my head, I read it as a “pot stirrer”. As much as I would like to point the finger at others, or people’s posts on Facebook, or watching the news, politicians, or riots at protest (George Floyd), I have to self reflect. God is talking to each of us about (verse 12)-a corrupt mouth-pot stirring. Self-reflect if you are really seeking Wisdom.
Verses 16-19- other practices of foolishness- attitude, thoughts, speech, actions, and influence.
There are 6 things the Lord hates and 1 is detestable. STOP everything and meditate on these for the day. If the Lord hates it we need to pray that we will hate it too.
Notice the sequence analyzes our bodies from the head down to our toes in the first 5, then the last 2 are the actions:
16 There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
- Haughty Eyes (arrogance and pride)
- Lying Tongue
- Hands that shed innocent blood
- A heart that devises wicked schemes (does not say they are carried out…ever think of them though)
- Feet that are quick to rush into evil
- A false witness who pours out lies (Gossip)
- A man who stirs up dissension among brothers (pot stirrer)
If Wisdom is the woman God gives you to hold onto, the wayward woman would be the woman the world tells you to hold on to.
25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyes.
The world will do that, so go back to Proverbs 4:4
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.