The 'BARKING OWL' always has something to say, and like the feathered version, can be either WISE...............or ANNOYING!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting January 28th on Proverbs 28:1-4

January 28;  Proverbs 28  Verses 1-4

[Please note: The first two paragraphs below are repeated each day for new readers.  My amateur comments are offered below the verses from Proverbs.]

Christians looking for a simple way to review the Bible regularly, have long been convenienced by the fact that the book of Proverbs has 31 chapters, the same number as most of our months.  Each chapter includes multiple bite-sized verses (uhm, proverbs) and can be read through simply in one sitting, one appropriately numbered chapter per day through the month.  A person might read through the Proverbs a chapter a day during any month, but why mess with your head (reading an extra chapter on one, two, or three days!) like that when there are 7 months every year perfectly suited for the endeavor?

My idea here is to reprint about 1/7 of the verses from each day's chapter throughout this year, every time a 31 day month pops up, and then offer a few comments from The Barking Owl.  So in January, we will get through the first few verses of every chapter and then in March, the next group, and so on, until December comes around and we can finally get to the last set of verses in each chapter and complete the book's reading.  If you are smarter than I am (is there any doubt?), you will read the whole chapter every day, every 31 day month, and then you will have read the whole book 7 times this year!  By then you are guaranteed to at least be wiser than The Barking Owl , though no one will ever match the wisdom of Solomon!

[All Bible passages are from the NIV, and are copied from]

Proverbs 28

1 The wicked flee though no one pursues,
  but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

1) I guess I have been on both sides of this fence.  I remember that  feeling of pursued guilt.  The one that makes you so jumpy because surely somebody is just about to call you out.  It was really God (I almost typed "only God") speaking to, or perhaps only threatening, my guilty conscience with His high standard.

I also remember standing with a very angry foreman in my face.  His judgement was off base, but even as his anger rose and he began to refer to my "church going" as an epithet, and I thought "this guy is going to HIT me!", I was able to stand my ground and give him the soft answer treatment we heard about back on the 15th.

2 When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
   but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.

2) What an interesting take on rebellion.  I guess, now that I think about it, that bad ideas and motivations multiply.  A bunch of rebellious people seldom carefully choose a leader.  They each want to take control of the mob and it ends up going off in 10 directions at once and ultimately falls apart.  Anarchy is its own self-defeating cure.

3 A ruler who oppresses the poor
   is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.

3) Jesus said: He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  Mathew 5:45

I've always enjoyed this truth.  Sun and rain come to everyone in time.  And, sun and rain both are seen as a blessing and a curse.  It all depends.  Folks all over pray for rain when it is lacking, but mourn the devastation of a flooding downpour.  Here, in verse 3 of Proverbs 28, it's the ruin of rain that compares with a poor oppressing ruler.

4 Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked,
  but those who heed it resist them.

4) I have been shocked sometimes by the enthusiastic support given to some people.  Usually it is granted freely to obvious "fools" (to use Solomon's freedom), without thinking.  But given just a little bit of "instruction", the would-be followers say "Oh", and turn away.   Certain reps in Wisconsin were so excited to meet Ian Murphy, and pose for pictures with him because he fooled their political enemy.  Then they were "instructed" on Murphy's earlier famous writings: revealed here.

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