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

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting January 13th on Proverbs 13:1-3

January 13;  Proverbs 13, Verses 1-3

[Please note: The first two paragraphs below are repeated each day for new readers.  My amateur comments start 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.  My simple mind balks at the idea of trying this pattern in any month with less than 31 days  (It just does, all right?), but there are 7 months every year that are suitable for the effort.

My idea here is to reprint about 1/7 of the verses of each day's chapter throughout this year, every time a 31 day month pops up, and 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, so that by the time December comes around 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 be wiser than The Barking Owl at least, though no one will ever match the wisdom of Solomon!

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

Proverbs 13
1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,
   but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.
 2 From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things,
   but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.
 3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
   but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

1) Why the continual emphasis on sons heeding their father's instructions?  Perhaps because there is no more foundational and vital transmission of ideas than this one where important truths are communicated.  Yes there are colleges and schools of all sorts that children attend, but mere academia passes information to groups, and for a recompense.  Fathers pay a price for being the heavy to their sons, but still attempt to transmit what really matters in the particular lives of the ones they love.  In the end, it is always up to the student to receive what is offered.  He will either heed, or mock.

2) Good, enjoyable things are enjoyed by those who speak to others with kindness.  Not posers and brown-nosers; people always see through them.  But the truly kindhearted have a myriad of friends wherever they go.  Their opposite, according to verse 2?  The violent!  That is an interesting take.  This is an insight that only Solomon might come up with.  It suggests (to me at least) that one who is not giving out with encouraging words is harboring a mean streak inside.  Something to think about.

3) On the other hand, speaking too freely, or frequently, or fervently is not such a good idea either.  James tells us in 1:9, "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..."  So.  All we have to do is speak with the perfect balance.  "Lord, HELP!"

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