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

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting January 18th on Proverbs 18:1-4

January 18;  Proverbs 18, 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 18

1 An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
   and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.
 2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding
   but delight in airing their own opinions.
 3 When wickedness comes, so does contempt,
   and with shame comes reproach.
 4 The words of the mouth are deep waters,
   but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.

1) Friends share and give and sacrifice; all for the sake of another.  There is no 'survival of the fittest' benefit to such kindness.  In fact, Jesus said that

  "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." (John 15:13) 
The 'unfriend' goes so far from protecting himself, according to verse 1, that he would even prefer to start a fight than to gain the benefits of friendship!  Something is seriously wrong with us if we have fallen to such depths.

2) "Yeah, yeah, yeah," some continually interrupt.  Rather than listen to the whole explanation or instruction they have to let it be known that they 'get it'.    Ouch!  I just did this to my wife yesterday!  I had to stop her as she was telling me how she wanted the potatoes done, with my "I get it" proclamation.  Like I said, "Ouch!"  Sorry honey!

3) We generally justify some contempt for the wicked (I mean, don't we all get to hate Hitler?), but I think this verse refers to the idea that the wicked have contempt for the non-wicked.  I saw a show recently about a famous counterfeiter.  He produced very good fake 100 dollar bills and his family took them to the big name department stores to buy cheap items and collect the real change.  To the camera, his sister justified the loss to the store through her contempt for big business.

4) Many people talk too much (maybe I type too much).  If you listen too hard, and fall in, you may find the waters are way over your head, and drown.  Wisdom is made of the little bit that rises to the top and overflows into a refreshing and life spreading stream.  Little said; much better.  "Take that Solomon!  I shortened your long winded proverb even more!  What?  What do you mean "see verse 2 again".

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