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

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting January 20th on Proverbs 20:1-5

January 20;  Proverbs 20  Verses 1-5

[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 20

1 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler;
   whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
 2 A king’s wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion;
   those who anger him forfeit their lives.
 3 It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,
   but every fool is quick to quarrel.
 4 Sluggards do not plow in season;
   so at harvest time they look but find nothing.
 5 The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
   but one who has insight draws them out.

1) Remember the old add campaign?  "Riunite on ice!  That's nice!"  No?  So either you have a failed memory, or you are pitifully young!  Anyway, when I was a freshman in college in 1977, Wisconsinites could buy alcohol at age 18, so I did.  I fell for this stupid ad and I brought a bottle of wine back to my private dorm room.  Of course I found some ice, and I made a little habit of drinking wine by myself in my room. ( I had always hated the taste of beer, and only drank half a can when I thought I should be drinking with my seminarian classmates during summer get-togethers.   I wonder if Solomon will get around to saying:  Peer pressure is a bastard.)

Anyway, it wasn't very many bottles before I realized that drinking wine changed me (duh!).  That I became something I wasn't without it.  That I was giving my spirit over, and letting its spirit move me instead.  I never got falling down drunk, and nobody ever even noticed what I was doing, but I knew that this wine was not so nice.  That it was mocking me.  I quit.  I thank God today, that He kept me from being led too far astray by the mocking wine, or the brawling beer.

2) We know we should 'fear' the rogue IRS agent, or the uncontrolled social welfare worker, or the poorly vetted cop in the middle of the night.  A person with more power than they can decently manage is a scary thing.  Like a terrible King, or a violent dictator.  But God we should fear, because He is right, and does right.

pic from

3) Ever been tempted to fight?  Think of Marty McFly being called "chicken".  In the end he made the 'honorable' decision and did not enter into the road race that nearly killed Needles, the obvious fool.  Not every fight can be avoided.  When an enemy is pouring over the border, or a fool is invading your home, it must be taken up with vigor until won. 

4) There is a time to work, and a time to play.  Work when the time is right, or there will be no play.

5) Remember Proverbs 18:4?  It was just two days ago!  Anyway, we were told there that "the words of the mouth are deep waters", and they were contrasted with the fountain of wisdom.  Here, another good thing is hidden in the larger volume, and waits to be distilled.  This is encouraging.  You may know someone, or be someone, who speaks too much, or withholds too much.  In either case there may be some refreshing drinks of wisdom, or the promise of great works, that need to be separated and nourished.  

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