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

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting January 21st on Proverbs 21:1-5

January 21;  Proverbs 21  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 21

1 In the LORD's hand the king's heart is a stream of water
   that he channels toward all who please him. 

1) [Yes, this is a new format.  What do you think?]
The king's heart is in the LORD's hand?  Does that mean that the Lord is responsible for everything the king does?  Like a robot's maneuverings follow the will of a controller?  I don't think so.  There is too much sin evidenced by many kings, including many corrupt kings of the ancient divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah.  But, when a King (or any leader, at any level) chooses to exercise his authority as our good God would (when he submits, and essentially PUTS his heart in God's hand), then God uses His given freedom to direct that king's work in a way that is a blessing to the many non-kings who would also submit to God's authority.

If I'm getting too tired to drive, and I relinquish the driver's seat to my wife (I put my whole life in her hands instead of maintaining my own claim), she will channel that car to a good end for both of us.  If I refuse to admit my weakness, and cling to control, we, along with any strangers in the way, will suffer badly.
2  A person may think their own ways are right, 
   but the LORD weighs the heart.

2) We should be more open to the idea that we may be all wet.  There is nothing to fear from God's judgement, until we stubbornly hold that our own judgement is better.  Declaring "I am King of the World!" is only cool if it's true.  (It's not)

3 To do what is right and just
   is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

3) The prophet Samuel had to tell Saul that "to obey is better than sacrifice."  Yes, the sacrificing of animals was an important thing.  For one, it brought home to the folks, just how horrible and gross and ugly and deadening sin is.  But it did not create the positive relationship between God and man that obedience can produce.  And it is a relationship, a personal relationship, that God wants with you.

4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart-
   the unplowed field of the wicked-produce sin.

4) Wow!  How poetically powerful is this verse?  This is another reference to the evil work of pride in our lives.  What corruption grows freely when we are not properly 'taken down a notch'?  Being humbled, and even sometimes humiliated, is better therapy than the building of a rickety and pretentious high self-esteem.

5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit
   as surely as haste leads to poverty.

5) Get rich QUICK scheme anybody?  If only Ralph Kramden and Fred Flintstone had learned this verse!  The writer's of those two TV shows could always get a hit by showing Ralph or Fred jumping into one "can't miss" idea or another!  We loved to laugh at their clear-cut foolishness.  And poor Solomon was never listed in the credits!

PLEASE let me know what you think of the format!

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