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

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting January 24th on Proverbs 24:1-4

January 24;  Proverbs 24  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 24    

Saying 20
1 Do not envy the wicked,
   do not desire their company;

1) The wicked seem to have it all.  All of those things which are generally considered 'bad', and...good.  We all know that wild parties with crazy drinking and free sex are....bad...but good?  We probably agree that gathering an unlimited amount of cash and spending it freely on oneself is...good...but bad.  Hurting strangers in a myriad of ways if that's what it takes to add to your own freedom and prosperity is of course very badngood.  As the ones living the boring, struggling, considerate lives that most of us live we look over the fence and think about joining in; they look so happy and free that it really must be good.  But our hearts tell us it's bad, and this time, we know our hearts are right.  There truly is a right way and a wrong way to enjoy the pleasures of life.  When the temptation to envy the lifestyle of the wicked arises, ask yourself what advice you would give your teenagers.  

We tell our kids to pick their friends wisely, because we know instinctively that, where the wicked are concerned, our sons and daughters should not even "desire their company" (and neither should we let ourselves be so polluted).

2 for their hearts plot violence,
   and their lips talk about making trouble.

2) Have you ever been around when "violence was plotted"?  Or when wicked lips were talking "about making trouble"?  God, through Solomon, warns us to steer clear so that we don't even hear such talk.  And our laws tell us why: Even knowing about a plot and not acting to stop it, makes one a guilty accessory.  But beyond that trouble, the temptation to enjoy the plotting; to join in with the violence; to give yourself over to the wickedness, is real, and grave.

Saying 21
3 By wisdom a house is built,
   and through understanding it is established;

3) This is something I actually know about!  I've been a carpenter for 27 years now, and I know that it takes a lot of real life know-how to build a house correctly.  And I have done enough remodeling to testify to the fact that a building done without "understanding" is never really "established".  It has to be torn apart and redone.

4 through knowledge its rooms are filled
   with rare and beautiful treasures.
I will now concede that Solomon is talking about much more than the framework and finish of a house.  He is certainly alluding to the proper construction of a life.  What do we have for keeps, after a tornado takes the brick and mortar world away, as it did today in Alabama, if we have not used wisdom, understanding, and a strong collection of vital knowledge to construct a life that will endure the storms?  Jesus said "I am the way, and the truth, and the life." (John 14:6) What a claim!  And what a promise!

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