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

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting January 7th on Proverbs 7:1-5

January 7;  Proverbs 7, Verses 1-5

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]


1 My son, keep my words 
   and store up my commands within you. 
2 Keep my commands and you will live; 
   guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. 
3 Bind them on your fingers; 
   write them on the tablet of your heart. 
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” 
   and to insight, “You are my relative.” 
5 They will keep you from the adulterous woman, 
   from the wayward woman with her seductive words.

Here again Solomon pleads with his son (perhaps anyone he cares about?) to listen to his instruction.  And to remember.  I like the famous 'apple of your eye' reference in verse 2.  "Guard my teachings as the apple of your eye" means to protect the import of the lesson with the same sensitivity you shield your very pupils from hazard.  Is there ever a time in your day when you would let someone poke a stick in your eye?  Didn't think so.  Do your eyelids ever refuse to shut when the wind is blowing rain or dust into your face?  You probably have to fight the lids just to squint them open enough to take a quick peak so the rest of your body doesn't walk out into heavy traffic.

THAT is a strong picture, representing how we should guard the good instruction we receive from the wise.

Verse 5 then reintroduces the 'adulterous woman', and reminds us that her threat is the danger we need the wisdom to avoid.

The rest of the chapter describes her efforts to seduce a young man while her husband is away. I believe the danger of adultery is equal for both sexes.  Sometimes it's the man in the street who is threatening to tempt the woman because he knows her husband is away. And again; the larger meaning, I think, is that we need wisdom to help us avoid all the sneaky tricks that "the world, the flesh, and the devil" might use to lead us astray from God when we think that He is 'away'.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Mike. Great idea on reading the Proverbs.


I can't wait to see your response so, unless you can leave a pizza, please leave the next best thing; your comment!