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

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting March 1st on Proverbs 1:5-7

March 1st?  Read Proverbs 1

[Please note: The first two paragraphs below are repeated each day for new readers.  My amateur comments are offered below each of today's verses from Proverbs.]

Have you ever noticed that, like most months have 31 days, the Book of Proverbs has 31 chapters?  Fascinating right?  Well, it is at least interesting, and coincidentally beneficial to those who would like to read a portion of thought provoking scripture every day of the month.  You might like to read the calendar coordinated chapter from Proverbs every day this month (I've included the whole chapter below!), and then see if my comments on a few of those verses line up with your observations.  My plan is to go through the year, writing my response to about one seventh of each chapter's verses every day, during each of the 7 months that have 31 days.  Clear as mud?

I hope you check in, and leave a comment.  Especially if I say something really off base and need to be corrected, because, as we will learn this month on the 27th, Proverbs 27:5 says
                           "Better is open rebuke than hidden love."  

Proverbs 1:5-7

5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
   and let the discerning get guidance--

5)  So we are back in the introductory chapter one, where Solomon is making his case for writing this collection of wisdom.  Here he is simply recommending learning and guidance.  By definition, only a fool would deny the benefits of this objective.  Life is full of dark avenues and bothersome obstacles, and it is only through wisdom and discernment that they can be avoided.

6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
   the sayings and riddles of the wise.

6)  What good is it to have "the wise" around at all, if nobody can understand a thing they say?  So how do we begin to get it?

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
   but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The first launch from Cape Canaveral
7) And here is the kicker!  Yes, it is good to listen and learn and discern and get good guidance; to understand tricky proverbs, clever parables, and even sneaky riddles.  But all of that without "the fear of the Lord" just makes for a well informed fool!  God must be at the center of every worthwhile effort.  Rocket scientists (yes, they are really out there (pardon the pun)), long before they calculate their machine's power, and friction's drag, its fuel formulas and its planned trajectory and cargo capacity, they had better put first things first.  If I might rephrase verse 7 and hang it over their laboratory door, it might read like this:  The fear of GRAVITY is the beginning of rocket science, but fools despise its nature and effects.

Only with God and His Word as our foundation, only looking to Him always, can we ever find true satisfaction and peace.

[All Bible passages are from the NIV, and today's chapter is copied here from for your convenience.]

Proverbs 1

Purpose and Theme
 1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
 2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
   for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
   doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,[a]
   knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
   and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
   the sayings and riddles of the wise.[b]
 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
   but fools[c] despise wisdom and instruction.
Prologue: Exhortations to Embrace Wisdom
Warning Against the Invitation of Sinful Men
 8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction 
   and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 
9 They are a garland to grace your head 
   and a chain to adorn your neck.
 10 My son, if sinful men entice you,
   do not give in to them.
11 If they say, “Come along with us;
   let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,
   let’s ambush some harmless soul;
12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
   and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we will get all sorts of valuable things
   and fill our houses with plunder;
14 cast lots with us;
   we will all share the loot”—
15 my son, do not go along with them,
   do not set foot on their paths;
16 for their feet rush into evil,
   they are swift to shed blood.
17 How useless to spread a net
   where every bird can see it!
18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
   they ambush only themselves!
19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
   it takes away the life of those who get it.
Wisdom’s Rebuke
 20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, 
   she raises her voice in the public square; 
21 on top of the wall[d] she cries out, 
   at the city gate she makes her speech:
 22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
   How long will mockers delight in mockery
   and fools hate knowledge?
23 Repent at my rebuke!
   Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
   I will make known to you my teachings.
24 But since you refuse to listen when I call
   and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
25 since you disregard all my advice
   and do not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
   I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
   when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
   when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
 28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
   they will look for me but will not find me,
29 since they hated knowledge
   and did not choose to fear the LORD.
30 Since they would not accept my advice
   and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
   and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
   and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
   and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

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