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

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting March 8th on Proverbs 8:6-11

March 8th? Read Proverbs 8!

[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 own 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? That's what I thought.

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." 

Today's inspired verses, Proverbs 8:6-11, are in red

and my questionable comments are in blue.

Proverbs 8

Wisdom’s Call

1 Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[a]
6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right. 

6) Claiming authority for yourself, testifying about yourself like this, seldom works.  Apparently Solomon never read Proverbs 27:2 as you did back on January 27th!  Remember that one?  "Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips."  Well maybe he had some bad feedback from this verse and learned a hard lesson by the time he got around to writing chapter 27.  I get a lot more out of the Bible when I remember that the people involved in the stories and in the writing were real people just like me.  They lived and learned and triumphed and failed and laughed and cried.  The only difference is they never had pizza!

7 My mouth speaks what is true, 
for my lips detest wickedness. 

7) On the other hand (I have at least two.), Solomon's self adulating testimony would not be expected to stand alone, but his words were backed up by the observation and experience of those surrounding him.  If his claims were not true enough the rest of his word and his writings would have been quickly disparaged and dismissed.  Instead, the validity of each proverb has been tested time and again for centuries and stands secure.

8 All the words of my mouth are just;

none of them is crooked or perverse.

8) It should be enough to declare your words are "just".  What higher standard could there be?  But Solomon actually belittles his claim I think, when he compares his level of truthfulness to the cultural norm: the common mode of most men everywhere (and perhaps in every time) when it comes to speech is "crooked and perverse".  We so often say things that are so stupid, and/or so offensive!  And not just in some politically incorrect way that "offends" simply by taking a counter view, but we offend Jesus Christ who said that He actually is THE TRUTH, by making blatantly false assertions that dare to contradict His just words.

9 To the discerning all of them are right; 
they are upright to those who have found knowledge.

9) Drat!  We must be "discerning" to separate truth from fiction?  I knew there was a catch!  But where do we get the discernment?  Jesus, at the last supper, gave this promise:  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  John 14:26

10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,

knowledge rather than choice gold, 

10) VALUE instruction and knowledge as much as you do money!  And men are renowned for reading the instructions after we discover left over parts!  It will be too late after we are dead, or when we see our lives in shambles, to go back and fix it.

Uncut rubies at
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.

11) Proverbs 3:15 repeats this same exclamatory line about wisdom and rubies (as we will see on May 8th).  Psalms 19 and 119 respectively say that God's decrees and His law are better than "much pure gold" and "thousands of pieces of silver and gold".  Yet we spend our 8-10 hours per day chasing minor amounts of crunchy green paper.  Lord, help me to get my priorities straight.

I can't wait till we get to August 8th and October 8th.  The verses we cover then (22-31) regarding wisdom's role in the creation of earth's foundations and the "fountains of the deep" which we know get broken up in Genesis 7 to start the flood, are very interesting to this geologist!  But you don't have to wait.  I hope you read the rest of today's chapter below!

12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign
and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern,
and nobles—all who rule on earth.[b]
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
and making their treasuries full.

22 “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,[c][d]
before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields
or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30 Then I was constantly[e] at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.

32 “Now then, my children, listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the LORD.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
all who hate me love death.”
Proverbs 8:5 Septuagint; Hebrew foolish, instruct your minds
Proverbs 8:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; other Hebrew manuscripts all righteous rulers
Proverbs 8:22 Or way; or dominion
Proverbs 8:22 Or The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work; or The LORD brought me forth at the beginning of his work
Proverbs 8:30 Or was the artisan; or was a little child

No comments:

Post a Comment

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