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

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting March 11th on Proverbs 11:6-10

March 11th?     Read Proverbs 11!

[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 11:6-10, are in red
                                          (and my questionable comments are in blue).

Proverbs 11

1 The LORD detests dishonest scales,
but accurate weights find favor with him.

2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

3 The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

4 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.

5 The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.

6 The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.

6) I'm thinking about roots.  What are the roots of righteousness, and the roots of evil desires?  Since we are all born with the tendency to sin (actually, being enslaved by sin) the beginnings of righteousness only show up in  our guilty conscience.  They stand up and condemn us, as a matter of fact.  Did you know that is the reason God first gave the 10 commandments to Israel?  They serve basically to show us we can not keep the law, a realization that should then lead us to call on God for the forgiveness we absolutely need.  Then, through faith in His provided Savior, Jesus Christ, we can actually be clothed in righteousness.

The root of evil desires is more readily understood by most of us.  Nobody ever taught their children to disobey, or to lie, or to be selfish.  It's all right there.  And the older we get (speaking for myself) the more evident are the many traps that our evil desires lead us to so inexorably.

7 Hopes placed in mortals die with them;
all the promise of[a] their power comes to nothing.

7) Even your most trusted human friend and confidante will fail, if you are expecting him or her to support you forever.  They are certainly part of your life due to the grace of God.  He provides everything we enjoy.  But He ultimately wants us to lean on His everlasting arms.

8 The righteous person is rescued from trouble,
and it falls on the wicked instead.

8) A proverb is a rule of thumb.  Not a law of the universe.  We all know cases where the good guy gets creamed while the creeps get the goods.  We do love the movies where the bad guy is apparently about to get away with murder, but some smart detective's insight, or hero's brave deed, or a fortunate twist of fate intervenes in the last 5 minutes and all ends well!  In real life; not so much.  In real life, Jesus told us that God "....causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."  Mathew 5:45

God doesn't bother differentiating between the good and evil.  The benefits and pains of both the sun and of the rain fall randomly from the sky.  The differences among us are revealed by how we react to our circumstances.  The person who accepts a bad situation with grace and patience (God's gifts) will indeed be rescued from the suffering of a particular trouble, while another person will clamor and complain through the same trial and thus bear a load of anxiety and despair as if it fell on his shoulders.

In the end (the VERY end) all of those found righteous through Christ (all repentant sinners) will be rescued from the very definition of "trouble", hell itself, while its torments will fall indeed on the wicked (those who think they will go to God's house having denied His dress code (the white robes of Christ's righteousness).

9 With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors,
but through knowledge the righteous escape.

9) Lies verses truth.  Gossip and slander are cruel weapons, but the knowledge of the truth will save.

10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

10) Who isn't happy for their good friends?  Only the wicked, who would actually LIKE to see disaster fall on good citizens.  But again with the movies; we become so involved with a well played character that we do almost shout for joy when the villain loses the combat and falls off a cliff or, gloating triumphantly with his evil laugh, suddenly gets eaten by the alien.  

11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.

12 Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense,
but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.

13 A gossip betrays a confidence,
but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

14 For lack of guidance a nation falls,
but victory is won through many advisers.

15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer,
but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.

16 A kindhearted woman gains honor,
but ruthless men gain only wealth.

17 Those who are kind benefit themselves,
but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

19 Truly the righteous attain life,
but whoever pursues evil finds death.

20 The LORD detests those whose hearts are perverse,
but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.

21 Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished,
but those who are righteous will go free.

22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.

24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

25 A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

26 People curse the one who hoards grain,
but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.

27 Whoever seeks good finds favor,
but evil comes to one who searches for it.

28 Those who trust in their riches will fall,
but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind,
and the fool will be servant to the wise.

30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and the one who is wise saves lives.

31 If the righteous receive their due on earth,
how much more the ungodly and the sinner!
Proverbs 11:7 Two Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate, Syriac and Targum When the wicked die, their hope perishes; / all they expected from

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