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

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting March 13th on Proverbs 13:4-7

                   March 13th?     Read Proverbs 13!

[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, 4-7, are highlighted in red
                                          (and my questionable comments are in blue).

Proverbs 13

1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,
but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.

2 From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things,
but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.

3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

4 A sluggard’s appetite is never filled,
but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

4) A sluggard has plenty of time to sit (or lay) and think about all the things he wants.  Did you ever sit too long with a department store catalog, or even a weekly flyer from the home improvement store?  All of a sudden you find yourself craving things you never even knew you wanted!  My downfall is Menards.  So I decided not to even look at all the cool stuff I could add to my home, or the great tools I've been barely doing without, until I am actually planning a project, and have the cash available to go make the purchase.

The diligent, on the other hand, brings his desires to fruition by, guess what; doing the work!  Then he is satisfied with the job being done, and rewarded in his spirit by the positive feeling of accomplishment.  This is how we are made.
5 The righteous hate what is false,
but the wicked make themselves a stench
and bring shame on themselves.

5) There are so many lies thrown at us every day.  The "father of lies" (Satan) has many deceitful strategies.  I think that one of them is to overwhelm objections to deception by the numbers.  One lie can be resisted simply, by revealing the truth through testimony or evidence.  Three dozen lies at once, and the resistor gets weary and is discouraged as he begins to look like a whiner.

The good news here as that in God's economy, there really is no such thing as the perfect crime.  One slip up exposes the offense and the whole house of cards collapses with a crash of shame.
6 Righteousness guards the person of integrity,
but wickedness overthrows the sinner.

6) Thankfully, this righteousness is a gift from God.  Only Christ is truly righteous, but He shares, or bestows His righteousness on those who trust their lives to Him.  One of the ways it "guards the person of integrity" is by covering him.  God sees the forgiveness through Christ in that robe, instead of the original wickedness that would otherwise see the sinner "overthrown".

7 One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

7) "The Prince and the Pauper" story comes to mind.  The bored young king and the honest pauper somehow find that they are look-a-likes and trade places.  All kinds of mischief ensues as they each discover the intricacies of the other's world.  The proverb today though, I think, is referring to the pride of man.

Sometimes a poorer person is so jealous of, and embarrassed by his well to do neighbors that he tries to put on a show of keeping up.  He has a double mortgage and deals with collection calls all day and night, but he sure looks like he's doing well!

And sometimes the rich plea for sympathy because their stock collapsed and now they are forced to live (gasp!) on a mere $15,000 per month!  While pretending to be so poor, they make themselves miserable because they have to wait until NEXT YEAR to upgrade their yacht.

8 A person’s riches may ransom their life,
but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes.

9 The light of the righteous shines brightly,
but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.

10 Where there is strife, there is pride,
but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

11 Dishonest money dwindles away,
but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

13 Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it,
but whoever respects a command is rewarded.

14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
turning a person from the snares of death.

15 Good judgment wins favor,
but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.[a]

16 All who are prudent act with[b] knowledge,
but fools expose their folly.

17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.

18 Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame,
but whoever heeds correction is honored.

19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but fools detest turning from evil.

20 Walk with the wise and become wise,
for a companion of fools suffers harm.

21 Trouble pursues the sinner,
but the righteous are rewarded with good things.

22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

23 An unplowed field produces food for the poor,
but injustice sweeps it away.

24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.
Proverbs 13:15 Septuagint and Syriac; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
Proverbs 13:16 Or prudent protect themselves through

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