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

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting March 15th on Proverbs 15:6-10

               March 15th?     Read Proverbs 15!

[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 its 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 it out every day, and leave a comment once in a while. 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, 6-10, are highlighted in red
                                          (and my questionable comments are in blue).

Proverbs 15

1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,

but a harsh word stirs up anger.

2 The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge,

but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

3 The eyes of the LORD are everywhere,

keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

4 The soothing tongue is a tree of life,

but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

5 A fool spurns a parent’s discipline,

but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.

6 The house of the righteous contains great treasure,

but the income of the wicked brings ruin.

6) What kinds of treasure might the righteous own?  The good stuff!  Some of the goods are listed here in Galatians 5:22,23    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 
I love the parenthetical understatement at the end of this verse!  Perhaps when the 99% realize there are some people that enjoy these riches, and they don't; some envious protectionist laws will be enacted to prohibit the free exercise of true love, real peace and the obviously corrupt concept of "self-control".

And what kind of ruin do the wicked live with?  Besides a guilty conscious and an eternal destiny away from the God they reject (Do not the wicked thus CHOOSE to go to hell?), they endure the opposite traits growing by the Spirit's care through the lifetime of the righteous:  hate, chaos, impatience, meanness, cruelty, infidelity, harshness and autonomy.

7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge,

but the hearts of fools are not upright.

7) There is something about sharing good news that makes having it even better!  When you find a great pizza place, don't you call your best friends and make sure they know where it is, how to get there, what time they're open how much better it is than the old place?  Spreading the wisdom of God's Word is like that.  I wish everyone could enjoy the same benefits I do, in knowing the God who loves us so.

The second half of this proverb doesn't seem to be a classic opposite that most proverbs use to make the point, as in verse 6 above.  Nor is it one that rephrases the theme for emphasis, as in verse 23 below.  It uses the "but" conjunction, but seems to change the subject.  Is it suggesting that someone finding a great restaurant, but not sharing the news, is not acting uprightly?  Something only a fool would do; partly because nobody will ever be eager to share their good finds with him either, perhaps.  What do you think?

8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked,

but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

8) The wicked offering a sacrifice is a matter of hypocrisy.  Not so, the sacrifice of the repentant wicked, which is the only acceptable position for all of us.

9 The LORD detests the way of the wicked,

but he loves those who pursue righteousness.

9) In the same vein, and as a matter of definition, the Lord should detest the ways of the wicked.  Such ways are contrary to His way.  Much as if you teach your daughter to drive according to your ways, but she refuses to be constrained by your vacant traditions and drives her car (or your car) backwards wherever she goes!  You would hate her ways, because she, whom you love, will likely suffer terrible results.

10 Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path;

the one who hates correction will die.

10) Thankfully, we will prefer discipline to death!  We might complain at the "infringement on freedom" imposed by "the path", but it is the path: It, and it alone, will get us where we want to be.  God is not a killjoy, but a good guide we can trust.

11 Death and Destruction[a] lie open before the LORD—

how much more do human hearts!

12 Mockers resent correction,

so they avoid the wise.

13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful,

but heartache crushes the spirit.

14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,

but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched,

but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.

16 Better a little with the fear of the LORD

than great wealth with turmoil.

17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love

than a fattened calf with hatred.

18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,

but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns,

but the path of the upright is a highway.

20 A wise son brings joy to his father,

but a foolish man despises his mother.

21 Folly brings joy to one who has no sense,

but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course.

22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,

but with many advisers they succeed.

23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—

and how good is a timely word!

24 The path of life leads upward for the prudent

to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead.

25 The LORD tears down the house of the proud,

but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.

26 The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked,

but gracious words are pure in his sight.

27 The greedy bring ruin to their households,

but the one who hates bribes will live.

28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,

but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

29 The LORD is far from the wicked,

but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

30 Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart,

and good news gives health to the bones.

31 Whoever heeds life-giving correction

will be at home among the wise.

32 Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,

but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.

33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD,

and humility comes before honor.

Proverbs 15:11 Hebrew Abaddon


    1. Mike, I love the way you explain scripture in terms that everyone could understand. Thank you.


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