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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting March 21st on Proverbs 21:6-10

                                                     March 21th?     Read Proverbs 21!

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

Proverbs 21

1 In the LORD’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
that he channels toward all who please him.

2 A person may think their own ways are right,
but the LORD weighs the heart.

3 To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.

5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.

6 A fortune made by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.[a]

6) What is more fleeting than a vapor?  And what do we typically consider more stable and reliable than a fortune?  I guess any fortune (I wouldn't really KNOW) might be fleeting, but we are told here that an ill-gotten fortune is vaporous and deadly!  Maybe if Solomon was up to date on his WMD he might have simply said that such a fortune is a cloud of nerve gas.

7 The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
for they refuse to do what is right.

7) Funny how that works.  It is actually better to be abused than to abuse; better to be robbed than to steal; better to be murdered, than to be a murderer.  I found the verse that reveals this truth: 

1 Peter 3:17 says:  "For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil."

Receiving the punishment one deserves is right and proper, so the suffering is not only painful but justified by the true guilt.  Being hurt for being good, or for doing good, transfers the burden of guilt to the perpetrator where it belongs, so all that is left is mere physical agony.  God says that He will be sure the right people will ultimately end up with the right consequences.

8 The way of the guilty is devious,
but the conduct of the innocent is upright.

8) No matter what the guilty are guilty of, deception under-girds it all.

9 Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

9) A man in this situation does not need this parable (though he might gain from knowing his lot is not unique).  He loves his wife, and so he will not go further than the roof, but it would be good for all if such a wife would heed this warning.

10 The wicked crave evil;
their neighbors get no mercy from them.

10) As a community we band together and choose a group to police our ranks.  The police are us, and will do what we want them to do.  We must have them control (arrest) those of us who give no mercy; who crave evil.  

11 When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;
by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge.

12 The Righteous One[b] takes note of the house of the wicked
and brings the wicked to ruin.

13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor
will also cry out and not be answered.

14 A gift given in secret soothes anger,
and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.

15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.

16 Whoever strays from the path of prudence
comes to rest in the company of the dead.

17 Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;
whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.

18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,
and the unfaithful for the upright.

19 Better to live in a desert
than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.

20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
but fools gulp theirs down.

21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity[c] and honor.

22 One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty
and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.

23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
keep themselves from calamity.

24 The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name—
behaves with insolent fury.

25 The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,
because his hands refuse to work.
26 All day long he craves for more,
but the righteous give without sparing.

27 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—
how much more so when brought with evil intent!

28 A false witness will perish,
but a careful listener will testify successfully.

29 The wicked put up a bold front,
but the upright give thought to their ways.

30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the LORD.

31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the LORD.
Proverbs 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death
Proverbs 21:12 Or The righteous person
Proverbs 21:21 Or righteousness

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