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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting March 22nd on Proverbs 22:6-10

                                        March 22nd?     Read Proverbs 22!

[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, as most months have 31 days, so 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 22

1 A good name is more desirable than great riches;

to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

2 Rich and poor have this in common:

The LORD is the Maker of them all.

3 The prudent see danger and take refuge,

but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

4 Humility is the fear of the LORD;

its wages are riches and honor and life.

5 In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls,

but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.

6 Start children off on the way they should go,

and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

6) This proverb is multifaceted.  It stands first as a statement of truth.  Not quite a law of physics, but pretty close to immutable.  (Proverbs are typically thought of as general truisms, like a rule of thumb)  Secondly, this is a wonderful promise to parents, that they can determine so much of how their children 'turn out'.  But thirdly, this proverb's corollary is a dire warning to parents who might either neglect the important opportunity they have to impose training, or even deliberately or carelessly teach their children the way they should NOT go (generally by poor example). 

7 The rich rule over the poor,

and the borrower is slave to the lender.

7) Ah yes.  Every loan taken promises away a portion of your life.  Plus interest.

8 Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity,

and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.

8) Thank you Lord, for this reassurance.  There really is no victory in evil is there?  God, ultimately, will mete out true justice, and not a word of protest will be uttered.

9 The generous will themselves be blessed,

for they share their food with the poor.

9)  Interesting how the explanation for the blessing is simply a defining of the blessed!  

"So how will the generous be blessed?"

"They share their food with the poor."

"Yeah but what do they get for doing that?"

"They get blessed."

"Yeah, the poor get blessed by all that food, but what kind of blessing will the generous get?"

"Oh.  You want to know what kind of blessing the generous, who share their food with the poor, receive, right?"


"OK, I get it now:  Let's see, how can I say this?  I know.  They get to share their food with the poor!"


10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;

quarrels and insults are ended.

10) We don't do too much "driving out" these days.  We are so into being tolerant that we end up being expert at enduring.  But have you ever felt that great relief when that certain someone FINALLY leaves the room, or has to go home?  Polite people then move on, without trashing the departed mocker, and relax in the relative peace of each other's kindhearted company

11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace

will have the king for a friend.

12 The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge,

but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.

13 The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside!

I’ll be killed in the public square!”

14 The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit;

a man who is under the LORD’s wrath falls into it.

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,

but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

16 One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth

and one who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.
Thirty Sayings of the Wise

Saying 1

17 Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;

apply your heart to what I teach,

18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart

and have all of them ready on your lips.

19 So that your trust may be in the LORD,

I teach you today, even you.

20 Have I not written thirty sayings for you,

sayings of counsel and knowledge,

21 teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth,

so that you bring back truthful reports

to those you serve?

Saying 2

22 Do not exploit the poor because they are poor

and do not crush the needy in court,

23 for the LORD will take up their case

and will exact life for life.

Saying 3

24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,

do not associate with one easily angered,

25 or you may learn their ways

and get yourself ensnared.

Saying 4

26 Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge

or puts up security for debts;

27 if you lack the means to pay,

your very bed will be snatched from under you.

Saying 5

28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone

set up by your ancestors.

Saying 6

29 Do you see someone skilled in their work?

They will serve before kings;

they will not serve before officials of low rank.

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