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

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting March 25th on Proverbs 25:6-8

                     March 25th?     Read Proverbs 25!

[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, 6-8, are highlighted in red
                                                (and my questionable comments are in blue).

Proverbs 25

More Proverbs of Solomon 

1 These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:

2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.

4 Remove the dross from the silver,
and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
5 remove wicked officials from the king’s presence,
and his throne will be established through righteousness.

6 Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence,
and do not claim a place among his great men; 

6) Perhaps we should get the idea that we should not 'exalt ourselves' in anybody's presence!  But if we try to strut our feathers in front of the wrong person, someone in authority, we are likely to end up highly embarrassed, if only because a king, or a boss, can implement what other's only hope to do to a braggart. 

7 it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,”
than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.

7) I like to think about Jesus growing up as a Jewish boy reading these very proverbs.  And then as a young man, a student of the scriptures, delving deeper and deeper into all the existing Word of God (the Old Testament).  And then during His mere 3 teaching years, Jesus would sometimes rephrase this commonly shared  'media' of the day to reiterate its truths and emphasize what He wanted.  

For Solomon, it came naturally to analyze the goings on in his every day kingly world.  Jesus used a different setting, one more understood by the common folk he dealt with in His blue collar world as a carpenter, to teach the same principal, in Luke 14:7-11.

7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

We have a God who not only wants us to be freed from our burden of sin and be saved for eternity (!), but He cares enough to advise us on how to avoid the just plain awful feeling of being humiliated in public!  And Jesus makes the lesson universally applicable by tacking on the immutable truth in verse 11.

What you have seen with your eyes
8 do not bring[a] hastily to court,
for what will you do in the end
if your neighbor puts you to shame?

[It seems here that someone assigned the verse number in an unnatural place.  Did you know that the chapter and verse designations were never part of the inspired work?  These are simply tools applied to God's work by men for our benefit.]

Can you imagine thinking you saw what you thought you saw that neighbor you despise doing, and calling 911 to get him in trouble and then when you get in the witness stand and you think you're about to put him under for good and it turns out that what you thought you think he did was just the opposite and now you are actually testifying to your own shame?  {Can you imagine making sense of that long question?}  So again we see that haste makes waste.
9 If you take your neighbor to court,
do not betray another’s confidence,
10 or the one who hears it may shame you
and the charge against you will stand.

11 Like apples[b] of gold in settings of silver
is a ruling rightly given.
12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.

13 Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
he refreshes the spirit of his master.
14 Like clouds and wind without rain
is one who boasts of gifts never given.

15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

16 If you find honey, eat just enough—
too much of it, and you will vomit.
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—
too much of you, and they will hate you.

18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.
19 Like a broken tooth or a lame foot
is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.
20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day,
or like vinegar poured on a wound,
is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the LORD will reward you.

23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.

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

25 Like cold water to a weary soul
is good news from a distant land.
26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well
are the righteous who give way to the wicked.

27 It is not good to eat too much honey,
nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.

28 Like a city whose walls are broken through
is a person who lacks self-control.
Proverbs 25:8 Or nobles / on whom you had set your eyes. / Do not go
Proverbs 25:11 Or possibly apricots

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