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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting March 28th on Proverbs 28:5-8

                    March 28th?     Read Proverbs 28!

[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, 5-8, are highlighted in red
                                                (and my questionable comments are in blue).

Proverbs 28

1 The wicked flee though no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

2 When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.

3 A ruler[a] who oppresses the poor
is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.

4 Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked,
but those who heed it resist them.

5 Evildoers do not understand what is right,
but those who seek the LORD understand it fully.

5) Interesting that they do not even 'understand' what is right, although, if this makes any sense, I think they understand that what they do IS evil.  It all starts with what one does or does not SEEK.  Other than the Lord, most people seek themselves.  Not in a navel-centered ethereal quest kind of way, but in a purely self-centered, self-ish, self-aggrandizing, self-deluding disastrous form.

The second half of this proverb is very striking!  It does not read like your basic proverbial rule of thumb.  This is an assertive statement making a bold claim with no quivery qualifiers included.  And the promise!
Simply seek the LORD, and your understanding of what is right WILL be fully vested.
6 Better the poor whose walk is blameless
than the rich whose ways are perverse.

6) Notice that this does say all the poor are blameless, and all the rich are perverse; but that it is better to be a blameless poor person than a perverse rich guy

7 A discerning son heeds instruction,
but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.

7) 'Companion of gluttons' seems to be a general enough phrase to include all kinds of fools, any one of which would be full of father disgracing members.
8 Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor
amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.

8) This too seems like quite the promise.  "Hang in there poor, I (God) will make sure that whatever you do have will not long be kept from you.

9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction,
even their prayers are detestable.

10 Whoever leads the upright along an evil path
will fall into their own trap,
but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.

11 The rich are wise in their own eyes;
one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are.

12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation;
but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.

13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God,
but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.

15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a helpless people.

16 A tyrannical ruler practices extortion,
but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign.

17 Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder
will seek refuge in the grave;
let no one hold them back.

18 The one whose walk is blameless is kept safe,
but the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit.[b]

19 Those who work their land will have abundant food,
but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.

20 A faithful person will be richly blessed,
but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.

21 To show partiality is not good—
yet a person will do wrong for a piece of bread.

22 The stingy are eager to get rich
and are unaware that poverty awaits them.

23 Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor
rather than one who has a flattering tongue.

24 Whoever robs their father or mother
and says, “It’s not wrong,”
is partner to one who destroys.

25 The greedy stir up conflict,
but those who trust in the LORD will prosper.

26 Those who trust in themselves are fools,
but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.

27 Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,
but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.

28 When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding;
but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.
Proverbs 28:3 Or A poor person
Proverbs 28:18 Syriac (see Septuagint); Hebrew into one

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