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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting March 29th on Proverbs 29:5-8

                   March 29th?     Read Proverbs 29!

[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 29

1 Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes
will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
when the wicked rule, the people groan.

3 A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

4 By justice a king gives a country stability,
but those who are greedy for[a] bribes tear it down.

5 Those who flatter their neighbors
are spreading nets for their feet.

5) So using flattery has a purpose.  And specifically, the purpose of gaining something from the flatteree and likely something the flatteree does not necessarily want to part with, but will slide over to the flatterer after enough buttering up.  Watch out for over-the-top compliments.  You probably already know the truth of what flavorable comments you deserve so be careful to dismiss the extra mushy bonus butter.

6 Evildoers are snared by their own sin,
but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.

6) Unexpected opposites are indicated again in this proverb.  If you were asked for the opposite of being 'snared', would you say 'shouting for joy and being glad'?  But these are signs indicative of something very basic being very appreciated: Freedom!  Which is, of course, the very opposite of snaredom.  Many times in scripture sinfulness is likened to being enslaved, and our salvation in Jesus is essentially being freed from that bondage.  As an example:

Romans 6:18
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.  (Ooops. Somebody left out the appropriate exclamation points.  Allow me.) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7 The righteous care about justice for the poor,
but the wicked have no such concern.

7) Solomon is not talking about our modern "social justice":  A utopian vision of equalizing the standard of living of all by using the police power of the state to redistribute wealth.  His idea here (I think) is more about the individual righteous person speaking up when the equal rights of his poor neighbor are being abused.  The wicked would be the ones taking wicked advantage, and using the system, the unjust system, for their own benefit.  

Think of "The Good Samaritan" that Jesus told us about.  The wicked were the armed robbers, and they guys who ignored the beaten man and walked on.  The righteous Samaritan cared about real time justice--food, shelter, medical treatment.  The actual articles needed in the moment by the man whose life was unjustly waylaid on the road.  See Luke 10: 25-37 
8 Mockers stir up a city,
but the wise turn away anger.

8) Who wants to be in an angry city?  Mockers, that's who.  People who can't get their way through reasoned arguments, through polite discussion or even through majority rule AND who lack humility, grace and tolerance finally turn to the mockery device as a last resort.  We call it protest around here and even embrace the very mocking title of "occupy" to "stir up a city".  No the wise turn away anger.  They already paid for all those cars and store windows and capital buildings once and are loathe to do it again.

9 If a wise person goes to court with a fool,
the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.

10 The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity
and seek to kill the upright.

11 Fools give full vent to their rage,
but the wise bring calm in the end.

12 If a ruler listens to lies,
all his officials become wicked.

13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common:
The LORD gives sight to the eyes of both.

14 If a king judges the poor with fairness,
his throne will be established forever.

15 A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom,
but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.

16 When the wicked thrive, so does sin,
but the righteous will see their downfall.

17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace;
they will bring you the delights you desire.

18 Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;
but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.

19 Servants cannot be corrected by mere words;
though they understand, they will not respond.

20 Do you see someone who speaks in haste?
There is more hope for a fool than for them.

21 A servant pampered from youth
will turn out to be insolent.

22 An angry person stirs up conflict,
and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.

23 Pride brings a person low,
but the lowly in spirit gain honor.

24 The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies;
they are put under oath and dare not testify.

25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.

26 Many seek an audience with a ruler,
but it is from the LORD that one gets justice.

27 The righteous detest the dishonest;
the wicked detest the upright.
Proverbs 29:4 Or who give

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to welcome you to the A to Z Challenge and I'm looking forward to your posts next month.


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