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

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting March 14th on Proverbs 14:6-10

               March 14th?     Read Proverbs 14!

[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 14

1 The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

2 Whoever fears the LORD walks uprightly,
but those who despise him are devious in their ways.

3 A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,
but the lips of the wise protect them.

4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.

5 An honest witness does not deceive,
but a false witness pours out lies.

6 The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,
but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.

6) Uh-oh.  I don't know if I was really a mocker per se, but when I was in high school earth science class, the teacher did one day, happen to say "Miller, if you ain't the class ass, I don't know who is!"  That was terrible!  A priest, using such language in the middle of his lecture, AND audaciously interrupting my sound effects too!  OK, so I wasn't very discerning.  There may be a good time for such shenanigans, but goofing off in class makes the knowledge come a little harder than it needs to.

7 Stay away from a fool,
for you will not find knowledge on their lips.

7) Uh-oh.  Did I goof off so much that my friends only found me useful for things that did not require knowledge?  Now I find it much more important to share the benefits of the knowledge I have gained over the years.  I (we) must not seriously play the fool.

8 The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,
but the folly of fools is deception.

8) Uh-oh.  Not really, but I have a pattern going here!  I think quite often of my "ways" these days.  There are indeed good ways and bad ways; to think, to live, to laugh, to love, to earn, to spend.  God's spirit clarifies which are which, to any who are open to His moving.

The distinction given here between the "wisdom of the prudent" and the "folly of fools" is in their relative quest for truth.  Thinking about our ways seriously, with that openness to God's voice, leads us into truth.  Falling for deception, as in simply accepting the spin presented to us, is a great folly we must avoid (simply by thinking things through).

9 Fools mock at making amends for sin,
but goodwill is found among the upright.

9) I know a man who shot a goose out of season.  It was a sudden impulse kind of shot, but he felt so bad for breaking the law he went and turned himself in.  Most guys would mock such a man.  It is too easy to dismiss the trivial nature of the offense, and make excuses.  To rationalize, and justify oneself.  I remember being so impressed with the character and integrity demonstrated that the story, the whole story, was never far from my mind when I was in his presence.  Would that I could honor my Lord so well by honoring the truth so well.

10 Each heart knows its own bitterness,
and no one else can share its joy.

10) This truth rings so true in my heart.  This is one of the most basic concepts of all time...because it is only partially true!  Yes.  Your heart is only fully accessible to you.  Neither your Mom or Dad, your husband or wife, your closest lover, nor your dearest and nearest children will ever grasp what you feel, what you are going through, or where you stand.  A lonely thought?  Maybe.  But also a great comfort!  To those who have tried and tried and tried to share and connect with someone regarding the most personal issues of their nature, the comfort is in the fact that GOD longs to have that kind of intimate relationship with them.  Only He, but yes He, can fully know your heart's "own bitterness", and only He, but yes He, can truly share its joy!!  Perhaps I'll get to elaborate on this idea with another proverb's prompting some day.

11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.

12 There is a way that appears to be right,
but in the end it leads to death.

13 Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and rejoicing may end in grief.

14 The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways,
and the good rewarded for theirs.

15 The simple believe anything,
but the prudent give thought to their steps.

16 The wise fear the LORD and shun evil,
but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.

17 A quick-tempered person does foolish things,
and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.

18 The simple inherit folly,
but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

19 Evildoers will bow down in the presence of the good,
and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

20 The poor are shunned even by their neighbors,
but the rich have many friends.

21 It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor,
but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.

22 Do not those who plot evil go astray?
But those who plan what is good find[a] love and faithfulness.

23 All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.

24 The wealth of the wise is their crown,
but the folly of fools yields folly.

25 A truthful witness saves lives,
but a false witness is deceitful.

26 Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress,
and for their children it will be a refuge.

27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,
turning a person from the snares of death.

28 A large population is a king’s glory,
but without subjects a prince is ruined.

29 Whoever is patient has great understanding,
but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.

30 A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.

31 Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,
but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

32 When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down,
but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.

33 Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning
and even among fools she lets herself be known.[b]

34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin condemns any people.

35 A king delights in a wise servant,
but a shameful servant arouses his fury.
Proverbs 14:22 Or show
Proverbs 14:33 Hebrew; Septuagint and Syriac discerning / but in the heart of fools she is not known


  1. Years ago a friend's mother posted a gently rebuking cartoon of the perils of buffoonery on her fridge. She knew I read her cartoon collection. That cartoon was for me.

    1. It seems Kelly, that you have since found a good line to walk right there between the overly prudent and the overly foolish. A fine accomplishment!

  2. "Would that I could honor my Lord so well by honoring the truth so well..."

    So many things such as this so nicely written!

    1. Thanks Amy! That is very encouraging.

  3. Such a wonderful uplifting post!!I love #30 how a heart at peace gives life to a body but envy rots the bones. That is so true. A person never truly finds peace until you are happy with the blessings you already have.


  4. There is no end to the teachings of one who has lived. That is my own little verse to live by. This post is full of Mike's living and good teachings. ♥

  5. I like your proverb Jo, but I hope you don't add it to the book. If there were 32 chapters my whole system would collapse!


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