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

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting May 14th on Proverbs 14:11-15

[If you have been here before, in May, then you might want to skip down below the green for today's post.]

"Thirty days hath September, 
April, June and November
All the rest have 31
Except February which has 28
Except during leap year when it has 29"

NO I DID NOT WRITE THIS "POEM"!  (Talk about free verse!)

Why didn't somebody just point out that the four months that do NOT have 31 days (except February, and everyone knows all about February The Exceptional) come every other month except that there is no 30 day month between July and August?  The silly poem above mixes up the order just to hide the fact that the real 30 day months come in two orderly pairs: April/June and September/November.  Can somebody please write a non-silly poem for us that will make this clear, and stick in our minds, but without gooping them up with exceptions (and please just leave February out of it!)?

And to make matters (far) worse, MILLERWRITES has created a Proverbs Pull-A-Part Plan that decimates that fine collection of wisdom in the book of Proverbs, by spreading commentary on each chapter out over 7 months (the good 31 day months)!  Oh don't ask me to explain his system.  You can try to decipher what he said about it at the top of any P31P posts from January or March if you like, or just follow along this month and figure it out.
All Bible passages are from the NIV, and are copied here from

REMEMBER: My ideas may be oh so mesmerizing, but you will get more benefit from simply reading the chapter itself!

So here I offer my amateur comments on verses 11-15.  Today's inspired verses are in red, and my comments are neither       (neither inspired, nor red).


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.

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

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

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

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

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

11) Promises, guarantees, warnings, threats?  Whichever way you might describe the statements of verse 11, God's word is inviolable.  There is no room for we mere humans, the created; to judge the credibility of the creator.  Either be anxious or comforted, as your situation warrants, but do not waste your time doubting or dismissing the proverb as if God's word were not absolutely true.

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

12) But of course not every way "that appears to be right" leads to death.  It's just that the ways we typically think to be right, if they are not in the same subset of ways that God prescribes as being right, which do actually "lead to death."  We need to examine the ways that simply (culturally) seem to be right.  Every society dares to set a standard of acceptable behavior, but who or what is 'society' except the collected opinions of individuals who are all so subject to being deceived?  God's word only, can set us straight.

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

13) So often we use the good and the positive, the encouraging and affirming, to cover over loss and pain.  In a sense, that's what the good things are there for; they actually do replace those negatives that would bring us too far down.  But we people can misuse and abuse anything!  Instead of facing the death of a loved one (or our own impending demise), for instance, with the serious loss it entails and grief it brings, we might make it so light that we demean the friend's worth.  Or we appear so strong and resilient that any help offered is withdrawn in the face of our miraculous recovery.  Then the real burden, never truly diminished, trebles when carried alone, and brings us down.

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

14) I am glad to hear it.  When I am "faithless", I do not want to miss the discipline I deserve, and that would redirect my steps.  When I am "good", it seems the rewards are automatic and immediate (I don't think our God is really "fair":  He leans way too heavily toward mercy and grace!).

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

15) WARNING!  Give more thought to what "experts" tell you.  How many times in the past 30 years have nutrition experts switched their valuation of coffee?!  Even with millions of actual human test subjects, and many years worth of real life trial and experiment, they still do not know whether coffee is good for us or bad for us.  But it is this same type of premature conclusion drawing "expert" that tell us the earth is warming because of carbon burning, and who tell us details of what happened "3.6 billion years ago"!  A consensus is not proof and a theory is not a fact.  Just think about it, and demand to see the evidence behind what "they" say.

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 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.

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.

By the way...MILLERWRITES copy is COPYRIGHTED. Why cut and paste when you can simply copy the link?

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