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

Friday, May 11, 2012

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

[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 today 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, that is).

Proverbs 11

1 The Lord detests dishonest scales,
but accurate weights find favor with him.

2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

3 The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

4 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.

5 The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.

6 The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.

7 Hopes placed in mortals die with them;
all the promise of[a] their power comes to nothing.

8 The righteous person is rescued from trouble,
and it falls on the wicked instead.

9 With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors,
but through knowledge the righteous escape.

10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.

11) So when a city, or a country, is more and more populated by "the wicked" than by "the righteous", it will be short on blessings and only more and more prepared for destruction.  The speech of its citizens speaks to its future state.  But the speech of its leaders (especially that speech well received), judged by its moral content, is an outright predictor of a nation's near fate.  

12 Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense,
but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.

12) How often we "deride"!  How easy it is to find fault, and make dire, head shaking note of the most meager observation.  If we can not hold our tongues, might we at least heed verse 11 above, and pronounce a neighborly blessing, even despite the shouting once heard through that open window?  Or the vile tardiness  in lawn maintenance?  Or that despicable arrangement of Christmas decorations that grates on our very nerves?  Let us "understand" the sovereignty of our neighbors.  

This verse seems to demonstrate the Biblical prescription for "tolerance".  We may hate the effects of a particular sin on the sinner and the society, but in God, we "understand" (for we our sinners ourselves), and we love the sinner (for we love ourselves) as  even Christ loves us.

13 A gossip betrays a confidence,
but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

13) If "betraying a confidence" is done in secret, and with a hush and a warning not to continue the thread, is it still a betrayal?  Yes.  
What about "keeping a secret"?  If a secret is kept hidden in the heart and mind, but is sincerely covered with compassion and prayer, but the person goes right out in public without saying a word to anyone about it, is he still trustworthy?  Um...Yes!

14 For lack of guidance a nation falls,
but victory is won through many advisers.

14) As opposed to through politicking and speech making.  It is way too easy for the direction of a nation to be decided by talking point arguments and bumper sticker slogans.

15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer,
but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.

15) Good idea.

16 A kindhearted woman gains honor,
but ruthless men gain only wealth.

17 Those who are kind benefit themselves,
but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

19 Truly the righteous attain life,
but whoever pursues evil finds death.

20 The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse,
but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.

21 Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished,
but those who are righteous will go free.

22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.

24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

25 A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

26 People curse the one who hoards grain,
but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.

27 Whoever seeks good finds favor,
but evil comes to one who searches for it.

28 Those who trust in their riches will fall,
but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind,
and the fool will be servant to the wise.

30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and the one who is wise saves lives.

31 If the righteous receive their due on earth,
how much more the ungodly and the sinner!

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

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