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

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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

[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 which 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 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.

2 The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge,
but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

3 The eyes of the LORD are everywhere,
keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

4 The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

5 A fool spurns a parent’s discipline,
but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.

6 The house of the righteous contains great treasure,
but the income of the wicked brings ruin.

7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
but the hearts of fools are not upright.

8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked,
but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

9 The LORD detests the way of the wicked,
but he loves those who pursue righteousness.

10 Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path;
the one who hates correction will die.

11 Death and Destruction lie open before the LORD—
how much more do human hearts!

11) Wow!  What a strong statement this is!  If someone asked you what you thought about God, would the first thing you say be that "Death and Destruction lie open before Him"?  Me neither.  Now when you are asked to describe something, the thing you might say about it is just one of a million optional ideas, all of which are valuable (as long as they were true, of course).  I think that God is so big, and so colossal, and so complicated, that each one of us could start telling true things about God without our own insightful approach ever being repeated.  Leave it to Solomon to find this particular poignant pronouncement about "death and destruction".  My paraphrase?  God is fully aware of even the most vile and deplorable realities; He knows what you are thinking.

12 Mockers resent correction,
so they avoid the wise.

12) The second half here really surprised me.  The typical one/two punch proverb would normally say something like: Mockers resent correction, but the wise seek discipline.  Solomon's conclusion gives him street cred (credibility, for you uninitiated) because it is so simple...and true!  Avoiding embarrassing coparison is what people do when they know they are acting stupidly.

13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.

13) So an honest face is a true reflection of the heart.  A regular face, however, is probably more often arranged by political expediency.  What if we all let our true inner goings-ons show up on our faces?  Yipes!

14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

14) What will you have? "Knowledge" or "Folly"?  Too often I prefer the folly.  I play chess on line, FreeCell and Spider Solitaire on the computer, and I like to fill in Sudoku books.  I'll sit and watch old movies for the umpteenth time and spend hours rearranging the junk in the garage.  Too much folly in my diet.

15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched,
but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.

15) This seems like it is just defining the terms.  Yes, the oppressed are bummed and the cheerful are happy.  Or is he saying that even the oppressed, if they have a deep seated joy in their hearts, can be over-comers, and find satisfaction no matter what?  Yeah, I think so.  "The joy of the Lord is my strength!"

16 Better a little with the fear of the LORD
than great wealth with turmoil.

17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love
than a fattened calf with hatred.

18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,
but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns,
but the path of the upright is a highway.

20 A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish man despises his mother.

21 Folly brings joy to one who has no sense,
but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course.

22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.

23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word!

24 The path of life leads upward for the prudent
to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead.

25 The LORD tears down the house of the proud,
but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.

26 The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked,
but gracious words are pure in his sight.

27 The greedy bring ruin to their households,
but the one who hates bribes will live.

28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,
but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

29 The LORD is far from the wicked,
but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

30 Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart,
and good news gives health to the bones.

31 Whoever heeds life-giving correction
will be at home among the wise.

32 Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,
but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.

33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD,
   and humility comes before honor.

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


  1. Hi! My mission...which I chose to accept...was to continue to visit as many A to Z Challenge participants as I could even after the challenge is over because I didn't want to miss out on any great bloggers out there! Lovely blog...good luck with the rest of the year and I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

    Donna L Martin

  2. and yes....humility comes before honor... this was all refreshing to read..even the bold red and blue :0)


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