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

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting May 17th on Proverbs 17:9-12

Woe is me!  This is the first P31P post this year, that was not posted on or before its stated date!  So sorry.

[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 9-12.  Today's inspired verses are in red, and my comments are neither       (neither inspired, nor red).


1 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
than a house full of feasting, with strife.

2 A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son
and will share the inheritance as one of the family.

3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but the Lord tests the heart.

4 A wicked person listens to deceitful lips;
a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.

5 Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker;
whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.

6 Children’s children are a crown to the aged,
and parents are the pride of their children.

7 Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool—
how much worse lying lips to a ruler!

8 A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it;
they think success will come at every turn.

9 Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

9) One of my favorite things to do is to "cover over an offense."  It's not really a wonderful pastime, per se, but when I get the chance to forgive and forget, or ignore and move one, or to acknowledge in the real world that "there, but for the grace of God, go I", I dive right in.

Furthermore; I hate gossip!  Too many of my friends seem eager, or at least willing and unrestrained, to partake.  And then I hate that almost as often, I listen.  What is it about gossip that draws us (me) in?  Pride, I think; because we want to find ourselves above the crowd, and the chance to actively compare our select triumphs with the highlighted failures of others, is too great of an opportunity to bypass. 

10 A rebuke impresses a discerning person
more than a hundred lashes a fool.

10) If you have children, you recognize this truth.  One can be guided by a soft "ahem" from across the room, and another scoffs when the police are at the door.  The discerning will learn from the mistakes of a 2nd cousin once removed, while the fool wastes his life away before he gets the basics down.

11 Evildoers foster rebellion against God;
the messenger of death will be sent against them.

11) Overly dramatic hyperbole?  I don't think so.  This seems more like a simplification of a real life, God driven, principle.  Whether there is an actual "messenger of death" is immaterial.  The point is, for all those who rebel against God (Lucifer included), death will be theirs in the end.  They will get their wish, and be eternally separated from the God they so despise.

12 Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
than a fool bent on folly.

12) Ain't that the trute!  I met a "fool bent on folly" once when I was in 8th grade.  Walking to school tardily, I was alone on the Chicago sidewalk.  A strange kid came striding across the street to intercept my path and proclaiming "we got another one, we got another one".  In my naivete, I queried "another what?" and he answered by punching me and running away.  Maybe he wasn't in the same league as an angry mother bear, but the worse are certainly out there.  The news is full of "fools, bent on folly."  And the only real way to stop this menace from stealing all of our peace is to reach the heart of the fool, and straighten it out with the wisdom of God.

13 Evil will never leave the house
of one who pays back evil for good.

14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;
so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.

15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent —
the Lord detests them both.

16 Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom,
when they are not able to understand it?

17 A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

18 One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge
and puts up security for a neighbor.

19 Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin;
whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.

20 One whose heart is corrupt does not prosper;
one whose tongue is perverse falls into trouble.

21 To have a fool for a child brings grief;
there is no joy for the parent of a godless fool.

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

23 The wicked accept bribes in secret
to pervert the course of justice.

24 A discerning person keeps wisdom in view,
but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son brings grief to his father
and bitterness to the mother who bore him.

26 If imposing a fine on the innocent is not good,
surely to flog honest officials is not right.

27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
and discerning if they hold their tongues.

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

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