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

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting May 18th on Proverbs 18:9-12

[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 An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions.

3 When wickedness comes, so does contempt,
and with shame comes reproach.

4 The words of the mouth are deep waters,
but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.

5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked
and so deprive the innocent of justice.

6 The lips of fools bring them strife,
and their mouths invite a beating.

7 The mouths of fools are their undoing,
and their lips are a snare to their very lives.

8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.

9 One who is slack in his work
is brother to one who destroys.

9) That's because of entropy.  The tendency of all things is to fall apart; to separate, rather than join; to scatter instead of gather and join; to move from order to disorder.  Look at your desk.  Since you last organized the whole thing, has it randomly become more, or less....satisfying to look upon?   We must put intelligent and deliberate "work" in every day just to maintain a certain amount of cleanliness and organization.  If there actually was any observable natural tendency for things to become more systematized, and more greatly advanced (then I MIGHT consider the presently outrageous claims of evolutionary theory), then the common movement of all things toward "destruction" would be obsolete, and we could watch our rooms get cleaner and more orderly while we all just sat around getting better looking and more adorable!

10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.

10) Is there anything "chasing" you?  Guilt?  Fear?  Insecurity?  Sin?  Riches?  Vanity?  Temptation?  Run to "the name of the Lord" and find refuge in that "tower"!  He knows all about it, and wants to be your shelter.

11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
they imagine it a wall too high to scale.

11) I like the subtlety here.  Can't you almost hear Solomon laughing at the idea the wealthy have about the power of their wealth?  I hear his chuckle turn quickly into loud guffaws, and see him ROFL as the rich are shocked and dismayed when their treasures disappear in a flash.

12 Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor.

12) So I gather that in God's order, it goes like this:  A person is HAUGHTY (naturally), he has a major or minor DOWNFALL, HUMILITY is born (hopefully), and then he is HONORED!

13 To answer before listening—
that is folly and shame.

14 The human spirit can endure in sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?

15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,
for the ears of the wise seek it out.

16 A gift opens the way
and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.

17 In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right,
until someone comes forward and cross-examines.

18 Casting the lot settles disputes
and keeps strong opponents apart.

19 A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city;
disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.

20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled;
with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.

21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.

22 He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the Lord.

23 The poor plead for mercy,
but the rich answer harshly.

24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother

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

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