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

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting May 23rd on Proverbs 23:10-14

[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 10-14.  Today's inspired verses are in red, and my comments are neither       (neither inspired, nor red).

Saying 7

1 When you sit to dine with a ruler,
note well what is before you,
2 and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.
3 Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.
Saying 8

4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
do not trust your own cleverness.
5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
Saying 9

6 Do not eat the food of a begrudging host,
do not crave his delicacies;
7 for he is the kind of person
who is always thinking about the cost.
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
8 You will vomit up the little you have eaten
and will have wasted your compliments.
Saying 10

9 Do not speak to fools,
for they will scorn your prudent words.

OK, so we find ourselves in the middle of "30 Sayings of the Wise".  My "Proverbs Pull-A-Part" system wreaks havoc here.  For example; if you want to know what I think about the first wise saying, you have to wait until July 22nd, and number 6 doesn't come up until December 22nd!  In January of this year, I wrote about sayings 7 and 8.  My best advice?  Read the whole chapter that goes with each day of the month and you will read all of Proverbs in all of its correct order.  My comments don't matter that much, and they just come along when they do!

Saying 11

10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Defender is strong;
he will take up their case against you.

10,11) Guess who "their Defender" is.  Throughout the scriptures we see many attributes of God highlighted.  His care for widows and orphans ranks near the top of His priorities.  If you want to get in trouble quick; pick on a "fatherless"!  This concern, I think, also reflects God supreme interest in welcoming home each and every one of us who have left His home for the promises of being a prodigal, and would find loving redemption back under His care.

Saying 12

12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge.

12) Back to basics.  I know one young lady in particular (who used to be a Miller) who seemed to think she should not go in to a class until she already knew what they were going to teach her (?).  Silly girl!  Your heart was always "applied to instruction" and your ears to "words of knowledge":  These are the only prerequisites for any class, and serve you well for a good life of many years.  Being so teachable is vital, and I am proud to be your Daddy (ooops)!

Saying 13

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
14 Punish them with the rod
and save them from death.

13,14) I love Solomon's understatement; "they will not die."  And I see from his need to say it, that there were folks in his day decrying, probably, the "abuse" of the rod!  It's good to know that this fear is not some kind of pinnacle of the ages, but just another repetition of the cycle's namby-pamby phase.

Remember though, that while some "wise guy" is the author of this saying, we count the whole Bible as God's inspired Word.  So it is God who has connected punishment with "the rod" and the saving "from death"!

Saying 14

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad indeed;
16 my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.
Saying 15

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
Saying 16

19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
Saying 17

22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth and do not sell it—
wisdom, instruction and insight as well.
24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;
a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.
25 May your father and mother rejoice;
may she who gave you birth be joyful!
Saying 18

26 My son, give me your heart
and let your eyes delight in my ways,
27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,
and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Like a bandit she lies in wait
and multiplies the unfaithful among men.
Saying 19

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,
who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly!
32 In the end it bites like a snake
and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange sights,
and your mind will imagine confusing things.
34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
lying on top of the rigging.
35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
so I can find another drink?”

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

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