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

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting May 3rd on Proverbs 3: 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 here I will offer my amateur comments on verses 11-15.  Today's inspired verses are in red, and my comments are....neither (neither inspired, nor red).


Wisdom Bestows Well-Being

1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,

11) "Thank you Lord, for your discipline and rebuke!"  How far off the 'proverbial' deep end would we be without God's interference?  Deep enough.  I remember realizing that water doesn't have to be 100 feet deep to drown in; if it's over your head, that's enough.  So much of this life is 'over my head', and I need God's help.  ALL of His helps.

12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.

12) How God honors us by His love!  Remember Psalm 8?  "What is man, that you think of Him?"  And here He goes on to say that He 'delights' in us!  I know that joyous feeling I get when I think of any one of my three adult kids.  No matter what is/was going on, I get a dreamy eyed, smiley, DELIGHT in the back of my mind.  God gets something like that when He remembers ME  (and YOU)!

13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,

those who gain understanding,

13) Back to the subject: Being subject to the 'Lord's discipline' is the same thing as 'finding wisdom' and 'gaining understanding'.  Let Him do His work in the way He deems fit, and all will be well.  Embrace it all.  (Rewards mentioned below.)

14 for she is more profitable than silver

and yields better returns than gold. 

14) God knows how to speak our language doesn't He?  'Yields better returns than gold.' He says.  Sounds like a midnight infomercial, but with credibility, and without shipping and handling fees.  I'm in.  "Lord, help me to be ALL in."

15 She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her. 

15) This claim that 'nothing you desire can compare with [wisdom]' will appear again in Proverbs 8:15 (which we will discover on May 8th).  We used to sing a worship song based on this idea, but after listing various beautiful and precious things (silver, gold, diamonds), the chorus declared that "Nothing I desire compares with YOU" referring of course, to our great God.  I loved that song, and I remember the time the worship leader asked for more down to earth examples of wonderful and rare things we might actually desire, but would gladly exchange for God's presence.  In Ketchikan Alaska (where it is almost always either raining or overcast), we then sang about sunshine!  What lovely thing are you longing for, but would give up in a minute, if you could have more of God Himself?

16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.
19 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.
21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
when they have done you no harm.
31 Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.
32 For the Lord detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 He mocks proud mockers
but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
35 The wise inherit honor,
but fools get only shame.

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

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