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

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting May 6th on Proverbs 6:12-15

[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 THE MOST benefit from simply reading the chapter itself!

So here I offer my amateur comments on verses 12-15.  Today's inspired verses are in red, and my comments are neither       (neither inspired, nor red).


Warnings Against Folly

1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
2 you have been trapped by what you said,
ensnared by the words of your mouth.
3 So do this, my son, to free yourself,
since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
Go—to the point of exhaustion—[a]
and give your neighbor no rest!
4 Allow no sleep to your eyes,
no slumber to your eyelids.
5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest —
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
12 A troublemaker and a villain,
who goes about with a corrupt mouth,

12) This verse and the next two and a half, are simply introducing and describing the kind of guy (or girl) none of us wants our kids to hang out with.  Yes, there are bad kids out there, and yes, they can have really bad effect on your really good kids.  Diligence keeps them apart.  

The way a person talks will usually give him away.  At least if you can get a listen when he isn't putting you on.  I remember that when I went off to my high school boarding seminary, I quickly developed a terrible potty mouth!  Before going home for the Thanksgiving holiday I was so worried that my new vocabulary would put me to shame in front of my Mom.  But not to worry: I had also developed the simple skill of being two faced, and Mom never knew!  It took Christ living in my heart to truly deliver me from profanity.

13 who winks maliciously with his eye,
signals with his feet
and motions with his fingers, 

13) It's amazing that something as simple as a wink can be done in so many ways!  Even "maliciously"!  What about blinking?  I guess blinking is always innocent.  Never mind.  On to "signals with his feet."  This must be totally related to Solomon's place and times, at least as far as I know.  Body language experts tell us that the positions of our feet have very clear meanings, but the Proverb suggests that this villain is using his feet to deliberately send some kind of evil message.  Finger motions are much more commonly used as signals, of course, but the troublemakers of old must have been more proficient, or agile, than they are today.

14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart—

he always stirs up conflict. 

14) Wouldn't it be nice if we did not have to spend so much of our lives being cautious and careful?  Locking doors, and filling pockets with mace, and buying alarm systems and paying more for everything because of the security costs, is such a drag on life.  One of the best reasons to push the value of  the 10 Commandments is the high rate of peace a society can enjoy in knowing that very few neighbors will be doing the bad things that you too are avoiding.  The more of those "who plot evil with deceit in his heart" (yes, things done in private can effect us all), the more we all suffer.

Conflict is sometimes necessary, but someone who "always stirs up conflict" is a bane in any circle.  Such a person must be ignored and shunned.

15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;

he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

15) This can only be referring to his ultimate judgment, when the evil doer suddenly goes (there is no middle ground between life and death; even a "slow lingering death" leads eventually to an abrupt translation) before his maker.  Here his decisions in life (his refusal to repent and confess and be redeemed by the free grace of God) will settle things "without remedy."

16 There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies 
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Warning Against Adultery

20 My son, keep your father’s command
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them always on your heart;
fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will guide you;
when you sleep, they will watch over you;
when you awake, they will speak to you.
23 For this command is a lamp,
this teaching is a light,
and correction and instruction
are the way to life,
24 keeping you from your neighbor’s wife,
from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.
25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyes.
26 For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
without his clothes being burned?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals
without his feet being scorched?
29 So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense;
whoever does so destroys himself.
33 Blows and disgrace are his lot,
and his shame will never be wiped away.
34 For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will not accept any compensation;
he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.

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

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