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

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Project: Commenting July 1st on Proverbs 1:13-19

Got 31 days in the month? 
God's got 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs! 

What a coincidence!

For each date then, again this month, you will find commentary on a few verses from the corresponding chapter. There are 7 months in the year with 31 days, so I divided each chapter into 7 parts and spread them out so that each verse will be reviewed on the date related to its chapter by the same number name.  No, I am not deliberately trying to make this explanation complicated! (But, if you can explain my system any better than I have tried to do in the past three 31-day months, there is probably a proverb proclaiming your wisdom, and you will be recognized here for your high achievement!).

Below this introduction you will find the whole chapter representing today's date, with this month's share of verses highlighted in red, and my amateur comments on each one low lighted in blue. Enjoy!


Purpose and Theme

1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.

7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools[c] despise wisdom and instruction.

Prologue: Exhortations to Embrace Wisdom
Warning Against the Invitation of Sinful Men

8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
9 They are a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.
10 My son, if sinful men entice you,
do not give in to them.
11 If they say, “Come along with us;
let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,
let’s ambush some harmless soul;
12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we will get all sorts of valuable things
and fill our houses with plunder;

13) How easy it is to justify our sin  ("But honey, if you help me cheat that no good store I'll be able to buy you that new car you want.").  We can always list some kind of payoff that makes it easier to lie or cheat or steal or gossip.

14 cast lots with us;
we will all share the loot ”—

14) Do they really need YOU to join them?  Will your involvement make their crime possible, or are you pressured to join them in shoplifting or smoking or drinking or vandalism or selling dope, just so they can spread their guilt around?  So they can minimize their personal conviction?

15 my son, do not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths;

15) Listen to your father!  He is the only one truly on your side, and he knows what's really going on here!

16 for their feet rush into evil,
they are swift to shed blood.

16) Perhaps you think YOU will be the slowing voice of peace and reason once you have joined the gang.  No.  You will be caught in the hurry of evil and go down with the rest before you know what's happening.

17 How useless to spread a net
where every bird can see it!

17) That's why the corrupt nature of your tempting friends is so well hidden.  They intend for you to have the wrong, favorable impression.  Of course you like (most) of their traits, and sympathize with the rest.  But you are either already too corrupted to care where they will take you down, or too innocent to recognize the trap.  Listen to your father!

18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they ambush only themselves!

18) This is their ultimate destiny, yes, but that is no consolation to a potential initiate, or much real comfort to their victims.  God will justly punish all the unrepentant perpetrators from all times.  Don't be one of them.

19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the life of those who get it.

19) So the "ill-gotten gain" leads to... .what benefit?  Please take the narrow path that leads to life.

Wisdom’s Rebuke

20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
she raises her voice in the public square;
21 on top of the wall[d] she cries out,
at the city gate she makes her speech:

22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23 Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
I will make known to you my teachings.
24 But since you refuse to listen when I call
and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
25 since you disregard all my advice
and do not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you —
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me,
29 since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the Lord.
30 Since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

[Anyone willing to author an explanation of my system, let me know, and if it makes more sense than my attempts (how could it not?) I will use it in October.]

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

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