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

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

E is for EASE and E is for EVIL

(Perhaps my pair of matching lettered words for the A to Z Challenge are not really as random as I intended, considering the EASE with which one can slip into EVIL!)

This is a long passage, but today's "good" word only appears at the end, in verse 33.  I included the rest to show the comparative results between two individuals. Verses 24-31 show what happens to one who "refuses to listen" to WISDOM, at length, but verse 33 stands alone and completely captures the good falling upon the one who does listen.

20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
she raises her voice in the public square;
21 on top of the wall 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.”
Proverbs 1:20-33

What one thing do we humans seek after, long for and even struggle for, more than "to be at EASE"? I think the Proverbialist, and God, know exactly what we want, and that we can best acquire it by listening to Him.

Proverbs 3, on the other hand, begins by noting a few positive things we should implement in our lives (loving God and trusting in Him are biggies!) and after verse 7, elaborates thoroughly to help us zero in on the most beneficial behavior available to mankind.  But verse 7 condenses and encapsulates it all:

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
Proverbs 3:7

My rephrasing:  Humble yourself, know God for who He is, and choose His ways over those I am so readily inclined to choose.

"Oh Lord. It really does sound so simple. But our hearts truly are twisted in such a way that we believe our own thoughts are truer than your word; that we can and should scoff at you; and that good things are EVIL and EVIL things are good. Please do help us to reverse these dangerous tendencies and to find our EASE in you."

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

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