Saturday, March 19, 2011

31 Days of Wisdom: Proverbs 19

Please visit the link below if you would like to read through Proverbs 19 before continuing.

Disclaimer: This is a personal journey of discovery for me. I am not claiming any special wisdom or exposition of my own, only sharing how 31 days of wisdom affect me and stir my spirit. I highly suggest, no matter who is speaking or sharing, that you check their words against the words of Scripture.

Proverbs 19

“Better the poor whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.” I wish I could understand the way that Solomon pairs things sometimes. There must be a connection between the two part of this sentence, but I don’t quite grasp it. I believe it is a true statement, but I’m not sure how those two things wound up together in a comparison. (v3)

Running ahead of yourself can cause you to miss the way. It’s good to have desires, but it’s important to gain the knowledge and wisdom you need before rushing ahead. (v2)

“A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the Lord.” Ouch. I’ve had many conversations like this one in my lifetime. So often I make a choice that leads to unwanted consequences, but then I’m mad at God for having “done this to me”. Truthfully, we create our own misery most of the time; the Lord is perfect and wants good things for us. (v3)

People can be so shallow. Material possessions are too often the anchors in friendships. It’s sad. (v4)

“A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free.” (v5)

People want to be friends with those who can do something for them. People like to be connected to power and wealth; it’s in our nature. (v6)

“The poor are shunned by all their relatives – how much more do their friends avoid them! Though the poor pursue them with pleading, they are nowhere to be found.” (v7)

“The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.” (v8)

REPETITION = IMPORTANT! “A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will perish.” (v9) (see v5)

“It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury – how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!” (v10)

If you have wisdom, you gain patience. To be the one to overlook an offense and be gracious will earn you praise. People will recognize your wisdom in your grace. (v11)

A king’s favor is soft and quiet, but his rage will tear you apart. (v12)

“A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof.” Who we are has an effect on the people around us. A child who goes astray breaks the heart of his parents. The wife who likes to fight is as annoying as a leak that is constant and damaging. (v13)

The things you receive, materially, are from your earthly parents. But, if you find a wife who is prudent, she is a gift from the Lord. (v14)

“Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry.” (v15)

Rules and commandments are there to protect us. If we fail to follow them, we jeopardize our own lives. (v16)

“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward them for what they have done.” Jesus said that anything we do, even unto the least among us, we are doing unto Him. (v17)

“Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.” I’ve talked about this recently with some friends who have children. One said to me, “If I saw my son walking down a road that I knew ended with him falling off of a cliff, I would break his legs if I had to, in order to save his life.” I believe that is the kind of discipline and love about which Solomon is speaking. Discipline is no fun for the parent or the child, but in it is life. (v18)

“A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again.” People need to experience consequences for their actions. If you save people from the results of their choices, they don’t learn. (v19)

“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” (v20)

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” We can tell the Lord our plans, but in the end, we will walk out the purpose for which He created us. (v21)

“What a person desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.” Again, I’m not sure why Solomon couples those things. (v22)

“The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” (v23)

A lazy person is even unwilling to feed himself when the food is right in front of him. (v24)

There is hope for the simple among fools, they may eventually learn prudence if it is beaten into them. But, if you rebuke a wise person, they will learn and grow from it. (v25)

Children have the power to bring disgrace upon their parents. (v26)

Learning must be life long and constant; if you stop listening to instruction, you
stray from wisdom. There is NEVER a point when we have been instructed enough. (v27)

One who lies think it’s hilarious when justice isn’t served; they eat it up when evil things happen. (v28)

“Penalties are prepared for mockers, and beatings for the backs of fools.” (v29)

Dear Father of Wisdom,
Help me know my Shepherd’s voice and be still to listen. I want to walk in Your way and not miss the blessings you have for me. I want to be wise and counted among the righteous. Help me, Lord. Bury these words deep into my being that I may not sin against You. Amen.

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