Friday, August 5, 2016

The Book of Proverbs – A Look at How Simple yet Complex Proverbs Are (Part 3)

This is part 3 of a three part look at Proverbs. There's a lot more to it, of course, but next week we'll move on to the next book in the Bible.
Read 6: 16 – 19:
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.
Come on, you have to read that more than once. Here again are the 7 things God hates: Having haughty eyes implies a haughty or proud demeanor. Don’t be proud. Don’t lie. Don’t murder. Don’t think up evil plans. Don’t follow your friends into evil goings-on. Don’t be a false witness (no more lying, if you didn’t get number 2). Don’t stir up problems.

Read 9: 10:
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,   and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 
Again, “fear” of the Lord means you need to revere, honor, and be in awe of Him. Don’t be foolish, be wise. The beginning of wisdom is to worship, respect and venerate the Lord.
Read 25: 6 – 7:
 6 Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence,
   and do not claim a place among his great men;
7 it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,”
   than for him to humiliate you before his nobles. 
Do you recognize this situation? Here is Jesus’ parable of humility at the table:
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

How wonderful that Jesus connected this story, found only in Luke’s gospel, chapter 14, to Proverbs as both books are connected by being resh books (see CROSSING THE SCRIPTURES to learn how the 66 books are connected by the 22 Hebrew letters).
The last 22 verses of the last chapter in Proverbs are acrostic verses, following the Hebrew letters in order. It’s kind of like God is putting his seal on this book by ending it with his alphabet. Interestingly, this section is about the perfect or noble wife. Read chapter 31: 10 – 31 in your own Bible and see what you should look for in a wife (if you’re a man) or how you should behave (if you’re a woman). Here’s what I got out of it:
      1.       I am very valuable if I have a noble character and my husband will have confidence in me.
      2.      I should try not to harm anyone or anything.
      3.      I should be a hard (and eager) worker and capably manage our household.
     4.      I should be generous.
     5.      I don’t have to shovel the snow. (Really, my husband even pointed that out to me. Verse 21.)
     6.      I should keep up a cheerful attitude.
     7.      I should speak with wisdom and keep faithful instruction on my tongue (trying to do that here, folks).
     8.     I’m not going to keep my looks so I should concentrate on fearing the Lord.
There are so many wise sayings in this wonderful book that you should try to read from Proverbs every day.

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