“Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that one gets justice.”
Proverbs 29:26 NIV
First of all, mad props to you if you have a blog and are able to keep a consistent posting schedule. in a couple days I will post about my 31 day experience blogging about the book of Proverbs. But for today I’m going to talk about this verse.
What comes to mind when you think about this verse? For me, I think of contacting governmental leaders to let them know what I stand for and how I would encourage them to vote a particular way on a bill.
No matter what legislation is passed, what budgets get vetoed, or who goes before a judiciary committee, we only receive justice when it comes from the Lord.
“Like an archer who wounds at random is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.”
Proverbs 26:10 NIV
Have you ever hired an employee before? More likely you’ve been an employee. Perhaps you’ve worked with someone that you just wonder why was that person hired?
I can imagine being Human Resources at a business is a hard job. But, sometimes you just need people who might not be the best skilled or experienced at the job they are hired for (but hey, you got to get experience somewhere and sometime.)
This passage stresses the importance of hiring the right person for the job. Don’t hire fools. (Hopefully the interview process weeds out the fools) and passerby’s just might not be faithful.
I think as a person who has been hired for jobs (you probably can relate) I want to be the kind of person who isn’t a fool. And I want to be wise (and not harm my team) when I hire new people.
Question for you: have you ever worked with a person and felt, “did HR fire at random?” What was your experience?
“Do not eat the food of a begrudging host, do not crave his delicacies; for he is the kind of person who is always thinking about the cost. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. You will vomit up the little you have eaten and will have wasted your compliments.”
Proverbs 23:6-8 NIV
Have you ever had this happen to you? (I know I sound like an infomercial). You are invited for dinner or a party, but the host only talks about how much it is costing them?
I can picture this being something the father of the bride who is paying for a wedding reception might say. They love their daughter, but begrudgingly fork over the cash to pay for various guests at the wedding meal.
Only advice I have: don’t be like that guy. If you give something away out of love (or any reason, really) it’s not longer yours to control or be upset with how it’s spent. Essentially, if you’re going to be generous, don’t attach strings. If you’re not going to be generous, don’t pretend like you are. Or your guests will sarcastically reply, “sorry to inconvenience you…”
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:1 NIV
Thanks again for joining me. It’s encouraging to know that I’m not the only one getting somethings out of the Proverbs this month.
I think the sheer relatability of the wisdom contained in Proverbs is why I like it so much. Even if its historical setting is ancient to us, it is extremely applicable. Today’s passage reminds me some of the training I had when I was becoming a foster parent.
Little kids will either defy you or throw a fit when you sternly correctly. A foster parent I was learning from would always encourage her little children “let’s be sweet.” And she would highlight the behavior of that “sweetness”. Being kind, not pushing or especially not biting. “that’s not being sweet…”
As we’ve grown and so have our girls. And we’ve tried to not fly off the handle and yell when correcting them. The poor choice they made has consequences but all I’m doing is tearing apart our relationship when I’m adding a new consequence: making dad “Hulk out.”
They problem with reacting emotionally and in anger to problems before you is it usually begets more anger, causing more problems. We can see this in parenting, but also in interpersonal relationships between adults.
We you yelled at or were you calmly talked to when being corrected? How did that approach make you feel? Let me know it the comments.
Today we have a two-fer! Here are two different verses and my thoughts to go with them.
“The Lord detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.”
Proverbs 11:1 NIV
I think many of us have stepped onto a scale, either at home or at the Doctor’s office and thought, “this scale’s not right…it must be broken. Needs new batteries or something.” Whether founded or not, we’ve been a bit suspicious of scales we’ve used. [Are they accurate and fair?]
In my job a a grocery store, sometimes I repackage frozen veggies or fruits for sale. I bag them, weigh the bag and the label says how heavy the product was supposed to be. When I first started, doing this part of my job, I would weigh the product to exactly the right weight. Either 2 or 3 pound depending on the product. Then I was told we needed to add .05 of a pound to compensate for the weight of the packaging! How awesome. We only charge for the product, not the packaging. A person expects all the bags of veggies or fruit to be the same weight. It’s my goal to keep our scales honest and accurate.
God appreciates that, but more over this verse speaks to injustices around the world. Everyday people are cheated out of so much for the gain of someone else. Let’s ask God to balance the scales and be ready if and when he uses us to do so.
“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.”
Proverbs 11:22 NIV
Gold rings, even nose rings where beautiful gifts! In fact when Abraham’s servant goes to find a wife for his master’s son, he ends up gifting a nose ring to a kind, young woman named Rebekah
So Solomon writes this piece of advice: a woman who shows no discretion is like putting a beautiful, meaningful piece of jewelry into the snotty nose of an unclean animal. I don’t really have much to add to it except to say Solomon was very good with the metaphors and analogies.
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
Proverbs 10:11-12 NIV
Many of the sayings you will find in this chapter of Proverbs are “one-offs.” They kind of stand alone, little bite sized pieces of wisdom. These two can each stand on their own, but I started to think about them as connected. Now I see how they relate to one another.
“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life” sounds like a wonderful thing. It’s something you want to be. The things that come from your mouth bring life like water in the desert.
The only remedy for this, or at least the only thing to counterbalance it is Love, covering over all wrongs.
The opposite, “a mouth that conceals violence” means someone who doesn’t speak up when being abused or seeing abuse. Kind of a sin of omission. But in verse 12 Hatred actively stirs up conflict. no longer is the poor choice passive, it’s active. You know people who do this. (You might be one,)
Love covering wrongs? Isn’t that the same as concealing violence? Nope. It’s being gracious to another human who’s wronged you instead of stirring up conflict with them.
And when you speak, you speak love. And your mouth is a fountain of life, instead of death.
So are you speaking life or death? Which one do you want to speak?
Please leave a comment below. Let me know what you think of when you read this passage.
1 Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? 2 At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; 3 beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud: 4 “To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. 5 You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it. 6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. 7 My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. 8 All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.
Proverbs 8:1-8 NIV
So the last couple chapters have had themes of wayward and destructive relationships. There was a seductress beaconing a simple man yesterday. In a similar way, Wisdom pursues the simple, drawing them into deep relationship with her. However, She is not in some back alley place, but on the “highest point along the way.”
Out in the open, if only one would hear her voice. Her “mouth speaks what is true.” Her words are just, not twisted. Wisdom doesn’t need to connive anybody. Doesn’t need wicked or perverse ways to persuade.
Now here’s my question to you: who are you listening to? Lies that sounds like the truth (maybe what you’d like to hear) or Truth right out in the open, that may hurt or be awkward…but yet it is Wisdom?
“Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.” Proverbs 5:15-18 NIV
It may not surprise you to find out that the Bible encourages faithfulness between a husband and wife. Solomon’s wise words here encourage us to stay true to our spouse. In the beginning parts of this chapter, he describes a adulterous woman as sweet to start (lips drip honey) but in actuality she is a bitter gall. From the most natural sweetener to the a bitter substance, of no help.
Have you seen this in your life or perhaps the life of others around you? I find it interesting that anyone would want to “cheat” on their spouse with someone…especially another “cheater.”
Why? Well because I’m though that “forbidden fruit” may look good, it can’t be trusted. And you can’t be trusted if you engage in extramarital affairs.
Not only do affairs erode marriages, but they erode trust as well. And so Solomon righty encourages enjoying and loving the “one your with.” This passage also encourages keeping your love life to yourself. “Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares?” The answer is no. They should be kept private, intimate and between the husband and wife only. Everyone else can get their own well if they want.