OK, I have to confess that I’m really having a hard time paring down my blog to comment on only three verses. There’s so much good stuff here. So, what I’ve decided to do is list my favorite ones and only comment on three — a compromise I can live with. 🙂
“Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Proverbs 10:4, NAS95. Think about it.
“Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.” Proverbs 10:12, NAS95. Think about it.
“Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.” Proverbs 10:23, NAS95 — I’ve noticed it before; perhaps you have, too. There are some folks (may none of us ever be one of them) who seem to approach skirting the rules, breaking the laws, or doing the forbidden as a game that they just can’t stay away from — cops and robbers, cat and mouse, catch me if you can! Teens often get caught up in this “sport”, called “Sticking it to the man.” They’re often getting caught and landing in dutch — with a smirk on their faces — but closely observing how they got caught this time and how they could do it “better” next time. Presumably, it’s how mob bosses (and maybe a few Wall Street types) get their start and climb to the “top”. Observe, think, apply, practice, get caught, and “improve”.
But have you ever approached doing good, gaining wisdom or godliness in this way? Tried to studiously observe God’s commands, see how they work in real life in the lives of others, and change your life in practice. Getting better and better at it — like a sport: enjoyable, stimulating, and gaining satisfaction from improvement. Sadly, many of us are self-satisfied with merely staying out of trouble. Why not look at the qualities of an elder (1 Tim. 3:1ff) and give effort to improving on something there. Or the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22ff). Or the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 5-7. It would be transforming!
“Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy one to those who send him.” Proverbs 10:26, NAS95. Think about it.
“When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2, NAS95. Think about it.
“Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.” Proverbs 11:14, NAS95. Think about it.
“A gracious woman attains honor, And ruthless men attain riches.” Proverbs 11:16, NAS95. — What could this proverb mean? It has a great message and secret for women about the attaining of honor and respect in the male and female world — graciousness. The word “and” could be replaced with the phrase “just like” in this proverb — “A gracious woman attains honor just like ruthless men attain riches.” The point being that in the same way that ruthless (showing no mercy or compassion for others) men mound up lots of riches, so also a gracious (courteous, kind, benevolent, accommodating, graceful) woman mounds up honor for herself. This is an important principle in a modern society in which women seem to be deliberately masculinizing — dressing like men, talking (sometimes crudely) like men, carrying male attitudes, and sometimes even being violent like men. Some even proudly wear the “B-word” like a badge of honor. Honor? Where’s the honor?
“There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered. He who withholds grain, the people will curse him, But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.” Proverbs 11:24-26, NAS95 — God loves a good conduit for His blessings! God loves the generous, the people with open hands to those who have a need. This proverb talks about the irony of generosity and miserliness. Those who want to greedily keep are those who will always only be in want. Those who generously scatter are blessed all the more! This is not a pitch for the “health and wealth gospel”; there is no truth to “If you’ll send in your faith pledge of $1000, the Lord will bless you with 10 times your gift!” It’s hogwash, and it is framed to appeal to the greedy, who only give to get. But for those who give generously, God will always provide: “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:10, 11, NAS95.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” Proverbs 12:15, NAS95. Think about it.
“A lazy man does not roast his prey, But the precious possession of a man is diligence.” Proverbs 12:27, NAS95. Think about it.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.