Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31                                                                                   July 31, 2016

 

The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
Do not spend your strength on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings.

It is not for kings, Lemuel—
it is not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Let beer be for those who are perishing,
wine for those who are in anguish!
Let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

So… About that Proverbs 31 Woman

 

I’ve learned over the years that scripture truly consists of living words.  It is most apparent when I read or reread the same verses or chapters in different stages of life.  When I first read Proverbs 31 as a teenager, it didn’t really phase me, but as a twenty-something wife I began to panic a little as I read each verse.  I viewed it as a checklist of activities and behaviors I needed to possess.

Proverbs 31 “Checklist” Inside My Head
  • “She gets up while it is still night…” (Proverbs 31:15)
  • I’m not really a morning person.

I rarely see a sunrise.

  • “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” (Proverbs 31:20)
  • I think I’m a giving person.
  • “She makes coverings for her bed… She makes linen garments and sells them…” (Proverbs 31:22 & 24)
  • Do I have to know how to sew?

I can sew on a button.

 

I could continue with this list as I read through and mentally rated myself as a wife and woman.  Now, as I’ve aged both chronologically and spiritually, I can read this chapter with a little more depth and understanding.   First, I’ve learned to read for context.  Proverbs 31 is a poem depicting mother to son advice.  Specifically, it is a acrostic poem in which each line in the original translation starts with the next letter of the Greek alphabet.  The chapter starts with advice to her son about kingly behavior, and ends with a poetic description of traits to celebrate and praise in a virtuous wife.

 

Many women read this chapter and feel added pressure to be the “perfect wife.”  Just add it to the growing list of expectations about body and behavior today’s women have, right?  However, the original intention was not prescriptive but descriptive in nature.  The only directive in the whole poem is directed to the son.  Remembering that the poem is “mother to son” advice, she reminds him to “Honor her for all that her hands have done” (Proverbs 31:31).  The rest is a descriptive celebration of a Godly and virtuous woman.

 

After realizing the context, the second thing I read for was theme.  What is the author’s message?  When I stopped focusing on what I felt was a checklist of sorts, I could read big picture… more for the character traits being celebrated.  I don’t have to learn to sew or become a morning person to be a virtuous woman.  Some commentary suggests the entire poem is metaphorical, while others note the earlier verses provide examples of observable behaviors and the later verses dig deeper into broader character traits.  A few character traits I noted as I reread this chapter as a wife and mother are:

  • God-Fearing
  • Strong
  • Faithful
  • Nurturing
  • Merciful
  Gracious

  Trustworthy

  Hardworking

  Responsible

  Wise

You’ll notice that I didn’t put checkboxes this time but simple bullets to remind myself that this chapter isn’t about checking off behaviors or activities to become virtuous.  As I reflect on the character traits, I completely agree that these are all adjectives I’d love for my husband, children, family, and friends to use to describe me as a Christian wife, mother, and woman. This chapter isn’t suggesting that a Christian woman is all of these things all of the sudden.  It is a process like the rest of our Christian journey to sanctification.  Being a Christian doesn’t automatically sanctify us, but as we draw closer to God, we naturally become more like Him.  My prayer is that as Christian women and men, we seek His face everyday... and because of our relationship with Him, others see these traits in us.

 

~Morgan Blanton

 

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Proverbs 30

Proverbs 30                                                                                   July 30, 2016

 

The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh—an inspired utterance.

This man’s utterance to Ithiel:

“I am weary, God,
but I can prevail.
Surely I am only a brute, not a man;
I do not have human understanding.
I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is the name of his son?
Surely you know!

“Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

“Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

10 “Do not slander a servant to their master,
or they will curse you, and you will pay for it.

11 “There are those who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers;
12 those who are pure in their own eyes
and yet are not cleansed of their filth;
13 those whose eyes are ever so haughty,
whose glances are so disdainful;
14 those whose teeth are swords
and whose jaws are set with knives
to devour the poor from the earth
and the needy from among mankind.

15 “The leech has two daughters.
‘Give! Give!’ they cry.

“There are three things that are never satisfied,
four that never say, ‘Enough!’:
16 the grave, the barren womb,
land, which is never satisfied with water,
and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’

17 “The eye that mocks a father,
that scorns an aged mother,
will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley,
will be eaten by the vultures.

18 “There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a young woman.

20 “This is the way of an adulterous woman:
She eats and wipes her mouth
and says, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.’

21 “Under three things the earth trembles,
under four it cannot bear up:
22 a servant who becomes king,
a godless fool who gets plenty to eat,
23 a contemptible woman who gets married,
and a servant who displaces her mistress.

24 “Four things on earth are small,
yet they are extremely wise:
25 Ants are creatures of little strength,
yet they store up their food in the summer;
26 hyraxes are creatures of little power,
yet they make their home in the crags;
27 locusts have no king,
yet they advance together in ranks;
28 a lizard can be caught with the hand,
yet it is found in kings’ palaces.

29 “There are three things that are stately in their stride,
four that move with stately bearing:
30 a lion, mighty among beasts,
who retreats before nothing;
31 a strutting rooster, a he-goat,
and a king secure against revolt.

32 “If you play the fool and exalt yourself,
or if you plan evil,
clap your hand over your mouth!
33 For as churning cream produces butter,
and as twisting the nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger produces strife.”

 

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Proverbs 29

Proverbs 29                                                                                   July 29, 2016

Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes
will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
when the wicked rule, the people groan.

A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

By justice a king gives a country stability,
but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.

Those who flatter their neighbors
are spreading nets for their feet.

Evildoers are snared by their own sin,
but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.

The righteous care about justice for the poor,
but the wicked have no such concern.

Mockers stir up a city,
but the wise turn away anger.

If a wise person goes to court with a fool,
the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.

10 The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity
and seek to kill the upright.

11 Fools give full vent to their rage,
but the wise bring calm in the end.

12 If a ruler listens to lies,
all his officials become wicked.

13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common:
The Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.

14 If a king judges the poor with fairness,
his throne will be established forever.

15 A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom,
but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.

16 When the wicked thrive, so does sin,
but the righteous will see their downfall.

17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace;
they will bring you the delights you desire.

18 Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;
but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.

19 Servants cannot be corrected by mere words;
though they understand, they will not respond.

20 Do you see someone who speaks in haste?
There is more hope for a fool than for them.

21 A servant pampered from youth
will turn out to be insolent.

22 An angry person stirs up conflict,
and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.

23 Pride brings a person low,
but the lowly in spirit gain honor.

24 The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies;
they are put under oath and dare not testify.

25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

26 Many seek an audience with a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that one gets justice.

27 The righteous detest the dishonest;
the wicked detest the upright.

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Proverbs 28

Proverbs 28                                                                                  July 28, 2016

 

The wicked flee though no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.

A ruler who oppresses the poor
is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.

Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked,
but those who heed it resist them.

Evildoers do not understand what is right,
but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.

Better the poor whose walk is blameless
than the rich whose ways are perverse.

A discerning son heeds instruction,
but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.

Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor
amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.

If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction,
even their prayers are detestable.

10 Whoever leads the upright along an evil path
will fall into their own trap,
but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.

11 The rich are wise in their own eyes;
one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are.

12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation;
but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.

13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God,
but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.

15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a helpless people.

16 A tyrannical ruler practices extortion,
but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign.

17 Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder
will seek refuge in the grave;
let no one hold them back.

18 The one whose walk is blameless is kept safe,
but the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit.

19 Those who work their land will have abundant food,
but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.

20 A faithful person will be richly blessed,
but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.

21 To show partiality is not good—
yet a person will do wrong for a piece of bread.

22 The stingy are eager to get rich
and are unaware that poverty awaits them.

23 Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor
rather than one who has a flattering tongue.

24 Whoever robs their father or mother
and says, “It’s not wrong,”
is partner to one who destroys.

25 The greedy stir up conflict,
but those who trust in the Lord will prosper.

26 Those who trust in themselves are fools,
but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.

27 Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,
but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.

28 When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding;
but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.

 

When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.

Proverbs 28:2

 

I'm not interested in politics, but I am concerned that our nation's leaders. We need leaders with understanding and knowledge, with strength and compassion. It's kind of discouraging as we listen to the news during this election year. We feel helpless about our choices, but there's one thing we can do - pray. Pray for wisdom as we vote. Pray for our current and future leaders, that they will seek guidance from God. Pray for each other, that we will remember, God is in control.

Becky Dorsey

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Proverbs 27

 

Proverbs 27                                                                                   July 27, 2016

 

Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.

Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth;
an outsider, and not your own lips.

Stone is heavy and sand a burden,
but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.

Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?

Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses.

One who is full loathes honey from the comb,
but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

Like a bird that flees its nest
is anyone who flees from home.

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of a friend
springs from their heartfelt advice.

10 Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family,
and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you—
better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.

11 Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart;
then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.

12 The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

13 Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;
hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.

14 If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning,
it will be taken as a curse.

15 A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping
of a leaky roof in a rainstorm;
16 restraining her is like restraining the wind
or grasping oil with the hand.

17 As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.

18 The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and whoever protects their master will be honored.

19 As water reflects the face,
so one’s life reflects the heart.

20 Death and Destruction are never satisfied,
and neither are human eyes.

21 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but people are tested by their praise.

22 Though you grind a fool in a mortar,
grinding them like grain with a pestle,
you will not remove their folly from them.

23 Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
give careful attention to your herds;
24 for riches do not endure forever,
and a crown is not secure for all generations.
25 When the hay is removed and new growth appears
and the grass from the hills is gathered in,
26 the lambs will provide you with clothing,
and the goats with the price of a field.
27 You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
and to nourish your female servants.

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Proverbs 26

Proverbs 26                                                                                   July 26, 2016

 

Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
honor is not fitting for a fool.
Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
an undeserved curse does not come to rest.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the backs of fools!
Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
or you yourself will be just like him.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
or he will be wise in his own eyes.
Sending a message by the hands of a fool
is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.
Like the useless legs of one who is lame
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
Like tying a stone in a sling
is the giving of honor to a fool.
Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
10 Like an archer who wounds at random
is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
so fools repeat their folly.
12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for them.

13 A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road,
a fierce lion roaming the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
so a sluggard turns on his bed.
15 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.
16 A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven people who answer discreetly.

17 Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears
is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.

18 Like a maniac shooting
flaming arrows of death
19 is one who deceives their neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”

20 Without wood a fire goes out;
without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.

23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips,
but in their hearts they harbor deceit.
25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them,
for seven abominations fill their hearts.
26 Their malice may be concealed by deception,
but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;
if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.
28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.

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Proverbs 25

Proverbs 25                                                                                  July 25, 2016

These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.

Remove the dross from the silver,
and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
remove wicked officials from the king’s presence,
and his throne will be established through righteousness.

Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence,
and do not claim a place among his great men;
it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,”
than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.

What you have seen with your eyes
    do not bring hastily to court,
for what will you do in the end
if your neighbor puts you to shame?

If you take your neighbor to court,
do not betray another’s confidence,
10 or the one who hears it may shame you
and the charge against you will stand.

11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver
is a ruling rightly given.
12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.

13 Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
he refreshes the spirit of his master.
14 Like clouds and wind without rain
is one who boasts of gifts never given.

15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

16 If you find honey, eat just enough—
too much of it, and you will vomit.
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—
too much of you, and they will hate you.

18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.
19 Like a broken tooth or a lame foot
is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.
20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day,
or like vinegar poured on a wound,
is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.

23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.

24 Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

25 Like cold water to a weary soul
is good news from a distant land.
26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well
are the righteous who give way to the wicked.

27 It is not good to eat too much honey,
nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.

28 Like a city whose walls are broken through
is a person who lacks self-control.

 

“A person who gathers in the fields is wise.  A person who sleeps and is lazy is a shame to himself and family.”    God tells us to apply our heart to our work for his glory.  He gave us the ability to achieve his goals for us.  He tells us we will not be perfect but to continue to strive to work in his glory.

“Listen to me.  I am training you to work and to set your mind on the good things of life and not to listen to the evil.”    Often when I am tired, I remember that he is my strength and I take pleasure on leaning on him.  He listens to our prayers and knows or needs. The Bible says he gets pleasure when we lean on him and trust him for our needs.

“A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is a maul, and a sword and a sharp arrow.”    Gossip hurts;  good people tell of positive and happy thoughts to describe other people.  Often part of the story is made up or not based on total truth. The Bible tells us the tongue is full of deadly poison. Sometimes family members or neighbors do not even know why they are distant to each other.  Forgiveness is the bi-product of love. While it is hard to do, we should pray that we will recognize the people who are insecure about themselves and need someone to stand with them and love them.  I remember to pray, "Father forgive me for thinking that this is not my problem.  Help me to care for others as you do."

“Thou dealt with my servant, oh Lord, according unto thy word.  Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.  Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept thy word.  Thou are good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.  The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precept with my whole heart.” (Psalm 119:65-69)

Dee Basnett

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Proverbs 24

Proverbs 24                                                                                  July 24, 2016

 

Do not envy the wicked,
do not desire their company;
for their hearts plot violence,
and their lips talk about making trouble.

By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.

The wise prevail through great power,
and those who have knowledge muster their strength.
Surely you need guidance to wage war,
and victory is won through many advisers.

Wisdom is too high for fools;
in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.

Whoever plots evil
will be known as a schemer.
The schemes of folly are sin,
and people detest a mocker.

10 If you falter in a time of trouble,
how small is your strength!
11 Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good;
honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.
14 Know also that wisdom is like honey for you:
If you find it, there is a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.

15 Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous,
do not plunder their dwelling place;
16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,
but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.

17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,
18 or the Lord will see and disapprove
and turn his wrath away from them.

19 Do not fret because of evildoers
or be envious of the wicked,
20 for the evildoer has no future hope,
and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.

21 Fear the Lord and the king, my son,
and do not join with rebellious officials,
22 for those two will send sudden destruction on them,
and who knows what calamities they can bring?

23 These also are sayings of the wise:

To show partiality in judging is not good:
24 Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent,”
will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations.
25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty,
and rich blessing will come on them.

26 An honest answer
is like a kiss on the lips.

27 Put your outdoor work in order
and get your fields ready;
after that, build your house.

28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause—
would you use your lips to mislead?
29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me;
I’ll pay them back for what they did.”

30 I went past the field of a sluggard,
past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.

 

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Proverbs 23

Proverbs 23                                                                                  July 23, 2016

 

When you sit to dine with a ruler,
note well what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.
Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
do not trust your own cleverness.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

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.

Do not speak to fools,
for they will scorn your prudent words.

10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Defender is strong;
he will take up their case against you.

12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge.

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
14 Punish them with the rod
and save them from death.

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad indeed;
16 my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.

19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth and do not sell it—
wisdom, instruction and insight as well.
24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;
a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.
25 May your father and mother rejoice;
may she who gave you birth be joyful!

26 My son, give me your heart
and let your eyes delight in my ways,
27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,
and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Like a bandit she lies in wait
and multiplies the unfaithful among men.

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,
who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly!
32 In the end it bites like a snake
and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange sights,
and your mind will imagine confusing things.
34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
lying on top of the rigging.
35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
so I can find another drink?”

"Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge."

Proverbs 23:12

 

 

We love to give advice, especially as we grow older. Are we as willing to receive instruction, to open our ears? As much as we think we know, we can always learn. I learn from those who are older and wiser. I learn from two year old children. I even sometimes learn from our pets. Most importantly, I continue to learn from God's word. As I read my Bible, I am amazed at the knowledge revealed to me, just when I need it most. My prayer is that I will always keep my eyes, ears and my heart open to the instruction God has for me.

 

Becky Dorsey

 

 

 

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Proverbs 22

 

Proverbs 22                                                                                  July 22, 2016

 

A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Rich and poor have this in common:
The Lord is the Maker of them all.

The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Humility is the fear of the Lord;
its wages are riches and honor and life.

In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls,
but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.

Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity,
and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.

The generous will themselves be blessed,
for they share their food with the poor.

10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;
quarrels and insults are ended.

11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace
will have the king for a friend.

12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.

13 The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside!
I’ll be killed in the public square!”

14 The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit;
a man who is under the Lord’s wrath falls into it.

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

16 One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth
and one who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.

17 Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;
apply your heart to what I teach,
18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart
and have all of them ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I teach you today, even you.
20 Have I not written thirty sayings for you,
sayings of counsel and knowledge,
21 teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth,
so that you bring back truthful reports
to those you serve?

22 Do not exploit the poor because they are poor
and do not crush the needy in court,
23 for the Lord will take up their case
and will exact life for life.

24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
do not associate with one easily angered,
25 or you may learn their ways
and get yourself ensnared.

26 Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge
or puts up security for debts;
27 if you lack the means to pay,
your very bed will be snatched from under you.

28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
set up by your ancestors.

29 Do you see someone skilled in their work?
They will serve before kings;
they will not serve before officials of low rank.

 

PROVERBS 22:1  “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”

The way to live your life is to always live by the golden rule—“Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”  Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, your mind, and your soul.  The second most important command is to love your neighbor as yourself.  We certainly don’t want to hurt ourselves, so we should not want to hurt anyone else or make them feel bad about themselves.  This means that we should think of others before we think of ourselves.    Think how different our world would be if we always remembered to do this.  Let’s try to remember to put others first and we can help the world around us to be a better place.

REMEMBER:  GOD first, OTHERS second, SELF last!

Prayer:  Lord, please help me to love you above everything else and to live as you would have me to live every day.  Help me to love others and to want what is best for them.  Thank you, Lord, for showing me the way you would want me to live. I love you.  I ask this in Jesus name.  Amen.                  Beth Hafer

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