Welcome back as we are continuing, now on week 13 of our extended odyssey, having undertaken a search and rescue mission for wisdom.
When the Bible keeps talking about the same thing over and over, that’s because it is important. That’s why Solomon continues on the themes of loving wisdom and treasuring her.
Along with that we choose to understand that honoring the commandments of God will prevent us from making complete messes of our lives. They are our service, protection and give us life, joy, and everlasting blessings. Which we’ll explore next on this edition of “Becoming Today”.
Understanding that enlightenment is within our reach we shall seek and find the knowledge and inspiration necessary to uplift, support and enhance our collective journeys as well as our own personal paths.
I want to thank you all for being here today. Whether you have followed this series or if this is the first time you are joining us. We are involved in a study of wisdom as taught in the Book of Proverbs. If you’d like to know more about The Passion Translation and why we are using it for this undertaking, you can find a recap near the end of today’s conversation.
Yesterday we spent our time together conversing about “Right?”. That passage is broken down into three sections, the middle one, the shortest, is just three sentences, but they are very valuable ones.
Reminding us that, “Wisdom Means Being Teachable”, Proverbs 12 verse 13 notes that individuals like the ones I just mentioned will receive the appropriate recompense. As the passage quotes, “The wicked will get trapped by their words of gossip, slander, and lies,…’ as well as a note for those that refuse to be deceived with the promise, “ But for the righteous, honesty is its own defense”.
Is that the basis of justice? Honesty is the best policy? Being true and truthful is far easier to defend that maliciousness, hate and fraud.
As Solomon continues in verse 14, “For there is great satisfaction in speaking the truth, and hard work brings blessings back to you”.
This concept can also be reinforced by reading Galatians 5:22 and 23, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”
The middle section of today’s reading is a warning for those that seek to prey on the righteous, as we read in verse 15, “ A fool is in love with his own opinion, but wisdom means being teachable”.
Being teachable and receptive to new understandings is where we’ll pick up today with our study of Proverbs 13.
Let’s read together from The Passion Translation, this chapter which begins with:
A wise son or daughter desires a father’s discipline,
but the know-it-all never listens to correction.
The words of the wise are kind and easy to swallow,
but the unbeliever just wants to pick a fight and argue.
Guard your words and you’ll guard your life,
but if you don’t control your tongue,
it will ruin everything.
The slacker wants it all and ends up with nothing,
but the hard worker ends up with all that he longed for.
Lovers of God hate what is phony and false,
but the wicked are full of shame and behave shamefully.[a]
Righteousness is like a shield of protection,
guarding those who keep their integrity,
but sin is the downfall of the wicked.
One pretends to be rich but is poor.
Another pretends to be poor but is quite rich.[b]
The self-assurance of the rich is their money,[c]
but people don’t kidnap and extort the poor!
The virtues of God’s lovers shine brightly in the darkness,
but the flickering lamp of the ungodly will be extinguished.
Wisdom opens your heart to receive wise counsel,
but pride closes your ears to advice
and gives birth only to quarrels and strife.
Wealth quickly gained is quickly wasted[d]—
easy come, easy go!
But if you gradually gain wealth,
you will watch it grow.
When hope’s dream seems to drag on and on,
the delay can be depressing.
But when at last your dream comes true,
life’s sweetness will satisfy your soul.[e]
Despise the word, will you?
Then you’ll pay the price and it won’t be pretty!
But the one who honors the Father’s holy instructions
will be rewarded.
When the lovers of God teach you truth,
a fountain of life opens up within you,
and their wise instruction will deliver you from the ways of death.
Everyone admires a wise, sensible person,
but the treacherous walk on the path of ruin.[f]
Everything a wise and shrewd man does
comes from a source of revelation-knowledge,[g]
but the behavior of a fool puts foolishness on parade![h]
An undependable messenger causes a lot of trouble,
but the trustworthy and wise messengers
release healing wherever they go.[i]
Poverty and disgrace come to the one
who refuses to hear criticism.[j]
But the one who is easy to correct is on the path of honor.
When God fulfills your longings,
sweetness fills your soul.
But the wicked refuse to turn from darkness
to see their desires come to pass.[k]
If you want to grow in wisdom,
spend time with the wise.
Walk with the wicked
and you’ll eventually become just like them.
Calamity chases the sin-chaser,
but prosperity pursues the God-lover.
The benevolent man leaves an inheritance
that endures to his children’s children,
but the wealth of the wicked is treasured up for the righteous.
The lovers of God will live a long life and get to enjoy their wealth,
but the ungodly will suddenly perish.[l]
If you withhold correction and punishment[m] from your children,
you demonstrate a lack of true love.
So prove your love and be prompt to punish them.[n]
The lovers of God will have more than enough,
but the wicked will always lack what they crave.
Take a moment to reflect, and then we’ll begin to break down some of today’s concepts.
Today’s passage begins with restating the need for wisdom. The rewards of enlightenment and living righteously. Then in verse 12, it delves into another important aspect of our shared journey; hope:
“When hope’s dream seems to drag on and on, the delay can be depressing. But when at last your dream comes true, life’s sweetness will satisfy your soul.”
We all desire what we want, when we want it yet should realize if it truly is something worth having it will come at the right time. It is these times of waiting that too often we can become discouraged or even depressed.
However that is only possible if you choose to allow it. Now I’m not saying there are not medical reasons that cause depression, nor am I discounting the need for individuals to seek help if they are experiencing this, but we can help keep ourselves from falling prey to depressing thoughts.
We can choose to be uplifted and not wallow or dwell in the negative. This is achieved by remaining hopeful
Hope is far more than a wish. Real hope is a belief. A firmly held understanding and commitment to believe that things can and will get better, and “life’s sweetness will satisfy your soul.”
Hope is an action. It involves us accepting the responsibility to empower it daily. It is a sincere motivation to always be “Becoming” and live expectantly.
This expectation involves our willingness to without reservation embrace the idea that something good is going to happen? When? Suddenly…. Quickly…. Soon… Now!
Hope times Faith equals success. As we successfully realize our efforts to seek wisdom, knowledge and enlightenment, hope and faith light our path of righteousness.
That journey is one that as verse six explained, “Righteousness is like a shield of protection, guarding those who keep their integrity,…”.
Elsewhere in the Scriptures we are even urged to become “prisoners of hope”. To surrender ourselves as described in Hebrews 6:19, for “hope is the anchor of the soul”. In the book of Zechariah we learn that a prisoner of hope is someone who is so hope – full that no one can take it away from us.
Hope is far more than just having a positive mental attitude. It is a living, breathing thing that we must be vigilant to guard and nurture on a daily basis. No one can take it away from us without our consent. Do not allow that to happen.
I pray that each of you decide to be “Becoming Today”. To hang on to hope, cause it to blossom. To be full of hope and ever expectant of good things and better days to come allowing for you to accept more joy to come into your lives.
Truth, understanding, enlightenment and wisdom are all very “Becoming” traits. They empower us to grow and learn to be who we truly were intended to be. Which in turn enables us to continue moving on, with our momentum fully powered forward and upward.
I hope you have enjoyed the first 13 weeks of this odyssey. There is much more to come.
As always I encourage you to actively participate. Please post your comments, questions, suggestions or concerns below. This is a safe space to share and there are protections in place to keep spammers out. I will respond to all who choose to participate.
If you do not feel comfortable sharing below, remember you can always reach out privately through the easy to use form on our Contact page.
I pray each and every one of you enjoys a safe and blessed day. Then join us tomorrow as we continue our proverbial search here along this shared journey we call “Becoming Today”.
For those that have been here for a while I hope some of the repetitive nature of these posts is not too distracting. Not only are some of these points to remind us of our focus this month, it is also designed to also be welcoming.
We never know when a fellow traveler may walk along with us, or need to take a diversion.
This is especially true since I have no idea what algorithm directed you, what search method may have pointed in our direction or how many of you find us on any given day. Therefore it’s necessary to recap some of the outline for our combined purposes.
I appreciate your patience and understanding, so I’ll now mention we’ve come to that point in this conversation and if you’ve already heard this, then you can skip the next few paragraphs and pick up with the next image.
Now for those of you listening to the podcast I know that makes no sense, since you can’t hear any of the beautiful graphics we create each day, so you’ll just have to listen along; again… (insert audible giggle here) understanding that I’m laughing with you not at you.
As I am apt to do, even if you have studied Proverbs before, our undertaking may be a bit different, as we’ll be adding some passion to it.
I am being called to focus this teaching around the The Passion Translation® book of Isaiah and New Testament with Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Songs translated from Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts.
Done so by Dr. Brian Simmons who believes the” message of God’s story is timeless; the Word of God doesn’t change. But the methods by which that story is communicated should be timely; the vessels that steward God’s Word can and should change.
Also I’ll remind you that the footnotes referred to are available below and include underlined study links.