I want to thank you all for being here today. Whether you’ve followed this series r 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.
We are continuing forward as we have now met up with week 21 of our extended odyssey. Our search and rescue mission for wisdom.
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.
A week ago I asked the question “Are You Living Wisely?” Much of Chapter 20 was short to the point observations. I suggested that If it helps, you may want to hear them in the voice of an observational comic. Someone like Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Engvall, Jeff Foxworthy or even the late Andy Rooney.
We began with verse four in the voice of Seinfeld, “If you’re too lazy to plant seed, it’s too bad when you have no harvest on which to feed”. To which Jerry might add, ‘it really is a show about nothing’…
Next on stage on our light hearted look at common sense philosphoies is Bill, who after reading verse 16, “Anyone stupid enough to guarantee a loan for a stranger deserves to have his property held as security”. Followed by here’s your sign……
As we approach verse 19 Foxworthy steps forward we could hear, ‘you may be’ “A blabbermouth (if you) will reveal your secrets, so stay away from people who can’t keep their mouths shut.
And I can hear Andy Rooney pondering, ‘have you ever wondered why…’ verse 24 asks if “It is the Lord who directs your life, (and is responsible) for each step you take bring you closer to your destiny.(Then how is it) So much of your life, then, remains a mystery”(?)
Submitted for your consideration not to make fun of these verses, father to have some fun with them. There is indeed wisdom in each of these short expressions, and I hope this translation makes them straight forward enough that you can accept them without effort. Seems like good common sense ideas to live by.
Next we’ll press ahead to Proverbs Chapter 21.
Today’s reading is titled, “God Is the Source of Wisdom”. Like yesterday’s last week’s chapter it is short to the point quotations about wisdom. In fact we can call these one liners as every verse is a single sentence. Let’s read together,…
It’s as easy for God to steer a king’s heart[a] for his purposes
as it is for him to direct the course of a stream.[b]
We may think we’re right all the time,
but God thoroughly examines our motives.
It pleases God more when we demonstrate godliness and justice
than when we merely offer him a sacrifice.
Arrogance, superiority, and pride are the fruits of sin.[c]
Brilliant ideas pay off and bring you prosperity,
but making hasty, impatient decisions
will only lead to financial loss.[d]
You can make a fortune dishonestly,
but your crime will hold you in the snares of death![e]
Violent rebels don’t have a chance,
for their rejection of truth and their love of evil
will drag them deeper into darkness.
You can discern that a person is guilty by his devious actions
and the innocence of a person by his honest, sincere ways.
It’s better to live all alone in a rickety shack
than to share a castle with a crabby spouse![f]
The wicked always crave what is evil;
they’ll show no mercy and get no mercy.[g]
Senseless people learn their lessons the hard way,
but the wise are teachable.
A godly, righteous person[h] has the ability
to bring the light of instruction to the wicked
even though he despises what the wicked do.[i]
If you close your heart to the cries of the poor,
then I’ll close my ears when you cry out to me!
Try giving a secret gift to the one who is angry with you
and watch his anger disappear.
A kind, generous gift goes a long way
to soothe the anger of one who is livid.[j]
When justice is served,
the lovers of God celebrate and rejoice,
but the wicked begin to panic.
When you forsake the ways of wisdom,
you will wander into the realm of dark spirits.[k]
To love pleasure for pleasure’s sake
will introduce you to poverty.
Indulging in a life of luxury[l]
will never make you wealthy.
The wicked bring on themselves
the very suffering they planned for others,
for their treachery comes back to haunt them.[m]
It’s better to live in a hut in the wilderness
than with a crabby, scolding spouse!
In wisdom’s house you’ll find delightful treasures
and the oil of the Holy Spirit.[n]
But the stupid[o] squander what they’ve been given.
The lovers of God who chase after righteousness
will find all their dreams come true:
an abundant life drenched with favor
and a fountain that overflows with satisfaction.[p]
A warrior filled with wisdom ascends into the high place
and releases breakthrough,
bringing down the strongholds of the mighty.[q]
Watch your words and be careful what you say,
and you’ll be surprised by how few troubles you’ll have.
An arrogant man is inflated with pride—
nothing but a snooty scoffer in love with his own opinion.
Mr. Mocker is his name![r]
Taking the easy way out is the habit of a lazy man,
and it will be his downfall.
All day long he thinks about all the things that he craves,
for he hasn’t learned the secret that the generous man has learned:
extravagant giving never leads to poverty.[s]
To bring an offering to God with an ulterior motive is detestable,
for it amounts to nothing but hypocrisy.
No one believes a notorious liar,
but the guarded words of an honest man stand the test of time.
The wicked are shameless and stubborn,
but the lovers of God have a holy confidence.
All your brilliant wisdom and clever insight
will be of no help at all if the Lord is against you.
You can do your best to prepare for the battle,[t]
but ultimate victory comes from the Lord God.
Take a moment to reflect, and then we’ll begin to break down some of today’s concepts.
I encourage you to add your own insights to today’s thoughts in the comment section below. Because these teachings are so concise and finely crafted there is not a lot of analysis to undertake. Rather I’ll offer a few personal observations to some of the verses that really rung true with me today.
The first of thoise was verse two: “We may think we’re right all the time, but God thoroughly examines our motives”. WE can’t even get away with lying to ourselves when God is involved. There is no hiding and there is no way we can justify believing or proclaiming how right we think we are before the only omnipotent, perfect One.
Then the next line, verse three reads as, “It pleases God more when we demonstrate godliness and justice than when we merely offer him a sacrifice”. You can’t just write a check. It takes commitment, dedication and perseverance to truly please the Lord.
Then I wonder what was onm Solomon’s mind when he came up with verse nine? “It’s better to live all alone in a rickety shack than to share a castle with a crabby spouse!”
Which is also a lot like he repeated in verse 19, “It’s better to live in a hut in the wilderness than with a crabby, scolding spouse!”.
Both can be described as ‘if mama ain’t happy nobody’s happy!” Or another common saying, ‘happy wife, happy life’. However ladies remember it works the other way too. We have our responsibility to wisely maintain balance and peace in the home.
The next one kind of speaks for itself, it’s worth noting for me today as it’s another reassurance of God’s faithfulness to us and the delivery of his promises. Verse 21, “The lovers of God who chase after righteousness will find all their dreams come true: an abundant life drenched with favor and a fountain that overflows with satisfaction.
Again because of it;’s importance we hear a repeated theme in verse 23, as it’s translated, “Watch your words and be careful what you say, and you’ll be surprised by how few troubles you’ll have”.
Or as Grandma always said, ‘choose your words carefully’.
And today’s closing verse serves as a reminder where our strength, glory and victory comes from. As it reminds us of who “Your Source” truly is: “You can do your best to prepare for the battle, but ultimate victory comes from the Lord God”.
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 21 weeks, already of this odyssey. Yet 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.
Thank you again for joining us on this edition of “Becoming Today”.