Tag: Proverbs 22-24
Scripture reading for July 11th: Proverbs 25-29
“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.” Proverbs 25:11-12
Word pictures help us to grasp and remember sayings of the wise. These word pictures stick in our memory and come back to us and bring instruction as we meditate on them. This is the process of the renewing of the mind. We allow them to come into our heart and bring understanding.
This proverb tells us of words that are spoken at just the right time and in the right tone. They are not many words but sometimes only a “word”. They are as beautiful to look at as fine art and have a good ring in our ear. They bring to mind pictures that can reveal more to us than words. They are the “pleasant words that promote instruction”. (Proverbs 16:21)
The earring of gold or ornament of fine gold reminded the reader of what a “listening ear” might look like if it received correction from a wise man. It would be pleasant to look at and decorated beautifully with richness of fine gold. The wise man receives correction so that he can be wiser still. The fool rejects correction and has no gold earring!
“Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble.” Proverbs 25:19
This proverb uses a painful bad tooth or a lame foot that can’t support any weight to tell a story to those who will listen. An unfaithful man is just like that tooth that aches and causes discomfort. He is like the lame foot that is of no help moving forward or carrying a load. Faithfulness is a prized character trait of the wise and choosing faithful helpers, counselors and leaders is a wise move for everyone who has an ear to hear this word!
These chapters of proverbs contain many more of these pithy statements that carry a picture and a message. Take some time and jot down several that speak to you. Share them with a spouse, friend or fellow-traveler in this journey through life. Your just may put a “gold earring or ornament of fine gold” in the listening ear!
Scripture reading for July 10th: Proverbs 22-24
The Bible teaches that we are all designed to have dominion! Adam was given dominion over creation in order to tend and care for it as God desired and instructed. (Genesis 1:27-28) Many of today’s proverbs offer wisdom to those in authority to enable them to effectively rule with the mind of God and avoid the snares of the Devil.
The first truth that stands is the need for humility. (Proverbs 22:4) When we fear the Lord, God gives us discernment into the difference between good and evil. When we choose to do good consistently we get wealth, honor and life as added benefits. We also get a good name and reputation, something that money can’t buy! (Proverbs 22:1) Keeping humility when God has blessed you can be a real test of faith. Many times prosperity causes pride and God is forgotten.
When a king rules, he acts on behalf of God. The poor are to be treated with equity and respect. (Proverbs 22:16, 22-23) When the poor are mistreated, God promises to take up their case and rule on their behalf! Rulers should guard their friendships and social contacts. They must stay away from the adulteress and the hot-tempered man for both lead to trouble. (Proverbs 22:14, 24; 23:26-28) When judging in court, the ruler must convict the guilty and never show partiality or take a bribe. God will bless righteous judgment and integrity! (Proverbs 24:23-25) Also, do not seek revenge because that is for God alone! (Proverbs 24:29)
Proverbs warns that drunkenness is dangerous for those in authority. (Proverbs 23:29-35) Drinking takes away your ability to have sound judgment and to see clearly. It causes violence and strife and quarrels. A hangover comes the next day and bloodshot eyes! It poisons our life like a snake-bite! Laziness is again brought up as a sin to avoid. (Proverbs 24:30-34) Laziness causes life to fall into ruin around you. Your life looks like a field that is not tended. Walls of protection are broken down and enemies steal the crop. Thorns are a sign that the curse is at work to destroy your crops. Laziness leads to poverty and lack and steals your authority!
“Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.” Proverbs 22:4
“A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance and for victory many advisers.” Proverbs 24:5-6
Scripture reading for July 10th: Proverbs 22-24
“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.” (Proverbs 23:29-30)
Alcohol has been around for a long time. Fermented drinks have an attraction because they can alter our moods and it is a socially acceptable thing to do. Alcohol is a depressant, but it has different effects on different people. Some people who are naturally shy might become boastful and belligerent. Some who are good-natured might become mean when too much alcohol is in their system. Inhibitions that one may have when sober may soon vanish when drunk and talk and actions can become offensive and cause trouble and fights.
The writer of Proverbs accurately described the effects of alcohol consumption and addiction 3000 years ago! As I read these words, I think of people whom I have tried to help out of addiction. Trying to reason with them is useless when they are drunk. Often, when sober, they are the nicest people and swear that they are going to change but they go back again and again in a spiral downward that causes personal injury, family breakups and trouble for their friends. They often lose their homes, jobs, and sometimes end up incarcerated. The addiction becomes a prison of their own making.
“In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. “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?”” (Proverbs 23:32-35)
The Bible gives the answer to alcohol addiction! We are not to be drunk with wine or any other alcoholic or mind-altering substance, but rather be filled with God’s Holy Spirit! (Ephesians 5:18-20) The infilling of God’s Spirit brings righteousness, peace, and joy! (Romans 14:17-18) We become thankful to God and worship Him with songs and hymns because of His life in us. It is only by the Spirit that we can overcome the addictions of the flesh and serve God in a pleasing manner. Why not try God’s remedy today? It is the ultimate “high”!