Proverbs 31 – The Last Chapter

pray-002The last chapter of the book of Proverbs is considered by many to be like an appendix, as it is very different from any previous chapter. For our full comments on this chapter concerning the “Excellent Wife,” please see this previous post.

Our time this year in the Wisdom Literature is coming to a close, and this is it for the Book of Proverbs. Though we went through the entire book twice, we still covered only a small portion of the verses. We hope you will spend more time in this wonderful book. If you have not seen it already, please take time to read this post with helpful tips for reading this book of wisdom.

As for this chapter, we would like to leave you with this thought. If you find a good godly woman, hold on to her with all your love and honor. If you are a good godly woman, thank you. It is you and others like you that make our children grow up right, and it is you that make our men better men. With respect to that, we salute you with the final words of this book:

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

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Proverbs 30 – Too Wonderful

eagle-001Proverbs 30 is one chapter we can be sure was not Solomon’s because it tells us straight out that it is “the words of Agur son of Jakeh.” We don’t really know anything about him, but his style is certainly distinguishable from that of Solomon. Repeated throughout the chapter are his statements of three things that are described one way, and four that are described another way. For example, verses 18-19:

Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin

These verses have been interpreted different ways, but the one that makes the most sense is the obvious connection to the first part of the chapter. There is much in this world that is wonderful, and much that we should not even worry about trying to understand. Some things are gifts of wonder from God, and should simply be enjoyed. Others are simply an enigma.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Proverbs 29 – In His Time

Verse one of chapter 29 reads:

He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
will suddenly be broken beyond healing

One who stubbornly ignores the rebukes that are intended to correct their wrongful deeds will eventually suffer consequences. This is true in life as you apply it to almost anything from personal relationships to employment to legal issues, and yes, to the evil they do against the Lord.

And in verse 6:

An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,
but a righteous man sings and rejoices

The idea here is that the evil that men do often ends up as their undoing. But how do we reconcile these verses with verse 13, which reads:

The poor man and the oppressor meet together;
the Lord gives light to the eyes of both

According to Bullock, Hitler was an opportunis...

According to Bullock, Hitler was an opportunistic adventurer devoid of principles, beliefs or scruples. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This, of course, is the same thought as in Matthew 5:45, which says “for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good.” The answer is, of course, that many times the evil men do in this life does not fully catch up with them in this life. But they will not escape justice from God in the next life. Still, we should not suppose that God never brings the evil down in this life for their deeds. He just works on His own time-table, and according to His plans.

The Lord predicted the destruction of A.D. 70 (Matthew 24), and there are many more examples in the Old Testament. Just think of the fate of Eli’s house predicted in 1 Samuel 2:27-36, and the words of the prophet Nathan to David in 2 Samuel 12:1-15, among others. One could ponder about Hitler and others as well. But in any event, whether in this life of on the day of judgment, one who “stiffens his neck” will eventually be broken indeed.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Proverbs 28 – Blessed “Fear”

Proverbs 28:14:

Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always,
but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity

Even when they were old men, Joshua and Caleb remained faithful to the Lord as warriors and leaders of God's people. Here Caleb asks Joshua for the area of Hebron, where he can settle with his family (Joshua 14:6-15).

Even when they were old men, Joshua and Caleb remained faithful to the Lord as warriors and leaders of God’s people. Here Caleb asks Joshua for the area of Hebron, where he can settle with his family (Joshua 14:6-15).

Those who fear the Lord are often blessed with earthly gain as well at various times in their lives, but that is not the real lesson here. Those who live their lives in the light of God’s word, worshiping and reverently serving Him, know a happiness and peace that the unbeliever simply cannot understand. But those who harden their hearts against the Lord will ultimately fall into great peril. This is certainly true of the day of judgment, but given time in this life, such will often catch up with them in the way of earthly troubles as well. We see it in the news quite often. It just sometimes takes longer for some than others.

The Book of proverbs is full of verses that speak about integrity. Solomon obviously placed a high value on it, and rightly so, as it is probably the most visible by-product of the Christian life when that commitment is adhered to. Chapter 28 is no exception, as it deals with character in several verses. Verse 18, for example:

Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,
but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall

Our integrity is one of the few very precious things we possess that many people are all too willing to give away. Yet those who manage to keep theirs intact will never regret doing so. But those who have sold it will, without exception, one day pay a dear price themselves for having done so.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Proverbs 27 – Who Can Stand?

Proverbs 27:4:

Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?

King Saul grew insanely jealous of David because of David's success and the praise people heaped upon him. Before long, Saul made plans to murder David. Eventually Saul's daughter Michal, who was also David's wife, helped David escape (1 Samuel 19).

King Saul grew insanely jealous of David because of David’s success and the praise people heaped upon him. Before long, Saul made plans to murder David. Eventually Saul’s daughter Michal, who was also David’s wife, helped David escape (1 Samuel 19).

The sin of wrath is certainly cruel, and anger can absolutely overwhelm us and those we love; and the Bible warns us about it in many passages.  We are aware that sin is sin, and that none is less evil than another in God’s sight. But this verse suggests that jealousy may be the most overwhelming of all. Many other verses also give plenty of warning about the sin of jealousy (for example, Galatians 5:19-21). Proverbs 6:34  warns that jealousy provokes anger to the point of rage. Anyone who has experienced it personally, or witnessed it in someone else has seen that this is certainly the case.  It is a failing that the Christian must control in himself or herself.

Verse 7 says:

One who is full loathes honey,
but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet

Certainly not all, but some of those who have abundance in the way of wealth and earthly possessions have little or no appreciation for some of the things in life that those who have little would delight in. By the same token, many of us who were “raised in the church” run the risk of taking for granted the blessings that being a Christian bring to our lives, while there is a world full of those who would greedily drink from that cup, if they only knew. It is our job to offer that knowledge at all times.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Proverbs 26 – Deceit In His Heart

Proverbs 26:24-26:

Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are seven abominations in his heart;
though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly

We are sometimes in the company of those whose outward appearance is deceptive because they are capable of pretending to want to serve God. The reference to seven abominations just means that his heart is full of abomination. Those who harbor darkness hate the light (John 3:19-20), and the truth eventually will come out because his actions will betray him in time. For being “exposed,” look to Proverbs 10:9: “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”

Continuing on the subject of liars, we look now at the previous verse, verse 23:

Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart

Corinth potteryThe Masoretic for this verse uses the words “silver of dross” where the ESV has adapted “glaze.” It is said that this waste product was (and indeed, still is) used to make a glaze that improves the look of cheap pottery. The inference here is that the valueless covering that makes the earthen vessel look good is like the earnest-sounding speech of one with an evil heart – it also has no value.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Proverbs 25 – Having Your Fill

English: A hive of Apis dorsata (giant honey b...

English: A hive of Apis dorsata (giant honey bees) I photographed whilst in Mt Abu, India. This hive was situated right next to a glass window of a building enabling me to get close enough. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Bee hive honey bee colony swarm Verse 16 conveys an idea that is certainly not very pleasant, and we might wonder what it is that Solomon may be getting at exactly:

 

If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it

 

But verse 17 makes the meaning clearer:

 

Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house,
lest he have his fill of you and hate you

 

Too much of a good thing – even something we enjoy very much – is often bad for us. Likewise, too much time in the company of friends can end up in strife and bitterness. But Solomon’s warning goes beyond honey, neighbors, and friends. When we find something we really enjoy, it is easy to become obsessive about it to some degree. This is more true of some people than others.

 

It is important for God’s people to remember what things are most important in the Lord’s kingdom, and not be carried away with diversion, pleasure, and entertainment to the detriment of those things that are of the most importance. When we allow that to happen, those things become our idols. honey bees and hives and honeycommbs

 

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

 

Proverbs 24:19-34 – Build Your House

preparing02The first reading of verse 27 of Proverbs 24 can be a little puzzling:

Prepare your work outside;
get everything ready for yourself in the field,
and after that build your house.

Wouldn’t even someone living in a farming community want to build a place to live while they are working the field? Some commentaries on the subject suggest that some of the meaning is actually lost in translation, and that a better interpretation would be “build up your house.”

At any rate, the meaning seems to be more related to the preparation one is making for his future. the practical advice and custom of working to accumulate some measure of wealth before proposing marriage fits this very well. But the principle applies to just about anything in this life. One must do their due diligence to prepare for the future in all things, including having children. Humans are one of the few species that seem to forget about “making their nest” first.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Proverbs 24:1-18 – Eat Honey!

Honey in honeycombs

Honey in honeycombs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter 24 concludes the “thirty sayings” portion of the Book of Proverbs that was begun in chapter 22 (see this previous post for more information). Verse 13 is one that is natural for the reader to just skip over:

My son, eat honey, for it is good,
and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste

When one is reading through verse after verse of some of the greatest wisdom, a verse stating that honey is sweet does not really register as being terribly wise. The lesson is in verse 14, which expounds on that thought:

Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.

Wisdom is to the soul like honey is to the taste. The key is to find it; and what the writer has been telling us over and over again throughout this entire book is that the beginning of all knowledge is the fear of the Lord. The greatest source of wisdom is in God’s word. It is there that we find both our hope and our future, but the keywords are “if you find it.” Like finding the honeycomb, we must search the scriptures to find that wisdom. The writer is telling us to read our Bible – regularly!

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Proverbs 23 – Who Has Woe?

As part of the Wisdom literature, the Book of Proverbs is literally full of wisdom. Chapter 23 is certainly no exception. Having already given warning about hanging around with drunkards in verses 21-22, the author turns his attention back to the subject of alcohol for the last several verses of the chapter. No other subject has captured the attention of the author for such an extended contiguous writing so far in these proverbs.

 

Drunkenness of Noah

Drunkenness of Noah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Bible has plenty of examples of the folly and lasting consequences that man can bring on himself (and others) when he voluntarily surrenders his wisdom to drunkenness. For example, one need only read about the depravity of Lot with his daughters (Genesis 19:30-38), or the death of King Elah of Israel (1 Kings 16:8-10) for very costly examples. But this chapter’s attention to the subject does a pretty good job with advice on drunkenness. Part of the passage is included below, including a couple of better known verses on the subject.

 

We see clear examples today all of the time in broken marriages, unwanted pregnancies, domestic violence, and many other social ills. Alcohol abuse has destroyed the earthly happiness of so many lives for thousands of years; and still man is drawn to the “sparkle” that lies to him.

 

Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?

 

Those who tarry long over wine;
those who go to try mixed wine.

 

Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.

 

In the end it bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.

 

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.