Proverbs 14 – The End of Joy May Be Grief

depression_anxiety_003Verse 10 says that “The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy.” No matter how close we get to someone, rarely does anyone ever reach the point that we share every detail of the heart. Almost without exception it is just human nature to hold something back – at a minimum, the darkest moments are not shared. By the same token, nobody who is not close truly shares the joy that comes to us at those rare times when fortunes are at their best.

Verse 13 says “Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief.” Outward appearances can sometimes be deceptive; and we do not always know what is in another’s heart. Many times, people surround themselves with those they believe will make them happy, hoping the sorrow will go away. But often, the charade ends up leaving them still in need of support.

The answer to these enigmas is prayer. The Lord knows our needs and wants to listen to us when we are in despair. Casting our burdens on him is not simply a good thing to do – it is scriptural; and develops the trust in Him that we need.

Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

1 Peter 5:7 – Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

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

/Bob’s boy
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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 13 – Always Rejoicing

In verses 7-9, the Holy Spirit teaches us that which is of the greatest value in life, yet is seldom seen as such by most people. Nobody begins life as an adult by seeking to be unsuccessful. We get the best education that we can. We try to earn our wages in a field in which we possess some skill; and if possible, we try to put some away for our later years when we are no longer able to work. For some, success at doing these things comes very easily. Others do not always find that to be the case.

early 1890sV. 7
One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
V. 8
The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth,
but a poor man hears no threat.
v. 9
The light of the righteous rejoices,
but the lamp of the wicked will be put out

Are the wealthy always so much better off than the poor indeed? The accumulation of such great wealth, though appealing to most of us, does not always result in the best quality of life. Mountains of money and endless possessions did not seem to make life joyous for Howard Hughes. Elvis Presley’s fame and fortune often kept him from going out in public, and he died seemingly “before his time” as did Michael Jackson.

family reunionMy parents were “products” of the Great Depression, and knew first-hand what poverty was like. My father had to leave school in the 8th great to go to work just so the family could survive. They never had much in worldly possessions when they were growing up; and after the Great War, life was still a struggle. We never had great wealth even after I was born, but I and my siblings never knew what it was like to be truly hungry or to do without any of what most people would consider to be the real necessities of life. All the way into my teenage years, I often marveled at the simple life my grandparents still lived in a house no larger in square footage than the game room in my current home.

But who is rich, and who is poor really? My grandparents and their siblings made up a large extended family that was always close through the years before and after the “baby boom.” And though they had little in the way of material wealth, they were incredibly happy because they had been given a precious gift – great love for the Lord, and for each other. and nearly 60 years later, the family reunions have remained large in numbers.

Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 6:8-10 come to mind:

…We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

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.

Psalms 92 – How Great Are Your Works!

English: Palm Tree in Sundankottai,Tamilnadu,India

English: Palm Tree in Sundankottai,Tamilnadu,India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The superscription of this psalm proclaims it to be “a song for the Sabbath,” which indeed means it is most appropriate for praise and worship to the Lord.  It is a song which while praising the mighty works of the lord, acknowledges the pleasure and joy that worshiping him brings to the hearts of the righteous (verse 4).  The text rightly says that this is something that the fool (unbeliever) simply cannot understand (verse 6), and is to be pitied for it.

The horn in verse 10 is a symbol of power, stature and prosperity; and relates to the grace and generosity of the lord toward His servant.  The psalmist proclaims that the enemies of the Lord will perish, and notes that the righteous will “flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”  The significant statement on this (verse 23) is that they are”planted” in the house of the Lord (worship), but they flourish in the “courts of our God” (in His divine presence).

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.