God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Friday, June 7, 2013

June 7 - Proverbs 13-15: The Way of the Wise

Today’s Reading: Proverbs 13-15

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Wise people listen to wise people. Fools listen to daytime television.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Intelligent children develop good conversation skills. They hate false talk and converse in substantial topics. They listen and honor God's Commands. They embrace correction and walk with the wise.
Wise people take care of their mouths and animals. They stay on God's life-track.
Wise people discern truth and cautiously walk forward. They help neighbors and acquire wisdom.
Righteousness can make an entire nation strong but wickedness hurts anyone.
Gentle responses and kind words soothe.
God sees all.
Good advice spreads knowledge.
Intelligent people love being told new truths.
Simple lives with God are better than the high life with evil.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Wise people welcome wisdom.

Wisdom remains central to the proverbs of Solomon. He mentions this several times: the wise listen to parents, acquire the ability to converse in substantial topics, enjoy correction, and listen to any other wise person. To be wise we must welcome and enjoy listening to those who are wise. If we speak with dullards or read/watch/listen to stories that have little knowledge or wisdom we will eventually become the same. It is best to avoid these types of media/people as much as possible. Cynics cannot accept any form of wisdom—avoid them as well.

Righteousness can lift an entire nation.

Solomon is using the compare-and-contrast method of teaching. He compares the outcome of the righteous to the outcome of the wicked in many different ways. In this case he shows that if right and wrong were ships, righteousness could buoy an entire nation while wickedness could not lift a single person. For this reason individuals, communities, and full nations should invite Lady Wisdom into their homes to help their families, communities, and nations walk in wise ways. Righteousness can lift every person equally. Wickedness can lift no one.

God cannot stand religious theater but loves genuine conversation.

David mentioned a similar idea in Psalm 31. If God cares more for the why of religion instead of the what, religious theater means little. What is significant to Him is connection. This is why true conversation means more to God than anything associated with "religion." God wants you to connect with Him through prayer, not perform the "right" set of rituals.

A simple life with God is better than a flashy life with sin.

George Sanders, the voice of Shere Khan in The Jungle Book, was a talented actor who was good. I remember his captivating performance in All About Eve. I wanted to learn more about him. Unfortunately, what I learned did not impress me. He had no respect for people, especially women. He confessed to being rude and hateful. In April 1972 he committed suicide and his wrote in his suicide note, "Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck." I have never heard of a person coming to the later years of his life and believing God's life was not worth it.

To whom do you listen?

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