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

Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 8 - Proverbs 16-18: Truth Lies on Both Sides

Today’s Reading: Proverbs 16-18

The Message

English Standard Version

Today's reading begins the unfocused section of Proverbs, meaning each two lines may seem completely unrelated. Therefore, the summaries from here on out will consist of proverbs that stand out to me instead of a true "summary" of what is included in the texts.

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Real truth lies under the surface.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Humans make plans and see the surface only. God's plans are truly good. God has a purpose for everything, even the wicked.
Good leaders bring out the best in their followers by showing them the right way through honesty, seriousness, and gracious speech.
A small amount with peace is better than bounty with fighting.
Generations take pride in each other.
Friends overlook wrongs and stay closer than family.
Talk is cheap; silence makes a fool seem wise.
Selfish loners destroy communities.
Fools choke on their words.
God's Name protects those who humbly submit.
Favors win friends.

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

When God is in charge of your plans they come true.

The main idea of the first section is that God can see deeper than people and therefore His plans will always come to fruition. If you want to be successful, begin your plans with God.

Good leaders model godliness.

Followers will do whatever their leaders do. If their leaders do not base their plans on God then followers will not base their plans on God. If leaders lie, cheat, and steal from others their followers will also lie, cheat, and steal from others. If good leaders promote good, truthful advisors, the entire company promotes truth. Leaders, model what you want your followers to do.

Mocking poor people insults God.

Solomon has not given poor people a pass. He has discussed how bad decisions and acts that are not according to God's Way lead people to being poor; however, mocking poor people does not honor God. Solomon understands the causes of poverty and the tragedies it causes. This is why gloating over misfortune is taken seriously. The poor may be poor because of their own doing, but gloating over misfortune only brings reproach on your own head.

Unwise children lead to pain for their parents.

Scattered throughout this section and several sections before is the call to listen and obey parents or shame will come upon them. This is written for both sides—parents should make sure to give their children wise advice and children should listen and obey their wise advice. Solomon does not put the onus on one side or the other. They must both share in setting things right.

Both sides are important in a dispute.

One part of our political system that I find annoying is the constant attempt to silence the other side through filibustering the entire debate time or demonizing the other. Both sides are important to any dispute and should be given a chance to both speak and listen. Businesses should listen to governments and non-profits. Governments and non-profits should listen to businesses. Poor people should listen to rich people. Rich people should listen to poor people. Religious people should listen to non-religious people. Non-religious people should listen to religious people. Parents should listen to children. Children should listen to parents. When we begin by marginalizing one side we end up with one-sided justice—which is no justice at all.

Do you take into account both sides?

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