Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 205

The scriptures read are Proverbs 26-28, Psalm 18:1-20 and Philippians 2.

Proverbs 26. Verses 4 and 5 contradict each other. And it's pretty obvious that the editor of Proverbs did this deliberately. His point, I think, was that sometimes there are reasons both for and against the same action. Sometimes one set of considerations make one action the wise choice; other times different considerations might lead you to do the opposite. Also this is an alert not to take one verse of scripture and build a whole program of action out of it without looking at what other parts of scripture say about the same matter. They won't always be conveniently side by side. And be prepared for paradoxes that signal that matter in question is more complex than it first appears, with different angles to explore and nuances to observe.

Man, there's a lot about fools in this chapter. And sluggards. And gossips.

"You grab a mad dog by the ears when you butt into a quarrel that's none of your business."

Proverbs 27. "Don't brashly announce what you're going to do tomorrow; you don't know the first thing about tomorrow." What does God think of 5 Year Plans?
"The wounds of a lover are worth it; kisses from an enemy do you in."
"Better a nearby friend than a distant family."
"If you wake your friend in the early morning by shouting 'Rise and shine!' it will sound to him more like a curse than a blessing." Especially if you don't have a coffee ready for him.
"A nagging spouse is like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet; you can't turn it off, and you can't get away from it." There have been a lot of proverbs about nagging wives in this book. Marrying 700 wives wasn't such a wise move after all, was it, Solomon?
There are more. This is one of the best chapters so far.

Proverbs 28. "God has no use for the prayers of those who won't listen to him."
"The rich think they know it all, but the poor see right through them."
"Playing favorites is always a bad thing; you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways."
"If you think you know it all, you're a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others."

Psalm 18:1-20. An instrumental version that really suits the very dramatic first part of this psalm. Click here to hear.

Philippians 2. Paul, who brought the Gentiles into the church, which caused such controversy and division, is always concerned about Christian unity. The main cause is short-sighted selfish human thinking so he uses Jesus as the example to follow. He was equal to God but didn't cling to that and stripped himself of divine privilege to become one of us. He came as a slave to God's plan, which he followed obediently, even to the point of dying, and dying that most horrible of deaths, crucifixion. In response to him serving all, God has made him master of all. That's you should think and act.

No comments:

Post a Comment