Sunday, July 14: Proverbs 4 – 6
We are now two days into our reading of the Book of Proverbs, and as we are reading, we’ve been introduced to “wisdom.” This again recalls the gift of wisdom that Solomon received from God as he inherited the throne from his father David. For the most part this gift of wisdom is going to be revealed to us in short quips and sayings that are meant to make a specific point. Some of them will be well known, even to us today. Take for example:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
While these may not be super familiar, I promise we will encounter several that will be much more familiar in the days ahead. Another thing to notice is that “Wisdom” is often referred to as “she” or “lady” or “her”. Much of this is due to the fact that the Hebrew language is written in masculine and feminine forms, something we don’t see in our own English language. Given this, the Hebrew “Wisdom” is a feminine noun, meaning that references would then point back to Wisdom with ” “she” or “lady” or “her”. While this is grammatically correct, I also recall the book/movie “The Shack” where the Holy Spirit is given a female form. How beautiful. It gives a sense of love and compassion, and also portrays a sense of power and command when needed. I’d like to think the same her as we ready with “Lady Wisdom” and the compassion she pours our for us, and the sternness that is sometimes necessary, when we haven’t quite figured out how to be “wise.”
Lastly for today, a bit of a riddle. Proverbs 6: 16-19 states:
There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies,
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
How can there be six things that are hated, yet seven that are detestable? Read them carefully. Did you catch it? One is a duplicate. So there is a challenge for us as we read Proverbs, that we must be wise enough to understand the teaching and catch the challenge when presented. Here one of the six things that is hated is “Lies,” which makes sense being “thou shall not lie” is one of the Ten Commandments. As we read this Proverb, our lies become “detestable” as they are referred to as “a lying tongue” or as “a false witness who pours out lies.” One brings shame to ourselves. One brings shame unwantingly on to someone else. Thus making both “detestable to God.
Readings for the next few days:
Monday, July 15: Proverbs 7 – 9
Tuesday, July 16: Proverbs 10 – 12
Wednesday, July 17: Proverbs 13 – 15
Thursday, July 18: Proverbs 16 – 18