Read: Proverbs 27-29
Several themes wind through these three chapters. I could read these each day and hear different voices speaking truth based on the day’s circumstances. I hope to gain wisdom, avoid being a fool and learn more today than yesterday by listening to instructions written here so plainly.
Fools, not something anyone wants to be associated with in the least, but something we hear about over and over in Proverbs.
- Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both. Proverbs 27:3
- Though you grind a fool in a mortar, grinding them like grain with a pestle, you will not remove their folly from them. Proverbs 27:22
- Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe. Proverbs 28:26
- If a wise person goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace. Proverbs 29:9
- Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. Proverbs 29:11
- Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them. Proverbs 29:20
The second bullet really caught my attention: fools are fools all the way through! Before I jump to the conclusion that “they” are bad, I need to carefully examine myself. How many times have I been a provocateur? Or trusted in myself? Or fully vented my anger in rage? Too many times have I spoken in haste. Surely I have been a fool at times. Lord, help me to be less of a fool today than yesterday! Help me to repeat that prayer until foolish ways are erased from my character.
If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction,
even their prayers are detestable.
This stands alone in this reading, but popped out to me as a significant proverb that I don’t want to miss. Frances Chan referred to this (among others) in his discussion (aka, rant) about Jehovah’s Witnesses approaching him. The idea that prayers can be detestable is shocking, extreme, sobering. Lord, help us to listen intently to your instruction!
I tried to ignore these verses, not wanting to wade into the pool of discontent, but here you go:
- When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding. Proverbs 28:12
- When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive. Proverbs 28:28
- When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan. Proverbs 29:2
- If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked. Proverbs 29:12
- When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall. Proverbs 29:16
Lord, the leaders in our country fall into these categories too often because so many have turned away from you. I pray that we learn how to navigate the rough waters, that we don’t shy away from the causes that are negatively affected by poor leadership and selfish motivation. Help us to call out the wickedness by shining a light of wisdom with intelligence and strength. Give us strength and courage to stand in this battle with the assurance that righteousness will indeed prevail.
Iron Sharpens Iron
I cannot leave this reading without including this great proverb:
As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
It is my prayer and hope to surround myself with people that are sharper than myself, harder in a way because they have been through refining fires and persevered honorably giving God the glory. I want to associate with these leaders and learn from their experience to expose my own flaws and hopefully sharpen my gifts for the Kingdom today as well as tomorrow.
There is so much work to be done, so many who are off course. I know I’m far from perfect, but I choose to serve the one who is and who is to come. Lord, help this translate into effective discipleship as I greatly desire to leave a wake of disciples who make disciples.