I love you.
Wemberly's parents think that she worries too much. So does her grandmother. "'Worry, worry, worry,' said her grandmother. 'Too much worry.'" So imagine how poor Wemberly feels on the first day of school. She has a whole list of worries. What will school be like? Will she make friends? Will people laugh at her doll, Petal?
2 if you have been trapped by what you said,
ensnared by the words of your mouth,
3 then do this, my son, to free yourself,
since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands:
Go and humble yourself;
press your plea with your neighbor!
4 Allow no sleep to your eyes,
no slumber to your eyelids.
5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
So many of the proverbs are "preventative wisdom". They help us stay out of trouble. I am thankful, though, for these 5 verses that help me know what to do AFTER I've put my foot in my mouth. Whatever the instruction, humility is always part of it.
16 There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
21 Bind them upon your heart forever;
fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will guide you;
when you sleep, they will watch over you;
when you awake, they will speak to you.
23 For these commands are a lamp,
this teaching is a light,
and the corrections of discipline
are the way to life,
24 keeping you from the immoral woman,
from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife.
25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyes,
26 for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread,
and the adulteress preys upon your very life.
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
without his clothes being burned?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals
without his feet being scorched?
29 So is he who sleeps with another man's wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
30 Men do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
32 But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment;
whoever does so destroys himself.
2 that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge.
3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 She gives no thought to the way of life;
her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.
7 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
do not turn aside from what I say.
8 Keep to a path far from her,
do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you give your best strength to others
and your years to one who is cruel,
10 lest strangers feast on your wealth
and your toil enrich another man's house.
11 At the end of your life you will groan,
when your flesh and body are spent.
12 You will say, "How I hated discipline!
How my heart spurned correction!
13 I would not obey my teachers
or listen to my instructors.
14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin
in the midst of the whole assembly."
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be captivated by her love.
20 Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress?
Why embrace the bosom of another man's wife?
21 For a man's ways are in full view of the LORD,
and he examines all his paths.
22 The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him;
the cords of his sin hold him fast.
23 He will die for lack of discipline,
led astray by his own great folly.
What grade is your child in, and how many students are in his or her class?
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
This reminded me of Deuteronomy 6:4-8.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
These verses are so famous. Like John 3:16, I can quote them in a heartbeat, and yet I don't really think I can claim them as my "life" verses. ALL my heart? Lean NOT? ALL ways acknowledge him? No wonder my paths seem crooked sometimes!
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
This is such a good reminder in reading the Proverbs that seems to differentiate between the wise and foolish so clearly. It's not my place to decide I'm wise, but instead observe what defines a wise person and see how my life matches up. (It's been humbling.)
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
9 Honor the LORD with your wealth,
with the first fruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11 My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
Sometimes the Lord's discipline comes through a human that we don't respect, and I think it can cause me to resent quite easily. I need to remember the Lord's rebuke can come from anywhere.
13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,
the man who gains understanding,
I feel a little hopeful that this man "finds" and "gains".
14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
those who lay hold of her will be blessed.
19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20 by his knowledge the deeps were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.
Verses 19-20 are cool. It shows why God's creation makes scientific sense.
21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment,
do not let them out of your sight;
22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble;
24 when you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Right now I am reading Fearless by Max Lucado. Each chapter deals with a different fear. I love that this proverb shows us a way to fall asleep at night...preserve sound judgment and discernment. Those are broad, and we may have to find what that means to each of us. Maybe not watching the nightly news? Maybe not spending $100 at Target because we'll worry about money later? Who knows, but one directly affects the other.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being snared.
27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it,
when it is in your power to act.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
"Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow"—
when you now have it with you.
This is so good to hear. I must show love to my neighbors.
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
30 Do not accuse a man for no reason—
when he has done you no harm.
31 Do not envy a violent man
or choose any of his ways,
32 for the LORD detests a perverse man
but takes the upright into his confidence.
33 The LORD's curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 He mocks proud mockers
but gives grace to the humble.
35 The wise inherit honor,
but fools he holds up to shame.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
No reason to look anywhere else. It is the Lord who gives wisdom!
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
This is so amazing to me. There are times when I have chosen to be obedient, but honestly didn't have a clue what was going to happen or how it was going to work out--God was guarding my course, my path! So awesome!
16 It will save you also from the adulteress,
from the wayward wife with her seductive words,
17 who has left the partner of her youth
and ignored the covenant she made before God.
Remember here that Solomon's own mother falls into this category.
Lord, I'm feeling like there is so much for me to remember and keep track of in order to be wise. Please just help me look to you and delight in you instead of worrying about the checklist.
2 for attaining wisdom and discipline;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young-
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance-
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Why did Solomon write the Proverbs? Where does wisdom come from? How is the fear of the Lord the beginning of knowledge? What does it mean to fear the Lord? Who is the wisest person you know?8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction
9 They will be a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
do not give in to them.
11 If they say, "Come along with us;
let's lie in wait for some one's blood,
let's waylay some harmless soul;
12 let's swallow them alive, like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we will get all sorts of valuable things
and fill our houses with plunder;
14 throw in your lot with us,
and we will share a common purse"-
15 my son, do not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths;
16 for their feet rush into sin,
they are swift to shed blood.
17 How useless to spread a net
in full view of all the birds!
18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they waylay only themselves!
19 Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the lives of those who get it.
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out,
in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:
I love that wisdom is described as bold. Sometimes when I'm in the midst of a lot of people who are speaking foolishly or about foolish things, I don't have any confidence at all to speak wisdom. I feel like what I have to say is foolish.
22 "How long will you simple ones love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you had responded to my rebuke,
I would have poured out my heart to you
and made my thoughts known to you.
24 But since you rejected me when I called
and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,
25 since you ignored all my advice
and would not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh at your disaster;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you-
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
28 "Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me.
29 Since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the LORD,
30 since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm."
2 "O my son, O son of my womb,
O son of my vows, >]">
3 do not spend your strength on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings.
4 "It is not for kings, O Lemuel—
not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,
5 lest they drink and forget what the law decrees,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
6 Give beer to those who are perishing,
wine to those who are in anguish;
7 let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
I think so often women read this to find out the perfect person we should be. Wouldn't it be cool if single men would read this to know what to be looking for?:
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
What a picture that is? When I'm lazy I want to eat carbs, which in turn just make me want to be lazier!
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Lord, thank you for the Proverbs. I want to fear you.
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the LORD ?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.
I know when I am given much I think I don't need the Lord.
20 "This is the way of an adulteress:
She eats and wipes her mouth
and says, 'I've done nothing wrong.'
This is painful to read.
24 "Four things on earth are small,
yet they are extremely wise:
25 Ants are creatures of little strength,
yet they store up their food in the summer;
This time of year in San Diego (hot, dry heat getting up to 100), the ants come marching one by one inside houses. And they're looking for water! It's taken me 5 years of living here to get used to this. It's unreal-they are so strong, SO organized. No wonder scripture points them out.
32 "If you have played the fool and exalted yourself,
or if you have planned evil,
clap your hand over your mouth!
33 For as churning the milk produces butter,
and as twisting the nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger produces strife."
Lord, help me clap my hand over my mouth!
Proverbs 29:3 says,
"A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth."
She said, "Jesus was a companion of prostitutes."
3 A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
I think the way this is written is so profound: "companion of prostitutes" is the contrast to a man who loves wisdom.
11 A fool gives full vent to his anger,
but a wise man keeps himself under control.
I love how it doesn't say the wise man lacks anger, only that he knows how to keep it under control-the fool doesn't know how to.
15 The rod of correction imparts wisdom,
but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.
Wow, this is SO TRUE!!! Children who are not guided and instructed cause huge, embarrassing scenes.
17 Discipline your son, and he will give you peace;
he will bring delight to your soul.
I love that feeling of delight when one of my kids makes the right decision after months (or years) of me trying to train them in the way they should go!
18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
but blessed is he who keeps the law.
20 Do you see a man who speaks in haste?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Oh, Lord, help me to slow my verbal responses.
25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
I need to remember this!
If you were going to meet with other moms on a regular basis, what would you most want to take away from that experience? If you've been a part of a MOPS, what did you like the most? the least?
1 The wicked man flees though no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
That is so true! When we have done things we want to keep secret, we live like someone is going to find out at any second! Oh, Lord, I want to live a life where I would have no shame in people finding out what I do when no one is watching.
13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
I love this combination of words "confesses and renounces". Even fools will admit sins, but it's when we confess them with heart desire to renounce them that true repentance occurs.
23 He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor
than he who has a flattering tongue.
This is tough to read.
26 He who trusts in himself is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.
How many times do I trust in myself? When will I ever stop?