Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are Proverbs 27-29
Hitting a few highlights yet again today because I cannot possibly do justice to all of this wisdom!
Proverbs 27:3 A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
I think we should turn this one over in our minds a bit. The comparison here is of two very heavy physical burdens, contrasted to the burden of being a fool who is quick to jump into offense, easy to anger, or suffering from a general malaise of flying off the handle. The reference here is to someone who has never learned to control themselves. There is a book that used to be in the Biblical canon (and still is within some churches) which states “Sand and salt and a mass of iron are easier to bear than a man without understanding.” Ecclesiasticus 22:15
This Proverb is reminding us who places the true burdens on us – and it isn’t the Father. The true burdens which weigh us down are ones that we undertake of our own doing. By rejecting the Father’s wisdom and choosing our own way over His, we pierce ourselves with many arrows. (Loose reference to 1 Timothy 6:10)
Remember: The Father says that what He asks of us is not too hard for us (Deut 30:11) and Messiah, who asked the same thing, assured us that His burden was light and His yoke was easy (Matt 11:30). So when you feel your burdens are becoming too heavy to bear, it’s time to step back and examine just who put them there. A sure way to lift that weight is to line your life up with the Word. Remember, the Word of YHWH is our straight edge to which all else must line up – not the other way around.
Proverbs 27:17 has become more dear to me since I began experiencing this in my life. Friends who will lead you back to the Father are precious blessings and a gift directly from the Father. Let us all pray that the Father will bring friendships like this for each participant in this Bible study today.
Proverbs 27:18 Hang on y’all. The fruit is coming. I promise. What’s more – YHWH promises.
As in the water face reflects face, so the heart of a man reflects a man. Proverbs 27:19
A reminder that good trees don’t bear bad fruit and vice versa.
Now, lets camp a section of verses for a bit:
23 Know well the condition of your flocks,
and give attention to your herds,
24 for riches do not last forever;
and does a crown endure to all generations?
25 When the grass is gone and the new growth appears
and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
26 the lambs will provide your clothing,
and the goats the price of a field.
27 There will be enough goats’ milk for your food,
for the food of your household
and maintenance for your girls. Proverbs 27:23-27
There are layers of wisdom in this but I like to begin with the obvious and go from there. At first reading, this feels very much like yet another portion of Scripture advising and charging us with the duty of being prepared. We are to pay attention to our resources, care for them wisely, and make sure we have made provision to look after our family come what may. I often hear about folks who feel that, as a Believer, it shows a lack of faith when one prepares. In truth, for anyone who would think such a thing, that just shows a lack of Bible reading.
Let’s take this another layer deep and apply it to our ministry. By “ministry” I mean the one that is around you, right now. Stand in one spot and turn in a circle, that is your ministry. Look at your Facebook friends list. That is your ministry. Look at your call log on your phone. That is your ministry. The fact of the matter is, the Father has given each of us ministries and the sooner we take that seriously the more effective we can be in serving Him and being good stewards of the people He has put in our care, to whatever degree they are in that care.
Know well the condition of your flocks… We are to be a living, breathing example of Messiah in every instance possible. Are we treating them as He would treat them? Are we showing them the love that they need, the encouragement, the Biblical guidance? More important that that, even, are we living by Messiah’s example? Are we representing Him accurately? When we do these things, when we follow the example of our Messiah, just our presence will serve as an encouragement for others to do the same. Do you know what will happen, then? When you need it most, the student will become the teacher. Those dear to you will pour back into your life. It is a circular love that happens as one of many natural side effects of following the one true God.
Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.
Some translations say “Godly” in place of righteous. The Hebrew word, transliterated, is tsaddiq, which means lawful, righteous, one who is justified. All of this to say, if the wicked flee when there isn’t even any danger, how much more should the righteous step up in boldness when we are under the protection of our Father? Have you been bold as a lion lately? Don’t shrink back just because times get tough or things may look uncertain. This is what we’ve been training for. Armor up and get out there to shine.
Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law strive against them. Proverbs 28:4
The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but a companion of gluttons shames his father. Proverbs 28:7
If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9
If we feel this prickling at dearly held doctrine based on what we’ve been taught of the Gospels and Paul’s letters, we must realize that there are two different “laws” being talked about in the latter portions of the Bible: Manmade laws of the religious leaders and the perfect law of YHWH, which is perfect and revives the soul. (Psalms 19:7). Manmade laws were condemned by Messiah while He upheld YHWH’s perfect law. Paul followed suit of our Messiah, although his method of using straw man arguments requires a careful contextual reading and sometimes a few mental whirly jigs to keep up with.
But did y’all catch that last one? Proverbs 28:9. Someone who turns away from the Father’s teaching, His commandments, even his prayer is an abomination. Wow. That makes me sit up straight.
Proverbs 28:13 reminds us that we are in a very real relationship with our Father and when we sin against Him, we need to restore that relationship by turning from that sin and seeking His forgiveness.
Proverbs 29:9 If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
Remember what I said the other day about hanging onto your pearls? Don’t waste your energy on arguments with folks who are not seeking wisdom. As the saying goes, “Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig enjoys it.”
We have the Father’s work to do and when we have set our hearts to that task, the world will work overtime to distract us from it. Let us use that stubborn, stiff necked attitude we have to cling just as stubbornly to Him as the world does to its sin.
Books open, Eyes on Him.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!