Saturday, July 4, 2009

Proverbs 12: 1-9

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked
1Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
But he who hates reproof is stupid.
2A good man will obtain favor from the LORD,
But He will condemn a man who devises evil.
3A man will not be established by wickedness,
But the root of the righteous will not be moved.
4An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.
5The thoughts of the righteous are just,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.
7The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
But the house of the righteous will stand.
8A man will be praised according to his insight,
But one of perverse mind will be despised.
9Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant
Than he who honors himself and lacks bread.

Today's Thought Questions:
  1. In Proverbs 6, God tells us the importance of discipline or correction. In Proverbs 12:1, we are challenged to love discipline. What should the position of our hearts be in order to receive correction in this way? If we hate correction, we are "stupid." What do you think about this?
  2. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

Isn't it amazing how discipline goes along with the heart? When we choose to follow God with our whole heart, we know that wisdom will come. If our hearts are somehow tainted by sin, then we need to have them realigned with God, His commandments and instruction. And, that requires discipline.

I think one of the things that folks get confused about is that discipline doesn't mean punishment. Some may feel like they are being punished, but realignment doesn't come without some "bending and stretching." Sometimes, it just plain hurts to have to deal with long-established habits that weren't good things to start anyway. (Read that beautiful passage in Hebrews about discipline that Barbara mentioned a few posts ago. No discipline seems pleasant at the time. No, of course not. But when it produces righteousness, isn't that like seeing the rainbow at the end of a thunderstorm?

Quick look at verse 4: "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones." What kind of wife? Excellent or virtuous, having worth, moral goodness [Strong's]. Crown, from the Hebrew, has the very literal translation of that which encircles--to fit as a crown. A wife who brings her husband shame is not worthy...period. "Rottenness in his bones" is a statement that speaks to a man's strength. A woman who does not have that moral goodness weakens a man--decaying his bones!

This was never God's plan, as He placed woman to be with man as a suitable helper. One who would, indeed, crown her husband with the proper respect. How do we become excellent wives? I sense there is more to come!

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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Questions:

Proverbs 12: 10-20
  1. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

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Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).

1 comment:

KelliGirl said...

I'm finally caught up in my reading of Proverbs and so happy to stop by for a visit.

I read these verses this morning and was struck by the idea of not only accepting discipline, but welcoming it.

Although I struggle a bit to understand what this looks like in real life, I think of my children. When they reject discipline or correction because they think they know better or think its unfair, they're forgetting who they are...children who need to be taught and shaped. The same with us. When we refuse discipline, we say to God we know better, we're beyond reproach, and that God is wrong.

Yikes! Definitely not a good attitude to have is it?

I pray for a teachable heart that receives correction with humility and not pride or condemnation. For surely, wisdom will follow.

Sue, I pray you and your family have a happy 4th!