Sunday, July 5, 2009

Proverbs 12: 10-20

10A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal,
But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
11He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense.
12The wicked man desires the booty of evil men,
But the root of the righteous yields fruit.
13An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
But the righteous will escape from trouble.
14A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words,
And the deeds of a man's hands will return to him.
15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
16A fool's anger is known at once,
But a prudent man conceals dishonor.
17He who speaks truth tells what is right,
But a false witness, deceit.
18There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19Truthful lips will be established forever,
But a lying tongue is only for a moment.
20Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
But counselors of peace have joy.

Today's Thought Questions:
  1. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

The strong expressions used in verse 10 caught my eye today.

"A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, but even the compassion of the wicked is cruel."

I was just talking about the phrase "kicking the dog" with Chatty Kelly the other day, and I can't help but think about what that picture looks like in reflection of what Solomon is saying about the wicked.

'Compassion' is suffering with someone or something as a means of reflecting that we understand and empathize with a position or circumstance. If we can be compassionate, we think that, usually, as being a good thing. To read it here, that even the "best" of the wicked is cruel well....whew! That's really nasty! Do you see the picture "kicking the dog" in your head? It's terrible.... I couldn't bring myself to post one of the Google options!

Unfortunately, it's so easy to not see ourselves as being wicked. But, we have to remember what Solomon has been trying to explain to us over lo these many chapters. Wickedness is the opposite of righteousness. So, when we do not walk with God, we walk toward wickedness.

Do I ever lose my compassion? Do I ever want to "kick the dog"? (Sigh!) It's like walking through the desert with a cup of water 1/4 full, and asking why do I only have a 1/4 cup of water?! Why??! Never mind the fact that I have already partaken of 3/4's worth!

When we lose our sense of what is happening around us, when we lose our focus on why we're here and what we're supposed to do, we just plain old lose it! We act irrationally, irresponsibly, wickedly. Do we regret it? I think back to reading that passage about Judas the other day. Do I always come to a place of remorse? Throw back the silver. Do I get it right?

Sometimes, I find that it takes me needing compassion from someone else to realize how I have wronged someone else similarly. It's not a good feeling. It might be as if I were a dog being kicked!

But, this is where that all-important Godly discipline comes in, helping us "understand" our circumstances--perhaps by suffering similarly--and teaching us that the way of righteousness is not something we can do without His help.

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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Questions:

Proverbs 12: 21-28
  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).


Carmen said...

"He who pursues worthless things lacks sense." That's the one which spoke to me. It's all in line with what you are saying though! I was just reading another blog on a similar topic. Interesting...and a little disturbing. Gotta do some soul searching!

I've been away for a couple of weeks but will be back regularly. Thanks!

B His Girl said...

Terry Teykl, a friend in ministry, wrote a book called,"How to Pray After You've Kicked the Dog" I guess we have all kicked the dog. We sometimes try to act like it wasn't that hard but if we are wasn't pretty.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
I like this because I want to be full of wisdom. I know God puts people around me all the time to encourage me and help me when I hesitate. B

Sue J. said...


Thanks for sharing about the book. I'll bet that would help in those times...


Nice to have you back!