Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Proverbs 13: 1-9

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked
1A wise son accepts his father's discipline,
But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
2From the fruit of a man's mouth he enjoys good,
But the desire of the treacherous is violence.
3The one who guards his mouth preserves his life;
The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
4The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
But the soul of the diligent is made fat.
5A righteous man hates falsehood,
But a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully.
6Righteousness guards the one whose way is blameless,
But wickedness subverts the sinner.
7There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing;
Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth.
8The ransom of a man's life is his wealth,
But the poor hears no rebuke.
9The light of the righteous rejoices,
But the lamp of the wicked goes out.

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

Verse 7:
"There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing; another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth."

I find proverbs of this sort to be deceptively simple, which is why I gravitate toward them to find the deeper meaning.

I like continuing to look at 'rich' and 'poor' as meaning having wisdom, rather than having money, although, both are applicable with this proverb. Do you know people who pretend to know it all? I know that I am guilty of appearing wise about things that I don't really know much about--hiding my lack of knowledge for fear of appearing weak. Do I then understand that I have "nothing"? Yes! Do I ever gain anything from pretending that I have knowledge? No. Even though I might get through a short-term situation, in the long-run, I am no wiser. Plus, I have lied about what I know, which is sin.

What about those who pretend to be poor?

"...Some that are really rich, would be thought to be poor: in this there is want of gratitude to God, want of justice and charity to others. There are many hypocrites, empty of grace, who will not be convinced of their poverty. There are many fearing Christians, who are spiritually rich, yet think themselves poor; by their doubts, and complaints, and griefs, they make themselves poor."

--Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Do you ever think yourself poor or do you ever make yourself out to be poor, even as you stand under the grace of God? What a convicting statement! We have every reason, as God-fearing Christians, to enjoy the richness of living in God's love. But, what do we do? We doubt, we complain, we grieve the loss of things that aren't important. We let the blessing of our wisdom fall by the wayside! We allow ourselves to fall into poverty.

What does Solomon say? We have "great wealth"! The Amplified Bible says "great [and indestructible] riches." Praise God for His grace that can keep us from poverty, even as we in our weakness and sin are wisdom-poor.

Photo: http://dericbownds.net/uploaded_images/Rich_poor.jpg

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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Questions:

Proverbs 13: 10-19
  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).


KelliGirl said...

What a great picture!

Once again, well done! (And I do believe you are wise...and not pretending.)

Two things come to mind when I read this text:
Humility — in all things: status, possessions, "rights," knowledge, reputation, heritage, etc. Buried in this is remaining teachable.

Authenticity -- being who we are, without pretense or falseness. Not needing to make ourselves better than we are, or put others down.

I think it boils down to contentment and focus (on what do we set our hopes, goals, dreams for the future, worth, value, etc.)

I sure could chew on this for a while longer, but mom duties call me. Have a wonderful day!!

BTW, CJ's blog is awesome! She writes better than lots of grownups. I see big things in her future!!


Chatty Kelly said...

Some Christians fear saying "I'm saved!" for fear of appearing arrogant. They prefer to say "I think" or "I hope" I'm saved. To me, that is pretending to be poor when you are rich. We have the greatest gift, yet we often "hide it under a bussel."

The other thought that comes to mind is "I don't want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul." Obviously this applied to monetary richness. Then you appear rich, but are truly poor in spirituality.

Have a GREAT day!

Carmen said...

I sure enjoy your insights!

Verses 2 and 3 spoke to me as well. I've been thinking a lot about the fruit of a man's mouth. The things we speak can hurt us. But the things we speak can also reveal us.

Some people speak words that are alive, and some speak words that are dead. It's easy to say things; but does what we say have an expression? I feel a topic brewing!

Thanks again for a wonderful post and some inspiration!

Sue J. said...

Overwhelmed by you all checking in so regularly, and you all have some wonderful food for thought!

Please feel free to take your own choice of verse and run with it, because it's not all about what you get from me!

I am enjoying the fact that everything is so rewarding about this study. Keep plugging and sharing, and thanks again for your faithfulness to studying God's Word.