Saturday, July 11, 2009

Proverbs 14: 15-25

15The naive believes everything,
But the sensible man considers his steps.
16A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil,
But a fool is arrogant and careless.
17A quick-tempered man acts foolishly,
And a man of evil devices is hated.
18The naive inherit foolishness,
But the sensible are crowned with knowledge.
19The evil will bow down before the good,
And the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20The poor is hated even by his neighbor,
But those who love the rich are many.
21He who despises his neighbor sins,
But happy is he who is gracious to the poor.
22Will they not go astray who devise evil?
But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good.
23In all labor there is profit,
But mere talk leads only to poverty.
24The crown of the wise is their riches,
But the folly of fools is foolishness.
25A truthful witness saves lives,
But he who utters lies is treacherous.

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

Verse 23: "
In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty."

I know; this sounds a bit like yesterday. Strange to be picking these verses as my family vacation comes to a close. Why am I thinking about working!?

I appreciate the affirmation that in all labor, there is profit. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to have a job outside the home to make money. Labor can mean a lot of things--a productive task or activity, a physical or mental task. When we apply ourselves to something productive, that is labor. And when we labor, there is profit, which could be monetary, but not necessarily. It's a return on an investment, a benefit, a gain. Motherhood brings an unbelievable number of intangible rewards.

Of course, for all the effort at laboring, there are times when I'm just making lists or talking about making lists and not going about doing anything productive. At the end of a day, when I think about what kind of day it's been, I can understand why Solomon uses 'poverty'. It brings to mind the other everyday proverb, Nothing ventured. Nothing gained. It's a rather low feeling.

Focusing on Solomon's emphasis on wisdom, we need to labor at it! But, even at that, it's not that we are working by ourselves to achieve it. Wisdom is still revealed, but that means that we need to work at staying connected to the one who shares it. If we do not work, then we do not gain. Talking about how we want to be closer to God and closer to understanding His Word doesn't bring you any closer to that profit if you don't make an effort.

And with my labor completed, I'm back to vacation!


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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Question:

Proverbs 14: 26-35
  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:

Carmen said...

So much meat in this passage. It really speaks to my current situation.
Enjoy your vacation!