Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Proverbs 15: 25-33

25The LORD will tear down the house of the proud,
But He will establish the boundary of the widow.
26Evil plans are an abomination to the LORD,
But pleasant words are pure.
27He who profits illicitly troubles his own house,
But he who hates bribes will live.
28The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
29The LORD is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
30Bright eyes gladden the heart;
Good news puts fat on the bones.
31He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise.
32He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.
33The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility.

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

The Bible makes special notice of the widow. I think the first time I noticed it was in studying the New Testament, I Timothy 5. God leaves some special instructions about what makes a widow a widow.

"A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work."
I Timothy 5: 9 & 10

There are a number of notable examples of widows in the Bible to study as well. Arguably, Ruth is probably the most well-known widow in the Old Testament, and her story is a study in itself (some of you have probably already done so!). Though not named in the New Testament, a widow with an offering of two copper coins causes Jesus to teach His disciples a lesson about giving. "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on." (Luke 21: 3 & 4)

Solomon says, "The LORD will tear down the house of the proud, but He will establish the boundary of the widow." (vs 25)

There are so many thoughts that link up for me here. If you revere the Lord your God, you receive His Word in your heart, you receive understanding, wisdom, then you follow what He says, knowing that this will be the straight and narrow course for your life. If you are faithful to Him, then you can trust Him to bring you the husband He created for you. You remain faithful to God's Word, honoring God and your husband and serving as God directs. Should the Lord take him before you, He promises to continue to take care of you, providing a protective boundary.

Ruth is an extraordinary example. Now, granted, she--by her age--may not qualify as the widow described by Paul in I Timothy 5. And, she does marry Boaz, which is what Paul points out is a problem with putting younger widows on the "official widows list"--remarriage negates your standing as a widow.

But, if you know the story, you know this is God's ultimate planning at work. Not only is Ruth well taken care of, getting through a number of tricky hurdles, but her joining with Boaz was for an almighty purpose. Follow the hereditary line of Ruth and Boaz down and you will come to the name Jesus. (And, somewhere in between, Solomon, too!)


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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Question:

Proverbs 16: 1-15
  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...

I'm just going over a few posts that I've missed and had to stop for a big *sigh* here.

I guess I was relating it to thoughts. I'm referring to vs.28 specifically. We know the thoughts which go around in our own heads. Sure, we try to filter them so that they "come out right," if we say anything at all. But God still hears it and He knows what the intent or the reason is behind it (I'm not sure we always do).

If I could take back some of the thoughts I've had...I would do so in a heartbeat. How I struggle with that at times. They're not horrible thoughts, but they're not nice thoughts either. They're often triggered by assumptions too. I hate that!

How I want to be pure and righteous in every area...the outward, and the internal. God help me. I need a broom! :)