Sunday, July 26, 2009

Proverbs 19: 10-19

10Luxury is not fitting for a fool;
Much less for a slave to rule over princes.
11A man's discretion makes him slow to anger,
And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.
12The king's wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is like dew on the grass.
13A foolish son is destruction to his father,
And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping.
14House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the LORD.
15Laziness casts into a deep sleep,
And an idle man will suffer hunger.
16He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who is careless of conduct will die.
17One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD,
And He will repay him for his good deed.
18Discipline your son while there is hope,
And do not desire his death.
19A man of great anger will bear the penalty,
For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.

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

Many are speaking today! "One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord," verse 17--which could have been a nice addition to yesterday's post. "A man of great anger will bear the penalty, for if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again," verse 19--which is what discipline is all about. If we don't allow others to experience consequences, we will be the ones enduring anger outbursts over and over and over again.

I want to visit a verse that goes back to an earlier one (which I didn't select at the time), verse 14:

"House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD."

It was in Proverbs 18:22 that I first thought about this. "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD."

We are working our way to Proverbs 31--the wife of noble character--and its opening question ties in here: "An excellent wife, who can find?" It's not that excellent wives aren't to be found, but that excellent wives are not readily available nor are they heirlooms ('inheritance') to be passed down from the generations.

I think Solomon drives home the point in these proverbs that such women are not to be 'found' so much as they are placed in one's path. God, who ordains the steps of each, has it in His sights to bring husband and wife together for His good pleasure and delight ('favor')--which is something we can 'obtain' or secure from the Lord's blessing of this union.

Back in Genesis 2, God recognized that it was not good for man to be alone, so He created "a suitable helper" for Adam. He fashioned and placed Eve exactly where she needed to be and with whom she needed to be, completing [making perfect] God's design for the human being and its further fruitfulness. Unfortunately, as we all know, though Eve was the perfect suitable helper, she was not without freewill, and the mistake brought into and through the union remains with us all.

You might question, then, if Eve was a prudent wife from the Lord. Surely, she was wise and took notice of her surroundings. She knew God's word about the tree. She shared her wisdom with the serpent, which, is like sharing wisdom with a fool. The craftiness of the serpent then worked through her prudence--as an adulteress with her smooth and convincing tongue would speak. Prudence is not stored in a impenetrable box.

What's missing from Eve's prudence was her complete reliance upon God for her wisdom. She never stopped to ask God if what the serpent was saying was reliable. She measured the serpent's words according to what she thought sounded right. If she had only asked! If she had only taken Proverbs 8:35 to heart--

"For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD."

Do you, wife, take these words before you take your husband?


* * *

Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Question:

Proverbs 19: 20-29
  1. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

* * *

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).


Chatty Kelly said...

I think the prudent wife verse goes well with the contentions of a wife verse. They paint an interesting contrast.

Also saw the last verse that if you don't allow consequences, then the behavior repeats. That is tough one for us moms, who's desire is often to rescue versus like nature take it's course.

You are a faithful blogger on these proverbs. Great work!

Sue J. said...

I like Solomon's vivid description of the nagging wife as "dripping" contention. It rubs like nails on a blackboard! ACK! That combined with unruly children would make for an extremely difficult situation for any husband.

I agree with you about the rescuing thing. But without consistency, we both know what happens. I definitely don't have that one mastered, as we have quite a few re-runs featured over here!!

Thanks for your encouragement through your difficult week!