Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Proverbs 20: 11-19

11It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself
If his conduct is pure and right.
12The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The LORD has made both of them.
13Do not love sleep, or you will become poor;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.
14"Bad, bad," says the buyer,
But when he goes his way, then he boasts.
15There is gold, and an abundance of jewels;
But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.
16Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger;
And for foreigners, hold him in pledge.
17Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18Prepare plans by consultation,
And make war by wise guidance.
19He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets,
Therefore do not associate with a gossip.

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

I'm finding myself really taken in by the change in the tone and phrasing of these statements devoted to "life and conduct." Granted, many of the ideas are similar to things Solomon has expressed throughout Proverbs, but the language reads differently in these verses, and I spend more time reading them--a good thing!

Verse 14 is so unusual amidst the other verses today that I had to take a look.

"'Bad, bad,'" says the buyer, but when he goes his way, then he boasts."

I am not a big shopper. Some of you more dedicated followers of my blogs already know that. When I do shop, I purchase things that I need, and usually from a list. I collect coupons, though they are fairly useless unless I really do need three of the same item. I shop the clearance racks first.
(Mostly, I just keep things forever, avoiding the shopping hassle altogether.)

I think there’s a difference between being frugally wise and being a buyer seeking to make a bargain in a circumstance in which it’s inappropriate. Solomon’s buyer sees something she wants, and creates and stars in a drama to obtain it. “Bad, worthless, no, no, no,” she chants. “Let me offer to relieve you of that... 'junk'… for a small something, so you don’t go completely without.” Securing her prize, she counts her steps until she is out of earshot of the seller, then blares her bargain victory song.

“I got this for a steal! Isn’t it amazing?” followed by self-righteous laughter.

There is a difference between the frugal and the scraping-the-bottom-of-the-bargain buyer.

A side trip in our understanding of the word boast. The Hebrew translates "to be clear...or to shine; hence, to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamourously) foolish; to rave; causatively to celebrate; also to stultify (to render absurdly or wholly futile or" [Strong's] Understandable why Solomon brings us the profile of the buyer, who, like the self-proclaiming man from yesterday's post, is not a friend of Wisdom.

"Boast no more so very proudly,
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;
For the LORD is a God of knowledge, and with Him actions are weighed."

--I Samuel 2:3

Expanding on this a bit, do you know folks who devalue salvation? How many borderline Christians have you met? The ones who say, "Well, I'm a nice person. I'm nice to others. I don't kill or steal. Isn't that enough? I can get into Heaven with that, can't I?" They haggle God every day with their offer. Truth is, they will end up with everlasting life, but they'll find it in the bargain "basement."

Jesus came with the greatest gift of all in our salvation. The cost to Him was the highest, and it was non-negotiable. Do we boast of the cost we paid? Nothing?!!? A bargain? Oh no, friends. As the popular praise song says, "I'll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross."

"Thus says the LORD, 'Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,' declares the LORD."

--Jeremiah 9: 23 & 24
Caveat emptor! (Buyer beware!)


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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Question:

Proverbs 20: 20-30
  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).


T. Anne said...

Verse 17 caught my eye. I;; gotten gain always costs more in the end.

Chatty Kelly said...

13Do not love sleep, or you will become poor.

This doesn't apply to moms of new babies!!! LOL! I love sleep, but I don't think I'm lazy, and that is what this verse is referring too, when you love sleep so much that you don't get your "work" done.

Sue J. said...

T. Anne, that picture of a mouth filled with gravel is really telling!

As for sleep, I had to look into that, just to make sure Solomon wasn't becoming suddenly literal. Although, if we're sleeping, we are missing opportunities to receive wisdom. Yet, God rested on the 7th day. So....we need to work it all out with Him!

Carmen said...

Love the verse you posted at the end. I should put that one on my fridge. Verses like that always get me thinking...