Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Proverbs 29: 10-18

10Men of bloodshed hate the blameless,
But the upright are concerned for his life.
11A fool always loses his temper,
But a wise man holds it back.
12If a ruler pays attention to falsehood,
All his ministers become wicked.
13The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The LORD gives light to the eyes of both.
14If a king judges the poor with truth,
His throne will be established forever.
15The rod and reproof give wisdom,
But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.
16When the wicked increase, transgression increases;
But the righteous will see their fall.
17Correct your son, and he will give you comfort;
He will also delight your soul.
18Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained,
But happy is he who keeps the law.

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

"The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The LORD gives light to the eyes of both." (vs. 13)

A couple of chapters back, in chapter 22, Solomon gave us this thought: "The rich and the poor have a common bond, the LORD is the maker of them all." (vs.2) This is a follow-up to that thought. Sometimes, these are difficult thoughts to fully accept.

Not only did our Lord make both the poor man and the oppressor, but He chooses to give light to the eyes of both. We might think, but how? Why? But, no... God can show His grace and His power through anyone or anything, and it is definitely not our place to question anything about His ways.

The prophet Ezra was confronted with a situation in which the people of Israel had been marrying within nations of people that were not God-loving people. In his extreme distress over the situation, he tore his clothes, pulled out his hair and had some major prayer time with God.

"But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage."
--Ezra 9:8

What I like about this passage is that it's God's chosen ones, the people of Israel, who have strayed. God does demonstrate His grace, even when it seems inappropriate. How many nonbelievers have influenced you in your life? Think about how God uses those "unusable" people to reach us. You might be surprised as you think in retrospect.

The Lord gives light "to the eyes." The expression in the Hebrew means "spring of water" or "fountain (eye of the landscape)." [Strong's] The passage doesn't say that God enlightens their hearts. It's almost as though His presence is something that needs to be seen, to be recognized.

I don't think you wake up one morning and suddenly have God's wisdom sitting in your heart--surely, not without having asked for it or sought it. God's giving light through the eyes, however, allows one to see, to be a witness to the presence of God, and the "windows to the soul" might well accept the light, and see that it is good.

"Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death...."
--Psalm 13:3

Photo: http://oneyearbibleimages.com/eye.jpg

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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Question:

Proverbs 29: 19-27 (of the transcribed proverbs of Solomon)
  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...

17 I tend to be a pushover of a mom some days but I realize what the Lord calls of me and I tighten the reigns.

Kelly Combs said...

16 When the wicked increase, transgression increases;
But the righteous will see their fall.

When the world seems to be falling apart, and filled with sin, we can rest in knowing that righteous will prevail. It may be during the end times, but it will.

Carmen said...

The Amplified says, "where there is no vision, the people perish." Your version says that the people are unrestrained. I think it's interesting that being unrestrained is the same as, or brings about (to perish) death.

On another level, without goals or something to work towards, we also perish, or come to nothing. That one actually frightens me. What do our lives consist of? What are we accomplishing in this life? Anyway, that's enough for me to think about for one day!

Hope everything is well with you!

Sue J. said...

I have a child who is trying hard to "get her own way" with everything. I know it comes with the age...but it needs to end with the age, yes? It's really hard, T. Anne.

Carmen, I think being unrestrained is part of the process of spiritual death. When the people do not accept the vision that God has laid out, we take that first step away from wisdom and toward the Avenue of Unrestraint.

Vision is important, but it needs to come from God. The Proverbs 31 woman had plenty to do, but--surely--she was led by God.

CK, AMEN! Tough wait, but....

Thanks for your patience in these days. The lack of Internet was unexpected, and I didn't mean to leave you in a lurch. You came through GREAT!!