Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 34, Miscellaneous Proverbs

Solomon discusses several miscellaneous proverbs, some of which have to do with being willing to listen to instruction.

"Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice." (Proverbs 13:10) Pride is present when we feel like we always have to be right.

"Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow." (Proverbs 13:11) Money that is gained quickly can also be lost quickly because it was probably gained recklessly. It's far better to work and save and invest so our money grows a little at a time.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12) It's so hard to wait for something we want, but most things worth having don't come easy. When we finally obtain what we want, we are filled with joy. We enjoy it more because we waited for it and we find out it was worth the wait. We live in times when we expect to get everything we want and to get it now, but the Bible says that's not always the best way. It develops character and faith when we have to wait and work and pray for what we want.

"Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it, but whoever respects a command is rewarded." (Proverbs 13:13) I've scorned instruction a number of times to my own harm. I was a stubborn child, a stubborn teen, and a stubborn young adult. Nobody could tell me anything and, as Solomon says, I paid for it. Nothing good came of it.

"The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death." (Proverbs 13:14) How do we become a fountain of life? By following the One of whom David said, "For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light." (Psalm 36:9) We can't be a light to others unless we have the light ourselves.

"Good judgment wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction. All who are prudent act with knowledge, but fools expose their folly." (Proverbs 13:15-16) Some of the bad things that happen to us are a result of our own poor decisions. The Lord doesn't always have to discipline us; our own actions lead to unpleasant consequences. If we are smart we will learn from our mistakes.

"A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy envoy brings healing." (Proverbs 13:17) Have you ever known anyone whose word can't be trusted? There have been a couple of times I've said of those who have repeatedly lied to me, "I wouldn't believe them if they said the sun came up this morning." But there's something so wonderful about a person whose word we can trust. They won't lie to us or embellish a story or try to stir up trouble. They will say encouraging words to us.

"Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored." (Proverbs 13:18) Again we learn that godly wisdom doesn't come to the one who scorns instruction. It comes to the one with a teachable heart, to the one who is willing to learn.

"A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil. Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. Trouble pursues the sinner, but the righteous are rewarded with good things. A good person leaves an inheritance for their children's children, but a sinner's wealth is stored up for the righteous." (Proverbs 13:19-22) Some commentators believe that the longing fulfilled is the longing to do what is right. There is no true joy in sin. There is no peace in sin. So Solomon says, "Do what's right and your soul will prosper. Hang out with people who are godly so you can learn from them and be more like them. Use godly wisdom in every area of your life and you will leave behind a good name. You will have an inheritance to pass along."

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