Proverbially speaking

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” I said.
“A fool and his money are soon parted,” she replied.
“The best things in life are free!”
“Great minds think alike.”

I’m thinking of starting a little series of blog entries on Proverbs, that fantastic collection of wisdom literature in the middle of the Bible. Tony Price – a man who mentored me for over a year – had me read through Proverbs over and over with him. 31 Chapters, one for every day of the month, a short chapter to read and then all day to ponder it.

Today – it’s the 26th , so Proverbs 26. Let’s have a look together? Pray ; “‘Lord bless your word to me today and help me change as the entrance of it brings light.” Read through – then we’ll discuss it – Click here.

What grabs you?

What might God be wanting you to hear today?

A promise to receive? A rebuke to heed? A sin to turn completely away from (don’t be like the dog… yuk!).

Immediately I’m drawn by the 4 verses that contain references to sluggards– because if I ever got to his house a little late in the morning (it happened quite often unfortunately), I’d be greeted by, “Proverbs 6:6!” – look that one up – before I received my mug of tea.

But then I reflect again as I read through one more time, some things are said here about proverbs specifically that relate to God’s wisdom generally :

Verse 7 Like a lame man’s legs that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

I suppose that’s saying that, like the proverbial conversation I started with, one can have wise words galore but without the context of right actions, it’s useless. God’s not impressed.

And what about those tantalisingly seeming contradictions –

4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.

(Seems pretty clear, avoid saying something if it’s going to make the matter worse – but then …)

5 Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.

(hmmm… sometimes you do have to say something – for the benefit of the other person though, not to vindicate yourself.)

And then there’s a verse that once saved me a lot of trouble when I was in the cops… I was walking the beat past a notorious pub and saw two big guys punching holes out of each other. I was just about to intervene when somewhere inside a little voice spoke this warning:

17 Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.

God was telling me that if I stepped in, I’d be the one who got beat up next! They’d both turn on me! I took a step back, asked for back up over the radio, waited a few minutes till the end of round 15 when they were both completely shattered – then went and arrested them easily!

In a fight like that – Two’s company; three’s a crowd.

Thank God for proverbs!

2 thoughts on “Proverbially speaking

  1. Understood!

    There are many of the proverbs which stand out for me, but here are some that are at the top of my list:

    Proverbs 15:33
    The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom
    and humility comes before honor.

    Proverbs 16:2
    All a man’s ways seem innocent to him,
    but motives are weighed by the Lord

    Proverbs 17:13
    If a man pays back evil for good,
    evil will never leave his house

    Proverbs 17:9
    He who covers an offence promotes love,
    but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends

  2. Just wanted to add that this was a great blog from you and that I have been and continue to be the “fool” in the context of that scripture and it has taken a blog like this to make me see that.

    Thank you and can I ask you to please pray that the Lord will always surround me with the kind of friends who will “answer a fool according to his/her folly”.

    God bless you

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