“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!