With 31 chapters, it is an ideal each day information to dwelling.
The concern of the Lord is the start of data,
But fools despise knowledge and instruction. — Proverbs 1:7 (NKJV)
“How can a young man keep his way pure?” the psalmist asks, in what involves us as 119. “By guarding it according to your word,” follows the reply. The concern of the Lord, the armor of God, the love of knowledge, these appear heady and excessive issues, simply abstracted for any younger man vulnerable to abstraction. “You’re a complexifier,” John Mearsheimer advised me in a seminar on nice energy politics.
Fortunately for all of us, Solomon in all his knowledge and his fellow historical sages discovered many issues to be quite simple. The ebook of Proverbs is a present, handed down via the ages, a reminder that human beings have all the time largely cared about just a few staple items; outdated guides are good guides when the terrain stays unchanged. Pillars of knowledge from desert kings carry the excessive all the way down to earth. And so I learn Proverbs.
One chapter a day. Over and over. I like to recommend you be a part of me within the apply. There’s a pleasant little calendar character to 31 Proverbs (This information for proper dwelling famously ends with describing an excellent spouse, the “Proverbs 31 Woman,” ascribed to at least one mysterious “Lemuel, king of Massa.” Though there’s lots about girls within the sections assigned explicitly to Solomon, too: The husband of 700 wives and grasp of 300 concubines ought to, one concludes, know). I confess I don’t know whether or not the gathering and division of 31 Proverbs was some scribe’s deliberate parallel to the lunar or calendar month—if you recognize, please, inform me extra—however I’m grateful for it.
Today is November 20. Let’s have a look at Proverbs 20 then. Applicable—related is I believe the popular time period lately—out of the gate for somebody who lives within the Beltway, see verse one: “Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” An easy warning: One ought to by no means should depart a wine and cheese hour right here on the town, now that these are again up, however one must also all the time be able to.
Not all the things right here is very easy, in fact. Note verse 5. “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, But a man of understanding will draw it out.” D.C. just isn’t a city the place individuals are reticent with their opinion or reluctant to offer recommendation. Perhaps it needs to be. What type of a rustic would ours be if essentially the most trusted advisors have been the type of males who thought deeply earlier than they spoke, and our leaders had the assured humility that acknowledged and valued that type of care? In that gentle we will learn verse 18: “Plans are established by counsel; By wise counsel wage war.” But verse six reminds us to not be too hopeful, or too trusting of politicians: “Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?”
Verse ten appears suggestive in a time when our model of the rule of regulation seems destined to float right into a de facto millet system, a rustic of various demographic teams every with their very own relationship to the judiciary: “Diverse weights and diverse measures, They are both alike, an abomination to the Lord.” Maybe it additionally suggests one thing about our monetary system. Or perhaps it says one thing about my coronary heart, and the way straightforward it’s to bend justice and requirements to whim and comfort. Anyway, it deserves additional reflection, repeated as it’s in verse 23, “Diverse weights are an abomination to the Lord, And dishonest scales are not good.”
As Black Friday comes quickly sufficient, verse 14 ought to elicit amusing of familiarity, although we don’t barter a lot anymore. “‘It is good for nothing,’ cries the buyer; But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.” Don’t hold your receipts, I assume (don’t contact receipts). And as we look ahead to Thanksgiving days of feasting, bear in mind the warning of verse 20 and be glad about your loved ones: “Whoever curses his father or his mother, His lamp will be put out in deep darkness.” We sever the covenant between previous, current, and future at our peril.
And we will make that lower not simply in our households however in our personal particular person lives. Verse 29 reads, “The glory of young men is their strength, And the splendor of old men is their gray head.” Consider how a lot of youth at the moment is dissipated into the ether of the digital or televisual, sedentary and mushy. Even the lifetime of the thoughts, existence as a bookworm, can fall into the dualist’s failure to look after the animal aspect of rational animal, treating your self as a thoughts in a meat vat. This physique is you. Glory in it now and look ahead to the knowledge of expertise.
May all of us age gracefully, regardless of the trials assured to return. Proverbs will assist. The knowledge of 20 ends on one thing of a somber observe: “Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, As do stripes the inner depths of the heart.” We will undergo on this life, however maybe in that struggling we will be sanctified. It is not going to be by our personal energy. I’m reminded of Isaiah 53 and the guarantees of Advent, “But He was woundedfor our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”