Saturday, 6 September 2014

(250) September 7: Proverbs 12-13 & 1 Corinthians 15:33-58

Ask God to open your mind, heart and will to understand, delight in and obey what you read.

To discover:­
As you read consider what lessons strike you most forcefully.

To ponder:
Numerous lessons from Proverbs 12-13: Heed discipline, correction and advice, and you will be rewarded and honoured for it. So the wise son is one who listens to his father’s instructions. By contrast, it is stupid to hate or mock correction, as this brings poverty and shame because of the foolish and sinful acts that will result. Likewise, being righteous obtains God’s favour, stability of life and therefore prosperity, but sin brings misfortune. A wife can be a crown or a curse to her husband. The plans and advice of the righteous are trustworthy and just. One’s words can do violence or provide rescue from it. Wisdom brings praise from others. It is no good seeking to be important if it leaves you lacking the basic necessities. Righteousness shows itself even in kindness to animals, whereas the kindest acts of the wicked aren’t even kind. Hard work rather than pipe dreams ensures income. The way we speak can too. The righteous escape trouble because they don’t bring problems on themselves by sinful speech. Those known for being truthful will give trustworthy testimony, their words last, and God delights in them. Those who lie will bear false witness. And God detests their speech. What we seek impacts our character. So those who plot evil become deceitful, whereas those who seek peace become joyful, probably because they know they are doing good and pleasing God. A cautious man keeps quiet despite his knowledge, no doubt so that he isn’t seen as boastful, and so that he doesn’t somehow get himself into trouble with what he says. But a fool constantly blurts out his foolish ideas. Diligent work means we succeed and end up in charge of others, whereas laziness can end up in slavery, perhaps in Israel this was through being sold to pay debts. Worry weighs us down, but kind words cheer the anxious up. Righteous people choose their friends carefully so they are not led astray. Diligent people treat their possessions with care. Righteousness leads to immortality. The unfaithful crave after violence. Watching what we say keeps us from bringing ruin on ourselves. Lazy people get nothing they desire, but diligent people do. Wickedness brings shame, disgrace and downfall. Some pretend to be rich when they’re not and vice-versa. Poverty means you won’t be kidnapped, or today, sought after with respect to financial crime in general. The life of the righteous shines brightly, no doubt in its prospects and integrity, whereas that of the wicked is snuffed out - probably a reference to ruin. The former therefore eat well and whilst the latter go hungry. Pride breeds quarrels because you think you know best, so be wise enough to humble seek advice. Money grows by saving bit by bit not by dishonesty. It can revive your spirits to do something you have longed to do, whilst constantly putting it off can get you low. The teaching of the wise can save people from death, no doubt by turning them from what might get them into trouble, but ultimately turning them back to God. Good understanding brings favour from others, but faithlessness makes life harder. Cautious people act from knowledge not ignorance. And foolishness is seen by foolish actions. Wicked messengers get people into trouble, no doubt because they distort or lie in what they say. However, trustworthy messengers benefit us. Because fulfilling longings is so sweet, fools hate turning from evil because they actually long for it. It’s good to spend time with the wise as you will become wise, but if you befriend fools you will end up being harmed by it, no doubt as they get you into trouble or lead you astray. Good men leave an inheritance to their grandchildren, probably because they have worked hard, know the favour of others, and so prospered. But sinners’ wealth is stored up for the righteous, perhaps because it came dishonestly and so won’t be kept, or because their children are more likely to waste it. Because injustice is so often done against the poor, even what they gain may be lost. Those who fail to discipline their children show no love for them, because this will not be to their good.
Praying it home:       
Praise God for whatever he has most brought home to you. Pray that he would help you live according to that wisdom.

Thinking further:                             
None today.

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