Proverbs 13: 1-12….A few chosen words.

  1. A wise son hears his father’s instruction,
    but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
    2. From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good,
    but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
    3. Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
    he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
    4. The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
    while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
    5. The righteous hates falsehood,
    but the wicked brings shame and disgrace.
    6. Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless,
    but sin overthrows the wicked.
    7. One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
    another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
    8. The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth,
    but a poor man hears no threat.
    9. The light of the righteous rejoices,
    but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
    10. By insolence comes nothing but strife,
    but with those who take advice is wisdom.
    11. Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,
    but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
    12. Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Comment: The next few chapters of the book of Proverbs continues with short punchy sayings, which need to be deliberated upon. I leave that to you and I suggest as I did yesterday that you set some time apart to consider them. I am going to just pick out a few words for a variety of reasons and comment on them.

Scoffer is a word not often used these days. Usually it means verbalizing strong doubt as to the veracity of some other person’s or group’s ideas. In that sense if it leads to discussion and preparedness to look at things more deeply it can be good. If it is like a slap on the face and the subject is considered closed it is a very negative word. If it goes deeper and the scoffer has that attitude to everything a person or a group says or teaches it has become a closed mind. And as such is a position which must be taken very carefully.

Sluggard is another word not frequently used these days. I think we all know what this and slothful mean. I would suggest that people can be selectively sluggards or slothful. In the sense that they avoid the real issue, often by making themselves busy by doing other things. They thus avoid facing/doing what needs to be faced or done. For instance the teenager who constantly plays around with their computer instead of studying or helping in their family. But no matter our age, we can all be tempted to follow this line.

Righteous can be said in a very positive way of commendation for virtue practiced and noticed. That is its true meaning. However, and maybe I’m being a bit judgemental, but like the ‘k’ and the ‘w’ are silent in the word ‘know’, so I think some people when they say righteous are silent as to the ‘self’ which they in their minds see in front of it. And being considered self-righteous either by yourself or others is a terrible thought. But in a society it is possible to belittle being truly good and to opt for being in tune with the present accepted mode of behaviour. True goodness is then denigrated as seems as being fanatical and anti-social and may even seem to become bad or ultimately evil.

Prayer: May not be a sluggard or a scoffer. And definitely, God, I don’t want to be or be considered to be self-righteous.

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