Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
Questions & Observations
O. (17:9): I find that “dwelling on a fault” is so easy to do. And, one of the hardest things to do in life, is go talk to that person that you find fault with. But the quicker you talk it out or shrug it off that it deflates. And, as they say, many times more than one person is at fault, usually me! My best friend and I had a rift that happened a couple summers ago. I felt she was boasting and I was just tired, worn out and irritable. So, we both were at fault. But, when we talked about it, it was so scary. We could have ended our 20-year friendship. But, we worked it out because, as she said, we had so much invested in one another. It was almost like a marriage. It was one of those tiffs where you think that there is no way to recover from it. But, we did. And, we learned that both of our actions simply stemmed from the way we were raised. It pays to talk it out!
O. (17:17): I love this verse because I am always hesitant to ask for help. And, many times, when I have asked for help, I’ve been turned down. That makes me more hesitant to ask. But, then there are the friends who have “been there, done that” and they understand why I am asking and are more likely to help us.
Q. (17:21): This is so true. But, is there a failsafe in teaching them the Lord? There is a verse that talks about those who raise their children knowing Christ will always come back to those teachings when they stray?
A. There are no fail-safes when it comes to teaching our children about God. Everyone must walk their own path. There is a proverb that tells us that if we train up a child in the way that they should go, when they are old they will not turn from it (its in chapter 22, watch for it), but as with all of these Proverbs, it is general wisdom and no guarantee of success. Sorry!
O. (17:22): So many times I can be a Debbie downer. I can tell that it saps the mood of those around me. And, likewise, when I’m around someone like that, I get irritated and want to escape that bad attitude.
Q. (17:23): I think there is a saying “Money = Power.” This verse is something our politicians really struggle with. Is there a verse than helps keep them away from being tempted by money?
A. 1 Timothy 6:10 says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Note what it does not say: Love of money is the root of ALL evil, which is a common refrain that is actually a misquotation of the verse!
Q. (18:9): It’s so easy to judge people, but we shouldn’t since we don’t know their full story. However, what is some motivation that the Bible can offer for those couch potatoes to get off their booties and work and do God’s work — meaning to have a cheerful heart that mimics Christ?
A. Hum, I think we’ve read several of them since we got started with Proverbs. The Bible condemns laziness (sometimes called sloth, one of those “deadly sins”), and it is clear why: God has commanded us to work (Exodus 20: six days you shall work, and then rest on the Sabbath). Hard work would have been such a key to survival in that era — we can get by a bit more easily today — that it is no wonder sloth is condemned!
Q. (18:10): This means the godly find safety in God’s teachings?
A. Not just in His teachings, but in His very name.
O. (18:11): I have seen this recently where someone just takes their wealth for granted. But, now that the wealth is gone, so is some comfort. Luckily, they are believers and know God will provide.
O. (18:12): This is a hot proverb for me. I am very quick to react on some things and need to learn to be calm, process, consider the facts and other’s actions and feelings, think WWJD and then react.
O. (18:14): Our parents have a friend that is on his last leg. He is not a believer and is ready to go. They said he gave up a long time ago. They have another friend who is a believer and has a great attitude about his condition. Attitude goes a long way!
Q. (18:18): So, there are times when we should just flip a coin to make a decision instead of talking it out? Sometimes, there is no right or wrong answer, but a decision needs to be made.
A. Sure, it happens. Part of the wisdom that these verses require is in how to apply them.
Q. (18:19): Then what does the Bible say on how to get those friends back?
A. Not much. It has bigger “fish to fry.”
Q. (18:22): It’s hard to remember this when we don’t always feel like a treasure. I feel this way most of the time. I don’t think I reciprocate very well. We all have our times when we don’t treat our spouse like a treasure. I would like to think it’s something that couples can work out. I find that money can be a big factor in spouse’s attitude toward one another. But, also, it can bring you closer together. Nevertheless, the money factor is there.
A. Having a genuine appreciation for a spouse — no one is perfect in this — goes such a long way toward keeping a marriage alive.
O. (19:3): Like you said earlier, these proverbs are not certain. So, some who are not foolish can land on bad times too. When shuffling through the Bible notes in my head, bad things can happen to Christians, but God is always there for us and He is not done with us yet. He won’t give us more stress than we can handle. And, we can humbly unload that stress on God and let Him handle it.
Q. (19:8): So, if you love yourself, you love knowledge? Knowledge helps you live a fulfilled life. I often give examples of people who fit the situation of the proverb. I don’t know if that is OK to do or not, because I don’t know their whole story. Only God does. A story for this proverb is that you see those people who are always seeking new experiences and full of life. Then, you see others who stay close to home, almost in an enclosed habitat and are very irritable. I think ienjoying God’s creations gives light to personalities.
A. You have the proverb correct.
Q. (19:12): Can you explain this one?
A. As we have seen with Solomon and David, you don’t mess with the king. To anger him is to risk the “lion’s” wrath.
O. (19:16): This is a great verse to keep in your head to remember the result of your actions. Plus, I think those who follow God’s Word are happier, more focused, more fulfilled and have direction.
O. (19:17): Another verse saying that your charity will be repaid.
Q. (19:21): In other words, don’t sweat the big stuff too much because God may turn you in another direction. Around Christmas, our pastor preached about this subject using Joseph. He was getting married, but then his betrothed wife became pregnant with a child that was not his. And that’s just the beginning. He looked forward to moving on, but God redirected him several times. It was all part of the plan. So, how far should we push ourselves? I guess we are supposed to go in the direction that we think unless God redirects us. But, some push through it to seek their goals and are rewarded.
A. Our main job is to trust in God, even when others do us harm, and attempt to seek His council. To me, God is not interested in “redirecting” us every moment- much of what He desires about our hearts is perfectly clear, and it is our job to obey.
Q. (19:24): Does this mean that some people are given blessings, but then they let those blessings go to waste?
A. I would read this verse as a mocking ridicule of the lazy. They are so lazy they don’t even eat the food they are given.