So, I want to encourage you - DON'T FALL OFF THE WAGON, STICK IT OUT. Imagine this is a half marathon; you are past the midpoint but now you’re really beginning to feel the toll on your body. Perhaps you slow your pace or even walk. IT'S OK TO WALK AS LONG AS YOU DON'T QUIT.
We're going at a slower pace today, but we're getting through.
Observations and Highlights
Perhaps the writer of Proverbs knew that we humans can be stubborn at times; perhaps this is why at this point the message seems repetitive. There are different scenarios presented where the end result is always to get wisdom, be wise, be smart, and don't be foolish.
• Alcoholism (v1) - We now say alcoholism is a disease. Many are led down this path because they think they are stronger than alcohol, but this is not a wise choice. Wine is a strong mocker.
• Laziness (v 4, 13) - Be willing to put in the effort so that you can reap the reward.
• Handling authority (v 8, 26) - A good leader has the ability to see evil and get rid of it; the authority of his position allows him to do so.
• Cheating (v 10, 17, 23) - Cheating will haunt you and is an abomination to the Lord. Cheating means to act dishonestly or unfairly. Cheating on a test, in a relationship, taking unethical shortcuts are just some examples.
• Purity (v 7, 9) - A just person has integrity; anyone who interacts with him is blessed especially his family. No one can be righteous in their own strength; this only happens by the grace of God.
• Youth (v 11, 29) - We're all known by what we do and say, even children - teachers can testify to this. Besides actions, youth is marked by virility and strength, and age is marked by gray hair. The beauty of old men is the gray head.
• Planning (v 5, 18) - Seeking counsel requires effort. It takes a wise person to be able to extract wisdom from another. There's an implication that in being wise you must be willing to listen and process what you are hearing. Plans are made or established based off of good counsel. This applies to everything, even going into battle.
• Speaking (v 15, 19) – The lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. In contrast, a talebearer creates problems and breaks trust. Flattery is an indicator that a person is a talebearer.
• Fighting (v 3) – whether physical or verbal, it is considered an honor and a sign of wisdom to cease from strife.
Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.