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Showing posts with label Proverbs 10:14. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Proverbs 10:14. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Day 10 of Pastor Chris' Paraphrase of Proverbs Deviotional

Day 10  Some people talk too much. Listening is a precious gift to both the listener and those to whom they listen. Listening is how we learn. Talking is how we teach, but we need to be careful because we are usually not as wise as we think. We really don't know that much and even what we know we don't know as well as we think. And when we talk too much about things we don't really understand, we just reveal our ignorance, waste time, and we might even lead people astray.

Pastor Chris’ Paraphrase of Proverbs 10:8 & 14
8 A wise person listens to instructions, but someone who babbles on and on without having a clue will be thought an idiot.

14 A wise person soaks up all the knowledge they can, but a babbling fool is too busy talking to learn anything and might walk right off a cliff.

You can get more information if you listen. You can gain more insight if you listen.   You can see things from a different perspective if you listen.  You can learn more if you listen.  You can usually find out what you need to know to make a wise decision, say the right thing, or do the right thing if you listen.  But if you are too busy talking to listen, you are walking a dangerous road.

"Father, help me to listen more.  Help me to learn from You and from those You send my way to teach me.  And keep me from babbling on about things I don't really understand.  Amen."
Read Proverbs Chapter 10
New American Standard Bible
Pastor Chris’ Paraphrase
Proverbs 10
Contrast of the Righteous and the Wicked
1 The proverbs of Solomon.
A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish son is a grief to his mother.
2 [a]Ill-gotten gains do not profit,
But righteousness delivers from death.
3 The Lord will not allow the [b]righteous to hunger,
But He will [c]reject the craving of the wicked.
4 Poor is he who works with a negligent hand,
But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
5 He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely,
But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.
6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
7 The memory of the righteous is blessed,
But the name of the wicked will rot.
8 The wise of heart will receive commands,
But [d]a babbling fool will be [e]ruined.
9 He who walks in integrity walks securely,
But he who perverts his ways will be found out.
10 He who winks the eye causes trouble,
And [f]a babbling fool will be [g]ruined.
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12 Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all transgressions.
13 On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found,
But a rod is for the back of him who lacks [h]understanding.
14 Wise men store up knowledge,
But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.
15 The rich man’s wealth is his [i]fortress,
The ruin of the poor is their poverty.
16 The [j]wages of the righteous is life,
The income of the wicked, punishment.
17 He is on the path of life who heeds instruction,
But he who ignores reproof goes astray.
18 He who conceals hatred has lying lips,
And he who spreads slander is a fool.
19 When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.
20 The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver,
The heart of the wicked is worth little.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many,
But fools die for lack of [k]understanding.
22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it.
23 Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool,
And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.
24 What the wicked fears will come upon him,
But the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25 When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more,
But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.
26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
So is the lazy one to those who send him.
27 The fear of the Lord prolongs [l]life,
But the years of the wicked will be shortened.
28 The hope of the righteous is gladness,
But the expectation of the wicked perishes.
29 The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the upright,
But ruin to the workers of iniquity.
30 The righteous will never be shaken,
But the wicked will not dwell in the land.
31 The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom,
But the perverted tongue will be cut out.
32 The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable,
But the mouth of the wicked what is perverted.
1.    Proverbs 10:2 Lit Treasures of wickedness
2.    Proverbs 10:3 Lit soul of the righteous
3.    Proverbs 10:3 Lit thrust away
4.    Proverbs 10:8 Lit the foolish of lips
5.    Proverbs 10:8 Lit thrust down
6.    Proverbs 10:10 Lit the foolish of lips
7.    Proverbs 10:10 Lit thrust down
8.    Proverbs 10:13 Lit heart
9.    Proverbs 10:15 Lit strong city
10.  Proverbs 10:16 Or work
11.  Proverbs 10:21 Lit heart
12.  Proverbs 10:27 Lit days
Proverbs 10
Wise Things Solomon Said
1 Solomon’s wise sayings:

A wise child brings their father joy, but a foolish one breaker their mother’s heart.

2 Building a big bank account by evil means doesn’t do you any good, but living right will save your life.

3 Jehovah won’t let godly people starve, but He won’t let the ungodly be satisfied.

4 Lazy people make excuses and it makes them poor, but steady hard work makes you rich.

5 A smart child does things when they’re supposed to, but one who sleeps when they should be working is an embarrassment. 

6 People who live the right way are surrounded by blessings, but ungodly people lie to cover up the bad things they’ve done.

7 Godly people are remembered fondly as a blessing, but the ungodly fade into oblivion.

8 A wise person listens to instructions, but someone who babbles on and on without having a clue will be thought an idiot.

9 You will always be safe if you do the right thing even when nobody's watching, but someone will find out and tell if you cheat.

10 Giving clues and subtle hints just causes trouble.  Speak your mind and don’t beating around the bush.

11 Godly people say things that give life to everyone, but ungodly people lie to cover up their bad behavior.

12 Hatred makes people want to fight, but love fills with peace and contentment.

13 People who understand what’s really going on are profound, but idiots need common sense beaten into them.

14 A wise person soaks up all the knowledge they can, but a babbling fool is too busy talking to learn anything and might walk right off a cliff.

15 The many assets of the rich keep them safe; poverty destroys the poor.

16 Living the right way leads to life; unethical living earns punishment.

17 Those who follow my directions stay on the road of life, but those who won’t listen wander off and get lost.

18 A liar covers up their hatred.  A fool says hateful things.

19 Talking too much gets you in trouble.  It’s much smarter to say as little as possible.

20 A godly person says things worth more than silver.  Even the ideas of the ungodly are worthless.

21 Godly people help many find fulfillment, but fools die because they have no sense. 

22 Jehovah’s blessing can make you rich without hardships and troubles.

23 Fools laugh with delight when they do evil, but wisdom makes smart people happy.

24 Ungodly people get what they fear most, but godly people get what they want.

25 The hurricane washes away those who live for themselves, but those who live for God have eternal life.

26 Lazy people are like a shot of vinegar or smoke in the eyes to the people they serve.

27 Revering Jehovah gives you a long life, but you won't live very long if you don’t do what’s right.

28 People who live the right way find joy, but the ungodly never find what they long for.

29 Living for Jehovah keeps honest people safe and destroys those who cause trouble.

30 People who live the right way will never lose their place, but those who do wrong will be kicked out.

31 You can learn a lot from people who obey God, but people who twist the truth will be silenced.

32 People who live for God know the right thing to say, but evil people corrupt the truth.

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Pastor Chris’ Paraphrase of Proverbs (PCP)
Copyright © 2018 by Chris Mullis

Monday, March 5, 2018

As Sheep Among Wolves, part 1 - Fools vs. Wise

Intro Series
            I need more wisdom.  Don't you?  The place to go for wisdom in the Bible is the book of Proverbs.  I've been studying Proverbs since last summer and it has really helped me.  I started by reading a chapter a day (which is quite convenient because Proverbs has 31 chapters and you can read it in one month at a chapter a day).  After finishing, I got so much out of it I decided to keep studying it.  Each morning, I read a few verses and really try to understand their meaning.  I even look at the original Hebrew words for deeper insight.  Then, I paraphrase the verses in my own words, trying to capture the meaning the best I can.  (You can read some of my paraphrases here in my past blogs or follow me on Facebook where I usually post a paraphrased verse each morning.)
            My study has lead to some insights I want to share with you in this blog series, "As Sheep Among Wolves".  I hope you will follow along and find it helpful.  You can subscribe or signup to receive an email each week with the tools in left margin of my blog page.  Our guiding scripture throughout this series will be Matthew 10:16-20 where Jesus told his disciples of the great need for wisdom among believers.

Matthew 10:16-20
16 “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. 17 But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. 18 You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me.[a] 19 When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. 20 For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Why Did Jesus Say This?
            The key verse for us is verse 16.  Jesus said, "Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves..."  The early Christians lived in a time when they were a tiny minority in the communities around them.  Their ideas were very new and radically different.  Today, we might describe religious groups who are very new and radically different as "cults".  We see a cult and are wary of their ideas because they may seem dangerous, fanatic, and very different.  Well, that's how people in the first century saw the new Christians living among them--they were like a cult.  Even though they were full of love and as harmless as sheep, their radical new ideas ideas were threatening to some and Christians were completely committed to their beliefs--even willing to die for them.
            Non-believers often persecuted the Christians they feared.  They seized Christian's property, arrested them, tortured them, and even killed them.  So Jesus wanted his followers to have wisdom to stay safe among the "wolves" living around them.  He said, "you should be as shrewd [i.e. wise] as snakes..."
            It's not normally a compliment to be called a snake.  Most people don't like snakes, but snakes have to be cunning.  I mean, they don't even have hands and feet.  I would be in a pickle if I didn't have hands and feet, but a snake get's by just fine by sneaking around, staying out of sight, and stalking it's prey.  It has to be wise because that's the only way it can survive. 
            Thankfully, we don't live in the first century when everyone was trying to kill Christianity.  However, our world can still be a dangerous place.  Though most people in America claim to be Christian (or at least espouse tolerance of the Christian faith), it can be really hard to see who is a true believer (a sheep) and who is really a wolf in disguise.  There is evil in our world and it sometimes comes from the very people we consider safe.  One week people are proposing teachers should be given guns to protect our schools from people like the teenager who gun down 17 students in Lakeland, FL.  The next week, it is a teacher in Dalton (where I live) who brings a gun to school and barricades himself in a classroom and fires the weapon through the window.  You begin to wonder who you can trust and if you can really trust anyone.
            And so Jesus also said, we should be "as harmless [i.e. innocent] as doves."  We must resist the urge to be paranoid and cynical.  We must continue to see the best in people and have hope that God's goodness will win out.  And this all takes great wisdom because the stakes are very high.
            So let's go to Proverbs and see what God's word has to offer about the difference between a wise person and a fool.

Proverbs 10:14 (Pastor Chris’ Paraphrase)A wise person soaks up all the knowledge they can, but a babbling fools is too busy talking to learn anything and might walk right off a cliff.

A Wise Person
            Someone once told me:  “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”  There are many different Hebrew words used for wisdom in Proverbs; they all have slightly different meanings.  Wisdom can mean:  being lead by God’s Holy Spirit, well-informed, making wise decisions, someone who is careful, or someone who knows the way things really are.
            In Proverbs 10:14 the word for wisdom is ḥâḵâm (חָכָם).  Hakam describes someone who is  smart because they know how to do things skillfully and artfully.  In other words, they don’t just do stuff; they do stuff right.   Someone with hakam wisdom is careful.   They take care as they accomplish projects.  They don’t make mistakes that cause other problems.  You know, it's not just about getting things done.  If you get things done but ruin other projects or relationships in the process, what have you really accomplished.  Wisdom is getting things done while building everyone and everything up.  Hakam also carries the idea of being cunning and subtle (like a snake).  Someone with hakam wisdom doesn't draw attention to themselves. They accomplish things without people even knowing what happened.
            Bishop Bevel Jones was one of my seminary professors after he retired from being a bishop of the United Methodist Church.  I really enjoyed his class.  I saw him coming out of a busy conference center one day as I was going in and I decided to shake his hand and tell him how much I appreciated his teaching.  Bishop Jones eagerly grasped my hand and pulled me along with him as we talked.  He was very gracious as I expressed my gratitude.  He seemed genuinely pleased to speak with me for a few moments and I felt glad to have had a chance to talk with him.  When we broke off our short conversation I realized, I had spent the last couple minutes walking away from my destination and towards the Bishop's.  I hadn't even realized what he'd done, but he had redirected me to walk with him and I had been glad to do it!  So I had to walk back to my destination while the bishop hadn't missed a stride the whole time.  Now that, my friends, was the a bishop's subtle wisdom!

A Fool – wîyl (אֱוִיל)
            The opposite of a wise person is a fool.  How would you describe a fool?  Someone who’s dumb?  Someone who’s always clowning around?  Someone who just doesn’t get it?  There are many kinds of fools.  Technically, you could describe a two-year-old as a fool.  That’s not a bad thing, they’re just not old enough to know any better yet.
            The word Proverbs 10:14 uses for fool is wîyl (אֱוִיל).  A wîyl fool is someone who is immature (in the sense they haven’t grown up yet).  It’s one thing for a two-year-old to be immature; that’s normal.  But a wîyl fool is old enough to know better, yet they deliberately refuse to grow up.  A wiyl fool despises wisdom.  They are actually proud of their childish ways.  They may even boast "I'm just a simple man.  I ain't like those ivory tower college boys!"  A wiyl fool often uses jokes and sarcasm to avoid learning from their mistakes.  They will laugh and make fun of people who try to hold them accountable.  These kinds of fools are arrogant and argue when you try to teach or correct them. “Ain’t nobody can’t learn me nothin’!”  And because of their attitude, wiyl fools make bad decisions and get into all kinds of trouble, repeating the same mistakes again and again.  Meanwhile, they're always blabbering about how everyone else is wrong and how they're the ones who really know--as they're walking off a cliff right in front of them.

Practical Application
            Remember, we are like sheep among wolves.  So we need to be as wise as snakes.  The stakes are high.  It’s dangerous out there so don’t be a fool!  Pray for wisdom.  Study God’s Word!  Learn all you can.  You need wisdom to survive!  I need wisdom too.  That's why I’ve been studying Proverbs.  There’s so much good stuff in there.  Let me share some of what I’ve learned about wisdom so far.

The first and biggest part of wisdom is revering the Lord.  Proverbs 1:7 (Pastor Chris' Paraphrase) says, “Knowing the way things really are all starts with deep awe for the Lord.”  Some versions say the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and that's an unfortunate translation.  No one wants to be afraid and that's not really the sense of the proverb.  There is an element of fear, but it's more like the fear you may feel as you stand at the precipice of the Grand Canyon.  It is an awe inspiring sight as you see the majesty of that breath taking view.  And yes, there is a healthy fear (especially if you are afraid of heights) because one wrong step and you could fall to your death.  And that is the sense in which we have a reverent, awe-inspiring fear of the Lord that leads us to wisdom.  You see, wisdom all starts with your relationship with God.  True wisdom comes from God.  Books and education can help, but without God you will always be a fool (maybe a really intelligent fool, but still just a fool.)

Second, to learn wisdom, you must be willing to listen and learn.  It’s hard to learn while you’re talking.  (That’s why God gave you two ears and only one mouth.)  You have to realize you don’t know it all and you don’t have to pretend you do for others to respect you.  “A wise person speaks because they have something to say.  A fool speaks because they have to say something.” (Plato)  You don't have to say something.  You can choose to stay silent.  Talking too much can get you in all kinds of trouble.  And even someone who hasn't got a clue seems intelligent if they just keep quiet.  On the other hand, people who try to prove how smart they are by always talking about it, usually prove just the opposite. 

Third, it is wise to learn to control yourself and your impulses.  Don’t let emotions be the primary driving force of your actions  Emotions have their place as one of the tools in your personality, but they're not meant to be the primary way you make decisions.  People who "follow their heart" often walk right off a cliff.  Your heart is not as smart as your brain.  So let your heart inform your brain, but let your brain make the decisions.  And of course, remember wisdom all begins with an awe-inspired relationship with God.  So let God’s Holy Spirit guide you to use the reason and wisdom God gives you.  And please, be careful!  Don’t mistake your personal emotions for the Holy Spirit.  Just because you heard a song and it gave you goose bumps doesn't mean it was the Holy Spirit telling you to do something.  Maybe it was just a really good song.  So test what you think the Spirit is saying.  Check the Scriptures.  Ask a really good Christian friend what they think--someone you know will tell you the truth even if it's not what you want to hear.
We need wisdom.  What can you do to get more?  Pray and ask God to give you wisdom.  Spend time with Him everyday.  Maybe you would like to read through Proverbs.  That's a great way to learn wisdom from God.  Perhaps you'd like to join me here on my blog each week as we contemplate wisdom from Proverbs.  I hope you will.