Skip to main content

January 2014: Proverbs 26 by Doug

Going on into Proverbs 26, we are in that portion of the book of Proverbs that feels like a hodge-podge. There are verses about speech, fools, wine, slackers, and dozens of other subjects just tossed together. This is why some people see Proverbs as a disparate collection of sayings.






I would suggest a different viewpoint. Proverbs is written to a holistic society. There is little separation between work and worship; faith and family; discipleship and learning. All of these run together or overlap. What good would a subject segregated book of Proverbs be in that case? You would find yourself flipping between the section on fools and the section on wine—or would those go together, but slackers go elsewhere?





Instead, Solomon presents us with life as we know it: everything connects. Your work life impacts your worship of God—and vice versa. Your home life affects your business which affects your romantic life which impacts your use of alcohol. The Proverbs look like a hodge-podge partially because life is a hodge-podge. The Proverbs speak to life, life lived in worshipful fear of God.





And they’re not meant to be read only individually, but the idea is that you would systematically read the whole of them, learning and applying and rereading as you go.





With that in mind, let us pull one out for the day. Proverbs 26:1 stands forward in my mind from today’s reading. One ought not honor a fool, anymore than one hopes for snow in summer or wants rain in harvest. Now, before I lived in agricultural territory, I used to hope for snow in summer! Even though I thought it impossible, I wanted it.





Which is how I did understand that phrasing. Honor for fools was, basically, impossible. Or something that only happened far off in the mountains. It was a foreign concept.





This is not the case. This verse has nothing to do with the impossibility of honor for a fool—or nearly nothing. Remember the primary audience of Proverbs: Solomon’s sons, who would be able to honor anybody they chose.





The issue here is one of helpfulness and appropriateness. I can assure: there is no farmer who wants the cold necessary for snow while rice is sprouting or corn is tasseling. It would be a disaster. An absolute agricultural disaster.





So is the case of honoring fools. At best, it can be an inconvenience: rain in harvest starts as an inconvenience, and then can destroy a harvest because it rots in the fields. More likely, it is like snow in summer: it may seem like a good thing, but if you know what is going on, you see that destruction can be the only outcome.





Be careful who you honor. Be wary of honoring fools, whether it be with your vote, your money, or your following. Because in the end, after the refreshing blast of cold, when the barns are empty, you will see what became of it. The fool will move on, and leave the rest of us starving.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…