Skip to main content

January 3 2014: Proverbs 3

Third day. Third chapter. Are you reading along? To fill you in on the overall concept that I’m using in Proverbs this year, we as a family are making our own individual copies of Proverbs. None of us are quite up to the task of translating ourselves, so we are just rewriting English—I think all of us are doing New American Standard Bible, but one or two of the kids may be doing something else.

 

We’re copying them into one of these: Journible for Proverbs. This handy hardcover has lines marked off for making a personal copy of the Scripture, and the facing page has space for thoughts. Here’s a sample link which shows how it works in Philippians, and here’s Ann Hibbard’s review of Journible for Acts.

 

Organizationally, we’re copying the verses in this order: day of the week sets the chapter, month sets the verse. So, today, 1-3, we copied all the verses in chapter 3 that end in 1. That makes it manageable for the slower writers, and gives time to write neatly. Yes, you have to use American dates for this.

 

Now, today’s focus verse from Proverbs is Proverbs 3:31. Take a read at that: Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways. (NASU).

 

What is a man of violence?

 

First, a man of violence is enviable. That means he’s gotten stuff, power, or position that you want. Or that I want. And we want to take that stuff, power, or position away from him. How do we know that? Because there’s no reason to say don’t envy someone who has nothing—no one envies the poor.

 

Second, a man of violence is, well, violent. That is, he has concerned himself with the acquisition without considering the methods to get there. Stomping on people, whether by brute force or other means, to attain is being violent.

 

Third, a man of violence is imitable. You can be like him. It is tempting, and often suggested, that you should be like him.

 

You must choose not to. Whatever has been attained by violence is poison and not worth retaining.

 

Now, a brief word here about responsible violence: there is violence born out of malevolence and violence born out of defense. One should not count the beaches of Normandy as ill-gotten since it took violence to wrest them from Hitler. However, one should count Hitler’s possession of them as violence—Hitler is a man of violence, but in the World War II context, Churchill was not.

 

This verse speaks to the idea of pursuing personal gain through violence, because that’s how someone else did it. Doing so departs from wisdom and enters into a feedback loop that will destroy all it touches. Why? Because violence becomes your method, and then it is violence that returns to you.

 

Do not copy the violence, but instead choose to follow the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7). It’s the way. Not the better way—the only way that lasts.

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…

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Sermon Recap for October 14

Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!