Skip to main content

March 2014: Proverbs 10 by Doug

Today, we look at Proverbs 10. I would, of course, encourage you to read the whole chapter.



Then, focus with me on Proverbs 10:23. This little couplet is relevant to our modern society. It is especially relevant as we look at the conduct of government and religious leaders. Why is it especially relevant in those? Well, remember the target audience of Proverbs. We are the end-line target, but there were two audiences closer to mind in the writing.



The next one is the people of Israel in general, but if we take Proverbs plainly, the goal was to provide wisdom to the next kings of Israel. These were the future spiritual and governmental leaders--so Proverbs is exceptionally helpful in addressing leadership needs.



So, we come to this couplet. As with many of the Proverbs, 10:23 is a coupled pair of thoughts. The first thing to notice is hard to see in English, though. The NASB comes close to showing it, but I want to highlight it clearly here. The first half of the verse contains more words than the second half. It brings out the contrast:



Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool

wisdom to a man of understanding.



What does this mean? To clear it up, realize this: the "like sport" is a translation that also could be "pleasurable" or "pleasing," it's the idea of something fun and enjoyable. (There's a sideline here about sports being enjoyable--and when they're not, quit.) We see the same concept applied to both wickedness and wisdom, fools and understanding men.



The fool finds pleasure in the wicked, and the righteous in wisdom. They find the same type of emotional satisfaction, the same enjoyment in two separate things.



Coming to us, then, we should see clearly that people who enjoy wickedness are fools.



And fools are bad. Bad for themselves, their neighbors, their countries, their religions--fools are bad. If you encounter someone who takes delight in wickedness, then that person must not be entrusted with responsibility.



That includes the idea that they take pleasure in it as entertainment, even if not participating. Allowing fools into leadership is self-destructive. If you have the power to stop fools and do not, then you enable fools and partner with them in destruction. Which is bad.



What we entertain ourselves with, what we consider sporting and fun matters--it reveals what we are inside.



Wisdom or wickedness? Because the one who seeks wisdom for entertainment--that person is a man of understanding and is worth trusting.

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…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Book: Vindicating the Vixens

Well, if Vindicating the Vixens doesn’t catch your attention as a book title, I’m not sure what would. This volume, edited by Sandra L. Glahn (PhD), provides a look at some of the women of the Bible who are “Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized.” As is frequently the case, I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my review.Let’s take this a stage at a time. First stage: book setup. This is primarily an academic Biblical Studies book. Be prepared to see discussions of Greek and Hebrew words, as appropriate. You’ll also need a handle on the general flow of Biblical narrative, a willingness to look around at history, and the other tools of someone who is truly studying the text. This is no one-day read. It’s a serious study of women in the Bible, specifically those who either faced sexual violence or who have been considered sexually ‘wrong’ across years of study.A quick note: this book is timely, not opportunistic. The length of time to plan, assign, develop, and publish a multi…