Monday

1 October 2007

Proverbs 22:2-16

"The rich and the poor have this in common: the LORD is the maker of them all... Oppressing the poor in order to enrich oneself, and giving to the rich, will lead only to loss". (v.2,16)

Background

The book of Proverbs is a collection of practical wisdom that teaches people how to live on a daily basis. It is full of sayings that are still used today in everyday life. It seeks to encourage people to be wise; to make the choices that will lead to success and happiness. 

Wisdom, we are told, is rooted in a proper respect for God. This will equip people to plot a course through the many challenges and contradictions of human life. The rewards of wisdom are very real, even material and are to be enjoyed and shared in our life together, here and now. 

Wisdom, to be found in this passage, includes the assertion that both rich and poor are made by God; the clever avoid danger whilst the simple walk straight into it; the cautious keep away from the thorns and traps and if you educate children well they will grow up to be wise. 

Generosity towards the poor is a great virtue whilst injustice and oppression will lead to disaster. Far more important than wealth and riches is the good name that comes through being humble and kind in word and deed.

To Ponder

Are there people you would describe as being wise? What particular qualities do they display?

What part does God play in your decision-making processes when faced with the difficult choices in life?

What do you understand by generosity and in what ways do you seek to be generous?


Bible notes author

The Revd Graham Jones

Graham Jones is a Methodist presbyter serving as a member of the Discipleship and Ministries Learning Network in the Yorkshire Plus region of the Methodist Church, with particular responsibility for ministry development. Graham is committed to developing ministry in its broadest sense, enabling both lay and ordained to live out their vocations, and to share in God's mission in the most fulfilling and effective ways.