Monday 19 September 2022

Bible Book:

The hearing ear and the seeing eye – the Lord has made them both. (v. 12)

Proverbs 20:5-12 Monday 19 September 2022

Psalm 57:1-3, 7-11


I think most of us will remember proverbs we learned in childhood, such as 'Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red in the morning, shepherd’s warning' and others, often about meteorological events or the way a season is going to be as the months wear on.

During this week we shall be looking at some rather different proverbs that were written down many hundreds of years ago and included in the Old Testament, the Book of Proverbs. We will, I am sure, find that the wise words still speak to us as we live in these very different times from when they were originally composed.

Verse 5 speaks of the human mind being like deep water and of the need for the intelligence to draw out the ideas that are entrenched there. The passage goes on to prompt us to analyse our own behaviour. We are to acknowledge the fact that we, and all people, are made by God and we hope to embody God's values in the way we live. The passage seems to be saying that we should judge our own thoughts and behaviour through the intelligence we are given, to do our best to make ourselves a clean and righteous people in the sight of our maker.

This text is clearly intended to help people understand what it is to be a good person in the sight of God: in verse seven we read “the righteous walk in integrity – happy are the children we follow them!" Surely this is a message to all of us who are parents or grandparents. It is through our example that our children will learn to live good and productive lives, and also by the way they act and live, they will influence other children with whom they interact.

We are called to listen and to understand the needs of those around us, and to be observant of their needs. Unlike many of the books in the Old Testament, Proverbs can transfer quite easily to our present day and give us guidance in our everyday lives, as well as in our faith lives. We can, if we read on, find ourselves amused by some of the words, for instance in verse 13 we are warned that if we spend too much time asleep we will become poor and we should not be lazy, but work hard to provide for ourselves and those around us. In the days to come this week we will look at other passages from this remarkable book and find ourselves challenged by what we read.

To Ponder:

  • Does the book of Proverbs have relevance for us in our lives as followers of Jesus?
  • Will we find ourselves challenged by the words to make changes in our lives?
  • Would we recommend others to read this, so that they too might find some wisdom they have not met before?


Lord as we read these words on a significant day in our country’s life, we bring our beloved Queen into your presence. We pray she may find your peace, and we give thanks for the way she lived up to the integrity shown in the reading we have before us today. We ask your blessing on the family she leaves behind and especially on King Charles as he takes up office as our leader. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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