Saturday 10 September 2016

Bible Book:

but the one who rebukes boldly makes peace.” (v. 10)

Proverbs 10:1-11 Saturday 10 September 2016

Psalm: Psalm2:1-8


The book of Proverbs makes some strong associations betweenfolly and trouble. With its cognates 'fool' and 'foolish', it mustbe the most common expression in Proverbs. At its worst, involvingothers, a conspiratorial wink can cause a whole lot of trouble(look out for them in your church or workplace) for many people. Itseems obvious, especially in the context of Proverbs, but there isno benefit in causing trouble (it is one of the big sins of theQur'an), and the sneaky wink only does harm. It is offered as funbut folly blooms into chaos. The alternative is much moredifficult.

It is a consistent theme in Proverbs that the foolish path isthe easy way out. This was Jesus' message too - "the road is easythat leads to destruction, and there are many who take it" (Matthew 7:13): the line of least resistance,who will take the risk of being different? At times the wise courseof action is to challenge, object, even denounce, as Jesus did(with the money lenders in the temple (Matthew 21:12-16) and, yes, it did kill him inthe end. He, and the writer of Proverbs, expects the wise person todo the same, and they might be outside his regular followers, inorder to bring peace, as he did. Jesus couldn't live for peace, andbring it into the world, without dying for it, so it could berisky! Peace is difficult, war (and winking) is easy, so the writeris asking - would you rather create rumour and suspicion, which canlead to hostility, war and genocide, or challenge hatred, bigotry,anti-Semitism or Islamophobia, in order to begin creating peacefrom the heart? Depending on where you are this may be a simple ora stark choice, placing demands on your outlook, thinking, actionsor even theology. We do not always choose well or wisely, but thewise choice leads to life, in many different ways.

To Ponder

  • How can you challenge hatred, prejudice and bigotry?
  • What might it be like if religion really was promotingpeace?
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