Saturday 17 September 2016

Bible Book:

"Humilty goes before honour" (v. 12)

Proverbs 18:5-12 Saturday 17 September 2016

Psalm: Psalm 7:1-11


At first glance the book of Proverbs looks exactly like that - acollection of proverbs. But if you read more closely you will beable to spot certain themes or even characters. This is one suchpassage. It features the figure of the fool.

At the time that Proverbs was being written, the wise people ofIsrael did not suffer fools gladly. There was the understandingthat the uneducated could become educated and receive the gift ofwisdom, but this was not the case for the fool. It was as if thefool was hard wired to remain foolish, with no desire to learn oreven to stop being foolish.

This passage then becomes a warning not to become foolish, noreven to stray into foolishness (verses 6-7). Note that the fool isnot condemned in themselves, but it is their actions that bringtrouble.

Verse 8 offers the alternative to foolishness, or even an escapefrom it: "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runinto it and are safe." It is trust and closeness to God that bringswisdom.

But the final verse warns against arrogance, lest one thinks oneis better than fool - "humility goes before honour". Could Jesushave been thinking of this when he said to the disciples "the firstshall be last and the last shall be first" (Matthew 19:30; 20:16)?

To Ponder

  • Is there a particular proverb from today's passage which youcan take with you to ponder during the rest of the day? What is it?And why do you think it jumps out at you?
  • Is there a difference for you between a fool and someone whodoes foolish things? Can a fool change? Why?
  • If you look closely it is possible to echoes of the proverbs inthe New Testament. From your reading of Proverbs, what otherexamples can you find? How (if at all) does this affect the way youread the book of Proverbs?
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