Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Proverbs 10:1-5 Lots of "buts!"

In this chapter of Proverbs, Solomon begins to get very practical. Each saying at first glance seems like the strip you find in a fortune cookie - only these are inspired by God to lead us to a life lived out in wisdom. Each proverb stands alone, but there are repeated themes found among them. These are filled with “buts,” as Solomon uses contrasting images to compare the wise and foolish, the wealthy and poor, the industrious and the lazy, the righteous and the wicked.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I can already feel my warning alert going off in my head: “Don’t judge! Don’t judge!” The minute we read about “those” who are lazy or foolish, let’s make a pledge to hold the mirror up to ourselves first! Then let’s remember that we are who we are by the grace of God. Now, let’s dig in!

A wise son brings joy to his father,

    but a foolish son grief to his mother.  

Ill-gotten treasures are of no value,

    but righteousness delivers from death.  

The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry

    but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.  

 Lazy hands make a man poor,

    but diligent hands bring wealth.  

 He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son,

    but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son. (Proverbs 10:1-5)

Jesus told us to seek first righteousness - not earthly treasures. Heavenly treasures are the only ones that last and satisfy. Throughout this chapter Solomon will show us what the righteous man looks like and how he is blessed by God. Now, remember that Paul assures us in Romans 3 that there are NONE righteous in God’s eyes. We are only declared righteous because of the work Christ did on the cross. Our righteousness comes through faith in Christ (Romans 3:22-24). So, when we look at these verses about the righteous in Proverbs, remember that these are those who are seeking their righteousness from God. These are the ones who submit themselves to His wisdom and His instruction and who wholly rely on Him for transformation.

Solomon will continually slam the lazy. In verse 5 he refers to those who sleep during the harvest as disgraceful sons. He’s not just speaking about literal crops here. Jon Courson reminds us that Jesus told us that the spiritual harvest is continual (John 4:35). There are people all around us who need to hear the good news about Jesus. A large part of our work as Christians is to tell them! Let’s not sleep during the harvest!

I don’t want to be counted among the lazy. I know no one would accuse me of being slothful if they could follow me around all day, but I’m talking about a hesitancy to be brave enough to reach out to those all around me who don’t know the LORD. Surely we should begin each day asking God to help us demonstrate the gospel in our lives, that we would reflect His character, His love, and His grace. { I can tell you that the kids in my classroom would appreciate seeing more of those traits in me!! } Then, we should ask for opportunities and the boldness to share!

In previewing the next few verses, I can tell you I’m especially excited about one of them! Check back tomorrow! In the meantime, as we go through these verses, I hope you will let me know what gems you find in the Proverbs!  

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