Beginning of Concluding Proverbs and Psalms

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James

Dec. 12. PROVERBS OF WISDOM. Prov. 22:17-24:34

There are many writings known as wisdom literature. They have no known dates within the Scriptures. For that reason, they have been reserved to be included at the end of our Old Testament journey. They include some of the psalms and proverbs. As we conclude Proverbs, we are privileged to observe the great wisdom of many centuries ago and marvel at its relevance to today’s world.

Wisdom was personified and given a voice with which to speak to us. A wise person will listen to those words, heed them and speak them to others. Wisdom’s words encourage us to keep our trust in the Lord and to not hurt, but to help the downtrodden. In today’s society, it is easy to obligate oneself for more than he is capable of repaying. Wisdom strongly advises against that practice. Excellent work has its rewards.

Instructions were given regarding our attitude toward accumulating riches and interacting with misers, fools, children and sinners. As a child, one must heed the wise instructions of his parents and give them the proper care and respect. The dangers of strong drink and gluttony were further topics of wisdom. Graphic descriptions of the drunkard’s condition were recorded for our learning and heeding.

The proverbs writer continued his discourse of wisdom by observing the desirable actions of the wise contrasted to those of fools. It is wise to avoid the desire to emulate the actions of the wicked and lazy people one may encounter. Their fruits are violence, trouble and poverty that lead to the corrupting of one’s soul. The fruits of the wise are as sweet to a person as honey is to his taste. A righteous man may fall many times, but he gets up, shakes himself off and moves forward; the wicked ends in calamity. However, one should not rejoice in that person’s calamity. The wise use of time is repeated many times in the wisdom proverbs.

Dec. 13. WISDOM OF AGUR. Prov. 30:1-33

Augur is an obscure person of whom nothing is known except that which is recorded at the beginning of these wise statements. He introduced his writing with a series of rhetorical questions with God and His Son being the obvious answers. God’s word is complete and must not have any additions from man. The writer prayed for truth and sufficiency in his life—neither riches which make a man deny God nor poverty which leads to thievery.

Man is proud and right in his own eyes and insatiable—never satisfied as he seeks to amass more. Augur continued by listing a series of various characteristics found among creatures that symbolizes man’s character. He concluded by stating obvious consequences from various actions to admonish his readers to turn from foolish pride and evil.

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