March Bible Reading Challenge and February Summary of Proverbs

February Bible Reading Challenge

I can hardly believe that we are once again at the end of the monthly Bible Reading challenge! If you are reading Proverbs through with us for the month of February, the plan is one chapter a day, with the exception of the last three days of the month. Although we are finishing up this Saturday, I’ve decided to summarize the final readings in this post.

Proverbs 21

Proverbs 21 is a chapter full of the short pithy sayings we naturally expect in the book of Proverbs. From a feminine perspective, there were two verses that stood out in my mind:

It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife. Prov. 21:9

It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. Proverbs 21:19

Did anyone find it interesting that these two verses worded so similarly are listed so closely in the chapter?

Proverbs 22

Chapter 22 contains many short, punchy sayings as well. Last month as I was reading, I could see a thread of the importance of choosing friends wisely. This month, I saw another thread- social injustice. Solomon mentions several times how to treat the poor and what the attitude of the rich should be.

Proverbs 23

In chapter 23, the tone of Solomon’s seems to be imploring his son, almost begging him to remember the importance of these wise sayings and reiterating how much he is loved.

Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. Proverbs 23:19

Proverbs 24

In chapter 24, Solomon is giving his son some advice on how to use his “people skills.” Choosing friends wisely, overlooking the failure of enemies, and not allowing enemies to have power over you are all topics that Solomon covers in Proverbs 24.

Proverbs 25

I read and re-read Proverbs 25:15 this month.

With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone. (ESV)

By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone. (KJV)

I believe Solomon was telling his son, the younger generation, to have the right attitude when making a request of authority. And don’t give up easily- old folks don’t like change; sometimes it takes them a while to come around. But if you have patience, they can be persuaded when the situation is right.

What did you think Solomon’s point was in verse 15?

Proverbs 26

No matter which Bible translation you read, in chapter 26, you may have noticed one very common word: “fool.” This word is difficult to duplicate in meaning, but we know it means the opposite of wise. A fool is someone who is not in the habit of making good decisions.

How would you define “fool?”

Proverbs 27

The first two verses of chapter 27 caught my attention right away during this read-through.

Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;  A stranger, and not your own lips.

I can’t recall mentioning the issue of pride in our Proverbs summaries, but Solomon does warn his son of the issue of pride multiple times in various ways throughout the book of Proverbs. Neither of the two verses in this chapter use the word “pride” but they certainly describe acts of pride.

Proverbs 28

Chapter 28 contains nugget after nugget of wisdom, but I did pick out a few favorites:

A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days. (v. 16)

He who gives to the poor will never want, But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses. (v. 27)

The wording of the last phrase “shuts his eyes” really captures what we often do in this area.   We think we can’t do anything big, so we do nothing. It doesn’t say “he who gives a million dollars to the poor.” Or “he who gives a thousand dollars to the poor.” There is no designated amount. Just “he who gives to the poor.”

Proverbs 29

I believe that chapter 29 is another “people” chapter. Solomon clearly desires for his son to have discernment in business deals, daily conversations, and general attitudes. Each proverb emphasizes building godly character, decision by decision.

Which verse from chapter 9 stood out to you?

Proverbs 30

Proverbs 30 is not written by Solomon, but by Agur. The difference in the style of writing is distinct and I enjoyed the more lyrical, flowing style for a change of pace from the short, punchy phrases.  I love verse 5:

Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.

This is an echo of Psalm 18:30 and David is the writer of Psalm 18.

Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31 was not written by Solomon either and yes, there is again a difference in lyrical style. The Proverbs 31 woman is both loved and hated. Held up as the epitome of a Christian woman and yet often thought of as being unattainable, there is much to be learned from her life of living for Christ and others.

Wow! I have so loved the Proverbs Bible reading challenge and reading the book of Proverbs twice in a row made it all that more meaningful.

march Bible reading challenge

For the March Bible Reading Challenge, we are moving over to the New Testament and we’re going to read all but one of the General Epistles, one chapter a day, in this order:

Hebrews (13 chapters)

James (5 chapters)

I Peter (5 chapters)

II Peter (3 chapters)

I John  (5 chapters)

Hope you’ll join in; I’d love to hear from you today, both your thoughts from this week’s Proverbs reading and questions, as well as if you’ll be joining us in March for the Bible reading challenge!

Thanks for your patience and understanding as we work through the readings together!

Rachel

PS: I had planned to post the March Bible reading challenge today (Thursday) and the Proverbs summary tomorrow. But my flight was canceled this morning and I wound up with a lot less work time due to making the switch, etc. I’m at the RE:Write Conference,in Austin, TX,for the weekend. I pray your weekend is full of whatever God has for you!

march Bible reading challenge details

You can click on the graphic above to open a PDF that holds two printable copies of the schedule. Share one with a friend!

 

Proverbs 13-20 Bible Reading Challenge Summary

Whenever I think of Proverbs, I think of rich truth. Solomon, the wisest man to live, desired to leave a written legacy of wisdom to his son. What a privilege that we are still reading it today as God preserved this wisdom as His written Word! So let’s look over the chapters we read this week:

Proverbs 13

Chapter 13 covers a variety of topics. From laziness to lying tongues, from poverty to leaving an inheritance for your children, each verse sheds instant light on truth. The verse that seemed to summarize this chapter for me:

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. Proverbs 13:14

Which verse summarized or highlighted this chapter for you?

Proverbs 14

Ok, you might laugh. But this verse was so appropriate for Saturday. Our family had quite a few things going on. And on Valentine’s Day, of all days, I was focused on the urgent cleaning that needed to be done. Sometimes that cleaning sense of urgency makes me think that our family needs to simplify, but when you have as many bodies in a house as we do, it’s really not so much the amount of “stuff” but the number of people who have any amount of stuff.

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. Proverbs 14:4

I’m guessing you get the analogy. No blessings in the form of children=no mess to clean up. Perspective for cleaning day.

Proverbs 15

Many verses in Proverbs focus on seeking wisdom and controlling the tongue, but chapter 15 centers on these topics. One of my favorite verses:

To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is! Proverbs 15:23

Many verses discuss the importance of watching your words and the speed at which they fly out, but the flip side of that is not only holding your tongue, but learning to use empowering words to others. This is something I feel that I’m constantly working on. Perhaps you too?

Proverbs 16

Everywhere we look in today’s culture and society, the center is self. “Have it your way.” “I want it my way.” Proverbs 16 helps us grasp the difference between man’s way and God’s way. After we see the contrast between the two, I believe Solomon is pointing us toward understanding that if we simply begin with God’s way, we’ll encounter fewer problems in life. The following verse summed up this point for me:

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

How would you explain this verse?

Proverbs 17

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There’s a pivotal word in this verse: “when.” The moment of “when” holds the critical decision. Am I going to let it fly or filter with love? I must have read this verse ten times on Tuesday. I can hear Solomon saying to his son :”It really doesn’t take much to convince people you are smart. Just keep your mouth closed.”

Proverbs 18

In chapter 18, I believe the author is reinforcing the foundation he set in chapter 17. So much of the focus is on truly using our words in a wise manner. Something you may not know about me: I consider myself a foodie. If I wasn’t a Christian blogger chic, maybe I’d be a food critic. Who knows? But the point of explaining that to you is that verse 8 of this chapter made me think:

The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. Proverbs 18:8

Everyone likes to eat good food, right? So if we think of our words as food:

Would you rather have a day old cheeseburger that’s been sitting on the counter or beautifully prepared filet mignon?

Would you rather eat a fresh chopped salad or wilted iceberg lettuce leaf?

Would you rather drink brewed coffee or instant?

And we can’t even go near the chocolate department or I’ll go overboard.

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Proverbs 19

Sometimes “discipline” is considered a bad word. But the art of being disciplined is the focus of this chapter. One of the most noticeable characteristics of a disciplined person is? They listen well. 

Listening is an art, a skill and a science. I believe that listening is an art because it is an expression of what is beautiful. It’s also a skill because it takes practice to do it well. And it surely is a science because through listening, you acquire knowledge using observation and interpretation.

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Don’t forget the 7up prayer challenge this weekend! My kiddos expressed that they want to be involved; so while I’m shopping today, I have to look for a 12 pack of 7 up. Remember to use the hashtag #7upprayer .

Sorry for the post getting up late; internet was down here last night. Rumor has it that it froze. ha.

Can’t wait to hear from you this week! What did you learn?

Have a great weekend!!

Rachel

Proverbs 6-12 Bible Reading Challenge Summary

February Bible Reading Challenge

Welcome to Friday’s Bible reading challenge summary and check-in! I encourage you to comment and let us know what you learned this week as we read through the book of Proverbs. From last Friday through today, we covered Proverbs chapters 6-12; I can’t wait to hear about what you’ve been learning! Here are my observations from this week:

Proverbs 6

Solomon warns his son of laziness in chapter 6, but he also outlines what is often known as the “seven deadly sins.” I don’t remember this list jumping off the page as much when I read through this chapter in January. I found it interesting that the first five are listed as a body part physically doing the sin, “haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil.” The last two listed seem to require more thinking or premeditation, in my opinion, “a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.” Quite the hefty list of sins to avoid- I love that Solomon didn’t sugarcoat the issues, but spelled it out plainly.

Proverbs 7

Towards the end of chapter 6, Solomon begins to warn his son of adultery and the dangers of an evil woman. In chapter 7, he continues to explain the importance of keeping all this instruction close to his heart where decisions are made. The dangers of an evil woman are thoroughly explained and Solomon explains the long term effects of involvement with her.

Proverbs 8

This chapter emphasizes wisdom from the first verse of the chapter and Solomon emphasizes the importance of wisdom over gold and silver. I wonder if Solomon worried that his children might rely on his riches to carry them through life. Verse 11:

for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.

Which verse stood out to you in Proverbs 8?

 Proverbs 9

Proverbs 9 is almost a repeat of Proverbs 8 in concept. Wisdom and instruction is emphasized and warnings of the foolish woman are outlined. Solomon paints a vivid picture of how foolishness destroys lives. The verse that struck a nerve for me this week had me thinking of how I process criticism or reproof.

 

Did you see where we can find the beginning of wisdom?

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Proverbs 10

Proverbs 10 is a chapter of what we think of as “typical” proverbs. The verses are often statements that present stark contrasts in order to make the point. At times I have a tendency to divide these statements in parts, but I believe Solomon deliberately wrote these verses in a contrasting style to emphasize his message.

Proverbs 11

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion. Proverbs 11:22

I couldn’t overlook this verse this week. I think this is one of my favorite Proverbs because you just can’t miss the message, can you? I wonder if Solomon might have used a different analogy today. Maybe something along the lines of “Like a perfect profile pic beside a mouthy social media status, so is a beautiful woman without discretion.” That Solomon sure makes me doublecheck my words!

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What do you think Solomon’s modern day analogy might have been?

Proverbs 12

Proverbs 12 outlines the power of words over and over again. You can easily see how much Solomon believed in the importance of using words wisely. I think I may have chosen the same verse as last month for my focus verse of the chapter.

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. Proverbs 12:25

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Wow- that’s a quick summary! There is so much richness in the book of Proverbs; I hope you are soaking up every minute of this book, even on the second month reading through. And now I’d love to hear about all you learned. Share it with us?

Enjoy the weekend!

Rachel

Proverbs 1-5 Bible Reading Challenge Summary

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