Welcome to Friday and the weekly Bible reading challenge check-in! When I first introduced the 2015 Bible Reading Challenge, I explained how I felt the Lord was directing me to focus on the book of Proverbs. Since then, in the last two weeks, my pastor encouraged the church to read Proverbs 3:1-15 every day for a week- more Proverbs. I began The Best Yes Bible study by Lysa Terkeurst and the focus is on wisdom, centered in Proverbs. I have been reading Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman and a portion of her book is focused in Proverbs. Pretty incredible!
This week we read Proverbs chapters 16-22. It’s going to be tough because these passages are so rich; but let’s take a look at the highlights this week, shall we?
Chapter 16 provides two contrasting views throughout the chapter. One is who God is and what he does; the second is who man is and what he does. Throughout the chapter, we find reassurance of God’s character. I had a conversation with my brother-in-law about the book of Proverbs and he mentioned a term I hadn’t heard or thought of before. “Proverbs is often referred to as “bumper sticker theology.”” Not because it’s cheap talk. It’s just packed full of message in a few words.
Which verse was your focus verse of this chapter?
This chapter seems to focus on wisdom in relationships. How we treat others and how we communicate with others were noted throughout the verses. I highlighted a few different lines from this chapter. Let’s see if ours match:
Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished. v. 5
Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends. v. 9
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. v. 22
Did any of these verses jump off the page into your heart?
Wow, this chapter seems to be another one focused on controlling our tongues and using our words wisely. The second verse immediately wraps up the largest problem of a fool- he loves to express his own opinion, before he pauses long enough to understand a situation. (I had to wonder if Solomon might have been predicting future social media. But then I remembered there is no new thing under the sun. )
I could see a recurring idea of the importance of disciplines, both mental and physical. Solomon is admonishing his son to focus on getting understanding. And he mentions that oversleeping is a bad idea too. Chapter 19 is chocked full of tidbits of wisdom. My husband and I had a conversation about this today and he mentioned, “I feel like you could study one Proverb a day.” Hmmmm. Thinking on that still.
Chapter 20 mentions character traits Solomon wants his son to develop. Faithfulness and purity are emphasized in this chapter. I honed in on verse 24:
A man’s steps are from the LORD; how then can man understand his way?
As humans, our understanding is limited; we simply aren’t going to understand everything God does or allows in this world. What is your takeaway from the above verse?
I also loved verse 28:
I read the first verse of this chapter right after the State of the Union address:
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.
What reassurance that no matter the political power, God is in control. The last phrase of the last verse of this chapter was personal reassurance for me:
…the victory belongs to the LORD. Prov. 21:31
That habit you want to break…discipline you want to make…test you never wished to take? All completed through Him.
Chapter 22 is incredibly full of witty sayings and wise word offerings. If I HAD to choose a theme for this chapter, it would be the simple summary: Choose your friends wisely. But there is so much more included in this chapter!
I’ve been reading and re-reading each chapter of Proverbs and really, we could reflect on one verse a day. For that reason, I hope you won’t be bored when I say that for the month of February, we are going to read through the book of Proverbs again. I realize there are only 28 days in February, so for the last three days we will double up and read 2 chapters a day.
I can’t wait to hear what you think! How was your week of reading and study? Choose one of the questions above and let’s keep one another encouraged to continue reading each day!