Victory Belongs to the Lord

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?

Proverbs 16

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?

Proverbs 17

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?

Proverbs 18

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. )

Proverbs 19

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.

Proverbs 20

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:

Prov

Proverbs 21

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

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!

Summary

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!

Happy Friday!

Rachel

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10 Comments

  1. Im so glad we can read proverbs again with you in February!

  2. There’s so much to take in. Reading through again will bring fresh understanding. Besides, the more we hear/read God’s Word, the more it sinks in and becomes part of us. It’s nice to chime in with these words at just the right time because they are on our tongues.

  3. I am excited to read through proverbs again, I was wondering what your next choice for reading would be. Not having read through them before, this second time through I hope to have even better understanding and discovery. I have been doing this reading plan along with that from Good Morning Girls and have learned so much! Thank you for all that you and others that comment share, it has helped me soooo much!

    And I too think much more often before I speak, and my words are much more thoughtful and kind.

  4. Proverbs 16:3 is the verse I focus on and hold onto: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” I have 2 huge things going on in my life: (1) I am helping my daughters pay their student loans with 10% of my income ; (2) I work in the medical field and we are transitioning to electronic medical records. It is an enormous project. By committing and asking God daily to walk thru these situations with me, seeking His Word, listening to the Holy Spirit, realizing these situations can glorify God if done FOR Him with faith and love….it keeps me going.

    In re-reading chapter 17 this morning, 4 verses jumped out at me: 10, 14, 17, and 22.

    10. “A rebuke impresses a man of discernment…” (I was rebuked by my boss yesterday. I am reminded I need to see her point of view, understand, and learn.)

    14. “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” (Again, a disagreement with my boss last week and I dropped it before it heated up too much. I think reading these chapters is working in the background of my mind. Thanks be to God.)

    17. “A friend loves at all times…” (I was thinking about dropping out of a small group of friends because I feel left out a lot lately. This verse reminds me to assess my loyalty and to ask myself what kind of a friend am I.)

    22. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (During this project at work, I do encourage the staff I am training. I am cheerful and enthusiastic. Again, I think these verses are constantly running in the background of my mind….kind of like the Windows Task Manager in my computer. If you hit ctrl, alt, delete, you bring up the Task Manager. If you click on the tabs, you see the actions going on in the background of your computer. I think reading all these Proverbs everyday does that to me. LOL. )

    Thanks Rachel for your teaching, your wisdom, your sharing, your enthusiasm, and your love for the Lord. This is such a good study. I am thrilled to repeat Proverbs thru February. Looking forward to it.

    1. I understand the medical record transition! My hubby has been through that a couple times throughout his 25 years in the medical field. Prayers for you!

      1. Thanks!! Prayers are always welcome:-)

  5. What a GREAT idea to read through again-I find myself wishing I had more time to spend in each chapter (&/or verse 😉

    My favorite take away point from this whole wk is Prov. 21:1 & the reminder that God is in control, as Rachel points out.

    Just heard a sermon on Rev. in which the pastor (David Platt) sums up the message of that book in 3 words: Our God wins…which, to me, also reiterates that He IS in control.

  6. I am thrilled we are going to read through Proverbs again. =)

  7. My focus verse of chapter 16 was verse 9. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” Man plans, but God directs or establishes. I feel like this goes along with 20:24.

    When I read verse 16 of chapter 17 I thought of Acts 8:18 where Simon tries to buy the Holy Spirit.

    There’s definitely enough in these chapters to warrant a reread. I agree one verse a day could be a good strategy!

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