I hope you are all enjoying the second half of Psalms and the book of Proverbs.
I’m really enjoying Proverbs. Most of the lessons seem as relevant today as they must have been thousands of years ago. I laughed out loud when I read 18.2: “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing personal opinion.” I was in a business meeting earlier this week that proved the point. I hope you will pick a couple of your favorites to share with the group on Tuesday.
I’m struck by the difference between the teaching of Proverbs and the laws stated in early books in the OT. These lessons and the method of instruction are much more compelling, because they are not simply commandments. Almost all explain the inherent benefit of the desired behavior – linking wise and righteous actions to joy and long life, and foolish and wicked actions to misery and death.
Bruce asked if others felt Provers was used to teach children. I think it is for teens and adults. The difference between the commandments and proverbs reminds me how parenting skills have to evolve as a child grows. I remember the first time I actually said “Because I said so!” to my 2 year old son. It probably wasn’t effective then, but it certainly wouldn’t work now that he’s 19.
I also hope you’ll give some thought to why Wisdom is personified as female. This isn’t unique to the Old Testament, and I find it very interesting indeed.
I’m looking forward to our call on Tuesday!