Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for June 8, Prov 19-21

Today's readings are Prov 19-21. Tomorrow's are Prov 22-24. 

The general theme and direction of these chapters is integrity in our speech and in the way we deal with our possessions. Elevating ourselves or the things we acquire above God demonstrates a lack of integrity toward the reason we were created, to give God glory. This is why honesty in our speech and our dealings is important to our witness. It reveals the presence of God and His holiness in the way we live, talk and behave. This honesty and integrity is evidence that we belong to God. It's not the only evidence but it is a tangible element the world can see. 

Once again, there is much wisdom exhibited in each of these verses. But, they are neither commandments nor absolutes. They are general guidelines for living life in a manner that puts God on display. 

One of the key verses is this Prov 19:23. 
"The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm."
God is to be the focus of our lives. All the verses we read about the wicked, the dishonest, the prideful, the sluggard, etc. deal with people who have displaced God with their own self-interest. If God is our highest priority, if putting Him on display in how we lead our lives is our goal, things will go generally well for us, better than if we didn't. 

This is not a guarantee that nothing bad will happen to us. None of these sayings are an amulet or a magic potion that will produce supernatural protection or prosperity for us. They are wise guidelines for godly living, things we should aspire to, things that will make our walk easier and cause others to see the Lord in us. 

We still live, for the time being, in a fallen world populated with fallen, imperfect people. As believers we, ourselves, remain imperfect even as God is perfecting us. The guarantee of unbridled joy and pain free existence is an eternal guarantee that should give us hope for those times of grief and suffering we experience here on earth. Those dark times are temporary. God has better things in store for us. 

Meanwhile, as we wait for our eternal home, He gives us verses like these that will not necessarily deliver us from the dark nights of our lives, but will get us through them.

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