Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Friday, July 21, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Jul 22, Pro 27-29

Today’s readings are Pro 27-29.

These are the final chapters credited to Solomon. We see more worldly lessons on godly living. Once again, every verse or set of verses can stand alone in its wise application of godly principals. But there are a few key verses that would have had a particular impact coming from a king who was exceptionally wealthy and powerful yet sometimes finds himself a victim of his own pride and passion. Some of these are a bit of a precursor to the Book of Ecclesiastes. 

Read them with Solomon's meteoric rise and frequent stumbles in mind.
Pro 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
Solomon had over a thousand wives and was most likely the richest man in the world. We're about to read, in Ecclesiastes" that he's come to realize it is "all vanity" if accumulated apart from God.
Pro 27:21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise.
Solomon would be very familiar with the praise and commendation of other men. We all want to be recognized and appreciated. But there's danger in praise, particularly if we allow our pride to lead us into believing we can achieve our goals in and of ourselves. Praise and thanks should always point toward God and His glory. 
Pro 27:24 for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations?
An eye-opening revelation for a man as rich and powerful as Solomon. We hear the voice of experience here.  
Pro 27:16 A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor, but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
Solomon wheeled and dealed outside the guidelines God gave him.  He now perceives those things he gained by doing so as a burden.
Pro 29:4 By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down.
Solomon frequently received lavish gifts from other kings and rulers. He has learned and is learning that those gifts can come to him in recognition of how God is moving in him and in his people. But, the expectation of receiving gifts because of his lofty position can be a stumbling block.
Pro 29:23 One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
 Solomon sat over a large, rich kingdom, one in which the world's elite showed up on his door to honor him and, perhaps, to elevate their own importance just by associating with him. Pride can be intoxicating. It can preclude humility. Solomon understands that humility will produce the only type of honor that has any value, honor that comes as a result of a man being godly and upright, one who lives for the glory of God rather than his own. 
Pro 29:26 Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice.

God is the only truly just one. The opinions of our friends and associates, who at times may give misguided advice or praise, must always be weighed against God's character and nature and His word. Worldly wisdom can have a tremendous pragmatic impact on our day but it must always be accompanied by godly wisdom and an understanding of who He is and how He influences our lives. In other words, the practical wisdom in these Proverbs will only be effective if applied to our lives in a manner that puts God on display, showing the world that we are being conformed to His image. 

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