Reading Through The Bible — Week 50
11/8 Friday. Read Proverbs 18:1—19:29
· If time is short focus on 18:1-24
· Oh, how difficult are the relationships of life (after all we are sinners!). And yet it is in those relationships that we find our greatest earthly joys… a friend who sticks closer than a brother (18:24)… a loving spouse (18:22; 19:14)… children and our children’s children. That means that those relationships are worth putting a whole lot of effort into. For if they go sour, they can cause our greatest pain! (19:13, 18)
· Pray today (and every day) for the various personal relationships in your life, and for others who are experiencing pain in this most important part of our earthly lives.
11/9 Saturday. Read Proverbs 20:1—21:31
· If time is short focus on 20:1-12
· There is one thing that every one of us will wrestle with our whole life and that is our own proud, self-righteous heart that refuses to recognize it’s own problem. 21:2,4. It feels it is self-sufficient 21:31. It distorts our life’s priorities 21:13,17. Our own hearts, a mixture of the old nature and Christ living in us plus the countless events of life that have left impressions and scars are “deep waters” 20:5,24.
· Finally we must all fall on our faces and plead, “God be merciful to me a sinner!” 20:9… And with the Psalmist to pray, “Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me!”
Reading Through The Bible — Week 51
11/11 Monday. Read Proverbs 22:1—23:35
· If time is short focus on 23:1-35
· Congratulations! You have just read 359 of the more than 3,000 proverbs that Solomon wrote (1 Kings 4:32). This week we will finish the book of Proverbs with “The Sayings of the Wise,” more proverbs of Solomon and others. These are often a bit more expanded than the short, pointed proverbs we have been reading.
· Note that as the “Sayings of the wise” begin in v.17, that the purpose of the proverbs are clearly stated: (v.19). That is the purpose of all Scripture “to make us wise for salvation”… and consequently that every one of us may be “thoroughly equipped for every good work!” (2 Tim.3:15,17)
· I noted especially today proverbs that dealt with discipline of children. (22:6,15; 23:13,14,22) The cruelest thing a parent can do for his child is to send him out into the world undisciplined! That may be contrary to popular 21st century wisdom, but it is God’s wisdom!
· Note also the most accurate and vivid description of the one who abuses drugs and alcohol 23:31-35. Drunkenness may be culturally acceptable, but it is truly FOOL-ish.
11/12 Tuesday. Read Proverbs 24:1—25:28
· If time is short focus on 24:23-34
· 24:30-34 You have no doubt noticed any number of proverbs dealing with the subject of laziness. Nothing new! “Never put off till tomorrow what you can put of till the day after tomorrow!” Has something important been left undone in your life? Make a list… set a schedule… tackle them one by one.
· Paul quotes 25:21,22 in Romans 12:20 and this is a very important teaching of Jesus. Instead of returning cuff for cuff, tit for tat, (which results in more retaliation) return good to those who would harm you. The best way to get rid of an enemy is to make him your friend!
11/13 Wednesday. Read Proverbs 26:1—27:27
· If time is short focus on 27:1-27
· Chapter 26, what is the chief characteristic of the “fool”? Is it not that he refuses to be taught? He proudly and stubbornly goes HIS way. Are you willing to learn?
Consider how the wise man functions (27:5,6,17,21). Honest, · caring correction is a whole lot better than being surrounded by “yes-men”. A true friend’s honest appraisal may hurt you to help you in the end. When is the last time you thanked your spouse, an associate, your counselor, for “telling it like it is”… even if it did sting at first?
11/14 Thursday. Read 28:1—29:27
· If time is short focus on 29:1-27
· Solomon’s final contribution to the wisdom of Proverbs. I noted especially again to day the wisdom of listening to correction. Only the proud fool will not listen and remains in his folly. 28:23; 29:5, 11, 15, 20, 25. Note also the wisdom not being slow to speak, not flying off the handle.
· Sometime go back through the book of proverbs and catalogue proverbs that speak of folly, wealth, poverty, the tongue, pride, humility, justice, vengeance, gluttony, lust, laziness, friends, family, life and death etc. It makes for a most interesting study.
11/15 Friday. Read Proverbs 30:1—31:31
· If time is short focus on 31:1-31
· We don’t know who Agur and King Lemuel are, but they share their wisdom with us. (no, God’s wisdom: 30:3) Agur uses numbers to bring us some wisdom. I have always been particularly impressed with the wisdom of 30:7-9. Lord just give me what I need.
· The “Wife of Noble Character” poem is an acrostic poem (each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet) like Psalm 119. What a gem!
· Outward beauty and adornments are not what make a good wife and mother. What does? Note where her character comes from (v.30). And husbands do not forget your part! (v.28,29)
11/16 Saturday. Read Ecclesiastes 1:1—2:26
· If time is short focus on 1:1-16
· The Preacher of the book of Ecclesiastes is thought to be an aged Solomon who has in his old age wised up even more. There was a time in his life when he experienced life apart from God. If any man should have been happy with life, it was Solomon! He had everything any man could have ever dreamt of. He mentions all kinds of things in these two chapters. But when things are done, when life is lived, merely for their own sake, Solomon learned that it was all meaningless.
· The key to living life with meaning is hinted at in v.24,25. Only when God is included does anything have meaning!
11/17 Sunday. We pause in our reading of the practical wisdom of Proverbs to focus on the appointed lessons for End Time 3 The Last Judgment.
The Gospel Lesson, Luke 19:11-27: In the parable of the minas, the king returns, calling on his servants to give an account. Our King will return to judge. Those who opposed Him and wasted the gifts He has given will have to give an account. All that awaits them is eternal death. But we will stand before the King with all confidence. For our account will be marked by the perfection of Christ and the power of the Spirit to be faithful stewards. In words of grace we will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
The Old Testament Lesson, Jeremiah 26:1-6: The Lord’s judgment is coming, and quickly. He is coming to bring final and destructive judgment on those who refuse to listen to His Word. But He offers deliverance if we turn from our evil ways. We need not fear the coming wrath. We rejoice that in Christ, we are considered faithful followers of His law and heirs of His kingdom.
The Epistle Lesson, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10: Few cases see a courthouse in these days of litigation. Plea bargains are made and deals are cut. Innocent defendants would rather pay off plaintiffs than risk losing in a court of law. Many are banking on cutting a deal in the courtroom on the Last Day. Surely they were good enough. Surely they were better than most people. But when the Lord Jesus is revealed as judge, His ruling will be just: Those who neither acknowledge nor obey Him will be punished. But those who have acknowledged Him in faith will marvel at His majesty and will be brought to glory.