As an astute reader, you have noticed that there are some repetitive themes in the Book of Proverbs. The reason for the repetition is to re-emphasize important points. It is one of the techniques used in the wisdom books of the Old Testament (Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes). It is used in this chapter. To highlight the effectiveness of this technique (and to make it stick with you), here is a present day equivalent used by mothers from Arkansas (or other parts of the South):
Scenario: A mother calling to her children to come in from playing for dinner.
First attempt: “Babies, y’all please come in and eat.”
Second attempt: “Y’all need to come in, wash up, and eat supper.”
Third attempt: “Are y’all deaf? I ain’t screaming out of this kitchen window just to hear myself make noise. Get your butts in this house, wash your grubby little hands, or I will come out in the yard and drag you in to eat. I didn’t stand here slaving over this stove so y’all could ignore me.”
Last attempt: “Do you hear me? DO you hear me? DO YOU hear me? DO YOU HEAR ME?” “These kids are killing me,” she mumbles as she stomps back into the house.
Like a frustrated mom, Solomon uses repetition to drive the point home.
It’s time to play short summaries of important verses:
- Verse 4 – The ungodly have ears that itch to hear troublesome talk. And, their mouths will run in overdrive to spread it.
- Verse 5 – Never take pleasure in someone’s difficulty. God knows when we do, and He doesn’t care for it at all.
- Verse 9a – Friends do not keep score of wrongs. If they keep score, they are not your friends.
- Verse 9b – The wicked gossip in order to separate friends. When have you ever met a gossiper spreading good tidings as a way of uniting people?
- Verse 10- You can whisper wisdom to the upright, but you cannot beat it into a fool.
- Verse 14 – Shutting off the spigot of strife stops trouble. Extra tidbit – Gossip turns the spigot on full stream.
- Verse 27 – A person of discernment speaks little and stays calm. Ahem, the opposite is true: fools overreact and can’t shut up. Which do you do? This one stings us all a bit.
- Verse 28 – The best way for a fool to go unnoticed is to keep his mouth shut. Oddly enough, they can’t keep their mouths shut.
There is not a memory verse alert that I recommend today. You might want to go back and look at yesterday’s verse. It is one of the best ones in the entire Book of Proverbs.
I hope that today’s post made you smile, smirk, or blow some iced tea out of your nose from laughing. Verse 22 says:
“A joyful heart is good medicine …”
Some versions translate “joyful heart” as “merry heart” or “laughter.” I wanted to offer you a dose of the elixir of laughter. It cures many ailments, and helps those around us too. Give it a try …