Proverbs 10-11: Sayings of Solomon
"The wise of heart will heed commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin." (10:8)
"When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but the prudent are restrained in speech." (10:19)
"When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but wisdom is with the humble." (11:2)
"When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; and when the wicked perish, there is jubilation." (11:10)
"Whoever belittles another lacks sense, but an intelligent person remains silent." (11:12)
"Some give freely, yet grow all the richer; others withhold what is due, and only suffer want." (11:24)
"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life..." (11:30)
Proverbs 10-11 begin the section of the book that dives into Solomon's sayings of wisdom. Up until now we've been reading and considering 2 ways - the way of Lady Wisdom, and the way of the foolish woman. We now enter into what most of us think of when we think of Proverbs - short saying that usually present a dichotomy. Because of this it's hard to summarize entire chapters in one blog post - there are dozens of topics that come and go in the reading - however, there are some themes...
Chapter 10 begins by pointing us to generations...children are a reflection of their parents and carry wisdom or foolishness forward - to the benefit or detriment of their family and culture. Proverbs reminds us in several places that just as the choice between wisdom and folly is a personal one, it is also a communal one. Our collective choices reflect upon us as a culture and either reflect shamefully or proudly upon entire societies and nations;"When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; and when the wicked perish, there is jubilation." (11:10) Proverbs 10-11 ask if we're living wisely and we're forced to ask the same question about our leaders and our society.
In this vein - these chapters speak several times about those with "lying lips" and how they conceal violence. Again - we ultimately see the fruit of the intentions of people's hearts. What is inside WILL come out eventually.
Though there are many other things to point out, I will only point out one additional theme for today. That is the dichotomy between many words and silence. And perhaps it is this word of wisdom that we most need today. Our world is full of speech. "It's a dog eat dog world out there, kid!" We think if we don't keep up and wax poetic on things we may or may not know about, then we'll lose. Proverbs reminds us that it's better to "lose" and keep our wisdom than to speak foolishly and expect a round of applause.
Jesus shared similar wisdom...
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
Jesus, teach me your wisdom today. It is so unlike my wisdom.
I want to prove to others that I am right.
I want to be right!
I want to prove that I know what I'm talking about.
Jesus, help me to see that wisdom starts when I realize that I am not the source of it.
Jesus, help me to recognize that you are Creator and I am not.
Jesus, help me to insist upon wisdom and not be dismayed by fools and foolish speak.
Help me when I act like a fool - when I talk like a fool.
And Lord, I forgive those who sin against me - often times without even knowing it.
I pray that through my simple actions and wise way of life, they may see You and humble themselves; for this is what it is to "fear the Lord."
May they find You.
May I find You.