Proverbs 30:5

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

If we consider the work the shield does for the soldier in battle, this is an incredible picture for us.  When we take refuge in God in times of struggle, or as we battle the enemy of our souls, God is our shield.  What fiery dart or undeserved curse or dangerous attack can penetrate the shield of God  Himself?

Picture:  GIANT SHIELD,  itty, bitty enemy.  You and I?  SAFE behind that shield.

Proverbs 29: 27

The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright.

The wicked DETEST the righteous.  Webster defines detest : to dislike intensely, to hate or abhor.

In the book of Psalms we are told that the wicked are overwhelmed in the presence of the righteous.  In Corinthians we learn that we are the smell of death to the wicked.   Knowing we are detested puts a whole new light on our encounters with the wicked.   We can understand why their intentions toward us are evil and not good.  It is difficult sometimes when people we like as friends, but who don’t know Jesus, shun us.  Think about it.  Would you want to hang around someone who makes you feel overwhelmed with dread or who smells like death?  Keep on being the light of Christ.

Proverbs 28:27

He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.

Jesus said, ” The poor you will always have with you.”  Elsewhere in Proverbs, it says ” He who gives to the poor, lends to the Lord”.  Obviously, the poor are special to God.  In America, even the poor are often richer than those in other countries.  Who are the poor in the U.S.?  Ask the Lord to show you how you can minister His love and provision to them.

Proverbs 27:8

Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home.

As I considered this verse, I thought of a young bird wandering off from its nest.  Away from the protection of home and family, it would be vulnerable to all sorts of dangers.  It might be injured, a predator could come and snatch the unprotected bird, using it for food for its own young ones.  At the very least, the straying bird would be cold, lonely and hungry.  Consider a man or woman who leaves the comfort of  home and family, to search for adventure or to seek comfort in the arms of someone not their spouse.  This person is away from the security of home an family, lost and  unprotected.

Proverbs 26:2

Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.

This is one of my favorite verses in Proverbs, probably because it offers such a great visual.  I remember one time when I was working in a restaurant, I asked the manager a question.  His answer was rude and uncalled for, but it didn’t land on me.  Just for a second it was like God gave me “spiritual eyes”.  I saw that undeserved curse bounce off of me and land right back on this man.  So, if someone says something unkind about you or to you, that is undeserved, “BOING!” it bounces right off of you.  If someone is speaking evil of you, remember the sparrow and the swallow.

Proverbs 25:28

Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self control.

Most people who are exhibiting what we would see as lack of self control, would probably tell us that they are expressing their freedom, that they are unbound and unrestricted.  In fact, they have lowered the walls of their personal city.  They no longer have a refuge. Lack of discipline and quiet, personal struggles, even sin,  are opened up for all to see.  Also, there is nowhere for them to retreat, to re-group, to refresh, for they have allowed their private space to be exposed to all. “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower;  the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)

Proverbs 24:3

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;…

I have read this verse 100 times probably in the last 25 years.  Now, I have a new understanding.  Building my house and furnishing it has nothing to do with wood and concrete, paint and tile and carpet.  It is about relationships: God and man, man and wife, brother and sister, parents and children.  I have inherited a few rare and beautiful treasures: 200 year old hand painted china, antique furniture and a few pieces of great grandmothers silverware.  These do not compare to the treasured friendships, family ties and intimacy with God that now fill my home.

Note:  Apologies for my absence of the last couple of weeks.  My computer and I were both at the doctor!  L.