The Proverbial Problem

A LONG time ago I posted a blog about the Proverbs.

A Proverb a Day Keeps the Stupid Away: Why Biblical Proverbs Matter Now and Always

The problem with a lot of proverbs is that I see problems with them. I see the Proverbs saying the righteous they will be financially rewarded and that the wicked will lack. I also see in real life that a few moments of Television reveal that many wicked people are not lacking financially.

I see the Proverbs exalting intimacy that is between two committed lovers and that outside of that realm sex is destructive and leads toward death (sometimes emotional/psychological but also sometimes physical). I also see that the writer of much of the Proverbs, Solomon, had like 700 wives and concubines. So who is he to speak of the pure intimacy of sex within the confines of marriage?

My favorite Proverbial problem is this little paradox from Proverbs 26.

4Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Or you will also be like him.

5Answer a fool as his folly deserves,
That he not be wise in his own eyes.

What!?!

What in the world am I suppose to do with this?

Do I answer the moron posting on the internet or do I let Mr. Ding-Dong have his moment and not sink to his level? Is the higher road correcting stupidity or do I become stupid by responding in kind? I think that the internet has made this a whole lot harder too since a vast majority of the internet is used as breeding grounds for troll-ish ignorance.

But truth is, when I read the Proverbs, I need to see with different lenses. When I see apparent problems, seemingly incongruent statements, that I adjust my perspective and not read the Proverbs as PROMISES – but PRINCIPLES.

Biblical PROMISES are something that will come from God no matter what. Here in this life AND or the next. A quick Google on Biblical PROMISES pulls up way too much info. Here’s a decent list. 

Biblical PRINCIPLES are very different that PROMISES. A fellow blogger, Brian Branham, writes, “If promises are what God says He will do, principles are what God says we should do.” We should live an upright life, we should be wise and leave folly behind, we should act in love and kindness in all circumstances. This just does not ensure that we will be healthy and wealthy for the rest of our days.

When I read the Proverbs I find good advice and any time I get a chance to hear sage, sound wisdom that has lasted ages, it’s a good thing.

 

(I’m trying to write more. Not everything will be proof-read. Thanks for grace on my mistakes.)

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