May 22, Reading 2 – Proverbs 31

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

The epilogue of Proverbs is on the subject of the wife of noble character. This is to parallel the contrast in the prologue of wisdom and the foolish wife. Our deeds, our living reveals whether our faith is real or counterfeit.

SJA Notes

One of the wonderful things about this passage from King Lemuel is the way it is framed.

His Mum’s wisdom is the first section, up to v9. His Mum is the one who tells him to be careful about drinking, that a king needs his wits, because what is important are the rights of those afflicted, what is important is to remember what has been decreed (God’s law).

His Mum calls her son out, “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Because this is what a godly mum does. She continues to encourage and exhort her children even once they have stepped out into their own family.

And then the passage goes into detail of an excellent wife.

Lemuel opens with his mum’s wisdom because, it seems pretty clear, his mum was an EXCELLENT WIFE.

So growing up, in his formative years, those years that are so important for our little ones – He sees his mum being an excellent wife. And it is written in his mind, his heart, as he grows into adulthood.

Lemuel sees that his mum is far more precious than jewels. To his dad, but also to the kids, to the family as a whole.

Lemuel sees that his mum is GOOD for his dad, all their days!

Lemuel’s mum is diligent and hard-working, perceptive and savvy.

But more, she is other-centered and full of God’s grace and mercy.

“She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.”

Lemuel’s mum finds purpose in caring for her family, in the sometimes hard-to-keep-doing-every-day actions, the processes of little glory that don’t promote self-worth.

Lemuel saw that in all of this, his mother feared the Lord. True religion indeed!

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

* Father God, thank You for this last passage in Proverbs. Thank You for this wisdom from Lemuel. We thank You for Lemuel’s mother, who patterened for him what a godly woman is.

We pray that our families would be raising young folk who can experience the same truth Lemuel did.

Remind us each day that the fear of You is worth much more than appearance, much more than what people think of us.

Amen!

May 21, Reading 2 – Proverbs 30

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

These proverbs come in paragraphs, not in single verses. Verses 7-9 are often quoted. They give a realistic if pessimistic view of human nature, of the limits of a Christian’s morality or actual spirituality.

SJA Notes

Here we read proverbs from another human author, Agur, but with the same divine Holy Spirit giving them.

“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” v5

What is wonderful about this is that Agar is telling us, the Holy Spirit is telling us, that every word of God PROVES true.

Not just is true (although it absolutely is true), but that it PROVES true.

God’s Word is rock solid. We don’t need to worry that it is frail, or some of its foundations are wobbly. We don’t need to fret about defending any perceived weakness or foibles.

Because God’s word PROVES itself true, as the truth.

This is a wonderful hope to rest on, and too, to wrestle with.

God’s word is available for the world to read and argue with. It is easily obtainable and consumed and very public. God’s people are not a cult, secretive and obscure. We follow a God who has given us His word, that has been at the forefront of history throughout the generations, pushing technology, promoting social justice, building and strengthening the fabric of societies throughout the ages.

And for us, His people, His word proves true!

How wonderful this is! His promises to us prove themselves true as He fulfils and keeps them.

And in that most excellent and unfathomable way, from 2 Corinthians 1, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him [Jesus].”

As God’s word become flesh, all God’s promises find their agreement, their acceptance, their YES in Him! And He is God’s word, which proves itself true! Jesus proved Himself true in His life here, and on the cross, and continues to as He intercedes for us at the Father’s side.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

* Father God, thank You for Jesus, that in Him we see the depth of Your word proving itself true. Thank You that You continue to keep Your promises to us. Thank You for Your Spirit that works within us now, refining us.

Amen.