September 24, 2015.
Daily Reading: Proverbs 23-24.
Background: Proverbs 22.
Concepts and Connections.
Gluttony, wisdom and alcohol: Following the slight deviation in form that we saw in the previous chapter, the wisdom that is laid out in this chapter does not typically come in the form of couplets that we have seen for the majority of the book so far, but rather in longer passages (generally speaking). Several concepts are highlighted in this chapter, including gluttony, greed, discernment, intentions of the heart, discipline and a relatively lengthy warning against alcohol. Gluttony and greed are paired together in the first five verses, as we are told to put a knife to our throat if we are given to appetite when dining with a ruler, so as not to desire his delicacies nor to toil for the purpose of gaining wealth. Other concepts of note include: discern between people, knowing how to deal with the stingy and the foolish (v. 6-9), do not mistreat the less fortunate, for their redeemer is strong (v. 10-11), discipline is good for children (v. 13-14), wise parents teach their children wisdom and implore them to take it to heart (v. 19-26), and bad company will bring you down (v. 20-21). At the end of this chapter (v. 29-35), we get a relatively lengthy passage that gives a strong warning against wine and strong drink, for it is often accompanied with strife and sorrow, stinging like an adder. The foolishness of drunkenness is displayed in this passage, and those who tarry long over wine are not wise.
Chunks of wisdom: Chapter 24 continues on apart from the couplets of wisdom that we have been used to, yet is closer in style to these than the previous chapter. Instead of couplets, wisdom is taught in slightly larger passages ranging anywhere from one to five verses in length. Topics given in this chapter range from envying evil to perseverance to the sluggard. Some concepts of note include: do not be envious of evil, for their fortune will come to ruin (v. 1-2, 19-20), by wisdom and knowledge great tasks are accomplished (v. 3-7), the devising of folly is sin (v. 8-9), do not turn a blind eye to the one you could help, for you will not fool God (v. 10-12), wisdom is honey to the soul (v. 13-14), the righteous will continue to rise after they fall (v. 15-16), do not rejoice at the misfortune of your enemy (v. 17-18), do not call evil good, but rather judge righteously (v. 23-26), before you do something, prepare for it (v. 17), do not take vengeance (v. 28-29, see also Romans 12:19-21) and poverty will come upon the lazy man like a robber (v. 30-34).
Tomorrow’s Reading: Hosea 8-14.
Wisdom is honey for the soul.