Sunday, December 13, 2020

December 13 - Proverbs 30 and 31

Today's reading in our daily plan is Proverbs 30 and Proverbs 31. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • These final two chapters of Proverbs feature quotes from a guy named Agur and a guy named Lemuel. Not much is known about either of these people, but the wisdom they offer in this chapter is solid.
  • He starts out by saying that he’s not a wise person and no one can fully know or understand God. This is the beginning of being wise.
  • Then Agur has two things he asked from God:
  1. To keep him from lying.
  2. To only give him enough money for his needs.
  • Agur didn’t want to be rich, because he feared he might forget that he needs God. He also didn’t want to be poor because he would be tempted to steal from others.
  • Chapter 32 opens with a warning not to chase things that this world puts a big emphasis on, like lots of money or being surrounded by good-looking girls or guys. In God's eyes, speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves is more important than gaining these "accomplishments."
  • The final 21 verses outline the characteristics of a Christian spouse. This particular chapter addresses wives, but most of the principles can apply to both husband and wife. Note how verses 26 and 30 explain that wisdom, and a fear of the Lord, are to be highly valued in a partner.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • The only source for true wisdom is God. We can search for knowledge and wisdom everywhere else, but we’ll never be satisfied until we turn to the originator and keeper of all wisdom.
  • If our desire for anything in our lives -- money, fame, possessions, relationships -- becomes bigger than our desire to know God, that's a problem. We need to make God our number one priority. 
  • It's easy to be influenced by the world's pressure to get more money, or to put ourselves in Instagram-worthy situations so we can look like we are living a more lavish lifestyle than we really are. Instead, we should focus on loving people who are overlooked by society.
  • If you're married, one of the best things you can do for your relationship is to "fear the Lord" more. This doesn't mean you walk around in a constant state of intimidation; it just means you value God's desires more than you value your own. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Is your desire for money, or popularity, or possessions, or fulfillment in relationships bigger than your desire to know God? Talk to God today about your feelings, and be honest about where your priorities are. As we head into the New Year, be intentional about making him the most important thing in your life. Maybe you need to spend more time reading the Bible regularly, or give more generously, or be okay with being single even if you feel like you "need" to constantly have someone you're dating. 
  • How can you "fear the Lord" today? Maybe there's a situation in your marriage, or in a friendship, where you've been acting selfishly. To "fear the Lord" would be to put the desires of the other person above your own. This might mean you need to send that text message, make that phone call, or have that conversation to apologize to the other person and put their needs above yours.
Here's a helpful video from a great resource called BibleProject that reviews and summarizes the book of Proverbs:  If the link below does not open for you click HERE.