Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Windows of Wisdom : Proverbs 4:20-27

Today's Scripture is Proverbs 4: 20-27 ESV
 20 My son, be attentive to my words;
   incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Let them not escape from your sight;
   keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
   and healing to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
   for from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you crooked speech,
   and put devious talk far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly forward,
   and your gaze be straight before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet;
   then all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
   turn your foot away from evil.
I find it fascinating sometimes to read the same passage in different translations.
here is the same passage in the easy to read version

 20 My son, pay attention to what I say. Listen closely to my words. 21 Don’t let them out of your sight. Never stop thinking about them. 22 These words are the secret of life and health to all who discover them. 23 Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.
 24 Don’t bend the truth or say things that you know are not right. 25 Keep your eyes on the path, and look straight ahead. 26 Make sure you are going the right way, and nothing will make you fall. 27 Don’t go to the right or to the left, and you will stay away from evil.
Isn't it interesting to see how different folks translate or paraphrase the same words?  I do find though that one needs to be alert when reading out of different translations.  Sometimes it can change the meaning of a passage and then more checking and reading is needed to discern the truth.

Enough of that though...
Listen to what this passage tells us about God's word.
1. we need to PAY ATTENTION..
  • that means to listen closely 
  • to keep them in sight/in mind
  • to never stop thinking about them
2. be aware they are life to all who find them
  • and this I know is a difficult one to understand....how can words to be life?  How can God's word make our lives more of a life?   I know for me they give definition and purpose to what I do.
3. keep your heart with all diligence.  
  • Hmmm.. What does that mean?   Does that imply that we can control our hearts?   Can we control our emotions?
4. Watch what you say.
  • well that one makes sense.   And there is a passage, I think in the new testament that talks about what is in our hearts comes out on our lips which links these two verses doesn't it?   What is in our heart comes out in our speech.   I just wrote a piece on my rabbit information blog about the need to be careful how we think about animal rights people as it affects how we write and communicate with them.   That would be an example of this in real life.   Guard your hearts, watch your tongue.
5. Watch where you are going
  • in other words...don't walk looking backwards or to the side.  You know the adage of where you look is where you drive...guess what.. same thing goes for life.  If you want to move forward you need to look to where you want to go.   Just as in rabbit breeding one develops a picture in one's head about what they want their rabbits to look like so you breed to that end.  If you want to raise a child to be a certain way.. you train them to that end.   If you want to be a person called after God's own heart...then look to God and his word and train yourself to that end.   Walk toward what you want to be.
6. not only look to where you are going...but THINK about it.  Ponder it in your heart.
  • If you think about where you are going you'll have a better picture in your brain about what you need to do to get there.
7. Don't wander off the path.
  • If you set your mind on the things of God you aught not to be going off it after things that aren't of God.  
  • OR.. in bunny language.. if you want to breed a polish rabbit with a nice big head with eyes that pop.. well you don't go keeping the one with squinty eyes.    
  • Keep focused on the goal and don't let other things get in your way. :)
This is at least a brief look at what I think on this passage...
And in keeping with what God has laid on my heart lately.. on how I am to trust him with my whole heart.  If THAT is my end goal.. to really totally trust God.. then I need to keep my eyes on HIM.   Not on the world around me with it's worries and cares...but ON HIM.  Not letting myself get freaked out about the events of life and what not.  My goal needs to on God.

what does Olford have to say about this passage?
"for this chapter the dominating theme is that of Discipline"
"if our lives are going to please our Father, then we must accept discipline over our hearts (v. 23), our lips (v.24),our eyes (v.25) and our feet (v.26).

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