Monday, May 31, 2010

Proverbs and Hidden Treasures

The book of Proverbs contains such an immense amount of wisdom! Every time I read through it, something new speaks to me. Here are a few examples of verses that struck me this time:

Proverbs 4:7 reads “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Such a simple command – get wisdom – yet how does one go about getting wisdom? Part of the answer is found in Proverbs 9:10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Proverbs 14:30a: “A sound heart is life to the body.” Another version of this verse reads, “A heart at peace gives life to the body.” This verse has been an inspiration to me as I am trying to live a healthier lifestyle, making better food choices and exercising regularly. I must remember that having a heart at peace is also a healthy lifestyle choice!

This verse about not making hasty decisions also spoke to me: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” It reminds me to take time and seek God’s will in every decision.

As I began reading Proverbs several weeks ago, I remembered a book that I had read back in 2001 and decided to read the two together. So, each day for the past several weeks, as I’ve read a chapter in Proverbs, I’ve also read a chapter in the book Hidden Treasures: Abundant Life in the Riches of Proverbs by Gloria Copeland. Each chapter of this books starts with a chapter of Proverbs (so I guess I've actually read through Proverbs twice this time around!) and then goes on to discuss many of the main points in each chapter of Proverbs.

[I originally read Mrs. Copeland's book the week that my grandma was dying. It's funny how I remember different events in my life and a book that I was reading at the time. I remember sitting beside Grandma's bed at the hospital, waiting, and reading this book. I can't say that I remembered a whole lot of the specifics from the book, just that it was about the book of Proverbs. I also remembered that it was pretty book and a little larger than normal size for a hardback. Thus, I was able to quickly scan the bookshelves in our front room and find the book.]

I enjoyed reading through this book along with my Bible reading as it helped me be aware of more of what the scriptures were saying and often led me to go back and review a Proverb that I might otherwise have skimmed over. For example, the last half of Proverbs 14:30 reads, “But envy is rottenness to the bones.” Mrs. Copeland reminds me that along with making the healthy lifestyle choice of maintaining a peaceful heart, I must also remember that “people who are always envious and jealous of others or who are full of wrath and anxiety are just inviting sickness and disease to take up residence in their bodies.”

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

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