Ann Farabee: A proverb a day
Go to the ant, you sluggard. You will get your feet burned if you walk on hot coals. Lying lips are an abomination. As a dog returns to his vomit …
Or maybe you prefer: A friend loveth at all times. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches. Soft answers turn away wrath.
The book of Proverbs has a great deal to tell us. 1 Kings 4:32 informs us that Solomon, who wrote most of Proverbs, spoke 3000 proverbs. A proverb is a short saying that expresses a truth or useful thought. It comes from the Hebrew language and can also mean to rule or govern — and it can help us rule or govern our lives.
Need help with relationships? Finances? Family? Self control? Discipline? Wisdom? Proverbs is filled with moral truth and practical advice.
Proverbs addresses the wise and the foolish. The honest and the dishonest. The humble and the proud. The righteous and the unrighteous. The hard-working and the lazy.
I presume that my faithful readers probably perceive what is coming next:
Please prepare to proceed at a planned pace to persistently ponder and prioritize the reading of the powerful and practical book of Proverbs.
Will you join me in daily reading of the Proverbs? There are 31 chapters, so read the chapter each day that corresponds with the date of the month. Adjust as needed for months that do not have 31 days. As you read each chapter, pick out a specific verse that you want to have as your focus verse for that day. After you complete one month of reading, you will have read the entire book of Proverbs. You can then repeat reading a chapter each day, focusing on a different verse. Plan to do this as part of your personal devotions or during family devotion time.
• For personal devotions: As you are reading the daily chapter and pick out your focus verse, it would be great if you would write it down in a journal, on a post-it, index card, or anywhere that you can refer to it and see it easily. Try to memorize it. Throughout the day, intentionally find ways to apply it to your life.
• For family devotions: Each family member can use their personal Bible to read the daily chapter in Proverbs. Since your children or grandchildren — and others in your family, too — may have different versions of the Bible, this will make the verses even more meaningful and understandable. Read through the chapter independently and then have everyone share their focus verse. Or, if a family member didn’t understand a particular verse and was curious about its meaning, they can choose that verse to discuss with the family. Write it down, highlight it, underline it, practice saying it together. Any method used to remember the verse will help to make it more personal and easier to apply to your life.
Prepared to proverb? I’ll start. I am writing this on July 18, so I choose Proverbs 18:10 – The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run to it and are safe.
No real explanation needed on that verse, is there? But, I will say that I know that a ‘tower’ is a place of defense and protection. I know that ‘strong’ means having power. I know that ‘safe’ means I am not exposed to danger and won’t be harmed. That’s some good stuff — I mean God stuff.
Let me know how your ‘Proverb Time’ goes at email@example.com or at annfarabee.com