Shama – H8085: to hear

I could use God’s peace, wisdom, and understanding today; burning pain woke me this morning and it is difficult to break through the noise of pain to hear God’s message. But I have read Proverbs 8 and if I doubted for a split second that God was in control, the verses reminded me.

Up to this chapter, the commands are to accept, remember, listen, pay attention, and keep God’s wisdom in your mind, act on them with your body, and accept them in your heart. Proverbs 8 tells us why. Wisdom existed long before we did and will exist long after we are gone. Wisdom was the first of God’s works and if we ask, he gives us the ability to hear it.

In 1 Kings 3:11-12, God responds to Solomon’s prayer for wisdom with a blessing: the ability to hear truth (translated as “discern) while administering justice. God granted Solomon the ability to hear Him and not rely on Solomon’s own human understanding. The same Hebrew word (shama’ – H8085) is used four time in chapter 8. Today’s chapter is telling us to listen harder.

Listen through the noise of busyness, chaos, hurt, and pain. Listen through the peace of love, happiness, and contentment. Listen.

#AskSeekFind #MayChallenge

Flower Beds

Being Family Chore Day and due to many prior weekend commitments, our household agenda is extensive today. I know we cannot do everything I want to get done, but I hope we can tackle most. The weather is cool (rare for May in South Carolina) and perfect for spending it outdoors beautifying the yard. I hope my husband and son are on the same page.

Reading Proverbs inspires me to do more.  I don’t want to be a sluggard or come to ruin, but I also enjoy seeing cleanly edged mulched beds. It brings me peace. Why? Why does neatness appeal to me? It calms my chaotic mind. I am not sure what that has to do with Proverbs 5 and 6, but it is where I felt led today.

Perhaps it is about taking care of your own yard, not out of envy of others’ but because it is your responsibility. Don’t wander into other yards where you don’t belong, but be diligent to your household. Make your home and those who live in it a priority and cherish your family. Nurture your children and love your spouse because, as with an unkempt yard, weeds will grow and the beds grow into disarray.

Don’t look for a post tomorrow. I will take Sundays off from blogging.

#MayChallenge #AskSeekFind

Perfect Dorm Poster?

Well, here we are again. I have my cup of coffee, my computer, and my Bible. I have prayed for guidance and am now ready to reflect on Proverbs 4.

My first impression of this chapter was that it sounded like a typical speech given to a child going off to college and would make a perfect college dorm poster. But undoubtedly, it would not stay on the walls long and would be hastily rehung when I visited. So I will hold off on the printing for now and will continue to imprint it on my son’s heart, as well as my own.

I enjoyed speaking about Proverbs 4 with  my son yesterday. It is funny how different the prospective is if you are the parent, the giver of advice, and the child, the receiver of the advice. I took the lesson as a call to attain more wisdom at any cost and my son took it as a charge to stay humble and receive the wisdom he is given. We read the same words, but heard two different messages.

But are they really two different messages? Yes and no. Yes because my message is about seeking and Scott’s about accepting. The same because my son needs to learn to bypass me and seek the advice of God and at the same time, I too need to accept the lessons that I am being told…even from my son!

If we accept that we know nothing and will never know all, we will continue to grow in wisdom. This chapter definitely warrants the hashtag #AskSeekFind .

#MayChallenge

Peace Like a River (Proverbs 3)

Good morning! I hope you are enjoying Proverbs as much as I. I knew it held great wealth, but I am overwhelmed with the depth of this book…and I just finished reading chapter 4! But now my reflection on Proverbs 3…

It didn’t take me long to find a word I wanted to look up in Hebrew. I found it in verse 2 and in my translation, it is “prosperity.” I have to say, that is a terrible translation for this word. The Hebrew is Shalowm (H-7965) which we typically use for “peace.” Why they chose “prosperity” is beyond me. Prosperity is an outward display of good fortune, and shalowm is an environment of satisfaction and completeness on the inside. Outward appearances can deceive, but shalowm is true and to the core.

So how do you obtain peace? Because peace is a result and not an achievement, striving for peace is a paradox. Peace is a state of mind and the mere act of striving for it actually causes its hindrance. Peace comes from a deep trust, which comes from knowing and accepting Jeremiah 29:11 (which, in my translation, “prosper” is also from “shalowm”.) Knowing God thinks of you, cares for you, and is looking out for you should bring peace, but only if you acknowledge the capabilities of His power. Many people, especially family, may have those feelings for you, but if they also hold the power to create the universe, it means more.

Once you recognize God’s sovereignty, you must learn His commands and that come from reading His word and accepting His message in the heart.

#MayChallenge #AskSeekFind

Searching for meaning in Proverbs 2

I hope it isn’t confusing that I write about the previous day’s reading. I want to make sure you have had the chance to read it for yourself and time to reflect on the chapter before I interject my opinion.

When I read Proverbs 2, very little came to me. My notes were sparse and I wondered what I would write. But God is faithful and when I dug deeper I realized that Verse 5 is sermon in itself. I knew yesterday that I wanted to write about the fear of the Lord, because it is confusing to many how we can love and fear the Lord at the same time, but I did not notice the use of both Lord and God in the verse.

As I stated yesterday, I like to look up the original Hebrew (I use BlueLetterBible.org) and in verse 5, Lord is translated from Yehovah and God from ‘elohiym. Yehovah means “the existing One” and is God’s (as in God the Father) proper name. As for ‘elohiym, it is a plural noun (as in the Holy Trinity.) I find it interesting that it is not capitalized (no answer, just an observance) and, in case you were wondering, is the same word used for God in Genesis 1:1. We were created in the image of the Holy Trinity with a mind, body, and spirit and when we understand and accept the power of God the Father, we begin the path to receiving the comfort of the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus Christ. Pray on that for awhile and allow God’s Spirit to give you an understanding that my words cannot convey.
 
Closing thought: Next time a Jehovah Witness comes to your door, ask them why in Proverbs 2:5 they use two different words for God and one of them is a plural noun.
 
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Reflections on Proverbs 1

Warning: The information on this page is the expressed written opinion of the writer and does not negate the message your received while reading Proverbs 1.

The verses that urged me to dig deeper were 6, 23, and 31.

6: Jesus explains in Matthew 13:12-15 why he speaks in parables. Though the people came in droves to see Jesus, many did not perceive the true message because they saw only with their eyes and heard only with their ears. They did not let Jesus’ words change them because their hearts were calloused. So, with that said, is Proverbs the beginning course of learning the meaning of the parables of Jesus?

23: First off, as my husband pointed out to me and our son when we discussed our morning reading, from verse 21 to the end, Wisdom is talking and not just any wisdom, but the Wisdom of God. What does it feel like to have God’s wisdom poured out on you? Sounds amazing to me, but first I must quiet the worldly wisdom that shouts in my head and listen to the advice and rebuke found in Proverbs.

31: Something to think about: the same Hebrew word used in this verse for “fruit,” is the same one used in Genesis for what Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge. When we try to bypass God, bad things happen.

Please understand that these are the verses that stuck out to me and may not be the message you heard. I share them only to facilitate understanding and to open a discussion. Please feel free to share your message if you feel it could help others.

…on to Proverbs 2.

#MayChallenge #AskSeekFind

Tis the Merry Month of May!

Did you read Proverbs 1? If not, make the time.

Proverbs 1 may seem cut and dry and, on the surface, obvious, but I believe God, just like some video games, puts little hidden surprises in His word and the more time you spend  reading his messages, these little gems start to revel themselves to you. I find it ironic that these little hidden surprises are called “Easter Eggs.” (Is that an “Easter Egg,” too or just a profound play on words?)

Did you find any Easter Eggs? I will share mine tomorrow.

#MayChallenge #AskSeekFind