March 26, 2022 READING A PROVERB A DAY (PROVERBS 26) Scripture Reading — Judges 2:16-19; Proverbs 26:5, 11-12

Where’s the Problem

 A 

Scripture Reading — Judges 2:16-19Proverbs 26:511-12

They would not listen to their judges… — Judges 2:17

God heard Israel’s cries of distress and often raised up judges to lead and save the people from their enemies. Through Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, and others, God gave the land rest for forty and even eighty years at a time (3:30; 5:31; 8:28). But after each of those saviors died, God’s people eagerly cozied up to a way of life that had brought nothing but misery before. Only a fool does the same thing again and again and expects different results (Proverbs 26:11). 

We might think Israel’s addiction to its base desires could have been solved by better leadership. But the judges generally served well. The shepherds God sent to lead his people were not the problem; the sheep were the problem. Leave them alone for a few minutes, and they go their own way or distress themselves with greenery they shouldn’t eat. 

God’s people, the sheep of an eternally patient Shepherd, need to be saved from themselves. And that demands a leadership that can get rid of the enemy forever, while also changing the way of disobedient sheep. Later, even though the great King David saved Israel from the Philistines, he and his royal descendants could not rescue God’s people from doing “what was right in their own eyes.” 

As Christians, we know we are tempted to drink from the same old wells of misery again and again. But we also have hope, for Jesus Christ has delivered us from death and our self-inflicted misery.

Prayer

I am your servant, Lord. Forgive my addiction to sin’s misery, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Devotion topics: LifeTrials & ChallengesFailureChristian LifeResisting GodWorldliness

Arie Leder

Arie Leder

Proverbs 26New Living Translation

26 Honor is no more associated with fools
    than snow with summer or rain with harvest.

Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
    an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.

Guide a horse with a whip, a donkey with a bridle,
    and a fool with a rod to his back!

Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools,
    or you will become as foolish as they are.

Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools,
    or they will become wise in their own estimation.

Trusting a fool to convey a message
    is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison!

A proverb in the mouth of a fool
    is as useless as a paralyzed leg.

Honoring a fool
    is as foolish as tying a stone to a slingshot.

A proverb in the mouth of a fool
    is like a thorny branch brandished by a drunk.

10 An employer who hires a fool or a bystander
    is like an archer who shoots at random.

11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
    so a fool repeats his foolishness.

12 There is more hope for fools
    than for people who think they are wise.

13 The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion on the road!
    Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!”

14 As a door swings back and forth on its hinges,
    so the lazy person turns over in bed.

15 Lazy people take food in their hand
    but don’t even lift it to their mouth.

16 Lazy people consider themselves smarter
    than seven wise counselors.

17 Interfering in someone else’s argument
    is as foolish as yanking a dog’s ears.

18 Just as damaging
    as a madman shooting a deadly weapon
19 is someone who lies to a friend
    and then says, “I was only joking.”

20 Fire goes out without wood,
    and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.

21 A quarrelsome person starts fights
    as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood.

22 Rumors are dainty morsels
    that sink deep into one’s heart.

23 Smooth[a] words may hide a wicked heart,
    just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot.

24 People may cover their hatred with pleasant words,
    but they’re deceiving you.
25 They pretend to be kind, but don’t believe them.
    Their hearts are full of many evils.[b]
26 While their hatred may be concealed by trickery,
    their wrongdoing will be exposed in public.

27 If you set a trap for others,
    you will get caught in it yourself.
If you roll a boulder down on others,
    it will crush you instead.

28 A lying tongue hates its victims,
    and flattering words cause ruin.

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