One of the things frequently heard in my house growing up was, “the proverbial”, as in “the proverbial silver lining!” The other day I got thinking about how many of the sayings we use in society are, in fact, from the Book of Proverbs and not just local lore.
It is the readings which are included in Sunday worship throughout the year that we hear interpreted and spend time considering. In a quick scan of the lectionary readings for years A,B and C I found only five Sundays on which one of the optional reading was from Proverbs. There are none in year A, three in year B, and two in year C.
So I have decided to go through Proverbs and reflect on some of the items in light of our world situation in 2013.
To begin we have the opening comments;
1The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
For learning about wisdom and instruction,
for understanding words of insight,
for gaining instruction in wise dealing,
righteousness, justice, and equity;
to teach shrewdness to the simple,
knowledge and prudence to the young—
let the wise also hear and gain in learning,
and the discerning acquire skill,
to understand a proverb and a figure,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
A little unpacking. From reading the introductory remarks from the book one would be hard pressed to make any case for this not being important content. There is nothing to look down on in; wisdom, understanding, insight, justice, equity, shrewdness, knowledge and prudence. And yet we rarely hear of people spending lot of time reading and reflecting upon Proverbs.
While the intent is positive, I think most of us view it, at best, as a well meaning lecture from our elders, and at worst, the cynical views of a few people who had everything. At the risk of being proverbial, there is a sense that the people who were the source of these sayings should get off their high horses!
Let’s open our minds for the next while and see what Proverbs has to share with us…
As usual I have taken Bible quotes from http://bible.oremus.org/ New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition)