Isolated (Proverbs 18)

“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;    he breaks out against all sound judgment.”[1] These are probably not helpful words for a Government attempting to encouraging COVID-19 patients to self-isolate. Yet, our experience of having to socially isolate over these past 7 months have been a crash course in the cost of such isolation. When weContinue reading “Isolated (Proverbs 18)”

Health check (Proverbs 16)

Have you been for a health check-up recently?  Eyes, teeth, heart … maybe the full MOT.  How did you get on? Have you ever done one of those life check-ups? How’s your overall well-being? This isn’t just your physical health but how are you doing emotionally, is your life a success, what’s your status -financialContinue reading “Health check (Proverbs 16)”

Belching (Proverbs 15)

Better out than in!  The famous response to a good long and loud burp. Of course burps and other wind related emissions tend to be signs of a badly troubled digestive system!  So I think we can easily get the point when the NLT colourfully renders Proverbs 15:2 as The tongue of the wise makesContinue reading “Belching (Proverbs 15)”

Home (Proverbs 14)

One of my favourite places to visit is Blenheim Palace. It’s an impressive tourist attraction, an elegantly designed building set in acres of beautiful parkland.  As well as being a tourist attraction, it’s actually the home of the Marlborough family. However, a number of commentators have observed that it wasn’t so much designed to beContinue reading “Home (Proverbs 14)”

Truth (Proverbs 13)

Pinocchio is a puppet who just wants to be a normal boy.  You’re probably familiar with the story.  Whenever he tells a lie, his nose grows a little longer.  Most of us probably wish that this would happen to the people we were dealing with. Then we’d be able to tell if they are tellingContinue reading “Truth (Proverbs 13)”

Discipline (Proverbs 12)

How do we respond to the challenges of circumstances around us? During COVID-19, I believe I’ve seen three unhelpful responses to circumstances. The first is to leap in and announce that this is a plague and therefore judgement from God. Usually, such firm pronouncements come with an opinion on the specific sin we have committed.Continue reading “Discipline (Proverbs 12)”

Notes on teaching through Proverbs

I’ve been posting some talks and articles on Proverbs recently. A few years back we did a teaching series through the book and it was highly enjoyable. Many Christians find it helpful to learn individual proverbs. However, we tend to shy away from running expository series through the book because the literary style is veryContinue reading “Notes on teaching through Proverbs”

The Good of the City (Proverbs 11)

Why does it matter how our politicians, celebrities and business leaders behave? Why the tabloid obsession with their misdemeanours? Partly it’s just gossip. But a big part of it links to a sense of justice – that good people should do well and when they do, we all do well. It’s why we get behindContinue reading “The Good of the City (Proverbs 11)”

Righteousness (Proverbs 10)

The Proverbs offer meditation on God’s law. Wisdom is therefore about how we live in God’s world under his rule and reign in relationship with him. Wisdom is practical righteousness. So, here in Proverbs 10, we see a set of contrasts that compare wisdom and foolishness, righteousness and unrighteousness. Here are some of the examplesContinue reading “Righteousness (Proverbs 10)”

Wisdom’s offer (Proverbs 9)

Do you like getting invited out for dinner?  It’s great isn’t it to know that you won’t have to cook for yourself – and no worrying about clearing up and washing up afterwards. Even better still is the invite to a party with lots to eat and plenty of good company.  Here wisdom sends outContinue reading “Wisdom’s offer (Proverbs 9)”