For three things the earth is perturbed, yes, for four it cannot bear up: for a servant when he reigns, a fool when he is filled with food, a hateful woman when she is married, and a maidservant who succeeds her mistress. Proverbs 30:21-23 NKJV
SAUL THE LESSER BECOMES KING OF ISRAEL! NABAL THE FOOL PICKS A FIGHT WITH DAVID THE GIANT SLAYER! THE EVIL JEZEBEL MARRIES KING AHAB OF ISRAEL! SERVANT GIRL HAGAR HAS A BABY BY HER MISTRESS SARAH’S HUSBAND ABRAHAM!
Sounds like the National Enquirer to me. But the truth of the matter is every one of these statements are biblical history. And though they happened at very different times and under very different conditions, they bear a strange resemblance to one another.
Each ended poorly for the individual and many of those involved. Each left an unerasable mark for those who came later to see what “not to do”! And as sad as it sounds, each one reminds us of persons and places we know of that are far too reminiscent of these “not so” heroes.
Boy, have I felt the rub of the “Barney Fife” boss who wants everybody to know he’s the man!
And I have indeed watched my fair share of inebriated crazies get their clocks cleaned by some really tough guys.
No matter how you slice it, difficult people are just that…difficult. And they will forever make for awkward, bizarre and game-changing realities.
There are three things which are too wonderful for me, yes, four which I do not understand . . .
Here in America, Michael is a pretty common name. But when that name is followed by Jordan, there is nothing “common” about what this man achieved in the sport of basketball. Throughout the 80’s and much of the 90’s he mesmerized audiences the world over.
I wasn’t much of a basketball fan, but even I was drawn into the “Air Jordan” era. To this day, I have no clue as to how that man could jump up and glide through the air like a bird. Simply remarkable!
Let it be understood, these comments do not suggest I admire all of the choices Mr. Jordan has made on and off the court. But suffice it to say, that ability blessed him and its noteworthiness comes to mind when I think about attributes that render speechlessness. To me, it’s just a testament to the handiwork of God!
. . .the way of an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent upon a rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, and the way of a man with a maid. Proverbs 30:18-19
The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it. 30:17 NKJV
We’ve all done it. We have all, at some point during the adolescent years, came to the conclusion that our parents were crazy. Surely, they were never young before. Otherwise, they would not be so unreasonable!
But if we are fortunate to live to the age they were when they were hopelessly mental, we find that either our juvenile assessment was inaccurate or that we have now lost our minds as well.
Coming of age is normal. And with it comes opinions and preferences. But, there is something altogether irreverent about an attitude of mockery and or scorn toward those who bore you.
I don’t know a perfect set of parents…including Mary and Joseph. They are human, for crying out loud. But, for the most part, woven in the fabric of their hearts is an intense desire to do right by us.
And even when they don’t deserve complete admiration, God rewards those who honor, still. If abuse is a part of the equation, we may not always be able to stay in an environment with an unhealthy parent. But even then, disdain for them is not necessary.
Regardless of the situation or circumstances, may we be found honorable toward those who hold the office of Mom and Dad. Because “respecting the office” can only lead to a blessing for us, and for them.
“There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’ the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’” Proverbs 30:15b-16 NIV
Old Bud Searcy was all about helping the women and children while the menfolk were away…helping them right out of a meal!
In the beloved Disney classic, Old Yeller (originally in print by the same name), one of the only characters one would dare not “take a liking” to was Mr. Searcy. This was basically because instead of taking care of those in need, he helped himself (at their expense.)
Even as a little kid, I knew old Mr. Searcy was a bad egg. He made for good comedy, only because we all know a “Mr. Searcy”! But, at the same time, it makes a case worth noting…
To him who is eager for a handout seldom finds value in a hand up. Therefore, the word “enough” will be strangely absent from his verbal repertoire.
Try as you may, life is not complete without the never enoughs. And from time to time, a meal on their behalf isn’t going to break ya. But remember, the Searcys do well to bump up against some, “yes you can” every now and again!
There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother. There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness. There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and whose fangs are like knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. Proverbs 30:11-14 NIV
Personal Assessment and Outward Observation: The more I get, the more I get. And the more I get, the more I want.
Knowing this about my human tendency, years ago, God and I cut in some borders and some buffers to keep me humble at heart. But even still, time to time, I look up and there I go getting all self-centered and judgmental again.
Here’s a freebie I’ll pass on: When the words out of your mouth often reflect another’s inability to do something according to your liking, chances are you have overindulged in some area of your life. And it has promoted a “fat and sassy” condemnatory attitude.
Heaven help us! Let’s finish with the Message Bible’s version of this proverbial nugget:
Don’t curse your father or fail to bless your mother. Don’t imagine yourself to be quite presentable when you haven’t had a bath in weeks. Don’t be stuck-up and think you’re better than everyone else. Don’t be greedy, merciless and cruel as wolves, tearing into the poor and feasting on them, shredding the needy to pieces only to discard them.
“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Proverbs 30:7-8 NIV
Having an abundance of anything increases heightened awareness. Awareness of people, places and their things, or lack thereof.
Being always responsible for making sure motives and maneuvers are above board can promote paranoia and allow bitterness and self-preservation to set in. And sad to say, this has happened to many a man who didn’t have a dime.
Too much time, too much praise, too much chocolate, whatever! We don’t do “too much” very well. One very wise and wealthy soul once shared with me his secret to a well-balanced and prosperous life.
“Lorenzo, when I feel like grabbing, that’s when I start giving by the boat-load. Because when I don’t, stuff and status get in the way of what matters most, i.e., the ones I love.”
I have no idea where today’s good word finds you. But chances are, you have amassed a wealth of something. Let God help you be honest about it…quit denying it, for crying out loud. Then, devise a plan to get back to center.
It’s ok to be loaded with good things. But it is unhealthy to be “bloated” with the weight and the worry that too often clings to those “things.”
Every word of God is tried and purified; He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him. Proverbs 30:5 AMP
I have problems with this proverbial statement. I’m not proud of it and wish I could honestly say, “I have tried and tested every word God’s written in the Bible and they have all proved true…for me.”
As a matter of fact, many of the “words” I have tried didn’t work out quite like I thought they were prescribed to work.
For instance, “give and it shall be given back…a good measure, pressed down and running over (Luke 6:38) shall men given unto your bosom.”
And, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper…and every tongue that rises up against you in judgment (Isaiah 54:17) shall be shown to be in the wrong.”
Although, I will admit, there are many events in my life that are undeniably awesome and “other worldly.” At the same time, there are basic needs and necessities that were met with anything but “awesome” and I’ve wondered… “did I miss something?”
What I have found, over time, to be a solid rock to stand on is the fact that something pure or tried reflects pressure, heat, and intensity. And with all sincerity, I lack in all three. I am guilty of giving up before I get the test results back.
I hope for you, this proverb is easy and you can emphatically say, “Yes!” “Amen!” But if that’s not the case and you find yourself in the same boat I’m in, be encouraged.
Because even if you and I don’t know that every word of God’s is tried and tested and is absolutely true…He does.