Two proverbs I find of interest

A definition of a proverb that I find most telling is “a simple and concrete saying.” If we could be so communicative every day on matters of import, what a more wonderful place it would be. While we have English, Chinese, Italian, Greek, American et al proverbs, I wanted to pull a couple from Proverbs in the bible that resonate with me.

From Proverbs 1:7 – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

I have often said that God gave us a brain, which in and of itself is a miracle. To not use it, would be a waste of a glorious resource and would dishonor Him. King Solomon, who is known for his wisdom, uttered the quoted proverb above. He said “fools despise wisdom and instruction.” People pray for a miracle, but often they have the ability to take steps to solve their own problems, if they thought about it more. In fact, I would suggest we pray that God give me the wisdom to determine for myself what needs to be done. And, if I cannot do so myself, I should pray for wisdom to find good help.

Some religions do not want to use current doctors or medicines to cure their family members. To my way of thinking, this is an insult to God, as the miracle you are praying for to cure your loved one may be the one standing in front of you wearing the doctor’s clothes and holding the iPad. I am truly saddened when I see a young person die because they are denied help based on a religious belief. Modern medicine is a miracle and we should use it judiciously at the hands of a capable doctor.

From Proverbs 8:11 – “For wisdom is better than rubies, and all things one may desire, cannot be compared with her.”

I like this quote as well, as God is instructing us to value wisdom more than personal possessions. He is encouraging us to become learned and cherish our wisdom. Coupling these two quotes together to me says, continue to seek instruction to gain wisdom and value it once obtained. I mention this, as in our country, we have an ultra-conservative group of people who are not valuing science like they should. The reason is it is conflict with our limited understanding of what the bible is telling us. When data flies directly in the face of what the bible is telling us, it does not mean the science is wrong, it means when the bible was written by men, they did not have the advanced knowledge of science we have today. In the Jewish faith, one of the reasons shellfish and pork are unclean as people were dying from the spoiled or bacteria infested meat for medical reasons, not biblical ones.

My point is we should not substitute what exists in the bible for science, no more than we should substitute science for a person’s faith. We believe because we do. I personally recognize a number of inconsistencies, but I also hold true to the good that is represented in the bible. But, before people jump all over me about the bible being a strict interpretation of God’s word and will, I would ask a simple question – have you really read all of the bible? Including the parts the ministers don’t talk much about. There is an old saying “if you want to create an Atheist, have them read the bible.” There was actually a study done a couple of years ago by Pew Research and Atheists knew the bible better than Christians.

With that said, I would add that Atheists also know the bible differently. There are many things therein which are more parable than fact. Jesus often taught us using parables. Further, the bible was written, translated and rewritten several times by men, who even if divinely inspired, were imperfect men. They were also men, so their biases are reflected therein. There are many good teachings in the bible, just as there are a few things that are not as applicable anymore. God gave us a wonderful brain and we should use it to the best of our abilities. He did so as He wants us to think for ourselves. We have done and can do so many wonderful things to help people and advance our lives. Let’s pray we use our wisdom for the greater good. And, let’s treat others like we want to be treated.

That is what I believe. I would welcome your thoughts and impressions.

12 thoughts on “Two proverbs I find of interest

  1. oh I agree wholeheartedly! one of my biggest beefs has to do with gay people and the supposed Christians who demonize them. I say gays are people too and God loves everyone. I say the bible conflicts with itself on this one as the old and new testaments say different things. It makes no sense that the God of love and acceptance would leave this group out. great post once again. have a great day!!

  2. I love this post, and I love your idea that God gave us brains so we should use them! I just read a quote in a book for one of my classes by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She said, “God a has given you minds, dear girls, as well as bodies.”

    • Thanks. I like Stanton’s quote as well. You know I kept thinking about the child who was told that the earth is only 6,000 years old in one place having to reconcile the footprints discovered in Great Britain the other day that are 800,000 years old. But my Sunday School teacher said….

  3. I just read a piece about Mary Magdalene in the bible. That she is really 8 people, and a long gone pope decided to consolidate them all into one person. When people quote the bible as literal, I mentally roll my eyes for their lack of wisdom, and lack of using their brains, the true gift of religion.

    Great post, and this is a topic that I really get into, to the consternation of some of my very religious friends. Keep it up!

    • Thanks Barney. I read something later this morning that said camels were not domesticated at the time of certain events, yet when written about later when they had been, they were a mode of transportation before they were. Context is everything.

      • Your key point, one I’ve always felt, is the bible is a book written by men, about men. Some of it 300+ years after the death of Jesus. What is contained in it, and more importantly, what has been cut, has been determined by a committee of men over time. It is a very interesting read, to me, but the “word of God???” Not so much.

      • I like the added line “about men.” I was thinking this afternoon, what if the bible was rewritten by certain religious leaders of today? You would have their imperfections flavoring the words, which is no different than the religious leaders of the day when it was written. Yet, there is one key difference, the leaders then could more easily prey on the fear of the followers and be questioned less. I would hope that today, we would also have some women writers as well. Thanks for your comments. BTG

    • You are right. It all depends on the context and views of the reader/ listener. I am sure the two I picked out, could be interpreted differently through other lenses.

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