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Proverbs 17 verse 1 is so very wise... "A dry crust eaten in peace is better than a great feast with strife." I don't know about you, but this Proverb hits home. I have eaten very simple meals in peace that have been so beautiful. And I have also eaten at great feasts filled with drama and angst and strife. The world may preach to us that the latter is better - the feast with all it's drama. But, I think the still small quiet voice of God through the Bible indicates the former is better. Which do you think is better? The peaceful crust or the strifeful feast?
Below is an image of a "strifeful feast" to say the least from the artist Rembrandt again. This is from Daniel chapter 5 verses 1 through 6 - "King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone. Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way." (As Paul Harvey would say, check out the rest of this story in Daniel chapter 5 at this link and learn what the writing on the wall means! Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin!)
I love Proverbs chapter 17 verse 3 today - "Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the LORD tests the heart." I think sometimes in our lives we tend to forget to live from our hearts. We live from our minds I think so often - and we can tend to silence our hearts. But God wants our hearts. He wants our hearts to be fully his. God oftentimes will speak to us through our hearts - sometimes I find that God's "still small voice" or God's whisper can only be discerned through my heart. So, let us live from our hearts. And let us realize that God is very interested in our hearts - and will test the purity of our hearts. The heart is so critically important for our spiritual life... how is the landscape of your heart today? What would God find inside your heart right now? Is your heart pure? Is your heart for God?
Proverbs 17 verse 5 is quite convicting for us to consider: "Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished." That is a powerful realization - if you mock the poor, you mock God. If you care for the poor, you care for God. I have a friend who met Mother Teresa many years back at her home for the sick & dying in Calcutta. And my friend when he met her was trying to tell her all the great stuff he was doing in his life and in his ministry. But, Mother Teresa really didn't care to hear about all his ministry stuff. All she said to him was "Do you want to meet Jesus? Do you want to meet Jesus?" And of course he said "Yes! Of course I do Mother Teresa." So, she led him by the hand down a hall and into a room where a man was on his deathbed. She sat my friend down at a chair by this man's bed. And she placed my friend's hands on this dying man's hands. And she said, "Now you will meet Jesus." And she left the room... and left him in the room with the dying man for about 30 minutes. And you know what - my friend met Jesus that day in a way he had never done so before. So, how about you. Do you want to meet Jesus?
Worship God: Today's readings in Proverbs remind me of the Selah song "Unredeemed:"
Are you Unredeemed? Click here for Redemption!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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