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Proverbs chapter 25 verses 4 & 5 today are interesting: "Remove the dross from silver, and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith. Remove the wicked from the king's court, and his reign will be made secure by justice." I believe dross is some sort of impurity that is in silver when it is heated up. Actually, I just looked it up in the dictionary and dross means: "impurity: worthless or dangerous material that should be removed; "there were impurities in the water"" or "[n. DRAHSS] Something that is useless or worthless is dross. This noun refers to the less-than-desirable parts of something. Near synonyms include: refuse, rubbish, and impurity. Another more specific use of the word dross describes the scum or slag thrown off from metals in the process of melting them. It traces back to the Old English dros, which corresponds to the Middle Dutch droes and the Germanic dros. All of these are words for dregs (less than desirable parts)." So, this proverb is also saying the wicked in the king's court is an impurity that must be removed for a secure reign with justice. This makes sense in a governmental sense. You don't want crooks on the cabinet. But, I think this also works well in our own personal lives. Sin is a dross - an impurity - in our life that must be removed so that we will be of use to the "silversmith" - Jesus. Do you have dross / sin in your life? Will you allow God to remove the dross - the impurity - from your life through the work of his expert Silversmith, Jesus? Please let Jesus heal you of the dross in your life. Jesus is the only one who truly can!
In proverbs 25:6-7 today we read - "Don't demand an audience with the king or push for a place among the great. It is better to wait for an invitation than to be sent to the end of the line, publicly disgraced!" This reminds me of Jesus' parable of not taking the best seats at the feast, or you may be asked to move down. But take the lowest seats and you may be asked to move on up. This is similar to Jesus' teaching: "those who are first, shall be last. And those who are last, shall be first." Are you comfortable being last? This Proverb today also talks about waiting for an invitation. How are you doing these days on waiting? Are you comfortable with waiting? Are you even comfortable on waiting for God? I'll share with you that when I am in a season of "waiting" I have been incredibly encouraged by Isaiah 40:31 - "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." And I've also been encouraged greatly by the Lincoln Brewster song "Everlasting God" that has the awesome line - "Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord!" Amen! Do you feel your strength rising as you wait upon the Lord?
Proverbs chapter 25 verses 9 & 10 is a strong teaching - "So discuss the matter with them privately. Don't tell anyone else, or others may accuse you of gossip. Then you will never regain your good reputation." This Proverb stands out to me for when we see someone who perhaps sins. Maybe a brother or sister in Christ has a moral failing. And then the big question is this - will we discuss the matter directly with that person, to correct them. OR - will we discuss the matter with others and be a gossip? Don't get me wrong - there may be a time and a place to discuss the matter with others, such as a pastor, to get advice on how to discuss the matter with the person who stumbled. But, we absolutely should not resort to simply being a gossip about someone else. That's seeing one sin of someone else's and then creating another sin of your own! (note that even though this image below shows two women, men can gossip just as much as anyone else!)
Proverbs 25:14 is spot on: "A person who doesn't give a promised gift is like clouds and wind that don't bring rain." Don't be that person! Make sure you give promised gifts. And how about giving unexpected gifts? Gifts for no particular reason? When is the last time you surprised someone with a gift out of the blue? Below is a great image for Proverbs 25:13 from today's readings:
Proverbs 25 verse 15 is a beautiful meditation in the midst of our hussle-bussle world of today - "Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can crush strong opposition." Basically this Proverb tells us that we don't need to be in a hurry or be loud! Are you a patient person? Do you speak softly / humbly? Mind if I close the post out today with an image of a dog demonstrating patience with a cute kitten? Thanks... :) Do you demonstrate patience regularly like this dog is demonstrating below?
Worship God: The reflection on Jesus healing us of our sins in Proverbs 24:4-5 above reminded me of the Casting Crowns song "East To West." Here's a fantastic live version of this song!
Do you know how far the east is from the west? Click here to learn about the Silversmith who can forgive the "dross" in your life!
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!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
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