Blogging the Bible 168 – Proverbs 19, 20 – Disconnected wisdom

It’s probably a good thing that the Bible isn’t better organised. If it was, we might be tempted to stop thinking for ourselves.

In these two chapters of Proverbs, there doesn’t seem to be a clear thread or much organisation. Instead short sentences follow one another seemingly at random. But then that’s how life happens as well, most of the time. One thing follows another, and we try to make the right decision in each moment.

Perhaps it’s good to be reminded that in the Bible God speaks from and into the mess of human life and history. When it comes to applying his Wisdom to our lives, then we have a mixture of general truths – fear the LORD, seek justice and mercy, work hard and be true to your word etc. – and a collection of individual sayings for different circumstances. I don’t think we’re meant to memorise all of these to pull out when we need them, or necessarily to keep an index so we can look up the right proverb for each situation in life.

I think we’re meant to be formed in practical wisdom by reading them and taking them to heart, letting God shape our minds and actions one situation and one decision at a time.

Life is messy. It’s a good thing that the Bible is too.

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