Thru the Bible – Day 157

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Day 157 – Thru the Bible

Today we continue in Proverbs and Psalms.

Proverbs 13 – This chapter finishes up the work and money section. See yesterday’s chapter 12 notes.


Proverbs 14 – Emotions. “Slow to anger” is the God-like quality of calm patience (Exodus 34:6). A person of great understanding can avoid being goaded into an angry outburst by an annoying person. But a hasty temper puts folly on public display.

Not all anger is foolish. The Lord of Israel got angry (Deuteronomy 32:15–22). Jesus got angry (Mark 3:5). He will someday return to judge the world in His fury (Revelation 19:11–16). All the sins of mankind must be judged under the wrath of God—either at the cross or in hell. But the Bible never says, “God is wrath.” The Bible does say, “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). We, by our sins, have to provoke Him to wrath, but we do not have to provoke Him to love us. Love is His spontaneous response to us, and His loving heart is slow to anger.

The book of Proverbs counsels us against unruly anger (Proverbs 16:32). In fact, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11). That word glory means beauty. Wisdom has a higher goal than getting even. Wisdom displays the beauty of God by overlooking an insult. After all, God overlooks many offenses in us, for Jesus’ sake.

Anger is a judging emotion. Many wrongs do deserve judgment, but wisdom brings our judgments themselves under a higher judgment. The gospel moderates our own angry judgments by prophesying to us God’s final judgment (Revelation 20:11–15). God will judge, and no one will get away with anything. And in the meantime, God is watching over us (Proverbs 2:8). Let us trust His wise wrath, rather than unleash our own foolish wrath. And may the peace of Jesus rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15).

How do you allow Jesus to control your anger?


Proverbs 15 – Emotions. Cheerfulness is wise—and surprising. This proverb does not contrast the afflicted with the cheerful of heart. Rather, this cheerful person is an afflicted Believer, going through evil days, who nevertheless enjoys a spiritual feast within (Acts 5:40–41; 16:25; 2 Corinthians 4:8; 6:10; Hebrews 10:34).

Joy comes naturally to the wise (Proverbs 8:30–31), and joyous vitality grows within us through reverence for the Lord (Proverbs 3:7–8), humble contentment, and frequent exposure to the good news of the gospel. The joy of believers’ fellowship is also contagious: “The light of the eyes [of a radiant, glowing believer] rejoices the heart [of someone else].” Ultimately, “Blessed are the people who . . . walk, O Lord, in the light of your face” (Psalm 89:15; John 15:11).

With so much pain in this world, we need to know that misery is not ultimate, but that the joy of Jesus is ultimate and final and victorious. We can look at the saddest thing that has ever happened—the cross—and see the greater joy beyond it: “[Christ] for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). His victory is ours too. As we suffer, we have an assurance from Him to cheer our way: “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. . . . In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 14:27; 16:33).

Family. In verse 20, God so values the family that He includes in the Ten Commandments “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12). He reaffirms this in the New Testament (Ephesians 6:2–3). The opposite of that honor is the word “despises” in this proverb, that is, to treat a parent as irrelevant. It is a grief to a godly parent to be dismissed by a haughty child. Whether he or she knows it or not, that foolish child is dismissing the Lord Himself.

Family life is typically where our true feelings for the Lord become most clear. For that very reason, it is a joy for a parent to see a child grow up to be wise (Proverbs 23:15–16, 24–25; 27:11). This proverb does not say, “A rich son makes a glad father,” but a wise son, that is, a son who revers the Lord (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10). A child’s career choice is important, but it is nothing compared with his having a heart for the Lord.

The Lord asked His foolish people, “If then I am a father, where is my honor?” (Malachi 1:6). If your child dishonors you, there is pain. But there is also a blessing hidden in that sorrow: you can enter more deeply into the heart of the Father. Through our tears, we parents learn how God really feels about us all. And as we think about His patient forgiveness of the ways we dishonor Him as our ultimate Father, we are helped to forgive our own children.

Some of us are the son or daughter who has dishonored our earthly parents. We may bring our failure to the Son who unfailingly honored His Father. Our folly within the family need not be the last word, for our identity is renewed by Another.

How do you honor your parents or other parent-like people in your life?


What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?


Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.

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