Four Small Animals with Extreme Wisdom – Proverbs 30

I think this is better than a David and Goliath story, where a young, untrained fellow takes on a gargantuan warrior. In this chapter of Proverbs we find a list of tiny, unassuming creatures that possess powerful attributes.

“Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise:

photo from revi82 stockxchng

photo of hyraxes from revi82 stockxchng

  • Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;
  • Hyraxes are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags;
  • Locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks;
  • A lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces” (Proverbs 30:24-28 NIV).

These verses tell me that it is extremely wise to save for the future, find a way to make a home in difficult places, move ahead with others in unity, and realize I can have access, no matter how small I am, into the halls of those in authority.

Prayer

I hope I never doubt, Lord, that you can use the things I consider small and powerless to do amazing things. I will follow where you lead me, no matter how out-of-place I might feel.

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A few nights ago I fell asleep contemplating this proverb. It brought such joy to think I can completely trust what God says, without fail; and that he offers refuge to me. I also appreciate how he expects his words to be honored for what they are, not embellished by others.

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar” (verses 5-6).

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

How to Bring Calm to the Angry – Proverbs 29

It was fantasy just a short time ago – to think pushing a magic button could produce a perfectly cooked meal in just minutes. Now it’s reality.

It’s magic
When I was a child I believed saying the words “abra cadabra” could make amazing things happen. A few years later TV showed me it could be as easy as twitching the nose or pointing the lightning bolt finger of power.

photo from pamah. stockxchng

photo from pamah. stockxchng

But how do you make someone give up their anger? This might be the hardest accomplishment of all.

“Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger” (Proverbs 29:8 NIV).

“Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end” (verse 11).

It takes wisdom
The Merriam-Webster dictionary says wisdom is the knowledge gained by having many experiences in life. I think it’s clear we also gain wisdom by learning from other people’s experiences, which means we need to take time to observe, take notes, think about what makes sense, draw conclusions and test them, listen to others, and of course, measure all these things against scripture.

Wisdom – Take time to observe, take notes, think about what makes sense, draw conclusions and test them, listen to others, and of course, measure all these things against scripture.

“An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins” (verse 22).

Prayer
Lord, once again I’m seeking your wisdom. Keeping myself focused on you is my priority, but help me learn from the people around me and my circumstances how to help defuse another’s anger. Let your peace and forgiveness rule. Thank you! Amen.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

What I Learned from my Dog – Proverbs 26

It had been my dream, and my husband’s, to some day give our boys a puppy, and when Molly Brown Dog came to our family she was welcomed with gusto. At first I was amazed, even delighted, with the shenanigans she got into.

used with permission echiax. stockxchng

used with permission echiax. stockxchng

Forget that she’d consume what had fallen out of the baby’s diaper, and then try to lick my face. Or chewing up things we’d spent good money on – like the new garden hose. Or the horrible worming project she put us through. She was just a baby, after all.

“As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly” (Proverbs 26:11 NIV).

A few years later we took Molly on a fishing trip, and she obediently stayed in the back of our station wagon. But for some reason, Molly didn’t process information like I thought she would after all our time spent enjoying and training her. She ran off, found a pile of rotting fish on the riverbank, and proceeded to roll in the nastiness.

At first, she came toward me when I called her.

Then she stopped.

She looked longingly at me, then longingly back at the mess, and rejected me in favor of the stink. I was livid! I thought of slimy, smelly fish guts getting spread around the interior of my car, and I decreed to all heaven and nature OUT LOUD, “You. are. not. my. dog.”

And I walked away.

Jerry and I later forgave her, of course, and he cleaned her up. I was still seriously upset. That’s when I decided to thank God I was not a dog.

Proverbs 26 compares many things to a person who is foolish, but the image of my dog “returning to her vomit” stays with me.

“Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them” (verse 12).

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, that you’ve given me the ability to reject foolishness and learn wisdom. I appreciate the animals you’ve made, wild and domestic. But I’m so happy you’ve made me one of your dear children, and you take the time to teach me. I love you with all that I am. Amen.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis