Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
As with all the chapters in the main section of the book of Proverbs, chapters 18-21 display a dynamic array of wisdom, altering the train of thought with every verse. There is no flow of ideas or climactic buildup. But themes undulate through the text, making it likely for the eager reader to see some encouragement or needed wisdom for any life circumstance. These three chapters seem to have a higher density of verses about speaking and holding silence. The theme of speaking wisely is particularly helpful to consider in a time of tumultuous politics and agitated societal dynamics.
What is one key verse?
Proverbs 18:4 “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.”
How does what you read change your vision of God?
It takes work to understand the depth and complexities of what a person is saying. People often mask their true meanings in euphemisms; they conceal their intentions; they paint the ideal about themselves rather than the reality; they use hyperbole when speaking of others. It takes work to draw out a person. It is a deep well. But God gives wisdom that is easy to access and flows through its course gracefully.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
I recognize that people have strong opinions about a lot of things they cannot control. It is an immense task to try show them that the way they are approaching a situation is not helpful. They speak, but their meaning is a deep well. Rather than change others, the best thing I can do is go to God for his wisdom, which is given freely.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
I will not get caught up in the concerns of this world. I only want to know God, please God, and share God with others. I will focus my energy on learning his Word and sharing my faith.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
When Jesus was approached with challenging questions that had deep political complexity in his day, he spoke with simple wisdom. He referred back to early parts of scripture and made complicated things simple. His words were human, they were deep wells. But Jesus’ words were also divine. They were a bubbling brook. I want to sit by that brook always.