In yesterday’s reading, some important points were revealed: The people the Lord was about to send into exile to the North would return to Him wholeheartedly and God would bring them back to their land. God would put it into their hearts to return to him! Those remaining in the land at the point of exile and their king would be scattered, cursed, and vanish. The exiles would come back after 70 years, and afterward Babylon would have its turn to be punished and would remain a ruin forever? as in fact it is! That 70 year time was important to the prophet Daniel when he discovered it when reading this book!
In our poetry readings this year, we started with Job, then Psalms, and now we enter the wisdom literature with Proverbs. Solomon wrote and compiled these proverbs around the year 950 BC, in the height of Israel’s golden age. We will hear the theme statement of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes today in verse 7 (NLT), “Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge.” There is a clear division in the organization of this book. The first 9 chapters are highly thematic and are especially directed to giving wisdom to Solomon’s sons. Then there are proverbs giving every-day advice to everyone, followed by advice to rulers. The very last chapter is the one that extols the blessedness of having a wise wife.
Summarizing important points about our position that we have heard in 1 Corinthians 6-7: Remember that we are joined as one with Christ? as in the vine and branch metaphors. We are ‘of one spirit with the Lord’. (6:17) We each have become the ‘temple of God’s Spirit’. (6:19) We are in the humble yet honored position of being ‘slaves’ of the Lord, the King of Kings. (7:22) We are not our own. We have been bought with a high price. (6:20 and 7:23)
GNT Translation notes:
Jer. 27:16 Then I told the priests and the people [what//that] the Lord had said: “Do not listen to the prophets who say that the Temple treasures will soon be brought back from Babylonia. They are lying to you.
19 King Hezekiah and the people of Judah did not put Micah to death. Instead, Hezekiah honored the Lord and tried to win his favor. And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he said he would bring on them. Now [if we do what you say, we’ll//we are about to] bring a terrible disaster on ourselves.”
Prov. 1:28 Then you will call for [me,] wisdom, but I will not answer. You may look for me everywhere, but you will not find me.
ICor. 8:9 Be careful, however, not to let your freedom of action make those who are weak in [their belief in Christ//the faith] fall into sin.
13 So then, if food makes a believer sin, I will never eat meat again, so as not to make a [fellow] believer fall into sin.
NLT Translation note:
1Cor.8:13 So if what I eat [would cause/causes] another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live?for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.