If you didn’t read yesterday’s devotion you should go do that now. Go ahead, I’ll wait…..
Ok, Proverbs 9 sets the backdrop for the next several chapters in Proverbs. Proverbs 9 gives the contrast between the way of wisdom and the way of folly (foolishness). One way leads to life, the other leads to death. With that in mind, chapter 10 begins a lengthy section of Proverbs which give a very clear contrast between the way of wisdom and the way of foolishness. These Proverbs are technically known as antithetical which is a very common rhetorical device used in ancient literature to hold opposites next to each other.
Chances are, at some point in your educational journey, you became acquainted with the following poem by Robert Frost.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost
That is poetic and filled with all kinds of metaphorical imagery, and it leaves it to each reader to fill it with its content. What do the two different roads look like and where do they lead?
Proverbs 10 leaves very little to our individual imagination. It spells things out like Mapquest.
These are my paraphrases of Proverbs 10:
If you are wise, you make your Daddy happy.
If you are foolish you break your momma’s heart.
If you are lazy, you’re broke
if you work hard, you’ll have plenty of money.
If you are wise, you’ll take instructions from those in authority
If you are a fool you’re always running your mouth and you’ll ruin your life because you don’t listen.
If you do things the right way, you have little to fear
but if you cut corners and break rules, it will eventually catch up with you.
If you go around spreading hate, it leads to more hate, and fights.
If you love others, it puts an end to the hate and helps bring about peace.
If you willingly accept correction your life will improve
if you ignore correction, you’ll not only hurt yourself, you’ll hurt others too.
If you live the right way, you have good things to look forward to.
If you spend your life doing evil things, life eventually becomes a dead end.
That was fun, putting that wisdom into my own words.
You try it. Take some of the Proverbs which contrast the way of wisdom with the way of foolishness and put it in your own words. That’s the practical, analytical, left-brain approach.
If you are more right-brained, creative and artistic, then write a story or poem or paint a picture contrasting the way of wisdom or the way of foolishness.
And if you’re really into it… try doing both the left and right-brained approach- and then you’ll never forget Proverbs 10.
~ Jeff Fletcher