OYB November 12

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted December 16, 2006; back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Ezekiel 24-26
NT: Hebrews 11:1-16
Ps: Psalm 110
Pr: Proverbs 27:14

Today´s notable verses:

1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

Hebrews 11:1-2 (NIV)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

Just a couple of scriptures with very practical, straight-forward explanations of the concept of faith: confidence in that for which we hope, certainty of that which we cannot prove empirically, and belief in a God who exists and rewards those who earnestly seek Him. In other words, we believe in God, we have confidence in our hope for a reward from Him, and we are certain of these truths, even though we cannot completely prove them through means of physical observation.

If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.

Proverbs 27:14(NIV)

Certainly, if such loud blessing early in the morning disturbs the sleep of the intended recipient, such praise will indeed be taken as a curse! This author agrees, and so does this one. However, could this proverb refer to something deeper than such mundane advice? Perhaps it is a warning against flattery; however, if this verse were intended solely as a warning against such flattery, wouldn't the phrasing be "it should be taken as a curse", rather than "it will be taken..."? That is, the wise response would be one of skepticism of the blessing as flattery. As it is written, the phrasing seems to imply that all such loud, early morning blessing will be taken - inherently - as a curse. If the verse were intended as a warning against flattery, given the insidious nature of that flattery, the blessing would not be taken inherently as a curse. Otherwise, no reason would exist for the warning against it. That said, Matthew Henry's concise commentary agrees with this interpretation that the verse is intended as a warning against love of praise.

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