Good morning! There are many interesting diversions we might pursue in reflecting on today’s reading (Proverbs 17-19), but one proverb is an especially good summary of the orientation of the whole book. 19:8 reads, “To get wisdom is to love oneself; to keep understanding is to prosper.” Before all the other reasons to pursue wisdom (healthy relationships, discerning leadership, etc), it is in the end an act of self-love. The wise person has greater confidence in navigating the troubles of life, can disassociate more easily from conflicted situations, has a greater grasp of world events, and is good company with oneself. Furthermore, and particularly for the scribe of Proverbs, wisdom might lead to prosperity and abundance for oneself and for loved ones. Within that context and desire to love the self, we could spend quite a bit of time talking about slavery, grandchildren, fools, friendship, loners, marital quarrels, childhood discipline and mercy to the poor. However, I think it better to let you go and read for yourself. After all, in the words of another, non-biblical proverb: “Better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” Happy reading!
Please join discussion of this passage at the Daily Bible Facebook group, or comment below. The passage for tomorrow is Proverbs 20-22. Thanks for reading!