Insights from Proverbs 10 for the 10th:
Proverbs 10 is a rapid-fire string of moral contrasts. It’s like reading a bunch of fortune cookies all at once.
Solomon presents these pearls of wisdom in an A-B pattern:
- A is the righteous way to do something.
- B is the unrighteous way to do that thing.
- A results in an easier, better life.
- B results in a harder, worse life.
For example (paraphrased, of course):
- A wise son makes a parent happy. A foolish son is a pain in the neck (v.1).
- The memory of the righteous is perfume. The name of the unrighteous will rot (v. 7).
- The words of the righteous are a spring of life. The words of the wicked are violence (v. 11).
These sayings are designed to be pithy and therefore – easy to remember. They have this tendency to worm into your brain and lodge themselves there. Then they show up in your thoughts & conversation. Its a brilliant technique, really – and one that the advertising world has exploited quite well.
The point is, Solomon is trying to impart profound, life-changing advice as efficiently and effectively as possible… to a teenager. What better way then by catchy one-liners? Rather than overloading the kid with heavy & dull lectures on Ethics, Solomon succeeds by creating these fun nuggets of wisdom in handy bite-size chunks.
Do you know them?