I love beef jerky, almost any jerky really. The thing about jerky is that you don’t simply eat it. Because it was dehydrated, you have to chew on it as the moisture in your mouth rehydrates the meat and allows it to be enjoyed. Describing the process doesn’t really do it justice, it’s actually a little gross to think about.
Proverbs 19 (as with many other Proverbs) is like the beef jerky of the Bible. If you just read through it, it would be like swallowing beef jerky whole—sure there is sustenance there, but it isn’t really enjoyable. Instead, like tearing jerky apart, take a verse or two and really chew on it. In fact, chapter 19 deals with so many different topics, that it would be good memorize one or two that speak to you and spend the rest of the day thinking about them.
To get a big picture overview of the multiple topics, the New American Commentary lays it out this way (starting back in 18 and continuing through 20),
Section A (18:22–19:14)
A good wife (18:22)
- The poor (18:23–19:10)
(Patience and royal anger [19:11–12])
A bad family/a good wife (19:13–14)
Section B (19:15–20:4)
- Personal discipline (19:16–23)
- The mocker (19:25–20:1)
(Royal anger and patience [20:2–3])
Let’s take for instance what this chapter says about family in verses 13 & 14.
13 A foolish son is destruction to his father,
And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping.
14 House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the Lord.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, “What kind of destruction does a foolish son bring?” “What does contentions mean, and how is it like dripping water?” “House and wealth sound like good things, but is something from the Lord better than something from one’s father?”
If we had more time to chew on these verses, we might consider that the destruction of the father, probably isn’t losing his life, but instead, his wealth and standing. A foolish son is likely to squander what his father has built and bring shame to the family socially.
Part B of verse 13 cracks me up. Have you ever had a leaky faucet that keeps you awake at night? The NIV translates “contentions” as a “quarrelsome wife.” Thus, a nagging, easily irritated wife, is as annoying as a constant drip or as psychologically devastating as Chinese water torture. On the flip side, a wife of prudence is a gift from the Lord, better than an inheritance of wealth from a father.
Consider today, what verse or topic stands out the most? Memorize it, chew on it, and let us know in the comments what the Lord is teaching you through it.
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate