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Lesson # Prov. 11:16
Study Material - Prov. 11:16
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
16 A gracious [chen] woman [ishshah] retaineth [tamak] honour [kabowd] : and strong [ariyts] men retain [tamak] riches [osher] . KJV-Interlinear
16 A gracious woman attains honor, And violent men attain riches. NAS
Women and men. Is this the battle of the sexes? No, of course not. These are not real people but figurative principles of doctrine. Honor is not restricted to women, just as violence is not restricted to men. Both tendencies can apply to both men and women, children and adults.
Here we have some comparisons and relationships. Graciousness and honor. Violence and riches. And of course women and men. The last will be discussed first. Women and men.
In the Hebrew text there are various forms or tenses. There is the feminine, the masculine, the active, passive voice and so forth. These are often referred to in the genders of feminine or masculine in order to convey a point or principle. Each tense is not in itself representative of only good, or only bad. In some cases the feminine can refer to a passive situation which requires an active action, so this teaches a bad principle. For example a person sees someone who is hurt and does not lend a hand to help them out. This would be a passive approach to a situation which requires an active approach. Or, a person refuses to get involved with something that is clearly wrong. This is then a passive approach and the proper approach.
Here we have the feminine in reference to graciousness, and the masculine in reference to violence.
In our Bible study we might pursue our studies with a vigor or with passion, because we strongly desire to improve our spiritual life. But it is God who makes the growth occur by channeling doctrine through the human spirit, into the soul, and thus preparing the soul for its application by the believer in Christ. With respect to us, this growth is passive. We have nothing to do with the growth process. God does all of the work. We merely listen and learn.
Graciousness is a mental attitude. A non-competitive attitude (that is to say a non-destructive type of competitiveness as in back stabbing, office politics, etc.). Graciousness is a characteristic of advanced spiritual growth. Graciousness is an adult characteristic, not that of a child or of an immature person.
Violence is represented by active and masculine characteristics. Violence is overt. It is the action of the immature, of the child, and not of a mature adult. Violence is an emotional reaction to a situation which is wrong by its nature. This violence which we are studying is characteristic of bullies, or criminals, or thugs who care nothing for their victims, and care only for themselves. Victims are only in the way, and violence is their logical answer to getting around them. Punks do not think. Punks or thugs, as it were, do not look for alternative methods of accomplishing their desires. 'Work to get ahead? Get real!' 'Just take and take again. If anyone gets in your way, then squash them.' This is the attitude of the thug.
What is their goal? Riches. Any kind of riches. What drives them? Their lusts for power, for recognition, for money, for wealth, for sex, for anything they 'want.' Violence is overt as we have said. It is not mental. Violence lacks the ability to think in the mind of the thug or criminal.
By the way this does not apply to the actions of soldiers (the good guys) in war.
The mature person gains honor. An intangible asset of intrinsic value. The immature person (anyone who rejects the teaching of the Word of God) searches frantically for their riches and never finds them. The wealth they do accumulate will become a source of misery for them, and they will lose it all when they die. Death is certain, and oddly enough it occurs at the end of our life. Hummm! By he way, God schedules our check out date, not us.
Graciousness further represents a relaxed mental attitude, and sense of security, a sense of poise and understanding, a contentment. All of which are based from within the internal structure of the soul. All of which come from a daily study of the Word of God. By the way, the riches of this world are not in themselves bad. It is the person, who is either good or bad. A spiritually mature person has the capacity to understand the true nature of worldly things and to enjoy them for what they really are. A spiritually immature person centers his life around those things, because that is all he sees or wishes to see.
Riches are things that exist outside of the soul, and therefore cannot sustain the soul. Riches (a broadly defined term for all that is desirable in life) cease to exist when a person dies. Riches of the world do not continue into eternity, but a persons soul does. So what is it better to continue into the next life with, a soul full of spiritual assets, or an empty soul which pursued worldly assets that are now gone?
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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