Meditate at Eight

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The latest at Irvington United Methodist Church

Stay up to date with the happenings of Irvington United Methodist Church by visiting our blog. You'll find information such as announcements, sermon notes and thoughts from our pastor to encourage and challenge your walk with the Lord.

Speak for Those Who Cannot Speak

by: Denise Robinson

05/06/2021

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We have made it to Prov. 31, the end of the book. As we have read each proverb, I have often commented how much human nature hasn't changed and how relevant the proverbs remain in our time. Some of the words of Prov. 31, however, seem dated. This chapter is written by someone who identifies himself as King Lemuel - and he says that these are words taught to him by his mother. Who is Lemuel? We don't know. There was no king of Israel of this name, so he ha...
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The "Exceedingly Wise"

by: Denise Robinson

05/05/2021

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Agur's lists continue: today we read about four small, but wise, creatures and four "stately" creatures. The first four creatures demonstrate the "life-skills" which are the essence of wisdom; the second set share the qualities of strength and confidence.

Four things on earth are small, yet they are exceedingly wise: the ants are a people without strength, yet they provide their food in the summer; the badge...
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The Link Between Chaos and Arrogance

by: Denise Robinson

05/04/2021

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Today's first verses are intended to be satirical rather than taken literally. But in the ancient Near East, they describe a world turned upside down. Things which upset the social order threaten the overall stability of the world. Agur writes:

Under three things the earth trembles; under four it cannot bear up: a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when glutted with food; an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maid...
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Some Things Are Too Wonderful!

by: Denise Robinson

05/03/2021

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Meditate at Eight: The Way of Wisdom

This morning we continue in Prov. 30 with the words of Agur. After a verse reminding his readers to honor their parents (don't publicly mock or scorn them), Agur continues:Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man w...
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Be Careful of These Things

by: Denise Robinson

04/30/2021

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Today we continue with words of wisdom from Agur:

There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers. There are those who are pure in their own eyes yet are not cleansed of their filthiness. There are those—how lofty are their eyes, how high their eyelids lift!—there are those whose teeth are swords, whose teeth are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mortals. The leec...
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Two Things I Ask of You

by: Denise Robinson

04/29/2021

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Proverbs 30 opens with these words: "The words of Agur son of Jakeh. An oracle." Who was Agur? We don't know. The names don't seem to be Israelite, although Agur means "one who is brave in the pursuit of wisdom." In any event, the fact that these words are designated as an "oracle," likely means they were being presented as this person's "last words."

Thus says the man: I am weary...
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Trust in the Lord

by: Denise Robinson

04/28/2021

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Today we look at Solomon's final words from the book of Proverbs. It's sad that in the end, Solomon didn't take much of his own advice. He asked God for wisdom to rule his people wisely and God gave it to him; then he began to think his wisdom came from himself and he gave it to possibly the worst human characteristic of all - pride. He even speaks on that condition in these final verses:  Do you see someone who i...
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The Lord Gives Light to the Eyes of All

by: Denise Robinson

04/27/2021

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Chapter 29 of Proverbs are the last words of Solomon. The book has two final chapters, written by other persons. Today's post contains miscellaneous verses from the first half of Ch. 29; if you wish to read the entire chapter, I encourage you to do so but, as with Ch. 28, some verses are directed to kings and rulers. 

One who is often reproved, yet remains stubborn, will suddenly be broken beyond h...
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Walk in Wisdom

by: Denise Robinson

04/26/2021

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"One who walks in integrity will be safe . . . the faithful will abound in blessing." Solomon's advice continues as we conclude Proverbs 28. We all have choices in life as to how we will live, but those choices will have consequences. We are reminded to keep our faith in God and to put God's will for our lives above our own. 

One who walks in integrity will be safe, but whoever follows crooked ways will fall ...
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The Righteous Are Bold!

by: Denise Robinson

04/23/2021

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Proverbs 28 contains advice for kings. While some of the verses don't seem to apply to many of us, others contain universal wisdom. Here are some of those verses:

The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them. Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully. Better the p...
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Human Eyes Are Never Satisfied

by: Denise Robinson

04/22/2021

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The more I read of Proverbs, the more I am convinced that human beings have changed little in thousands of years. We are never satisfied with what we have, especially when we focus on what we don't have. When we are praised, it's easy to let our egos run away with us. We forget too easily that stored up wealth will not last forever. Sound familiar?

Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and human eyes are never satisfied. T...
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Iron Sharpens Iron

by: Denise Robinson

04/21/2021

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How a child behave reflects on the parent. How spouses relate to one another speaks to their relationship and the regard in which they hold one another. How we work for an employer speaks to our character. Our friends tell us a lot about who we are. 

Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad, so that I may answer whoever reproaches me. The clever see danger and hide; but the simple go on, and suffer for it. Take the garment of...
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Be a Friend

by: Denise Robinson

04/20/2021

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Be a friend to others. It sounds easy, doesn't it? But here are some ground rules from Solomon. Don't boast about yourself. Don't be jealous. If your friend is doing something harmful, speak the truth to them but in love. And then there are a few verses more difficult to understand:

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth—a stranger, and...
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Beware Smooth Lips From an Evil Heart

by: Denise Robinson

04/19/2021

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Today we end the "proverb poem" we began last week. The poem has warned us about fools, those who are lazy, and those who "whisper" with the intent to stir up quarrels. We end with those who tell lies that come from an "evil heart" or from one who hates others:

Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are smooth lips with an evil heart. An enemy dissembles in speaking while harboring deceit within; wh...
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Where There is no Whisper, Quarreling Ceases

by: Denise Robinson

04/16/2021

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First, our "proverb poem" spoke about fools, then about those who are lazy. In our next section, Solomon focuses on those who like to quarrel. The poem's imagery also continues in today's verses:

Like somebody who takes a passing dog by the ears is one who meddles in the quarrel of another. Like a maniac who shoots deadly firebrands and arrows, so is one who deceives a neighbor and says, “I am only joking!&r...
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