The Concordia Publishing House Podcast

Provoking Proverbs with Dr. David Coe

September 05, 2020 Elizabeth Pittman Season 1 Episode 20
The Concordia Publishing House Podcast
Provoking Proverbs with Dr. David Coe
Chapters
The Concordia Publishing House Podcast
Provoking Proverbs with Dr. David Coe
Sep 05, 2020 Season 1 Episode 20
Elizabeth Pittman

Far more than just pithy sayings, Proverbs have power. They have the power to poke and provoke. Today, Dr. David Coe joins us to talk about the enduring wisdom of the Book of Proverbs.

Dr. Coe is assistant professor of theology at Concordia University Nebraska. He is also the author of the new bible study, Provoking Proverbs.

Show Notes Transcript

Far more than just pithy sayings, Proverbs have power. They have the power to poke and provoke. Today, Dr. David Coe joins us to talk about the enduring wisdom of the Book of Proverbs.

Dr. Coe is assistant professor of theology at Concordia University Nebraska. He is also the author of the new bible study, Provoking Proverbs.

1 (11s):
Far more than just pithy sayings. Proverbs have power. They have the power to poke and to provoke today, dr. David COVID joins us to talk about the enduring wisdom of the book of Proverbs. Dr. Co is an assistant professor of theology at Concordia University of Nebraska. He is also the author of the new Bible study provoking Proverbs.

1 (43s):
Welcome, David.

2 (45s):
Hello, Elizabeth. Thanks for having me.

1 (47s):
We're glad to have you now you're up in your office at Concordia in Nebraska right now. And your students, as we were chatting about earlier, are back in person. Do you have a proverb to send them off in the start of the school year?

2 (1m 2s):
Oh, I wish I did. Our school verse for the year is every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the father of lights, with whom there's no shadow of turning due to change. So James one 17 and we chose that verse way before COVID 19 hit. And just to remind, and so it's been appropriate. Not only that, everything that we enjoy is a good and perfect gift from God, but that God never changes in the midst of so much change we've had in the last six months.

2 (1m 36s):
So proverb for today is Proverbs 19:21. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but the purpose of the Lord will still stand no one planned for COVID-19 at the beginning of 2020, but God's purpose still stands for us today. And so I've really been impressed by the humility and teamwork of our students at Concordia in Nebraska, how they have not made a big rigmarole about this, but have rolled with the punches very well.

1 (2m 9s):
That's, that's a good thing to hear and similar to what you just said, that's stated a different way. I heard the phrase growing up a lot from my father, "man proposes God disposes." And it's definitely one where we all had these plans, you know, eight, nine months ago, and everything has just been turned on its head. And it's been really neat to see how everyone has risen to the challenge.

2 (2m 31s):
Yes, we're, we're thankful that God is able to work together for good and every single thing. And we can always hold onto that. Romans eight 28 promise.

1 (2m 45s):
I've been really excited to flip through and read your new Bible study and it's coming out for our listeners in October. So if you're listening to this, you know, in, in here in September, hang tight, it's coming. And it's a really neat look at the book of Proverbs in a way that I've not experienced the Proverbs before, before we jump in too deep into the content of the study and how you arranged it, let's just start at the basics. What is a proverb?

2 (3m 17s):
Sure. I have, there's a popular proverb that says the best things come in, small packages, and that's what it is with good old Proverbs. They are profound. They pack a lot of wisdom in one little wall. And so that, for example, I can say to you a popular proverb, like honey, it catches more flies than vinegar. And I don't have to explain that popular proverb.

2 (3m 49s):
People automatically know that, Oh, okay. Yeah. Kindness and gentleness with our words is better than crudeness and rudeness. And we're going to get a lot more headway with that the same way. Biblical Proverbs say the exact same thing such as Proverbs 16, 24 gracious words are honeycomb sweetness to the soul health, to the body. A lot of popular Proverbs and biblical Proverbs say the same thing. So an easy definition of a, of a proverb is Proverbs do three things.

2 (4m 24s):
They either state a general truth or they give good advice that we ought to follow, or they do both of those things. So for example, a general truth, someone might say Tempus Fugit time flies when you're having fun and good advice, take it one day at a time, or they do both where the stitch in time saves nine. So any problem, whether it's biblical or popular proverb packs, a lot of wisdom into one little wallop without having to explain itself.

1 (5m 2s):
And it makes the message memorable. That's for sure, for the listener, you can, I've got my kids with some of these things where we'll, we'll tell them, don't put the cart before the horse or don't count your chickens before they had yep. You know, and they're planning way down the road. We're like, okay, let's, let's cross that bridge when we get there. Right. So that, it seems like there is definitely as a proffer for just about everything. What are some, as we think about the book of Proverbs, you know, it might be easy to think that they're just these little pithy sayings, little Oh, nice advice.

1 (5m 34s):
What are some of the common misconceptions about the book?

2 (5m 40s):
Yeah. I, I'm not too into the misconceptions. I think it's one of the, the, the Bible is full of several different genres and it's neat that God, in his wisdom, through his word, Jesus Christ has decided to give us his word in so many different ways. And one of the things I'm always pleased about with the book of Proverbs is how accessible it is. For example, when I was in college at the university of Georgia, I remember the Gideons would be there on the corner of the campus a certain days of the year and hand out a Gideon Bible that always had the new Testament, Psalms and Proverbs.

2 (6m 21s):
And so not that they would not give out whole Bibles, but that which they thought was most accessible to people. And I find that many people read the Proverbs as a part of that electionary day to day, they say, well, I read a little section of the new Testament or the old Testament, a little som and, and maybe one or two Proverbs every day. And some people have Bibles that put it in that format. My, our, a head football coach at Concordia, Nebraska, Patrick dabber coach, the football players tell me that during practices, before and after practice, he will just get in the locker room with them and start reading from the book of Proverbs.

2 (7m 8s):
And so football players, no matter where they are in life, where they come from, they can understand the book of Proverbs. And so one of the great, that's not a misconception about the book of Proverbs, but a great thing about the book of Proverbs is how accessible it is to everyone, no matter what their station in life,

1 (7m 32s):
You mentioned, the devotions that often have the Proverbs paired with it. And I was just looking it up because you caught me. I typically read the today's light devotional each morning, and I don't always go to the Proverbs often. I do, and I didn't this morning. So I just looked it up quickly. Today's devotion had Proverbs 22, 14 and 15 as the proverb to go with it. Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it.

2 (7m 58s):
Yes. That's a provoking proverb.

1 (8m 2s):
I might have to share that with the kids tonight. So when you wrote your Bible study, let's back up, what fueled your interest in the book of Proverbs? I know you're an old Testament scholar, but what was it that led you to the book?

2 (8m 17s):
Well, actually my PhD is in historical theology, specifically Lutheran character guard. But when I first became a pastor in 2011 and the reformation 2017, the 500th anniversary, I decided that given that I was a pastor at this point in history, I was going to with my parishioners, at least once every year, have some kind of teaching time, whether it was in church or in a Bible study to say, what was Martin Luther doing 500 years ago this year?

2 (8m 52s):
And so 2011, 2012, my first year as a, as a new pastor, this was the time when Martin Luther first came to the university of Wittenberg to teach and, and earned his doctorate in 2012. And the first thing he ever taught there at Wittenberg in those years were Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics. And I thought to myself, well, how can I do this in a parish setting? That would be valuable because obviously we're not going to, to study just Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics by itself.

2 (9m 27s):
And so obviously the, the highlighted book on ethics in the old Testament is the book of Proverbs. And so that was our entry way into why that was my very first Bible study that Trinity Lutheran, Fremont, Nebraska,

1 (9m 44s):
It's an interesting way to approach it. I'm sure your congregation learned a lot during that, that study. What was it as you approached the study? You, you, you set your Bible study up in a way that for me was fresh and I hadn't thought of before, but was very powerful as I read through it. Describe how you set up provoking Proverbs in the Bible study.

2 (10m 13s):
One of the problems when I first started preparing for the Bible study was recognizing that the book of Proverbs of course, can change topics. Verse diverse, very at random, and you don't know what's gonna come next. One of my students said, it's like reaching your hand into a jar of fortune cookies and, and pulling there and not knowing what's gonna come next. You can't use a, or Forrest Gump, a box of chocolates that you never know what you're going to get.

2 (10m 45s):
And so I decided it was, we were not going to move very quickly in this Bible study. If, if we were stopping at every single proverb and discussing something about, for example, not sparing the rods, born the child, the fourth commandment, a proverb, and then moving on to something about the wicked and how they covet the wrong things, a ninth commandment proverb. And if we're jumping all around like that, it was best since the Proverbs are.

2 (11m 16s):
The book of Proverbs is a book of law and the law is summed up in God's 10 commandments. Then every single thing that we do well, and every single thing that we do wrong can be summed up under one of the 10 commandments. And so this was, this gave me a Eureka and thanks to be to God, the Holy spirit, to say that the book of Proverbs can be categorized according to the 10 commandments. And that way they could go through the book of Proverbs in a systematic four fashion and start with the first, first, we should fear, love and trust in God, above all things, you shall have no other gods.

2 (11m 58s):
And so it, it took a little time to go through each proverb and, and make a decision. Is this a first, a second, all the way to the 10th commandment proverb. But thankfully it turned out into a format where everything did fit under one of the 10 commandments.

1 (12m 17s):
As I read it, it made it make a lot of sense. It made it brought the book to life for me in a way that it hadn't before. And now you can look when you pair up the Proverbs with the commandments, you're like, Oh, Oh, I see. And you definitely see the law. And as, as you talk about this, you pay special attention to the first commandment and the fear of the Lord. And I think with that, being at the root of everything, describe what the fear of the Lord means.

2 (12m 49s):
Fantastic. I'm a big fan of the fear of the Lord. And I'm my dissertation was on Martin Luther's doctrine, Obama effect on how God flicks his children with discipline because he loves him. And this was one of the loss Loki of Martin Luther and Kierkegaard that 19th century Danish philosopher was one of the great Lutheran giants who inherited that doctrine from Luther and highlights that doctrine of an effect in his work.

2 (13m 25s):
So I'm a big fan of God using fear to loosen our grip on our false gods so that we can listen better. Sometimes if my, I do have to tell my son, Samuel or Caleb, that there is there, there will be punishment if they're, if they take this step. So this is of course, the first use of the law, and one of the uses of the law that God gives to us, that he uses his law.

2 (13m 58s):
For example, you know, do not hurt or harm your neighbor and his body because there'll be consequences on the other side, not only will you hurt and harm your neighbor and their body and they'll pay, but also you will pay the consequence too. And God, doesn't set us up in a world where we may just do as we please without suffering the consequences for it. So the fear of the Lord is that side of the law, it basically the curb and the mirror, the first use and the second use.

2 (14m 29s):
And because you and I, Elizabeth, thanks be to God are redeemed and sanctified. Children of God. Luther is kind enough to tell us that we're not ethical idealists either. And we're not very good at doing everything with the perfect motive, but every time that would say, Oh, I'm forgiven loved. And by God. So therefore I will serve my neighbor as a Christ, just as Christ to serve me.

2 (14m 59s):
But it would be wonderful if we had that, that motive all the time, but Martin Luther and the confessions are kind enough to tell us that no, you are a symbol used to set the contrary simultaneously st. Center. And so my center side needs that curb of the law that says, David, you know, don't, you D you know, yeah, I promise you, you will pay, you will reap what you sow. And so my center side needs that, that, that, that threat the curve and also the punishment that comes for when I do break the law and go over the curb and into the ditch, I certainly pay the consequences in this world, but Christ of course is paid, are eternal consequences by forgiving us of our sins on the cross.

1 (15m 50s):
I often think when I look around the world today that we have as a society lost that healthy fear of the Lord, because it is a healthy thing. And it's something that we do need, and there are times where you see things that happen and you realize that those actors probably don't have that healthy fear, and that sets everything else into a spiral, which is unfortunate. So the, the fear of the Lord is a, a present factor in all of this.

1 (16m 21s):
Talk about how the first commandment then sets everything else up.

2 (16m 27s):
Oh, thank you. Yes. The first commandment is, as Luther teaches us in the large catechism, it's not just the first commandment in a list of 10 commandments. The first commandment is the foremost commandment. It is the key to keeping all of the other commandments because as Luther says, keeping the first commandment is when we fear, love and trust in God, above all things with our hearts. And so I teach my students when we're tempted to sin.

2 (16m 57s):
For example, like I, I want to slam the door on my mom and dad from having to spend too much time with them or hurt or harm my neighbor and my body or myself and my body, or look, lustfully at a, another woman who is not my we're the four, fifth and six commandments. Luther teaches us this wonderful insight to always take a step back from the temptations to break those commandments and step back to the first commandment first, because it's always a heart issue where we say, now I'm tempted to break this commandment, that fourth, fifth or sixth commandment, for example, but in each of these temptations, we take a step back.

2 (17m 39s):
We say, now, wait a minute, what am I fearing, loving or trusting in more in this situation? What is the person place thing or idea that I am tempted to fear, love and trust in more than God right now. And I always teach my students, you know, Elizabeth, your favorite summertime sandwiches, the BLT, the bacon, lettuce, tomato, the Lutherans sandwiches, the FLT, the a fear love and trust sandwich. And so it gets, everything comes back to the first commandment first, what am I fearing, loving and trusting in first.

2 (18m 15s):
So when we keep the first commandment says, Luther, then all of the other commandments will, will smooth themselves out when we go back to the heart issue first, then. So if I'm tempted to rough up my neighbor in their reputation, breaking the eighth commandment, I'm fearing, loving and trusting in my own namby pamby personality. Then I am a God who, who my identity in who my identity is secure.

2 (18m 47s):
So I always forgive me for going too long, but the first commandment is pin ultimate to the ultimate message of God, which is the gospel. And so the FLT for the Lutheran sandwich not only stands for us to fear, love, and trust in God, above all things. But, but God says our ultimate motive for fearing, loving and trusting in him is not just the fear of the Lord, where it says shape up or ship out. You're going to get it a young man, if you don't, if you don't fear, love, and trust in me above all things, no God comes to us with the gospel first.

2 (19m 25s):
And he says, now look it, this isn't just about you fearing, loving and trusting of me the first things first I forgive love and treasure you first. So the FLT fear, love and trust is second and penultimate to God's first and ultimate message of the gospel where God says, I know what temptation you are experiencing right now, or even what sin you have committed. But look, I'm a, I'm a good dad, not a bad dad.

2 (19m 58s):
And I forgive love and treasure you and my son first. And when you and I can go back to the gospel that we are forgiven love and treasure by God, then the motive for fearing, loving, and trusting him above all things come second. And the rest of the commandments work themselves out. So provoking Proverbs is an opportunity to have that devotion in our lives to go back to the first commandment, but then ultimately to step back to the gospel that we're forgiven loved and treasured by God first,

1 (20m 31s):
Which is a very comforting place to go after you've looked in the mirror of the law and spent some time wrestling with that. So as you set up the study, you, you pair up each of the 10 commandments with their related Proverbs and walk through. And I really do like how you encourage memory work along the way, and you really make it so that the study is going to be quite personal for each person as they go through it.

1 (21m 2s):
Do you have a favorite? Might not be the right phrase, but do you have one of the commandments and they're re they're coordinating Proverbs that you enjoy?

2 (21m 14s):
Oh, sure. Yeah. We'll start with the first commandment first to piggyback on what we were saying. I remember you saying your dad, president Meyer would, would say, man, proposes God disposes. And I certainly have a section in the, in the text on, there are lots of Proverbs first commandment, Proverbs that say exactly that popular proverb that your dad likes to say. So if I can give a, just a few examples of those, a popular one that everybody probably already has memorized is Proverbs three, five, and six trust in the Lord with all your heart lean, not on your own understanding in all your ways, acknowledge him and they'll make straight your paths.

2 (21m 59s):
I was praying that proverb before our time together this morning, Elizabeth 14, 12. There's a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way to death. That's a nice provoking Proverbs 16 one. The plans of the heart belong to man. But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord 16, nine, the heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. 1921, we said already many are the plans in the mind of a man, but the purpose of the Lord will stand 2130 and 31.

2 (22m 36s):
No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord. And the last one here, 27 one and James quotes. This one in James chapter four, I believe do not boast about tomorrow for you to not know what a day may bring, man, proposes God disposes. So that those are not the only first commandment provers, but that's an example of some of the Proverbs in the chapter on the first commandment that one would go through.

2 (23m 12s):
And after that time, people get to say, which of these Proverbs is the Holy spirit highlighting on my heart that I need to take with me, but many of the plans in the mind of a man, but the purpose of the Lord will stay in 1921. How many times if I had to say that to myself and life and so important for us as we approach, if we would be tempted to despair, that things not go our way God's purpose is always going to stay in

1 (23m 44s):
And thank goodness for let's jump ahead to, let's see, let's go to the fourth commandment.

2 (23m 51s):
Yeah. I'm glad you chose that one. How did you know that? That was a, one of the ones that I prepared for

1 (23m 58s):
A lucky guest.

2 (24m 0s):
I pressed, I shared these Proverbs with my colleagues in the theology department. One time we each take turns as we lead a devotion at the beginning of our meetings and I was thanking them for the fact that we love each other and we work together so well. And we listened to each other's advice and we take it each other's device and walk together. So bell Lutheran, church, Missouri, Senate sin, <inaudible> walking together.

2 (24m 31s):
So blessed here at Concordia Nebraska to have my brothers in the theology department. And so this little section in the fourth command has called two heads are better than one. So often we think that the world's wisdom says, if you want to do something right, you gotta do it yourself. But the Proverbs from the book of Proverbs say, we are obliged to be, to go to others for counsel and wisdom and to be teachable and amenable.

2 (25m 2s):
So a few examples of those Proverbs nine verse nine, give instruction to a wise man. And he will still be wiser, teach a righteous man. And he will increase in learning 11, 14, where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety 12, 15. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes. But a wise man listens to advice. 1320, whoever walks in the, with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm 1522 without counsel plans fail.

2 (25m 41s):
But with many advisors, they succeed 18 one, whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire. He breaks out against all sound judgment, 1920, listen to advice and accept instruction that you may gain wisdom in the future. 1927 C's to hear instruction my son and you will stray from the words of knowledge, 27, nine oil and perfume make the heart glad. And the sweetness of a friend is his earnest counsel, 27 17.

2 (26m 15s):
This one's popular, iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another. So, so often we, we do not like to listen to other people. And I remember your father. This was a story he taught us. And that I've carried with me since seminary. When president Meyer taught us back in his day, when he was a young pastor, he said they went to their Winkles regularly. And back in those days, the young pastors always at two, the older pastors for their advice first and, and the, the young pastors took their time to make sure that their elders, the fourth commander were honored and got the floor first.

2 (26m 60s):
And I've always appreciated that. And being from the South where we a deference to our elders is the norm. But I do think that that is a valuable virtue to take across the world. So in this one, two heads are better than one, not only to listen to our elders, but I, I tell my students at the midterm and at the end of the semester, they give a midterm and final evaluations of me for my heads and authorities here at Concordia, Nebraska to read.

2 (27m 33s):
And I tell them, Proverbs 27 verse nine oil and perfume make the heart glad. But the sweetness of a friend is his earnest counsel. And I'm honest with them that sometime their earnest counsel hurts me like the Dickens, but I'm thankful that a good old God is a good father who not only tells me what I want to hear, but what I need to hear in order to be sharpened. And so I'm so thankful for my students who I have to remind my center side, that I need their earnest counsel as well in order to improve as a professor,

1 (28m 9s):
Given that there's nothing new under the sun, it really does serve us well to listen to those, to our elders and to others who have more experience in whatever area we're working in or wrestling with. Because just because it's our first time experiencing something doesn't mean we don't have something to learn from those who came before. So definitely to be able to respect the counsel of others. It, as you said, it can be very difficult sometimes when we don't like what we hear, but often we really do need to hear that.

1 (28m 45s):
And the Proverbs do that really well when we, when we hear those things that we may not like, but we need,

2 (28m 51s):
Yes, I, I comfort myself with Hebrews 12 that no one likes discipline in the beginning, but a peaceful fruit of righteousness comes. And so sometimes I might not like what, what my authorities are saying, but the peaceful fruit of righteousness is that this is God's will for me that this is a fourth commandment. I am honoring my father and mother and those whom God has placed authority over me. And that also he loves it, that God actually is pleased.

2 (29m 23s):
And when I am fearing, loving and trusting in him, above all things and enabled to zip my lip,

1 (29m 30s):
Let's pick a couple more. Where would you like to go now?

2 (29m 33s):
Thanks for help. I, because I'm only ready with one more and is from the commandment.

1 (29m 43s):
Oh, good. That's where I was thinking that was one of my teeth.

2 (29m 47s):
Well, everyone everywhere accuses each other, breaking the eighth commandment. So it's oftentimes where, you know, our secret sins are fifth and six commandment, seventh commandment issues, but the eight commandment ones where we're all about hurting each other in our reputation, instead of explaining everything in the kindest way. And so the Proverbs have a ton to say about how to use our words to honor love and cherish our neighbor. So of course I've categorized those all under the chapter on the eighth commandment.

2 (30m 19s):
But this one section on is entitled hunting catches flies more than honey catches, more flies than vinegar. Excuse me, which, which teaches us that obviously crudeness and rudeness is, is never the goal of someone who needs to be kind and gentle with their birds. So 1225 anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad 15 one, a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger 15 for a gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in, it breaks the spirit.

2 (31m 2s):
16, 24 gracious words are like a honeycomb sweetness to the soul health, to the body, 20 to 11. He who loves purity a heart and whose speech is gracious will have the King as his friend, 24, 26, whoever gives an honest answer kisses, the lips that's provoking 25 11, a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver in 25, 25, like cold water to a thirsty soul.

2 (31m 35s):
So as good news from a far country, one of my favorites from the one I Mark and remark on it, when I have my own text of this book is 16, 24 gracious words are like a honeycomb sweetness to the soul, helped to the body. Joanna and I have been blessed to do some hobby beekeeping since 2012 and then had opportunity not only to sell the honey, but to give it away as gifts and how local honey of course is good for your allergies and unpasteurized, honey is extra healthy for you.

2 (32m 13s):
And so it's a nice analogy to remember, just as you know, the joy you get from keeping these bees and giving the, their goodness away a God's goodness away is, is similar to being gracious with your words, sweet to the soul, actually builds up people in the health of their bodies.

1 (32m 35s):
Love, honey, I love that. You're a hobby beekeeper. I'm allergic to honey bees. I'm going to let you keep the bees, but I think that's such a neat, like everyday reminder to see that honey, and to think about the way that our words can be used as honey. I often think that anybody who's using a keyboard to put a message out on the internet should probably reread the eighth commandment and think about it clearly before they go ahead and type anything.

1 (33m 5s):
That's just a wish of mine. You talk a little bit about in a section that you phrase don't air, dirty laundry in public. You talk about how Christians accidentally will break the eighth commandment by confusing Matthew 1815 with Matthew 10 27. Can you describe that a little bit and wipe what we should really be focused on versus what sometimes keyboard courage causes us to do?

2 (33m 35s):
Right? What, what was the first one? Matthew?

1 (33m 38s):
Well, Matthew 1815 and with Matthew 10 27.

2 (33m 44s):
Yes. Yeah. 10 27. Yeah. So, but where Jesus tells us to proclaim from the mountain or from the rooftops, the good news, and yet 18 is talking about if your brother sins against you, you'd be sure to go one on one and have a good conversation with him in, in gentleness and respect. And so oftentimes we'll confuse those and, and think that we're supposed to shout from the, from the rooftops, the dirty laundry of our look at this dirty laundry that this person has rather than going to them one on one and saying, Hey brother, can I take you to lunch?

2 (34m 24s):
And I love you so much. And, and in, in, in the most factful and tactful way saying how we, we disagree. I teach my students here in theology classes at a court in Nebraska to do the two to one rule with people all the time in the most tactful. And factful way always give them two things that you, you love about who they are and what they do. And then, and then in the most tactful way with constructive critique, telling people the wise counsel, fourth commandment that you have for them.

2 (35m 2s):
And of course the fourth commandment Proverbs teach us to be people who, as we said, two heads are better than one folks who are teachable and amenable. And so I remember my, I preached a bad sermon and our Fremont circuit, where I used to be a pastor here in Nebraska. And it got back to our circuit visitor on what I preached on. And he was so kind to call me on the phone and, and be very gentle with me and walk with my sermon. And he said, you see how you didn't have the gospel very clear and this, and, and, and pastor Bruce Scott, our circuit visitor in the Fremont circuit was so wonderful to come to me one on one and, and sharpen me and say, okay, yeah, you can't leave people hanging without the gospel like that.

2 (35m 54s):
So things you learn even after seminary on, on how to be clear, especially with God's goodness.

1 (36m 4s):
And it's always good to come back to the gospel. And that's, you know, that's amazing thing about the law that we're given is that ultimately it does point us back to the gospel before we wrap up, how do you envision groups using this study and what do you hope they'll get out of it?

2 (36m 22s):
Well, thank you. I have had the privilege of sharing this study at many times, and it's a nascent forms with the probably at least six or seven times actually. And the way we have done this is to take it, you know, one lesson for each commandment and it split into its categorized sections. Each, each commandment is. And then you will do similar to what we've been doing here, where instead of one person reading all the commandments under a category together, they take turns.

2 (36m 55s):
And so this repeated rhythm, each person reciting these Proverbs one after another is how people would do this in a group setting. And what will happen is people want to jump in and, and, and people always blurt, Whoa, when something's very provoking or Ooh, you know, they're grabbing their collar. And it's like, I either I am guilty or I know someone that does this. Cause we loved the law. We love to think about our own personal situations, where people, our, our, ourselves I've broken that law where, and we're thankful the Proverbs are there to set, set us on the straight and narrow.

2 (37m 36s):
And so then of course after those have, there's some quiet time to think of Nate to Mark and remark of that list. For example, the lists, we just ran a Proverbs. You go back through those and you and you Mark, just one of them. And you say, which of these of the 10 that we just read is my favorite, which one's the Holy spirit highlighting on my art. And then I've got a section in the book where I can, I can not only Mark it, but I can also remark why I chose that. And then the leader will have the opportunity to say, to ask two or three people.

2 (38m 11s):
What'd you, what'd you Mark that time. And, and why did you do that? And so everyone gets this opportunity to share where they're coming from, maybe tell a personal story. And then at the end, after they've gone through approximately seven sections of Proverbs per for each commandment, then they go back to all of the seven that they have marked previously. And they got to choose real quickly. What's my, what's my favorite proverb for that commandment. And everybody comes up with a different one. And at the end, everybody like fireworks will, will share what their favorite proverb is.

2 (38m 48s):
And the leader will close in prayer. But, and it's the opportunity to say, this is my, this is my, for the rest of my life, or at least until I look at it again, this will be my first commandment proverb, many of the plans in the mind of a man, but the purpose of the Lord will stay. And there's lots of great ones, but this is the one that I especially need to help me to provoke me to fear, love and trust in God, above all things, because he forgives loves and treasures May 1st,

1 (39m 18s):
It's such a neat way to emphasize the meaning of the commandments and to really inscribe those on your heart and mind. So I appreciate how you put this together and I'm looking forward to doing with the group because there's it's and I was reading through it. Thank you very much, listeners. We'll see you next time or walls, but to have, have a group where there is a little bit more of, of the dialogue is going to be really a great expense.

2 (39m 47s):
I think so most people will be able to, everybody can identify with the Proverbs and, and our own mess ups with when we, when we are, we personally have not kept the commandments as God wishes us to. Okay.

1 (40m 7s):
And as always, you point us back to the gospel, so we don't have to end on just the law. We do have that, that clear message of the gospel and the wisdom that, that the scripture brings us.

2 (40m 20s):
Amen. Yeah. We're never alone in keeping God's commandments because, because the gospel is in our life that this is the opportunity for the Holy spirit. When, when God comes into our lives, he not only converts and convicts our hearts, but also comes to make our bodies his temple. And so we never have to keep the 10 commandments by ourselves. It's always the Holy spirit creating good works in us through Christ Jesus Ephesians two 10.

1 (40m 51s):
That's a perfect word to end on David. Thank you so much for joining us today.

2 (40m 55s):
Thank you, Elizabeth. God bless. Y'all.

1 (40m 57s):
Thank you very much, listeners. We'll see you next time. Thank you for joining us on this episode of the Concordia publishing house podcast. I pray that this time was valuable to your walk with Christ. We'd love to connect with listeners on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter@concordiapubvisitcph.org for more resources to grow deeper in the gospel.