October 19

Peace Refreshes The Bones

“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones…A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot…A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 3:7-8; 14:30; 17:22)

People who have diseases of the bones, injuries or elective surgeries think about bones more than the rest of us. This year, with two knee surgeries, I think about bones a lot, but that’s not what drew me to the passages above. As I read through some of my unused Proverbs verses I came upon the three here because they mention healing, refreshment, tranquility, and good medicine, all of which contribute to our peacefulness. When we are unwell we are usually agitation, impatient, and generally ill-at-easy mentally. Rarely do we think of it as a disease of our bones, but the Bible mentions bones as the most profound aspect of our physical being. And that makes sense when we think about the function of our bones: to support our bodies, facilitate movement and protect our organs, such as our lungs, hearts, brains, and spinal cords. Bone marrow produces white and red blood cells, and store and release minerals and fat. The marrow of our bones is meant to be soft and moist. When our bones break or the marrow dries up, we are sick indeed! *

John Gill writes, “What marrow is to the bones, that is wisdom, or the fear of God, to the souls of men; the means of establishing and strengthening them against sin, and snares and temptations, and to do the will and work of God.” (2) Humility and submission to God in 3:7-8, tranquility in 14:30, and a joyful heart in 17:22 all contribute to healthy bones—a healthy body and spirit, as much as possible depending on our physical condition. When we are at peace within ourselves, we can make peace with others; but when we are ill-at-ease, we are only concerned about ourselves, and we care little about our relationships.

Pride, envy and a spirit crushed by sin or guilt will prevent us from the peace that we desire, and the peacefulness that we offer to others. But, “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) When we seek help from Scripture, God can turn our distress into peace through confession (Psalms 38:3-4; 51:1-17), humility (Romans 12:3, 16), and godly wisdom (Job 28:28; Proverbs 1:7; 9:10).

How are your bones today? What might you do to ensure their health, and the godly peacefulness that attends healthy bones?

(1) The information about bones is from: https://opentextbc.ca/anatomyandphysiology/chapter/6-1-the-functions-of-the-skeletal-system/

(2) John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible, Proverbs 3:8


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