December 14

 The Blessing of an Honest Answer

“Whoever says to the wicked, ‘You are in the right,’ will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them. Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.” (Proverbs 24:24-26)

Today’s Devotion could just as well be titled,” Writing Your Own Devotion” since this is the task I give you.  I have often thought that those who write devotions are wiser than those who read others’ writings. Simply put, writing your own requires that you work out the meaning of words and phrases, how they relate to each other and your life. Verse 26’s comparison to the most intimate expression of friendship (a kiss on the lips) highlights the value of a just and right answer.” (1) And the ESV Study Bible Notes comments: The Hebrew phrase translated kisses the lips is found only here in the OT…It is either an act of homage (e.g., those who have not kissed Baal, 1 Kings 19:18) or an act of affection (e.g., Esau kissed Jacob upon their meeting, Gen. 33:4)…Either sense fits the verse well in that an honest answer treats the other person involved with both respect and affection (note the appeals to honest speech in the surrounding text, Prov. 24:23–25, 28-29).” (2) Where will you do with these two ideas? Will you examine how they may fit your life, your patterns of behavior, and your habits?

I confess that the idea to write your devotion is entirely self-serving. I looked up the references yesterday, barely able to concentrate while taking powerful pain medication. Then, today, I was unable to concentrate at all, perhaps due to a buildup of the same drug. As the day went on, and my fog continued, I was moved from the hospital to a rehab facility, required to sign paperwork, got myself a little organized, made a couple of phone calls about an incomplete prescription, had two visitors, had physical therapy and was expect to eat both lunch and dinner. So now instead of being in a medication fog, I am in a pain fog with no relief from pain medication for a couple of hours and no hope of pulling together a devotion when all I am thinking about it medication that I don’t have. If I do receive the prescription later, I will probably not be thinking clearly enough to write anything cohesive.

So please help yourself to what I consider to be one of the best disciplines for studying the Bible—writing a Word to yourself for your own benefit. I think you may be surprised by the gain in doing so. 

Here is one more verse for your consideration, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm  2:12)

(1) Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, Proverbs 24:26,

 (2)ESV BibleStudy Notes, Proverbs 24:26, ESV Study Bible Notes, (digital edition), Crossway, 2008.

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