Archive for January, 2021

Bible Study 26th January 2021

Monday, January 18th, 2021

Led by Rev Suzanne Nockels

THE BOOK OF PROVERBS

What I am talking about? On average it is 3.3 inches long. It is made up of 8 different muscles creating a flexible matrix and is the only muscle which works independently from the skeleton. It is not the strongest muscle but has amazing stamina. You’ve guessed it. The answer is the tongue.

There are more proverbs about the tongue than anything else.

  1. When has something some has said helped you this week? When has something hurt?

A Bit of Background on the Book of Proverbs.

The book of wisdom is ascribed to King Solomon but most scholars think it is 7 collections of wisdom material that has been grouped together after the time of Solomon. The earliest proverbs (25:1-29:27) date from 700BC and the latest (1:1-9:18) from the 4th Century BCE. One collection (22:17-24:22) has strong similarities with the Egyptian ‘Wisdom of Amenemope’ which suggests that the Israel’s wisdom movement was open to wisdom from elsewhere. The wisdom tradition revolved around the professional sages and scribes in the service of the court, and consisted primarily in maxims about the practical, intelligent way to conduct one’s life and in speculations about the very worth and meaning of human life itself. There is some debate about whether there were actual schools run by these sages for young men at court. The proverb was seen as an easy, pithy way to impart instruction. In Hebrew literature there are generally two types of wisdom. Practical wisdom is thought to be earlier and consists of guidance for a prudent and happy life. This can be found all over the Ancient Near East and the book of Proverbs is mainly practical wisdom (although the first chapters are later in date and are more speculative). Hebrew literature developed a more distinctive ‘speculative’ wisdom during the exile and dwells on the deeper problems of good and evil. I can remember the saying ‘stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’. I have never been convinced that that is true and the compilers of the Book of Proverbs feel the same. Words have tremendous power.

2-What does a righteous and gentle tongue do? Can you think of current examples?

a) Prov. 10:31

b) Prov. 12:18

c) Prov. 15:2

d) Prov. 15:4

e) Prov. 16:1

3- What does a perverse and unguarded tongue do? Can you think of current examples?

a)Prov. 6:17

b)Prov. 15:4

c) Prov. 17:4

d)Prov. 26:28

e) Prov. 21:6

There is a great focus on gossip in the Book of Proverbs.

‘Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore, do not associate with a simple babbler.’ (Proverbs 20:19)

‘A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.’ (Proverbs 16:28)

‘The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body’ (Proverbs 18:8)

4-Why might gossip be a spiritual problem? Has our modern society become more enthralled to gossip? I find these words from Jesus very pertinent especially in our internet age; ‘Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.’ (Luke 12:3). Paul also includes gossip in those things that are abominable to God in Romans 1:29

There are so wonderful passages about those who deal well with anger. It is OK to be angry especially at injustice and cruelty, but anger should not control us. Paul says in Ephesians 4 that we can be angry but not sin in our anger.

‘A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger’ (Prov. 15:1).

‘Those with good sense are slow to anger, and it is to their glory to overlook an offense’ (Prov. 19:11).

‘Those who are hot-tempered stir up strife, but those who are slow to anger calm contention’ (Prov. 15:18)

5-Can you give an example when you or someone else has diffused a situation using words?

Lastly, we often overlook the power of blessing each other and the difference it can make. The Book of Proverbs says this;

‘Anxiety weighs down the human heart, but a good word cheers it up” (Prov. 12:25)

I find it interesting that one description of Jesus is ‘logos’ or God’s word spoken into the world. Jesus is like God’s spoken sentence walking around ancient Israel/Palestine. God’s spoken word created the world! God’s word redeemed the world! Therefore, words do have the power to shape things. We are not Christ but can speak his love into this world and we can create newness and change in His name.

Sunday service 24th January 2021

Monday, January 18th, 2021

This service led by Rev Suzanne Nockels will be a repeat of that held Wednesday 20th January

Wednesday Worship 20th January 2021 led by Rev Suzanne Nockels

Monday, January 18th, 2021

Wednesday 13th January worship led by Rev Suzanne Nockels

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Wednesday 6th January 2021

Sunday, January 10th, 2021

Led by Rev Suzanne Nockels