• J Alan R

Prospecting Proverbs in La Fortuna



What if we dug into Proverbs deep and deeper still, like miners of old who dug into the hills and valleys of the Old West until they found precious gold?


One such set of mines that comes to mind here in Arizona is a long abandoned string of gold-quartz diggings, scattered across the desert just southeast of Yuma, known as La Fortuna, meaning “the place of fortune.”


In its hey day, gold-rush parties could not get enough of the getting, especially while the getting was good. Unfortunately, where there’s great wealth to be had, greed and it’s bloody family come to party as well. La Fortuna was notorious for the many lives it claimed who dared to prospect there.

It was not lost on those who dug in those sands that their every move was eerily watched by the jealous eyes of the 250-mile stretch of sandy highway, called El Camino del Muerto, or ‘road of the dead.’ It ran through the heart of this seemingly barren tract and away with untold loads of gold pried from the hands of many a dead miner.

Still, they dug, risking everything they had, even their very lives to do whatever it took to unearth the gold they believed would make them rich beyond belief. If deep was not deep enough, then deeper still they were determined to go.


Imagine the riches we could find in Proverbs, digging like desperate prospectors, seeking even the smallest of placer, though still many flakes shy of a lode. Think of our digging as for nuggets of wisdom instead of gold. And the savings’ grace this day and age is we would not have to contend with the grubby hands of greed and the leering eyes of the road the old miners did.

We could find and have...

Prudence for the Simple...

Discretion for the Young...

Knowledge for the Wise...

And Counsel for

all the rest.

Come dig with me, prospecting Proverbs in the the greatest book ever written, God’s Holy Word. There is no other place in the universe with a greater promise of wealth beyond imagination...untold riches for the ages...vast wisdom for all time. Come dig for true gold like the miners of La Fortuna once did, with all their hearts, minds and souls.


“...if you search...as for hidden treasures...you will...find the knowledge of God.”

Prov. 2:4b, 5b


Here's what I found:



Fear


If nothing else,

Or for starters,

Respectfully fear

Who made you

And Who can

Take you out.

Such fear is the beginning

of all knowledge.


When you learn

More about Him,

A different fear

A reverent fear

Will take its place,

You’ll see.

Such fear is forever

for all knowing.

Take comfort,

Don’t be fooled...

Truth is near.

Prov. 1:1-11


Wisdom


Wisdom shouts!

Do you hear her?

She raises her voice

from the city limits,

from the city streets,

from downtown.

She shouts out in the open

for all to see.

She shouts from roof tops

for all to hear.


Wisdom shouts!

Do you hear?

She raises her voice

over the din of disdain

over mockers’ moans

over evil’s echoes.

But she will not do so

for all time.

And she will not stay put

longer than God says.

Take comfort,

Don’t fool yourself,

Truth is here.


Proverbs 1:20-33


Value

Like John at the last supper,

Your ear will always rest

Near the ever beating heart

In Jesus the Christ’s chest.


Wisdom’s call is much less

Valued by the natural ear;

It’s super natural for those

Whom God cradles their fear.

Wisdom doesn’t line the heart,

She’s there to fill the very soul.

Knowledge is a valued treasure,

Understanding makes you whole.


Proverbs 2

Nothing Compares

Far more than length of days

and long life,

Far more than heavenly favor

and earthly esteem,

Far more than healthy flesh

and strong bones,

Far more than barns of plenty

and overflowing wine,

Far more than profits of silver

and fine gold,

Far more than precious rubies

and other desires,

Nothing compares...

Far more than a moments’ peace

and conviction of heart,

Far more than trust at the time

and comforting decisions,

Far more than clear understanding

and confident paths,

Far more than fatherly chastening

and loving correction,

Far more than wisdom for the ages

and gainful understanding,

Far more than ways so pleasant

and happiness abounding,

Nothing compares...


Far more than safety in your way

and a stable foot,

Far more than not being afraid

and having sweet sleep,

Far more than freedom from the

wicked and sudden terror,

Far more than snares and evil

lying in wait,

Far more than having the power

to do good for others,

And far more than a blessed home

and neighbors without evil,

Nothing compares...

Nothing compares

to whispers in the ear

to blessings in private

to keeping us in sight

to loving us just so

to Him for

…just being near.


Proverbs 3



Live


Fathers fall

and mothers too,

But their instruction

as they lived it

never will.


Just because

parents do stray,

Do not forsake

their godly law

as they said.

Dear children,

as only tender can,

Get understanding!

Get knowledge!

Wisdom waits

for no man.

Learn all you can,

Retain their words;

Keep God’s commands,

love Him more, and

in going forth

live.

Proverbs 4

Don't Be Fooled

Don't be fooled.

Just as the paths of man

lay clearly before him,

They stretch out ahead

before the Lord

as well.

The lips of seduction

promise the sweet

of honey,

But only lure you sure

to run headlong

to the depths

of hell.


May only the lips

of the Lord's choice

Drink from your well,

not strangers who

will pour your water

into the streets.

Ponder your paths,

Don't fall into sin's

traps,

Lest you swing by

your neck

On the cords of death

therein.


Proverbs 5


Stuck


Tying yourself

to another’s folly,

even for a friend,

Is like a frog jumping

from your hand

into another’s.

So much depends

on him really

liking frogs.

For the time being,

you’re stuck.


In his mercy

you must now depend.

Do this my son,

plead for release,

Like a deer pants

for a hunter

not to shoot.

Do whatever it takes

to climb back

into the surety

of My hand.

Proverbs 6:1-5


Seven Things


There are seven things,

Yes, seven things

that the Lord God loves:

A humble look,

An honest tongue,

Hands that heal hurt,

A heart that desires to help,

Feet that are quick to do good,

A witness who speaks the truth,

And one who seeks peace.

Proverbs 6:16-19

A Lesson from Ants

Without being told

Ants know winter is near

And to gather in the harvest.

They do not fold their hands

And drift off to sleep

Until summers’ supplies

are stored aright.

Starving in the cold

is never a surprise.


Proverbs 6:6-11

Men of Folly


Poverty and calamity

accompany both

lazy and evil men.

Poverty, like an armed prowler,

falls fast upon those who fail

nearly enough to

rise and shine.

Calamity, like a cruel bully,

rushes in to break those full

of evil plans to

sow discord.

Men of folly

worthless and wicked

are broken without remedy.

Proverbs 6:12-15

In Love to Show the Way


Upon your heart

And around your neck

Wear your father’s commands

And your mother’s laws.

Wherever you go,

Whenever you lay your head

Whoever you meet,

They will be your lamp

They will be your light,

Not so as to chastise,

But in love

To show the way.


Proverbs 6: 20-23

Men Are Toast


To a harlot

Men are crusts of bread,

Harlots are fire.


Does a man

When he takes fire

To his bosom

Not get burned?

And when bread is burned

Do you not get toast?


To a hungry harlot

Men are toast.

Proverbs 6:24-29

A Husband’s Knife


A thief who steals

To fill his stomach

Is not so despised

As he who fills his lust

With another man’s wife.

Jealousy is a husband’s knife,

And he will stab such wounding

The rest of his life.

Proverbs 6:30-35

A Highway Straight


Close the lattice!

Do not even look

out the window

of your house

in the black

of night.

Walk not the streets!

Stray not on paths

to a harlot’s house,

or near where

she at twilight

waits.

Listen not!

It’s not the promise

of joy in her bed

that will consume,

but your life

her lies

will take.

Keep your heart!

For like many others

before you,

even the strong,

she’s a highway

straight

to Hell.


Proverbs 7

Who Am I?


What she whispers

in the dark of night,

I shout out loud

in the light of day.

Wickedness slithers

from her lips,

While only right things

march from mine.

My instruction is more

than gold or silver,

And by my counsel

Godly rulers rule.


Before the beginning

I was with God,

At His creating side

I delighted in man.


Listen, please, to me,

by me be wise.

Hear me, I pray,

keep my ways.


Who am I?


Proverbs 8

Dinner’s Ready

Dinner’s ready!

Come take a seat!

Come eat!

The meat of wisdom

is ready for chewing.

The bread of understanding

awaits to be swallowed.

The wine of knowledge

has been poured.

Forsake foolishness,

and live.

Proverbs 9:1-6

No Clothes


Taking a cat for a walk

on a leash, no matter how long,

Only makes you look foolish,

and the cat will hate you.

No sense giving a colony of ants

a room in your home;

It’s only a matter of time before

they’ll want the rest of the house.

Only dogs will love you more

when you say they’re bad.

Only horses learn new tricks

and perform on command.


If you’re wise in your eyes,

a legend there you’ll be.

And if you look down your nose

at those who help you,

It matters not to one of them

you wear no clothes.


Proverbs 9:7-12

Only Prating Fools


Solomon’s wisdom

speaks across the ages:

Those who listen to God

will get new marching orders

for building the kingdom,

But those who listen to themselves

will trip upon their tongues;

their ways cannot hide.

Those who live what they believe

have no need to hide their ways,

as only prating fools will fall.

Proverbs 10:8-10


Oh, the Irony

Oh, the irony.

Those who sell their souls

to possess this earth,

Will when all is said and done

will be forever removed from it.

Those who shout over all,

their voice alone heard,

When all is said and done

their tongues will be cut out.

Those who want it their way

no matter what it takes,

When all is said and done

their expectations will perish.


The foundations of wickedness

though set firm in stone,

When all is said and done

the whirlwind will make no more.

What evil wants with all its heart

though today has its say,

When all is said and done

will soon end its wicked beating.

Hatefulness rolls off the tongue

of lost and perverted souls,

When all is said and done

their own violence will gag the

dragon’s mouth.


Proverbs 10

Pride


A boiling pan

Of anything

Left unattended

Runs over.

Pride bubbling up

Leaving shame all around

Means there’s a mess

To clean up.


Proverbs 11:2

Talebearers


Forever amongst us

Are those who peddle lies,

Talebearers,

Who sell scandal

For their own gain.


Look for good news,

Seek the truth

From honest scales,

From men in whom

God delights.


The integrity of the righteous,

The blameless,

Will light the way

In the dark of night.


Proverbs 11:1-14

The Brow of Him


The wicked race with evil.

The perverse pursue it

to the finish line.

The unrighteousness

lean in to break the tape

just ahead of sin.

But the spoils of victory,

The garlands of praise,

Will rest on the heads,

Will hang from the necks,

Of those who

run life’s race

only to bring glory

to the brow of Him.


Proverbs 11:16-31

Treasure Therein


Those who store treasures

Stolen from their own house

Will inherit the wind

and see it all blown away

before their very lies.

Those who water themselves

From wells deep within

Will drown in a flood

that washes away the dam

that preserves their lives.


God will make richer than rich

Those who seek only in Him

And the treasure therein,

those who are righteous

who are good in His eyes.

Proverbs 11

When Words a Sword Becomes

Lying in wait for blood,

Words of the wicked are.


He who speaks such lies

Like a sword only pierces.

And all along the road

Lay hearts deceased.


Thanks be, thirsty tongues

Only for a moment stab.


For God hates when words

A sword becomes.


Words for Him are instead

Breaths of life

To resurrect the dead.

Proverbs 12



Really Something


Whether you make yourself out

to be rich or poor,

Either way

you have nothing.

Do not pretend.

It is in being true to who you are

you are really something.

Proverbs 13:7

God’s Grace

The appetite of evil

leaves it always hungry,

But when good eats

it satisfies the soul.

Evil leaves nothing

for its children,

But good stores treasure

for its children’s

children.

So much food lies fallow

in the ground,

So much goes to waste.

Let not evil take to plow,

for therein

is God’s grace.


Proverbs 13

Where Failure’s Slept


The simple believe

whatever they are told.

The simple follow

whoever leads so bold.

The simple inherit

folly as their reward.

The simple accept

death as their award.

Consider well

your every step.

Stay off the path

where failure’s slept.


Proverbs 14

Talk

Soft talk stops anger.

Hard makes one mad.

Kind talk lifts the spirit.

Harsh breaks it.


Wise talk shares knowledge.

Foolish ends the conversation.

Positive talk heals bones.

Negative sucks out marrow.

Righteous talk is measured.

Evil pours like a flood.

Talk is not cheap after all,

When it reflects Thee.


Proverbs 15



Roll Upon*


Roll upon the Lord

And your thoughts

will His be.


Roll upon the Father

And your works too

will His be as well.

Roll upon the Spirit

And your steps

He will direct.

Roll upon the Son

And your decisions

He will make.


Roll upon God

And your life

His will be.


Proverbs 16

*more direct translation for ‘commit’


Each Sun’s Rise


Each sun’s rise

Is a nugget of gold,

In the eyes of an old digger,

Gracing his spade at long last.

But take care

Your home’s front door

Is not so grand as to invite

Robbers to take your sunset.


Proverbs 17:8 and 19

Strong Tower

The Name of the Lord

is a strong tower,

Where faithfulness and power

Guard the gates,

And mercy and wisdom

Are archers on the wall,

Who at the ready wait

for God’s protective call.


The wealth of a rich man

is his strong city,

Where there is no gate,

But tall are the walls

Manned alone by

Me, myself and I.

Proverbs 18:10-11

My King

Why would like a lion

Any good king not roar?

Why would like a Lion

Any good king not devour?

My King like a good lion

Hunts at night

And forgives me every time.

Proverbs 19:12

Lion’s Roar


Fear of a lion's roar

leads to continued life,

For the wise who hear it,

will not stay close enough

to continue to do so.


Proverbs 19:23

To Steady Be


Wine mocks

Strong drink brawls

And he who swallows

too much

Cannot dip his ladle

Nearly deep enough

From wisdom’s well

To steady be.


Proverbs 20:1 & 5

But By

Even a child knows

Right from wrong.

No one can say

My heart is pure,

I have cleansed it

From all sin.

No one walks

In the their own integrity,

But by the grace of God

And His infinite mercy be.


Proverbs 20:6-11

When It’s Time to Chew

“You know,

It’s not really worth that,”

A dishonest buyer

Tells every seller,

Then boasts

of his deception

When the deal’s done.

When bread is gained

by leaven’s lies,

Though it may be

sweet to taste,

It turns to stones

when it’s time to chew.


Proverbs 20: 7 & 14

Lasers Aready


Kings on royal thrones

With judging eyes

Scatter all as

Sin hides.

Police on the highways

With lasers aready

Traffic so slows

Speed asteady.


Proverb 20:8


The Lord’s Lamp

The Lord hangs His lamp

low in a man’s soul,

So its light can shine

in his depth of depths,

Showing step by step

light for where to go.


Proverbs 20:22

What Wisdom Could Do

The glory of youth

Strength and beauty;

The glory of age

Graying wisdom.

Too slow to knowing,

Too soon to going.

Youth refuse to hear

What old bones swear.

Oh, if only beauty knew

What wisdom could do.


Proverbs 20:29

King’s Heart

A king’s heart,

Though often thought

To be the ball

A croupier sets rimming

Atop a spinning roulette,

In truth it sits

In the hand of God

Who turns it where

It must beat,

And decides

All the others

It must meet.


Proverbs 21:1

Plaintive Wail


It is important

When you hear the poor

Cry out

To also listen

In their midst

For your own

Plaintive wail.


Proverbs 21:13

Evil Crouching


There is no wisdom

Or understanding

Or counsel

Higher than the Lord’s.


And the man who knows this,

In a single bound,

Scales the fortress walls

Of the mighty

And overcomes evil

Crouching just behind.