Proverbs – Song of Solomon
— Read and listen to the Bible being read at the same time; also, A. R. Wells, 1908, shares a (self-application) “tiny meditation” on each chapter.
Click for a brief summary of the book of Proverbs
1) Read the “tiny meditation” before and/or after you read the Bible chapter to help make a self-appllication of the scriptures read.
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Click to Read Proverbs 1—My Fear
Have I the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of the knowledge of the Lord? There is a time when wisdom may be found, and there is a time when it is too late to find her. Have I fear of that time? It is well to love the Lord for Himself, but have I even begun to fear the fate of those that do not love the Lord?
Read Proverbs 2—My Search
There are so many things for which I search more eagerly than for wisdom! For the appearance of wisdom, perhaps, or the rewards of wisdom, the friends and peace and power that wisdom will give, rather than wisdom herself. But wisdom will be sought for herself, and no otherwise will she be found.
Read Proverbs 3—My Necklace
The law of the Lord is not my law except as I carry it with me. If it is only a book at home, or a sermon on Sunday, it is not my law. Only what I myself have written of the book, inscribing it upon the tablet of the heart, binding it about my neck, is my book, and my law.
Read Proverbs 4—My Exaltation
I am exalted by that which I exalt. If I exalt wisdom, she will exalt me. If I exalt unwisdom, she will lift me beside her upon her shameful throne. My own crown is a duplicate of the crown I place upon the head of my ideal.
Read Proverbs 5—My Home
That I may find the Lord in my home, let me not depart from Him outside my home. Where my love is, there is my home; let it be in such places as I can own before God and man. Be Thou, O Lord of love, the Lord of my love and of my home!
Read Proverbs 6—My Sloth
How is my sluggishness rebuked by the prodigious industry of nature! For am not I a part of nature? How continually do all things work,–all but man! How peacefully do all things work—all but man! God of the ant, teach me Thy ways, and give me of Thy strength!
Read Proverbs 7—My Kindred
Can I call Wisdom my sister, and Understanding my kinswoman? Am I well acquainted with them? Do they live in the home of my soul? Do they own me of their family? Better that than to be of the family of any king. Better that than to sit at the table of any great man.
Read Proverbs 8—My Rubies
A great ruby is the king of gems, but wisdom is more precious than all rubies. To know a matter is a diamond, but so to know it as to act upon it is a ruby. No wealth is more portable than rubies, except wisdom; but that needs not even a bag. Oh, with all my getting let me get understanding!
Read Proverbs 9—My Reproofs
A fool will slap the mouth that reproves him, but a wise man will kiss it, and bless it. What do I say inwardly, when I am wisely reproved? It is not what I say outwardly, but the words of my heart. Who knows the sacrifices my reprover is making? And shall I receive him with a sneer?
Read Proverbs 10—My Tongue
Into how many pits hast thou led me, O thou foolish tongue! What losses hast thou caused me, what shame hast thou brought me, how hast thou been my foe! All that thou hast given me is less than what thou hast taken from me, O foolish tongue!
Read Proverbs 11—My Liberality
Far from me be the folly of a wasteful hoarding! Let me learn the thrift of spending wisely, the prudence of liberality! And yet I shall not give because it is prudent, because it is to be given to me again, for there is no giving in that.
Read Proverbs 12—My Way
Surely my way is wise in my own eyes, or I would not take it; and must I not take the way that seems wise? Yes, but I can correct my seeing by the seeing of others. I can ask those that have traversed my way and can report upon it. I must go my way, but I can make my way the way of the wise.
The Fool and the Wise, Proverbs 12:15
Read Proverbs 13—My Poverty
Every dollar I gain is a loss to me, if it is gained by injustice, or by the neglect of something higher than dollars. Every dollar I lose is a gain to me, if it is lost for the sake of something higher than dollars. Lord of all wealth, teach my inmost soul what is true riches!
Read Proverbs 14—My Judgment
Let me not forget that the ways that men take seem right to them, yet many of them are the ways of death. Let me beware lest that be true of me. It is no commendation of a way that it seem right to me, but that it seems right to Him who is the Way.
Refusing to Help the Poor, Proverbs 14:31
Read Proverbs 15—My Feast
If a cheerful heart is a continual feast, how should the Christian be fed! I have the Bread of life. I have the Water of life. I have the Joy of life. I have the Life Himself! To be morose would be a sin against all the past and all the present and all the future.
Read Proverbs 16—My Pride
Not only does a haughty spirit go before a fall; a haughty spirit is a fall. Pride is ruin. It prevents increase of wisdom, and is in itself a folly. For what have I that has not been given me?
Read Proverbs 17—My Friendship
Am I a fair-weather friend? Or am I a friend for all times? Am I a friend when I can be helped, but not when I should give help? Is my friendship a matter of advantage and not of sacrifice? Ah, then it is not a matter of advantage! Ah, then it misses the chief delights and main benefits of friendship!
Read Proverbs 18—My Tongue
Death and life are in the power of my tongue. With it I can slay my soul. With it I can slay the souls of others. And with it I can save my soul, when I call upon the Lord; or save the souls of others, when I persuade them to do the same. Oh, to become skilled in the use of this great instrument!
Read Proverbs 19—My Lies
Sure as the reward of truth, that never fails, is the punishment of falsehood. Sure as the disclosure of truth, that is inevitable, is the discovery of a lie. And the lie may be spoken or unspoken, thought or acted, worked out in deed or by the absence of deed or word; yet in all its forms a lie is a lie.
Read Proverbs 20—My Sleep
There is a sleep of the body, that tends to poverty of the body; and there is a sleep of the soul, that tends to poverty of the soul. There are open eyes, that satisfy with bread, and the soul has open eyes, that also satisfy the soul. Lord God, grant me this vision!
Read Proverbs 21—My Way
Oh, the fatal egotism of my heart! When shall I learn that not every way of mine is right, not every thought of mine is wise? that my ways are usually not right and my thoughts are unwise? that my only safety is in taking God’s ways and my only wisdom in thinking God’s thoughts?
Read Proverbs 22—My Diligence
Let me not care to stand before kings, but let me care to be diligent in business. Let me seek the inner royalty of industry, the crown of achievement. Be grace to me and strength, O God, and advance me in Thy presence. Then shall I inevitably be advanced in the presence of men.
Not Heeding the Danger, Proverbs 22:3
Read Proverbs 23—My Envy
The envy that looks longingly after any fortune of a sinner is next door to his sin itself. One lot only is to be envied; it is his who is in the way of the Lord all the day long. Surely he is among the favored of the earth, as he is one day to be among the favored in heaven.
Read Proverbs 24—My Building
Not with wood and nails, not with stone and brick and mortar, but with wisdom and understanding and knowledge! Oh, Thou only Wise, help me to be a worthy carpenter, a mason that needeth not to be ashamed! So shall I dwell in my house happily.
Honeycomb, Proverbs 24:13
Read Proverbs 25—My Fruit
Let my tongue be a godly tree, and the fruit therefrom shall be golden! In baskets of silver shall men gather it, and do it high honor. But let my tongue be a crabbed tree, and its fruit shall rot uncared for on the ground.
Read Proverbs 26—My Lions
When I look through the window of unwillingness, how are the hens magnified to hyenas and the gnats to lions! Through the door of sloth I hear the street full of roarings. To the slippers of idleness, ah, how sharp are the pebbles in the road!
Read Proverbs 27—My Wounds
When I am sore and smitten, when my flesh burns and smarts and my soul is pierced with many sorrows, let me stop and consider whence these come, whether from an enemy or a friend. And if the latter, especially if the Friend is One that never fails in wisdom or in love, let me count my wounds my noblest wealth.
Read Proverbs 28—My Flight
Hurry-skurry, panting, weary to the death, how I press my flight from—nothing! I run from a shadow and retreat before a waving leaf. It is my cowardly heart that runs away, and not my obedient legs. O Lord, strengthen my soul!
Read Proverbs 29—My Thoughtfulness
When shall I know that words are deeds? that idle words are a wandering in the wilderness, that stinging words are weapons, that foolish words are a clown’s attire? Let me not set guards everywhere else, but fail to set a guard over my tongue!
Read Proverbs 30—My Content
It requires strength and a firm will to get a little wealth, but greater strength and a firmer will to be satisfied with a little wealth. When one can say, “Enough,” one can say any wise word, one can address any assembly!
Vain Beauty, Proverbs 30:31
Read Proverbs 31—My Speech
It is not enough to open my hands for the poor, if I do not also open my mouth. They need my championing words more than my too-ready weapons. If the righteous world all speak for the oppressed, righteousness would be done them without more ado.
The Virtuous Wife, Proverbs 31:10-31
Click for a brief summary of the book of Ecclesiastes.
Read Ecclesiastes 1—My Striving
There is a wisdom that is grief; but there is also a wisdom that is joy forever. There is an increase of knowledge that increases sorrow; but there is a growth of wisdom that is a growth in blessedness. Be mine the search for the true wisdom, the striving after the genuine joy.
Vanity of Vanities, Ecclesiastes 1:2
Read Ecclesiastes 2—My Pleasure
It is of no avail that I strive to please myself. There is no pleasing of myself. That is a maw that is never satisfied, a gulf that is never filled. My pleasure is found only when I do not seek it, but seek instead the joy of others and the good pleasure of my God.
Read Ecclesiastes 3—My Seasons
I would have a well-ordered life, O thou God of beautiful order! I would imitate the steady revolving of Thy years. I would do this hour the work of this hour, that next hour I may do that hour’s work. And so I would put myself in work-harmony with Thee.
Read Ecclesiastes 4—My Quietness
Let me not strive beyond peace. If I cannot have two handfuls with quietness, let me have one handful, and be at rest. For why should I toil after discomfort? And why should I strive to be distressed?
Read Ecclesiastes 5—My Increase
When my goods increase beyond my power to enjoy them, then further increase is a suicide of happiness, and a sinful greed. Day by day let me look to my use of what I have; and if I have it but do not use it, let me count it a gain to give it away.
Read Ecclesiastes 6—My Fullness
What profit if my barns burst with grain, when my soul is not filled with good? What profit all manner of knowledge, if I also know myself to be miserable? What profit the praise of men, if I pity myself? I will seek the inner fullness, the satisfaction of the soul.
Read Ecclesiastes 7—My Sorrow
When is sorrow better than laughter? When it ends in laughter. For as granite is the best basis of a house, so the best foundation of joy is not the sand tossed up by the flashing waves but the rock that has been fused in the volcanic furnace of affliction. Thus, O God, by whatever stress of life, wilt Thou found my house upon the living rock.
Read Ecclesiastes 8—My Face
What countenance am I turning upon the world? Does wisdom make my face to shine, or does unwisdom darken it? Am I goodly to look upon, with the beauty that is deeper than color and form, and more enduring than any flesh?
Read Ecclesiastes 9—My Might
I know that an energetic deed has grace and glory, but a half-hearted deed is clumsy and of little worth. I know this, yet I continue with half my heart in many things. Let me withdraw myself from all into which I cannot pour myself. Let me do with my might what my hands find to do.
Read Ecclesiastes 10—My Confession
Well is it said, if I am a fool, I shall tell every one of it! Murder will shout, and so will folly. There is no hiding of understanding; but also, there is no hiding of a lack of understanding. So let me live in the remembrance that character is confession.
Read Ecclesiastes 11—My Benefactions
What is less likely than that bread, cast on the waters, will return again? And what is more sure? For the waves of God’s providence are refluent ever, and the good we scatter comes surely back to us. So let me never fear to spend myself for others.
Read Ecclesiastes 12—My Duty
My duty is twofold, and only twofold. I am to fear and to keep. I am to fear that alone which should be feared, and all else I am to disregard; and I am to keep that alone which is worth keeping, all else being thrown away. What I am to fear, then, is God; and what I am to keep is God’s commandments.
Click for a brief summary of the book of the Song of Solomon.
Read Song of Solomon 1—My Vineyard
Oh, the pity of it, to keep another man’s vineyard, but not my own! To toil for others, but leave my task undone, and sing for the wide world, but let my song go unsung! My life shall begin at home. Yes, my life shall begin at home, that thus it may truly go abroad.
Read Song of Solomon 2—My Foxes
What though the foxes are little, if they spoil the vines? What though the fault is slight, if it is ruining my life? What is little, anyway, and what is great, when it comes to that?
Read Song of Solomon 3—My Cushion
Oh, may my seat be “paved with love,” like the seat of King Solomon! Love be all the furnishings of my chair of ease! In what shop shall I buy it? What artificer will fashion it for me? It is made by Master Thoughtfulness, and it is sold in the shop of Pain!
Read Song of Solomon 4—My Garden
Is my life a garden shut up, a fountain sealed? To what avail are the waters in the pipe, or the flowers behind the wall? Bid thy springs flow freely, O soul, and invite all men to the fragrance of thy blossoming.
Read Song of Solomon 5—My Wakefulness
Though I sleep, grant me, O Lord, the wakeful heart. May I be ever ready for Thy tasks, of love, of helpfulness, of compassion. When the eyes of my body close, let me never close the eyes of my soul.
Read Song of Solomon 6—My Fealty
I am his who loves me, and he is mine. There are no possessions in love, for love is all possession! I will give myself to him who gives himself to me. Yea, I will give myself first to him, in the bare hope that he will give himself to me!
Read Song of Solomon 7—My Fruits
It is good to lay up fruits, but only when they are stored for love. Orchards are good, and vineyards, and gardens, but only when two eat of the apples and press the grapes and wander among the flowers. Let me till no ground for myself.
Read Song of Solomon 8—My Permanence
If I would ally myself to deathlessness, I must ally myself to love. If I would place myself beyond the reach of the waters of oblivion, I must love, I must love greatly. Everything is fleeting but love, and love will endure forever.