Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Proverbs 24:7- 9 Thinking about stripes

Wisdom is too high for fools;
    in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.
Whoever plots evil
    will be known as a schemer.
The schemes of folly are sin,
    and people detest a mocker.

Did you notice something in these verses? They all have one thing in common --- they speak of someone who is foolish, or who is a sinner, and note that they will be known to everyone.
People do not mind their faults being spread out before them, but they become impatient if called on to give them up. –Goethe
 I think that Solomon is saying to us, that we can become known by our sins. If someone is always scheming and trying to manipulate people and circumstances, other people will catch on to that.  If someone is a mocker, and is contemptuous of other people and their feelings, people will soon know that person by "their stripes." 

Have you ever wondered where that saying came from? Let's think about some examples . . . some military personnel are known by stripes on their sleeves. Those stripes can tell us about their rank or service.
How about zebras? That was a jump, wasn't it? (Grin) Ever wondered why God gave the zebras their stripes? I seem to recall one of my biology professors intoning that the stripes were to allow the zebra to "blend in to their surroundings, and avoid their number one predator, the lion" . . . I always wondered if the lions were color blind, because all of the zebras that I saw were black and white, and the Serengetti grasses were tan and green.  More recently I read a scientist's hypothesis that the stripes would throw the visual senses of the tsetse fly "out of whack" so that the zebras would not be bitten and get the sickness. (I hope you will pardon my editorializing, but either way that it works, I think it's another example of our awesome Creator.)
Camouflage, concealing what is there . . . did you know that we have stripes, too? They camouflage the worst of our traits, and conceal -- no, actually eradicate, our sins.

 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53: 5) 

Those precious stripes protect us; they camouflage, and then they heal us. Through His shed blood, we are given new life --- our Father looks at us and sees those stripes . . . not our wickedness.  Those stripes give us the opportunity to live in His presence if we but accept His gift of grace and believe on His name.


Belinda said...

Most of the time, I read the post, then mull it over a bit before I comment. Today was no different, but immediately I came away with the sweet old hymn...
"Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow."

I know it doesn't refer to stripes, but that is what Isaiah 53:5 reminded me of, and this is what the Lord gave me today. For an hour after I read the post, this song went round and round in my head, so I had to comment on it.

I can't even imagine how God looks on those stripes, knowing I caused them and He still loves me. But I believe He does, and I'm so very thankful!!!!

Carrie P. said...

this post really touched me.
thank you Jesus for taking those stripes for me.