Last week I quoted half of this verse in Proverbs because I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the second line. I was glad to have the opportunity to attend a class on Hebrew poetry. The class gave me new insight.
Our teacher, Tim Sigler, gave an overview of Hebrew poetry. One of the features is parallelism. One verse contains two lines; when they are placed alongside each other, they expand the meaning. Each verse can have a nugget of wisdom that applies to many situations. This is especially true of Proverbs.
The parallelism can be affirming, opposing or advancing. The verse that had been playing in mind all week is an example of opposing parallelism.
A gracious woman gets honor,
And violent men get riches. Proverbs 11:16
Gracious is in contrast to violent. Honor is in contrast to riches. I have been thinking about the controversies in our culture.
The abortion industry. The vaccine industry. A connection exists between abortion and vaccine development. Click here. I grasp at ways to pray about these issues.
In real life a medical researcher that refused to be paid in return for omitting data from a research study demonstrates the characteristic of honor. Is bribery and deceit a form of violence? Consider a quote from an interview with this doctor. The interview appeared in Der Spiegel, a German magazine (September 5, 2015).
SPIEGEL: In your early years as a researcher, a pharmaceutical company offered you a bribe equivalent to two years of your salary: They wanted to prevent you from publishing negative study results. Were you disappointed that you weren’t worth more?
Peter Wilmshurst: (laughs) I was just a bit surprised to be offered any money, really. I was a very junior researcher and doctor, only 33 years old, so I didn’t know that sort of thing happened. I didn’t know that you could be offered money to conceal data. Click here to read more.
A whistleblower, who was part of a research team for the CDC, has claimed that some data, significant to the safety of vaccines, was omitted from a published study. Is the pursuit of success and money at all costs a form of violence?
Proverbs 22:1 offers another angle on riches.
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
I am troubled by the impact that the pursuit of riches has on our health care system. Children and families experience the consequences. Perhaps out of fear we submit our children to more and more vaccines. Yet chronic disease and immune system disorders are on the rise. It seems that the family is under attack by forces that are veiled.
And so I pray for children and the family.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you love the children and have entrusted them to our care. I pray for truth in medical research. Give parents wisdom as they care for their family. May we understand our limitations and seek to support health with a deep respect for life. You have created us and we seek wisdom from you.