February 11 | Bible in a Year: Leviticus 11-12; Matthew 26:1-25
Better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.
READ PROVERBS 27:1–10
Our neighborhood, like many others, uses a website to help neighbors connect immediately with those surrounding them. In my community, members warn one another of mountain lion sightings and wildfire evacuation orders, as well as supply one another with child care when the need arises. It has even proven to be a resource for locating runaway pets. By leveraging the power of the internet, those living near one another are connecting again in ways that are often lost in today’s fast-paced world.
Being in relationship with those who live nearby was also important long ago in the days of King Solomon. While family relationships are truly important and can be a source of great support, Solomon indicates that the role of a friend is vital—especially when “disaster strikes” (Proverbs 27:10). Relatives might care deeply for their family members and desire to be of help in such circumstances. But if they’re far away, there’s little they can do in the moments when calamity strikes. Neighbors, however, because they’re close by, are likely to know of the need quickly and can assist more readily.
Because technology has made it easier than ever to remain connected with loved ones across the globe, we may be tempted to overlook those living nearby. Jesus, help us invest in relationships with the people You’ve placed around us!
By Kirsten Holmberg
REFLECT & PRAY
Thank You, God, for giving us neighbors to show care for one another.
Who has brought you aid in your times of need? How can you come alongside those living nearest you?
The book of Proverbs consists of two main parts. After a preamble that introduces the book (1:1-7), the first nine chapters contain speeches. The text identifies the contents as the teaching of a father to his son. The second part of Proverbs (chs. 10-31) contains actual proverbs. Proverbs are short observations, encouragements, or prohibitions that often seem like simple, practical advice. It’s a mistake to read the individual proverbs without considering the theme of the whole book—the connection between wisdom and a relationship with God—for only a life empowered or guided by the Spirit can consistently live out this wisdom.