An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Rejection

(Proverbs 19:29 KJV)  Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.

There is some truth in the fact that God loves all people.
(Acts 10:34 KJV)  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
At the same time He does not treat us all the same and we are not supposed to treat everyone identically.  Here we see two types of personalities that are not to be given the benefit of the doubt.

“Scoffers” (3917b) are already judged.  That may not seem fair.  Everyone deserves another chance in our current cultural thinking, but remember the words of Jesus.
(John 3:18 KJV)  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
A scoffer refuses to believe. 

So?  Be kind and courteous.  Show agape to everyone.  At the same time don’t fall into the trap of thinking that everyone is acceptable to God or that you will be accepted if you live in rebellion or rejection. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Did You Wash Your Hands?

(Proverbs 18:17 KJV)  He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.

It is not only acceptable to ask questions, it is important.  It may even be a requirement.  There may be times when we must accept the first word.  There are times of crisis and short encounters but often we have time to “searcheth” (examine NASB) (2713) what people tell us.  It isn’t even that people are trying to deceive.  Sometimes it is just a case of being too lazy to examine what they remember.

We are given the responsibility to think and assist others in thinking.  Questioning is important.  Being considered a skeptic might be the difference between knowing the truth and living a lie.  You never know.  When you ask your child if they washed their hands it is usually just a precaution but there will be that time when it will make a difference between getting sick or staying healthy.  The sickness can vary from a runny nose to a fatal disease.

So?  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  The masses are often too happy with their bread and circuses.  We are to be salt and salt makes a difference. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Welcome to Life

(Proverbs 17:8 KJV)  A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.

Are you comfortable with the idea of a “gift" (bribe NASB) (7810)?  We have many common extensions of this concept.  While bribing someone is illegal we accept tipping for good service.  One difference is that usually tipping comes after and is voluntary.  A job bonus might be the same, but what about “discounts” and “free samples”? 

This is a simple observation that the person getting the advantage because of a gift is quite pleased with themselves.  Like so many gray areas of life the moral value depends on the intent and attitude of the actor and the results of the action.

So?  Life is not always easy.  Decisions are not always clear.  Sometimes all we can do is focus on the inner values that have been instilled by faithful reading of the word, listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and trust God.  Welcome to life. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sons of Belial

(Proverbs 16:27 KJV)  An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.

If you have a background in the KJV you are familiar with this word “worthless” (1100) as a transliteration of the Hebrew.  It is usually accompanied by the words “sons” or “children” and you see “sons of Belial”.  The root meaning of the word is “good for nothing”.  Although there are no numbers or percentages given here the implication throughout Proverbs is that many good-for-nothings are running around loose.

The old “chicken or the egg” question comes up.  Are they worthless because they bring out evil or are they evil because they are worthless.  It really doesn’t make much difference.  We need to be aware that all men are not benevolent or simply mistaken.  We must make sure that we are not falling into this trap.

So?  Evil exists in greater numbers than we want to admit.  We are called to be righteous.  It makes for a world with a lot of tension. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Eavesdrop on Life

(Proverbs 15:23 KJV)  A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

There is a second quality in learning and growing.  We need a "word in due season" (“timely” (6256) “word” (1697) NASB).  When I first read this I saw myself as the one giving the wisdom.  As I read it again I begin to realize that maybe I am the one who is receiving.  We are reminded to listen to those around us worth listening to.

Sometimes we are prodded by something in a sermon.  Sometimes the Holy Spirit speaks to us through a conversation we are eavesdropping on.  Sometimes we may have asked a good question and actually paid attention to the answer.  If our hearts are hungry, God will supply us with what we need.

So?  Listen.  Expect.  Be alert.  The answers are out there.  Make sure that they don’t need to be repeated or you might miss the high tide. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Gallows Humor

(Proverbs 14:13 KJV)  Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.

I think of this as a possible endorsement of “gallows humor”.  I say that because I have rarely seen a situation in which I cannot see something to joke about.  Often I have the common sense to realize my one liner would be in bad taste and only cause more “pain” (3510).  Too frequently my mouth exceeds the speed of thought. 

It is also a reminder that even the love of Christ does not shelter us from the stubbed toes of life.  Look at the life of Paul.  Look at the rejection of the prophets.  For that matter, Jesus knew a bit of suffering Himself.  The good news is that even in the dark times we are walking in the light.  Don’t think of the low spots as being abandoned by God or punishment for some moment of weakness.

So?  We have a hope, an assurance, based on the character of God and made possible by the blood of Christ.  Rejoice in the hard times and laugh if you can.  Just don’t expect everyone to see the lighter side. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sweat Capital

(Proverbs 13:11 KJV)  Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time discussing life with a few millennials.  It is like talking to aliens from outer space.  They have starry eyed dreams of making a big splash in life but they don’t have a job now.  Actually this way of thinking has been around for generations.  I would guess it was fifteen or twenty years ago I had a conversation with a young woman who in desperation had taken a job teaching middle school.   She was constantly frustrated with the daily grind of the classroom and the ridiculous demands of administration.  Part of the problem was that she was teaching science with only a few classes in anthropology under her belt.  The bigger problem was a sense of entitlement.  Her dignity was attacked because she had taken all kinds of classes in public policy and she “was trained to be the one behind the desk giving orders, not the one out in the field.”

Too many people want the rewards of hard work and don’t want to put in the hours required.  I see budding musicians who will never know success because they don’t see the importance of learning their scales.  I see future NBA stars who will never get off the playground because they think they are too good to learn discipline. 

So?  Don’t sneer at hard work.  It is the path to success.  This is true in our careers, our child rearing and our spiritual walks.