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, October 22, 2017

Don’t Worry about Uriah

(Proverbs 22:23 KJV)  For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.

I can remember days when I was on my way to our Monday faculty meeting.  I would meet other teachers in the hall and we would be cheering each other up on the way down the hall.  We tried to convince ourselves that it would not be that bad and some times by the time we got to the door we had succeeded.  Then we walked in the door and saw the person our principal had brought to share wisdom and you could almost see us deflate.  That is what is being talked about in the second part of this verse. 

The NASB says “take (6906) the life (5315)” but that seems a little too strong.  I think the KJV hits it on the head with “spoil the soul”.  He will rain on their parade.  He will prick their bubble.  He will throw a monkey-wrench in their gears.  He is going after those who have been messing with the poor.  God is working quietly behind the scenes to make life unpleasant for those who prey upon the weak.  We don’t usually see it because people are so good at covering up their pain. 

So?  Don’t worry about the punishment or justice that some people deserve.  The inner soul conflict is already in motion.  The price is being paid.  Focus on being obedient and generous yourself and let God worry about the Uriah Heep’s of your life. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Is Share a Noun or a Verb

(Proverbs 21:26 KJV)  He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.

For my wife “coveting” (craving NASB) (183) something is an excuse to go out to eat.  I can satisfy mine by opening the refrigerator.  This idea is a little stronger than that.  This is more like the drug addict craving his next fix and willing to do anything to get it.  This is the sports fan who will ignore his family and other commitments because another game has come on the TV.  It might be why some people have so many pairs of shoes. 

The contrast here is in attitude more than actions.  The contrast is between the taker and the giver.  In our day the culture is enshrining the victims and trying to please a large number of people who have demands but don’t know how to give.  We have vocal whiners who can do nothing but complain and point out how they deserve more.

The righteous gives and gives again.

So?  How do you want God to look on you?  What does He see?  Does He see someone who ignores all the blessings and just wants more shiny or does He see someone who wants to pass on the prosperity they have received?  This is why the scripture says that unto him who has much, more will be given.  He knows how to share. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Wisdom Meter

(Proverbs 20:1 KJV)  Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

This is a pretty clear statement.  If you get drunk, you are not “wise” (2449).  We have the wise; we have the fools.  Is there an in between or a continuum?  What do we call all the people in between?  I am thinking that perhaps neither on is an absolute.  I think we have all had times when we seemed to see things clearly and other times when it was like our brain forgot to come back from lunch.  It would seem that what we do in the physical realm effects us in the intellectual and spiritual.  That would explain why too many naps can sap our initiative and gluttony sate our acuity.  Physical discipline can enhance or drain our lives.

On second thought, does the wine deaden the wisdom or does getting drunk mean you never had any?

So?  Don’t eat, drink and be merry or tomorrow you may die.  If you don’t die you will move toward the wrong end of the wisdom meter. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Skip the Pastry

(Proverbs 19:28 KJV)  An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.

I was struck by the different words used in the KJV and NASB in the second half of this verse.  Actually it was one Hebrew word.  If the NASB did not have a marginal reading that said “literally swallows” I would wonder if they had done their homework.  The NASB has the “wicked” (7563) spreading “iniquity” (205).  This is the only place that it is translated that way.  The most common translation is “swallow”, so the KJV gets it right.

It makes a difference.  The point is that the evil people of the world consume and add to their wickedness.  They seek it out.  We would look at pornography as a sample.  It always amazes me how often we take the epidemic of porn consumption and talk about how even Christians are hooked on the stuff.  I am not sure that is how God sees it.  I think He tends to look at it more as the wicked devouring iniquity.  They don’t just give it out, they take it in.

So?  Pornography is just an obvious example.  There are many sources of evil around us.  They are always tempting.  We are like diabetics in a bakery.  There is whole wheat bread for sale but our eyes and nose are only aware of the temptations.  Beware.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Fit

(Proverbs 18:16 KJV)  A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.

I remember a man named Reuben Welch.  I am not sure if he is still alive, but if he is he has the “gift” (4976) of longevity.  He was one of the preachers that could speak for an hour and a half and still have everyone without hemorrhoids still with him.  He shared the time in his life when he realized he was not “God’s golden boy”.  Have you reached that point?  I have.

I realized that I would never be a big fish in a big pond.  I am not gifted enough to compete on that level.  As we search for a church we can endure my wife will ask me if I am going to get involved in the music.  I can only laugh.  While I am good enough to be a stand out in a small church with limited talent, I am out of my league in the kind of church she is looking for.  I know it.  I don’t like it but I know it.

I may end up doing what I did last time I was in a big church.  I may take my guitar and help the three year olds sing Father Abraham.  The true artists tend to be too good to spend time in that venue, no glory.  For me it is a way to apply my gifts where they are needed. 

So?  If I don’t make first string it is because I make a better water boy.  I am learning to live with that.  I am not God’s golden boy.  I am not even God’s silver or bronze boy.  I am however His to do with as He sees fit. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hie Talke

(Proverbs 17:7 KJV)  Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

“Excellent” (3499a) “speech” (8193) is an interesting phrase to play with in translation.  The most common use of “excellent” is to refer to that which remains.  It can be the oil on a palm after the hand is turned over or fodder in the fields left for the cattle after a disaster.  “Speech” is usually translated “lips” but it also has the idea of edge.  There are many possibilities.  I like the Geneva Bible calling it “hie talke” or high talk.

We are not supposed to play the “fool” (5036).  As followers of the Most High we are not to get down in the gutter and wallow in the same filth as the pagans and apostates.  That also applies to our language.  Can Christians swear and use obscene language?  Can we be coarse and crude?  The only ban that comes to mind is taking the name of the Lord in vain, but somehow I think verses like this point out that we should have language that is special, or “hie”.

So?  We have a tendency to adopt the vocabulary of those around us.  Language does change but not always for the better.  We need to be aware of fool talk and avoid it.  If you will excuse the expression, “It is easier said than done.” 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Don’t Embrace Your Inner Vegetable

(Proverbs 16:26 KJV)  He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

There are times when I wish I had the ability to go back in time and take a different path.  Sometimes it is simply because I wasn’t paying attention and had an accident.  I want to avoid the pain of my carelessness.  Other times I want to have 40 years of experience in delving into Greek and Hebrew so I could understand the word.  My software tells me that the “he” (5315) of the KJV is the same as the “appetite” of the NASB.  Neither one gives us the meaning of the Hebrew word, which is nephesh. 

Nephesh is the word for soul.  38 times the KJV uses the word “soul” in Proverbs and each time it is this word.  It is used to describe the creation of man.
(Genesis 2:7 KJV)  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (5315).
You can see it is a bit deeper than “he” or “appetite”. 

There is a life force within us.  There is a desire to live.  It applies to the animal world as well. 

So?  I don’t know about you but there are days when my higher thinking skills don’t want to kick in.  Today was one of them.  I was content to lay in bed like a vegetable.  It took awhile but eventually the battle was settled for a day of life.  I rejoice in another victory and pray that you would also experience that again today.