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.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

That Works

(Proverbs 16:3 KJV)  Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

“Works” (4639) get a lot of bad press among some Christians.  They emphasize that we are not saved by works, and they are right.  That is a Biblical stand.  What is often overlooked is that we are not saved without our works.  I know a lot of people don’t like that but remember what Jesus said,
(John 14:21 KJV)  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Keep in mind that Jesus did not talk about grace.  He talked about believing and He talked about obedience.  When we are redeemed we are changed.  It makes a difference in how we live.  Part of that change is in whom we live for and what Solomon is saying means that we are to dedicate every action we take to the cause of Christ.

So?  Rejoice that we don’t need to earn our salvation.  Be glad that the Holy Spirit gives us to the power to live in obedience.  Relax in that assurance and walk in righteousness. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Believer Abuse

(Proverbs 15:32 KJV)  He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

Every year teachers get a review of policies regarding child abuse and its reporting.  One of the categories might be better called “child neglect” although it fits in the general bucket.  This involves when a parent “neglects” (6544a) to provide the proper nutrition or even hygiene for the child.  The sad part of this is that most of the parents I dealt with could have been accused of neglect because they were too busy with their own lives to discipline and control their children.  Of course the state would not see it that way since they are working as hard as they can to get the parents out of the loop.  The point is that ignoring simple everyday procedures is a type of neglect.

Did you “neglect” to brush your teeth?  Did you neglect to wash behind your ears?  These are things which missing once will be no big deal but a pattern can cause serious dangers.  The same is true of our spiritual walks.  There are certain disciplines that are part of the Christian life and are regularly neglected by believers.  Some that come to mind are prayer, meditation, worship, and study. 

So?  Since we are under grace instead of law it is impossible to make some kind of rule about these things.  The problem is that neglect leads gradually to failure of key parts of our walk.  Enough unrepaired breakdowns and eternity becomes a question, not an assurance. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Error Message

(Proverbs 14:22 KJV)  Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.

At what point do we recognize that we “err” (gone astray NASB) (8562)?  I think it is an important question.  Think of people in the Bible who went astray.  You would have quite a list if you listed all of David’s failings.  Peter was known for getting carried away down the wrong path.  I John 1:9 is written based on the assumption that people will get off track. 

How do we respond?  The righteous will see their sin and repent.  The evil will continue down the path.  Notice that the straying comes because the person is evil.

So?  Did you mess up already today?  Is it because you are choosing to be evil or because you got off the track you want to be on.  Repent or keep sliding.  Different people will make different choices. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Wise Walking

(Proverbs 13:20 KJV)  He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Life is full of choices.  It can really be important whom you travel with.  I enjoy playing golf once in awhile.  I am over the “gotta play” passion.  I am not really very good.  If you know what it means, if I ever break 100 I have a shouting spell.  I enjoy playing on courses I have never been to before but they have a problem.  What looks like a simple, direct path from tee to hole is often anything but.  In cases like that it helps to have someone playing with you with certain qualities.

It helps to have someone who has played the course enough to know it.  I had one guy who would constantly tell me things like, “Try to stay to the left.  If you hit it right it will roll down a long hill.”  It also helps to know if there is some water just over a rise and hidden in a low spot.  Knowing where to hit the ball doesn’t make me any more accurate but at least gives me a chance to try.

It helps to have someone who has better eyes.  One of the most common questions I ask is, “Did you see where my ball went?”  The problem is that the ball went farther than I could track.  It could be hazy conditions.  It could be I wasn’t looking.  Often there are others who can help out.

What you don’t want is the guy who wants to tell you how to change your grip and stance when it is obvious he isn’t doing so well himself.

So?  As far as possible, choose whom you walk with. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Coup de Gras

(Proverbs 12:18 KJV)  There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

In this spot the NASB does a better job on the Hebrew.  The KJV leaves out the concept of “rashly” (981).  While the term can refer to making solemn statements it has the idea of doing it without thought, even flippantly.  I have a vision of some of the spiritual discussions I have had with people where I deliver the coup de gras only to find that they don’t think it was so profound.  It was, they just didn’t get it.  I am not referring to the times I was totally wrong.  The problem was not my facts but my attitude.

So?  It doesn’t do any good to be right if no one will listen. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Servant Class

(Proverbs 11:29 KJV)  He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

 The second part of this verse does not necessarily have to do with the first although I can see how one relates to the other.  A fool would mess with his own house.  We have the phrase, “foul your own nest”.  I don’t know if you have ever seen pictures portraying the work space of a computer geek who has empty pizza boxes piled by the chair.  I have actually seen that in real life.  It is disgustingly awesome.

The “foolish” (191) have certain qualities.  Proverbs keeps bringing them out.  They have personalities that make them useful only on tasks that do not really matter.  It says they will be “servants” (5650) but it does not say that they will be useful servants.  They will be the kind of housekeepers that might be trusted to change the toilet paper but will need to be checked to see if they get it rolling the right way.

So?  Some people are not worthy of being in responsible positions.  That should never be said of followers of Jesus. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Soul or Not

(Proverbs 10:3 KJV)  The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.

This is a verse that is easier to deal with if you consult different translations and look at some of the study tools available.  The NASB seems to be saying that God will never stand by and let one of His children get hungry.  That is literally nonsense.  We all experience hunger.  It is how we know it is time to eat.  So we need to look a little deeper.

Different translations give us a clue.  Notice that the KJV says “soul” (5315) of the “righteous” (6662).  That brings the meaning into reach.  Also notice the marginal notes in the NASB.  There is says it is literally the “soul of the righteous”.  If that is what it means then why didn’t they translate it that way?  Sometimes I see why a friend of mine is so fed up with the NASB.

Another item of interest is that the verb in the first phrase seems to be an interpretation, not in the Hebrew.  It has the Lord and the righteous but what is the action?

So?  I think the figurative, spiritual understanding is best.  God will not allow our soul to dry up and wither.  He will be with us and hold us up through any trial.  I can live with that.