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.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Keeping Score

(Pro 24:15 KJV)  Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place:

We have a tendency to forget this verse.  We remember the “good old days” when certain things were assumed, when there was a courtesy and decencies that we could expect.  Those days are gone if they ever were here.  The “righteous” (6662) are fair game.  The standards of God face open opposition.  If you don’t believe it, go to a city council meeting and speak out against the homosexual agenda.

So?  Understand that while this is a warning to you to lock your doors and watch your back it is also an assurance that the God of the universe is on the job and keeping score. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

The Curse of Moderation

(Pro 23:30 KJV)  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

The use of alcohol as a beverage is controversial among Christians for some reason.  As with many teachings in the Bible, the balanced approach of the Book is usually ignored and extremes adopted.  Part of that is because most of us have a hard time with the thinking and discipline that comes from a reasoned, balanced approach to issues.  The problem with alcohol is that too much of it is destructive to our reasoning powers and too long of excess can ruin our physical bodies.  Think of it like strychnine.  Strychnine is a natural substance that is often present in water and food.  In the natural levels it is not dangerous but if too much is ingested it is deadly.  Or take a drug like morphine.  Carefully controlled it can be a life-saver in relieving  pain.  It can also lead to addiction and be destructive.

Too often people who claim to follow Jesus do not want to exercise the discipline that He expects.  Drunkenness and gluttony are two examples of this.  The difference is that you can live without booze but you can’t live without food.

So?  It is always a good idea to examine the things we think are important and see if they are enhancing our lives or dragging us down.  Here is it alcohol.  My issues are other places but just as real. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Model Behavior

(Pro 22:25 KJV)  Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.

There are times when I am bored and observing people.  Have you ever noticed how certain people tend to have their own walk.  I am not talking about the Monty Python Silly Walks but a way of pacing and leaning that seems unusual.  When I see a group of teen age boys who look like they are from some kind of hood I marvel at the way they throw their hips and rotate their shoulders.  You can watch a group of girls and notice that they all fidget with their hair and pull on their clothes in the same ways.  These mannerisms are what they “learn” (502).  It is possible that they learned them from parents but most likely they picked it up from their peer group.

Sometimes it is deliberate.  Sometimes it is unconscious.  It happens.  It is not always a good thing.  

So?  How do you worship?  Do you act like your friends or do you act like God is watching everything you do?  How do you treat family members?  There are so many questions.  Be careful whom you hang with and what models you chose. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Peaceful Violence

(Pro 21:7 KJV)  The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.

Notice that “robbery” (violence NASB) (7701) and a lack of “justice” (4941) are linked.  We would automatically think of coercion and strong arming as violent acts and we would be right.  What we also need to understand is that violence does not necessarily need to be violent.

The definition of violence has the word “ruin” and the different translations in the NASB include “destroy”.  There are many ways to destroy without attacking in the classical way.  Historically many cities have been brought down by hunger or thirst.  Another tactic that did not involve swords or guns was disease.  A lack of justice can eat away at the foundations of a society as much as a rash of gunfire.  The problem we face is the way our culture has redefined justice and made it a tool of discrimination.

So?  Don’t fall for the political manipulation of such vital concepts as justice, love, marriage or any of the many other things that are being redefined.  Justice that preserves a society is based on the standards of God and not the whims of men. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Not the Briar Patch

(Pro 20:14 KJV)  It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.

I know it is not politically correct but this reminds me of a segment of the movie “Song of the South.”  In the story you have Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox getting ready to do bodily harm to Br’er Rabbit.  He pretends that he is good with anything they want to do to him but pleads, “Please don’t throw me in the briar patch.”  Of course they are deceived, throw him in the patch and watch him dance away singing, “Born and raised in the briar patch....”

Too many conversations we have take on this element.  If we are at a swap meet and it is expected, then go for it.  If we are talking about teaching a Sunday School class it might be important to be more honest.

So?  This is about business.  We are supposed to be honest.  I know that is sometimes hard but remember when your wife asks you if the dress makes her look fat you can say with all honesty that the dress does not make her look fat. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Perpetual Stereotypes

(Pro 19:13 KJV)  A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.

Two different classes of people are mentioned here.  In generic terms that would be offspring and spouses.  I often wonder how dangerous it is to assume the generic though.  Take children as an example.  My daughter was much easier to deal with than my son.  Both have turned out well so I don’t feel the anguish of Solomon, but there were many times when I was seriously thinking of taking him back to the hospital and demanding a refund.  I will also concede that sometimes girls are the bigger problem but if I had to place a bet I would put it on the son.

Are wives more irritating than husbands?  Being a husband, and knowing what a pleasure I am to live with, I find that easy to believe.  But do you notice that the stereotype is perpetual?  Has anyone ever heard of a rooster-pecked wife?  Do we tell father-in-law jokes?  

So?  The principle might be applied both ways but the Bible tends to reflect real life.  You don’t have to like it, but there it is. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

DIY, Not

(Pro 18:12 KJV)  Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.

This is a verse loaded with threat and dire consequences.  It also offers hope.  

Let’s face it, life has bad times.  We have all allowed ourselves to be overcome with the bumps of life.  There are times when we feel like it has all been a waste of time.  At times it is just a mood swing; at others, real tragedy.  We know that God has promised to not desert us.  We know He has seen us through before, but this time....  

The hope comes if we really believe regardless of what we feel.  “Humility” (6038) does not come easy for most of us.  The reality it that sometimes we need to be take down a notch before we will listen.  That is the crisis moment.  Will we listen, consider our God and continue to move forward in faith, or will we demand to be in charge?

So?  It is early in the morning as I write.  I don’t know what the day has in store that I have not expected or prepared for.  I need to make sure I don’t get on my high horse and demand that life be under my control.  As God says, “I’ve got this.”  The problem is that He will usually let go and let things deteriorate until we take our hands off.