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, September 22, 2018

God’s Positioning System

(Proverbs 22:5 KJV)  Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.

As I write we are on a road trip.  It makes a difference what road you choose to take.  I am at an Interstate time of life.  My wife is leaning toward back roads.  Both can get you there, wherever there is.  The difference is in the traffic and speed.  There are many things that you don’t know about when you start out for the day.  You don’t know where the construction is.  You don’t know if traffic will grind to a halt because of an accident.  You don’t know because you don’t investigate.  With modern phones and computers you can find out where the tie ups are and you can plan around them.

This brings us to our verse.  Christians have always had GPS for life available.  If we follow the warnings and conditions laid out in the Bible and the directions given by the Holy Spirit we can avoid a lot of the problems that handicap those without such information.

So?  You don’t know unless you look.  How many traps could I have avoided if I were paying attention?  Don’t get cocky.  Your record isn’t any better. 

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Problem of Treasure

(Proverbs 21:6 KJV)  The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.

What are my priorities?  I do many of the right things and try to avoid the wrong things.  That is good enough but am I ever ready to take shortcuts in order to get the gold ring?  Am I willing to compromise my standards because I feel total honesty will put me in the loser’s corner?  I am afraid the answer is yes. 

Remember that the problem is not wealth, or “treasures” (214).  The Problem is how you get your treasure and how you use it.  It is amazing how many large and successful businesses were started by Christians.  Years later they are totally detached but at the beginning they offered a good product at a fair price and viewed their work as stewardship.  God blessed them.  Does he still bless the children and grandchildren who now own the company and have turned away from the Lord?  I doubt it.

So?  God demands to be first in our lives.  We can follow many different paths, careers and dreams but if we forget to put Him first it will eventually become a “pursuit of death”. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Sense It Makes

(Proverbs 20:12 KJV)  The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.

God has given us the ability to see and hear.  Although we have other senses, these are the ones that make a difference in our intelligence and understanding of the world around us.  You can sense that a nail is sharp but unless you see it and learn what it looks like, you can’t avoid it.  While I watch my granddaughter I notice that it is her eyes and ears that are necessary to putting together all of the sensations involved with the waving arms and loud noises.

When we worship we can get a lot of good feelings from touch, smell and balance but it is the eyes and ears that put it together.

So?  God has designed us to learn about Him and His creation.  Use the paths of learning that are available to you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Pastry Wisdom

(Proverbs 19:10 KJV)  Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.

If “delight” (luxury NASB) (8588) is not appropriate for a fool, is it okay for the wise?  I am not so sure.  As I look at the word I don’t see it being used in a positive way.  The word itself simply means exquisite and dainty but the way it is used always seems to have some context of misuse and poor focus.  It seems to be one of those qualities that can be genuinely enjoyed but has a tendency to be misused. 

Does wisdom and maturity make us immune to the potential seduction?  No.  With the strength and insight that sometimes comes from time it might make us skilled in handling the luxurious safely.  There might be times when it is necessary.  Even with that said, it is important that we not assume.  Can you go to the corner bakery that has a case full of fluffy pastries and fresh brewed coffee, enjoy a treat and move on?  I am not sure I would be successful even though it would be within the path of righteousness.  In some areas I know my limitations.

So?  Can real men wear pink?  Yes.  Should real men wear pink?  That is another question.  We need to answer those kind of questions with thoughtfulness and prayer. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Expressions of Attitude

(Proverbs 18:3 KJV)  When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.

“Contempt” (937) is an attitude that should not be in our repertoire.  This verse is not clear who is extending it or who is receiving it.  I think it is safe to say that looking down on people and working to destroy reputations is a tool of evil.  We have a lot of different ways of expressing this.  It can be open arrogance as expressed by the translation here, contempt.  It can be clothed in “caring” about others and being willing to coerce them into doing what you want them to do.  This is the attitude of our elite politicians and educators who take away our ability to make choices because they think we will make the wrong ones.

Contempt is also expressed by Christians when they surrender to “holier than thou” attitudes so common among people seeking righteousness.  We often look down on non-believers and even on brothers and sisters who are not as far along as we are. 

What is clear is the association with the wicked.

So?  The answer is agape.  When we do what is best for others there is no hidden agenda of advancing our cause.  It is a response to clear standards God has laid down.  We always need to examine our own motives. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Hierarchy of Relationships

(Proverbs 17:17 KJV)  A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Notice that this is a parallel statement.  One of the parallels is the similarities between “friend” (7453) and “brother” (251).  Since this is the Old Testament we can take the term “brother” literally. 

I believe there is a hierarchy in relationships.  At the bottom you have all mankind.  We are expected to love and be courteous to everyone.  Honesty is not for an exclusive group.  At the other extreme the general world would put blood relatives.  Christians would put brethren in Christ above that.  We owe more to fellow believers than we do to non-believing siblings.  That does not let us off the hook but simply tries to remind us of what is expected. 

So?  We are to be different.  We are also to be stewards of our time and treasure.  Use them wisely with special attention to brothers and brethren. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Big Roadblock

(Proverbs 16:4 KJV)  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Does this verse make you feel uncomfortable?  Does it make you look for ways to get out from the implications?  Do you look for exceptions?  If it doesn’t, it should.  This is one of the hardest things for human beings to accept:  He is God.  We are not.  Everything is for His “purpose” (4617).  Everything.  It is not about your happiness.  It is not about your personal goals or sense of fulfillment.  Those things come.  There are promises.  God is faithful.  All that is true but the basic reality that we have a hard time with is He is God.  We are not.  He does not exist for us to call on to fulfill our plans.  We are His servants.

Why do we find people resisting the gospel?  Why do we find people drifting away after they first respond to the love of the cross?  Why do so many continue to go through the motions but never really get on board?  It is this verse.

So?  Remember that one day every knee shall bow.  Now it is a choice.  Now it involves entering the family of God.  At judgment it will be forced.  At judgement it will be too late.  Live in submission.  Live in victory.