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.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Do You Solemnly Swear...

(Proverbs 25:18 KJV)  A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.

I read this as a general condemnation of lying.  I still think that is true but as I looked into the meaning and uses of “false” (8267) “witness” (5707) I found that there are at least two approaches to this problem.  The other word I found for this was usually translated “lie” or “liar” (3576).  It is a more basic, straightforward word and is wrong.  The term in this verse has more of an idea of lying in court or under oath.

Either way it is deception and violates the holiness that we are to live.  We cannot hide behind the legal backdoor and say we were not under oath or we had our fingers crossed.  That may be okay for a child of Hell but it is not acceptable for a follower of the Most High God.

So?  Basic honesty is to be a part of our character.  Don’t accept the excuses of our culture or make up your own. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Bag Full of Worries

(Proverbs 24:19 KJV)  Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked;

I think we have a tendency to “fret” (2734) over a lot more than “evil men” (evildoers NASB) (7489).  As I look back over the past month I see concerns about our new grandchild, the unknown of flying to a foreign country, car problems, the labyrinth of renewing medications, taxes, centipedes in the driveway and wasps in the kitchen and the list goes on.  We always seem to find a bag full of worries.

We are told to fret not.  Fretting is grounded in a lack of trust in God’s providence.  Maybe you don’t have this problem.  It seems to me I have met a few people who are so in tune with Jesus that they never worry.  My conviction is that they either have short memories or are so naive they never understand the situations facing them.  I could be wrong.

So?  Start your day with some thanksgiving.  Remind yourself of all the things you have worried about for no reason.  Fret not.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Small Deposits

(Proverbs 23:28 KJV)  She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.

Sin “surely” (637) waits for us.  The KJV approaches it with the word “also” which is also the most common translation in the NASB.  It is almost a casual, “Oh, by the way...”  Have you ever had that happen in your life?  Have you ever purchased something based on the price you see and be rudely awakened by the final real price.  It happened to me recently.  I was looking at some bookshelves on line and comparing features and prices.  The materials in the cheap ones were questionable.  The price on the solid oak was national debt style.  At one site I saw a price that sounded really great.  The more I saw, the better I liked it.  Eventually the cold water arrived.  The number I was getting excited about had some small print I had missed.  It was one word, “deposit”.  They wanted what I considered a high price just to start talking to me.

So?  Sin is like that.  We usually miss the fine print.  The cost is more than we can afford. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Dispensations

(Proverbs 22:1 KJV)  A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

My mind is on grace this morning.  I have a friend who is opening a discussion with me about dispensationalism.  It is at the beginning stages but if I am hearing him correctly he is saying that the Old Testament is all about works while the New Testament is about grace.  I am aware of the general statement that we are under grace not works.  My conflict is that I believe that even the Old Testament covenant was dependent on grace.

This verse brings this up from the word “favor” (2580).  The KJV translates it “grace” 38 times and “favor” 26 times.  The NASB goes with “favor” 51 times and “grace” 8.  The point of the concept is that it is a gift given by God not a payoff we have earned.  In reality that applies under the Law as much as the Gospel.

So?  I will continue to be aware of my unworthiness and the free gift of salvation.  I will continue to consider this idea of dispensations but I see it as more a straining after gnats than a deep pool of wisdom.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Right Eyes

(Proverbs 21:2 KJV)  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

Does this mean that we are never “right” (3477)?  No, it doesn’t say that.  What it is saying is that we have a tendency to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt.  It isn’t even conscious.  It is automatic.  If your “heart” (3820) is “right” (3477) then the chances are that your instincts are good.  Your conscience is engaged and effective.  Your priorities are in line.  God is pleased because you have allowed Him to do the overhaul that was needed.

Of course part of that right heart is being willing to listen to the counsel of others and question your own rightness.  With listening comes a willingness to change. 

So?  Has God recalibrated your heart?  We have theological terms such as regeneration but you need to understand those are Biblical terms too.  Regeneration is to re-generate or re-create.  In everyday terms that means born again.  If you have not been there maybe it is time. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Nose Holders

(Proverbs 20:8 KJV)  A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.

Although the words don’t appear here this is really an if/then statement.  We usually look at the total statement and come to the conclusion that the job of political leaders is to fight evil and reinforce good.  That is fine as far as it goes but there are some conditions in this that we should be thinking about as we approach the elections that are coming.  Keep in mind that there are always elections coming.  They may only be for school  board but there are elections on an almost constant basis.

If we do not figure the moral condition of candidates we are not doing our job.  I understand the problems.  We are not to judge.  Okay, so do you pick a blind person to drive your car home?  Do you ask someone who has problems with coordination to do your surgery?  We judge all the time.  The problem is not making judgments it is in making them in a self-righteous way.  Look at the requirements for elders if you don’t believe me.

When we get past that hurdle we come up with the reality that we usually only have the choices of degree of unrighteousness.  We live in a representative democracy.  God has put us here and given us not only the liberty but the responsibility.  That may change some day and we will adjust just as people have done through the ages but until that day we are called to pick leaders who embrace the least evil.  When kids would ask me how I could vote for Bob Dole I would tell them I didn’t need anything more than Bill Clinton to make me choose Dole.

So?  Grow up and realize that sometimes our choice is not between organic tofu and Twinkies.  Usually it is from what is on the shelf.  Pray for guidance, if necessary hold your nose, and make a choice. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Long Live the King

(Proverbs 19:6 KJV)  Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.

Unlike the Constitution the Bible is not a political document.  Both are covenants but have different parameters and purposes.  The Bible does not teach us about democracy.  It does not give clear responsibilities to specific political offices.  Yet it is full of principles and statements that give us important guidelines.  Some we have embraced.  Our idea of “all men are created equal” is a direct application of the ground being level at the foot of the cross and “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  That principle was what eventually led to the end of slavery.

Other assumptions of the Bible we reject as cultural or historical.  I am not sure that is correct, but that is the way it is.  One of those you find in this verse.  The NASB hides it here but the phrase “generous man” (5081) has the marginal reading of “noble”.  That is the most common translation followed by “princes”.  The KJV gets it spot on.  The Bible seems to assume a class system that we have rejected.  In fact the Constitution specifically says we shall not give “titles of nobility”.

So?  It isn’t a major issue for us now but we need to be aware that democracy and republics are not matters of doctrine and rejecting them is not heresy.  Keep that in mind if we ever lose the glorious liberty we have had for two hundred years.