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, December 15, 2018

Common Language

(Proverbs 15:2 KJV)  The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

Here is a real challenge.  We have a responsibility to make the truth of God “aright” (acceptable NASB) (3190).  I really don’t think that means to water it down with pablum or sweeten it up with processed sweetness.  It does mean presenting it in such a way that it will be listened to.  One of the big keys to communicating is our attitude.  I would say the listener’s attitude but there often is little we can do about that problem which does not involve ours. 

This probably involves listening and paying attention.  If we are talking to someone who is into fast cars then we probably should not dwell on historical issues.  If they are into opera, don’t try to discuss rap.  Jesus was known for his communication and he talked about the things people were familiar with.  He talked of farming and sheep.  He did not spend a lot of time discussing the current fashions in Rome.

So?  Don’t abandon truth but try to put it in words that others can understand.  Seems simple but it isn’t. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Choice Wisdom

(Proverbs 14:24 KJV)  The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.

A characteristic of wisdom is expressed in good judgement.  It isn’t a matter of pure factual knowledge.  Science is full of facts.  The problem we are facing in science is a lack of wisdom.  They still don’t have the answer to “Just because we can, should we?”  They know how to make doomsday weapons but lack the wisdom to know how to use them.  They can take temperature readings and feed them into a computer but they don’t know how to interpret them. 

Wisdom brings a wealth to life that cannot be supplied by simple details.  Wisdom knows when to keep quiet and when to speak.  Wisdom knows when to spend and when to save.  Wisdom knows that “this too shall pass”. 

So?  Don’t be satisfied until you achieve wisdom.  You can get facts.  You can listen to opinions.  Until you saturate yourself with God’s wisdom the real thing is out of reach. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Want Judgment?

(Proverbs 13:23 KJV)  Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

First notice the difference between the KJV and the NASB.  The KJV has “want” (3808) of “justice” (4941) and the NASB puts the two Hebrew words together into “injustice”.  We need to be careful of using popular, politically motivated definitions to come to an understanding of the Bible.  Biblical justice has nothing to do with what is being billed as “social justice” by the ruling class.  Social justice is like free love.  It is a corruption of a good word into a destructive action.  Social justice is not based on the unchanging truth of God.  It is based on the current political goals of the speaker.

Social justice is a “want of justice”.  It removes the rule of law and the fairness that is necessary to live life to its fullest.  The poor need justice in the sense that they need to be able to play by the rules and depend on the outcomes.  You can’t do that with the caprice of man.

So?  Get in the habit of holding up what you hear in one hand and what you have read in the Bible in the other.  I have an idea they will be different.  Oh, you haven’t been reading your Bible?  I guess you lose before you start. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Crash but Don’t Burn

(Proverbs 12:21 KJV)  There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.

Cancer.  Crashes.  Crutches.  Crosses.  Can we deny that these things happen to the “righteous” (6662)?  I don’t think so.  I have a pacemaker.  I am taking medication to thin my blood because of something called atrial fibrillation.  They tell me the pill is to keep me from having a stroke.  That sounds harmful to me.  Does that mean I am not righteous?  That depends on whether you ask my wife or my dog.

Things can happen to us that we consider harm but this is written by God.  Think of Job.  Satan kept pushing the boundaries but God always put up a fence.  God knew how far Job could be pushed without defeat.  It was not too easy on his children or livestock but that was not the point.

So?  We have to go through life.  Jesus had to go to the cross.  Paul was whipped.  The promise is that it will never be able to touch the part of you that really counts.  Sometimes I find that comforting; sometimes, not so much. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Choosing It

(Proverbs 11:5 KJV)  The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.

As I was reading this chapter today the word “righteousness” (6666) kept jumping out at me.  I am around people of the Calvinist/Reformed tradition a lot.  Most churches are part of that theological family, even if they deny it or really don’t know.  One of the claims of these people is that we are all dirty rotten sinners who must sin every day in word, thought and deed.  They like to quote a couple of verses as proof.
(Romans 3:10 KJV)  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

(Isaiah 64:6 KJV)  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
If you read Proverbs that presents a problem because in this chapter “righteousness” (6666) is referred to five times and the “righteous” (6662) eight times.  Add to that “blameless” (8549) being used twice.  The point is that the Bible often refers to the righteous.  If they did not exist, how could this be?

So?  I am not looking for a deep discussion of meaning and context.  All I am trying to get across is that God expects us to live right and gives us the ability through the blood and the Spirit to do it.  It isn’t that “the devil made me do it” as much as “the Spirit empowers me to do it.”  Of course the “it” is different in each case.  Chose your “it”. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Pick a Side

(Proverbs 10:6 KJV)  Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

We are seeing an increase of “violence” (2555) in our civil society today.  The most frequent occurrences by far are left wing mobs attacking people and leaving a trail of blood and broken windows.  If you are paying attention you will notice that there are a lot of news people and politicians who are either outright calling for violence or using terminology that “covereth” (conceals NASB) (3680) the point.

A repeated theme in Proverbs is that evil and violence are linked.  Keep in mind that Proverbs and the Bible are not condemning the legitimate use of force when it is necessary.  They are talking about coercion and the use of force to move a “wicked” (7563) agenda forward. 

So?  When you see someone calling for violence to advance their personal agenda recognize it as something the Bible condemns.  It gives you a view of their heart.  Don’t turn your head and say they don’t mean it.  They do.  You should be on the other side of the line. 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Dead Are Recruiting

(Proverbs 9:18 KJV)  But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

Have you ever had someone say, “God would not expect that of me”?  Or perhaps you have had someone ask, “How could a loving God do that?”  Both are based on a view of God that has been molded by our culture instead of the Bible.  Our idea of love is Hollywood lite.  The older generation’s understanding of the holiness of God is based on Father Knows Best and Leave It to Beaver.  I am not sure where the youth of today get their understanding, maybe Spongebob Squarepants.

God is holy.  He is in this for keeps and for eternity.  Since He is holy He has an understanding of evil that we cannot grasp.  That means there are consequences for our decisions.  “Hell” (7585) (KJV) or “Sheol” (7585) (NASB) is very real.

So?  God is very patient.  Think of Him as a modern steel radial tire.  There is a lot of redundancy built in and a genuine tolerance but eventually it blows or just goes flat.  The warning is clear.  Don’t ignore it.