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.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Let It Lie

(Proverbs 17:9 KJV)  He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.

A good way to ruin a friendship, poison a marriage or break up a family is to bring up some untouchable from the past.  The first part of the verse implies that a wrong has been done.  Whether it was resolved or allowed to fade from memory does not make any difference.  It is in the past and should remain there.

A good way to ruin things is to bring it up again.  It is always nice if people have confessed or the wrong was righted but it does not say that is necessary.  Sometimes the scar has just faded in time and is best left to rest.

So?  This probably goes with the admonition to be slow to speak that is given other places in scripture.  As believers we are to leave the ugliness of the past in its grave. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Yule Tide Aspirin

(Proverbs 16:28 KJV)  A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

When I think of people who are deviant my mind goes to things like molesting children and torturing animals.  I don’t tend to think of the family member who comes for Christmas and proceeds to get the family fighting, yet here they are labeled “froward” (perverse NASB) (8419).  This is the direct contrast to the person Jesus spoke of in the Beatitudes.  That whole passage addresses this and specifically,
(Matthew 5:9 KJV)  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
This is not talking about negotiators for the UN.  This is talking about the family member who doesn’t complain about the gifts they got, who doesn’t keep asking how much something cost, who doesn’t grab the best seat and leave grandma standing. 

So?  You all have seen this happen.  The question we need to ask ourselves is, “Has it been me?”  If you follow this word through Proverbs you notice a strong presence of volition.  People choose to be a pain.  We can work on being an anesthetic. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Road Hazards

(Proverbs 15:24 KJV)  The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

When I am driving down the road and see some debris in the lane I try to avoid it.  That makes common sense.  It might just be an empty cup.  It might be a bag of nails.  It is just a good idea to be safe.  This verse implies that we can avoid or “depart from” (keep away NASB) (5493) from “hell” (Sheol NASB) (7585).  We don’t forget that we are saved by grace, not our own efforts.  We should also remember that God has tasked us with the responsibility to live upright lives.  That means avoiding evil.

I find that if I am paying attention and driving a reasonable speed it is easier to miss the board in my lane.  If I am daydreaming I might not even see it coming.  If I am going too fast I may not be able to swerve safely.

So?  Keep that in mind as you plan your day.  We can live in faith that God is in charge.  Just because the sergeant is not in charge does not mean he can march out of step. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Colonoscopy Anyone?

(Proverbs 14:14 KJV)  The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

I am enjoying reading my old Living Bible this month.  I assumed it was almost the same as the New Living Translation but it is a different world.  The NLT pretends to be a translation.  The LB admits it is a paraphrase.  I have this verse underlined from thirty years ago,
“The backslider gets bored with himself; the godly man’s life is exciting.”
We are surrounded with bored people.  They are seeking thrills and spills.  I think of the coming Christmas season and the endless parties people will attend.  I have never made a habit of going to such gatherings because I have listened to stories.  They seem to be little more than an excuse to get drunk and convince yourself you are having a good time.  I remember years ago a guy talking about the great time he had, drinking and partying.  I asked him what he did.  He said, “I can’t remember but I had a great time.”  By that definition getting a colonoscopy is having a great time. 

So?  Being self centered is a sure recipe for boredom.  If you are bored go out and study a leaf on a tree and wonder how it was made.  Meditate on the miracle of the incarnation.  Ask yourself if Mary ever nagged Joseph. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Pual and Piel

(Proverbs 13:12 KJV)  Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

I find the sense of being “deferred” (4900) is different than I expected.  If you look at the basic meaning it is to draw or drag.  I get the impression of the way my feet shuffle in the morning as I am walking away from my bed.  There is no bounce, no enthusiasm.  My interest in the day is being deferred.  The Blue Letter Bible tells me this is a Pual participle.  Pual is the passive form of Piel in Hebrew.  Piel expresses intensive or intentional action. 

What does all that technical jargon mean?  I would guess that it is telling us that we are capable of keeping joy and fulfillment at arms length.  I think of times when I have been happy to sit around and feel sorry for myself.  That was a lot easier than moving forward in faith, trusting the barriers to God’s care and being obedient.  It is much easier to just blame others. 

So?  I can come up with plenty of reasons to feel stifled in life.  Since I don’t want a “sick” (2470a) “heart” (3820) I am going to put aside my pity party and live in joy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Donkeys Are For Riding Not Petting

(Proverbs 12:10 KJV)  A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

We are to be concerned with our “beasts” (animal NASB) (929).  Notice that it doesn’t say “pets”.  The concept of a pet in history seems to be focused on the idle rich or perhaps the familiars of those involved in the occult.  It says animal, it means animal.  These are the machines and power sources of the age.  We are to treat them well.  Jesus rode one into Jerusalem in the Triumphal Entry.  The Bible does not say that Mary rode one to Jerusalem for the birth of Jesus.

What was interesting to me as I looked at this today is that the Hebrew word is one that we are familiar with.  Actually we are familiar with the derivative.
(Job 40:15 KJV)  Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
In Job the word is masculine.  It is only used there in the Bible.  The feminine noun, used in Proverbs, is more common, over a hundred times.  You have heard speculation on what the behemoth was.  Some speculate on dinosaurs and such.  Notice how it is defined in the context of Job.  It eats grass like an ox.  That is God speaking, not me.

So?  Love your animals but keep them in their place.  They should not replace your neighbor, your children or your spouse in your concern or priorities. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

To the Rescue

(Proverbs 11:21 KJV)  Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

This is another day in which the verse that stood out to me while reading was the one that would have come up in my routine.  I love these “coincidences”.  This month I am reading in my 40 year old Living Bible and the second half of this verse is paraphrased this way,
“And you can also be very sure that God will rescue the children of the godly.”
Part of my routine each morning is to be thankful for all my blessings.  That can take a long time because, really, I have a lot to be thankful for.  I know it is after Thanksgiving Day.  I can still be thankful.  One of the things I am grateful for is my children.

I will confess that every day of their lives I was not tickled pink to have them in my home.  Those years between 10 and 18 stand out in my mind as a continual question of “Why me, Lord?”  But even then they were worth keeping.  Sometimes all I had to do was compare them to what I worked with at school and I was good to go again.  But the overall consensus is that God is rescuing them on a daily basis. 

So?  I pray that I will be godly enough in my weaknesses to have God iron out the rough spots as they come.  I pray the same for you.