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.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Viewpoints

(Pro 14:17 KJV)  He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

I constantly wonder about what goes on in the heads of translators.  I guess I should be glad I don’t have the skills to be forced to struggle with the choices they need to make.  I focus again today on the concept of “evil devices” (4209).  The translations of this are all over the map.  It is a word that basically applies to someone who is carefully planning what they are going to do.  Whether it is translated “evil devices” or “discretion” seems to depend on the context, and to be honest, the mood of the scholar doing the work.  

Either way it would seem that people who carefully plan where they are going make the masses uncomfortable.  Think of what are being called “preppers”.  They look at history and current events and decide that it is a good idea to have extra water and food stored away.  If you agree with them you praise their wisdom.  If you don’t, they are panic mongering.  Same action, opposite response.

So?  Again the mantra:  Find out God’s standards and live by them.  If it is a moral issue like the ones involving abortion and sexual behavior or a financial decision about tithing, God gives us directions and we need to follow them, not the pagans in the world and the church. 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Bi-focal Lessons

(Pro 13:1 KJV)  A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

Do you have children?  Did they frustrate you?  Do they still frustrate you?  Welcome to the human race.  Keep in mind that a major responsibility of parenting is taking an untamed, savage, self-centered carrier of original sin and preparing them to respond to the call of God and the responsibilities of adulthood.  It isn’t easy.  It never has been and never will be.  

One of the things that we tend to forget when we read something like this is that wisdom does not come overnight.  Some are slow to learn.  I remember when I put on my first pair of bifocals.  It took me time to adjust.  Part of that was simply learning new reactions.  I don’t know how many times I bashed my head on the garage door before I learned to duck.  Wisdom is the same way.

So?  You are still learning, or at least I am.  Our children will be the same way.  Keep pestering and meddling until they wake up and say, “Oh, is that what you meant?” 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Be a Mystery

(Pro 12:23 KJV)  A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.

If you walked into someone’s living room and saw a painting on the wall that looked like the work of Frederic Remington you would assume it was a copy.  When I was checking the spelling of his name I did a little looking at prices.  Originals at auction don’t give you much information on the price.  The one I found was in the $400,000 range to start.  Prints started at $25.  While I would assume that what I was looking at was a print, the wall of the living room might be a good place to hide an original.

There are many ways to “conceal” (3680) things.  We wrap packages when we are giving gifts.  We put small items under the seat of the car.  If we are wealthy enough to have anything of high value we can use a safe deposit box.  My daughter hides the cookies behind the vegetables.  In many cases they are only hidden from someone who does not really want them.  You can find them if you are serious.  That is why we sometimes get better results to God’s wisdom when we don’t wave it under people’s noses.

So?  If door to door witnessing doesn’t seem to be working, try to live in such a way that people wonder what your secret is. 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Job Calls

(Pro 11:3 KJV)  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

As I looked at this word “integrity” (8538) I found that it is only used five times in the Old Testament.  Four of them were in Job.  Based on what I read there, integrity is not a popular virtue.  At one point Job’s wife said,

(Job 2:9 KJV)  Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
This was not a word of praise.  She was saying, “Stop being stupid, Job.  Give it up.  Let it go.”  Obviously this is not an easy standard.

The painful truth is that we are called to walk in righteousness in a world that hates righteousness.  We want to be liked.  We want to fit in.  We want to get along with our neighbors but the sad truth is that eventually the hatred will come out.

So?  We are still called to integrity.  Keep in mind that the world rejects God too.  That is the real reason why only a minority of humanity will be at the wedding feast of the Lamb.  I hope to see you there. 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Well Fed

(Pro 10:3 KJV)  The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.

Every month when I read this verse I am called back to the real promise.  I am reminded of the importance of comparing translations and have the value of the KJV repeated.  I am referring to the marginal reading of the NASB which is in the text of the KJV where the promise given is for the “soul” (5315) [nephesh] of the “righteous” (6662) not just the “righteous”.

I will concede and stipulate that God also promises to meet our physical needs but I am also aware that there are times of persecution where that is hard to understand.  The key point is that He will always make it possible to have fat souls and healthy bones.

So?  The shout is that God is faithful.  When you soul is well fed but your belly is empty you can sing a song and get on with life.  When your soul is starved and your belly is full it is time for depression. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Rx

(Pro 9:11 KJV)  For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

Our health experts give us all kinds of wisdom.  Eggs are bad.  Salt is bad.  Coffee is bad.  Until they aren’t.  I used to think it was funny when visiting a doctor and having him tell me that I should quit drinking.  Now I think it is pathetic.  I have never been a drinker.  It has probably been at least 40 years since I even tasted alcohol.  In spite of that they spout their mantras.  

We go to doctors because they are supposed to be experts in what will keep us healthy.  Usually it is a facade.  My daughter called the doctor when one of the kids was throwing up and got a virtual visit with a PA.  It was helpful in establishing that we were dealing with a standard childhood sickness.  What was interesting was that if the child were really sick we were told to go to the ER.  Generally doctors want to see well patients or people with mysterious diseases that they can prescribe expensive medications for and give long term prognosis.  

So?  We need to keep reminding ourselves that it is God who determines how long we are going to live.  He gives us admonitions to wash our hands.  Yes, that is in the Bible.  He tells us to isolate ourselves.  He tells us to eat right.  He tells us to trust Him.  I think we are disappointed that He doesn’t give us a pill to take. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Product Availability

(Pro 8:3 KJV)  She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

Wisdom is available all around us.  The problem is not lack of wisdom but a lack of listening.  Or it might be the laziness that gets us listening to the wrong things.  

One of the common complaints I hear and express is that you can’t seem to believe anything you read or hear any more.  I don’t care which side of the political divide you are on, if you are paying attention you know there is a lot of lying going on.  What is one to do?  If you are a Laodicean Christian or garden variety pagan, not much.  You are either luke-warm or on the wrong team.  

If you are serious about your Christian faith then you know that the first source of wisdom is the written word of God.  It is not a coincidence that Jesus said He was “the way, the truth and the life.”  It is not a historical oddity that the Bible has survived for thousands of years.  There is a foundation of laws, principles, examples, applications and whatever else you need to give you a basis for evaluating the world around you.  And remember that you should be preparing for the test before they put the scantron in front of you.

So?  Now where did you put your Bible?  Is that dust I see?