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.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Self Love

(Proverbs 19:8 KJV)  He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.

Most translations have “wisdom” (3820) here.  That seems so wrong to me.  It is a very common word used 595 times in the Old Testament.  In the KJV it is only translated “wisdom” six times and all of those are in the so called Wisdom Literature.  By far the most common translation is “heart”.  It refers to the inner man.  It is not translated “soul” in either the KJV or NASB. 

A certain level of self-esteem has its place.  It begins in the “wisdom”, heart or inner man.  Keep in the front of your mind the qualifiers though.  I said “certain level”.  There is a point where the self-centered carnal nature runs wild.  There is also a point where you must believe in your worth before God.  That is the basis of the verse Jesus quoted,
(Leviticus 19:18 KJV)  Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
So?  If you can’t care about yourself then you can’t care about others.  It is part of the new heart that God wants to give you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Isolation

(Proverbs 18:1 KJV)  Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.

When should we isolate ourselves from the input of others?  I think it is why a lot of people pursue hiking or backpacking.  It gives a chance to get away from the constant litany of advertisers and commentary as people try to influence us and effect our thinking.  It often gives us a chance to recharge our batteries.  Isolation can be positive.

Isolation can also be negative.  If we don’t take along our Bible or at least meditate on the wisdom we have heard we flirt with the danger of being consumed with our own wisdom.  It is a good question to ask, “Which is more dangerous, the influence of others or the lack of influence of others?”  The key is the basis of the wisdom.

So?  If you need to get away for a few days, go for it.  Don’t forget your anchors, though.  You don’t need any more drift than you already have. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Know the Difference

(Proverbs 17:15 KJV)  He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.

Two observations.  First, there is a difference between what God considers “righteous” (6662) and what our culture is starting to call just.  Keep in mind that when your neighborhood teacher or liberal minister talks about immorality they are referring to your slack in recycling or your intolerant attitude toward homosexuality.  They tut tut your concern about such things as out of wed lock births or the epidemic waiting to spread from the streets of San Francisco.

Second, we can expect the forces of our modern culture to reinforce the “wicked” (7563) as they work to destroy the Christian influence.  Courts and government bureaucrats are more interested in dealing with “white privilege” than drunk drivers. 

So?  We are called to be salt and light but remember that our culture will tell you that salt is bad for your blood pressure and light causes skin cancer.  You need to know better. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Hardest Honesty

(Proverbs 16:2 KJV)  All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

I am getting old.  Actually, I am already old but I am getting older.  I often joke about losing my mind and how I will be the last one to know.  Actually that is just an extension of our normal insight.  I would say that we are usually the last one to know that we are wrong.  Even the person with low self esteem assumes that perception is reality.  In their case it might be a low opinion of themselves instead of arrogance.  It is still limited by being self perception.

We need to do our own thinking and make our own decisions.  We also need to realize that input from others is healthy.

So?  Be willing to listen and then try to evaluate from what you know God has said through His word.  There are many propositions you can reject out of hand. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Eternal Ears

(Proverbs 15:31 KJV)  The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

The call we receive is composed of a series of responses.  It starts with this one, to “listen” (8085).  From there you have a call to faith, a call to repentance, a call to obedience.  As a result we will “abide” (dwell NASB) (3885a) among the “wise” (2450).  I remind you and I remind myself, that is an eternal dwelling.  This is not just a cool promise that we will sit with a bunch of awesome people.  In Proverbs it talks about sitting at the gates and high places.  That sounds impressive.  I think it also it a reminder that we will be with the wise for eternity.

So?  Keep your listening ears on.  Turn up the microphone.  God is giving directions and you probably have an intersection just ahead. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Neighborly

(Proverbs 14:21 KJV)  He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

Are you a cranky “neighbor” (7453)?  Am I a cranky neighbor?  You will never know.  Where we live now the neighbors are far enough away that if they are cranky we will never know.  This verse is a reminder that we should be the most pleasant house on the block.  That doesn’t mean that you are taking cookies to everyone or mowing their lawn when they are not looking.  It does mean that you don’t play loud music at night or clog up the street with wild parties.  It might mean bringing in their empty trash cans when they are late getting home.

So?  People should know we are nice to live by before they find out we go to church.  If we are obnoxious it will not matter how good our pastor is our how friendly our congregation. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Core Conceptions

(Proverbs 13:19 KJV)  The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.

Our culture is in direct conflict with the Christian faith.  One of the areas of conflict regards the nature of the human being.  What are we on the inside?  Christians believe that we are contaminated with original sin and thus we tend to be selfish and inclined toward evil.  The world believes that all people are morally neutral or inclined toward the good.  The teachers in your public school have been indoctrinated by psychology and sociology to believe that the reason so many children are messed up and making bad choices is that their environment has blocked their natural goodness. 

Environment has consequences.  Most people will concede that.  The difference is where you start.  This verse reminds us that there are some people who feel very strongly that they need to continue down the path that rejects a holy God and His expectations of righteousness.

So?  Don’t expect to fit in.  It may go well at times.  It may be under the surface.  The standards of the world reject the standards of God.  Decide which side you are on.