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, October 20, 2019

Back Seat Driving

(Pro 20:24 KJV) Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

I am not sure if this is a rhetorical question or not.  Let’s assume it is.  Then this can either be a matter of frustration or a reason for comfort.  To paraphrase a bit, God has things going on that you can never understand.  The question is do you relax or kick against the pricks. 

Some people need to be in charge.  They want to know where you are going, why you are going and what you are going to do when you get there.  Then they want to know what route you are going to take coming back and what time you will arrive.  Basically, to that person, I say, I don’t have a clue.  Picture being a short person on the back of a bicycle built for two.  You can’t see where you are going.  Your handle bars won’t turn.  Are you totally uninvolved?  No, you can do two things.  You can peddle and you can lean. 

So?  Generally we can assume that God will give us the information and ability to do what is needed.  The problem is that often we are not listening or willing.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Point from Reference

(Pro 19:22 KJV) The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.

My Hebrew skills consist of a wish and some reference books based on the Strong’s numbering system.  That means I could be totally off on this but my sources say that the KJV is more accurate here than the NASB.  In the NASB the desire is a modifier pointing at the man.  My sources say that the Hebrew for “desire” (8378) is a noun.  The NASB seems to be implying that the desire is in God.  What it is saying is that we as human beings should have a desire for kindness.

“Kindness” (2617a) in the New Testament is part of the definition of love.  Love is a conscious choice, not an emotion or an hormonal response. 

So?  Once again walking in righteousness comes down to our choices.  Those choices are expanded by grace and the power of the Holy Spirit but choices they remain.  This is a day to chose wisely. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Seeker Garden

(Pro 18:15 KJV) The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.

We have a lot of words that we would love to have applied to us.  Don’t you wish you had this verse with your name in it?  The key is the price we are willing to pay to earn the accolades.  This is where we decide to go to lunch.  Notice the two verbs, “getteth" (acquires NASB) (7069) and “seeks” (1245) .  That means that the compliments are not delivered by Fed-Ex overnight but are grown like vegetables in the back yard garden.  No one may be aware of how much you spaded and hoed.  All they see are the great tomatoes. 

You are obviously not God.  You could not take a bunch of sand and gravel and turn it into a tomato.  God caused the soil to develop and causes the chemical processes in the plant to produce something that is delicious and nutritious.  All you had to do was sweat a little.

So?  Grace is free.  Wisdom is sought.  Be a seeker. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Morsels of Glory

(Pro 17:1 KJV) Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

We are just a few weeks away from the most festive time of the year.  We have Halloween for those who celebrate it.  Then we have Thanksgiving, Christmas and New years.  It is a time for gathering together.  It should be a time of glorious focus on the blessings that God has given and will continue to give.  Too often we focus on the wrong things.

We are influenced by the people we are with.  That can be good or bad.  Family get togethers can be like fingernails on a chalk board or they can be a renewing brew.  If they are destructive then you are better off being “sick” this year.

Family and friends mean food.  How seductive is the food.  It is the one big sin available to Christians.  The feast is a part of the fellowship.  It can also be a gateway to so much that is wrong in our lives.  Gluttony is a sin.  Then there are those who eat to distract themselves from other pain.  Obesity and the results destroy our bodies.  It might be better to stay at home and have some crackers and cheese.

So?  So much depends on our attitude and how we interact with our situation.  Rejoice in what you have even if it is a thin sandwich in the kitchen by yourself.  Invite God to share it with you and the heavens can come down. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

You Must Leave before You Arrive

(Pro 16:17 KJV) The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

As I write I am looking at maps and planning a road trip.  One of the features of the maps program on my computer that is not available on my phone is the ability to chart a route that avoids toll roads.  Another factor is that the computer might show different routes at different times of the day because of traffic patterns.  That is handy because you might not want to go through town during rush hour. 

Usually when we plan routes it is a desire to get somewhere but Proverbs points out that the purpose of the road is also to get away from somewhere.  Set aside fleeing natural disasters and just think about what is the best way to get out of town.  Since I will be driving from a location I am not familiar with to one that I know it is probably more important for me to plan the getaway.

So?  In life Satan may have a few surprises waiting for you.  It is reassuring how often we can chart our path and avoid those traps simply by living a righteous life.  There are signs.  I know I am not in the best part of town if I see a lot of bail bondsmen.  Keep your eyes open as you move down the highway. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Reject or Accept

(Pro 15:12 KJV) A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.

Attitude is so important.  It filters what we hear and censors what we say.  Attitude also determines what we feel.  I recognize this when I see others processing what I say.  I am not so alert when I am the one falling short of the law of love. 

Why do we reject advice?  Sometimes because we have thought it through and rejected it because it dilutes righteousness.  Would that it was always that way.  When someone tells you how to get away with a flagrant violation of honesty it may seem golden at first listen but if your standards are right you will almost immediately feel the dissonance.  Other times it takes a bit longer but an attitude of honesty and seeking first His kingdom will eventually wake you up.

What if it doesn’t?  Maybe you are a “scorner” (scoffer NASB) (3917b) at heart.  Maybe I am a scoffer at heart.

So?  Righteous self examination is always in order.  I think it is always good to make sure that our motives are right and our foundations are true.  Read.  Study.  Ponder.  Act. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

A Wagon on a Hill

(Pro 14:34 KJV) Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

I am glad to be an American.  I am also embarrassed to be an American.  Actually that should be expanded to “I am embarrassed to be a human being”.  Our cultures are rejecting the idea of “righteousness” (6666) and glorifying “sin” (2403b).  The change may have started subtly but we are going down a steep hill with well oiled wheels.  The question is, “What do we do about it?”

When I was a kid we lived briefly in a house with a steep dead-end road out our front door.  We were cool.  We had a wagon.  We were stupid.  I am not sure at what point in the ride I considered that it might be a bad idea but I was convinced when I reached the bottom.  Blood and scrapes were the order of the day.  The smartest thing would have been to not get in the wagon.  If I had half a brain I would have bailed early.  Like most of us, it was too late before I realized the danger. 

So?  We can’t usually bail from our culture, or can we?  The word for church is “called out ones”.  We need to be looking for things that we can be called out of.  Think of clubs and organizations you have joined.  Some might be able to change jobs.  Many will need to find a church that is not oiling the wheels.