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.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Then What?

(Proverbs 20:17 KJV)  Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

We need to think more about the “afterward” (310).  Obviously this has an eternal concern but I think Solomon is more focused on the next few moments, days or years.  This is not just a spiritual concern but a principle that seeps into every area of life.  We are so affluent as a culture that we forget that debts must be paid.  We live on credit in our finances.  We live on the principle built up by previous generations.  Our decisions have consequences even if we don’t see them.

As Christians we should always be asking ourselves what the long term results will be to our decisions and actions.  When you have a genuine emergency it is sometimes necessary to charge things you don’t have the money for.  The problem is in those two words “genuine emergency”.  That does not mean a lack of planning.

So?  God is concerned about today and what we face.  He is concerned because He has the big picture.  He wants us to end up at the right conclusion.  We can’t do it if we refuse to consider what comes after.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Politics of Sloth

(Proverbs 19:15 KJV)  Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

How do political positions relate to our faith?  There are many issues which are personal opinion or preference.  I think of taxes on imports and infrastructure renewal.  Others, such as abortion and homosexual marriage are obvious places to combine the two.  Some are more subtle.  Recently a politician suggested that everyone should have a guaranteed income and suggested two groups of people to consider.  One was those who could not work.  That is worth discussing.  The other group was those who do not want to work.  That is being addressed here.

The apostle Paul put it another way.
(2 Thessalonians 3:10 KJV)  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
That is a Biblical and Christian position.

So?  Don’t assume that we should not vote and campaign because it is beneath us.  There are certain positions, such as not encouraging sloth, that are based in our faith.  Apply them. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Gossip by Any Other Name...

(Proverbs 18:8 KJV)  The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

It is interesting the different ways the Hebrew is translated.  Here the NASB has “whisperer” (7279) and the KJV has “talebearer”.  If you look at the other translations on my software I come up with one who says evil, gossip, double tongued and slanderer.  That is quite a selection.  The benefit of looking at all these translations is that we need to be reminded of all the ways we can rationalize our talking about other people.  You can pick one of these or one that you like better.  It is still an activity that God frowns on.  We know it is serious because of how often it is brought up. 

So?  Watch your mouth.  Nothing new here except when we are successful.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Divine Perspective

(Proverbs 17:22 KJV)  A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

One of the goals of my morning routine is a “merry” (joyful NASB) (8056) “heart” (3820).  That is one reason I start by focusing on what I have to be thankful for.  It is so easy to get consumed with the pin pricks that distract us.  When you stub your toe it is easy to forget that you live in America and have a wealth of material goods surrounded by more liberty than history could ever imagine.  All you can think about is your sore toe.  In the morning I grab for the divine perspective and remind myself of all my blessings.  I always try to remember my salvation as the ultimate blessing.

So?  Having a good day is usually more a matter of discipline and attitude than perception based on distractions.  I find that if I don’t start in focus I wander in a haze all day. 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Christian Nation

(Proverbs 16:10 KJV)  A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.

Is America a Christian nation?  In one sense we have been and still kind of are.  We are Christian because we are not Muslim or Hindu.  That does not mean a lot.  Of greater importance are two other key elements.  The one we are not looking at today is the character and belief of the people.  In order to be a Christian nation America would need to have enough spiritual salt to deserve that label.  If we look at the way the general culture is going and how the so-called church has been discarding basic Biblical truth, the label is getting questionable.

The other element is the leadership.  That is what this verse addresses.  Does America have leaders who acknowledge and live by the word of God?  That is even more doubtful.  I believe there are a fair number of mayors, city counsel members, state officers and federal officials who are genuine in their faith and practice.  The problem is that they are few and far between.  It is a blessing of God to have leaders who walk the path of righteousness.  In a republic it is the job of the rank and file to elect those who can serve well.

So?  We have no elections on the near horizon but we do have the process of politics and living going on daily.  We need to stay awake, observe and when the next election comes, be ready to vote as if we wanted a Christian nation. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

A Fool’s Choice

(Proverbs 15:5 KJV)  A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

A “fool” (191) is not “prudent” (6191).  I guess the corollary of that is that a wise man is.  Have you ever prayed for prudence?  I don’t think I have.  It may be like praying for patience.  You don’t want situations where you have to exercise that gift. 

But it should be on our list, maybe close to the top.  Prudence has to do with balance and restraint.  Those are not popular in our personal choices or our cultural priorities.  Prudence makes it impossible to pray, “I want patience, and I want it now.”  Prudence says, “What is the right response (amount, priority, direction)?”  Prudence gets into all the little cracks of life.

So?  We all have many decisions daily.  Use some common sense.  God has given us the guidelines we need but we have to apply them. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Eternal Trigger Warning

(Proverbs 14:27 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

“Fear” (3374) is one of those words or concepts that reminds us of the vast schism between the Bible and the world.  We tend to get comfortable because we still have a lot of Christian values in our culture.  They are fading but most of us are still immune from the depravity of paganism.  Fear, or awe and reverence, is shunned by the world around us.  We have schools establishing safe spaces and demanding trigger warnings to keep the sheltered souls in their care from feeling any mental or psychological discomfort.  We think the government and its programs can make life rainbows and cotton candy. 

The Bible teaches that a healthy fear is healthy.  The fear that we have of God is balanced.  On one side you have the consuming fire of a holy God.  That can get us to trembling if we are honest.  The God of the Bible should be an eternal trigger warning.  There is no safe space.  On the other side is the God who is love, who sent Jesus to die for our sins and make us part of the family of God.  But in that comfort is the fact that it is an Old Testament, patriarchal family, not a modern open family.

So?  Your comfort is hollow if it is not grounded in both the holiness of God and the love of God.  You are not on an arcade roller coaster.  You are on the Highway of Holiness.