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, April 23, 2018

World Class

(Proverbs 23:27 KJV)  For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.

The “whore” (harlot NASB) (2181) is both literal and figurative.  In looking at the definitions in my Hebrew study tools I noticed that one usage of this word is “temple prostitute.”  The religion of the Bible is one of the few religions of its day, maybe the only one, that did not allow for religious sex.  The Greeks and Romans had prostitutes affiliated with their religions somewhere.  It was common to take and combine the sacred and the profane.

We like that.  God forbids it.  We like to take parts of life that God has established and twist them just enough to make them sin.  Sometimes it doesn’t take much.  Here it talks about sex.  What about our giving?  It is expected for God’s people to tithe and give offerings.  There is some debate about the tithe for Christians but most of that falls into this category of not wanting to follow something that is pretty simple to understand but hard to do.  There are others who take the idea of stewardship and twist it into ways of milking the faithful and foolish.  I remember a man in a parking lot telling me if I would just put some money in an envelope, write “seed faith” on it and mail it to his favorite televangelist, I would get rich. 

That is a deep pit indeed.

So?  Look for the heart of God and the principles He is trying to teach.  Our secular training will tell us things like “God would not expect that” and “Don’t be a legalist”.  God will say, “Do it”. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Please and Thank You

(Proverbs 22:29 KJV)  Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.

Vocabulary can be interesting.  Words change.  I don’t know if you have noticed but even today the English spell words different than the Americans.  For instance in England you have colour and in the U.S. you have color.  I don’t know what the contemporary definition of “mean” (2823) is across the Atlantic but for us it has changed since 1611.  That is why the NASB has “obscure”.  We tend to think of “mean” as being deliberately cruel and enjoying inflicting pain.  It used to imply being limited as in being a “person of small means” was a phrase for poverty.

The implication is that poor people do not have the cultural foundation to know how to act properly.  That is a cultural understanding more than a Biblical understanding.  While poverty may keep you from having extra sets of dishes and limit you to used clothing stores it doesn’t keep you from saying “please” and “thank you”. 

So?  Practice the courtesy of Christ even if you have the bank account of the prodigal son.  It doesn’t cost anything but it says a lot about whom your master is. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

History Lessons

(Proverbs 21:1 KJV)  The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

We are often reminded to pray for our leaders.  That is good advice.  Too often we criticize and complain and don’t apply the prayer solution.  That applies when we have a president we agree with and equally when we have one that we think is on Satan’s staff.  What we need to keep remembering is that God is capable of guiding their decisions or neutralizing their actions.  We tend to forget that.

Think of history.  Think of the ways in which even leaders that rejected God did things that have no explanation to a sane mind.  Why did Titus pull back the Roman army that surrounded Jerusalem and allow the Christians to scatter?  Why was Yorktown in the American Revolution one of the few times that a French fleet defeated an English task force?  Why did Hitler invade Russia when all he had to do was be patient while he dealt with the British in the east?  How many times have leaders changed course and we don’t even know about it.

So?  You may not be into history but you need to understand that the hand of God “turns” (5186) any leader or follower He wants.  Our main concern is to be obedient in the daily events and let God direct the sweep of history.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Integrity Walk

(Proverbs 20:7 KJV)  The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

“Integrity” (8537) is a concept that our culture has lost.  We use the word, but to quote a now famous line from Princess Bride, “You keep using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means.”  The root meaning of the word is completeness.  I think that infers we are talking about a complete character.  I think it infers we are talking about a person who considers every action in relation to the eternal standards.  I think it infers someone who knows the goal and is always moving in that direction.

That means that when it seems like a little deception, minimal effort, or deliberate misunderstanding is okay, the person with integrity will not take the pill but will walk with uprightness.  In our modern culture it is hard but I think it has always been hard.  We tend to think that we have it harder than our grandparents.  Not really.  We just have different challenges and modified temptations.  The choices are still the same.

So?  Always remember that God does not play games and He will not be mocked.  Keep the goal in mind and your eyes on the road. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ain’t No Stormtroopers Here

(Proverbs 19:5 KJV)  A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.

When we talk about the sin of lying we always want to play jailhouse lawyer and ask about times when it might be necessary to lie to protect a life.  The example often brought up is the people hiding Jews from the Nazis and saying, “No, we don’t know about any Jews in the area.”  Somehow I don’t think God has any problem with that and doesn’t even break stride if He ever goes out for a walk when that happens.  In fact I think He might even say, “Good job.”  And let’s be honest here, after all it is only you and me, when was the last time you had to lie to the Nazis about the Jew hiding in your attic?

We may be really good at rationalizing why we are lying.  We forget that God knows our hearts and our minds and is not amused when we become spin doctors or play politician.

So?  Get it into your head that a lie is a lie.  Don’t lie to yourself on this issue.  Jesus did not say, “I am a way, a little white lie and one of the choices”.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Counter-Culture

(Proverbs 18:22 KJV)  Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

My temptation is to understand and interpret this verse in the atmosphere of how the day has gone.  If being married has been pleasant I am inclined to say “Amen!”  If it has been a bad day I question the wisdom of Solomon.  Neither should be the basis for evaluation of the Biblical principles.

Marriage is an institution established by God.  It is used by Paul in Ephesians to illustrate the church, which was also established by God.  It is another area where Christians are at odds with their world.

So?  Although marriage is not for everyone it is a baseline with God’s blessing. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Happy Hearts

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

This morning I was reading in the Amplified Bible and this verse seemed to jump out at me. 
(Proverbs 17:22 AMP) A happy heart is a good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing but a broken spirit dries the bones.
What got me was the “happy” (joyful NASB) 8056) “heart” (3820).  I have been struck by the way in which a good morning of worship can keep me from being depressed and dragged down during the day.  God wants me to have more than avoiding defeat.  He wants me to live a life of victory. 

So?  That does not mean victory in the sense of the treaty that ends a war but victory in the sense of D-Day.  There were many battles to come but there was a belief that the allies would win.  If I am willing to keep my focus on the Lord Jesus, I can live with a happy heart.