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.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Different Emphasis, Same Goal

(Proverbs 19:27 KJV)  Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

As I compare the KJV and the NASB my simple Hebrew tools tell me the original text uses the same words for both translations, yet there seems to be a different emphasis.
(Proverbs 19:27 NAS77)  Cease listening, my son, to discipline, And you will stray from the words of knowledge.
The NASB seems to be saying we will stray if we stop listening to the truth.  The KJV seems to say that we will stray if we keep listening to lies.  Notice the phrases in each translation that are not in the actual Hebrew, that are assumed.  The point is that what we listen to will effect where we end up.  It would be wonderful if we could make this another type of twofer.  How strong would we be spiritually if we developed the discipline to avoid the destructive and focus on the truth.

So?  One of the glories of inspired scripture is that you can often arrive at the same key points even with a different emphasis in the translation.  God speaks to our hearts, if we are listening.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hearts and Minds

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

What determines how a word is translated?  Take “heart” (mind NASB) (3820) for instance.  The Hebrew word is used almost 600 times in the Old Testament.  The term refers to that center of a man’s being that is the location of our personality and how it interprets the world.  It has at least 10 different general understandings but they all point to some kind of focal point.  If I had to pick a generic word I would say “middle”.  The most common translation is “heart”.

We have a lot of terminology that uses this idea.  We talk about Jesus coming into our hearts.  The Bible refers to our hearts being cleansed.  Understand that this is not the soul.  That is a different word in both the Old and New Testaments.  Our hearts are cleansed; our souls, saved.  Maybe we could say that we have some input into our hearts staying cleansed but our souls are totally beyond our reach.  Heresy?

So?  Feed your heart of mind, whichever you prefer.  Think of it as a sponge that will pick up whatever it is surrounded by. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Waiting for a Crown

(Proverbs 17:6 KJV)  Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.

I currently have no grandchildren.  I have done my part and am waiting for my children to do theirs.  In a sense I don’t have a “crown” (5850).  There is something missing in my life and I am forced to rejoice with my friends and brothers who have that gap filled.  I am tempted to be jealous of their joy but have so far resisted.

Isn’t that a problem in life.  We see others with blessings that we don’t have and we get jealous.  We work hard and someone else gets the reward.  We are thrifty and still can’t make ends meet.  Am I the only one who has been tempted to give up and compromise?  We see it all the time.  Maybe you know someone who has walked away after 40 years of marriage.  We read about people who go out and start shooting.  Some become enraged and use their car as a missile.

That is why our ultimate “crown” is found in Jesus.  I may not have grandchildren, and I am not giving up yet, but I do have a Lord who makes life complete.

So?  Enjoy the perks of life.  That is why they are there.  At the same time make sure that your focus is right.  It does wonders for your attitude and makes the wait full of joy. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Life Is Not an Activity Book

(Proverbs 16:25 KJV)  There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

In children’s activity books you come across two pictures and you are told to find the differences.  Sometimes it is obvious.  In one picture a dog will have five legs.  You don’t need to compare, but be aware.  In another you need to really study, perhaps the eyes are looking right instead of left.  So it is in life.  Some things are obvious, others obtuse.  At times it doesn’t matter if you are looking for truth or looking for excuses.

Let’s assume that your heart is right and you want to do the same.  You know you should not rob a bank but do you understand you should be honest about the car you are selling?  After all, let the buyer beware.  Sometimes we need to be alert to seeking the right because we are surrounded by so many forces that are trying to lead us to hell.  After all, didn’t the star of your favorite TV show just say that _________?  Or to be more meddling, didn’t your wife just tell you that eating out was cheaper than eating at home?  How can they be wrong?

So?  We can never afford to turn off our minds and just go with what seems right.  Sometimes it is just an inconvenience to be wrong.  Sometimes errors are eternal.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Lean Righteous

(Proverbs 15:21 KJV)  Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.

“Folly” (200) is not just a mistake.  It is an attitude.  There might be a tendency to see the problem here as the general ineptitude that so many of us experience.  This is not tripping over a crack or putting too much salt in the stew.  To be sure, it includes these moments but that is not the point here.

Some of us embrace folly.  Some live in it, for others it is a moment of wandering.  Either way it is not to be mistaken with a simple bad decision.  This is a wallowing in the bad decisions.  How often have I had a second bit of calorie embraced food when I know I have had enough.  When I am by myself I have a quiet gilt.  When I am with others I celebrate my decision.  That is the issue here.

So?  Start with general attitude.  Only God can really change that.  Then, when fortified, move on to the forks in the road of life.  Walking upright is a matter of leaning in the right direction. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Poor Excuse

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

Today as I read I noticed that this verse is a follow up of verse 20. 
(Proverbs 14:20 KJV)  The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
Notice that the same actors are on stage in both verses.  This is a statement of Christian attitude and character.  It is a matter of the heart as much as the actions.  We cannot be looking down on anyone, specially those we consider below us.

Here it mentions the “poor” (6035).  I have a problem with this when I see people on government assistance.  Something in me rebels.  My mind starts to close and I make a lot of assumptions.  It might even be that some of those assumptions are true.  All of them might be true.  When we make decisions we need to act on them if they are true but the glory of our faith is that we can do what is best for people, even when it is painful, and still not “despise” (936) them.

So?  It does not say we need to like everybody.  It does say that we are to treat them with an attitude of courtesy.  Love means doing for people what is best for them, not what we want or what they want.  There is a difference. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hey Buddy, Got a Light?

(Proverbs 13:9 KJV)  The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

As Solomon keeps reminding us, evil exists.  Evil people exist.  They are all around us.  One of the big lies that we are influenced by is that they have good lives.  This verse reminds us that they do have lamps.  There are bright spots in their existence.  There is often a lot to be admired in who they are and what they do.  We especially admire what they have.  We need to learn that what we see is usually not what we get.  A poem comes to mind.  I do not like poetry.  I am not a poet.  I avoid reading it when possible but this one has been with me since high school.  You may have studied it.  It is called Richard Cory.  If you have never read it the Poetry Foundation has it for you.

The thing to remember is that Richard Cory had it all and was admired by all, but his lamp had gone out.  He had no inner light to show him the way.

So?  There is a reason that Jesus said He was the light.  Our lamps are not enough without the inner radiance.  Don’t be deceived by bells and whistles.