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, 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. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Ranking Riches

(Pro 13:8 KJV) The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

How do you define “riches” (wealth NASB) (6239)?  The quick answer for most people involves looking around and checking their standard of living.  Most people on reflection will look a little farther.  In this context of “ransom” (3724a) it is a question of paying to redeem your captivity.  If you were captured by pirates and they demanded a ransom most people would give up their money rather than their children.  Wealth is a matter of attitude and priorities.

So?  Look at your calendar.  Look at your checkbook.  What does that say about the things you value most?  Is God pleased? 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Variables

(Pro 12:3 KJV) A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

“Wickedness” (7562) does not have a “root” (8328).  It does not start with one.  It does not develop one.  Adam Clarke makes an interesting statement about this.  He says, “Evil is always a variable...”  I know that variables are a part of math and necessary for equations but in living life variables become a matter of convenience.  Have you ever tried to play a game like Monopoly with someone who keeps changing the rules?  It doesn’t take long before no one will play their game.

You run into people like this all the time.  In politics we see this as one difference between those called liberal and those called conservative.  Whatever the value of their positions and whether you agree with them or not, one side adjusts the facts and the other adjusts to the facts.  Truth does not change.  In order to not change it must exist and be understandable.

So?  We need to be constantly seeking to understand the truth.  In order to do that we need to find out what it is.  That is another good reason to begin each day in the Book of Truth.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Strangers in the Day

(Pro 11:15 KJV) He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.

Keep in mind that just because someone is a “stranger” (2114a) doesn’t mean that they are treated like trash.  In some cases non-Jews were to be held accountable just like Jews.  In other situations they were to be given a bit of leeway.  There was an overriding principle:
(Lev 19:34 KJV) But the stranger (1616) that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Here we run into some difficulty with translations.  Some strangers are stranger than others.  Notice that though the English is the same the Hebrew number from Strong’s system is different.  The one used here in Proverbs is also used as adulteress.  It means strange in an corrupt way.  The one in Leviticus is more like someone with a tourist visa or a green card. 

So?  Nuance requires thinking.  Be careful about one-verse proof texts.  We can never afford to turn off our minds.  God wants a package deal of body, soul, mind and spirit.  Robots need not apply. 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Mark It Paid

(Pro 10:16 KJV) The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.

The word for “sin” (2403b) has an interesting potential for translation.  It can be translated this way but there is a word added throughout the Old Testament that gives it a different slant.  That word is “offering”.  Thus the promise to the unrepentant sinner is that they will become a sin offering.

When you put this together with
(Rom 6:23 KJV) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
and
(Heb 9:22 KJV) And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
it becomes clear that the sinner will pay for his sin with his own blood.

So?  We can rejoice in the knowledge that the shed blood of Jesus on the cross moved us from the sin offering category to the paid in full column.  A good thought to start the day and apply by our obedience.