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 22, 2019

Do You Really Want to Be a Nathan?

(Proverbs 22:11 KJV)  He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.

I think most political leaders would focus on the second part of this description.  I am sure that David wishes the prophet Nathan had been a little more “gracious” (2580) when bringing up the king’s infidelity.  I think it is one reason Billy Graham was able to get along with so many different presidents.  If Graham ever approached a president about sensitive issues he must have done it with great gentleness and tact.  That is why the doors always seemed to be open to him.

There are times when we must stand up and be counted.  Those come on occasion.  An every day event is being more gentle in our approach.  The danger we fall into is in not being heard because we are too gentle.  I am not sure if that is our problem or people refusing to listen is the issue. 

So?  Make sure that being a strident voice is not a matter of ego.  People often reject the truth and usually reject it when it is wrapped in self-righteousness.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Prudent Thinkers

(Proverbs 21:12 KJV)  The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.

We are surrounded by evil role models.  At first glance they may not seem that way but often that is because we do not want to see it.  After all, these “wicked” (7563) people are our friends and often family.  We need to understand that anyone who is not serving the Lord is serving Satan.  It doesn’t matter how nice they seem.

So it is important to understand what it means to “consider” (7919a) the people around us.  The basic meaning of the word is to be prudent but it has no one overwhelming translation.  I usually think of prudence in regard to behavior.  Here it is talking about our thinking.  We need to be prudent thinkers.  The two most common translations in the KJV are “wise” and “understanding”.  Perhaps a good word would be discerning.

So?  We are told we must live in the world.  That means we need to be alert and aware.  Pray that God would open our eyes and our minds. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Bursting Bubbles

(Proverbs 20:18 KJV)  Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.
One of the reasons we don’t seek advice from people wiser than ourselves is experience.  We have learned the hard way that wise people will not tell us what we want to hear.  How many of us would ask someone who understood finance if we should buy the fancy sports car when we either had no job or were working for minimum wage?  We don’t want to hear it.  I remember the last housing bubble.  People all across the country ended up losing their homes.  What is not usually pointed out is that they should not have bought the house in the first place.  Two people do not need 4,000 square feet in a gated community.

We don’t want to hear it.  We need to hear it. 

So?  Start with scripture if you can’t get anyone to listen.  In this chapter alone Solomon talks about alcohol, work, borrowing, cheating in business, and gossip.  Those are just the topics I was willing to hear.  If that isn’t enough then ask your mom. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Keep, Not Get

(Proverbs 19:16 KJV)  He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.

As we look at this verse and wonder how it relates to being saved by grace we need to think about something.  You can’t “keep” (8104) something you don’t have.  This is not a warning to obey the law if we want to get saved.  It is a reminder that obedience is not an option and it is necessary if we want to stay saved.  You may not like that but I can’t help it if you like instant grits. 

I still believe that no one will go to hell who does not reject heaven.  For someone who is determined to be lord of their own life an eternity with the real Lord would be utter misery.  I think there will be masses who will stand before the judgement seat of God and still be defiant. 

So?  Grace is extended.  Forgiveness is offered.  The blessings of eternity are available to those who are willing to enter in.  Or not. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Long Laces

(Proverbs 18:9 KJV)  He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

Have you ever had your shoes come untied when you are in the middle of something?  I had one pair that would always start trailing strings when I was walking on very cold mornings.  Then I would be forced to take off my gloves to tighten them up again.  I kept wondering why it was just this pair of shoes.  I finally figured out that the laces on these modern styles were so long that they would either drag on the ground when tied or flop around enough to gradually work the knot loose.  I cut off a few inches and rarely had trouble afterwards.

There are areas in our life that are like that.  We need to keep checking them and redoing them and the reason is that we have too much unnecessary foo-fa pulling on them.  We need to get rid of what the NASB calls “slack” (7503) and in this one place the KJV calls “slothful”.

So?  Keep your laces snug.  It will make a lot less stumbling in life.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Virtue View

(Proverbs 17:23 KJV)  A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.

I tend to think of a “bribe” (7810) as a bit of sleazy perversion that is used to attract the unscrupulous.  This might imply that it is given out of the “bosom” (2436), or secret place, in order to bring about what is viewed by both parties as a good result.  There is a temptation to think that our view of a situation is the view of virtue and in this one case the ends justifies the means.  Have you ever been checking out at the store and the clerk somehow enters a lower price than you expected?  It is very easy to rationalize that they put in a higher price another time and so it is only fair.  It might even be true but it is the beginning of making excuses and fudging on the strait and narrow.

We usually don’t have the temptation to “pervert” (5186) “justice” (4941) is big steps.  Satan has a hard time getting us to commit the big sin.  It starts small and grows from there. 

So?  Keep an eye out for the little compromises that are offered to us.  Some may be just fine.  Others may be a bribe from Hell. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Scale of Eternity

(Proverbs 16:11 KJV)  A just weight and balance are the LORD'S: all the weights of the bag are his work.

You may have a different dream but I don’t see myself ever selling produce or running a business weighing recycled aluminum.  The ideas here about honest scales would seem to apply to someone else.  Not so.  The principle is the issue.  There are many ways in which I can cheat without going near weights and measures. 

How do I determine whether I am justified in returning a product I have bought?  Have you ever been tempted to purchase an expensive item, use it the one time you need, and then return it for a full refund?  I hear there are some women who do this with dresses.  I can picture doing it when I need a specialty tool.  What is happening is that the consumer is taking advantage of a retailer who is trying to be fair with his customers.  What we don’t like to admit is that this kind of misrepresentation is a form of lying .  I hope you understand how angry God gets when we lie.

So?  Business ethics are also the responsibility of the customer.  It is a matter of eternal significance.