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, November 21, 2018

The King Is a Tool

(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.

It really doesn’t matter who is president, some people will love him and some will hate him.  I guess there are a number in between but eventually people become pro or con.  That is natural.  It is also natural to think that it makes a difference.  Since we are created in the Image of God and part of that is free will and decision making, since we are to be stewards of the earth, since we are raising children and helping to form young believers, it does make a difference.

At the same time, it does not make a difference.  Kings and presidents often have strong personalities and eventually get to the point where they think they are special.  In one sense they are special.  They are special because they are in a position where God feels more of a need to “mess” with them.  Here it says that God “turns” (5186) their “heart” (3820) in whatever direction He wants.  If they are on board, well and good, but they will be turned regardless.  I guess in a sense we can assume that people in leadership have less free will than us ordinary folks. 

So?  We have moved from Obama to Trump.  They are clay in God’s hands.  Was Obama a secret Muslim?  Is Trump a believer?  In a sense it doesn’t matter because God still has control of them and their destiny.  Pray for our leaders.  Pray that God’s will is done.  Be willing to do your part. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Getting Our Attention

(Proverbs 20:30 KJV)  The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.

I have a personality that wants to avoid conflict.  I desire peace but it is not always available.  One of the things I have had to learn is that there is a time to speak up and take risks.  That is the active side of learning.  The passive side also is a problem.  I don’t like to be corrected.  I find it very painful and not just because I don’t like being wrong.  I can intellectually accept the fact that I don’t know everything.  What gets me down is the insult involved.

The thing I need to learn is that the insulting part of the correction is often necessary to get me to listen.  If it wasn’t then self-help books would have made the world a perfect place.  I remember what is now an old joke about a farmer saying his mule was really smart.  He would then pick up a board and smack the mule up side the head.  When questioned he said, “That is just to get his attention.” 

So?  It may be a rough day.  If I learn to pay attention maybe tomorrow will go better.  Of course the best solution would be to pay attention to what the word says and the Holy Spirit reinforces, but I don’t have a great record on that. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Entitlements

(Proverbs 19:24 KJV)  A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.

I wonder if this is an example of Biblical humor.  It is hard for me to imagine someone too lazy to feed themselves although we have the concept of having slaves peel grapes for Roman aristocracy.  What would be the modern equivalent.  How many actions do we expect others to do for us?  I guess one would be going out to eat so someone else can serve and clean up, but that is something you pay for.  Around the house it might be just leaving your dishes on the counter and expect someone else to wash them.  Some people always expect clean clothes to mysteriously appear in their drawers.  I can think of a lot of illustrations but I can’t think of any that apply to me.  I guess that is a common problem.

So?  Lord, show me where I am too entitled for my own good. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Lips and Tongues

(Proverbs 18:6 KJV)  A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.

I sometimes wonder if New Testament writers had just read parts of Proverbs when they went to work.  At this point I am thinking of James with his monologue on the tongue starting in Chapter 3.  I think specifically of,
(James 3:6 KJV)  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Here Solomon talks about lips and the mouth, but you get the point.  It is a repeated reference in this chapter.

So?  Guard your mouth.  Be careful what you say.  Words cannot be called back. 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Clever after the Fact

 (Proverbs 17:4 KJV)  A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.

To whom should I be listening?  A good question and we need to understand that “listening” is more than just our ears.  It would include what we read and watch.  In a sense it should even extend to our imagination.  That leads me to the tendency we have to relive and rehash experiences that have been uncomfortable or embarrassing.  We recently went through a confrontation that left a bad taste in our mouths.  We find ourselves going back and coming up with what we should have said.  You know how it goes.  We are all clever after the fact.  Let it go.

So?  Don’t spend time trying to straighten out what cannot be changed.  Don’t listen to wisdom you wished you had.  Such listening can only cause more pain and will not move you forward.  Forgive.  Learn.  Grow. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Uncross Fear’s Wires

(Proverbs 16:6 KJV)  By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

“Fear” (3374) gets a lot of bad press but has a real value if it “keeps away” (departs KJV) (5493)  “evil” (7451b), or us from evil.  While the phrase “fear not” appears 62 times in the KJV we are also told to “fear the Lord” 30 times.  We need to understand that this fear is not the panic that either makes us freeze or flea.  It is the awareness that makes us cautious and careful.

I use electricity just like everyone else.  I plug and unplug with abandon.  I flip switches up and down.  No problem there with electricity.  At the same time I keep my house from burning down by not trying to rewire it myself.  Why?  Because I have a healthy fear of electricity.  I know it can kill me.  I use it.  I am thankful for it.  I know it can kill me.

So?  God is holy.  He is a consuming fire.  He is wrathful.  Be careful how you touch Him.  At the same time He is the source of eternal life.  He is waiting for your fear to bring you to Him. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Broccoli Love

(Proverbs 15:17 KJV)  Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

We are so focused on wealth and financial security.  I guess it is part of the human condition.  Some have given up.  Some have not worked too hard at it.  But everyone likes good things.  The question we need to ask ourselves is, “At what price?”  That is one of my problems with expensive restaurants.  Actually it is a problem I have with all restaurants.  Even fast food joints make my wallet cry out.  What does it cost to get oatmeal at your local joint?  I can make you a nice bowl for about 10% of that price. 

What is more important though is the atmosphere of the meal.  I would rather have a bowl of instant oatmeal with a good friend than a $50 steak with a jerk.  That is the point here. 

So?  No, this is not a call to becoming a vegetarian.  It is a call to being a good friend.