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.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

One Step in the Process

(Pro 25:1 KJV)  These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.

This verse is a glimpse into the activity of the Holy Spirit in preserving the written word for us today.  What we are reading happened thousands of years ago.  We don’t have all the details.  I wonder what kind of editing went on by the priests and officials.  Ultimately I trust that the process was in the hands of the Holy Spirit.  

This should be a reinforcer for our understanding of the inspiration of scripture.  We believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God.  We don’t believe it contains the word of God, but is.  There is a big difference in those two positions.  One says to take the truth and live by it.  The other says to take the way you want to live and edit to Bible to fit.  History is full of people who have edited the Bible.  Thomas Jefferson is famous for literally cutting portions out that he did not like.  Today it is often done by Bible translators, seminary professors and preachers.  

So?  Beware.  One of the foundations of knowing who is a Christian is accepting the Bible. 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Calamity or Revival

(Pro 24:22 KJV)  For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?

To whom does the “their” refer in this verse?  If you look back to verse 19 you see “evil doers” or “evil men”.  There is no “men” or “doers” in the Hebrew.  A better way to express it would be “the evil”.  That is what the Hebrew word means.  

We need to first remind ourselves that there are evil people.  Most will accept that general statement but refuse to admit how widespread the evil is.  Anyone who supports or allows activity and values that are contrary to God should be understood to be evil.  It doesn’t matter if they shower everyday, dress well, speak gently and live in the right neighborhoods.  If they are advancing the agenda of Satan then they are on his team.  The hard part of this is that when we are honest and listening we realize that our children and friends often are the ones being referred to here.

The promise is that they will go down in flames.  It is implied that they will also go down to flames.  Sometimes we will see it.  Other times it will be secret, but the flames will come.

So?  I think of cartoon characters who are giving a tongue lashing and walk into a wall.  What is going to happen will not be funny and will be more serious.  We need to keep praying for revival and living as righteous witnesses in hopes that some of these lost people will be saved instead of destroyed. 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Through an Eye Darkly

(Pro 23:6 KJV)  Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:

The NASB waters this verse down by using “selfish” with a marginal note instead of the KJV’s “evil” (7451a) [ra] “eye” (5869) which is the literal translation.  I prefer the literal in most cases because it allows the scripture to speak to me instead of a translator.  I ask myself, “How do I know what an evil eye is?”

I did a search for the times that the two words appear in the same verse.  True to the translator’s opinion triumphing over the voice of God, the NASB only has them once while the KJV puts them together nine times.  As much as I like the NASB I must say it tends to water down the effect of the words.  

I am not sure that we can always know when someone has an evil eye.  As near as I can tell it refers to people looking at you with some type of wicked intent.  It could be hatred or envy.  It could be simply a desire to harm.

So?  Beware.  As wonderful as you are remember that everyone does not love you and want the best for you.  Be alert and walk wisely. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Connections

(Pro 22:28 KJV)  Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

I recently finished reading The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading it.  I was also surprised at how clear some of the principles of Communism are and how much we ignore them to our own peril.  Take for instance,

“In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.” Kindle location 239-240.
Now compare that to the verse we are considering today.  I hope you can see the contrast.  When I read I keep my mind turned on and filter everything through what God’s word is telling me.  The Bible says that property is not to be taken away.  The Communists say it must go.  I am not trying to make the Bible an advocate of an economic theory but it is pretty clear that anyone who considers themselves a Bible believing Christian cannot embrace Communism.  This is one of the reasons that Christians are under attack around the world.

So?  Something to consider when you read the headlines and watch the government actions.  Keep in mind that following Jesus does not mean embracing your surrounding culture.

Marx, Karl.  The Communist Manifesto, 1848, Project Gutenberg download

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Hard Choices

(Pro 21:9 KJV)  It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

This is where I started reading this morning and I was tempted to skip beyond it but I am back.  Keep in mind that as far as we know this is being written by Solomon.  Some of the Proverbs are from other authors, it says so in the text, but this has no other designation.  Solomon had a total of 1,000 women who were bound to him as either wives or concubines.  I am not sure if that means he shouldn’t talk or makes him a great authority.

Let’s also state that this is not talking about divorce.  Although a later verse talks about living in the desert, it is not a call to walk away from the marriage.  It also is not a call to separation and ignoring your responsibility.  I would also accept that the concept of “brawling” (contentious NASB) (4066) can apply to men too.  Where does that leave us?

There are times and people that call for distancing ourselves.  Some people we can avoid for the rest of our lives.  Some need time to cool off.  Some need space.  Some need to be handled with kid gloves.  I don’t see any indication here that the man is guilty of generating this conflict.  It is still very real.

So?  It might be good to spend some time reviewing I Corinthians 13:5 where it talks about not being provoked and such.  Some relationships require a lot of grace. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Do I Fix the Broken Drawer?

(Pro 20:24 KJV)  Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

The second part of this verse presents a very real issue with people who believe in the Omnipotent God of the Bible.  The question is asked in different ways.  Recently I was involved in a discussion about prayer.  One of the guys in the group was discouraged because he felt like God had ignored his prayer concern.  Most of us can understand that.  My input was the confusion on the purpose of prayer.  If God is all the omni’s, omnipotent and so forth, and knows what is going to happen, what is the point of my petition?  He knows what I need.  He knows what I want.  He knows what He is going to do.  

Do you feel that question in this verse?  So often I have decisions to make.  I want to do things God’s way.  Many times the options are clear.  For instance if I have a bill I don’t have the money to pay I know that God’s will is not to rob a bank.  What about the choice between going to the church work day or fixing something broken at home?  Both are needed and important.

So?  If you have questions at times, I am not sure I have the answer for you.  What I can assure you of is that God is not hiding the difficulty and we all experience it.  Isn’t it sometimes frustrating serving a living God who created us in His image?

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Brother, Can You Lend Me a Dime?

(Pro 19:19 KJV)  A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.

I tend to think that you go the extra mile for people you know well rather than those you just met.  I still think that is true but this verse makes me stop and think twice about that.  Knowing people for a long time can prepare you to help them better than if you know little about them.  It helps us give advice and makes us sensitive to the times they want help as opposed to the times they would rather do it themselves.  So that is good.

What is harder is the thought that knowing someone well might also make us less likely to help.  In this verse the focus is on people with a quick temper.  We all know them.  What we don’t know when we first meet them is whether the anger is a personality trait or whether someone managed to push that one button they struggle with.  

So?  Familiarity may cause us to withhold support and encouragement.  Remember Tigger.  Anything that came up was what Tiggers do best.  He needed restraint, not encouragement.  Alcoholics don’t need people to clean up for them and shelter them from reality.  Our faith requires our active minds.