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, May 23, 2017

Celebrity Sinners

(Proverbs 23:17 KJV)  Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

Why would a people raised on the Old Testament need to be reminded of this?  Why do we?  We have all read the Ten Commandments.  God included them twice and we still breeze through them.  Do you know what the last commandment was?
(Exodus 20:17 KJV)  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
I don’t envy my neighbor’s house or even his ox.  What gets me is the “any thing”.  That covers a lot of ground.  At times I envy his grandchildren.  I might envy his manual dexterity.  That is bad enough but there are times when I wonder what it is like to simply lust and guzzle. 

It is a dangerous road.  This morning I read about the death of a celebrity.  She was 56 and still living in the past.  She was famous in her teens and I get the impression nothing had gone right since then.  She died destitute in a trailer park.  We don’t usually hear that chapter of the story.  We look at what we can see and say, “Wow!”  If we saw the entire saga we would say, “Yuck!”

So?  I tell kids at school “because I said so” because they won’t understand my long term view of what they need in their lives.  If you don’t get the why then live with the who of your life. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Heart Songs

(Proverbs 22:18 KJV)  For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.

I know I have read this verse before but somehow that word “pleasant” (5273a) seems new.  Was it there before?  We don’t usually think of the pleasure of having God’s word memorized and stored in our heart/mind.  As I was looking at this word the homonym, 5273b, is said to mean singing.  I guess this would go along with the chorus from years ago,
You can have a song in your heart in the night,
Think of the inspiration, comfort and encouragement that can come from a verse presenting itself from the reservoir you have filled over the years.  This is a call to read and memorize the Word.

So?  It is a discipline.  I can’t say I have done well.  It has a payoff.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Active Faith

(Proverbs 21:21 KJV)  He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

Being a follower of the Living God is not a matter of passive involvement.  It isn’t like the old Book of the Month club where you sign up and if you do nothing the next selection comes.  While grace is the free gift of God, we must be active in our holy living.  The believer “followeth after” (pursues NASB) (7291) certain characteristics.  This could be a variation of,
(Philippians 2:12 KJV)  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Relax.  This is not a command that we earn our salvation.  That is impossible.  Don’t presume.  It is a command that we walk upright and seek truth. 

So?  Find the balance between trust and obedience.  It is the way to eternal “life” (2425b). 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Scatter the Evil

(Proverbs 20:26 KJV)  A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.

To the slave every man is a king.  Sounds profound, doesn’t it.  As far as I know I just made it up.  Since we don’t live in the day of slaves or real kings we might paraphrase it, “To a new employee, every co-worker is a boss”.  As American we like to think that our liberty gives us at least a level playing field.  We like to think that no one is better than we are.  We have our rights you know.  I experience this when I have students tell me they can say anything they want. 

Society has a hierarchy.  Rank has its privileges.  What we should be praying for is leaders who exercise that privilege in a righteous way.  There are a number of places where this comes through in  Proverbs.  In this chapter we find,
(Proverbs 20:8 KJV)  A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.
So?  I don’t expect the President, governor, mayor, principal to agree with me on what it is to be a Christian.  I usually don’t measure up to my own standards.  I can petition God to mold their hearts so they discard evil and embrace righteousness.  Pray hard. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Matter of Life or Death

(Proverbs 19:18 KJV)  Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

In this verse I need to add the NASB and work from it.
(Proverbs 19:18 NAS77)  Discipline your son while there is hope, And do not desire his death.
I struggle on a daily basis with children who are out of control.  They talk back, refuse to listen and assume that whatever gratification they want, they get.  As I write, we are coming up to open house.  Open house is a relic of the past that has no useful function.  I will still be there and some parents will show up.  Most of those who come are the ones who don’t need to show up.  They have invested their lives in their children and are seeing their investment pay off.  I always have a few that take time out of their busy schedules to find out what they can do to help their child.

“Discipline” (3256) or “chasten” as the KJV says. 

What is the one thing they are not willing to do?  “Discipline” (3256) or “chasten” as the KJV says.  It would involve a commitment of time and effort they are not willing to do.  In one class I have seven students who are supposed to bring a paper to me each day.  The paper goes home to the parents so they can check the day’s performance.  Yesterday I had one student who bothered to give it to me and he only did it because I asked him.  To be honest, the rest of the parents don’t care enough to look at a paper and sign it.  It would require them to take action.

Why is this so important?  It will keep their children from killing themselves literally or destroying their future if you take it figuratively.  It is a matter of life and “death” (4191).

So?  If you still have children who will listen, start taking discipline seriously.  As they get older the methods change but the investment is still required.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Having the Right Address

(Proverbs 18:11 KJV)  The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.

What is your “strong” (5797) “city” (7151)?  The Hebrew words are straightforward.  It isn’t a sanctuary or a citadel.  It is not a place of narrow focus.  It is a city with all of the activity that a city involves.  You know where the markets are and the best little coffee shops.  You know which direction to go when you want a thrift store and which way to church.  And you know the best routes.

A strong city involves not only safety but comfort and familiarity.  That can be good or bad depending on the city.  If we are comfortable living in pagan splendor and compromise, it is a disaster that is not waiting to happen.  If we are living upright lives, all is good.

So?  Examine your city and either rejoice or repent. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Laurels Are Not Guarantees

(Proverbs 17:2 KJV)  A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.

When certain issues, such as homosexuality, come up at school you need to walk carefully.  The students have been brainwashed with the immorality of the world and consider the standards of God strange.  I bring this up because one of the questions I get repeatedly is, “Is your son told you he was homosexual would you disinherit him?”  They are shocked when I say, “Yes.”  We have the same kind of thinking in some branches of theology, God would never reject someone once they are a child of God.  We who are not a part of that thinking call it “eternal security” or a “sinning religion”. 

This verse makes it pretty clear that even a son can expect to be demoted if he does not walk the line.  I can see that it does not say the son is cut off or has no inheritance but it is one of many factors that says you can’t rest on your laurels. 

So?  Jesus did not die to see how many He could reject.  He wants to save as many as will come and believe.  At the same time we are called to righteousness and obedience.