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, November 18, 2019

Target Choice

(Pro 18:16 KJV) A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.

There are many things I could do if I had unlimited time, the right tools and a little patience.  It often takes me several trips to the hardware store to do even simple things.  Other tasks I can do with my eyes closed.  Which will I be known for?  If I insist on trying to make it on my weaknesses, I will be known for my failures.  Sometimes we are stubborn that way.  If I concentrate on my strengths then I may get known for that.  If I don’t then at least I will know that I have done my best.

So?  It seems obvious but often does not occur to us but we should be doing the things we are best at. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sons and Servants

(Pro 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.

One of the discussions I get into involves the place of Israel today.  If you have read the Bible you know that those we call the Jews were a people that were picked out by God to be His special people.  He established a covenant with Abraham making promises involving numbers and land.  Most people who believe in the Bible would accept that much.  The question becomes, “What about today?”  This is an issue in politics because Israel is a nation again.  It is a question in culture because of anti-Semitism, or hatred of Jews.  It is a question in theology because it reflects on the place of the church and how to interpret some parts of the Bible.

I offer this verse as a part of the discussion.  It is possible that the “son” (1121) [ben] represents Israel and the “servant” (5650) stands for the church.  This speaks of a shared inheritance.  I don’t know that this is a fair interpretation but it is consistent with how I see the issue.

So?  I think God still loves the Jews but keep in mind that He loved the whole world enough to send His son to die for them.  Salvation still depends on how we respond to the Son.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Fall Spirit

(Pro 16:18 KJV) Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

“Spirit” (7307) [ruach]is one of the building blocks of the Old Testament.  It is full of figurative and literal meaning.  It literally means breath or wind and figuratively means mind and spirit.  We see it early,
(Gen 1:2 KJV) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit (7307) of God moved upon the face of the waters.
So it can refer to the Holy Spirit.  It can also refer to the inner motivation of our lives, our attitudes, our inclinations.

So this verse reminds us that our inner spirit is important as we go through life.  The wrong inner orientation can cause all kinds of problems.

So?  It is always a right time to move beyond our salvation and toward maturity.  One theme of Proverbs is that our attitude influences the kind of day we are having.  It can also influence the kind of eternity. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Better than a Nanny

(Pro 15:16 KJV) Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.

We live in a Nanny State that wants everyone to be taken care of.  We tend to think that the government is going to bail us out.  When we have a hurricane people think that there are going to be cheap loans and grants to pay for the damage.  In this environment we tend to avoid things like “fear” (3374) but Biblically it is a very powerful concept if understood correctly.

We get a bit of insight when we see that fear is contrasted with “trouble” (turmoil NASB) (4103).  We tend to think of fear creating turmoil but that is better stated as terror.  A healthy fear helps us to focus on what is important and gives a real drive to behavior.  The “turmoil” spoken of here includes the idea of confusion and panic.  It is a lot like being a child in the hands of a strong father.  I keep hearing about how my granddaughter goes to the beach and faces the waves with no fear.  The reason is that her father is there to bail her out.  Who can fear a little wave when you dad is there?

So?  We need to live aware that our God is bigger than the waves.  Our resources are not summed up in money in the bank or bars on the windows.  The proper perspective on God gives us a genuine sense of assurance. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Peace Applied

(Pro 14:30 KJV) A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

Before I spend any time looking into the Hebrew, I find that I like the NASB better than the KJV on this verse.  As usual, when I look a little deeper it is a mixed bag.  Although you might stretch the Hebrew to mean “tranquil” (4832) the KJV’s “sound” is much better.  The word means healthy and being made well.  A good example is,
(Mal 4:2 KJV) But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing (4832) in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
This would have obvious applications about the spiritual healing that comes through regeneration and is thus applied to our physical well-being. 

The second part I give to the NASB.  “Passion” (7068) is better than “envy”.  The picture given by the NASB does a better job of putting the picture together.  God wants us to be calm and secure in our minds because we trust Him.  We are not to go off in wild flights of temper. 

So?  For some the change is instant.  For some it is a life long discipline.  Some people are just born easy going.  It is part of living a righteous life.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Economics and Vanity

(Pro 13:11 KJV) Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

I wonder if this could be interpreted as a statement about capitalism?  Much of what we see going on in the world of investments and securities is based on duping the public, fraud.  Many millionaires have generated wealth only on paper, producing nothing.  Real wealth comes from the work of people, not manipulating stock markets.  This would tend to sound like a statement made by a Communist. 

But the contrast is not between working with your hands as opposed to an office job.  The contrast is between “fraud” (1892) and actual gathering.  It is a contrast between actually producing and simply looking like you are producing.  This is the word repeatedly used in Ecclesiastes. 
(Ecc 1:2 KJV) Vanity (1891) of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
When political voices call for the redistribution of wealth they are speaking in terms of vanity.  They want people to have the fruits of gathering without the effort.  Of course you could also condemn those who generate billions by pressing buttons and manipulating stocks.  They also produce nothing.

So?  God expects us to work for our support.  That will generate different results but, as long as the work in honorable and without fraud it can be blessed. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Build up or Tear Down

(Pro 12:4 KJV) A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

“Rottenness” (7538) of “bones” (6106) is a graphic picture.  I think of cancer or of putrid meat.  The phrase is used twice, both in Proverbs.  Here it is a bad-news wife.  The other,
    (Pro 14:30 KJV) A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
speaks of our emotions being out of control. 

Most men would not knowingly marry someone who would always be shaming them.  For that matter, neither would women choose such a spouse.  It can obviously work both ways.  It is obviously something we should avoid causing.

So?  We can cause rotten bones by our actions or our words.  It might be something for each of us to apply a self examination time to.