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, June 28, 2017

Curse Magnet

(Proverbs 28:27 KJV)  He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

I should worry about “curses” (3994).  I say that because I have a tendency to rationalize and justify why others are going through hard times.  Because I am aware of it I am dealing with it.  The line between discernment and compassion should be drawn by grace and mercy, not my version of justice.  Or maybe I should say it needs to be erased. 

Are the “curses” (3994) verbal from the “poor” (7326), proclaimed by God or just the natural results of selfishness on our lives?  The paraphrases tend to side with the first. 
(Proverbs 28:27 GNB)  Give to the poor and you will never be in need. If you close your eyes to the poor, many people will curse you.
I think the Hebrew leaves it open.

So?  Any way you want to translate this the result is help for the poor.  It doesn’t promise blessings, just an absence of curses.  I think it is the same thing. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I Like Your Perfume

(Proverbs 27:9 KJV)  Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.

This verse gives you permission to have nice things.  “Oil” (8081) was not necessary.  We are not talking cooking oil but something they thought made them look good.  Perfume might have been necessary in the days before hot showers but it was still a luxury for the masses.  They can make you feel better about the day.

Obviously there is a level of excess.  We are told that too much love of such items will make you a member of the poverty class.  Have you noticed how well some people are dressed who have EBT cards?  Most of the kids I work with from “poor” homes spend more on clothes than I do.  But there is nothing wrong with having objects that bring a smile to your face.

So?  Keep your priorities straight.  Don’t use your tithe to make the BMW payment because God wants you to be happy.  Remember that the cloak Jesus had was seamless, which means it was of high quality. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Lame Fools

(Proverbs 26:7 KJV)  The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

It occurred to me as I read this today that it does not fit in the self-esteem mantra of our popular culture.  If you look over these verses you will see a lot of terms that point out deficiencies.  We hear about fools, cripples, sluggards and drunks.  Could you see those terms being used in the next State of the Union speech?  I don’t expect it.  The criticism would be overwhelming.  Yet here it is in the Bible.

So many of our popular standards and expectations are antithetical to the Bible.  Child rearing, marriage, justice.  There are so many topics that the anti-God pagans have managed to insert in the slots of our minds.  The only antidote is to start pulling their programing cards as we find them.  And read with discernment.  It is not the “lame” (6455) that is being compared to a fool, but the legs.

So?  It is not a pointy thing, it is a spade.  Call it that.  My wife used to call the clubs puppy feet.  I understood her but others didn’t. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Advice from Introverts

(Proverbs 25:7 KJV)  For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.

I tend to be an introvert.  I have grown to like e-mails because I don’t need to talk to people to communicate.  I can function in a social setting.  I can carry on a conversation.  I can stand in front of a group and talk.  I prefer to sit in a corner with a good book.  When I read this verse I cringe inside because this is a situation that hits home.

As an introvert I also have an exaggerated fear of rejection.  I have a friend and we have dinner together on occasion.  I am always amazed that he is willing to be seen in public with me because he has always been part of the in crowd and I have been one of the “oh, him” crowd.  I don’t need to be reminded of this.  Maybe you do.  If so, take it to heart.

So?  Let others lift you up.  Leave your horn at home so you don’t toot it.  If you are an extrovert this rejection might not bother you but think about your children. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Life of Leaks

(Proverbs 24:8 KJV)  He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.

How often do we hear our pagan culture praise the “mischievous person” (schemer NASB) (1167/4209).  We are currently being inundated with a series of “leaks” from unnamed sources in the administration.  Are they real or made up?  If they are real then the leaker is the schemer.  If they are false, then the reporter gets the credit.  Notice the marginal reading of the NASB, “deviser of evil”.  It isn’t a leak.  It isn’t a slick business deal.  It isn’t aggressive driving.  It isn’t creative accounting.  It is devising evil.

As believers we need to understand we serve a God of truth and holiness.  Being full of schemes or mischief is not the intent of God.  We need to understand that people like that exist.  We need to reject it for our lives and, as far as possible, for our associations.

So?  Walk in righteousness.  It is not an option but it is a choice. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

End and Future Hope

(Proverbs 23:18 KJV)  For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

What a difference a translation makes.  Note what that NASB says,
(Proverbs 23:18 NAS77)  Surely there is a future, And your hope will not be cut off.
One seems to be full of hope.  One focuses on despair. 

I like the way the NASB puts it.  As I write I just went through a retirement moment at school.  They had a cake and said a few words.  It was well done and found the right balance.  My final words could have been out of the NASB because I commented that I was still full of life but it was time to move on.  It wasn’t the end of the book, just a new chapter. 

The KJV is the most accurate.  The idea of “end” (future NASB) (319) is more of the last days.  As believers we need to realize that even if our health is bad and we are running on fumes, there is still “hope” (8615b).  For Christians that is not a vague desire for a happy ending, it is an assurance of an eternity enjoying the presence of God.  As you read this, if all goes according to plan, I will already be in Texas exploring the future and making discoveries on a daily basis.

So?  Rejoice at whatever stage you are in life.  For us the seeming end is just the first page of the next adventure. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Promises, Promises

(Proverbs 22:19 KJV)  That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.

In a better time in our history, congress decided to print “In God We Trust” on our money.  It was all the way back in 1956.  It seems like ancient history now.  Those of us who notice probably think it has always been there but it was a statement the country wanted to make.  Would we do it again?  It is hard to believe it could happen now.

If you look at the context, the reason that Israel was able to trust in God was because they had taken the wisdom of God and internalized it.  It would be impossible to trust God if we don’t know what He has had to say to us.  It would be like buying tires without knowing the size of your rims.  You might get lucky but don’t count on it. 

So?  Know the promises.  Know the Promiser.  They go together.