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, January 16, 2021

Slow Is Not Stop

(Pro 16:32 KJV)  He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

I would suggest that “slow” (750) is not the same as never.  The Hebrew word is used three times in Proverbs and each time it is linked to anger.  Christians often have the misconception that anger is never appropriate.  They go so far as to say when Jesus cleansed the temple with a whip he did so with a smile on His face and using gracious words.  Nonsense.  There is a time for anger.  The point being made here is that anger is not our first or second choice.  It may not even be our third, but it is a possibility.  If you are not angry about abortion then you have not been paying attention.  If the scandal about human trafficking, a modern term for slavery, and child pornography doesn’t raise your ire, then you need to pray for some ire.  

So?  Patience and courtesy have limits.  A few of us need to work on those virtues.  It is possible that many of us need to get mad about some of the issues of our day. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Different Loves

(Pro 15:26 KJV) The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.

We do not all think alike.  I am currently spending time with my grandchildren.  The parents and grandparents sit around enjoying the children.  We muse on their precociousness.  We tend to think that they are the most perfect children in the world.  We would instantly step in to give our lives for them.  All that is good.  Where we err is to think that all people feel that way.

Yesterday our granddaughter was forced to wake up from a nap before she was ready.  She was not a happy camper.  She was negative and uncooperative.  At one point she broke down in tears.  I have seen adults that would get hostile and even violent in situations like this.  That is because their inner selves, their “plans” (4284), are not in tune with the love of a holy God.  When I was teaching I dealt with parents like this every day.  They would claim to love their children.  They do as long as that love does not require them to give up their plans.  Those of us outside their heads don’t know the difference until we observe their actions.

So?  Accept the reality is that all people do not love their children the way you love your children.  It is one of the reasons why there are so many wasted lives on the street.  Rejoice that the God who is love lives in your heart and regenerates your mind as well as your heart. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Anti-Gravity

(Pro 14:13 KJV) Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.

The KJV throws a good insight into the “grief” (8424) of the NASB.  It uses “heaviness”.  Isn’t that a translation that reaches out and grabs you?  I think it does.  I have had those times when it seems like my insides are in a rocket ship trying to get back on the ground.  Joking and kibitzing don’t do much to lighten my soul.  A long walk in the woods simply reminds me of the mosquitos that are around.  The only solution I find is refocusing my attention of the God who made me.  I mechanically begin to review all the realities in my life that I have to be thankful for.  I always start with my salvation and the grace of God.  That is a good jump start.

So?  We have heavy days.  God is willing to lift us up. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Payoffs

(Pro 13:21 KJV) Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.

The “righteous” (6662) will be “repayed" (rewarded NASB) (7999a).  That is a promise.  Notice that it does not come with a time-line.  It is not a package of heat and serve.  It is not quick oatmeal.  It is an assurance that we will come out on top.  Of course it has the qualifier:  You must be “righteous” (6662).  Don’t let that freak you out.  This is not the unrealistic righteousness that some people say is impossible.  This is the righteousness that is repeatedly referred to throughout the Bible as a principle of God’s people and their lives.  

I like to think of it as a time release capsule.  You may notice nothing at first but in time it will take hold and will continue working as long as needed.

So?  Be encouraged.  Do what is right.  God is watching. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Words Can Hurt

(Pro 12:18 KJV) There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

Why is it so hard for us to stop and think before we speak?  Is it because experience has taught us that if we stop and think we will never get to let off steam, even if we are wrong?  Is it because it is easier to get forgiveness than permission?  Is it just the sinful desire to hurt?  It is hard to tell.

Selfish motives are destructive.  The destruction can be as mild as a minor moment of hurt feelings or it can cause death and disaster.  Either way it is selfish.  Either way it is sin.

So?  It is always a good time to stop and look back over the day and see if we have been drifting toward self-centeredness.  Sometimes it sneaks up on us.  Sometimes it comes crashing in.  Always it is a time for repentance and restoration. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

House Dressing

(Pro 11:29 KJV) He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

“House” (1004) is an incredibly common word in the Bible.  It has the same range of meanings that we have in English.  Out of 2052 times the Hebrew word appears the KJV translates it “house” 1761.  I think we can assume that in this verse it does not refer to the building you live in.  

The most likely meaning is “household” or “family”.  I am sure you know of some families where there is constant backbiting and betrayal going on.  As a teacher dealing with a student’s foul mouth I would at times meet with the parents and quickly discover their source of vocabulary.  This also applies to how we deal with problems.  Violent parents often train up violent children.  The same it true with things like selfishness and deceit.  

It could also be stretched to our communities and country.  There are people working to undermine our civil civic discourse.  They may well succeed.  The big question is will they be happy with the results.  They might be benefitted to reading about the final days of Robespierre.

So?  We are called to use the Bible as our standard of behavior.  That will increase our chances of peace, at least in our own homes. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Skip the Romance

(Pro 10:30 KJV) The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

I find this verse an herb of encouragement in the soup of despair.  We think we live in difficult times.  Obviously that is only comparing it to some idealistic romance we have in our head.  Compared to most of the world, we are in paradise.  Compared to historical conditions, we are living like emperors.  We still get discouraged.

Keep in mind that being discouraged is a long way from being defeated.  

(2Co 4:8-9 KJV) We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
So?  Cheer up.  Lean on God.  Listen to His voice.  Read His word.  It will make a difference in your day.