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.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Laughing at the Three Stooges

(Proverbs 17:5 KJV)  Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.

The second part of this verse reminds me of I Corinthians 13:6 where it says love “rejoices not in unrighteousness,...”  This is a key part of our faith.  We are not allowed to desire damage to our enemies.  I have been doubly aware of this being trapped in a room with perpetual television.  Do you realize how many lawyers advertise on TV?  And they don’t summon those who have been persecuted by the government.  They generally are looking for people who are in a situation where the other side has good insurance and would be glad to settle out of court.  When I hear the lawyer wanting my business on the radio he wants cases where you have been hit by an 18 wheeler, not the guy with no insurance.  I can’t help but believe they are glorying in my “calamity” (343) or at least hoping they can.

So?  As Christians we are to desire the best for others, even when we don’t like them and they can’t stand us.  It is an extension of turning the other cheek. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sweet Talk

(Proverbs 16:24 KJV)  Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Usually “honeycomb” (1706/6688) is presented in a positive light.  This is actually a compound word which literally means “comb of the honey”.  Only one other place has this combination.
(Psalms 19:10 KJV)  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Here it talks about “words” (561); in Psalms, the Law.

Our speech is to be pleasant and true.  We are to be that rock in the middle of the stream where a traveler can put their foot and know that it will not turn under them.  We are to be that electrical appliance that is properly grounded so a touch will not kill.  We are the living representatives of Jesus.

So?  I sometimes shudder to think that people would hear some of the things I say in moments of weakness.  We are not like the animals.  We have mouths that can choose truth or falsehood.  We can heal or destroy.  I know which I want.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Respect for Both Parents

(Proverbs 15:20 KJV)  A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.

There are days when a verse catches my attention while reading the chapter and it ends up being the same one that I would have picked next by method.  I enjoy those days.  This is a verse that is designed to show how we should please our parents but something else hit me.  It also is one of the numerous places where the Bible points out the fact that we are not supposed to live in a male-only world.  Both parents are mentioned.  The approach is different but the result is the same.

The Bible sets up order in the family.  In that order there is no loss of importance, just different roles and duties.  In Israel women had much more freedom than they did in surrounding cultures.  It is an attitude that we also find in the New Testament.  Christians were at the front of movements like education for women and giving women the right to vote. 

So?  Read the Bible and take what it says as the final answer.  Don’t rely on the pastor, the politician or the blogger.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Portable

(Proverbs 14:11 KJV)  The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.

What are the lessons in the word pictures of these words?  The “upright” (3477) are given a “tabernacle” (tent NASB) (168).  I am not sure if the KJV gives more clarity or less.  The word is meant to carry emotional meaning.  This refers back to the tent of meeting or the Tabernacle, which was a tent.  The tent moves as God moves and is able to adapt to flexible needs.  Remember that each day the children of Israel would follow the cloud as God led.  Each time they stopped they would set up the Tabernacle and set up the Holy of Holies.  It was part of God’s promise to be where His people were.

So?  Keep in mind that God being with His people meant that they had to follow where He would lead.  It gave flexibility and variety but it also demanded obedience. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Find Your Fences

(Proverbs 13:8 KJV)  The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

I really can’t figure out what this verse means, at least not enough to make a definitive statement about it.  I notice that you have the two extremes of society mentioned.  Look at this as a continuum or spectrum rather than two choices.  I say that so we can all be included.  Few of us will ever consider ourselves rich and even our welfare classes live in luxury  compared to the poor of the Bible or the rest of the world today.

It would seem we all have a need for something to keep us on the right path.  The rich who want to stay rich live to preserve their wealth.  Spendthrifts often end up in the poor house.  The poor are often ignored but they need correction just as much as the wealthy.

So?  Seek guidance.  Be aware of the fences that are around you to keep out the wolf and to keep you from straying. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Color Samples

(Proverbs 12:6 KJV)  The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.

How many “words” (1697) of the “wicked” (7563) are lurking in your home?  By that I mean how many books, videos, albums or games are in your house just waiting for an unsuspecting mind to open itself?  As a mature adult I don’t worry about the books on my shelf.  There are works of literature that I have read to be informed.  That is part of being wise, knowing what the other side thinks.  But there is a caution I would suggest.

Do you have any children around that are susceptible to nonsense?  I have read the Koran.  I have read Atlas Shrugged.  I have read a lot of science fiction.  If I had young children they would be among the titles I would not have in my house.  Be wise.

One reason Christians understand the world better is because we are totally surrounded by the thinking of the other side.  The pagan God haters control just about every source of information we have.  If we are on track we spend time each day in the word so we have a solid foundation to resist and interpret their nonsense but it does not happen automatically.

So?  Be alert when you pick up a book on history or a source of news.  Be like the home owner wondering what color paint to buy.  He takes a sample of what he is trying to work with and uses it as the basis of his decision.  The word is your color sample. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Boomerang Principles

(Proverbs 11:17 KJV)  The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

A brief look at the Hebrew shows us a difference in the original text used by different translations.  If you have the cool software you can note two Hebrew words with the numbers 2617a and 1580.  The first is “merciful” in both the KJV and NASB but while the second appears in both translations it is associated with different English words.  It seems to be just a matter of the translators having issues because the meaning comes through the same for both. 

The point is that our attitude and intent tend to be boomerangs.  They eventually loop back and hit us in everyday life.  I don’t think this is a short term promise.  I think it is a long term principle.  Jesus put it this way,
(Matthew 5:7 KJV)  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
I like to think about how He had to Old Testament scriptures in mind when He spoke.

So?  If you want the best out of life, give the best.