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, September 25, 2017

Be the He

(Proverbs 25:10 KJV)  Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.

There will be times when you and I are expected to be the “he” in this verse.  The issue is gossip.  On some level most of us have been guilty of this at times.  You might think not but then you either need to improve your memory or expand your definition of gossip.  I would hope that you would have repented and changed, either because the Holy Spirit simply brought conviction or you were publicly exposed and didn’t want to experience that again.

In between those two are the times when you and I are expected to step up to the plate for the benefit of the guilty party.  We have this responsibility to each other as part of the family of God.  We are to hold each other accountable.  In the New Testament the words are reprove, rebuke and correct, but we find the concept in the Old Testament also.
(Ezekiel 33:6 KJV)  But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
This does not mean running down the street yelling, “Turn or burn!”  It does mean being honest with brothers and sisters in Christ.  Usually this will be people that you have earned the right to speak to.

So?  Be the “he”.  There might be someone who will repent in time because you loved them enough to speak out. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Rejected Rescue

(Proverbs 24:11 KJV)  If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;

This verse is one that can be taken both literally and figuratively.  It can be for contemporary application and be reserved for prophetic fulfillment.  Its context of the previous verse talks about a “day of distress”.  It can be applied to any experience in which we are wavering and those around us are moving toward destruction.  In fact this applies to situations where people are not just moving toward a bad end but are actually judged and being led away.

We have much to offer people.  The moral structure that the Jews brought to the Roman Empire attracted many.  The righteous nature of God attracted more.  We have those same strengths to offer if we would just live and believe them ourselves.  We also need to be aware that most people will not be willing to take the step of commitment.  People admired the Jews but wanted to keep the Law they followed far from them.  Today people like the idea of the loving Jesus but really don’t want Him as Lord.

So?  I have settled the Lord question.  I have a refuge to offer.  I hope you do too.  It is up to each person whether they are happy on the road to destruction or seek release. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Use As Directed

(Proverbs 23:20 KJV)  Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:

Sin is generally the result of taking something God has given to us for the good and using it in a way void of righteousness.  A good example would be the drug morphine.  When my mother was at the end of her life, morphine kept the pain at bay.  When my wife was in recovery from surgery, morphine was used to keep her from screaming in agony.  It has made life better for millions of people.  It has also ruined millions of lives when used in excess.  It is addictive and deadly.  The same substance that saves lives, kills.

Our context mentions alcohol and food.  Other verses talk about sex, profit, sleep, and almost every other activity that God has given us or made possible.  The principle continues to apply.  Used as intended these are gifts from God for a good life.  Used other ways they destroy.

So?  Drive you car as intended.  Eat you food as intended.  Love your family as intended.  Let the blessings God intended be set loose in your life. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Relative Sin

(Proverbs 22:22 KJV)  Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:

Sin is absolute and yet it is relative.  Stealing is a sin.  It is important enough that the ban is posted in the Ten Commandments.
(Exodus 20:15 KJV)  Thou shalt not steal.
It seems pretty simple and straightforward and yet we have so many ways to disguise robbery and put a cloak of virtue on it.  We have Robin Hood taxes that take from the rich and give to the poor.  We justify it because the government has the right to tax and the rich have plenty and the poor are needy.  In the process we rob the church of its role of charity and give individuals an excuse to not be generous. 

At the same time there is a pecking order for sin.  If you don’t believe that then look at the different penalties that are allocated in the Old Testament.  You have everything from a grain offering to death.  I am not sure where robbing the “poor” (1800b) fits on the scale but it is clear that our motivation is a factor.

So?  We should not be taking advantage of people.  Just because the government gives them a check we cannot claim to be excused from our need to be generous and show the love of Jesus. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Finger Control

(Proverbs 21:25 KJV)  The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.

How do “hands” (3027) “refuse” (3985) to “labour” (work NASB) (6213a)?  Have you ever seen someone arguing with their fingers to pick up a pencil?  I will admit there have been times when I have told my hands they need to wake up.  When I am playing my guitar there are times when my hands seem to have a mind of their own and will not pluck the right string or hold down a string in the right way.  It is my way of reminding myself that I need to practice more. 

Why don’t my hands practice more?  I have more guitars than I know what to do with.  I have extra strings and a workable tuner.  I have even thought about putting in a little time but often it is hard to get my hands to pick up the instrument and get to work.  Overcoming my inertia of doing nothing is often beyond me and thus beyond my hands.  I want to practice and play but not enough to do it. 

So?  Apply that to our walk with Jesus.  On Sunday I was visiting a church and the pastor pointed out that many of us say we love Jesus but don’t want to serve Him and that it does not work that way.  Jesus said,

(John 14:15 KJV)  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

So tell your hands what to do.  And your eyes.  And your mind.  And... 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Seeker Unfriendly

(Proverbs 20:30 NAS77)  Stripes that wound scour away evil, And strokes reach the innermost parts.

We live in what is being called a Post Christian world.  As I look around I am not sure that I disagree with that.  As a teacher I watched anything having to do with Christian values being expunged from the curriculum and the discussions.  I worked with people who claimed to serve Jesus who were afraid to say His name.  Morality has to do with going green not staying pure.

Unfortunately that applies even in the church.  I have been visiting a lot during our move and in almost every church I see expressions of the lies of the world.  One of the big current trends that has polluted the church is the idea of being “seeker friendly”.  We have tried to shove under the rug anything that might offend a non-believer.  We have tried to live like them so they would think we are regular guys and gals.

This verse points out another truth that the world does not want to accept.  It is in isolation but has plenty of support in other parts of the Bible.  People learn best through suffering.  I don’t think God wants it that way, but that seems to be the way we are.

So?  Rejoice in infirmity.  Learn from the hard times and failures.  The lessons will need to be learned because persecution is coming.  In America we live in a bubble that may be weakening us for the battle ahead.  I guess I need to be reminded of that today. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Different Emphasis, Same Goal

(Proverbs 19:27 KJV)  Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

As I compare the KJV and the NASB my simple Hebrew tools tell me the original text uses the same words for both translations, yet there seems to be a different emphasis.
(Proverbs 19:27 NAS77)  Cease listening, my son, to discipline, And you will stray from the words of knowledge.
The NASB seems to be saying we will stray if we stop listening to the truth.  The KJV seems to say that we will stray if we keep listening to lies.  Notice the phrases in each translation that are not in the actual Hebrew, that are assumed.  The point is that what we listen to will effect where we end up.  It would be wonderful if we could make this another type of twofer.  How strong would we be spiritually if we developed the discipline to avoid the destructive and focus on the truth.

So?  One of the glories of inspired scripture is that you can often arrive at the same key points even with a different emphasis in the translation.  God speaks to our hearts, if we are listening.