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, March 29, 2017

Rights Cause

(Proverbs 29:7 KJV)  The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

The KJV talks about the “cause” (1779) of the poor.  The NASB uses the word “rights” (1779).  The KJV does not use the word “rights”.  That is probably because it was translated in a time of Divine Right of Kings and common people did not really have any rights.  When modern people think of rights they think of something that they have coming to them.  In the Bible all we have coming to us is hellfire and brimstone.  Grace has no room for rights.

We need to get a Biblical grasp of rights.  We live in a day when everyone talks about their rights.  In the Bible it means justice.  That means, as Proverbs repeatedly says, that when you pay for a pound of wheat you have the right to a pound of wheat.  It does not mean that you have freedom of speech and definitely not freedom of religion.  By implication it would mean a fair trial but not by a jury of our peers. 

So?  As followers of Jesus we have duty, we do not have privilege.  We do not have rights we have the responsibility to treat people justly according to the law of God. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Guilty as Charged

(Proverbs 28:24 KJV)  Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.

Some people say that America has never been a Christian country.  If you require a population that is 100% converted and walking in righteousness, then no, we haven’t been.  If you mean a country that has been based on Biblical ethics and justice, then yes, we have.  The sad thing is that is changing.  People have committed adultery since the dawn of time.  People still commit adultery.  The difference today is that people are starting to say, “No big deal.”  We have come up with this nonsense of “victimless crimes”.  Politicians have always been on the take but now there is no shame involved.

We are surrounded by a culture that denies their actions are sin because they do not believe there is sin or sinners.  That is bad enough but this thinking is permeating the church.  The word evil is not used in this verse but it appears several times in this chapter.  This kind of thinking is evil.

So?  I don’t expect to be prefect.  I don’t expect you to be flawless.  What I believe God expects is for us to be willing to call a sin, sin.  Confession is part of repentance.  It is necessary for the application of grace. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cutting Remarks

(Proverbs 27:6 KJV)  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Some “wounds” (6482) make us stronger.  Maybe we need to expand the meaning of wound.  When the nurse pokes you with the needle she is wounding you but the purpose is a medication to heal or protect.  When the surgeon puts the scalpel to your skill he is going to wound you but the purpose is to get to the problem that cannot be seen.

If we are “faithful” (539) there are times when we will need to be spiritual nurses or surgeons.  We need to make sure our attitudes are right.  I am not sure I would want to get a shot from a nurse who was gleeful for the opportunity.  I would not want the doctor to have that look in his eye that tells me he thinks this is fun.  They would also explain what they are doing and why.  Maybe we should take that as guidance.

So?  There are times when we will need to speak with painful candor.  If done properly it will definitely hurt us more than it hurts them. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Diamonds in the Rough

(Proverbs 26:4 KJV)  Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

We are looking at the bonding and application of several qualities.  We are looking at an attitude of love with a background of knowledge and wisdom, measured by discernment and applied with power.  None of these words are used here.  All are implied.  Without them you are whistling in the dark without lips.

We must not respond to individuals or social expectations in the same terms of the secular pagans.  They run the newspapers, TV stations, educational system and most offices of government.  They have rejected the standards of God.  They think they are smarter that people who accept the God of the Bible.  It may be true.  They may be smarter.  What they are not is wiser.

So?  We are the ugly ducklings.  We are the quarter you occasionally find that is old enough to have silver in it.  We are the frog waiting to be kissed.  We are children of God in a perverse generation, or we should be. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Demanding Tense

(Proverbs 25:4 KJV)  Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

If this were in the Greek I would want to know if the verb was in the present or aorist tense.  Is this an ongoing process or a one time action?  Is this the process of sanctification or the act of being sanctified?  Interesting linguistic questions but I don’t know Hebrew well enough to give an opinion.  Actually I could give an opinion but it would be a “guess”-inion. 

What is clear is that this is declaratory.  It is a command, not a request.  It is a demand, not an option.  “Dross” (5509) is pollution.  It must be removed.  Culturally this is a call on the church to be prophetic and call out evil.  Personally it is a statement that we are to be growing in grace and purging our lives from anything that keeps us from being what God wants us to be.

So?  The script is written.  The stage is set.  Repentance, humility and change are in the lines.  Will you read them as an entertaining play or live them as reality? 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Political Action

(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 reminds me of why Christians need to be involved in the political process.  We are to be prophetic.  We are to advocate the position of righteousness.  If that means we are to try to legislate morality, then so be it, but not at the expense of speaking the truth.  We are surrounded by people who are “ready” (staggering NASB) (4131) toward being “slain” (slaughter NASB) (2027).  They are doing it individually but also as a culture.  Too long have we hid behind the veil of being nice and not offending. 

As I say this I need to stress that our main influence on our culture is not political.  We are to be involved in prayer and supplication.  Intercession is our primary weapon.  We are not to use the tools of the pagan with violence in the streets and subterfuge in the back rooms.  We are also not to use our prayers as an excuse to be silent.  We are blessed with residual freedoms dug out by a previous generation.  We are to use them.  We are also to live them on a daily basis.

So?  Live in righteousness.  Vote in righteousness.  Speak in righteousness.  We are to be salt and salt on an open wound hurts. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Take the Long View

(Proverbs 23:15 KJV)  My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.

What do you wish for your children?  It is a question to be asked when they are young but the goal should never disappear from before your heart.  One of the struggles I have with parents, other teachers and school administrators is what we wish for the children we work with.  Most of what they want for them involves how the kid feels about themselves for the next twenty minutes.  It is all about feelings and self esteem.  I run into conflict because my focus is where they will be in twenty years.  It makes a difference in how you treat them and what you expect from them.

Here the goal is wisdom.  I can think of a passage that wishes many children.  Proverbs also seems to think a wife is good for a man.  Nothing comes to mind in regard to being rich or powerful. 

So?  Being poor and hungry is not a great place to be but lacking wisdom is a greater failure.  A neighbor can give you a loaf of bread.  No one can chose your priorities.