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.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Mouth Guards

(Proverbs 21:23 KJV)  Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.

I tend to think that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to protect my “soul” (5315).  It is, but like so many of the principles expressed in the Bible there is a place for our involvement.  We are not saved by works, but works are demanded.  Our hearts are cleansed by faith but we are expected to put effort into living upright lives.  The Holy Spirit lives in us and preserves us, but we are expected to watch our mouths.

Somehow the discipline of shutting our mouths and carefully picking our words helps to keep our inner man strong and growing.

So?  Bite your tongue.  Count to ten.  Breathe deep.  Do whatever it takes but go for the stronger soul.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The First Amendment

(Proverbs 20:28 KJV)  Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.

The marginal reading of the NASB is interesting here because it throws an interesting insight into the Hebrew used for “mercy" (loyalty NASB) (2617a).  It reads “covenant loyalty”.  As I keep saying, my favorite translation is “lovingkindness” and the opinion that this is the OT version of agape.  This speaks to the relationship between political leaders and the people of God.

My first reading speaks to the responsibility of the leaders.  It could be the president or it could be the school board members.  They all have a responsibility, based on a covenant, to their constituents.  Too often they throw up smoke screens and simply lie to keep people from throwing them out of office.  This does not end well.

We the people also owe them a commitment.  Sometimes that means being a cheering section.  Other times it means being the inspector general. 

So?  We are blessed to live in a country where we still have some freedoms.  One of them, in the First Amendment is to petition the government for redress of grievances.  As believers we should not hesitate to exercise that right before we lose it. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Responsiveness

(Proverbs 19:25 KJV)  Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.

How do you respond to adversity?  That is a hard one to answer accurately.  No one is totally consistent in sailing through rough water.  We have a word for that person, Pollyanna.  God’s patience sees us through our weak moments, but we still have a choice in how we respond.  One of the questions I ask myself is, “What am I supposed to be learning from this?” 

I am going through some personal struggles.  I keep asking myself is this the time to turn the other cheek or to pull a Martin Luther.  You know, “Here I stand...”  Everyone has advice to give but in the end we are responsible for our own answers.  God must speak to me on my level, not yours.  I remember when I was first married and going through the adjustments.  Most of the books written to help young husbands are written by men with type A personalities.  What works for them isn’t within my world.  It took me many books to understand that.

So?  At times God will be forced to teach me the hard way because I am so unresponsive.  My prayer is that I will hear what He is teaching me before I get too many bumps on my head. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Let’s Talk

(Proverbs 18:13 KJV)  He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

Don’t try to confuse me with the facts.  That is the attitude of the majority of humans who have a comfortable paradigm in their lives and don’t want to upset their comfort.  Even people in misery seem to prefer the pain rather than change.  Thomas Jefferson put it this way in the Declaration of Independence.
“all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves...”
The pagan forces in our culture have come to the point of having no fear because they know we will not speak up.  I would suggest that we have been listening long enough, it is time to speak out on homosexuality, Biblical justice, class warfare and other topics that the left is pushing to de-Christianize our culture. 

So?  Assuming you have been meditating, praying and thinking, look for ways to speak out but keep it kind and courteous. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Ear Choices

(Proverbs 17:4 KJV)  A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.

I am accustomed to the idea of “loose lips sink ships”.  Evil people speak evil.  They also listen to evil.  I think this implies that they go looking for other evil sources of information.  They consult with other people in rebellion against God.  When someone is not walking in obedience they are actively colluding to spread falsehood.

There is nothing you can do about them, but you can be alert to not listening to them.  You can be careful about whom you chose for advice.  Just because there are a lot of people trumpeting a meme does not mean that it is right.

So?  Make God’s word the structure for the information you gather.  Anyone who rejects that standard should also be rejected as an authority. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Heart Leadership

(Proverbs 16:23 KJV)  The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.

I tend to think that my mind should be guiding my “mouth” (6310) rather than my “heart” (3820).  It is interesting that the word has the sense of mind.  It is the inner man. 

I guess it is usually who we are on the inside that determines the choices we make and the priorities we set.  It is important to understand that our heart does not exist in a vacuum but is the part of us that is transformed.  It is the word used in the familiar verse,
(Proverbs 3:5 KJV)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
It takes us beyond sterile facts and puts the moral values on them.

So?  If your heart is right with God, don’t be afraid to follow your heart.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Hedge of Sloth

(Proverbs 15:19 KJV)  The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.

Being “slothful” (sluggard NASB) (6102) is more extreme than we might think.  Notice that it is contrasted with uprightness.  One would expect it to be held up against the industrious.  If that were the case there would be no moral judgement, but this offers a moral judgement. 

But the focus of this verse is the life that is ahead for lazy people.  Couch potatoes face nothing but barriers and pain in their lives.  Nothing will ever go right.  In other verses found in Proverbs you find they tend to blame everyone else and have an encyclopedia of excuses.  Does that sound like anyone you know or see on the news, people who are always blaming and claiming to be victims?

So?  As followers of Almighty God we are not allowed to blame others for our lack of blessings.  We are expected to get off the couch, out of the air conditioning and get moving on building a life.  Sloth is sin.