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, November 30, 2011

Lofty Eyes

(Proverbs 30:13 KJV)  There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.

Do you have “lofty” (7311) “eyes” (5869)?  Which direction do they look?  It makes a difference.

One type of lofty eyes looks down, usually on other people.  That is why the NASB throws in the word “arrogance” and puts it in italics to show it is not in the Hebrew.  They want you to know that this refers to the type of person looking down their nose (or down their knows) at the inferior masses around them.  Christians are often accused of this kind of attitude.  The inference here is that such an attitude is sinful.

You can use this picture to remind you that your eyes should be lofty because they are looking up.  Some words should be familiar to you,
(Psalms 121:1 KJV)  I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
We should be always keeping the eyes of our soul focused on God Himself.

So?  Which “generation” (kind NASB) (1755) are you?  People fit into categories.  People look in directions.  Today it might be an interesting exercise to see how others see you.  Then ask yourself if their image is accurate or distorted.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Catch the Drift

(Proverbs 29:15 KJV)  The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

Now we have more instructions on rearing children, instructions that are rejected by our culture.  The “rod” (7626) is considered criminal by some people today.  That does not seem to be the way God views it.

The word “rod” (7626) is also translated “tribe” and “half-tribe”.  It has the idea of a branch that is heavy and useful for many things from clubs to spears.  It was also once attached to the trunk and thus to the root, giving it a badge of authority.  In a sense this means to use the divine leadership given to you as a parent, pastor or teacher to guide and develop the young.

And “reproof” (8433b) is viewed as damaging to self-esteem by the secular world.  The problem is not that the world feels that way.  The problem is that the church has adopted the worlds view.  We see this not only in children, but in the discipline of adults.

So?  Beware conforming to the world’s standards and expectations.  It is often a slow drift and we need to do regular checks.  Are we making our decisions based on the words of Moses, Jesus and Paul or are we listening to Dewey, Freud and Darwin.  Keep your boloney detector on. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Fear

(Proverbs 28:14 KJV)  Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.

Do you want to be “happy” (blessed NASB) (835)?  Then “fear” (6342).  An understanding of the Biblical fear is vital.  It is not crippling fear, it is guiding fear.  It is not inhibiting fear but mobilizing fear.  It is fear based in knowledge not superstition.  Real fear differs from worldly fear in the same way that our hope differs from the common idea of hope.

Fear is awareness.

Fear is assurance.

Pascal wrote:  “Fear not, provided you fear; but if you fear not, then fear.”

In a very real sense you can conquer fear.  It does not seem to be a good idea.  A fool “hardens” (7185) his heart against the fear of the Lord.

So?  Fear in a healthy, well balanced, God centered way.  It keeps you away from cliffs and gives you assurance. 

Pensees, Project Gutenberg, Kindle Highlight Loc. 4248

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hell No? or Hell Yes!

(Proverbs 27:20 KJV)  Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Different translations use different words to get across the ideas here.  The NASB uses the Hebrew terms of “Sheol” (7585) and “Abaddon” (11).  The KJV uses “hell” and “destruction.”  Other translations have “underworld” and “death” for the first and “grave” for the second.  This verse seems to personify these two places.  Proverbs does the same to wisdom.

Two points occur to me.  First, these are real places and real concerns.  Don’t fall into the trap of believing that heaven is real and hell is not.  That simplifies things too much.  Eternal existence is real.  It is described in terms of eternal life and eternal death.  One is in the presence of God, one is separate from God. 

Second, eternal death, by whatever name will never be “satisfied” (7646) and that means you will never be satisfied.  You will be in an eternal condition of wanting something you can’t have.

So?  Make sure you are on the right team.  Check your logo.  It needs to be a cross not a career.  Just a friendly reminder from a person who doesn’t know you.  You know.  God knows. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011


(Proverbs 26:23 KJV)  Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

Dirt and the leftover “dross” (5509) from smelted silver is a pretty low piece of work.  We have little trouble seeing this is the world around us.  Look at the people who draw the praises of the masses.  Rotten to the core and painted with the tainted.

But how often does this describe how we try to live our lives?  We don’t have much trouble with the “potsherd” (earthen vessel NASB) (2789).  The picture is given to us in the NT.
(2 Corinthians 4:7 KJV)  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
All branches of Christianity agree that we are sinners and far from the ideal. 

But what do we use to decorate the outside of our lives.  Some people think they can take the colors of the world and the colors of God and mix them together.  Did you ever try that in art class or as a child with water colors?  When you get the two it comes out a brownish gray that totally confuses my level of color blindness.  Our lives become colored with trash pigment.  In a word, dross.

So?  Make up your mind.  Are you going to immerse yourself in the literature and music of God or of the world?  Dross or gold?  Today might be a good time to start that redecorating project. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Oh, No, Not Again

(Proverbs 25:17 KJV)  Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.

Let me assure you that I can’t be talking about you today.  I don’t know you.  At least, I don’t think I know you other than through the comment section.  Having said that, this verse may speak about your pattern.  Do you make a pest of yourself?

I heard someone mention the three day rule:  When you visit, never stay more than three days.  This would go along with that idea.  We need to be sensitive of others.  Look at your pattern.  Do you find yourself always stopping by someone’s house, office, cubicle or place of business?  Is it possible you are wearing out your welcome?  It is possible they are too polite to tell you? 

My problem tends to be at the other extreme.  I am quite content to go home, close the door, turn on the answering machine, get a good book and ignore the world.  But that is an issue for another day.

So?  Check your patterns.  Be sensitive to the needs of others.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Knew That

(Proverbs 24:12 KJV)  If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

I run into two opposite and equal responses from people when they are presented with information.  One response is, “I knew that.”  Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, but they recognize that they should have.  The other response is “No one ever told me that.”  Maybe.  But usually each response is to cover up the lack of listening.  The first can be humorous.  The danger of the second is hypocrisy.

While I believe God has a sense of humor, He sees through hypocrisy instantly.  Here hypocrisy is a synonym for a lie.  How often do we claim that we did not “know” (3045) something?  How often are we without excuse?  You can fool your friends.  You might be able to talk yourself into believing it.  God will not be mocked.

So?  Be honest.  God does not need a search warrant to know what is in your records.  He does not give jury trials.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that He responds to repentance and has already paid for your Advocate and done the time for you.  Take advantage if you have not already done so.  If you have, rejoice.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An End That Is a Future

(Proverbs 23:18 KJV)  For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

There are times when we feel like all is lost.  It can be as final as a death in the family.  It can be as key as an election defeat.  It can be as childish as having liver for dinner.  Despair sits on the sidelines begging to enter the game.  We have a choice and we face it regularly.  We can have an assurance.  God promises a “surely” (3588/518) in our lives and it involves the certainty of an “end” (future NASB) (319).  This can be as simple as a reminder that “this too shall pass” or it can be as exciting as the promise of the resurrection and eternal life. 

We have the choice.  We can accept or reject.  I face that today.  Maybe you do.  I have a situation that keeps popping into my mind and tries to steal my joy.  I can either focus on it or focus on the promises of God. 

So?  I know which I am going with, how about you.  Grab the promise and get on with life.  It comes with a side order of joy. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Written to Be Used

(Proverbs 22:20 KJV)  Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,

Have you ever been accused of being arrogant because you claim to know truth?  Maybe you have never made that claim.  You should if you are a follower of Jesus Christ.  We do not operate on our own steam.  We have “counsels” (4156) and “knowledge” (1847) based not only on the shoulders of the giants of the faith but on the word of God itself.

Solomon has “written” (3789) things down for us.  So did Paul, John, Isaiah, etc.  We have the benefit, but only if we use it. 

Are you using what God has made available to you?  Why not?

So?  The truth given to us is not a nest egg or a savings account for a rainy day.  It is to be accessed and applied every day.  Don’t waste the resource. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rewards Club

(Proverbs 21:21 KJV)  He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

This brings to my mind the words of Jesus,
(Matthew 6:33 KJV)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
There are two similar translations of the key verb.  The NASB uses “pursues” (7291) and the KJV, “followeth.”  The NASB only translates it as “follow” five times and the KJV uses “pursues” eighty times to nineteen.  Both have the idea of following but one implies more active attention than the other. 

Either way, it is clear our steps are to be on the path of righteousness.  That assumes we want to achieve the goals expressed here:  “Life” (2425b), “righteousness” (6666), and “honor” (3519b).

So?  What are your goals.  If you are a believer, consider that a rhetorical question.  If you are not a believer would you like to see these things in your life?  Pursue Jesus.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Walk the Talk

(Proverbs 20:15 KJV)  There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

This is a simple reminder, an insight into the total Biblical picture of prosperity.  “Knowledge” (1847) is listed as being more “precious” (3366) than gold and jewels.  Gold and jewels are nice, but are incomplete without knowledge.

We understand that both are valuable.  What is being declared here is a ranking.  We find them discussed separately and in combination.  We often see the ranking here but I have never seen one that puts physical wealth above wisdom.

We are also being reminded because we forget this so frequently.  Maybe you are not like me.  I tend to know what is important and ignore it.  You know, talk but not walk.  Then again maybe you are like me.

So?  God knows us and the Holy Spirit reminds us.  Examine your priorities and plan your day based on them.  If it is too late to change today’s plan, how about tomorrow? 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

On the Road, Once More

Just a note.  I will be traveling the next week.  I will schedule posts and if I press all the right buttons and the technology works Perpetual Proverbs will continue with no interruptions.  Comments?  When I have access.

Grace and Peace through this Thanksgiving Season.

Eternal IRA

(Proverbs 19:17 KJV)  He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

Jesus touches on our attitude toward those who want our money:
Matthew 5:42 "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
This would seem to give an insight into what He meant.  We do not lend to those in need, we  “have pity” (is gracious NASB) (2603a).  I have a guy who owes me ten cents from when I was in Junior High School.  I bring it up when the kids at school are trying to bum money off of me.  I tell them that when he pays me back I will see about loaning money to them.  At the other end I have a friend that technically owes me $500 dollars.  I never bring it up.  I don’t expect it.  He was in need and it was “loaned” with the understanding on my part that it would not be returned.

We are to share of the blessing God has given us.  If you want to think of it as a loan, then consider the rest of the verse.  He who lends to the “poor” (1800b) really “lends” (3867b) to the Lord.  The absurdity of the idea should be apparent.  How can you lend to one to whom you owe so much?  Remember what Paul wrote in Philemon:
Philemon1:17-18 If then you regard me a partner, accept him as {you would} me.  But if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account;
So?  I could make a case for being responsible but that is not the point here.  We need to be willing to share and not act like we are the local bank.  There are those in need around us.  You might try passing a gift through a middleman so that they don’t know who gave and you get no credit.  You can simply enjoy their joy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Fruit of the Mouth

(Proverbs 18:20 KJV)  A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.

At first all I could say after reading this verse was, “Whaaat?”  Actually I responded that way after reading over it several times.  Today I focused a little and it began to remind me of other teachings and connections.

Our lives produce “fruit” (6529).  We have the words of Jesus,
(Matthew 7:16 NASB)  "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?
We have Paul talking about the fruit of the Spirit.  We are familiar with the concept of our lives bearing results based on what we are inside.

The first thing this reminds me of is that my “mouth” (6310) lays the groundwork for my behavior and how people receive me.  It is important what I say and how I say it.  Yesterday I had the chance to witness a little.  I found myself wondering if my mouth had prepared the way.  Had I been a gossip?  Had I been unkind?  Did the person I was talking to say to himself, “That is interesting” or did he think, “What a hypocrite”?

So?  What is the fruit of your mouth in everyday living?  It certainly gives me something to think about as a new day begins.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Not a Fun House

(Proverbs 17:13 KJV)  Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.

We don’t always get what we deserve. 

Sometimes that is good.  Salvation is not something we deserve.  We were sinners.  In spite of that Jesus went to the cross.
(Romans 5:8 KJV)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
This is Theology 101.  It is a point agreed to by all Christians.

Sometimes it is not so good.  That is what this verse is reminding us about.  Sometimes you will do “good” (2899b) for someone.  Are they grateful?  No.  They return the favor by doing “evil” (7563a) to you.  Expect it.  It is going to happen. 

Often we run into people who think that because we are taught to turn the other cheek, they can treat us like trash and there is no down side.  God will not be mocked.  He will not let this kind of behavior go unpunished.  Because of their attitude and actions, evil permeates their house.

They may think, “Bring it on!”  They may think that evil is demonstrated by a party atmosphere and the freedom to do all the wild and crazy things those Christians can’t do.  They miss the true extent of evil.  Evil removes the joy.  Evil removes the elements that make life worth living.  When evil descends on a house it becomes a house of gloom and despair.  They may not admit it to you, but they pay big time.

So?  There is little you can do for them but you can make sure that your life does not follow that path.  Go forth and do good.  Let the evil depart. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Get a Handle

(Proverbs 16:20 KJV)  He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

Again we find references that seem to be more NT oriented.  The believer “handleth” (gives attention NASB) (7919a) a “matter” (the word NASB) (1697), even in the OT.  The Jews had to be a literate people.  You can’t give attention to the word if you can’t read.  The ancient Jews were expected to read and know the word of God, just like modern Christians.  This was directed to the people, not to a group like the Pharisees. 

To “handleth” (gives attention NASB)  (7919a) means to carefully and thoughtfully deal with.  The KJV uses “matter” for “word” (1697) but the overwhelming usage of the word, even in the KJV, is “word.”  Specifically it is translated “word” or “words” 808 times, as opposed to “matter” and “matters” 63 times.

Tie that together with the creation account and how “and God said...” becomes “and there was....”  It is important to pay attention to what God has to say about an issue.

So?  Have you checked in with God today.  You probably checked the weather and maybe a traffic report.  You may have answered e-mail and texted a few times.  Did you give any attention to the word?  Priorities.  Priorities.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The DNA Made Me Do It

(Proverbs 15:18 KJV)  A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.

As I read this chapter this month, I see a side of this I had not noticed before.  We often run into people who claim they are “wrathful” (hot-tempered NASB) (2534).  The implication is that they cannot control themselves.  This seems to see it differently.  This seems to say that this guy “stirs up” (1624) “strife” (4066) rather than being stirred up by it.

This verse would imply that even people with a temper have a choice.  Perhaps an uncontrolled temper is more conditioning than nature.  I am not trying to make a hard and fast rule but I have always wondered why two people can respond totally differently to the same situation.  It would also explain why some people when they come to know Jesus are able to dump their temper.

So?  Do you have a temper?  Is it lack of discipline or DNA?  Ask Jesus, but you need to ask with honesty.  Don’t get mad if the answer is not what you want to hear.

Monday, November 14, 2011

With Heart, and MIND, and Soul

(Proverbs 14:18 KJV)  The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

The only difference between the KJV and NASB is the English word used for “simple” (KJV) or “naive” (NASB) (6612a).  Although modern English gives them a slightly different meaning there is considerable overlap.  This talks about a person who does not look beyond the surface of events or thoughts.  I guess the difference might be in ability.  It is the same difference between stupid and ignorant.  One is an innate quality, the other a character trait.  One cannot be overcome, the other is a result of sloth. 

Christians believe that God will make allowance for those who are mentally deficient so I think this refers to sloth.  We are looking at a quality of the sluggard. 

Naive is not cute.  Naive is not innocent.  Naive is not winsome.  Naive is lazy.

So?  God gave you a mind as much as a soul.  Use the first or you might find the latter in peril.  If you are naive, give thinking a try today.  If you are not naive, praise God.  If you don’t know the difference, ask a friend.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Natural Disaster

(Proverbs 13:18 KJV)  Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

What a simple statement.  What a simple analysis.  What a simple solution.  How totally rejected by our political and intellectual leaders today.  The real tragedy is that it is also rejected by the leaders of the church.  It becomes a personal tragedy if I reject it.

Notice it does not try to say that the only cause of poverty and shame is lack of “instruction” (discipline NASB) (4148).  It is one cause.  From reading Proverbs and observing the habits being taught to our children, I would say that it is a major cause.  It is a cause that is beginning to replace the historical realities of oppression and disaster.  Lack of “instruction” (discipline NASB) is becoming a natural disaster and a national disaster.  These are the natural results of a culture that “refuseth” (neglects NASB) (6544a) “instruction” (discipline NASB).

You don’t need to quote me, quote God.

So?  We stock up food and water for emergencies.  When we do, the emergencies are downgraded to inconveniences.  Are you stocking up for spiritual emergencies?  How is your discipline?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Heart Monitors

(Proverbs 12:20 KJV)  Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.

We have a saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  Perhaps we could have another one, “Deceit is in the heart of the evil.”

There are times when circumstances seem to trap us.  We respond under pressure or without thinking and we know we have blown it.  We all know what that is like.

But what about those times when actions are simply a reflection of what is inside.  What is the basic condition of your “heart” (3820)?  Some have hearts of “deceit” (4820).  This is not talking about the generic condition of all humanity.  If it were there would be no second part of this verse.  Some people have set their hearts on evil.  It is a choice they have made either by seeking it out or by rejecting the grace that God has offered.

So?  You can’t do much about others but you can check your own heart.  Is it set on evil or peace?  Rejoice or repent today.  The long term results are dramatically different.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Honor of Grace

(Proverbs 11:16 KJV)  A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

The translations I have agree on the first part of this verse but have variety on the second part.  That is because “gracious” (2580) is one of the important words of the OT.  This is the favor that Noah found.  Theologically it means that undeserved movement of God that takes place not only in our salvation but in the daily maintenance that the Holy Spirit does.

In relationships it is a human trait that we can all learn.  It involves things like courtesy, kindness, patience, tact and so forth.  Here the emphasis is on women.  Other places it is applied across the board.  You can’t ignore the recommendation of this charming way of relating just because you are not a woman in the same way that the second part doesn’t mean that only men can attain riches.

So?  Live a life that produces “honor” (3519b).  We are called to make a difference and you will touch areas of the world the rest of us won’t have time to reach today.  Be salt and light.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just Righteous

(Proverbs 10:20 KJV)  The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

Believers should get the “Silver” (3701) “Tongue” (3956) Award.  People should love to hear what we have to say because we speak truth.

At least that should be our standard.  We are supposed to be “just” (righteous NASB) (6662).  Think of the synonyms that are substituted for being just at different places in scripture.  What words come to mind?  Straight.  Upright.  Honest.  Clean.  Righteous.  Pure.  Holy.

We should be the kind of people who speak with silver dollars instead of monopoly money.  When we say something, hearers should be able to take it to the bank.

So?  Are you a reliable source?  That doesn’t mean you never make mistakes.  It means that your are the kind of person who’s words can be trusted.  It is a matter of choice.  Make it today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Death Happens

(Proverbs 9:18 KJV)  But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

The Bible is a serious book.  Proverbs is a serious part of that serious book.  It is not just a lot of cute and clever sayings to entertain.  It is not a matter of “Six Easy Steps” or “Five Ways to....”  It is a guide book to life and death.

This chapter in Proverbs deals with wisdom and the foolish.  Both say the same things but mean the opposite.  Compare verses 4 and 16.  The same words but different destinations.  Jesus said that He came to bring life.  Following the foolish leads to death.  Don’t be “guests” (7121) of fools.

So?  Life is serious.  Death is final.  Make sure that you are listening to the right voice so that you can turn the right direction.  What is that tune you were just humming?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

For Crying Out Loud

(Proverbs 8:1 KJV)  Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  For pagans this leads to an endless round of circular reasoning.  Believers know that the proper answer is neither, God created both a chicken and a rooster because if He didn’t we would not have any eggs that could become chickens.  See how easy that was?

With “wisdom” (2451) and “understanding” (8394) it isn’t that easy.  Then again, maybe it is.  They seem to be designed to go around in circles.  When one increases, the other follows.  Both are rooted in the reality of an almighty God.

Wisdom begins in a proper fear of the Lord.  Without wisdom, knowledge is of limited use.  With wisdom knowledge is assembled and becomes understanding.  Wisdom adds the perspective that leads to understanding.  That perspective is the eternal, holy nature of God.  Without it you are like a man with a cow that has never had a calf.  Such a cow is good only for one time use as hamburger.  Properly prepared the cow can give years of milk and cheese.

So?  Are you after the kind of answers a Google search can give or do you want to really understand the nature of the universe.  For one, press “enter;” for the other, seek wisdom. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

With All Due Diligence

(Proverbs 7:15 KJV)  Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

Christians are big fools for people who claim to “diligently seek” (seek earnestly NASB) (7836).  We look for this in our political leaders.  I don’t know how many times I have heard this explaining why a vote was cast.  In our private lives it involves making donations or loaning things.  Sincerity is a requirement in life, but it is not the final word. 

In this case we have a woman who has gone to worship and preformed the rituals.  She also did that sincerely.  She then went out with adultery on her mind.  Her sincerity was not grounded in righteousness and truth.  As you read on you will find out that her misguided sincerity ends up in what verse 27 calls “the way to hell.”

So?  Focus your sincerity on righteousness, not ritual.  Let your sincerity be a source of obedience.  Know the truth and don’t play games with yourself or God.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fire Still Burns

(Proverbs 6:27 KJV)  Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

A variation of this is a common proverb I heard as a child, “He who plays with fire will often get burnt.”  I tried a Google search to find out who said it first.  It was interesting.  I flipped through page after page of references to the phrase and could find nothing showing its source.  It may be buried in there somewhere but I have a life.  Someone wrote a book recently that used it in the title.  Newspapers accuse everybody of doing it.  It is quite popular.

This tells me that people are quite aware of this truth.  The oldest reference I find is right here in Proverbs.  This is evidence to me that the Holy Spirit is still working in the hearts of men and women.  There is something in us that knows that certain types of behavior have a built in danger.

What they don’t want to admit is that there is hope for a solution to the problem.

So?  We have the answer.  People know the question.  They just don’t want to admit it.  Pray that God would bring honesty to the hearts of people you care about. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Exclusive Listing

(Proverbs 5:17 KJV)  Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee.

Some things in life are not for sharing.  We get a steady diet of community.  “We are one in the bond of love” used to be a big chorus.  It has been replaced by other catch-phrases such as “sharing is caring.” 

But some parts of our lives are not for sharing.  The context here regards sex and the marriage bed.  We are to be chase, monogamous and faithful.  “Strangers” (2114a) are people who are not in covenant with you.  This can be anyone who is not walking with Jesus.  On the personal level it refers to the unique relationship between husband and wife.

There is a reason why the church is called the Bride of Christ.  It reflects on the covenant that is established and the faithfulness that is expected.

So?  Save your best for the covenant.  That may be your spouse in sexual matters.  It should be God in all other areas.  He demands an exclusive.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Right On!

(Proverbs 4:25 KJV)  Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

Who would have guessed that the expression “right on” came from the KJV.  The word means "in front of you," thus we have “directly ahead” (5227) in the NASB.

We are so easily distracted.  There is so much that can pull our “eyes” (5869) off Jesus.  It can be something as simple as a headache.  It really doesn’t take much.  It is almost like we are looking for a reason to get off track.  Why?

Because the life of holiness is demanding.  It demands the maturity of the long range view.  We are much more inclined to immediate gratification.  How many times have we had that extra helping of our favorite food because “life is too short.”  How many times have we gotten angry because someone gets in front of us in line. 

If you want to go straight, fix your eyes on something in the distance and walk toward it.  For us that should be Jesus.

So?  How did you start your day?  Did you get into the word and get your mind focused on the things of God or did you say, “Later.”  Maybe its just me but I find it to hard to bake the cookies if I don’t read the recipe.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ways of Pleasantness

(Proverbs 3:17 KJV)  Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

I like the old KJV expression of “ways (1870) of pleasantness (5278).”  It is purely personal and esthetic, not moral and scholarly.  It means the same as “pleasant ways” but works its way into my being better.

Such is wisdom.  That is what we are talking about here.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t tend to think of wisdom in terms of pleasant and peaceful.  I tend to think in terms of answers and insight.  Our culture does not value wisdom based on eternal truth.  It belittles wisdom based on simple teachings and moral standards.  “Intellectuals” today prefer the vague, impermeable sayings of the mysterious East such as, “What is the sound of one hand clapping” to simple ideas like “thou shalt not commit adultery.”  This conflict may make outward peace difficult.

But we can know the inner peace of being in harmony with an eternal God.  Such is wisdom.

So?  Don’t worry if the world doesn’t understand you.  It doesn’t understand truth either.  Seek wisdom and rejoice in finding it. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Choice Paths

(Proverbs 2:18 KJV)  For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.

This is a chapter of comparison and contrast.  We have wisdom and its results and then we have what verse 16 calls “strange woman” and “stranger.”  Both are referred to as “her.”  Solomon makes it clear that we have a choice. 

The disobedient “inclineth” (sinks down NASB) (7743).  I have a picture of a delivery ramp to the basement of a large building.  I see a large truck backing down and eventually being swallowed. 

We need to realize that some choices lead to “death” (4194), both physical and spiritual.  We are faced with many branches in our day and in our lives.  Some are of no eternal consequences.  Others may send us to Hell.

So?  Consider carefully your choices today.  God is patient.  God forgives.  God does not play games.  Think, repent, change, live.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Beware the Tie that Binds

(Proverbs 1:14 KJV)  Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:

This seems like a statement about Communism.  Some readers may not be old enough to remember Communism.  Those of us who do, realize it is still alive and well on college campuses and in the Federal Government.  It is a belief that all the wealth should be pooled and the government elites allowed to distribute it “fairly.”  In case you were not awake for the reading of the context, this is not a good idea. 

The “lot” (1486) has the idea of gambling.  This is an invitation to give up control of our lives and our ability to make choices.  We turn it over to someone else.  This implies that such a move is a gamble.  We need to be very careful of whom we join and whom we trust.

Many are familiar with another expression of this,
(2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV)  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
In Corinthians it is specifically talking about marriage but the principle goes to every area of life.

So?  What commitments entangle you?  Many of them are done-deals and the ink is dry.  Honor your commitments.  Examine your day and your plans for the future.  Are there “common purses” that you should be avoiding?  Are there old commitments that you will be able to dissolve.  This is serious business.  Be alert.