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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Spiritual Taste Buds

(Proverbs 31:18 KJV)  She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

How can we know what is “good” (2896a) and what is bad?  First we need to acknowledge that good and bad exist.  Then we need to “perceiveth” (senses NASB) (2938).  Perception is something that we can develop.  The word literally means to taste and is used that way most times in the OT.  One place that is not so literal is the one you are most familiar with:
(Psalms 34:8 KJV)  O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
We need to develop the ability to discern between the bad, the good, the better and the best.  Sometimes this can only be done through experience.  I have been drinking coffee for years.  I am no connoisseur, but I am getting to the place where a taste will tell me if it is good or not.  At first, when I drank it to stay awake, I doctored it with loads of sugar and cream.  Now I can enjoy it black.

Some things such as liver and menudo I don’t need to taste physically.  The smell is enough to tell me, “Don’t go there.”  Some parts of life we need to taste to see what is needed, like a cook preparing a special recipe with vague amounts of spices.  It becomes seasoned to taste.  Sometimes we can get the advice of others as in your first visit to a restaurant and asking, “What is really good here?”

And of course the one you know I am aiming for:  Know the Word.  It gives me a standard to measure by.  I can rely on nothings else.

So?  Each of us is responsible for our choices.  Make them informed.  Understand that the best source of information is the Bible.  Read, taste, perceive. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Leech Lines

(Proverbs 30:15 KJV)  The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:

We have all met the “horseleach” (leech NASB) (5936).  If you attend a church, you are a natural target for this person.  They know just enough to know that God expects us to be generous and share.  They may have experienced the generosity of the church.  When they wear us out they call us hypocrites.  No, we are not hypocrites, we just are not totally stupid.  Even Christians who love realize that they are throwing pearls before swine.  Or at least scarce resources before leeches.

There were times when Jesus did not respond to demands that He give.  He did not respond to those who said, “Give us answers,” when they really did not want answers.  He did not respond to those demanding miracles when they just wanted a show.  He did not respond to those outside the community of faith, at least not until they showed a bit of belief. 

When He did respond, He did not always give the answers they wanted.  Think of the rich young ruler who could not handle what he was given.

So?  Don’t be afraid if you feel you need to say, “No.”  Of course if you always say that you may have a different problem but that is not the point of this verse. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Correct Comfort

(Proverbs 29:17 KJV)  Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

We are expected to “correct” (3256) our children.  Yes, I know the Hebrew says “son” (1121) and that is the correct translation, even if you like the CEV.  But I am not translating.  I am trying to understand.  Just as when we say, “Let’s go get a Coke,” and we order a root beer, words can be used specifically and have a general understanding.

That is a tangent.  The first point of this verse is that parents are to be parents.  Adults are to be adults.  The reason for that is that children will be children.  You can quote me on that.

Correcting is defined as “to discipline, chasten, admonish.”  It is not pleasant to give or receive.  It is still a command of God.  Too often we want to “comfort” (5117) and “delight” (4574) our children.  That is their job, but they won’t be able to do it if we don’t prepare them.

So?  Accept the responsibility that God has given to you.  The Holy Spirit works through people.  Last time I looked I noticed that you are one.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Prince of an Oppressor

(Proverbs 28:16 KJV)  The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.

Two issues come out to me in considering the different translations of this verse:  Vocabulary and word order.  I like the vocabulary of the NASB and the word order of the KJV.  Each offers a bit of confusion.

I don’t know if word order is important in the Hebrew.  I know it is not in Greek.  In English it is part of our understanding.  Here I think the KJV has the advantage.  The KJV points out that the “leader” (prince NASB) (5057) who lacks “understanding” (8394) becomes an “oppressor” (4642).  It is a given.

Leaders can be in any field.  Politics is obvious but we also have them in the world of education.  We have leaders in business and in the church.  It is important to pick leaders that have an understanding of God’s principles.  In organizations where you can’t pick your leaders, then pick your organization.

They can oppress in many ways.  We tend to think of economic and political oppression but I think that a teacher who is not in contact with truth and understanding can set up oppression based in ignorance. 

So?  Be careful whom you follow.  Elections are coming.  Be careful how you vote.  It is time to start thinking about it on all levels, city officials, judges, congress as well as president. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lighten Up

(Proverbs 27:22 KJV)  Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

I’m afraid I am going to need to include the entire verse from the NASB on this one.
(Proverbs 27:22 NASB)  Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.
Are you a reformer?  I don’t mean in the cultural sense.  I mean in the personal sense.  Are you always trying to help people?  To get them to straighten up and fly right?  To get them to see the light?  Is your favorite motto, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”?  Maybe it is time to change your motto.

You can be an inspiration, an example, a friend, and a wall to run into.  That is all you can be.  There are two factors that are key to changing people.  One is the Holy Spirit.  God is working to change people and bring them to repentance and salvation.  The other key element is their personal choice.  If a person is a “fool” (191) then they are making the wrong choices.  The word is here that you need to lighten up.  Stop pounding.  Don’t stop being an example and a witness, but relax and realize that if the Holy Spirit can’t get through that thick skull, you won’t either.

Speaking of thick skulls, ask yourself this, “Is someone working on you?”

So?  Do your part, God is doing His.  But remember that the “fool” has a part to play. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Haters Deceive

(Proverbs 26:26 KJV)  Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.

More on what the kids call “haters.”  They use the term like they use the words “racist” and “bully,” as ways to manipulate others.  That does not mean that such things don’t exist, just that the manipulators of our culture have learned to use them to convey guilt instead of produce clarity.  You see it on the news when the talking heads talk about greed instead of profit and act like every lazy degenerate is a genuine victim instead of a lazy degenerate.

A believer “covers” (3680) himself with truth and love.  A hater uses “deceit” (guile NASB) (4860).  While we may be deceived as individuals, God is never fooled and He has established the church to act as a filter to help us see what is true and what is not.

So?  Don’t be afraid to call sin, “sin.”  It is.  Don’t allow others to confuse issues.  You are part of the church.  You need to listen and love but there is a time to confront evil.  Maybe today.  Maybe not.  Only the Lord can guide you in this. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Broken Tooth and Broken Truth

(Proverbs 25:19 KJV)  Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

Are you a “broken” (bad NASB) (7489b) “tooth” (8127) in anyone’s life?  I must confess that I have not had much in the way of emergency tooth attacks.  I have had my share of cleanings, fillings and crowns but my bad teeth are more infiltration than open attacks.  The closest I can come is the day I bit down on a piece of hard candy and it was the tooth that broke instead of the candy.  Come to think of it, that was a bad tooth.  It was unexpected.  I was counting on it.  In a moment of crisis, it let me down.

I know we always think it is the other guy, but how good are the odds that it is never you?  Or me?  Are we faithful to our friends?  To our family?  To our God?

So?  Be honest.  No one is listening to your thoughts but you and God.  You can’t hide from Him, so you might as well be honest with yourself.  Can you be depended on?  Make the right choices today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Diapers Must Go

(Proverbs 24:14 KJV)  So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.

Here “wisdom” (2451) is presented as a requirement, not an option.   I am sorry if that rains on your parade, but that seems to be what it says.

For some of you that is bad news.  You have built a life around our cultural teaching of self-esteem and self-actualization.  You believe the lie that children are unpolluted founts of wisdom.  It has become an excuse for your lack of discipline and obedience.

For some this is good news.  It is presented in such a way that we know wisdom is available for anyone who seeks.  It is the Holy Spirit who provides it and teaches it. 

Think of it as a kind of spiritual potty training.  There comes a time in a young child’s life when he knows it is time to move out of the diapers.  He can see what is expected and has even had some success.  In most children it is a choice to grow up and move forward.  If you don’t or if it causes trauma we have words for that condition.

So?  Grow up.  Oh, not over night, but if you don’t start now, when will be the right time?  God is patient but He can tell the difference between stages of growth and refusal to grow.

Monday, January 23, 2012

From Seed to Feed

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

Food.  For much of the world it is a struggle to get enough.  To most in the West it is a matter of excess.  In the Western world we don’t understand how many people do not even have enough to eat each day.  We need to develop this perspective.  I need to develop this perspective.  At either end of the spectrum, food can become an idol. 

Does this verse mean that eating is supposed to be a serious business?  Perhaps it reflects people who do not eat with the proper thanks to God for providing.  We who live in modern society do not appreciate what it takes to get food from the fields to the table.  We are not aware of all the miracles that are necessary for us to have the bounty we know.  Even the farmer does not understand all of the details that are involved in taking seed, dirt, water and sunlight and providing bread.

So?  We will never know all that goes into putting the bounty on our table but we can be grateful.  We can focus on the glorious way in which God has provided.  Thank Him also that He gave us the taste-buds that make it possible to enjoy the variety.  Savor. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Legal v Moral

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

Again we see the command not to take advantage of the “poor” (1800b) or the “afflicted” (6041).  There is a certain mindset that lives nobly, unless they think they can get away with it.  In public they are fair and compassionate.  In the shadows they take every shortcut they can think of.  These people are spiritual bullies. 

This is one of those things that should not need to be said once, let alone repeated.  The fact that it is a theme indicates how easy it is for us to drift into sin and rationalization.  I wonder if “oppress” (crush NASB) (1792) implies that there are things that are legal but not moral.  They are not the same.  Many things that we can do legally are not acceptable for those who follow the Law of Liberty.

So?  Let me use an old cliche, “We march do a different drummer.”  Rejoice in that, don’t try to work around it. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mouth Off, Not Mouthing Off

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

The wise man “keepeth” an eye on (guards NASB) (8104) what he says. 

Somewhere out there is a list of the different issues touched on in Proverbs and how often each is addressed.  If not, I will probably do one myself but I am too lazy to go looking right now.  This must be one of the more frequent topics:  The “mouth” (6310), or as the book of James terms it, the “tongue” (Hebrew 3956/Greek 1100).

Frequency means something.  When you look up a word in a concordance and find it is very frequent, that should say something to you.  Too often it says irritation and defensiveness.  Usually it should say care and attentiveness.  I know your wife is always nagging you about something.  In our foolishness we get our dander up and belligerently refuse to change.  We should be listening and arranging our lives to change. 

Which is wise?  Which is easy?

So?  I never said it would be easy but it is the path of righteousness.  How about a change of pace today? 

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Mouth Full of Gravel

(Proverbs 20:17 KJV)  Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

I have no trouble with this for a good person sucked into a situation, but I wonder how it can be true of all.  Remember there are verses that indicate that some people love evil.  It works as a general principle if we assume that the saturated evil person is in a real minority.  They exist but not in large numbers.
Proverbs 4:16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they make {someone} stumble.
That is not good enough.  Both statements are scriptural.  Both must be true.  So our understanding and application must take both into account.

This leads me to an understanding of the evil mind.  Yes, there are people who get great pleasure out of creating evil.  What we need to understand is that even though they will not admit it, they know it is evil and know they are wrong.  There is a deeply anchored awareness and dissatisfaction in their hearts that life is nothing but “gravel” (2687) to them.  I repeat, they will never admit it.  That does not mean it is false.

So?  Don’t get envious of those you think are living the high life.  Sure it looks good but when no one is looking they admit to themselves that their lives are full of putrid, rotten memories.  They deserve your pity, not your envy.  Pray that the love of God being lived out in your life will make a difference in them today.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Is Sermonito Spanglish for “Little Sermon?”

(Proverbs 19:20 KJV)  Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.

“Hear" (listen NASB) (8085).  That is a one word sermon.  It doesn’t take long to hear but it takes a lifetime to apply.

It is easy to let the word slip by in our world but for the ancient Jew it was impossible.  The Hebrew word is shama and it is the first word of the Shema, a Bible verse that was to be repeated daily by faithful believers in the OT.
(Deuteronomy 6:4 KJV)  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
Not a bad way to start your day.  Listen.  God is speaking and remember He does not write a blog or post on the internet.  He wrote the word.  For us.  For today.

So?  Listen. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Grace Makes a Good Wife

(Proverbs 18:22 KJV)  Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

Is this the same author that warns us about a nagging “wife” (802)?  This word is translated “wife” or “woman”.  They are almost always the same word.

Marriage was instituted by God.  So begins the traditional wedding ceremony.  Marriage is a good thing and was designed to be a good thing.  Like all of creation, it was created good but is subject to the touch of man.  Thus it can be broken, twisted, perverted and otherwise made un-good.  Sin does that, just ask Adam and Eve.

As sin destroys, grace restores. 

So?  If you are married, seek to allow the grace of God to transform it into the blessing it was designed to be.  If you are not married, it is a good thing.  But then, Paul also extolled the virtues of the single person being able to serve the Lord. 

Paul offers some advice.  Both verses are in different contexts but the advice, when combined, is a good starting point for today.
(Philippians 4:11 KJV)  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
(1 Corinthians 12:31 KJV)  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Simple Complexity

(Proverbs 17:17 KJV)  A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs gives different pictures of what a “friend” (7453) is.  Some are positive like this.  Others bring out dangers and cautions.  Why can’t things be simple?

This is one of the ways of knowing you are on the Highway of Holiness.  Life has nuance and is multi leveled.  Take the nature of God, for instance.  God is one.  Simple.  Until you keep reading and come across the three persons of the Trinity.  Or take salvation:  We are saved by grace.  Simple.  Until you come across the admonition to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 

We have a tendency to want to put everything in simple terms.  If it works for you and you don’t get judgmental of those who see the complex nature of eternity, then grab hold and don’t let go.  I hope you will forgive my tendency to think of that as a position for those new in the faith or immature in their spiritual life.  Even on a simple topic like “loves” (157) we find Paul saying,
(1 Corinthians 13:11 KJV)  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
So?  In some areas my faith is simple.  In other areas it is shrouded in mystery.  In all areas I expect it to be growing and maturing, never leaving behind the central awareness of the cross.  Wherever your walk is taking you, blessings.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fools and Folly

(Proverbs 16:22 KJV)  Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.

Does this mean the “instruction” (discipline NASB) (4148) directed toward fools or by them?  Many translations leave it ambiguous.  Some translate it as futility of trying to teach fools anything.  As a teacher I see both sides.

It is almost impossible to get something across to a child who is convinced that they have the world by the tail and you are just an official of the state trying to limit their free expression.  Assuming we are talking about the difference between free enterprise and socialism, an important issue in today’s changing culture.  They refuse to see how this will influence what the girl in the next row thinks of their new haircut.  They are right and oh so wrong.

On the other side I am forced to follow the directions of adults who think that children are fountains of pristine wisdom and that given the chance they will do the right thing.  These are called Administrators, Professors, and Consultants.  They used to be called Pagans.

So?  Are you surrounded by people like this?  If I may be indelicate, are you one of them?  First check the beam, then we will worry about the moat.  Study the word so that you can know that the “folly” (200) is not on your end.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reachable Goals

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

How are things between you and your parents?  Some might think it is too late to worry about.  Perhaps your parents, like mine, have already died.  In such a situation, how do you make your father “glad” (8055)?  Or what if you have a father who has made all the wrong choices and seems to despise the road of righteousness you have taken?

I guess I would recommend living in such a way that would make your father rejoice if he were alive and spiritually sane.  There is little we can do about how other people choose to respond to us.  Have you ever had a boss that you could never please?  How about a spouse that was angry no matter how hard you tried?  How about children that always found you an embarrassment? 

That is their problem.  You need to be responsible, before God, for your choices, attitudes and priorities.

So?  Don’t expect to please people, they are finite and impossible.  I know because I am one.  Live to please God, He has a lot more flexibility for your weirdness than your parents.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Poor Neighbors

(Proverbs 14:20 KJV)  The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.

Context is important in this verse.  Read the verses around it.  This is not a statement about how it should be for us.  It points out differences between God’s people and the pagans.

The standard of the world is to be “hated” (8130) because you are “poor” (7326).  If you listen to politicians, demonstrators such as Occupy Wallstreet, charities and such you think they really care but they generally want to help the poor with your money while they skim off a healthy dose for their own support and comfort.  They generally don’t have the poor home for dinner or want their children to marry them.

This is an indictment of the nature of man.  A poor person usually lives in an area full of other poor people.  They are his “neighbor” (7453).  The lower classes, unredeemed, hate those who are like themselves.

We are called to love all men.  That is the basis for the statements, “All men are created equal,” “The ground is level at the foot of the cross,” “There are in Christ no free or slave,” and so many others.

So?  Start with simple courtesy.  Give people the dignity that they might not have earned but deserve. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Smelly Associations

(Proverbs 13:20 KJV)  He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Have you noticed how people who smoke don’t seem to be aware that they smell like tobacco?  The smell clings to everything it touches.  I had a friend in my youth who would come over and want to go for coffee.  I would always go.  When I would get back I would need to change clothes and take another shower because I would reek of the weed.  It was a minor inconvenience. 

The ideas and thought patterns of others effect us the same way.  We may not even notice but we begin to pick up style from those around us.  Have you been around someone who supposedly went to school and has an education and had them talk about “dising” someone.  This is not English.  It is Ebonics.  It is a word from the world of gangs and rap. 

What kind of wisdom substitutes have you picked up from your environment?

So?  Be careful who you hang with.  The wisdom you sacrifice may be your own.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Truly Delightful

(Proverbs 12:22 KJV)  Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.

How do we define what it means to lie?  The Ten Commandments give us a good one.
(Exodus 20:16 KJV)  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
That focuses on the things we say.  Speak the truth.

Here the target is our actions, how we live.  We are expected to “deal” (6213a) “truly” (faithfully NASB) (530).  This reminds us that following Jesus is not just a matter of words but a matter of behavior. 

This means that you give an hour of work, at least, for an hour of pay.  This means you give honest weights whether you are buying or selling.  It means that you are honest about the quality of things you sell in yard sales.  It means you show up on time.  There are so many applications.  Everything we do reflects on our Jesus. 

So?  We are different, or we should be.  You make choices and set priorities.  Let them bring “delight” (7522) to the heart of God. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Get Ready for Rejection

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

There is such a things as a “cruel man” (394).  They are not just misunderstood.  You may not like it, but it is true.  All of your education in secular schools may scream, “No!”  It is still true.

There are people in the world who get their kicks by causing pain and enjoy seeing others suffer.  We need to learn to admit this so that we can deal with them.  It doesn’t do any good to deny that disease exits.  It doesn’t make you warm to claim there is not snow on the ground just because you don’t want to shovel it. 

So?  Learn to deal with reality.  God is love.  The world needs that love but most tend to reject it.  We are still called to turn the other cheek and walk the extra mile.  Go for it but don’t expect people to thank you. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Be Vitamins

(Proverbs 10:21 KJV)  The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.

Last month I reflected on the existence of the righteous.  Why are they so important to God’s plan for the world?  I remind you of one of the things that Jesus said,
(John 14:12 KJV)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
I have always wondered how we would do greater than Jesus did.  One explanation is that the Holy Spirit working through believers can multiply the presence of righteousness.  Jesus could only walk one path at a time.  Through us He can be in every town and every home simultaneously. 

Think of yourself as vitamin C.  We all know that it is in citrus fruit.  Most don’t understand that it is also in spinach and other greens.  It can’t help but be eaten and make a difference.  We, the righteous, are like that.  We “feed” (7462a) the world around us.  Like vitamin C in spinach, our contribution may not be noticed, but it makes health possible.

So?  Go forth and do good.  More accurately, go forth and be good.  Jesus goes with you because Jesus goes in you.  Your words, actions and attitudes will make a difference, today.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wine and Wisdom

(Proverbs 9:5 KJV)  Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.

Again we have reference to “wine” (3196).  This is the same wine that is called a mocker.  Yet here it is being prepared and offered by Wisdom.  The Bible has sufficient to say about alcoholic beverages to conclude that they are not automatically sinful but have the potential to be destructive.  Verses like this seem to imply that properly used they are acceptable.  Other verses point out the danger. 

I am a teetotaler.  For those of you who are too young to know that word it means that I don’t have anything to do with alcohol as a beverage.  I feel that alcohol offers little or no benefit to society and creates massive harm.  For that reason I would encourage people to avoid it.

I think that is a product of wisdom.  Wisdom knows when to say “no”:  All the time.  Wisdom also says I cannot condemn you to hell if you have a beer once in awhile.  I will even sit and socialize with you as I consume my chemically produced diet drink. 

So?  Show moderation and wisdom.  Remember such cliches as “It is easier to stop if you never start.”  And please breathe the other way.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Wisdom of Better Wheels

(Proverbs 8:11 KJV)  For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

My first motorcycle was an old, used Honda 50.  When I mounted up and headed down the street, I had the world by the tail.  It didn’t matter that I almost weighed more than it did.  It didn’t matter that I could not break any speed limits.  I thought I was flying because I was comparing it to my bicycle.  Then came the day I bought a Honda 450 CL.  Suddenly the old 50 was not “desirable” (2656).  With one twist of a throttle it became an embarrassment.  I could suddenly see it for what it was.

The strange thing to me was that I was afraid to ride the little, old machine after I had ridden the bigger new one.  It wasn’t just a matter of bigger and shinier.  When I had ridden the better bike I realized how close the old one was to falling apart. 

“Wisdom” (2451) is like that.  When we come into an understanding of the mind of God the old ways pale in comparison.  The understanding of truth and eternity show us how rickety the old set of intellectual wheels really were. 

So?  Listen, read, think, pray, meditate.  Get in contact with the word and let it change how you view the rest of your day.  It will change how you look at the rest of your life. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Myrrh of Our Age

(Proverbs 7:17 KJV)  I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

You may not recognize it but this is an invitation to sin.

Sin will always find new ways to express itself.  How many of you find it seductive to sprinkle cinnamon on your bed?  Is a treatment for sunburn alluring?  How many of us even know what myrrh is?  Today it is probably a rock band and still sinful.  In Solomon’s time this was a way to temp people to sin.

Today the words are different but the goal is the same.  Satan will use anything to drag us away from the One True God.  The new is an open invitation to sin, not because the new is sinful in itself but because we don’t have conditioned responses built in.  I was a kid when TV entered the mainstream.  My grandmother was the living definition of Old Fashioned but she had a TV.  She would let us watch it.  She did not deny the use of the technology.  She, however, also had a discernment about its potential evil.  She would not let us watch “shooting programs.”  She would stand in front of the screen and turn the volume down when cigarette commercials came on.  We bounced between resenting her and laughing at her actions.  She had the wisdom of age and the discernment of the Holy Spirit.

So?  Keep your eyes open.  Watch out for the myrrh of our age and take care.  Either avoid it or approach with caution.  Don’t let sin sprinkle the bed of your life.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Watch Your Step

(Proverbs 6:28 KJV)  Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?

This is a simple restatement of Genesis 1:1,
(Genesis 1:1 KJV)  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
You probably don’t see the connection.  One of the first truths that Christians are required to accept is that there is a God.  Close behind that is the understanding that God created everything.  This is the key difference between evolution and creation.  The big problem evolutionists have with Christianity and the Bible is not the questioning of Natural Selection but the existence of a Selector.  

Another attribute of God is immutability.   This means that God does not change.  Modern science is based on this Biblical concept.  The idea that the universe is based on unchanging laws is rooted in the concept of an unchanging God.  It could not develop in the multitude of cultures rooted in superstition and anthropomorphic gods.

That means that when you walk on coals, you get “scorched” (3554).

So?  It makes a difference how you treat people.  It makes a difference if you practice integrity.  It makes a difference if you try to see what you can get away with.  The answer is, nothing.  It is a good thing that God is forgiving as well as all-knowing.  Repent and live the faith. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Up with Romance

(Proverbs 5:19 KJV)  Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

Sex sells.  That is what the advertisers say and demonstrate.  That is an inaccurate statement.  It should really be “sleazy sex sells.”  My reasoning is that the Bible also endorses sex and romance but it is to be confined to the married.

Here we have praise for the physical attraction between men and women.  It could well be found on one of those paperbacks you always find in the used book stores.  The reason this does not make headlines and have the masses lined up is the little qualifier at the end of the previous verse.  These words are limited to the “wife of your youth.”

So?  Go for the romance, with your wife.  God created the sexual side of the marriage relationship for enjoyment.  Just as food is not just a matter of calories, protein, and vitamins, so sex is not just a matter of procreation.  God wants us to enjoy the basic parts of life.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Turn Straight

(Proverbs 4:27 KJV)  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Life is full of choices.  Sometimes they are clear and simple.  Right or left is that way.  When a side street comes out on the main highway you may only have those two choices.  You know that one way is the route to work and the other way is a waste of time.  You might think about bugging out and becoming a world traveler, but it only lasts until you realize that your credit cards have limits on them.

Usually we “turn” (5186) by going straight.  Did you ever think of that?  You turn by not turning.  That is often the way we turn away from evil.  We are already on the right road.  We have met the living God.  We have His Spirit in our hearts.  We know the truth and it has made us free.  We keep following the Highway of Holiness.  Every step is a step away from evil.

You have probably had people tell you that by not making a choice you are choosing.  That is because the choice was made long ago.

So?  When Satan tries to tempt you with “variety,” let him know that you already made your choice and he is wasting his time.  Forward, march.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Just a Reminder

(Proverbs 3:19 KJV)  The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

Proverbs is about “wisdom” (2451).  It is approached different ways.  At times wisdom seems like a certain type of knowledge.  At times it seems a character trait.  Sometimes it is personified. 

Here it becomes a force in creation.  It almost seems like it is referring to Jesus.  Remember how Jesus is called the Word and the Word is part of the trinity.
(John 1:1-2 KJV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.
Then John makes that statement that ties Jesus in with Proverbs.
(John 1:3 KJV)  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
So here in the middle of the Old Testament we are reminded that God is creator and that Jesus is God.

So?  It is great to be reminded of the great truths once in awhile.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Ruler in the Drawer Measures Nothing

(Proverbs 2:20 KJV)  That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

This chapter of Proverbs is going back and forth between the evil and the righteous.  This verse switches back to the upright and tells us to be careful how we “walk” (1980).  It approaches this advice in two ways.

First it tells us to pick our heroes well.  Watch the “good men” (2896a).  At first glance it might seem that this is the same concept as the “righteous” (6662) but it is actually a bit different.  This word has more of the feeling of cultural and social superiority.  As I look at the nuances of the definition I come across descriptions “to the higher nature,” “benign,” “of ethical nature.”  Look for people who like Beethoven more than the latest rock star.  Look for the model who considers quality more than price.  Follow the ways of people who have class, whatever their income.

Second, only go down the “paths” (734) of righteousness.  This caution is necessary.  There may be things that are considered classy by our culture that are degenerate by God’s standards.  Always use God’s values as a benchmark.

So?  Be very careful when you make decisions.  Our culture has very subtle advertising and propaganda going on in the media and in casual social situations.  Keep your spiritual yardstick out.  Use it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Fellowship Responsibly

(Proverbs 1:16 KJV)  For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

The first chapter in Proverbs. 

One of the first themes of Proverbs.

In a book that is mainly one-verse proverbs we are in our sixth verse on a theme.

It must be important.  Since it is also the first day in the year, how about a quick review.

Be careful whom you pick for friends.  Avoid people who seek out “evil” (7451b).  Stay away from groups that are quick to “shed” (8210) “blood” (1818). 

This would seem to be obvious, but God feels we need to be reminded.  We are to flee from the devil, they run toward him.

So?  Look around you.  Who are your friends?  What kind of company do you seek out?  Are they always trying to adjust you so that you fit into their view of the world?  You know how the alcohol industry is always trying to tell you to drink responsibly?  Fellowship responsibly.