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.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Something to Look Forward To

(Proverbs 30:19 KJV)  The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

Solomon is sharing some things that he considers wonderful and that he cannot understand.  This brings us to asking ourselves what kind of book we are reading.  If this is a personal memoir, then some of this makes sense.  Solomon knew nothing about navigation.  On the other hand, you would think with all of his wives he should have learned something about women.

If this is a historical statement then we can understand that the ancients did not understand Bernoulli’s Principle that explains how a wing gives lift.  At this point they did not know about the compass.  Fine.

But we are talking about deeper things here.  What is it like to soar like an eagle?  What kind of thoughts does a snake think as it moves?  There are so many things we do not know and cannot know.

So?  It certainly gives us something to look forward to in eternity.  This morning I was looking at the forest around me and thinking about how glorious it is but how dull it will be compared to the glories of eternity.  I don’t understand.  I can’t understand.  Now.  But then?  It is something to look forward to.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Odd Man Out

(Proverbs 29:23 KJV)  A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

This seems to be another telling of the concept of “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.”  It is the idea that the values and standards of God’s kingdom produce results that are opposite to the world’s expectations.  Here the one who lives by his “pride” (1346) and sees himself as being better than others will end up on the bottom.  The educational systems of our world are teaching self-esteem and self actualization.  The Bible is teaching a “humble” (8217) “spirit” (7307).

We are supposed to be out of step.  We are supposed to be different.  It is not that our goal is the difference but that our goal is eternal.

Sometimes I revel in the language of the KJV.  One phrase I like appears twice in the New Testament.
(Titus 2:14 KJV)  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
(1 Peter 2:9 KJV)  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
We are to be a “peculiar people.”  Modern translations point out that this means a “special possession.”  If we were the home of a stereotypical octogenarian we would be a knick-knack that was placed on the shelf of honor.  We would be the treasured souvenir to be high-lighted and shown off.

We are to be a holy people.  We are to be different.

So?  Don’t try to blend in with the crowd.  It would be like trying to dance a waltz in 4/4 time.  It just doesn’t work.  Viva la difference.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Surprise! Surprise!

(Proverbs 28:22 KJV)  He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.

This is a follow up on verse 20 where it also talks about the man who “hastens” (926) to be rich.

What are you chasing with your life?  The focus here is “wealth” (1952).  Is that the big goal of your life, the overwhelming priority?  Remember that the problem is not wealth, the problem is our attitude toward money and how it ranks in our obedience to the Way.  Notice that it doesn’t say if this man is now rich or poor.  Both groups lust after wealth.  It is possible that the poor are more guilty of this than the wealthy.  I like the KJV here.  Where the NASB says he does not “know” (3045) the KJV says “considereth not.” 

So?  Be careful what you wish for.  Consider the results if you get what you want.  Remember all the times when you wanted a toy with passion, received it and were bored within a few days. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Paper, Stone and Iron Scissors

(Proverbs 27:17 KJV)  Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

As I read this again I had another thought about the steel rod that came with my wife’s knives.  The idea being expressed here is that we need fellowship.  We can keep each other sharp.  That is good as far as it goes.

There are other aspects of being sharp.  One is that it is not enough to just use other iron to sharpen iron.  Eventually we need to use the stone.  In this case that means that we also need the divine touch to stay where we should be spiritually.  As important as fellowship with believers is in our growth and maintenance, nothing can take the place of coming into contact with the living God on a regular basis.

So?  It is not enough to read what others have to say about prayer.  It is not enough to listen to others talk about what they read in the Bible.  It is not enough for others to share how their faith helped them through a tough time.  We must also pray, read and trust.  Let God make you sharp enough to benefit from contact with other believers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Conceited Eyes

(Proverbs 26:12 KJV)  Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

Why does a “fool” (3684) have more “hope” (8615b) than the pseudo-wise?  I addressed this before but another thought is that a fool might actually have an excuse.  Notice I said “might.”  We are experts at finding and using excuses for ourselves.  This is not supposed to be an escape hatch for you but a point of possibility for the naive and simple.

God is holy.  God is just.  God is righteous.  Those traits demand that sin be punished.  But the cross shows the other side of God:  Mercy, forgiveness, patience, kindness, gracious.  This is why we say that God is love.  Agape love in the New Testament and chesed love in the Old Testament embody both extremes in perfect balance.  That means we have hope.

The sinner has hope.  The saint knows that hope.  The fool has hope.  The wise apply that hope.  For those who get beyond their own “conceit” (eyes NASB) (5869) it works out to eternal life.

So?  Rejoice or repent, depending on where you are in your walk.  God offers both wrath and comfort.  The choice is really yours.  In this area I am pro-choice. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Be Spring Water

(Proverbs 25:26 KJV)  A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.

This is not an encouraging verse as stated.  It is a warning about being “righteous” (6662) and still setting a bad example.

There are a couple of assumptions.  First, it again assumes that there are righteous.  I have addressed that before.  Second, it assumes that the righteous can mess up.  Third, it seems to assume that the warning can help us avoid messing up.  I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be a “troubled” (polluted NASB) (7843) “fountain” (well NASB) (4726).

That offers the positive side of this, the encouraging idea.  We do not need to be the person who is “falling down” (gives way NASB) (4131).  It is assumed that such a life is possible.  We can be salt and light, after all, Jesus called us that.  We can be saints, Paul called us that.

So?  Go out and salt your world.  Today you will be an influence of some kind.  Make it the influence of righteousness.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Respecter of Persons

(Proverbs 24:23 KJV)  These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.

It seems like I ran across this idea just a few days ago.  “Respect of persons" (partiality NASB) (5234/6440) is a sin.  We see this again and again.  You might say it gets old but so does vitamin C.  But like vitamin C, your body does not seem to store some types of truth.  Everything around us pushes us toward prejudging and giving special benefits to certain groups.

Yesterday I wrote about honoring your parents and family values.  That is at odds with out world.  Being truly unbiased is another Christian trait that goes against our culture.  Let me run a verse by you.
(Galatians 3:28 KJV)  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Here are three categories:  Ethnic, social and gender.  In each of them we are to consider ourselves one.  Of course you have the uniting factor of being believers but the principle is there.

So?  Don’t fall into the trap of class warfare or divisiveness that is so common in our culture.  People are people.  All need salvation.  All can become brethren.  Be different because you accept that they aren’t. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Between Parent Days

(Proverbs 23:25 KJV)  Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

Father’s Day is coming.  Mother’s Day is past.  Here we have a reminder that we are to be a blessing to our parents.

My parents are both dead.  They died in the faith and have entered into eternal life.  They died knowing that their sons have brought them no shame.  We made them “glad” (8055).

I am not planning of passing away soon.  I am healthier than I was ten years ago.  But you never know.  One thing I do know is that my children make me glad.  They learned the lessons we had to teach.  They may not do things the way we would.  They may put the puzzles together in a different way, but we raised them in the way they should go.

One reason they will stay on the path is because they want us to be proud of them.  This is only accomplished by a lifetime of training and continued example.

So?  Where are you in life?  Are you the parent of young children?  Then start laying the foundations.  Are your children older?  You know if you did well.  It is never too late to start.  Are you a child?  Honor your parents.  These are foundations of Christian society.  We are to live them even if society rejects them.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Give, Don’t Loan

(Proverbs 22:27 KJV)  If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?

This is the final portion of a scripture cautioning us against co-signing on loans.  Many of us had a parent do it when we were getting started in life.  Sometimes it works.  I was listening to a caller on a pod-cast and it worked the other way for him.  His mother had him and his brother co-sign on a house loan.  She then proceeded to not pay and ruined their credit.  Be really careful here.

The Bible’s recommendation is to not do it at all. 

I would treat it the way I loan money.  The person receiving the funds may consider it a loan but I consider it a gift.  That way if I never get paid back I am at ease.  If I can’t afford to lose it, I don’t “loan” it.

Again, the Bible’s says don’t do it.

So?  Expect only trouble from bankrolling people who have shown they cannot be responsible.  If it is a real need, give, don’t loan. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012


(Proverbs 21:28 KJV)  A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.

Once again we see deceit and lies being condemned.  I think I like the description of “false” (3577) “witness” (5707) better than liar.  When we call someone a liar we leave it open for such things as “spin” and “just kidding.” 

My definition of a lie is “communication with intent to deceive.”  This is a witness that is false.  You can do this with words, lack of words and with actions.  We are to be champions of honesty.

We see this again and again.  Truth is so important that Jesus associated it with Himself.
(John 14:6 KJV)  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Liars will “perish” (6).

So?  It is simple.  Be genuine.  Be honest.  Be different. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Weight for It

(Proverbs 20:23 KJV)  Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.

This concern is brought up at least four times in Proverbs, twice in this chapter.  Compare this to verse 10.  Look at how the idea is expressed in the early law of Israel.
(Leviticus 19:35 NAS77)  'You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight, or capacity.
Notice it is linked to “judgement,” to justice.  This is the kind of justice that God is concerned with, not some vague notion of “social justice” which justifies using different measurements for each group.  Using different standards to gain an advantage is cheating in the eyes of God.  It is an “abomination” (8441).  That is a pretty strong word.

So?  A reminder to us to be honest in all our dealings.  This applies to out buying and selling.  It applies to our business and our social.  It is to be a mark of the believer.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rage Against the

(Proverbs 19:3 KJV)  The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.

Yesterday I found myself “fretting” (raging NASB) against the Lord.  It is a frightening position to be in.  It is so easy for us to begin to blame God for everything that goes wrong in our lives.  I was having some issues.  We all have them.  Every corner I turned seemed to be full of pot holes and barricades.  We all have days like that.  It runs the gamete from rush hour traffic to international politics.  I get so self-focused that I get into “Why Me, Lord?” phase. 

I rejoice that God is patient.  Maybe that is why the first characteristic of love in I Corinthians 13:4 is patience.  I can sometimes see the pained/bored look on His face.  It helps me realize that He is telling the angels, “There he goes again.”  Eventually His Holy Spirit can get through and I will start listening again.  Eventually I stop fretting and get on with life.

Raging against God can lead to frustration, depression and rebellion.  It can also lead to insight, submission and growth.

So?  I don’t think a little venting is a big issue.  At a certain point it becomes a door for evil to enter.  Beware and act accordingly. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Haughty Heart

(Proverbs 18:12 KJV)  Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.

When I read this I think in terms of eternal “destruction” (7667).  That is the only kind that is permanent. 

The unrepentant have a “heart” (3820) and mind that is “haughty” (1361b).  In my speculation about judgement day I sometimes imagine that sinners are free to walk through the door to life but their attitude makes it impossible.  I can construct several scenarios but they all play on the pride and arrogance that is a built in quality of the sinner’s heart. 

I know it seems impossible to imagine someone refusing life but two factors make me grasp it.  One is the holiness of God.  If you are a sinner, being in the presence of pure righteousness would be very painful.  I would imagine that even the fires of hell look good in comparison.  The second is that people remain sinners out of pride and arrogance, not ignorance.  Think about all the people you know who can explain the steps of salvation but refuse to travel that road.

So?  Start with yourself.  Are you haughty or humble?  Make a decision.  Live with your decision, for eternity. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Perverted Justice

(Proverbs 17:23 KJV)  A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.

Again we have mention of a “gift” (bribe NASB) (7810).  This word is interesting in translation.  The older translations tend to use more neutral words like “gift” and “reward.”  The new translations go with “bribe.”  In this context it is clear that the word has a negative meaning.  Whatever you use to cover it up this is a case of using rewards to get what you do not deserve.

We see this on a regular basis.  The bribe may be in the form of simple approval.  It may be a “special” discount.  It could simply be an envelope of cash.  Any way you define it, it will “pervert” (5186) “judgement” (justice NASB) (4941). 

So?  We are to be fair and just by God’s definition, not by society’s standards.  That means being out of step.  So be it.  Remember that Jesus said the way was narrow. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Meeting Needs

(Proverbs 16:26 KJV)  He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

We hear a lot of emotional appeals about the hungry people of the world.  It is true.  Many people are hungry.  The problem though, is not food itself.  The problem is political.  Food is denied by tyrants wanting to control a population.  Relief workers are murdered by local warlords and the supplies confiscated.  Growing food is destroyed by revolutionaries.  If we could deal with the tyrants the food issues would work themselves out.

“Hunger” (6310), in developed countries, can also help us live better.  We need something that “urges” (404) us to be successful.  That is pretty clear in this verse.  I think we are seeing in the welfare state that being taken care of tends to remove the drive from people’s lives.  They become more willing to wait for someone else to provide than to get out and work for it themselves. 

So?  Keep being generous but, to be honest, look at how you vote and the results of the policies of people you support.  You may be on the side of angels.  You may need to change. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Watch Your Feet

(Proverbs 15:24 KJV)  The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

We are to follow the “way" (path NASB) (734) of “life” (2425b).  That seems so simple.  It is a picture that is repainted all through the Bible.  We are on a journey.  God has given us a road map.  The road map has directions.
(Psalms 119:105 KJV) Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
As in the days of Jesus, “all roads lead to Rome,” in all of history, all paths lead to Jesus.  Remember His words,
(John 14:6 KJV)  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
So?  God has provided directions and the Holy Spirit.  If you are not on the path of life, why not?  If you are have you checked your spiritual GPS lately? 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What Do You Deliver?

(Proverbs 14:25 KJV)  A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.

How many times have you heard, “Honesty is the best policy”?  It is possible that you have not heard it in the last few years.  The culture is changing. 

But the Bible and its truth are eternal.

We are commanded to give a “true” (truthful NASB) (571) “witness” (5707).  This is not an isolated idea.  It is bedrock.  Honesty and truth are not options, they are required.  This is so important that it is one of the Ten Commandments:
(Exodus 20:16 KJV)  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Think about your actions as well as your words.  Does your life say that followers of Jesus Christ can participate in immoral activity?  Does your lack of action say that followers of Jesus can lack in kindness and compassion?  This is important because it involves saving “souls” (lives NASB) (5315).

So?  How we live is not about being first in line or getting a bigger crown.  It is about where people will spend eternity.  Get serious.  Follow Jesus. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Spare the Spar

(Proverbs 13:24 KJV)  He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Christians have become enlightened.  We reject such clear teachings as this.  In so doing we have joined the pagan who “hates” (8130) his children. 

I am not sure that the problem is with the “rod” (7626).  I don’t even think the problem is “chasteneth” (disciplines NASB) (4148).  I think there is a lot of leeway in what a parent uses as a rod and the actual ways in which discipline is structured.  Different people have different personalities.  I am not saying that spanking is the only way to teach a child, although this verse and others certainly approve that as a method.

I think the real problem is in acting “betimes” (diligently NASB) (7836).  It is in being consistent.  I deal with parents on a regular basis who have children who are on their way to destruction.  The parents profess love and how hard they try.  They even shed tears.  But nothing changes.  Why?  I am sure that each one would have different ways of explaining it but my answer is that they don’t care enough to take the consistent time to train up the child in the way he should go.

I speak from experience.  There were long stretches of time in which I would have returned my son to the hospital for a refund or exchange.  But we stuck with it.  We did not let up.  And eventually we began to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So?  Stick with it.  Don’t give up.  In time they can change.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Into the Depths of South Carolina

Once again I am on the road.  I will be in two different time shares over the next two and a half weeks.  One says wi-fi is available.  The other doesn’t.  That means I don’t know what access I will have to posting and responding.

I will have posts scheduled but I may be awhile responding to your comments.  In the past there have been no problems.  I am hoping for the best.

Grace and peace.

Be Excellent

(Proverbs 12:26 KJV)  The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.

Are you one of those who are always quoting Paul when he quoted Psalms and saying,
(Romans 3:10 KJV)  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Evidently Solomon had not read the book of Romans because he keeps talking about the “righteous” (6662) as if they actually exist.  Hmmm.

If you read on in Romans, read Psalm 14:1-3 which is being quoted and take the rest of scripture into consideration the proper balance is presented by Adam Clarke,
“This is true, not only of the Jews, but of the Gentiles; of every soul of man, considered in his natural and practical state, previously to his receiving the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
If you have received the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ you are a new creature.  You are now one of the righteous.  You are expected to set an example for those around you.

So?  Deal with it.  Don’t claim to be prefect but don’t use the old excuse, “I’m just a sinner.”  When Paul writes to the churches he does not say, “To the sinners in _____,” he says “to the saints in _______.”  Think about it.  Live it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Spiritual Definition of “Liberal”

(Proverbs 11:25 KJV)  The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

This is a proverb that would receive hearty lip service in most religions and philosophies.  I say “lip service” because when you come down to it, most would ignore it.  I am not sure that Christians don’t ignore it, too.

Certain character traits are blessed in our lives.  One of those is being “liberal” (generous NASB) (1293).  We start with our immediate family, move on to the brethren, and finally share with our neighbors.  I think there is a hierarchy of giving, but the principle of generosity permeates the entire pyramid.  We are familiar with these words of Paul,
(Acts 20:35 KJV)  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
We don’t have a record in the Gospels of Jesus saying this, so this adds to what we know He said.  Ignore it at your own expense.

So?  Be generous.  It may be that your resources limit how much you can share but most of us can do more than we are doing.  This is a hard time for many people.  It is a time to let our light shine. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Different Kind of Fear

(Proverbs 10:24 KJV)  The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.

What is the “fear” (4034) of the “wicked” (7563)?  First, note that this is a different word for fear than the one used in the phrase, “the fear of the Lord.”  The fear of the Lord involves awe and reverence.  It is a healthy fear rooted in the character of God and His love for us.  This word means terror.  It is rooted in our rebellion and the Holy Character of God.

To me the key personality trait that keeps people from coming to Jesus is a desire to be god of their own lives.  They insist that they be in control.  The idea of submitting to God is anathema.  What they fear is giving up control of their lives.  The sad reality is that fear will “come” (935)  upon them.  The Bible teaches that we are slaves, either to sin or to righteousness.  The difference is that one master destroys us, the other fulfills.

So?  You can’t win except by surrendering.  If you have let go, I greet you as a brother.  If you have not, I invite you to join the family.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Word to the Wise

(Proverbs 9:9 KJV)  Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

As I continue to cycle through Proverbs, it seems that wisdom and righteousness go together.  Is it possible to be wise and perverted at the same time?  I don’t think so.  Wisdom is rooted in knowing God.  We are all familiar with the next verse,
(Proverbs 9:10 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
It is possible to accumulate a national debt worth of knowledge and not have a clue to what it means.  At the same time we have “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and a child proclaiming what everyone else was afraid to say.

Wisdom is the matrix that puts it all together.  Without righteousness you are missing a key axis in the arrangement. 

That does not mean that a pervert cannot utter a wise statement.  It does not mean that because a pervert says something it is wrong.  I understand that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian.  That does not make vegetables bad or vegetarians evil. 

So?  Don’t spend your time listening to the talking heads who reject the morality of God.  Consider your source and ask yourself, “If they are wrong about the basics, how can they be right about the interpretation?”

Friday, June 8, 2012

When Do We Break the Rules?

(Proverbs 8:16 KJV)  By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

(Proverbs 8:16 NAS77)  "By me princes rule, and nobles, All who judge rightly.

We run into a translation problem here.  There are two different trains of translation on this verse.  One group of translators follow the NASB and point out that some judges rule rightly and some are just wrong.  The other group follows the KJV, as you can see above.

In the Hebrew one group has the word for “justice” but not the word for “earth.”  The other group is the opposite.  This must go back to the different texts.  I find that the NASB makes sense here and the KJV does not.

The NASB seems to imply that not all who “rule” (8323) do so with God’s mandate.  It only applies to those who “judge” (8199) “rightly” (6664).

Alongside of this we need to have Paul’s words about our relationship with the government.
(Romans 13:1 KJV)  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Also keep in mind the words of Peter.
(Acts 5:29 KJV)  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
So?  Our general attitude should be to obey the government and follow the rules.  The line is drawn when they cross the line and expect us to live in sin and disobedience.  Sometimes the line is clear sometimes it is vague.  Seek wisdom. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Torah, Torah, Torah

(Proverbs 7:2 KJV)  Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

This verse may be why I have a bit of trouble with the second verse of the chorus, “As a Deer”.  The song talks about God being the “apple of our eye”.  Here it says God’s “teaching” (8451) [torah] is the “apple” (380) of our eye.  I did a quick search and found five references in the KJV to this phrase.  None of them refer to God as being the “apple of our eye.”

What this verse is reminding us about is that we are to love the structure that God has given to His people.  The word torah is translated "law" in the KJV but the NASB gives more of the breadth of meaning by using "instruction" and "teaching" also.  If you are a follower of Jesus there is a desire to walk in obedience to the individual “commandments” (4687) but that is always done under the umbrella of instruction laid out in the Word.

So?  Read, study, contemplate, apply.  Are you tired of hearing that?  Remember that one way you can get your wife or mother to stop nagging you about picking up your sox is to begin picking up your sox. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

He Delivers

(Proverbs 6:3 KJV)  Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.

Got problems?  We are told to do something about it.  We are to “go” (1980) and “deliver” (5337) ourselves.  I am not sure this is an earthly guarantee of resolution though.  We can go.  We can humble ourselves.  We can get pushy.  Ultimately the results depend on our “neighbor” (7453). 

What is the promise?  We cannot force people to resolve issues.  What we can do is our part.  Part of the promise that I see is that by doing my part I have cleared the air between us and given God a chance to work.  I can be assured He has worked in my life, I can’t force the other person to respond.

So?  Do the right thing.  Clear the air.  Resolve difference.  God will deliver and bless but it may be in ways that don’t deliver or bless the other person. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Are You a Mourning Person?

(Proverbs 5:11 KJV)  And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,

I am at my “last” (latter end NASB) (319).  I am at retirement age although I will not be retiring.  As I look at this it seems to be a warning for us if we have been following the “strange woman” (adulteress NASB) of verse 3.  You can take this literally or figuratively, both are a warning of a life lived in rebellion. 

This is also a reminder, dare I say warning, to those who are far from the end.  It will come.  You will be there.  Do you want it to be a time where you “mourn” (groan NASB) (5098) all the time or a time of rejoicing and satisfaction.  You won’t be able to look back on a life well lived if you don’t live it well.

So?  Young or old, get on the path of obedience and holy priorities.  It is never too early to start but the day will come when it will be too late.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Catalyst of Promise

(Proverbs 4:12 KJV)  When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

This seems to be a parallel with Isaiah 40:30.
(Isaiah 40:30 NAS77)  Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,
I was reading over this just a few days ago.  The promises of God keep coming back to refresh us.  What was the basis of this promise in Isaiah?  You need to read the next verse.
(Isaiah 40:31 NAS77)  Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

To receive the promise we need to wait on the Lord.  This ties in with Proverbs.  If you read the surrounding verses you see that the promise is embedded in the study and application of Wisdom. 

So?  Promises have conditions.  The sustaining hand of God is tied to us spending time with Him and drinking from the wisdom He has do offer.  Schedule Him in.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Don’t Be Afraid of Fear

(Proverbs 3:25 KJV)  Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

Don’t waste your “afraid” (3372)ration on worrying about people making you jump.  We can be startled.  Don’t worry about it.  “Sudden” (6597) “fear” (6343) is something you can’t control.  This is a different fear than the fear of the Lord.

Notice that there are two different words for “afraid” (3372) and “fear” (6343).  The first is the word commonly used when we talk about fear of the Lord.  This is healthy.  The second is more often used for unhealthy dread. 

A healthy fear helps us to focus.  It causes anticipation and energizes us to improve and excel.  It is the kind of concern you have for an approaching deadline on a project that you know how to handle.  The student who has done his homework was motivated to do it.  He wonders how he did.  The student who did nothing has a dread based on his known failure.  The first is the believers attitude toward God. 

So?  Someone startles you and you jump.  Laugh along with them.  They got you.  God tends to let us know He is coming.  Watch for Him with a holy fear.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

New Delights Daily

(Proverbs 2:14 KJV)  Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;

The KJV again uses this word “frowardness” (perversity NASB) (8419).  I am glad to see it even if it is a bit archaic.  It wakes me up to a concept that I have become inured to.  When I see “perverse” I recognize it as a part of life.  When I see “froward” I ask myself, “What?”

I don’t know about you but I am becoming insensitive to the degenerate nature of our society.  Words that used to set me off are now going in one ear and out the other.  What used to be called “four letter words” and were shunned are now a part of everyday conversation.  Can you picture an actor being able to get through a dramatic scene without a “damn” or a “hell,” let alone dropping the F-bomb?

So?  We can’t do much about what we see on TV.  Wait.  What?   You mean we can turn it off?  I guess that would be a good first step.  In addition we can review our own vocabulary and make sure that we are not drifting into “frowardness.” 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pro Choice

(Proverbs 1:24 KJV)  Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

God has “called” (7121).  This could be the eternal picture of God, always reaching out and being rejected.  In verse 28 we will see that God runs out of patience.  He rejects those who turn to Him only because things have gone bad.

People have “refused” (3985) His call.  I believe that everyone has a chance to move toward God and make repeated decisions on which way they will go.  It may not be choices at the level of responding to a clear proclamation of the gospel.  It may just be a simple decision to lie for personal benefit or steal on the spur of the moment.  At the time the person knows it is wrong but makes a decision that moves them away from God.  Later they may claim ignorance but there was still a decision on their part, a refusal to do the right.

When it comes down to it, there is little you can do to get other people to respond to the call of God.  If there is, you are probably already doing it.  Don’t beat yourself up for the choices of others.  The key question is, “What about you?”

So?  Just a quick check.  Have you responded or refused?  Only you can answer that.  Only you can change it.  May you life be full of response and void of refusal.