An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Bread of Idleness

(Proverbs 31:27 KJV)  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

This passage is about the excellent wife of verse 10 but the character traits are the kind that every believer should have.  They are not exclusively for married women.

We are not to “eat” (398) the “bread” (3899) of “idleness” (6104).  I like that phrase.  It says something to us.  This seems to be the only place this phrase, “the bread of idleness” occurs in the NASB.

The bread of idleness applies to able bodied people who refuse to carry their own weight.  They sit around and expect others to provide for them.  Everyone in the family has a role to play in making the family work.  Even children have a place in doing the simple things that teach them to give and not just take.

Currently the economy is putting many out of work.  Some have real limitations.  That is not the  bread of idleness but hone your awareness because it can easily become that.

So?  As far as you are able, be a giver, not a taker.  It can change your world.  It can change you.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Is It Three or Four?

(Proverbs 30:21 KJV)  For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear:

We see this literary device several times in Proverbs.  I say “literary device” because we need to be careful about one of the central beliefs of Christians.  We believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God.  If you don’t believe that, it is hard to know what your justification is for claiming to be a Christian because it would be impossible to know what a Christian is or who Jesus is.

The caution is about how we define “inspired.”  This means different things to different people.  Some people would look at this and call it a mistake.  How can there be three and four at the same time?  Some people want to take every statement as literal and feel that makes them have a belief that is more pure than others. 

The Bible is not a science textbook.  It is not a grammar.  It is not, strictly speaking, a history.  It is a group of writings, assembled and preserved by the Holy Spirit.  In the process of that assembling God used many different personalities and styles to communicate His truth.  You will find allegory, hyperbole, simile and other literary devices.  You will find biography, history, personal letters and advice columns. 

So?  This is the written word of God.  It contains all of the truth that God wants it to contain in a style that God wanted.  Enjoy it.  Learn from it.  Let it speak to you, three or even four times.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guilt by Association

(Proverbs 29:24 KJV)  Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not.

Whom do you “partner” (2505a) with?  We are familiar with the words of Paul,
(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?
This is commonly associated with marriage.  Believers are not to marry unbelievers.  I think it even helps to think of it in terms of denominational traditions because sometimes the cultural expectations of different traditions can cause a lot of conflict.

I think it also refers to our business dealings.  It is hard for a believer to be a partner in a business with someone who does not embrace the values, standards and ethics of the Bible.  The compromises can endanger your own soul.

So?  Where do you draw the line?  If you own property, whom do you rent to?  What stores do you frequent?  What clubs can you join.  Does it apply to playing cards?  Something to think about and apply.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It Starts with Stealing a Cookie

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

Bad personal characteristics run in packs like juvenile delinquents.  One type of sin seems to spawn other types of sin.  That is why you don’t need to know someone well to begin to understand the kind of person they are.  The person here is living in a false world.  He is stealing from his parents and acting like it is not wrong.

Solomon does not analyze this person.  It is not a question of whether it is genuine confusion, denial or simply lying.  It is a problem and, whatever the problem, it will leak over into other parts of his life.  One pastor I knew used to have a line he offered in humor when someone was getting into a bit of hyperbole.  “Don’t ever loan any money to this guy because he who would lie will also steal.”  I wonder if he knew he was quoting Solomon?

So?  Don’t make excuses for “friends” who have issues with truth.  It is a sign of something deeper and more extensive.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Minimum Daily Requirements

(Proverbs 27:27 KJV)  And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

The idea of “enough” (1767) is hard for us to grasp.  Americans have grown accustomed to high levels of comfort and enough is not.  What does God promise us?

We see words such as plenty and bounty.  We read about riches as close as verse 24.  All are wonderful but what we need to learn to be happy with is “enough.”

Remember the question I have referred to before.  My son threw it back at me recently, “Is it a need or a want?”  There really is a difference.

So?  Trust God to supply your needs but don’t be afraid of having a few wants.  Just know the difference. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lazy Turns on a Hinge

(Proverbs 26:14 KJV)  As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.

Have you been there?  It may have been awhile.  This is talking about what I used to do as a teenager and young adult.  I used to stay out late, sometimes all night, and then want to sleep all day.  Sometimes it was just a matter of not wanting to get up to face the day.  I think the latest for me was 2:00 P.M.  At those times I was a sluggard.  I made it through but I did not please God by my actions.  I was sinning by my sloth.

We all have times when sleep eludes us.  Sometimes I can figure it out.  Many years I have a hard time sleeping the night before school begins in the fall.  Sometimes I took a nap when I did not need it.  Other times I can’t figure it out.  These times happen.

Try an experiment.  On nights when you can’t sleep, get up and exercise your spiritual muscles a little bit.  This could be Bible reading, prayer or some type of study.  Eventually your mind will quiet and you may be able to sleep.

Or act like a door on a windy day.

So?  Sloth is lazy.  Lazy is sin.  That is not the same as insomnia. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Solomon Speaks Computer

(Proverbs 25:28 KJV)  He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Picture this being written today.  Solomon might still be talking about “walls” (2346) but they would be fire walls, not city walls.  He would finish with, “... is like a computer that is hacked because it has no fire wall.”

A firewall is a device that everyone hooked up to the internet should have.  It protects against the people out in the mysterious world of the internet that spend their spare time looking for computers that are not protected so they can invade and “have their way.”  They call it “owning” you and your computer.  They can make your machine jump through some serious hoops.

So do you have a spiritual firewall?  This would involve both spiritual hardware and software.  It involves the presence of the Holy Spirit and involvement with the word.  Get protected. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Get a Wide Angle Lens

(Proverbs 24:24 KJV)  He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:

This goes against my experience.  Currently people like this control the media, universities, public education and government.  They seem to be getting away with it.  That “seem” is the key.  I think this would need to be seen in the context of history.  God has a wider lens than we do and a longer range view.  There was a time when Hitler received praise from the American press.  Mussolini was the darling of the Progressives of the 30's. 

I think that the context here is history not your contemporaries.

So?  Learn to develop the long range view.  That is easier for me to tell you than to do myself.  There are pills that I don’t like to swallow, but I didn’t write the book.  Join me as a learn and grow. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Avoid Pit Stops

(Proverbs 23:27 KJV)  For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.

In the previous verse Wisdom talks about positive actions we can take.  In the next verse she warns us about how evil forces will hunt us down.  Here we are warned about the passive traps that lay around us ready to catch us.

When I think of a “deep” (6013) “ditch” (pit NASB) (7745) I think of a type of hunting that relies on the prey not paying attention.  You would dig it on the path frequently traveled and cover it with local vegetation.  If a potential victim is in a hurry, distracted or ignorant they will have a rude awakening.  Keep in mind that you don’t put these traps out of the way.  The devil does a statistical analysis with his GPS tracking device and puts it where you will be.

What kind of camouflaged “ditch” (pit NASB) (7745) waits today?  Notice it does not say “if” but assumes “when.”  Will it be something as blatant as adultery or fornication or will is be that juicy bit of gossip that just begs to be passed on?  It will be different for each of us but it will be ubiquitous.  I have wanted to use that word for a long time.

So?  Be alert and confident of two things.  First, the pits will be there.  Second, they can be avoided.  Remember the promise we have.
(1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV)  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

With All Due Diligence

(Proverbs 22:29 KJV)  Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.

Where the NASB has “skilled” (4106) the KJV has “diligent.”  Which is it?  What is the difference? 

To me the difference is that one is achievable by all, one is for the few. 

I can be diligent even when I have no skill.  I can be diligent when I don’t have any hope of excelling.  This summer my daughter had me a list of things to do when we visited.  We have an understanding.  I agree to give it my best shot.  She agrees not to be too critical.  You see, I have a hard time cutting a board straight.  I can measure carefully, multiple times.  I can use a square to draw a line.  I can think it over and contemplate the task.  The problem is that eventually I am forced to pick up the saw and start cutting.  The results are in God’s hands.  Diligence makes it better but my hands won’t cooperate.

So I prefer diligent to skilled.

I like Adam Clarke’s paraphrase, “Every diligent, active man, shall be at once independent and respectable.”

So?  Do your best.  One of God’s specialties is straightening out the short boards of our lives.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mask Book

(Proverbs 21:29 KJV)  A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.

What is the difference between a “hardened” “face” (6440) and a “directed” (3559) “way” (1870)?

While it is true that “hardenenth” (5810) means “strong” it is implied here that it is a mask.  An appearance of confidence will get you through many times.  I once heard a presentation by a guy who started with, “Hi.  I’m the phone guy.”  He had the belt and the shirt but he had no ID.  He said the costume alone gained him admittance to many secure areas.

The security we will face will not be a bored rent-a-cop sitting behind a desk and wondering when he should take his coffee break.  We will stand before the judgement seat of Almighty God who can see into our hearts and motives. 

We can approach the thrown with boldness.  We can have a “directed” (sure NASB) (3559) step because we have lived lives of uprightness.

So?  Did you notice I did not say “live the lives of the perfect, without error”?  Walking with Jesus is a matter of attitude, obedience, repentance and correction.  It is called being upright. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Word Not from the Lord

(Proverbs 20:24 KJV)  Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

The KJV is superior here.  Let me give you the NASB.
(Proverbs 20:24 NAS77)  Man's steps are ordained by the LORD, How then can man understand his way?
Notice the extra word?  Note that it is not in the Hebrew.  You know that because it is in italics.  Leaving it out makes this a more complete statement.  Translators are reluctant to leave things as God wrote them.  I think if we would accept statements like this, without the verb, we would be less limited in our “understand” (995) of how the Lord works.

How does one word inserted influence the meaning?  The word “ordained” as used here means that things are decreed ahead of time.  It is a done deal.  At least that is what it means to me.  If you are into hard-core predestination, then you like that.  I believe God grants us free will as part of His Holy Spirit/Grace package.

Without the “ordained” this speaks more about how God is in charge.  It would be nice if everything was caused by the Lord, then I could blame Him for everything.  As it is I accept this as meaning that the way my steps go will be God’s way.  This helps me to deal with my world.  Today I am facing several “stress” points.  If I go my way, I will be a basket-case by sunset.  If I go “by the Lord” I have a peace that passes all understanding.

So?  Have you got the peace that comes from “trust and obey”?  Let me tell you, “there is no other way to be happy in Jesus.”

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Leave It to Beaver Had It Right

(Proverbs 19:26 KJV)  He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.

I don’t watch TV.  Really.  At least not on my own.  It is kind of like eating Brussel sprouts.  I would never chose them, but if I am at your house I can eat them with a smile on my face.  One of the reasons relates to this verse.  It was not a conscious reason, but I can see it now.

When was the last time you saw a husband and father treated like he was anything but a fool on a TV program?  It may happen for novelty but if it does you will probably find that he violates the Biblical ideal in some significant way such as being a Chippendale striper on the side.  Our culture has made men in general and fathers in particular objects of ridicule.

This is not an accident.  The Progressives in our political spectrum recognize that the family is their biggest competition.  They are out to destroy it.

Don’t cooperate.

So?  Recognize that God established the family.  He put mothers and fathers in place and gave them authority.  Give it.  Demand it.  Start the revival. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Take Your Pick

(Proverbs 18:1 KJV)  Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.

This is a verse in which the KJV and the other translations I have on my computer seem totally different.  Compare it with the NASB.
(Proverbs 18:1 NAS77)  He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.
Where most of the translations say that isolation keeps you from the wisdom of the group, the KJV says that separation allows you to focus correctly and not be distracted by the noise of the group.  The reason is in the translation.  Adam Clarke said, “The original is difficult and obscure.”  It seems that there have always been two understandings.  The KJV goes with what the Jewish scholars preferred. 

So?  Take your pick.  Both have value.  Both have truth.  The difference is in attitude and motivation.  Do you isolate yourself to meditate and study or to avoid the truth that others bring to the table.  I like both/and rather than either/or in this case.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pass the Peace

(Proverbs 17:28 KJV)  Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

Yes!  If only we could learn this.

Why is it so hard to keep quiet?  I am sure you have seen the wall poster/bumper sticker that says, “Please put the brain in gear before you engage the mouth.”  Again and again we experience the failure that comes from ignoring this.

This is a major spiritual issue.  It is not just a matter of appearances.
(James 3:6 KJV)  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Think of the sins connected to the mouth:  Lying, gossip, blasphemy.  All can be avoided by being silent.

So?  Watch your mouth.  Everyone else is. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Best Laid Plans...

(Proverbs 16:9 KJV)  A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

There is a famous quotation, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."  I have heard it attributed to various people but it seems to go back to a Prussian commander, Moltke the Elder.  He could have been paraphrasing this verse.

We have all been there.  We plan and prepare.  We study and organize.  We do everything we can ahead of time and things immediately fall apart.  Many times we can look back and see that the failure of our path was for the best.  In reality, God had a better plan in mind.

God “directs” (3559) in many ways.  We are not aware of most of them.  This can be through open and closed doors, “coincidences”, the prodding of the Holy Spirit.

So?  Don’t panic or despair if things don’t go “right” today.  It could be God trying to patch up our mistakes. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Living with Evil

(Proverbs 15:26 KJV)  The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.

Again we are reminded that the “wicked” (evil NASB) (7451b) exist.  If you believe that you are out of step with our culture.  If you don’t believe it you are out of step with God.  Which do you prefer? 

Do fear and evil go together for the believer?  I did a word search of the NASB for verses that had these two words together.  I had thirty-one hits and none of them indicated we should fear evil.  The KJV had 29 hits.  One verse did stand out in the midst of this.  You all will recognize it. 
(Psalms 23:4 KJV)  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
If you follow Jesus there are two extremes that He ties together:  Evil and lack of fear.

So?  Live there.  Evil is.  Jesus overcomes.  Walk in faith today.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


(Proverbs 14:27 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

In studying this verse I noticed the phrase “fountain of life”.  The NASB uses this phrase five times, all in Proverbs.  There is an interesting parallel phrase in Jeremiah,
(Jeremiah 2:13 KJV)  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
The promise here is that God is an unpolluted source.  He is clean and refreshing.  He is life giving and not toxic to the righteous.  Have you ever come across an old pipe or water tank?  What kind of water do they hold?  Have you ever been tempted to drink from a puddle in the middle of a parking lot?   I doubt it, you know the results.

So?  Why are you tempted to go to polluted sources for the water of life?  Why do we so often go to questionable sources for answers?  The fountain of life waits to give.  Seek Him as a habit. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

No Rest for the Righteous

(Proverbs 13:1 KJV)  A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

We tend to think of wisdom as being dispensed.  Here we see that wisdom has a strong element of reception.  The “wise” (2450) accepts “instruction" (rebuke NASB) (1606).

That means that wise people will still make mistakes.  We often say, “No one is perfect.”  Usually we mean the other guy, not ourselves because in our hearts we know we are pretty close.  One of the characteristics of the spiritual walk is growth.  That involves learning from our mistakes.

A baby may be wonderful.  My firstborn was an awesome experience.  He still needed to be potty trained and weaned.  He still needed to learn to walk.  He still needed to learn to pick up his sox.  Come to think of it he still has issues with the sox. 

So?  Keep moving.  We can never rest on our laurels.  Righteousness and wisdom involve growth in grace. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Establishment Clause

(Proverbs 12:3 KJV)  A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

Being “established” (3559) seems to be the opposite of being “moved” (4131).  For some reason this reminds me of Psalms 1:3:
(Psalms 1:3 KJV)  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Trees, for the most part, cannot chose where they are planted.  Their seeds are usually carried by wind, water and animals and dropped where gravity overcomes other pressures.  There are some elements in our lives that we have no control over.  But those are not what establish us.  The next verse in Psalms brings this home to Proverbs.
(Psalms 1:4 KJV)  The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Think of the establishment as being the role of fertilizer and soil rather than location.  We have the ability to allow God to influence our environment.  Just as a gardener can change the pH of soil, so God can help us change the environment in which we live.

So?  Remember the overused mantra of a few years ago, “Bloom where you are planted.”  It will take grace.  It will take trust.  It will take obedience.  It will take time.  But it will take.  Start the process today if you have not already done so.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Go on Auto Pilot

(Proverbs 11:3 KJV)  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

One of the benefits of having “integrity” (8538) is that it takes away a lot of stress.  There are many struggles we don’t have because the question has already been answered.  We do what is right and refuse to do what is wrong.

There are more of these situations than you might think.  How much time do you save not having to decide if the situation warrants a lie?  How much energy do you conserve not needing to remember your lies?  You don’t really need to think about your choice of words, whether to respond or initiate sexual advances, cheating, revenge, stealing and the list goes on.  In many areas we are on auto-pilot.

The stress we face is of a different kind.  We will be rejected and despised for being good little Boy Scouts.  Actually it is because we follow Jesus.  Remember what He said,

(Matthew 5:11 KJV)  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

So?  Walk with integrity.  Expect to be hassled.  Revel in it.  It can indicate you are on the right path. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chicken Little Two

(Proverbs 10:25 KJV)  As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.

Last month we talked about whirlwinds and Chicken Little.  What else can you do to deal with the Katrina’s of life?  When that famous hurricane approached New Orleans the residents were advised to leave.  Some got in their cars and went to visit relatives.  They may have lost some possessions but they were safe.  Others stayed and ignored the warnings.  Their experiences were horror stories. 

Granted, it is sometimes hard to tell the Chicken Little scares from the real thing.  In New Orleans it seems to me you would know if you were low enough to risk flooding, but I don’t live there.  How many other hurricanes had come and gone with no disaster?

In spiritual terms we have plenty of clear warning about life’s potential disasters.  We have them from trustworthy sources such as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  When we have secondary sources such as pulpits and books, the truth is easy to check.  Sin is easy to identify if you are really looking and listening.  Even if my windows are sealed I can tell when the car next to me has a major bass booster. 

So?  Avoid the whirlwinds.  At the lowest level you will keep dust from getting in your eyes.  At the other end you can avoid hell. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Simple or Stupid?

(Proverbs 9:13 KJV)  A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

What is a “foolish woman” (woman of folly NASB)?  Don’t put too much on the woman part.  If you compare this section of chapter 9 with the first part, both are using the feminine.  The first is referring to wisdom the second to foolishness.

In the English you have the same word used in both places, but this is a different word for “foolish” (folly NASB) (3687) than is used in verse 6.  There it means naive and simple.  This one has its roots in being stupid.

Two things for those who are seeking wisdom.  First, be on the alert for the stupid in life.  They exist.  If you are not careful they will drag you down.  Have you ever been driving and far ahead you pick out a car and know by observation that the person behind the wheel doesn’t know what they are doing?  You can tell.

Second, these people need your help.  They may not always respond.  You may not always be able to pull their chestnuts out of the fire.  Do what you can.

So?  I hope you are alert to those around you.  Some are simply uniformed, the ignorant.  Some may be beyond help.  Pray for wisdom to know the difference.  Pray for grace to not be either. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Red Delicious Aren’t

(Proverbs 8:19 KJV)  My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

Wisdom is talking to us here.  We are being reminded to go for the gold.  That is a term that relates to sports and competition but also reminds us of how we invest our lives and how we choose our priorities.

In the heat of the moment we sometimes forget to look for quality.  The other day I was trying to buy some apples.  They had bins full of red delicious.  The Fujis and Granny Smiths were piled high.  They had Gala.  What I wanted were Braeburns or Jazz and there were only a few under the sign.  Some selfish person was taking the best of them.  They were going fast.  I did not have a chance to examine them carefully or choose just the right one.  When I got home I was not really happy with what I had.

So?  Don’t live your life that way.  Life is more than a choice of apples.  Take time to consider what is valuable.  Seek wisdom.  It is trying to get through but your line is busy. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

One Heart, One Message

(Proverbs 7:3 KJV)  Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

Our “heart” (3820) is a “table” (tablet NASB) (3871) but the writing surface here is not like a modern legal pad or notebook.  This is not like writing a shopping list on a scrap of paper that will be thrown away.  This was a surface that could take one message at a time at best and usually only one message ever.  Think of Fred Flintstone writing on a rock with a hammer and chisel. 

Paper is a modern convenience.  Computer hard drives are a modern miracle.  They have made it so we write down the most mundane and trivial things.  Think of this blog and the archives.  Because we write so much we have little discernment in what we write. 

These were tablets of stone, wood or metal.  You had a chance for one central message.  Solomon is telling us to get our focus right.  Put that message in the central place of your being.

So?  If someone could read the message written on your heart, what would it say?  Would it be a bit of meaningless doggerel or a devotion to the Eternal God?  Oh, that’s right, He can read it, can’t He. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Rejected Ransom

(Proverbs 6:35 KJV)  He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.

This is part of a warning involving our interpersonal relations.  If you look back a few verses this involves someone who has committed adultery.  Solomon then proceeds to explain why there will not always be easy fixes. 

Adultery involves the ultimate betrayal and violation of trust.  The sexual relationship was designed by God as a one-to-one covenant.  It was to be life long.  I know that the modern attempt to water marriage down has a vow that says, “As long as we both shall love,” but the one that God endorses is “as long as we both shall live.”

So?  Some sins are avoidable.  There are no excuses.  You may find some type of forgiveness from the people you have wronged but you will never be able to restore the trust again.  Live in righteousness. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Moveable Type

(Proverbs 5:6 KJV)  Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

Sinners are “moveable” (unstable NASB) (5128) and they live in ignorance.  What does it mean to be moveable/unstable?  It must be like someone who is color blind and no one has ever told them.  They don’t know any better.  I am partially color blind and did not realize it until I was drafted and had to take a test.  I don’t know if you have ever taken that test with all the colored dots.  You are supposed to pick out the numbers on the page based on the subtle differences in hue.  I could see three out of twenty.  No wonder I could never dress myself.

Now I am aware of the problem.  I avoid certain choices because I am aware of my lack.  I now ask my wife if I match.  She repeatedly tells me that everything I have goes with anything I have.  I can be stable but it takes outside help.

Fashion sinners never ask for an unbiased opinion.  Too often we sin by not asking or listening.

So?  Be aware of your weaknesses.  They are legion.  How do I know?  I am human too.  It is possible to be stable. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes

(Proverbs 4:17 KJV)  For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

For some people “wickedness” (7562) is the bread of life.  If you have your Bible, look back over the preceding verses.  Verse 14 talks about the “path of the wicked.”  It is a path that is chosen.  We tend to forget this because of our modern indoctrination in psychology.  Flip Wilson used to have a comedy routine based on “The Devil made me do it!”  We blame compulsions and phobias. 

The Bible talks about choices.  Notice that these people “eat” (3898b) and “drink” (8354).  These are not passive verbs, they are active.  Yes, people at times are trapped, forced, psyched and manipulated.  Do you think God is too ignorant to see that?  But people also make free choices.  Our culture is too ignorant to see that.

So?  How many choices will you make today?  How many are morally neutral and how many are loaded?  Stay away from wicked paths.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Conspiracy Theories

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

There are so many leading stories in the news that are cause for concern.  It often seems like the “wicked” (7563) are in control.  We see our liberty eroded and the tyrants of our world trying to put us in a box.  This is the time when we should take seriously the call to not be  “afraid” (3372).  I hope you have read the book.  We win. 

Being on the winning side doesn’t mean you are always ahead.  Look at any great conflict in history and you will see that.  In World War II people were actually worried about Japan invading our west coast.  We all remember the Twin Towers coming down.  I know how I feel about what I see going on in Washington today.  A verse from Isaiah comes to mind.  It speaks to me best from the NASB.
(Isaiah 8:11-13 NAS77)  For thus the LORD spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying "You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.  "It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread.
Don’t get caught up in all the conspiracies.  Notice it does not say they don’t exist.  The point is to focus on what we rejoice in fearing, the Lord God.

So?  I guess it’s the same-o, same-o.  Trust and obey, for there’s no other way,.... 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sometimes It Helps to Ask

(Proverbs 2:13 KJV)  Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

On vacation we went out on a day trip in search of a local swap meet.  It was mentioned in the notebook our timeshare gave us.  The book gave us detailed instructions in how to get there.  We followed them to the letter.  I know that because we kept reading them and we did what they said.  The problem was that the directions were wrong.  I don’t know where they went wrong, but they did.  We found ourselves out in the middle of South Carolina, near the Georgia border without even a water tower in sight.

We had departed from the “paths (734) of uprightness (3476).”  It didn’t really matter that we followed the directions and that our hearts were pure, we were lost.  The directions were wrong. 

What did we do?  We found someone who knew the right way.  She was driving an old, battered car.  She need her hair done.  She was missing a few teeth.  But SHE knew where she was.  She started to tell us how to get to the swap meet and then allowed mercy to overcome convenience.  She said, “Follow me, I will take you there.”

There are times in life when we need to find someone who is not lost on the way of evil, who knows where they are going.  There are times to ask someone who knows.

So?  If what you are reading doesn’t seem to be what it should be, find someone who knows and ask.  Then listen and follow.  You might find your swap meet. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Have It Your Way

(Proverbs 1:26 KJV)  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

This verse is not presented in a vacuum.  It is a continuation of the previous passage.  If you look back over the previous verses you see God and His wisdom repeatedly calling out and communicating and men ignoring what He has to say. 

God is patient.  He keeps reaching out, speaking, sending messengers.  Eventually He will come to the place where He just says, “Okay, have it your way.”  That may work in your choice of hamburgers but it is no way to build an eternity.

So?  Don’t push your luck.  Is God trying to get your attention?  It could be a matter of salvation.  It could be in stewardship of finances.  It could be in your marriage.  Listen while He is still speaking.  You don’t want God laughing at you.