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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Power Corrupts...Us

(Proverbs 30:22 KJV)  For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;

First establish the context by looking at the previous verse:
(Proverbs 30:21 KJV)  For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear:
When I read this and start looking for meaning and application I begin to wonder how this speaks to a culture which made slavery illegal over 100 years ago and doesn’t have kings.

Is the Hebrew word “servant” (slave NASB) (5650) a similar word to the one used in the New Testament?  After a little investigation I have to say, “Yes.”  The word is never translated “slave” in the KJV like it is here in the NASB.  The overwhelming translation is “servant.”  The same is true of the NASB.

The point being made here is contrast.  Many people cannot handle success.  When they get to positions of power they forget what it is like to be at the bottom.  Or maybe they remember and decide it is pay-back time.  Either way, success can be dangerous to us and the people around us.

So?  Another reason for an attitude check.  Whom do you have authority over?  Are you a parent, a teacher, a manager, an officer or anyone else with a little power.  Don’t let it change you.  Make it a matter of prayer for your own understanding and your behavior. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Flex Time

(Proverbs 4:3 KJV)  For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

Solomon claims that in his youth he was “tender” (7390).  The word means “soft, delicate, weak.”  Here it is a good trait and in the Old Testament it is almost always positive.  This is a flexibility that makes a person able to learn and adapt.

Why do we lose that quality?  When do we lose it?  Is it inevitable or can we retain it?  Can we recover it once it is gone?  Look at one other place the word is used, one that you are more familiar with,
(Proverbs 15:1 KJV)  A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Here our word is “soft.” 

This tells me that we can grow in this area.  We can learn to be “tender” and flexible.  We can learn.

So?  Don’t give up.  Don’t make excuses.  Adapt in the areas that deserve change.  Most of us have many areas like that. 

Fear Factored

(Proverbs 29:25 KJV)  The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

“Fear” (2731) has a way of sneaking up on us.  Have you ever looked back and asked yourself, “Why did I do that?”  Or have you wondered, “What was I afraid of?”  Have you ever looked back and said, “Why didn’t I say _______?”  You know you have. 

Our default setting is fight or flight.  We will either raise our fist or move our feet.  Both are the kind of reaction that takes over before we have a chance to think.  These responses can be learned.  Reactions can be changed.  I think fencing demonstrates this.  I have never tried it but my understanding is that you train yourself to respond without thinking.

We can train ourselves to naturally trust the Lord in a crisis.  It will be harder for some than others, but all can make progress.

So?  Listen to what God has to say.  Let the written Word permeate your being.  Be lifted up in worship.  Lay the groundwork for a life resistant to fear. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Responsible Childhood

(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.

This brings to mind the care of our parents.  We are used to thinking about the care of our children, but the children grow up.  There is a time when the parents are still going full speed and the children move into adulthood and function on their own.  But the day comes when the parents begin to slow down.  It may be gradual and dignified.  It may involve a sudden illness or loss of mental acuity.  They become dependent.

How does a believer respond to that?  Our culture is saying, “Let the government take care of it.”  Social Security and Medicare are usurping the role of the family.  The Biblical model would involve the children making sure that the parents are provided for. 

This verse brings to mind one of the practices condemned by Jesus:
MAR 7:11 but you say,' If a man says to {his} father or {his} mother, anything of mine you might have been helped by is Corban (that is to say, given {to God}),'
So?  I am now the patriarch of my family.  I am the old generation.  I am trusting my children to be responsible.  One reason I think they will is because they watched us as we cared for our parents.  What kind of example are you setting? 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

“Trust but Verify”

(Proverbs 27:13 KJV)  Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

This verse is identical to Proverbs 20:16.  Remember that “surety” (6148) involves guaranteeing someone’s loan. 

As I was looking into this I came across a statement by Adam Clarke that I will submit as a comment today.
“I suppose the meaning to be, If a stranger or unknown person become surety in a case, greater caution should be used, and such security taken from this stranger as would prevent him from running away from his engagements.”
So?  Be extra cautious when you don’t know someone.  Trust should be a cautious investment not a rash expenditure. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


(Proverbs 26:15 KJV)  The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.

How we hate the picture of the “sluggard” (6102).  It is not politically correct to use such a term, but then the Bible has never been PC.  Recently one of the kids at school called this group “bums.”  I have not heard that term in a long time.  After jokingly giving her a hard time about her choice of words, I had to agree with her.

Some people are lazy.  Some people are shiftless.  They are quite happy to live off the labor of others, have others pick up after them, contribute nothing and take whatever they can.  In a word, they are “sluggards,” or, as the KJV states it, “slothful” with full apologies to the real sloths.

I think it is inferred that sluggards are not pleasing to God. 

So?  Don’t be a sluggard. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Search the Unsearchable

(Proverbs 25:3 KJV)  The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.

But how does the king apply to us today?  I would suggest it refers to people in authority over us.

As I write an election is coming.  I find myself trying to analyze and understand the people running for office.  I want to vote wisely and as God would have me vote.  That is, I believe, a worthy goal, but like so much of life I can’t wait for perfect understanding in order to make a decision.  I must go on what I have.

What do I have?  I have things like the book of Proverbs which help me to look at the stands that the political parties have taken on moral issues such as marriage and abortion.  I look at how they define justice.  Is it the impartial justice of scripture or the vote buying justice of modern politics? 

I can’t know the “heart” (3820) but I can listen, observe and decide.

So?  I accept that you may not agree with my choices.  I simply ask that you be in prayer for our country, our world and our choices.  We are blessed. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stalin Lied, Millions Died

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

We see this on a regular basis today.  We need to be careful not to fall in with the masses.  Years ago our political leaders traveled to the Soviet Union and praised the Communist system.  They totally ignored that at the time Stalin was starving millions in the Ukraine to bring them into submission.  They saw what they wanted to see.  Millions died.  They were saying that the “wicked” (7563) were “righteous” (6662). 

Today we see this in what the press likes to call “social issues.”  So many people are claiming that homosexual unions can be called marriage.  Many of these people are in the church.  God is the one who sets the standard for evil and good, not your sociology professor.  This goes along with the comment in verse 29 when we try to usurp the traits reserved for God.

So?  Take your stand on what is clearly expressed in the Bible, not on what is popular. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pray Not to Be Prey

(Proverbs 23:28 KJV)  She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.

Satan attacks in different ways.  Sometimes he is loud and threatening. 
(1 Peter 5:8 KJV)  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Sometimes he is more subtle and “lieth in wait” (lurks NASB) (693).  For most of us this is a much more effective way to drag us down.  I know that if my macho manhood is questioned I will do my peacock thing, puff out my chest and resist with great vigor.  I know that if it is just a little compromise I will often say, “Oh, well...”

So?  Satan lurks.  He waits.  He is persistent.  Fortunately he is not as powerful as the Holy Spirit.  Trust, obey, triumph.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Bond of Love

(Proverbs 22:2 KJV)  The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.

There is a chorus that used to be cutting edge and now is for old folks called “We Are One in the Bond of Love.”  This verse is talking about that.  Notice the term “meet together” (common bond NASB) (6298).  My Hebrew is so slim that it is almost non-existent but in looking through my study tools I see that the meaning of this is “to meet, join, encounter.”  I submit that this is an Old Testament expression of the New Testament concept of “koinonia” which teaches fellowship and oneness in the Spirit.

As believers we are united in the bond of Christ which is established by the Holy Spirit.  The term that was used in the epistles was “brethren.”  Modern translations change this to brothers and sisters which, while not an accurate translation of the word, gives the undergirding power. 

So?  Are you involved in a local body of believers?  I don’t care if it is a house church or a mega church.   I do care if you are a vibrant part of it.  Don’t be the family member that never has time to be with the family.  Sunday is coming, every week.  Worship.  Give.  Receive.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Upright, Not Uptight

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

What does it mean to be “upright” (3477)?  I think this is the upright of the walker, not the upright of the statue.

Our lives are not lived in immobile perfection.  We are on the “way” (1870).  It is a journey.  I am going to assume for a moment that you are capable of walking down a garden path.  Stop and think of all the minute corrections your body is going through as you move.  You are leaning and throwing out arms to keep your body upright and mobile at the same time.  There are dozens (hundreds?) of muscles working in concert to keep you from falling on your face.

That is the walk of the upright.  We are on the move.  We are leaning into it.  We are always one step away from disaster.  And yet there is a harmony of balance and compensation that keeps us up and moving.

So?  Welcome to the world of the spiritually upright.  You will make mistakes, it happens.  God has built in corrections called repentance and revival that will keep you up and moving.  Lean into it. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Snare That Is Drummed

(Proverbs 20:25 KJV)  It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry.

Again we see the term “snare” (4170) in regard to actions that trap the unwary. 

Here the warning seems to have a different target in different translations.  In the KJV it talks about “devoureth” (3216).  In the NASB it talks about those who speak “rashly” (3886b).  When you trace the two different Hebrew words back they go to the same root.  To my eyes they seem to be the same word.  I don’t get it, so it is time to go with both/and instead of either/or.

In both cases it involves the misuse of the “holy” (6944).  The object of misuse is holy.  The person is acknowledging it is holy.  The problem is that the recognition makes no difference in how they live their lives.  It is like saying, “Yes, I know that smoking causes lung cancer.  Can I bum a cigarette?” 

So?  Live truth, don’t just pay lip service.  Walking in faith means living in obedience.  It is not an option. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Spiritual Q Tips

(Proverbs 19:27 KJV)  Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

This is a reverse promise.  To reach the goal, follow the advice.  Do you want to “stray” (7686)?  There are certain actions which declare your real goal.  In this case it is to “cease” (2308) “listening” (8085) [shama].

This word for “cease” simply means to stop.  To wander off of the Highway of Holiness, just stop listening.  That is simple enough.

But the KJV often translates this “forbear.”  The NASB also translates it “refrain.”  So what?  These take the idea of stopping a step further.  This is the opposite of going the extra mile.  This is a matter of holding back when you know you should go forward.  This lays the ignorance of God’s will squarely in front of your door.

So?  To paraphrase a popular advertizement, “Got problems?”  It may because you have done everything you can to avoid knowing the solution.  It often starts with a decision to stop listening.  Get out the spiritual Q Tips and get to work. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Righteous Judgment and Politics

(Proverbs 18:5 KJV)  It is not good to accept the person of the wicked, to overthrow the righteous in judgment.

I commented on the first part of this verse almost two years ago.  What about at the second part? This brings the teaching into bigger a perspective.  When we support the evil of the world we “overthrow” (5186) or “thrust aside” the righteous.  It is active, not passive.  It makes a difference what and whom we support. 

I think that this is directed specifically towards those in authority.  Judges, social workers, and law enforcement are always called on to make decisions.  Today we are seeing more and more people in authority reject the standards of the Bible.  We think we have little to say about this and if we are talking about what you can actually do today, you are right.  But over time we do have influence.

We have these things called elections.  In California we vote on judges.  How many Christians take the time to find out where those judges stand on moral issues?  We elect governors and presidents who appoint judges.  Do we look at where those people stand on the moral issues? 

So?  We have an obligation.  God has laid it on us.  It gets very personal and I can’t make decisions for you but God can help us.  Be a force against evil and for good. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Give It Up for Jesus

(Proverbs 17:1 KJV)  Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

If you do any comparisons of translations you see two different words used for “sacrifices” (2077).  The other, as in the NASB, is “feasting”.   The Hebrew word is a word that means sacrifice.  Where does “feasting” come out of “sacrifice?”

The ancient Hebrews would have understood.  Us modern folk miss one of the big points of sacrifice.  We focus on the idea of atonement.  As it says in Hebrews,
(Hebrews 9:22 KJV)  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
This is the central truth of the sacrifice and we see that in the Cross.

But with the Cross is the Lord’s Supper.  Modern skeptics think that God is some kind of selfish monster and when an ox was sacrificed it was a waste of good meat.  Not so.  Selected portions were burned but most of the animal was used for a feast.  It was eaten.  Part of the sacrifice was the banquet that went with it.

So?  God demands sacrifice but keep in mind there is always some kind of benefit that comes from that giving.  It may not be immediate and, to be honest, you may not see it, but it is there.  This is another part of what it means to live by faith.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Froward Is More Than a Strange Spelling

(Proverbs 16:28 KJV)  A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

I am going to express an opinion.  I assume none of you reading this are “froward” (perverse NASB) (8419).   Quickly read these two references that give a good idea of what the word means.
(Deuteronomy 32:20 KJV)  And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.

(Proverbs 2:14 KJV)  Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;
This pervert “spreads” (7971) “strife” (4066) has no faith, gets pumped up by doing evil and enjoys it when others do evil. 

Not you, but look around you.  One of the first things necessary to walk in righteousness is to recognize evil as evil and admit that it is there.  Are any of these perverts your role models?  Do you watch them in movies, on TV or at work?  Do you hang with them in your free time?

So?  If you knew someone had a highly infectious, deadly disease you would probably keep your distance.  How does that apply to our daily activities.  Think about it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Weaving 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.

Evil is not just a condition, it is a choice and a process.  This verse mentions evil “thoughts” (plans NASB) (4284).  I know this is a noun, not a verb, but the principle is here and in other places.  The root of the word means to weave. 

You need to realize that the evil of the world have an agenda.  It is to make themselves the center of the universe.  It is the source of sinful actions.  It is sin itself, Original Sin, the carnal nature, depravity. 

The people around you who have not been washed by the blood and filled with the Spirit still march to that drum.  It does not matter how nice they seem, they serve a different master with different goals and different priorities.

So?  Have you taken care of business?  Is your heart out from under the domination and stain of sin?  One answer deserves a “Praise God!”  The other answer needs some serious asking, “Why not?”

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fear and Fountains

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

All of us are familiar with “fear” (3374) but us city boys don’t know much about fountains.  For modern urban dwellers a fountain is in a public place and is usually associated with some artistic statue.  In some areas children play in it.  It is a decoration.

This “fountain” (4726) would be natural.  It would be a place where the water bearer of the family would come to get water.  It was a source of life.

If I had to haul my water I would prefer a fountain to a well.  A well means I must labor to bring the water up.  A fountain delivers the product.  Has someone dropped something in the well?  If they drop something in the fountain it gets washed away and replaced.  Well water stays put.  Fountain water overflows and goes on to new areas.

I prefer a life-giving fear.

So?  Someone said there are two reasons not to fear.  One is because you are very brave.  The other is because you don’t understand the situation.  For us, we fear because we know the situation.  We live because we know the Fountain. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Natural Is Not Automatic

(Proverbs 13:2 KJV)  A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.

Here we have the phrase “fruit” (6529) of the mouth (6310).”  This is talking about the natural results that are brought forth in season.  Based on the contrast in the second part and the pattern in the surrounding verses it is assumed that this is the talk of the righteous and wise. 

There is another phrase you might be familiar with:  “The fruit of the Spirit.”  This talks about the natural produce of a life controlled by the presence of God.
(Galatians 5:22-3 KJV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
One will effect the other.  The second is necessary for the first.

So?  By natural we don’t mean it will happen in nature.  We don’t mean you can produce this fruit by your own effort.  You need the Holy Spirit.  Seek Him.  Let Him change you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Context of Equality

(Proverbs 12:4 KJV)  A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

How does this look from the standpoint of history?  We are so ignorant and parochial when it comes to what has gone before us.  Many of the anti-God people try to paint Christianity as a patriarchal plot to keep women in their place.  Keep in mind that “modern” ideas of equality are a bump on the highway of history.

In reality the people who follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have set the standard for giving women a high place in society.  Make allowance that before the invention of the “great equalizer” (six-shoot revolver), muscles and hand-eye coordination were what gave power.  The woman who had both was extremely rare.  Human culture has taken certain paths based on that biological reality.

But Israel was known in the ancient world for allowing women freedom.  They were surrounded by cultures that locked respectable women up like the stereotype of a modern Muslim harem.  From ancient Greece to India women wore veils and did not go out unescorted.  Except in Israel.  And remember what Paul, everyone’s favorite chauvinist, said,
(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.
Wouldn’t that make a good addition to the Constitution?

So?  Don’t feel like believers are old fashioned.  We have been setting the curve for centuries.  Hold your head up and pursue righteousness. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don’t Be a Trouble Maker

(Proverbs 11:29 KJV)  He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

What are the nuances of “troubles” (5916)?  Does this relate to the NT verse that talks about not provoking your children?
    Ephesians 6:4 And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
We have a verb that brings on the noun.  If you trouble, you will have trouble.  This could be caused by what Paul calls “provoking.”  It could be caused by nagging.  The word means to “stir up, disturb.”  Wrapped up in it is selfishness and ego.  Based on all the other places in Proverbs where it talks about obeying the law and following the commandments this is not a matter of risking trouble by standing up for what is right.  This is standing up for what is wrong.

So?  “Because I said so” should not be the primary reason you take a stand.  Sometimes it is the last answer because the other person won’t listen to anything else.  You know you say so because God said so, they may only be willing to listen to you. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Steady As She Goes

(Proverbs 10:9 KJV)  He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.

The believer “walketh" (walks NASB) (1980) “uprightly" (in integrity NASB) (8537).  This means walking in completeness.  Our lives are consistent with our belief and our talk.  We have the power of being consistent.  You don’t catch people in lies if they always tell the truth.  I have come across this truth in several different forums lately.  None have been talking about spiritual things, just life. 

One podcast was talking about lawyers defending people in a criminal prosecution.  Most lawyers cited seemed to feel that their clients had been guilty.  Evidently they felt like it was a rare thing to defend an innocent person.  They said it was much easier because since the defendant told the truth they did not need to worry about what they said being at odds with the evidence that was presented.  They did not need to keep track of their “story” because it did not constantly change.  They were harder to trip up.

So?  The righteous has a more stable life because he doesn’t need to remember everything he says.  The truth does not change.  This should be natural for us. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ability or Attitude?

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

Notice three traits linked in this verse.  First we have “clamorous” (boisterous NASB) (1993).  Then we have “simple” (naive NASB) (6615).  A person who demonstrates these “knoweth” (3024) “nothing” (1077/4100).

It would seem that this type of person is considered stupid in scripture, or at least ignorant.  Barnes says that the phrase “knows nothing” is literally “knows not what.”  If I were doing a Pumice Paraphrase here I would say, “Is always saying, ‘Huh?’”

Is the problem ability or attitude?  Are people loud and foolish because they can’t do any different or are they obnoxious because they refuse to change or grow up?  Which am I?  Which are you?

So?  Start with yourself first.  It will probably take enough time that you will forget to get around to worrying about others.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

One Way, Multiple Paths

(Proverbs 8:20 KJV)  I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

“Righteousness” (6666) and “judgement” (justice NASB) (4941) would seem to run together.  In one sense this seems like a literary device to emphasize a point but a difference is apparent.  One is singular and the other is plural.

Is this just a way of emphasis and enriching?  Is this a tool like metaphor or hyperbole?  Is it important?  These are questions the Bible reader asks and then listens to the Holy Spirit.

“Righteousness” (6666) is singular.  This points out a concept that our culture does not want to deal with, there is absolute truth.  There is a right way, which infers that most ways are wrong or bad.  We are to walk in the “way” (734).  Jesus said,
(Matthew 7:14 KJV)  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
It is a hard truth.

But “judgement” (justice NASB) (4941) seems to be plural.  Actually it is singular but the “paths” (5410b) to get there are multiple.  This reminds us to be careful when we are judging other’s choices.  Justice is more slippery than righteousness.

So?  Be harder on yourself than you are on others.  Too often we get this reversed. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Son

(Proverbs 7:1 KJV)  My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

One of the frequent titles of address in Proverbs is “my son” (1121) [ben].  Most of it is concentrated in the first seven chapters.  I did a word search of the phrase in the KJV.  In the first seven chapters it is used fifteen times.  In the remaining 24 chapters it is used eight times.  Modern translations ignore the Hebrew and substitute “child” or “children.”  I won’t get onto a rant about translators and scholars today.  Just assume that the term is used to remind us that God has a very special relationship with us.

We are not just creatures.  We are not just servants.  Hopefully we are no longer sinners.  We are, however, his adopted children.  “Sons” designates that we are the offspring with all the special privileges given to boy children in that culture.  We are as the old song says, “precious in His sight.”

So?  Sing yourself a verse of “Jesus Loves Me.”  Revel in it. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012


(Proverbs 6:2 KJV)  Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.

I have never set a snare but I have read about it in stories.  I don’t know from experience if the authors know what they are talking about.  I have been “snared” (3369) by the “words” (561) of my “mouth” (6310).  My experience sounds like a snared rabbit.

My understanding is that the rabbits frantic struggle is what causes it to die.  If the animal was capable of thinking it through it might stop, back up, get free and go on its way.  In a sense it traps itself.

Our mouths can do the same for us.  Are you surprised that this is a recurring theme in the Bible?  These writers lived in a real world.  They had a real solution, too.
(Psalms 19:14 KJV)  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
So?  A reminder for today.  Watch your mouth, others are.  Didn’t I just say that a few days ago?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Truth in Advertizing

(Proverbs 5:3 KJV)  For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

We live in a world full of accomplished deceivers.  They have lines that are “smoother” (2509) that the lines of honest people of God.  This is another way in which we are to be different from the culture that surrounds us.  We should practice simple honesty.

One reason is simply honesty.  We are called to righteousness.  We are to walk upright.  We are to be found without blame.  This is being what we are supposed to be and bring glory to God.

Another reason is effectiveness.  How can we expect to draw people to Jesus if we disguise who Jesus is and what His people are like?  Have you ever had someone respond to a word or an action with the question that rebukes?  Has anyone in all innocence said to you, “I thought you were a Christian?”  Sometimes they don’t need to say a word, it is just that Look.

So?  Truth in advertizing is, or should be, a Christian ideal.  Live honest, not smooth.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Using Hindsight

(Proverbs 4:3 KJV)  For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

Solomon is looking back and remembering through rose colored glasses.  At this point the memory must be hazy and full of unpleasantness as well as warm fuzzies.  He is focusing on the glory of being the son of David, who was special in God’s eyes.

Have you ever thought about the past and said to yourself, “If only I had known.”  It really doesn’t matter what it is you think would have helped, there is a tendency to think that we could have had a better now if we had followed a different path then.  I know when she is in a certain mood my wife likes to ask me “If you had it to do over, would you marry me again?”

Obviously we cannot change the past.  We cannot change the present.  What we can do is live the now in such a way that when we look back we can believe we did the best we could.

So?  Looking back can be pleasant or frustrating.  Remember that when you make decisions today.  Twice in the KJV we find this reminder.
(Ephesians 5:16 KJV)  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

(Colossians 4:5 KJV)  Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
I pray we will all get better at this. 

Monday, September 3, 2012


(Proverbs 3:27 KJV)  Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

One of the clearly understood demands of the people of God is that they do “good” (2896b)  This is expressed literally.
(Psalms 37:27 KJV)  Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
It is expressed in figurative terms.
(Matthew 5:13 KJV)  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Part of the good is in our actions but there is another way we can “withhold” (4513).  That is by withdrawing from out world.  I have heard it said that salt in the shaker flavors nothing.  We are the agents by which the Holy Spirit does His work.  We can’t do that work hiding and avoiding involvement.

So?  Join.  Volunteer.  Organize.  There is much need for spiritual salt in our public square. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hidden Treasure

(Proverbs 2:1 KJV)  My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

The KJV says we are to “hide” (6845) God’s commandments.  This is a different side of the word that is brought out from the modern translations.  We tend to think of hiding as putting away so that no one know we have it.  When my wife buys a certain type of ice cream she laughs about how she hides it.  She says all she has to do is put it on a low shelf because I will never bend over to look.  But the idea is to keep it from my view. 

The idea here is to hide it so we can savor, enjoy and contemplate.  It is more the idea of putting old family pictures in a place where you can enjoy them without the sunlight dimming the colors.  I hide a family picture in my wallet so that every time I open it, there they are.  No one sees it but me and I see it frequently. 

So?  Put the teachings of God in a secure place, one that you visit regularly.  Find ways to visit and get acquainted. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Spiritual Grammar

(Proverbs 1:27 KJV)  When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

This is the kind of sentence that would have sent your English teacher ballistic.  To us it is an incomplete sentence but when you read the whole passage, it makes sense.

Often that is the way it is with spiritual things.  One small part might not make sense.  Often we have plenty of verbs but are lacking the nouns.  Often we don’t understand because we don’t want to. 

In English we have a form of address that leaves out the subject.  It is assumed.  I think it is called the declarative but it has been years since I worried about the jargon.  You know it when you see it.  You can even leave out the verb at times and be understood.  For instance, you could look at the child that is playing his drum in your room at 5:00 AM and all you need to do is say, “Out!”  No subject.  No verb.  No need.  One word is enough.

So?  Read the verse and put it together with what you already know.  Even more extreme, read the context.  It is called seeking and the promise is that you will find.