An Idea Borrowed

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dress for Success

(Proverbs 31:22 KJV)  She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

An excellent wife dresses well.  Admittedly, she “makes” (6213a) it herself.  It was a different age with different ways.  But what she makes is “silk” (fine linen NASB) (8336).  Today with the invention of the cotton gin and the industrial revolution we have access to many fine fabrics.  We have stores full of them in any price range. 

 Her color is “purple” (713), the color that will mark royalty in Roman times.  Purple was an expensive dye.

In short, she knew how to be a class act.  This is praised.

So?  Don’t be afraid to fill your life with quality.  Quality will often last longer than cheap and bring more satisfaction.  But understand the difference between investing in quality and throwing your money into flash and fashion.  You can do it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Look Before You Leap

(Proverbs 30:23 KJV)  For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.

Once again the KJV brings a nuance that the NASB misses.  In fact the NASB has the weakest translation of this passage when compared to the ones I have in my software.  The NASB calls this woman “unloved” (8130).  She certainly was but there was good reason for that.  The KJV uses “odious” and others used “hated” and “hateful.” 

Now look at the context beginning in verse 21 where it talks about the things that make the earth shake.

The point is that there are some people who can ruin your life if you get too close to them.  I don’t know how they worm their way into close relationships.  I don’t know how an “odious” woman can get a guy to pop the question.  I don’t know how some people become business partners, but we have all seen it happen.

So?  Obviously we are called to be lovers, not haters.  But a word of caution.  Before you tie yourself to someone, seek guidance.  Prayer, friends, and family come to mind but one of the biggest reasons we get into these situation is because we want something and refuse to see the facts in front of our faces. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Go to Prime, Not the Backup

(Proverbs 29:26 KJV)  Many seek the ruler's favour; but every man's judgment cometh from the LORD.

As I write this, election season is upon us.  We are concerned about who will be the next president, who will represent us in Congress and in our states, possibly who will sit on the benches of our courts and numerous issues on the ballot.  These are legitimate concerns for people who live in a republic.  We are to give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and in our republic Caesar, or “ruler” (4910), is the Constitution and not the president. 

At the same time we need to understand the limits of political action.  Don’t back off from it but at the same time, don’t back off from seeking the mind of the Lord.  While we vote on those who pass the laws we live by, we need to give our first allegiance to the eternal law of God.  It is easy to forget that. 

So?  Campaign.  Get involved.  Vote.  But understand it is the backup system not your first choice. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pride or Principle?

(Proverbs 28:25 KJV)  He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

When we are “proud” (arrogant NASB) (7342) we are so sure of our own rightness that we are quick to “stir” (1624) the pot.  I see this in myself as I struggle with how to deal with people and situations.  I keep thinking that I am right and I can cleverly work these things out.

Our desire to prove we are right causes “strife” (4066).  I have to believe this is different than making a clear statement on principle.  One is sin; one, honorable.  How do you tell the difference?  Usually principle benefits others and arrogance benefits ourselves. 

So?  What is your goal today?  Are you out to toot your own horn and line your own pockets or are you out to plant a tree for others to enjoy?  Motivation and attitude are so important. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Let It Come

(Proverbs 27:2 KJV)  Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

Do you ever seek praise?  Think of all the times we have heard false humility from public speakers, “I really don’t deserve all that.”  In their hearts they think they do, and they might.  The point of this is that public praise should come from others in a spontaneous way, not fished for and sought.

When if comes, accept it with a simple, “Thank you.”  Get on with life.  Give God the glory and bask in His reflection.

So?  Sometimes you get it right.  It is good for other people to tell you that.  Rest easy, tomorrow you will probably mess up again. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ignorant, Stupid or Evil?

(Proverbs 26:16 KJV)  The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

I like books that cite the source of their information.  I am frustrated by people that quote the famous and don’t say where the quote was found.  Why?  Because I may trust the thinking of John Wesley but I don’t trust the accuracy of people who quote him.  I remember a “scholar” quoting Wesley on his concern for the homeless.  He made the mistake of giving his source which I, by coincidence, had just read.  Although the words may have been accurate, they had nothing to do with the homeless.  The man was either ignorant, stupid or a liar. 

We cannot be that way and serve a holy God.  We can make mistakes but they will be less frequent if we will use “reason" (discreet NASB) (2940).  Don’t reuse proof texts that you heard someone else use.  Read the Word yourself.  Quote it yourself.  Use it accurately.  As Paul told Timothy,
(2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
So?  To use someone else’s observation, you may be the only Bible some people will read.  Unfortunately that often refers to some who have gone to church all their lives.  Don’t be part of the ignorant in the things of God. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vassal Vessels

(Proverbs 25:4 KJV)  Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

When I see the word “vessel” (3627) in this context I think of the finished product of the smith, so this does not seem to make sense.  Then I think of a vessel being a means of reaching a destination and it comes together.  Even a cup is a vessel for moving liquid from one place to another or for holding ingredients.  The pure silver is the means, or medium, which the smith uses to reach his goal.  The choice of goals will depend on the composition and purity of the material to be used.

We are vessels of God because we are made for a purpose.  We are vessels who are vassals.  We are not trophy cups sitting on a shelf, we are Tupperware carrying lunch for a real need.  We are not trophy wives, we are servants and ambassadors.  A verse comes to mind.
(Romans 8:28 KJV)  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
We are vessels for His purpose.

So?  You were redeemed for a purpose.  Keep your eyes open for the part you are playing in salvation history. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Long Term Blessing

(Proverbs 24:25 KJV)  But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.

It is key to get the context here.  In verse 23 Solomon is condemning partiality based on class and status.  Justice is defined as all being equal before the law, a concept that is expressed in the Declaration of Independence when it talks about all men being created equal.  So consider the subject under consideration.

Then add the time element.  Justice means the “blessing” (1293) will “come” (935).  It just takes a little bit of time to see it.  Think about it.  When a parent disciplines a child they do not see instant adult character.  When a farmer cuts a weed, it is not considered part of the harvest.  When a believer reads a verse he doesn’t come close to the whole counsel of God.

But they are necessary steps.

So?  Be a dispenser of justice, impartial justice, both up and down.  Don’t fall for the political motivation that talks about pagan concepts like “social justice.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Woe, First Verse

(Proverbs 23:29 KJV)  Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

In case you are not paying attention, this is the beginning of a section on the evils of drunkenness.  This is quite a list.  Disclaimer:  I don’t drink anything alcoholic and I never have done more than taste a few variations.  You could put all of the alcohol I have consumed in a twelve ounce can.

But even I know that alcohol creates “woe” (190).  This is the only place this word is used in the masculine but it is frequent in the feminine.  I don’t know how to read that.  The point is that alcohol is a path to desperation.

There are many things in life that are not necessarily sin in themselves but they open the door to abuse and escalation.  It is better to not start than to be unable to stop.

So?  Don’t let “Woe is me!” become the second verse of “One drink won’t hurt me.” 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blind Sided

(Proverbs 22:3 KJV)  A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

Some people act like “evil” (7463a) does not exist.  They are called “simple” (naive NASB) (6612a).  This is not a compliment.  It is not a natural condition.  It is a choice.  So many people chose to accept the popular line that evil is from society.  They like the idea that we can do and be anything we can imagine.  They are like Dorothy in Oz going through the ritual that will take her home.  They don’t seem to notice that they still aren’t in Kansas.

Like the arrogant, the simple just keep pushing on.  Facts don’t confuse them.  Failure does not distract them.  They don’t learn from anyone’s mistakes.  They are not delivered, they are “punished” (6064).

So?  Open your eyes.  Use your mind.  Living by faith is not blind and stupid, it is reasoned and informed.  We know the One in whom we have faith.  Part of faith is obedience. 
(Romans 1:5 KJV)  By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
To be repetitious, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way...” 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Answers without a Clue

(Proverbs 21:30 KJV)  There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

It may be apocryphal or fictional but one of the quotes attributed to Abraham Lincoln was, “I am not concerned with God being on my side as much as my being on God’s side.”  In addition to being apocryphal it is a paraphrase, but you get the point.

When you go “against” (5048) the Lord you throw a lot of things under the bus.  You discard “wisdom” (2451), “understanding” (8394) and “counsel” (6098).  These are all big concerns of Proverbs with frequent references.  What Solomon is trying to do is get us to recognize the real thing.  Just as you cannot buy a real Rolex on a street corner for ten dollars, you cannot find real wisdom ignoring contact with the living God.  It is like trying to use your cell phone in the middle of the mountains.

So?  Don’t settle for comfortable and undemanding substitutes.  Just because someone claims to have the answers doesn’t mean they have a clue. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Harvest Means Separation

(Proverbs 20:26 KJV)  A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.

This seems a bit violent but the principle is important.  After a verse saying we should not act rashly, we are now told that a “wise” (2450) leader “scattereth” (winnows NASB) (2219).  Is this saying that a wise leader would drive the “wicked” (7563) out of the church?

This picture is continued in chapter 27:
(Proverbs 27:22 NAS77)  Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his folly will not depart from him.
As I was reading this over today I saw a parallel I had not seen before.  I was thinking about how Jesus told us to turn the other cheek, etc.  How does that tie in?  I think Romans 13 is the answer.  As individuals our first responsibility is to turn the other cheek.  The “king” (4428), or as Romans terms it, “higher powers” KJV or “governing authorities” NASB, has a different responsibility.
(Romans 13:4 KJV)  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Our role is to turn the other cheek.  The governments role is to wield the sword against evil.  How that works in a democratic form of government is beyond today’s scope.

So?  Let the king be the king.  We are to be servants.  I know, it’s not too glorious but such is life and such is eternity. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Original Little Rascals

(Proverbs 19:28 KJV)  An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.

Here is another synonym for a liar, he is a “ungodly” (1100) “witness” (5707).  The NASB has “rascally.”  Neither gets to the root meaning of the word.  The usual NASB translation comes closest.  It is usually “worthless.”  In the KJV it is usually translated as some variation of “children of Belial,” which is more literal and colorful.

However you want to translate it, the meaning is clear.  Honesty and truth are a part of the default behavior of the righteous and as you have heard me say many time, God expects us to be righteous.  That is one of the things that the Holy Spirit is sent to empower us toward.

So?  Make this a day devoid of rascality.  That is actually a word, by the way.  At least my spell checker says so.  Be a child of God, not a child of Belial.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


(Proverbs 18:7 KJV)  A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.

I have resisted thinking of myself as a “fool” (3684), but that resistance may be even more evidence.  As I look at this I marvel that my “mouth” (6310) has not gotten me into more trouble.  It is so easy to make allowances for ourselves that we would not make for others.  This brings two thoughts that are probably a repetition but not in regard to our mouths.

Get serious about self-honesty.  I find it a constant challenge.  I am trying to start with the little one-sided conversations I have with myself.  You have them.  They are the things you mumble that you would never say to someone’s face.  I need to stop mumbling things I would never say in public.

I need to give others more leeway.  I must quit assuming that they have evil intentions.  It could be that they are simply as self-centered and obtuse as I am.

So?  There is always room for improvement.  That is why the Christian life is considered as journey as well as a decision.  After all the Bible calls it the Way, not the Spot. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Desert or Dessert?

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

Most of us face a question every day.  “Hi.  How are you?”  I have programed myself to never answer, “Fine.”  I use the question as a hot button to get my mind in gear.  Really, how am I?  My standard answer now is “marvelous.”  Sometimes I might say “glorious.”  The strange thing is, I mean it.  How can this be?

My life, like yours if full of fences, obstacles and fetters.  We all face limitations on our dreams and fantasies.  Often we don’t have a choice.  I remember when I started teaching.  I replaced a fully trained and credentialed teacher who had several years of experience.  The kids ran her off in two weeks.  They thought they could do the same with me, but there was a difference.  She was a second salary.  I was a sole supporter with a wife, kids and a mortgage.  When we don’t have a choice we can at least gain some consolation from comparing our situation to those who are suffering more.

When I feel like life is giving me a “dry” (2720) “morsel” (6595), I take a moment to compare my life to what it must be like to live in some third world country or to be unemployed in this one.  Somewhere in the process I am reminded that I am a child of God with an eternity ahead of me.  It is truly “better” (2896a).

So?  Lift up your eyes.  Develop a long range view.  Rejoice in the blessings.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Do-It-on-Yourself Kit

(Proverbs 16:29 KJV)  A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.

Proverbs deals with a long list of personality types.  We have the sluggard, the fool and the wise.  Here we have the “violent (2555)” “man” (376) (man of violence NASB).  These different people are not creations of Solomon’s imagination but products of his experience.  Part of the purpose here is to make us aware, to give us goals and to warn us.

As always, do a self check.  Think a moment about how you relate to others.  Most of us have no trouble seeing this in others but we can be totally blind to our own actions.  So take a look. 

Do you find yourself getting your way because people don’t want to see your temper?  Do people walk on eggs around you?  Are there certain topics they are afraid to touch?

So?  Don’t make this a preaching point for others but an examination point for yourself.  Any changes needed?  Personal remodeling does not require a large bank account, just a big God.  And honesty. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Greedy Capitalists

(Proverbs 15:27 KJV)  He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

On this verse I like the KJV more than the NASB but neither gets the nuance.  The NASB uses the phrase “profits (1214) illicitly (1214)”  The KJV says “greedy of gain.”  We need to understand the difference between making a profit and what this talks about.

Notice that the two words’ numbers are consecutive in the Hebrew.  One is the noun and one is the verb.  Neither word means the profit that is retained after a legal and non-coerced business transaction.  The verb will illustrate this.  The definition is “to cut off, break off, gain by violence.”  This would fit the coercion of the government.  This would fit the extortion of the mob demanding “protection insurance.”  This is not a word for profit gained in a free market.

Cheating and deception are an abomination to God.  Making a profit is blessed by God.  One does not require the other.  Reject the yells of the socialists in our culture who try to tell you different.

So?  Read and understand the Word, not your economics professor.  Rarely do they march to the same drummer. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Backslider Boredom

(Proverbs 14:14 KJV)  The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

As I read this through it struck me that you don’t know real boredom until you become a “backslider” (5472).  There is a sense in which being “filled” (7646) seems good, like on Thanksgiving, but have you noticed that after a certain point the taste starts to go down hill and eating more becomes a habit rather than a fulfillment?  Maybe it never hit you.  Maybe you are one of those who knows when to stop.  I salute you.

Why are the ungodly of the world so focused on entertainment?  It could be that they are easily bored because they are only concerned with self-gratification.

So?  Bored?  Get outside yourself.  Find someone to serve.  Find a way to give of yourself.  Try obedience.  You want excitement?  Stand up in a school board meeting and read a Bible verse about homosexuality. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Do Open Minds Mean Open Mouths?

(Proverbs 13:3 KJV)  He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

In our culture the concept of “opens wide” (6589) often has a positive spin.  We talk about having an open mind.  We talk about being open to new things.  In personalities open means honest and up front.  I think we can see that.

Here the implication is negative.  It is only used two times and the other is a bit vulgar for a G rated blog.  This word means being open to destructive actions.  Talking too much can cause “destruction” (ruin NASB) (4288).  In case you are not paying attention, that is a bad thing. 

So?  We all have times when we talk before we think.  It might be time for repentance and asking forgiveness.  It might just be time to be aware and work on improvement.  Your mouth, your decision.  My mouth, my choice. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wife Shopping

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

Do men really want a “virtuous” (excellent NASB) (2428) “woman” (wife NASB) (802)?  It sounds good.  It is obviously meant as a good thing.  God would approve.  Unfortunately we tend to be attracted to the flashy instead of the “virtuous.” 

We have an instinct about this word.  It’s most common translation in both NASB and KJV is “army.”  The word means “strength, might, efficiency, wealth, army.”  These are wonderful qualities in an executive secretary but in a wife we tend to want what was in the traditional wedding vow, one who will “love and obey.”

I would guess that God knows better.

So?  Most of us aren’t looking for wives, or husbands for that matter.  We are making choices in other areas of life.  Maybe we should be using God’s measures of value and worth, not those of our culture or natural inclinations. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Staying the Course

(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.

I wasn’t satisfied with last months comment on this verse.  Some trouble is necessary.  It is not always smooth sailing when you are raising children in the way in which they should go.  That is not the problems this verse is talking about.  Those problems are temporary and lay the foundation for future blessings.

We are not guaranteed smooth sailing when we follow the ways of God.  Read the words of Jesus,
(Matthew 5:10-12 KJV)  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
There is a difference between strong leadership and troubling.  It won’t be in the words of your children or neighbors, they have an interest in disputing with you.  It will be in the long term results and the direction your “house” (1004) will go for eternity.

So?  Always be willing to do an attitude check and adjust your sails if necessary, but if you are on track then follow the path. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Silly Rabbit

(Proverbs 10:26 KJV)  As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.

Have you ever had someone let you down?  Silly question, of course you have.  Have you ever wanted to kick yourself for trusting them?  Silly question, of course you have.  Go ahead and kick.  You really did know better. 

We sometimes think we are giving people a chance to prove themselves.  The problem is there needs to be some “buy in” for that to take place.  You need to make it clear you are giving them an opportunity to prove themselves.  They need to understand you are taking a chance. 

This also helps you make yourself aware of what you are doing.  It gives you a chance to be prepared if things don’t work out.  The point here is that it probably won’t work out.

So?  Beware of trusting a “lazy one” (6102) to accomplish anything important.  They are not to be trusted.  I know you want to, just don’t depend on the results.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Call of the Willed

(Proverbs 9:15 KJV)  To call passengers who go right on their ways:

Try to understand what people mean when they use special terms.  One of the “in” words being tossed about today is “spirituality.”  Beware of counterfeit spirituality.  It is very popular to talk about being spiritual but it usually has nothing to do with walking with Jesus.  It was once a good word that expressed truth but our culture based on relative values instead of truth has perverted it. 

The anti-Christian world tries to “call” (calling NASB) (7121) to us.  These people and groups have learned that if they use the right lingo they are listened to more often.  For us spirituality is being in touch with the Holy Spirit and walking in righteousness.  For them it is built on superstition and pagan beliefs.  In this chapter we see wisdom and folly.  Here we see that folly calls out to us, just as the Holy Spirit does. 

So?  Learn to listen.  If you have trouble discerning truth the first step is to check the measure of truth, the written word of God.  Don’t go to some guru even if they are believers.  Do your own homework first.  Learn to know the voice of the Spirit. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Long Term Investments

(Proverbs 8:21 KJV)  That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

I love the way the KJV translates this.  Compare it to the NASB.  In the KJV we will “inherit (5157) substance” (3426).  In the NASB we are “endowed with wealth.”  Both are walking around the edges of meaning and trying to get it across.

God will “cause to inherit" (endow NASB) (5157) those who follow Him.  Let’s focus on that now.  An endowment is something of value that will keep giving to provide not only the necessities of life but also the good things.  It is a long term investment that continues to produce.  In the words of an advertisement it is “the gift that keeps on giving.”

God is concerned about the long haul.  He deals in eternity.  He is building us up to be saints in His presence forever.  Our feelings now are nice but they will pass.  Our souls and character will not.

So?  Accept the fact that God is working in you and building you for eternal life.  Reach out to the long term view and rejoice in the providence of God.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Sin Is in the Context

(Proverbs 7:18 KJV)  Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

Context is so important.  If this were found in the Song of Solomon and he was talking to his wife this would be an awesome statement about the romance in marriage.  In this context it is an invitation to Hell.  Sin is often a matter of context.

It is not always the action.  Talk can be gossip or praise.  Eating can to be to the glory of God or to the glory of your stomach.  Sex can be the ultimate knowing inside the covenant of marriage or a disaster that ruins lives.

So?  Be careful of excuses.  Look at your attitudes and reasons for acting.  Examine your motives.  Be honest about the context.  Walk in righteousness, not hypocrisy. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Family Priorities

(Proverbs 6:1 KJV)  My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,

It would seem that there is a parallel between “friend” (neighbor NASB) (7453) and a “stranger” (2114a).  These two words together bring to mind the teaching that Jesus gave in the Parable of the Good Samaritan about “who is my neighbor.”   I can’t remember if I touched on this before but it is worth repeating, I think. 

Certain words have a general meaning although there are times of exception.  “Neighbor” is a word that I think is used in contrast to “brother.”  A neighbor is a non-believer.  A brother is a believer.  We are to love our neighbor as ourselves, as Jesus taught.  We are to love our brothers even more. 

We live in an affluent age.  Even in the current economy we are better off than most people in the world.  We have a real responsibility to our “neighbors.”  One of the reasons that America is so generous is this Christian teaching which is embedded in our culture.

At the same time we should have priorities.  We have a greater responsibility to fellow believers than we do to non-believers.

So?  Are their needs in your church?  I mean real needs like the father that is out of work for the first time in memory, not the church sponge who always has a hand out.  Look, see and give.  Be a blessing. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Oil Consumption

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

This is the same word for “oil” (8081) that is used about contentious women being hard to deal with (Proverbs 27:15-16).  The word is defined literally as “fat, oil” but when you look at the different uses and nuances you find that this oil is used for food preparation, medication, ointments, lamps, and for anointing.  Do you notice what is missing for us modern folks?  Lubrication, but they probably used it for that too.

The point I am making today is that we need to think “outside the box.”  What words mean to us may be totally different than their original meaning.  Since the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit we can still receive meaningful teaching but learn to look beyond the surface.  One of the steps of preparing to teach the word is to ask yourself, “What did this mean to the people in that day?”  It isn’t a bad step for personal study and worship either.

So?  Don’t forget to think today.  It may be painful but it never hurts. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tech Mixup

The post for today came up on September 29.  I am sure it couldn't have been my mistake. ;).  Technology is wonderful when it works and when we press the right buttons.

Grace and peace.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Games People Play

(Proverbs 3:28 KJV)  Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

We should be the kind of people that everyone wants living next door.  We should be the kind that never plays games with people.  The person described in this verse is getting a Power Rush.  He is getting a chance to mess with someone just because he can.  Have you ever met someone who has done that?  Has that person ever been you?

God is not pleased.  God is not mocked. 

There are times when it is legitimate to say, “Tomorrow.”  Make sure you are doing what is really best for your neighbor.  Make sure you are doing what is best for the homeless man with his hand out.  Make sure you are doing what is best for you in God’s eyes.

So?  Sometimes it means “Yes.”  Sometimes it means “No.”  Usually you will know which will put a smile on God’s face. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Unhidden Treasure

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

God speaks to us in many different ways.  I trust you were able to worship with God’s people Sunday.  My hope is that your pastor spent time in study and preparation.  Of course you have been studying the word also.  You talk to friends.  God has many ways of communicating.

The NASB does not use “hide” (6845) but “treasure”. We must “treasure” what we hear.  This is the other side of receiving.  We need the proper attitude to the gifts that God has given.

Have you ever received a gift from someone, set it aside and forgotten about it?  If the giver is aware of that how do they feel?  Do you think they will be inclined to give again or will they assume that you don’t need more until you use what you have?

It is not a new idea but let me repeat it:  Most of us don’t need a new message from the Lord.  Most of us already know more than we are doing.  We need to treasure truth by putting it into action.

So?  Stop and think.  What do you already know that you are ignoring?  Use it up.  Make room for more treasure. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

It Can Be Too Late

(Proverbs 1:28 KJV)  Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

This is a scary verse.  It is another hard truth that we don’t want to hear.  There can come a time when you can “call” (7121) but God will not “answer” (6030a).  This is a warning not to play games with God.

This is not a bedtime story to scare children.  This is not a hell-fire and brimstone threat of the tent evangelist.  It is a truth that is expressed several places in the Bible and remains a truth in spite of the teachings of people with more of the gift of mercy than discernment and knowledge.

Don’t play games with God.  Don’t say to yourself, “I will just wait until I am through having fun and then call on God."  He might not answer.

So?  Be honest.  Maybe the person to start being honest with is yourself.  God knows your heart no matter what you do.