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, November 30, 2012

Dynamite Packaging

(Proverbs 30:24 KJV)  There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:

This seems like a silly observation but in terms of wisdom, size does not matter.  You can be “little” (small NASB) (6996a) and be “exceedingly” (2449) “wise” (2450).

It is no guarantee.  We have all heard of the Napoleon complex.  Children certainly do not qualify regardless of what your local school teacher says.  But being short or lacking in physical stature is no limitation to the containment of wisdom.

So?  Accept people as they are.  Look past the package and evaluate on the contents.  You have heard it a million ways.  Make that a million and one. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Abomination Next Door

(Proverbs 29:27 KJV)  An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.

Whether you want to admit it or not, we are involved in a spiritual war.  We try to downplay it.  We don’t sing “Onward Christian Soldiers” any more.  We avoid thinking about the church militant, but like Neville Chamberlain ignoring the threat of Adolf Hitler, the treat is still there.  Here we have two human sides represented in the spiritual wars, the “unjust” (5766) and the “upright” (3477).

Both sides in the spiritual wars find the other an “abomination” (abominable NASB) (8441).  We are so much into being nice and tolerant that we reject this clearly taught truth.  Pagans are not just different, they are rejected by God.  This applies whether they are in the church or out of the church.

So?  That does not mean we abandon courtesy and kindness.  It simply means that we are aware of the reality of the divide.  We are at war.  The other side has shown up for battle and is working hard.  Be aware.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Planting the Seeds of Your Future

(Proverbs 28:26 KJV)  He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

Our popular culture “trusts” (982) in emotions more than reason.  We spend our energy on something we call “love” and how we feel in our “heart” (3820).  Note the contrast with the previous verse on where we place our trust.  There the confidence is in the Lord, here in our own emotions.  The results are dynamically opposed. 

Where are you going to plant the seeds of your future?  If you plant your hopes in sterile, impacted soil you will get stunted produce at best.  If you plant your priorities in fertile, well watered ground you will reap a bounty.

So?  Which will it be?  Whom will you trust?  You must put all your eggs in one basket.  I vote for the Lord.  Join me if you haven’t yet.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Humble Listening

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

I think there is a warning here for all of us.  Praise in public places is cheap and often dishonest.  When you hear a long glowing introduction you are best to ignore anything beyond simple facts such as where someone was born or where they went to school.  Judge the person on what they say and what you know they have done, not on someone’s glowing kissy-kissy fest.

You have all heard someone say, “This is a person who needs no introduction.”  Then they go on to introduce them.  Don’t fall into that trap as a speaker or as a listener.

So?  Simplicity and humility are key to being righteous.  We need to extend that to what we believe about others also.  Listen with wisdom. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Advent Solution

(Proverbs 26:23 KJV) Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

Again we see a recurring theme in Proverbs, the “wicked” (7451a) “heart” (3820).  It always amazes me how people don’t want to acknowledge the sinful nature.  All Christians have original sin as part of their doctrine.  It may be defined slightly differently, be dealt with at different times and with varying success and effect your life by suggestion or dominance, but all admit that it is a problem.

But it is a problem with a solution.  That is also a theme of Proverbs.  It is possible to be a person who is not controlled by the wicked heart.  That is why we hear repeated reference to the righteous, the upright, the faithful. 

So?  Don’t be discouraged or live in Fantasyland.  The problem is real.  The solution is available.  Rejoice and be glad as we celebrate the Advent season, the coming of the solution.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tooting Your Own Horn

(Proverbs 25:7 KJV)  For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.

Here is another source of a teaching of Jesus.  This one is expanded in Luke 14:8-11.  Jesus thought it was important enough to repeat.

The point here is Christian character, or, since this is the Old Testament, Godly character.  We are looking at one of the qualities of humility.  Paul also teaches this.
(Romans 12:3 KJV)  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
As a follower of Jesus you are expected to accept a lower station in life than you might think you deserve.  Many of us have a tendency to think that we are better than the other guy.  We think that our life has been harder or we have contributed more.  We see it every day.  We demonstrate it every day.

So?  Don’t toot your own horn.  Learn to be a servant of God and your fellow travelers. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Have a Straight Edge

(Proverbs 24:26 KJV)  Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.

The Keil and Delitzsch commentary has a long paragraph discussing “kisses” (5401a) and “lips” (8193).  We will skip that because they come to the conclusion that the important point here is that it is a good thing to give the “right” (5228) “answer” (1697).

Such a simple statement.  It seems obvious.  Some answers are “right” (5228), some are wrong.  But that is not the contrast here.  This word means “straight” not “correct.”  It means that we don’t beat around the bush or cloud the issues.

Have you been there?  Someone asks a question.  You know the answer and how to give it.  Instead, for reasons that can vary, you get vague and obscure.  This is implying that such an answer is a form of lying and thus is a sin.

So?  Speak straight.  Speak truth.  God is making a list and doesn’t need to check it twice. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Booze in Balance

(Proverbs 23:30 KJV)  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

This is a verse that does not stand alone.  By itself it is two incomplete phrases.  They both refer back to the previous verse that is talking about the problems of people who drink too much.  It should be pointed out that the condemnation is not about “wine” (3196) itself, but the tendency to “tarry” (linger NASB) (309) over it.  You would need to compare this to Proverbs 9:1-2 where it talks about wisdom mixing its wine.  I am struggling with this.  I have strong feelings about the abuse of alcohol.  Like many things in life, it is the abuse that is the problem.

We must find a balance in life.  The Bible does this.  In alcohol the balance is in moderation.  Moderation is a range of use.  In the case of alcohol the range is from none to small amounts.  Abstaining is moderation on this issue because alcohol is not a need.

So?  Strive for the Biblical balance in all things.  Be careful not to condemn those who find a different balance.  Seek righteousness in action as well as attitude. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Amazing Grace, Don’t Leave Home without It

(Proverbs 22:5 KJV)  Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.

Here we have that KJV word “froward” again.  For me in the NASB, it reads “perverse” (6141).  These are people who go without caution.  They pay no attention to the reality of their journey.  In my later years I have begun to play golf.  If I break 100 I have a shouting spell.  That should tell you how good my game isn’t.  I am also very cheap.  I don’t like to lose balls so I go looking for them in the forest by the fairway. 

If you don’t pay attention you will come out of the rough bleeding from more places than you thought you had blood.  Often you don’t even feel the pain of the cut.  The bushes and plants in the area that is out of bounds are covered with “thorns” (6791) and all kinds of sharp points. 

Those cuts will heal on their own.  The cuts brought on by sin will not.

So?  Be aware of your journey.  Be aware there are dangers and traps.  Think of the words of the hymn Amazing Grace:
“Through many dangers toils and snares”
Pray for grace to bring you home. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Best Laid Plans...

(Proverbs 21:31 KJV)  The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

This verse reminds me of a quote that begins, “The best laid plans of mice and men....”  I don’t have it in my head and have no internet access while I am writing so I can’t give you the entire quote, but you get the idea.

We are expected to look ahead and plan.  We are not expected to live in the moment.  Some would disagree with that.  They define faith as life cruising and letting God worry about all the details.  There are times and topics where that is the best plan.  But if you don’t plant the seeds, you will get no edible crop.  If you don’t hoe the weeds, the crop you plant will not flourish.  If you don’t bring in the crop, there will be nothing in the storehouse.

The key item that planners leave out is the only item that cruisers put in.  We must have a foundational understanding that the results, the “victory” (8668), is in God’s hands.  We should always consider the timeless moral standards of God.  We should factor in the current knowledge we have of what God is doing in our lives.  We should use our spiritual gifts.

So?  In a crisis we go to autopilot.  On the day to day, plan and trust.  Your schedule is your schedule.  I can’t even begin to recommend which to use today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why vs What

(Proverbs 20:27 KJV)  The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

We can play all kinds of mind games with God, but our “spirit” (5397) is an open book to Him.  This is not the most common root word.  Hebrew has a word for soul and a word for spirit that are both much more common.  I think this would be close to the conscience.  We know when we are wrong unless we have trained our conscience to ignore it.

God is very much aware of our inner motivation.  For Him the question often is not what we have done, but why we have done it.  Thus we have places where offerings and prayers are called abominations because they are given as attempts to manipulate God or fool people.

So?  What does your inner spirit say about your motivation.  Be honest.  No one is listening but you and God and He already knows the answer.  Pray for a change of heart, or spirit, if that is what is needed.  Repentance is always in style in the kingdom.

Monday, November 19, 2012

GO Is G as in Grace, O as in Obedience

(Proverbs 19:29 KJV)  Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.

God will make “judgments” (8201).  Yes, we are under grace.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that there are still expectations and God has not gone to sleep.  He is still watching our behavior.  Time and time again in scripture it talks about our actions having rewards and punishments.

How does that work out in regard to grace?  There are many disagreements there.  All agree that we are saved by the grace of God and that faith is required.  Many, if not most, would agree that somehow obedience is important or necessary.  Since I don’t want to write a book here, just accept that God did not send Jesus to the cross and then go to sleep with a job well done.

He is still on the throne.  He will not be mocked.  Remember the scary words of Jesus,
(Matthew 7:21 KJV)  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
So?  Trust, yes.  Obey, yes.  Why make it an issue?  As the commercial says, “Just do it.”  We can argue about the importance of each later. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wounds of Gossip

(Proverbs 18:8 KJV)  The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

“Wounds” (dainty morsels NASB) (3859) are the snack foods of life.  This word is only used two places, here and Proverbs 26:22.  Both verses are exactly the same.  My comments are triggered by the NASB translation of “dainty morsels.”

Snack foods usually only guarantee one “nutrient,” calories.  I say nutrient because the energy to run our bodies comes from calories and some of the gurus I have read say a calorie is a calorie no matter where it comes from.  So even the little bits of junk food have the potential to add something to keep us alive.  Over all their contribution is questionable.

The same with gossip.  The juicy little tidbit being passed on may contain a kernel of truth, or at least in it’s original form it did.  In the form and quantity of it’s passage only harm results.  How do you deal with snack foods?  Some avoid them altogether.  Some pick carefully and limit quantities. 

We can’t avoid all contact or listening.  That means we have to use our minds, spirits and discernment to limit our intake to that which is beneficial.

So?  Filter.  Accept and reject.  Remember that filters need to be cleaned regularly.  Keep in contact with the Great Cleaner. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hope for a Shameful Son

(Proverbs 17:2 KJV)  A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.

I see a bit of backhanded hope in this verse.  The focus is, of course, on the servant who is faithful.  What about the son who “causeth shame” (acts shamefully NASB) (954)?  Last post I was talking about the one who worked hard at evil.  Here we are talking about a drifter.  It may be stretching, but he is still considered a son.  At least for a time. 

I don’t think this is an invitation to drifting aimlessly through life with no consequences.  Paul points out there is a point where lack of faith has consequences.
(Romans 11:22 KJV)  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
You will need to read the entire passage in Romans 11 to get the full context and understand the danger, but here we are reminded of the patience of God.  Causing shame does not seem to cut you from your “inheritance” (5159), but it reduces your portion.

So?  Live in obedient faith.  Live like it makes a difference.  It does. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Getting a Little Shut Eye

(Proverbs 16:30 KJV)  He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.

Although I like the word “winks” (6095) in the NASB, the KJV is spot on by translating it “shutteth”.  This is the only place the Hebrew word is used.  I picture someone closing his eyes to think about something.  We have someone who is concentrating.

The purpose of his focus is to “devise” (2803) “froward things” (evil NASB) (7463a).  This is not Christian meditation but evil planning. 

Again we are reminded that there are some people in the world who put a lot of energy into their mischief.  It is not a matter of making a mistake or a weak moment.  They are out to get what they want and what they want is evil.

So?  Go through the day with your eyes open and your spirit sensitive.  Pray that God would “deliver us from evil.”  Rejoice in your salvation and be careful not to walk into any doors.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Heart of the Answer

(Proverbs 15:28 KJV)  The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

Two points are given here about how the “righteous” (6662) speaks. 

The first is that we should always speak from the “heart” (3820).  There is a consistency that is a part of the upright life.  We say what we believe.  We behave to an inner standard.  To use a cliche, we “practice what we preach.”


Because the change that has taken place in us is not just a superficial whitewash.  When the blood of the Lamb cleanses us and the Holy Spirit fills us, it is a cleansing that goes all the way through.  It goes all the way to the heart.  It was the measure that was held up to the early church to prove that gentiles were accepted by God.
(Acts 15:9 KJV)  And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
It starts in our core.  If that isn’t changed, nothing will stay changed.

So?  If you aren’t there, call on God.  If you are, rejoice and let it control all of you. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Escape Clause

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

The overview here says that “fear” (3374) will keep us from “death” (4194).  The KJV says we will “depart” (5493) from the “snares” (4170).  The NASB says we will “avoid” them.  It seems a little different emphasis but I find hope in both translations.  The basic meaning of the word is “to turn aside.”  You can see how you can get both translations.

Which applies to you?  It depends on the day, the need in your life and the voice of the Holy Spirit.  This is the glorious truth of the inspiration of scripture.  The Holy Spirit is the interpreter who brings out the truth.  He will meet you where you are and it does no damage to the truth.

So?  First, walk in fear.  Second, make sure that death is not a part of your portfolio of options.  You can escape it or avoid it all together, but life is there. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Stink Bombs

(Proverbs 13:5 KJV)  A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.

A liar is “loathsome” (acts disgustingly NASB) (887).  This literally has the idea of being a little stinker.  There are places in the Bible where I wish the translators would allow the literal meaning to stand.  There are some word pictures that could burn the image into our hearts much better than modern equivalents.  For instance the NASB marginal note points out that the literal meaning is “causes a bad odor.” 

This is a picture that is used throughout the Bible.  A word search for the words “sweet savour” in the KJV brings up 88 hits, all but one in the Old Testament.  It is tied to the sacrifices offered up to God.  It is used once in the New Testament.  Let me give you that in its context.
(2 Corinthians 2:14-16 KJV)  Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.  For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish  To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
God’s people also have a smell but it is now defined as the smell of life.

So?  What is your aroma?  Are you the smell of death or life? 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Law of Unintended Consequences

(Proverbs 12:6 KJV)  The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.

How do your “words” (1697) effect others?  Today I want to focus on unintended consequences.  We see the Law of Unintended Consequences in application all around us.  One good example was the War on Poverty unleashed by Lyndon B. Johnson.  The purpose was to destroy poverty and bring the poor into the mainstream.  That was a worthy goal.  The means was lots of government money applied with no moral standards.

What were the results?  After billions of dollars, poverty still seems to be winning.  In addition we have destroyed the family unit in black American families.  When this war began 80% of black children were born into intact families.  Fifty years later 80% are born out of wedlock. 

If you judge by the results, intended or otherwise, it would seem that the proposal was a case of “wicked” (7563) “words” (1697).  Have we changed our approach?  No we just keep doing the same things.

So?  You can’t change government policy by yourself but you can see the failure and apply it in how you treat your family and friends.  Beware of the wicked with good intentions. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Winning Souls

(Proverbs 11:30 KJV)  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

What an unusual statement for the Old Testament.  Look at that second phrase.  We don’t think of the OT as talking about winning souls, yet there it is.

It is not a mistranslation.  This is the Hebrew word “nephesh.”  It is a very common word in the Old Testament and is usually translated “soul.”  The next most common translation is “life.” 

Here is an additional part of the definition of wisdom, winning souls.  It means that the wise person sees the perspective of eternity and is concerned about bringing people to Jesus.

So?  Even the book of Proverbs is concerned about evangelism and discipling.  Maybe we should be too. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Original Spock Greeting

(Proverbs 10:27 KJV)  The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

I can think of many reasons why “fear” (3374) “prolongs” (3253) “days” (life NASB) (3117) [yom]. 

Fear can keep you from doing something stupid.  A fear of heights can keep you away from places that invite falling.  Fear can keep you from swimming in dangerous surf.  Fear can keep your mouth shut at key times.  Those are obvious.

But we are talking about the fear of the “Lord” (3068) [Yahveh].   This is the word that is translated Jehovah four times in the KJV.   This is not the craven fear of terror but the holy awe of the eternal God.  This is a fear that not only keeps us from evil but transforms our inner being.  When you are transformed there are consequences, good ones.

I have read reports that say that people who worship regularly tend to be happier, more successful and, yes, live longer.  I didn’t need to read the research, I have already read the Word.

So?  You already have what Spock wishes for you.  You are going to live long and prosper.  And then you will live forever and prosper more. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Not a Spectator Sport

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

Who are these “passengers” (5674/1870) ( who pass NASB (5674a))?  They are the righteous.  They are the ones who are on the “ways” (paths NASB) (734) that are “right” (straight NASB) (3474). 

Actually it is not just that they are on the right path.  The righteous are in the process of “making straight” (3474) their ways.  Joshua said, “Choose this day...”  (Joshua 24:15).  Jesus said, “Follow me.”  These words appear 46 times in the gospels.  There is an active involvement in being a follower of Jesus.  There is a buy-in that is expected. 

Christianity was not designed as a spectator sport.

So?  Make your path straight (NASB).  Go right (KJV).  Righteousness is required, not optional. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Take It to the Bank

(Proverbs 8:22 KJV)  The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

Wisdom is timeless.  We believe that there are certain principles that were established by God before the creation.  They reflect His nature.  God “possessed” (7069) wisdom. 

This goes against the teaching of our culture.  We live in a time when absolute truth, and wisdom, are rejected.  Everything is relative.  Nothing is unchanging.  Common sense tells us that some things are relative.  You drive slower in a midnight ice storm than you do on a sunny day.  Other things you can take to the bank.  Adultery is wrong.  Your college professors might disagree but what do they know?

This should give us a secure place to stand.  Not in arrogance.  We are not the ones that are always right, God is.  And God has made His teachings clear enough for the simple and complex enough for the scholar.

So?  Live what you know.  Ignore the nonsense as much as you can.  Remind yourself, “This, too, shall pass.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Gate-Keeper

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

The margin tells us that the word “apple” (380) literally means “pupil.”  For those of you who were not listening to your science teacher, the pupil is that black spot in the center of your eye.  It is the gate-keeper for all of the light that enters your life.  The iris adjusts to allow different amounts of light through depending on how bright it is.  The lens focuses the light on the back of the eye, but the pupil is the entry point.

Make the logical jump.  The “law” (teachings NASB) (8451) [torah] is to be the filter for all the information that comes into our lives.  Notice I said “is to be,” I did not say “is.”  Too often we do not filter things through the Word of God. 

Think about the things you hear at work.  As a teacher I hear all kinds of pagan thoughts and plain nonsense spouted by people who should know better.  How do I know better?  Because I filter things through the “apple” (380) of my “eye” (5869).

So?  You can’t tell the difference between wisdom and foolishness is you don’t know Truth.  Get started today before you get any further behind.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Playing Gotcha

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

Is there a difference between being “snared” (3369) and being “taken” (caught NASB) (3920)?  My quick response is that one we walk into, the other catches us.  One is the immediate result of our current actions.  The other is the long term consequence of our past irresponsibility. 

Our quick and thoughtless speech can get us “taken” (caught NASB) (3920).  Maybe not immediately.  We can often get away with things.  But it will be there.  Recently I pushed a signal.  I was the third car back and before I could get to the crosswalk the light turned orange.  Only after I pushed through did I remember that there are cameras at the intersection.  Was I caught?  Time will tell.

So?  Have you been caught?  Time will tell.  While you wait, try not to push it next time. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ponder the Path

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

Compare the KJV and the NASB on this verse. 
(Proverbs 5:6 NAS77)  She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.
The basic words seem to be the same but the actors are different.  The NASB seems to be warning us about our actions.  The KJV seems to be warning us about others trying to stunt and kill our spiritual growth.

Which is it?  Again we have a case of both/and rather than either/or.  There is a valuable lesson in each approach and it is the same lesson at heart.  Don’t let anything keep you from the “path (734) of life (2416).”  Make sure you take the time to “ponder” (6424).

Pondering doesn’t just happen but it can be nurtured.  It might mean turning off the radio as you drive or the TV when you are working around the house.  It might mean staying off the phone or ignoring the latest tweet.

So?  As happens so often, the ball is in your court.  What are you going to do with it.  Today. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012


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

How do we relearn spiritual flexibility?  I don’t mean to be gullible and naive, that is something we are warned about.
(Ephesians 4:14 KJV)  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
I mean to be willing to listen and change, to embrace wisdom and revival.  We get so set in our ways that it is hard to change.

Usually it is a slow process.  Think of the old process we were taught to go through when we received a new book.  We were to turn back a few pages at a time and press them down.  Think of the process of slowly adding oils and softeners to an old piece of leather.  You don’t just say, “Be flexible!” and start violent movement.

So?  Take the time to grow.  Make the investment.  Usually we can start with small steps, but start. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Evil Is As Evil Doesn’t

(Proverbs 3:29 KJV)  Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.

This seems to be a no-brainer but if that were true it would not be included in Proverbs.

What kind of excuses do we make for the way we treat people?  Do we claim they deserve it, or that it is their fault or that we could not help how things turned out?  We have a million lines but they all ignore a clear command. 

“Devise” (2790a) has the implication of deliberation.  Notice that the number has an “a” after it.  There seem to be two Hebrew words that are homonyms but have totally different meanings.  This one has the idea of cutting into and is used either artistically, as to engrave, or as labor, as in plowing a field. 

So?  Spend some time reflecting on how you look at the people around you.  What are you planning for their lives?  Nothing, you say?  Maybe doing nothing is a lower standard than God would have of His ambassadors. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Learning to Lean

(Proverbs 2:2 KJV)  So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

Here it is again.  The goals are “wisdom” (2451) and “understanding” (8394).  Actually we should say, “if” those are the goals because we show our goals by our focus and action.  We show those are our goals when we chose to “incline” (make attentive NASB) (7181) and to“apply” (incline NASB) (5186).

Have you ever tried to walk forward when leaning backwards?  Try it some time.  Maybe you will have more luck than I do, but the direction you lean determines the way you go.  The reason you can ride a bike with no hands is because you learn to lean.

So?  Learn to lean or learn to incline.  You may have your hands full but you can still signal the direction you want to go.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Ball Is in Your Court

(Proverbs 1:29 KJV)  For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

Human beings like to make a lot of noise about emotions.  We claim our animals love us.  We want the government to care about us.  We get enraged by the actions of a TV star.  We feel victorious when a football team wins a game.  We are emotional creatures.  God made us that way. 

He also made us creatures of the mind.  Just as God is a God of emotion, He is a God of reason and rationality.  He made us in His image.  We need to remember that when we look at the important focal points of life. 

This verse is explaining why some people will be eternally separated from God.  It is explaining why there will come a time when it is too late to call on God.  It will not because we feel.  It will be because we “choose” (977).

So?  What do you chose today?  It is not a new question.
(Joshua 24:15 KJV)  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
It is not new but it is asked every day.