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.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Forked Tongues Make Forked Ways

(Proverbs 28:6 KJV)  Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

I find the marginal reading of “perverse” (crooked NASB) (6140/1870) to be interesting.  The same words and marginal reading are found in verse 18.  The margin says “perverse in two ways.” 

This is actually the combination of several words but it shows the moral bankruptcy of those who lack “integrity” (8537).  We see this kind of thinking when we watch congress make laws.  They love to pass a limitation on us common folk but they exempt themselves.  They want standards to be done two ways, one for them and one for the rest of the population.

We can find the root of our dishonesty or inconsistency in this desire to get away with something.  We want the highest salary we can get but are offended when the boss wants the same thing.  We want a spouse who puts us first but we refuse to return the priority.  We want to live in a quiet apartment but want to play our music to suit our needs. 

Jesus put it this way,
(Matthew 7:12 KJV)  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Its called the Golden Rule.  It is the opposite of crooked.

So?  Do unto others....  Forgive, be patient, loan, overlook, ___________.  You can fill in the blank better than I can but only if you are paying attention to what God is telling you. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Whites of Their Eyes

(Proverbs 27:23 KJV)  Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.

I doubt if any of us are shepherds.  I know I don’t have an “flocks” (6629) of sheep.  Yet there is a message here that a literal meaning will help me with.

It is found in the word “state" (condition NASB) (6440).  The margin says this literally means “face.”  This gives me an insight into how God’s people should work with others whether it is in leadership or as servants.  It gives insight into business management and charitable giving.  It directs us in how to raise our children.

We are to be involved personally, not from a distance.  It isn’t enough to know the “condition” of your team at work, you need to get up close and personal.  Look at them as people, not tools.  We are not to treat the individuals in our lives as statistics but as souls.

So?  I am reminded that it takes time and energy to be involved with people.  I must take the time.  I must make the investment because they are the flocks that Jesus has given me. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Curse that Can’t Shoot Straight

(Proverbs 26:2 KJV)  As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

The NASB is trying to be contemporary and creative.  It talks about a “sparrow” (6833) “flitting” (5110).  The simple Hebrew talks about a “bird” “wandering.”  So does the KJV.  I think the modern translation misses something.  “Bird” is a collective word referring to all.  “Sparrow” is just one type of bird.  So we miss a point by being clever.  Whether the curses are general or specific, they miss us. 

If we live lives of righteousness we avoid many of the curses of our culture.  I have a book I am planning on re-reading called None of These Diseases.  I recently came across a updated version and glancing through.  They have added the HIV virus, among others.  That is a good modern example of a scourge that believers don’t need to worry about. 

So?  We will face persecution.  That is promised.  We will not be cursed.  That is also promised.  Walk in faith and joy. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Speaking in the Light

(Proverbs 25:23 KJV)  The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

How do we know if something we say is gossipy or, as it says here, “backbiting” (5643a)?  Sometimes when we ask that question is it just a way of trying to deflect the truth.  We know we are gossiping.  We know we are talking behind people’s backs. 

For those times when we wonder, the literal reading here gives some direction.  The marginal reading is “tongues of secrecy.”  That is pretty good.  The word has the idea of covered, sheltered and hidden.  So a good question to ask ourselves when in doubt is, “Will this stand the light of day?”  I sometimes will stop and ask myself, “Would I say this if the person were standing right here listening to me?”

Would I?  Would you?

So?  It is too easy to fall into backbiting.  When you read lists of major sins note that gossip is often listed with the most heinous.  Stop and think before you speak.  You may think you are speaking in private but remember that God doesn’t need cameras and microphones to know what is coming out of your heart. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Spiritual Nomads

(Proverbs 24:34 KJV)  So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

Sloth, which is the cause of what is happening in this verse, is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.  The reason is it destroys lives.  Here it tells us that it causes “poverty” (7369).  I know that is not popular and it certainly is not politically correct.  Yes, oppression, prejudice and greed cause people to be in want, but in our country the biggest cause of poverty is sloth.

Poverty sneaks up on you.  It will “come” (935) as “one that traveleth" (robber NASB) (1980).  Again we see that the KJV gets closer to the literal meaning.  In the NASB we need to go to the marginal reading which says “robber” means “vagabond or literally one who walks.”  Sounds like a sneak to me.  In the days of Solomon it would reminded people of the desert nomads who did not have any permanent roots.  Today we might think of the homeless. 

Sloth degrades.  Sloth robs.  Sloth destroys.

So?  Rejoice that someone taught you it was important to get up and go to work.  We enjoy our weekends and holidays, true, but what gives those times the joy is the work that brackets them.  Don’t let leisure and short cuts rob you of your joy and purpose. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

One Day at a Time

(Proverbs 23:17 KJV)  Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

This month, looking at the literal translations shown in the margin of the NASB, I am almost ready to just go back to reading the KJV.  Compare the above to the other translation.
(Proverbs 23:17 NAS77)  Do not let your heart envy sinners, But live in the fear of the LORD always.
The first part is the same and then you have a different understanding of the Hebrew.  Then you come to the “always” of the NASB which is rendered “all (3605) day (3117)” in the KJV.  Then the margin tells you, “Oh, by the way, this is literally ‘all the day’.”

There is a real difference between always and all day.  One is a great dream, the other a realistic goal.  I want to always be faithful.  I also want to always keep my weight under control, never get a traffic ticket and get to bed on time every day.  A much more realistic goal is to make it through the day.  Jesus said it this way,
(Matthew 6:34 KJV)  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
So?  I go with Jesus and the KJV.  I find it challenging enough to seek to live for Him today and let Him worry about tomorrow.  Have a blessed day. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Shades of Truth

(Proverbs 22:21 KJV)  That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

This verse is loaded with figurative translations that take away the edge.  First of all we see that “certainty” (7189b) is literally the word “truth.”  It is not the same word for “truth” (571) used two other times in the KJV.  The KJV is closer to being literal here.  The NASB uses “correctly” (571) as a synonym for “truth.”

The first one emphasizes the idea of balanced truth.  The second has the concept of reliability and stability.  One might be experience, the other absolute. 

If I had to do a Pumice Pathetic Paraphrase it might go,
(Proverbs 22:21 PPP) To force you to acknowledge the truth of the words of truth so you can answer with truth.
So?  Our lives are based in truth not opinion, fashion or consensus.  You cannot be set free until you know the truth.  Read, study, think, pray, listen.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Seek or Search

(Proverbs 21:6 KJV)  The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.

Once again we don’t need a marginal reading to find out the literal meaning of a word.  The KJV has “them that seek (1245) death (4194)” while the NASB says “the pursuit of death” and tells us it literally means “seekers.”  What is the difference between pursuing and seeking?

When my wife travels she now takes her cat with her.  In order to take the animal it must be put in one of those little carriers.  The cat doesn’t want to go.  If we start quick enough it is a matter of chasing the cat around the house, turning over beds and trapping it in a corner.  If the cat catches on it hides and we then have to search the house looking for the animal.  Believe me it makes a difference. 

Liars don’t go running after an opportunity, they deliberately seek out opportunities that can only be embraced by deceit.  They lie on purpose.  In so doing they are deliberately seeking the death option.  People know lying is wrong.  They do it any way.

So?  The Holy Spirit speaks to us in many quiet ways.  We usually have a sense of what is right and what is wrong but we don’t want to listen.  Beware.  God demands that we be honest and above board.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Honor Code

(Proverbs 20:3 KJV)  It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

Once again the KJV makes a marginal reading unnecessary by translating more accurately.  The NASB uses “keeping away” (7674) and puts “ceasing” in the margin.  The KJV just says it.  There is a difference and I think the literal translation brings out something that is missing in the other.

There are times when we cannot avoid “strife” (7379).  We make errors of judgement.  We lose it on occasion.  And to be honest, sometimes people come looking for trouble and we are the target of opportunity.  We cannot avoid it initially, but we can withdraw from it.

That is the message for us here.  You don’t need to win.  It does not violate genuine “honor” (3519b) to walk away from someone who is stirring it up.  It is just the opposite.  The lack of honor is in perpetuating the stress.

So?  The macho thing is not a part of righteousness.  Yes, you may need to stand up for a genuine principle some time but know the difference between violated principle and wounded pride. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Invisible Death Penalty

(Proverbs 19:18 KJV)  Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

Why is it so important to discipline your children?  Why is it so important for you to try to discipline other people’s children if they won’t?  The option is death and destruction.

The KJV really misses it in this verse.  This is not an issue of “crying” (4191) but of “death” (NASB).  This word is used over 700 times in the OT and only here does the KJV translate it this way.  The mystery of translators is inscrutable. 

The margin says this means literally “causing him to die.”

This is serious.  I don’t care if you look at it as figurative or literal, now or later, it is disaster.

So?  Don’t put it off.  Children need discipline, correction and an adult influence.  God bless you as you seek to save their lives and souls. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Top Shelf

(Proverbs 18:10 KJV)  The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

I like the picture that a literal reading gives us.  It seems to be saying that when we turn to God, He makes us “safe” (7682).  In itself that is good but the margin says this literally means “set on high.”

Have you ever had friends come over with a toddler.  One of the things you do is look around the room and ask yourself, “What can he break?”  You then walk around and put low things high.  You move breakable, valuable objects where the little explorer will have no access.

That is what God wants us to picture.  Is Satan out to get you today?  Run to Jesus.  Place your trust in Him.  The picture here is that He will put you on a shelf out of Satan’s reach.  He will set us on high.

So?  Temptation happens.  Persecution happens.  Face it, turn to Jesus and enjoy the view from on high. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Star Rocks

(Proverbs 17:8 KJV)  A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.

Are we talking about a “bribe” (7810) (NASB) or a “gift” (KJV)?  Does it make a difference?  In English, yes.  One is within the envelope of honorable, the other is wrong.

But what about in the Hebrew?  Other cultures take a more lenient view of what we would call a “bribe.”  In many cultures it is expected and they would really wonder what you problem is.  As I read this verse it seems a positive thing but the literal meanings make me wonder.

“Precious stone” (charm NASB) (68/2580) is an interesting compound word.  It literally means “stone of favor” or “stone of grace.”  This “favor” is what Noah found in the eyes of the Lord.  This word keeps popping up in the most unlikely places.  But the word for “stone” is translated as “weight” in Proverbs in the NASB.  They were the weights used to do business.  They were supposed to be honest and give fair value.  This was not always the case.  Consider the following verse.
Proverbs 20:23  Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD, And a false scale is not good.
The question becomes one of intent and justice.  If your “gift” is just a mark of generosity, well and good.  If it is designed to distort justice and to give an advantage because you are richer than the next guy, we have a problem.

So?  Do you bribe or give?  Your attitude and purpose make a difference.  Be honorable, righteous and above board.  We owe it to our Holy God. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Loyal Lips

(Proverbs 16:10 KJV)  A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.

I think the literal note on this verse is an important insight.  The NASB talks about an “err” (4603) by a king, or in our case, a president or other leader.  The KJV comes closer by calling it a transgression.  The marginal reading says it literally means, “be unfaithful.” 

There is an element of deliberate decision involved here.  It is not just a case of a leader being condemned for a mistake in judgement.  It is not even a case of sin.  It is the abandonment of duty and responsibility.  It is a betrayal. 

How do leaders betray their trust?  The context talks about dishonest measures, lies, pride and wickedness.  These apply to our leaders even more than they do to us.  In a republic we have a responsibility to look at the character of our leaders.  That applies from President to union stewards. 

So?  Expect a high standard.  If the person does not measure up, don’t make excuses, make changes if possible.  Keep your eyes open. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Perversion Does As Well As Is

(Proverbs 15:4 KJV)  A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

The literal read on this verse adds another dimension.  We see in the translations the idea that perversion is a “breach” (crushes NASB) (7667) of the “spirit” (7307).  Perverted preachers, teachers, politicians, parents crush those who listen to them.  We see how twisted thinking and values can warp and destroy. 

The margin says that this is literally, “is the crushing of the spirit.”  That gives another slant on this.  In addition to perversion crushing because of the result, it says that the person who is perverted has this as a goal.  It is not an accidental result, it is a planned goal.

People love to inflict pain on others.  It is called sadism.  In some cases they get their jollies inflicting pain on themselves.  That is called masochism.  These are recognized conditions.  What is denied and ignored is that they are common conditions. 

So?  Guard your heart to make sure that you don’t start slipping into this condition.  It can happen.  As important is to keep your eyes open for people who have succumbed.  See if there is any way you can assist their victims.  Be salt.  Be light.  Be alert. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vicodin Warning

(Proverbs 14:9 KJV)  Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.

Once again the marginal reading gives us an interesting insight into the spiritual life.  “Sin” (817) is explained as being literally “guilt.”  It is even more specific than that.  In the NASB, out of 46 times the Hebrew word is used, 38 times it is translated “guilt offering.”  But for today lets simply leave it as “fools mock (3917b) at guilt.”

I wish I had a soapbox on a freeway overpass that everyone was required to drive under during rush hour with their windows open.  Our culture is brainwashing us to believe pagan myths about the nature of man and our response to evil.  We are being inoculated against the feeling of guilt because in our culture guilt is evil.  Guilt makes us aware that something is wrong.  Think of it as spiritual pain and all modern psychology and education is designed to be Vicodin. 

Fools reject guilt.  They laugh at it.  They claim we are victims of our culture not lost in sin.

So?  Be aware of the philosophy of the world you live in.  Reject it.  Do not embrace the values of fools.  It is hard to repent of guilt you do not acknowledge. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hands-off Righteousness

(Proverbs 13:6 KJV)  Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.

I like both the KJV and NASB on the beginning of this verse but I like the margin’s suggestion of the literal meaning even more.  It says “blamelessness of way.”  In other words the literal meaning seems to say that righteousness is an automatic guide to keeping us away from sin.  I went through the sixteen translations I have in my software and the only one that put it this way was the Douay-Rheims translation, the old standard of the Catholic church from the same era as the KJV.
(Proverbs 13:6 DRB)  Justice keepeth the way of the innocent: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
Scientists are experimenting with self driven cars now.  We are still a way off, but big airliners have something called an auto-pilot that sounds like what we are talking about.  Put in the right settings, take your hands off, trust and stay alert. 

So?  Righteousness is provided by forgiveness and cleansing.  It is the action of the blood of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  These are important steps.  Don’t leave home without them. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Do You Have Bad Breath?

(Proverbs 12:17 KJV)  He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.

You may have noticed that this chapter has a lot to say about truth and deceit and a willingness to embrace discipline and knowledge.  The literal reference in this verse gives us an insight into the character of the redeemed.  When it says the righteous “speaketh” (speaks NASB) (6315) the literal meaning in the margin is “breathes.”

I like that. 

Following Jesus is not a surface conformity to a bunch of standards.  Those come with regeneration.  They may come in different order and speed for each of us, but they come.  No, what makes us different to people is the inner change that changes how our lives breathe.  We may mess up but we exude a different spiritual order. 

Or we should.

So?  How is your spiritual breath today?  I hope it reflects the presence of the Breath of Heaven.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Soulitudes Produce Attitudes

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

The literal marginal readings throw some interesting meanings to this verse.  The “liberal soul" (generous man NASB) (1293/5315) is given as literally meaning “soul of blessing.”  I like that because it moves the action to an attitude and attitudes are expressed in all actions not just in a few.  This moves it from being someone who gives a lot to someone who gives from the heart.  Do you see a difference? 

“Generous” (1293) doesn’t cut it.  This is the only place in the OT that the NASB translates the word this way.  It is usually blessing or blessings (59x).  The KJV does the same.  This is the only place it uses “liberal.”  Being generous in our minds tends to have dollar signs in front of it.  Being a blessing is more of a total picture. 

This is even stronger when you get to “man” (5315).  The NASB translates this word “man” or “men” six times but “soul”  238 times.  This is an inner attitude.  The soul generates the blessing.  The soul receives the blessing. 

So?  You can’t get blood out of a turnip.  You can’t get blessing out of a soul of stone.  Pause a moment and make sure that your heart has its receiver turned on so that the Holy Spirit can lead you for the day. 

I will continue the “fat” part next month.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Righteousness Works

(Proverbs 10:16 KJV)  The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.

The NASB is not the best here
(Proverbs 10:16 NAS77)  The wages of the righteous is life, The income of the wicked, punishment.
The NASB gets you here in the margin.  It says that the word “labour” which it translates, “wages,” could also be understood as “work.”  It doen’t say “literally” it says “or.”  The definition of the word gives both options.  What is the difference?

From the NASB you would get the idea that the righteous receive the gift of life.  Okay.  I can accept that as being true but I don’t think that is the point here.  I think Solomon is trying to remind us that righteousness has responsibilities.  Jesus called us salt.
(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.
We have a job to do, not to earn our righteousness, but to apply our righteousness.  Why does someone go to medical school?  It is to get a degree and a title?  That is a waste.  The purpose of the degree and title is to apply the knowledge in healing, works applied. 

So?  We need to go out and make a difference.  Speak.  Live.  Demonstrate.  The world will wonder what is wrong with you.  The Holy Spirit will use the opening.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Two Invitations, Two Terminals

(Proverbs 9:16 KJV)  Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

This is a repeat of the call in verse 4.  The words are exactly the same.  In both cases you have two margin references of literal meaning.  “Naive” (6612a) is “simple”  and “understanding” (3820) is “heart.”

Beware of isolated verses.  They seem to be the same statement, yet they are given for exactly the opposite reasons.  The first is an invitation given by Wisdom and leads to life.  The second is given by the “woman of folly” and leads to death.

It is really important that we look beyond the surface of remarks and promises.  We need to understand who is making the offer.  If a panhandler walks up to you in a parking lot and asks for a “loan” you know you will never see the money again.  If you are out to eat with a good friend and he finds he left his wallet at home, you would not hesitate to slip him a few bucks. 

The world makes promises.  The world looks good.  You need to look, as in search, even better.

So?  You can’t afford to turn off your mind nor abandon your discernment.  Evil abounds.  We must be wise and walk in righteousness. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Target Practice Is Required

(Proverbs 8:36 KJV)  But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

My father used to have a saying, “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.”  Sin fits into that category.  We may live in rebellion and refuse to obey.  We damage ourselves, not God.  This word has a marginal statement of literal meaning.  It says “misses me.”  This is not the sin of rebellion and belligerence.  This is the sin of negligence.

There are different words used for sin in the Bible.  This one has the idea of missing the mark.  It means to be off target.  There are different reasons for missing a mark, deadline or goal.  One is that we were not aware there was a goal we were shooting for.  Have you every had someone say, “I win,” and you didn’t even know you were in a race?  It is still a miss.

What I think is being emphasized here is the person who misses because they don’t care enough to pay attention.  Look around you next Sunday.  I am assuming you are in church for this.  How many people around you would call themselves Christians but they have not spent any time reading God’s owner’s manual or listening to the One.  They are living in sin simply because they don’t care enough to follow the directions.

This says you damage yourself this way.

So?  Have you gotten real casual about your spiritual walk?  That is what revival is about.  That is why the sermon last week made you feel uncomfortable.  Maybe something needs to change, or at least wake up. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Don’t Be a Victim

(Proverbs 7:26 KJV)  For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

One of the problems we face today in our culture is the growing number of people who consider themselves “wounded” (victims NASB) (2491a).  It is a growing community of people who want to blame others for the problems in their lives.  We may not realize it but this is a result of rejecting the Biblical view of sin and the fallen nature of man.  Modern secular humanism believes that man is good and will do what is right if given the chance.  This makes them victims instead of free souls.

The margin of the NASB gives us a literal translation of this word, “mortally wounded.”  This is much more accurate than victim.  If you follow through what is happening in these verses we have a young man who has chosen to enter into an illicit sexual relation with another man’s wife.  We call it adultery.  It is sin.  He is not a victim, he is an accomplice.  He walked into this with his eyes open.

Because of this he is condemned.  Sin causes difficulty in this life and death for eternity. 

So?  Don’t fall into the cultural trap of being a victim.  God has given us a promise. 
(1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV)  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Don’t fall for the deadly lie of Satan and the culture.  You are responsible for your behavior. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gender Wars

(Proverbs 6:22 KJV)  When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

I have three notes in this verse about literal meaning.  You see the word “it” (they NASB) used three times.  Literally it is “she.”  My usual complaint is that translators take “he” and change it to “they” or take “son” and change it to “child.”  Here they do the opposite.  The cause is a problem that does not occur in English.  In English nouns do not have gender.  In most languages nouns are either masculine, feminine or neuter.  Hebrew seems to be this way.  We are referring here to verse 20 where it mentions both “commandment” (4687)  and “law” (teaching NASB) (8451).  Both of these nouns are feminine.  It would be appropriate to refer to them as “she.”

What Solomon is trying to get across is the way in which the words of God can become a part of your inner self.  The intimacy continues in the next verse,
(Proverbs 6:23 KJV)  For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
There are tremendous resources available to us it we will get to know them.  If you have scurvy, what good is fresh fruit if all you do is look at it and acknowledge you have it?  What good is chicken soup for you cold it you never eat any?

So?  Let the commandments, teachings, laws and reproofs of God get up and personal with you.  He wants to be a part of your everyday life not just a book on a shelf. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Love Potion No. 19

(Pro 5:19)  Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

Here is a verse that might get a big crowd is you put it on the marquee.  We live in a world that could really get with the idea of being “ravished” (exhilarated NASB) (7686) with “love” (160).  They would be disappointed though if the preacher were faithful to the word and emphasized that this was referring to the marriage bed, not the one night stand.

The Bible addresses all areas of life, even romance.  The margin of the NASB says this literally means “intoxicated.”  If you have ever seen someone reeling around when under the influence you get the picture.  We are supposed to be so much in love that we seem drunk.

So?  Are you head over heals in love?  Good.  You are living in Proverbs.  God joins the rest of us in thinking it is cute.  It is part of a life time commitment.

Monday, February 4, 2013

That’s Yada, not Yoda

(Pro 4:1)  Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

In this verse the KJV hits the translation right on.  It doesn’t need a marginal note like the NASB to tell us that “gain” (NASB) (3045) means “know” (KJV). 

This is an important word in the OT.  It is the Hebrew yada.  It means intimate knowledge.  It is the word used for the act of marriage, the ultimate human knowledge.  It means going beyond superficial and easy. 

The point is that we can have more than a test score or a bit of head knowledge.  We can do more than quote the words.  We can have them in our hearts.  This is because the Eternal God sends the Holy Spirit to live in us and fill us. 

So?  Don’t be satisfied with being a cultural Christian.  Don’t live in your parents religion.  Listen to the teaching.  Let God speak to you.  Get to yada Him. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Picking Sides

(Pro 3:32)  For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.

I like the marginal reading for “secret” (intimate NASB) (5475).  It says it literally means “His private counsel is.”  Again I think the literal translation is more helpful than the translators trying to interpret it for us.

The context is with those who live in rebellion and disobedience.  The promise is more than a “secret” or intimacy.  When I read about “private counsel” I think about the Counselor, the Advocate, the Paraclete.  I think about the promise of the Holy Spirit.

The “upright” (3477) are promised to have One who walks beside us, teaches us, empowers us and even lives within us. 

On one side you have the crooked, perverted, scorners, oppressors, and wicked.  They have a promise.  So do the righteous.  I think I like the promise God gives us better.

So?  Pick a side.  Bow your knee.  Call on your God.  Receive His counsel.  It is a good way to live the day. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hard Choices

(Proverbs 2:18 KJV)  For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.

The NASB margin says the literal translation of  “inclineth” (sinks down NASB) (7743) is “bows down.”  I think that is in important insight into why some people live lives that lead to hell and destruction.  Much of it comes down to choice.  Whom will you chose to serve in this life.  Joshua asked the same question in a well know verse,
(Jos 24:15)  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.
There are different levels of choosing and serving.  On one level you chose what school to attend, where to work, where to live, whom to marry.  These are important but not as important as the ultimate question that Joshua is asking.  To whom will you bow down.  The other choices are dependent on that choice.

So?  Get the foundation right.  If you bow to Jesus your life goes one way.  If you bow to anything else the final destination is death.  Seriously.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Simple Trap

(Proverbs 1:32 KJV)  For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

If I can maintain the focus, this month I am going to be seeking out places where my reference NASB has an alternate translation in the margin.  Sometimes it designates it “literally” or just says “or.”  The older translations use the literal more often than the modern ones.  I often find that the literal translation is a great word picture and if the translators would just give us that, the Holy Spirit can do the rest.

But I assume that serious believers have their minds engaged and are seeking wisdom.

Which brings us to the marginal note of the day, which you won’t need in the KJV because it already talks about the “simple” (6612).  The NASB has “naive” (6612a).  This word is used three times in the first chapter of Proverbs so it must have something to do with wisdom or the lack of it.  I think that the old “simple” is better because it is stronger.  The point of this verse is that being simple is dangerous.  Read that verse again.  Don’t try to get too subtle.  Look at the simple warning.

So?  Seek wisdom.  Be open to the teaching of the Holy Spirit.  God expects us to make use of the resources He has made available.