An Idea Borrowed

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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cosmetic or Cosmic?

(Proverbs 31:25 KJV)  Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

This brings to mind Paul’s discussion of how women should dress.
    1TI 2:9 Likewise, {I want} women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments;
    1TI 2:10 but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness.
And Peter reflects the same ideas:
    1PE 3:3 And let not your adornment be {merely} external-- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;
    1PE 3:4 but {let it be} the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
We should focus on “strength” (5795) and “honor” (dignity NASB) (1926). 

I don’t think that these principles apply only to women.  If you pay any attention to the advertisements in magazines you can see that men are being sold the same bill of goods.  We are to be transformed from the inside out not just try to disguise our character with cosmetics.

So?  Don’t settle for superficial attempts at goodness.  Allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in your life.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Avoid the Yucky Stuff

(Proverbs 30:28 KJV)  The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.

If you compare the KJV and the NASB you notice that one talks about a “spider” (8079) and the other talks about a “lizard.”  This is probably one of those texts where skeptics like to talk about the variations in the Word.  It has a very long explanation in my software.  It is amazing how a word that is used only one time in the Bible gets so much time.  The basic point is that the word is used to mean different things in the ancient literature.  Deal with it.

Today I think this is telling us that even in the nice places of life, you don’t need to grab hold of everything you are faced with.  Just because you can “grasp” (8610) something doesn’t mean you want to.

I think this is a reminder to show a little wisdom and common sense in what we invest our time and lives with.

So?  If you are like me you have more to do than you have time to live.  You must make choices.  Leave the spiders, or lizards, of life to their own devises.  Get to the important stuff.

Friday, March 29, 2013

It Is Mourning in America

(Proverbs 29:2 KJV)  When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

This general thought is repeated elsewhere, but here it contrasts the “righteous” (6662) with a “wicked man” (7563).  It seems here that the population of the righteous is contrasted with one who rules.  Is that our situation today?  Look around you.

Would you say that the general level of entertainment reflects righteousness?  Not in the Biblical sense.  Adultery, fornication, sodomy, deceit, violence and stupidity seem to be the dominant themes on TV, Music and the big screen.  I will concede that I don’t pay much attention but it doesn’t take much to get the drift.

So what happens when the people and the rulers are on the same page and it is the page of wickedness?  If you think they “mourn” (groan NASB) (584) when there is no match, you ain’t seen nothing yet.  We are heading for a time of major groaning. 

So?  We are called to be salt.  We are to radiate the light.  We are to be the aroma of righteousness.  Persecution is coming.  It is here.  Read the Book.  Find out how it ends.  Rejoice.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Focal Points

(Proverbs 28:28 KJV)  When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.

I know that we don’t like the thought but cultures tend to go through cycles or trends and there are frequent times though history when we have seen the “wicked” (7563) “rise” (6965).  Sometimes we are too close or too invested to recognize the evil, but it exists.  It can be on a national level, a local level or even on a purely personal level but to paraphrase a bumper sticker, “Evil happens.”

First, admit it.  I don’t say accept because part of our calling is to be salt and light.  That means we speak out, take stands, make a difference.  But we can’t do any of those things unless we admit that the wicked exist.

Second, don’t despair.  Think of how the disciples must have felt when Jesus was on the cross.  Read how the two disciples felt as they journeyed to Emmaus and Jesus had to re-teach them everything.  Our attitude toward life is based on a confidence and trust in a risen Lord who has conquered death.  He hasn’t bailed us out of taxes, but the ultimate persecution holds no fear.

So?  Evil exists.  So does Television.  That doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of time watching it.  Focus on Jesus, the Hope of Ages. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ya Gotta Love It

(Proverbs 27:5 KJV)  Open rebuke is better than secret love.

Last time I looked at this verse I mentioned two unfortunate realities and only wrote about one.  The first was the lack of honest rebuke.  The second problem is “love” (160) that is not expressed.  We are too often guilty of hiding our “love” (160). 

What we have a hard time with is that love is sometimes expressed by rebuke.  Years ago there was a cartoon series that started with the idea that “Love is never having to say you are sorry.”  That thought is an abomination.  Love is expressed many ways and asking forgiveness along with confession are tools of the relationship.

Too often our feelings are “secret” (concealed NASB) (5641) when they should be shared.  Actually I am not sure which excess is more common, sharing too much or sharing too little.  Here the emphasis is on clamming up and playing the strong silent type.

So?  Love.  Be patient, kind, non-grudge bearing, etc.  Let it out.  Let people know.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Love Her or Leave Her

(Proverbs 4:6 KJV)  Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.

Wisdom.  That is the “her” in this verse.  Most people would concede that wisdom is a good thing.  Notice the warning here.  We are not to “forsake” (5800a) wisdom. 

This implies that wisdom is not a natural part of you.  Wisdom does not just happen.  Wisdom does not grow by itself.  Wisdom does not stay strong when ignored or neglected.  We see the promise but do we see the demand?

We are to “love” (157) wisdom.  You don’t ignore things you love, you seek them out.  Take an insultingly basic example.  What is your favorite food?  What do you love to eat?  When you get a chance, you go for it.  When it is on sale, you stock up.  When it isn’t on sale you buy it anyway.

So?  Fall in love.  Biblical love is a decision.  Make the decision.  Don’t forsake your love. 

The Gossip Deli

(Proverbs 26:22 KJV)  The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

Have you noticed how often people are willing to believe the worst about others.  This is the root of gossip.  Some people, some churches, are like a gossip deli.  They serve up your choice of cold cuts.  Yes, you can accept that as a pun.

Neither the KJV with “wounds” (3859) or the NASB with “dainty morsels” gets to the meaning of this verse.  The word is a verb and means to “gulp, swallow greedily.”  There is something in each of us that grabs at gossip.

So?  This isn’t about not talking, this is about not listening.  This is about rejecting.  Remember the children’s song that has the line,
“Oh be careful little ears what you hear.”
Keep a mental lists of places you need to go and things you need to do and then you will be able to excuse yourself and leave. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Filled to Excess

(Proverbs 25:16 KJV)  Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

Here the KJV misses the point.  The problem is not being “filled” (7646), but in being filled to “excess” (7646).  There is a real difference between being satisfied with enough and gorging ourselves.

The simple example is food.  Much of the world struggles to get enough to eat.  That is not a problem in the West.  We are drowning in food.  We have all that we could possibly want and instead of being satisfied with being full we try to eat it all.  We go to “excess.”  We become gluttons.

It gets more complex in other areas but we tend to get extreme in our leisure, our exercise, our lust, our clothes, in just about everything except our spiritual walk.  The hardest thing to do is to be a steward and find the right balance in life. 

So?  Look at your closets, your garage, your refrigerator, your smart phone apps.  Do they reflect a godly balance or the “extreme make-over” that our culture is advocating? 

Sunday, March 24, 2013


(Proverbs 24:28 KJV)  Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.

I am struck by this phrase “without cause” (2600).  We get so invested in ideas such as turning the other cheek and loving that we overlook the fact that certain behaviors are proper if there is a cause.  This is an example of the two sided direction of Proverbs.

One side restrains us from lying.  You need a reason to testify against your neighbor, or anyone else.  That testimony is to be “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”  This is so obvious that it must be repeated.

On the other side is the assumption that if there is a cause, you will be a “witness” (5707).  Speaking up is a part of our responsibility as citizens.  Remember, often if you are saying something against someone who is guilty you are speaking in support of someone who is innocent. 

So?  Truth is our standard.  Don’t speak lies.  Don’t lie by not speaking.  May your day go in such a way that you don’t need any witnesses.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Fat Lady Is Getting Ready

(Proverbs 23:32 KJV)  At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

It is really hard for us to take the long term view of things.  We are so into the instant and the quick that we don’t care what will come at the “last” (319).  I have been experimenting with hot cereals for breakfast.  It became a daily ritual last summer when I was staying with my son.  I had known about instant, quick and old-fashioned oats but I was totally unaware of the steel cut variety.  They all start with hot water and a package of cereal.  The end product is different in each case.

It becomes clear that you have to decide early what you want at the end.  The context here is alcohol.  It could be drugs.  It could be gluttony.  It could be sex.  It could be gossip or so many things.  What kind of patterns are you establishing with your choices and behaviors today?

So?  What do you want after the fat lady sings?  You know, when it is over.  How about at the end of the day?  Think and plan for the long haul.  Jesus will be there with you. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Garden Variety Sin

(Proverbs 22:8 KJV)  He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

Sinners “reap” (7114b) “vanity” (205).  This seems to complete a circle.  We start with a sinful nature, built in.  When we continue to feed it by sinful actions our personality becomes ever more self centered and vain. 

But we live in denial.

And it is getting worse.

One of the lessons of life that is not being taught in school is cause and effect.  I don’t know how many times I have sat with parents and they tell us that the only thing they expect from the child in question is that they do their school work.  They don’t demand chores or any other responsible behavior.  They bring home bad grades.  Nothing changes.  They wonder why.  If you plant sloth you reap excuses.

So?  What are you planting?  What do you expect to reap.  Too many people want to plant cherry tomatoes and reap beefsteak.  It doesn’t work that way in the garden, the home or eternity. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Worse that Hell

(Proverbs 30:9 KJV)  Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Sin will send us to Hell. 
(Romans 6:23 KJV)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Of course, as Christians, we also believe in the grace of God and forgiveness through the shed blood of Christ.  We tend to look at sin, though, as something that effects us.  This verse points out another effect of sin and another reason why God is so enraged over it.

Stealing, a sin, will “take” (profane NASB) (8610) the name of God.  I don’t think this point is made in the Ten Commandments, but it explains why stealing is listed.  This looks like a play on words.  The word literally means to grab, which you do in stealing.  The idea of profaning I think comes from the idea of an unclean person touching something that is holy.

When we sin, if we call ourselves followers of a Holy God, we are casting dispersions on His Holy Name and dragging Him through the mud. 

So?  Many of us have played the game of not worrying about our “little” sins because we know God will forgive.  We need to realize that this is bigger than us.  Our sins take the name of God and belittle it.  Just another reason to live an upright life. 

Desired Outcomes

(Proverbs 21:25 KJV)  The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.

What I truly “desire” (8378) determines the direction of my life.  Verse 17 refers to a love of pleasure and how destructive that is.  Here the focus is a variation of that, leisure.  A focus on leisure is a denial of work.  Ultimately you can have only one focus.  You will make decisions based on what is most important.

We live in a culture that worships leisure.  We want our weekends and holidays.  We ask how soon we can retire.  Many people spend their time trying to figure out how to put less effort into the job they are being payed to do. 

This bleeds over into our spiritual lives.  We become content to let the pastor do our Bible study.  We want nursery attendants to care for our children.  We want Bible translations that are easy to read so we aren’t forced to think and dwell on what God might be trying to say to us.

So?  Examine your heart.  What is the desire of your life?  Does it lead to death or life?  Only you can answer for yourself.  This is a new day.  If you need to make a change, get it done. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Getting the Blues

(Proverbs 20:30 KJV)  The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.

There are some lessons that we don’t want to hear or learn.  This verse is one of them.  It stands alone here at the end of the chapter.  It is like Solomon had to sneak it in when we were not expecting it or we would refuse to read it.

We don’t like “blueness” (stripes NASB) (2250).  This is talking about the way a bruise turns our skin blue.  It is the kind of injury that causes damage but does not break the skin.  It is painful when inflicted but usually is just an unsightly reminder after that. 

We don’t like the hard parts of life but it is clear that we learn better in adversity than we do in the good times.  Obviously there are exceptions but a general fact of life is that hard times make us grow and the good times make us lazy and fat.

So?  Rejoice if you are having a bad day.  Take your bruises.  Benefit from the experience.  A bad day with a lesson learned my keep you from a rotten future when it is too late to change. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Look for the Prince of a Guy

(Proverbs 19:6 KJV)  Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.

When you want something done, whom do you ask?  Do you ask the person who is taking a nap or the one who seems to be running from one task to another?  I think we all recognize that if you want something done, “entreat” (2470b) the busy person.  This verse is a good example of how even the scripture is being dumbed down.  The KJV from 1611 has “entreat” like the NASB from 1977, but the Updated NASB has “seek.” 

Seek doesn’t cut it.  There is an element of groveling in this word.  It comes from a root that has the idea of becoming sick or weak.  It means we recognize our limitations. 

Not only do we recognize our limitations but we recognize the character of others.  We go to the person who is a “prince" (generous NASB) (5081), who is known for being willing to share.

So?  Do you have a need?  It could be financial, social or any kind of advice.  Be willing to ask but use a bit of discernment in whom you ask.  Some people get great joy out of giving assistance. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Conceited Imagination

(Proverbs 18:11 KJV)  The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.

When you look at the uses of the word, it becomes clear that this is the “conceit” (imagination NASB) (4906) that is used in building idols and false gods.  We are very creative in finding substitutes for God in our lives.  The NASB  misses the point in calling it “imagination” instead of “conceit.”

Think about the focal points in your life, the things you “gotta have” to feel right.  Think about the walls you are working on to feel secure.  Most people can find their phone quicker than their Bible.  Most know more about video games than the gifts of the spirit.  It is amazing how many songs we can parrot but can’t quote much more than “Jesus wept” from the Word.

So?  Think about the kind of walls your priorities will build today.  Will they give life meaning and provide security or are they just figments of your imagination.  Invest your day in what is eternal. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Empty Suits

(Proverbs 17:7 KJV)  Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

This is not the most common word for “fool” (5036) in Proverbs.  It comes from a root meaning “skin bottle.”  I guess it infers that the bottle is empty.  It could be a synonym for “empty suit.” 

We all know people who are all talk and no show.  What is it they say in Texas?  It is something about all hat and no cattle.  We meet these people everywhere.  They are movie actors who think their opinions on politics should make a difference.  They are politicians who think they know what is best for us.  They are children who think they know something.  They are Christians who don’t know their Bible.

Ouch that is too close to home.

So?  Don’t be and empty suit or a skin bottle.  Spend some time with the Lord getting filled so that you have something to give.  He waits...and waits...and waits....

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Please God, Not Please, God

(Proverbs 16:7 KJV)  When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

This tells us that it is possible to live in such a way as to “please” (pleasing NASB) (7521) the Lord.  This is not a concept that should be controversial.  We get into disagreements over how much free will we have and the place of obedience in relation to grace.  All would agree that we cannot earn our salvation.  Nothing makes us worthy or deserving.  That is not what this is saying.

This is simply saying we can put a smile in the heart of God.  He cares.  He watches.  When we love, we show it.  This brings great pleasure to Him.

What “ways” (1870)?  How about turning the other cheek and going the extra mile?  How about trusting in the Lord with all our hearts?  How about how we spend our early morning?  How about how we do everything every day?

So?  Be pleasing to God today.  Go ahead, make His day. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Wicked Requests

(Proverbs 15:29 NAS77)  The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous.

Have you ever had someone ask you to pray for them?  Even in our pagan culture we find this except it is often expressed as “thinking good thoughts.”  There is a reason, even if these people do not understand.

God will not listen to them.  I think it is safe to say from this that God does not hear the prayers of the “wicked” (7563).  This is not the only place you find it.  It is not a one time, proof-text, build a doctrine on a verse example.  God does not respond to the pleas of those who refuse to bow their knee to Him.  Thus they are forced to come to us to put in a good word for them.

One exception is the prayer of repentance.  God is always willing to listen to that.  And when others in the body of Christ ask for our prayers it isn’t because God doesn’t listen to them.  It might be more a matter of obeying the command to pray for each other.  It might also be a recognition that some people have a greater gift of faith or power.

So?  Do you want God to listen when you pray?  Get right with Him.  Then you can be an advocate for others instead of someone looking for a friend with contacts. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cardiac Rest

(Proverbs 14:30 KJV)  A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

We should want a “sound” (tranquil NASB) (4832) “heart” (3820).  And I am assuming that such a thing is within reach of everyone.  This could be a statement about stress and blood pressure.

This is really one of the great promises of life in Christ.  The word for “tranquil” is most frequently translated “healing” and has the idea of health and cures.  When we truly trust in Christ, not only for our salvation, but for our daily care it makes a difference in how we face the day.  Jesus promised this inner peace.
(John 14:27 KJV)  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Since we are also promised persecution if we are faithful, this cannot mean that everything will go smoothly around us.  It is an inner promise of peace of “heart” (3820), or mind.

For the outward trials we face we have another promise.
(1 John 4:4 KJV)  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
So?  We can have inner peace if we trust.  We can have outward victory if we have inner peace. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Can You Afford It?

(Proverbs 13:8 KJV)  The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

What is a “ransom” (3724a)?  In English it is a price paid to buy your way out of captivity.  I recently read a biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine and it had a long section on King Richard the Lionhearted who was captured by an enemy king and held for ransom.  You have seen reference to it in the stories of Robin Hood. 

The Hebrew has another approach.  This word is the root for a family of words that are translated “atone” and “atonement.”  These are theologically loaded words that talk about the payment for our sins.  The wealthy often substitute their “riches” (6239) for the sacrifice of Christ.  They think that their success says something about their worth.  Take the first part of this verse in the context of the last verse and it becomes obvious that “riches” (6239) could be a fraud.  It is hard to be ransomed by a fraud.

So?  In what do you find your personal worth?  How do you measure success?  I would suggest you think about what is eternal and what is temporal.  All may be well.  Your priorities may be straight.  Then again, maybe not.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Just(ice) Right(eous) Love

(Proverbs 12:5 KJV)  The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.

We are expected to be “right” (just NASB) (4941).  I have already gone through a litany of what that means but being “righteous” (6662) is more than being fair and adhering to truth.  If that is all we seek, we can become legalists.  We would be honorable and useful members of society, but legalists none the less.

Keep in mind the caution about this trap.
(1 Corinthians 8:1 NAS77)  Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.
I use the NASB because the KJV uses “charity” here instead of “love.” 

Our goal should not be knowledge alone.  That can be a trap of self-righteousness.  Our goal is love because it edifies and builds up. 

So?  Be just.  That is a benchmark, a starting point, a convenient measure.  But let the love of Christ control you as you live in that justice.
(2 Corinthians 5:14 KJV)  For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Fat Souls Are a Blessing

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

The first part of this verse was examined last month.

On the idea of being “fat” (prosperous NASB) (1878) the KJV hits it right on, calling it “fat,” but for the wrong reason.  You see, in the 17th century, in fact throughout most of human history, being fat was considered a sign of prosperity and blessing.  Fat was beautiful.  Really.  It was hard to attain and showed that you did not have to work so hard that you were skinny.  Look at the artwork of the past.  Plumb was prosperity.

Today in our leisure culture skinny has become the sign of the wealthy and powerful.  We have the well known problems of anorexia and bulimia.  We have people getting addicted to drugs in an effort to take off pounds.  We have entire industries dealing with what is usually a problem of self control.

That self control would come with less difficulty if our souls were fat instead of our body.  You see fat has three biological purposes, all of them are beneficial.  Fat stores energy for times of scarcity.  Fat provides insulation against cold.  Fat provides padding against a world of sharp edges.  Spiritual fat can do all of those things but in addition it is something that can be shared and it makes the lives of every one better. 

Spiritual fat comes from being a blessing to others.

So?  Seek spiritual fat.  It doesn’t come through donuts and pizza but through giving of yourself to others.  And when you are involved with others you sometimes don’t think to have another bag of chips or if you do you share them and only eat half.  Apply it.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Never, Never

(Proverbs 10:30 KJV)  The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

This seems a bit hard to believe, to be honest with you.  “Never” (5769/1077) be “removed" (shaken NASB) (4131)?  Never?

I find the translation of “never” interesting.  It is a compound word.  When I looked at the first part the definition has words like “forever, perpetual and everlasting.”  That got my attention.  How do you get “never” out of “always?”

It is the second part that turns it around.  It simply means “not.”  Put it together it becomes a promise.  We will forever not be shaken.  It gives us the eternal dimension of God’s promises.  It takes a threat and makes it a blessing.

So?  Keep in mind that is how the grace of God works in our lives.  It takes all the things that go wrong and sanctifies them for the kingdom.  Remember the other promise,
(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.
God takes the failures and pains and weaves them into good.

We will look at what “removed” means at another time.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


(Proverbs 9:6 KJV)  Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Our culture is in a downhill slide.  That is normal.  People always feel that way.  The difference between now and the past is that the people of God have allowed themselves to be squeezed out of positions of influence and leadership.  As I was reading these verses I was reminded of the prevailing attitude in the schools where I work.  The expectation is that society is supposed to adapt to people.  We are expected to tailor every lesson and every class to the individual needs of each student.  Students are not expected to adjust to their world.  They are taught that the world will adjust to them.

That is being carried over into our walk with God.  This is killing people spiritually and driving them to hell.  Notice in this chapter, Wisdom is prepared.  She is ready.  She invites people to come and partake.  Notice the two key words here that are being denied by our culture.  We are to “forsake” (5800a) the “foolish” (folly NASB) (6612a). 

Wisdom is not going to customize herself to meet our desires.  We are expected to listen and obey. 

Don’t miss that the result is that we will “live” (2421a).

So?  Are you still waiting for God to do it your way?  It isn’t going to happen.  We are to adjust to Him, or better yet, allow Him to adjust us.  It is the way to life. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Creation in the Strangest Places

(Proverbs 8:26 KJV)  While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

Where does this fit into creation?

All believers accept Genesis 1:1.
(Genesis 1:1 KJV)  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
I don’t care if you are a 7/24 believer or an Old Earth believer that verse is the foundation of how you look at the beginnings.

The point here is that Wisdom was around before all this.  So was God.  So was the Holy Spirit.  And when the Holy Spirit caused the books of the Bible to be written He was not coming from ignorance.  He was revealing the order of creation, even here in Proverbs.

So?  You can believe the written Word.  It comes from God.  You can get excited about science because it is studying the universe that God made.  The Word and the Creation, they go together better than a horse and carriage.  Don’t ever be afraid of truth. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Little Strays

(Proverbs 7:25 KJV)  Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

Proverbs has different styles.  Most of the book is short, pithy comments that stand alone.  Here we have an unusually long passage that goes together.  This verse comes toward the end of a discussion of the path to sin.  It warns us that it is dangerous to “go astray” (stray NASB) (8582).

This word has a moral nuance to it.  Most of us know what is right and wrong.  We are human beings created with the image of God.  We make choices.  This word implies making the wrong choices.  It also is sometimes used to the staggering of a drunk.  That would imply that we have made choices which impair our judgement and cause increased danger.

So?  Little errors become major disasters.  I want to pay attention to the little things because that may mean I won’t need to make hard decisions later on or right some grievous wrongs.  Now is a good time to start. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Lie, by Any Other Name, Be It Oh So Sweet...

(Proverbs 6:19 KJV)  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Again we see a concern about “lies” (3577) and the person who “speaketh” (utters NASB) (6315) them.  This is a different word for “lie” than verse 17.  This verse is an incomplete statement.  It is in the context of a list of actions that God “hates” (8130) found in verse 16.

We get so used to politicians, advertisers, celebrities and children that are constantly bending the truth beyond recognition that we are desensitized.  We see no problem with a president standing in front of the nation and telling a big one.  We shrug and call it spin.  We see products distorted and laugh and call it sales.
God does not shrug or laugh about lies.  He sees what they do.  He sees what we do.  Too often we take the standards and values of those around us and adopt them, after all, “Everyone is doing it.”

So?  We march to a different drummer.  We are expected to live different lives.  Don’t drift off into being like the world around us because when we stand in front of the judgement seat of God He won’t care what everyone else was doing. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Say It Again, Sam

(Proverbs 5:4 KJV)  But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.

What is this fascination with a “two-edged” (6310) “sword” (2719)?  In reading the different commentaries I found that “two-edged” means mouth.  The Greek word used in Hebrews has the same meaning.  If you look at how this is used in the Bible it seems to usually be related to some kind of speech.

Words have power.  They cut and penetrate.  Here it is the words of the adulteress.  Other places it is used of the righteous. 

So?  What have you said so far today?  What will you say next? 
(Psalms 19:14 KJV)  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Enough said. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

On Auto-Pilot

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

As I began reading I asked myself, “Why does God cause things to be repeated?”  I come to this frequently in Proverbs as well as the rest of the Bible.  I had it as I read that I was supposed to “attend” (give attention NASB) (7181).

Then I proceeded to demonstrate why it needs to be repeated.  Have you had those times in driving when you suddenly realize that you have not been aware of what you are doing for some time?  After driving a while we tend to go on auto pilot.  Our bodies take over, just using enough brain to keep things going.  I don’t know about you but I have those days when I am in the Word.  I read.  My eyes track.  I turn pages.  I come to the end and ask myself, “What did I just read?” 

So?  Join me as I again try to give attention to what God is trying to say to me.  Believe me, it is more important than not hearing when my wife tells me to take out the trash. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Envy Thou Not

(Proverbs 3:31 KJV)  Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

“Envy” (7065) is more of a problem than most of us want to admit.  I wonder how “envy” relates to “covet” (2530)?  They seem synonymous.  If anything envy is more focused on anger at the person who has what you want while coveting is just the desire.  It is such a feeling that it is mentioned in the Ten Commandments.

Where has envy struck at me lately?  I envy those who are in a financial situation that they can retire from the rat race and pursue their own interests.  I envy my brothers who have grandchildren.  I envy those of you who don’t live in California.  None of this cripples me or brings life to a halt but if I focus on what others have it takes the joy from the day.

Instead I try to focus on the incredible blessing God has heaped on my plate.  That is why Paul said,
(Philippians 4:8 KJV)  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
This is not playing mind games, it is making decisions.

So?  Count your blessings.  The number might surprise you and envy fades in the process. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Spiritual Breakfast

(Proverbs 2:9 KJV)  Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

As I was reading over this chapter this morning I found it connecting with my soul.  I saw a pattern of living based on seeking the face of God and listening for what He had to say to me.  As I read I was reminded of why I study this book and listen for what it has to teach.  It was connecting with me today. 

I finally focused on this verse as the spiritual breakfast of the day.  It may just be another day in a steady “path" (course NASB) (4570) of days but this reminds me it can be one of the “good” (2896a) ones.

But every day is not perfect.  Life tends to intrude.  What then?  The promise is still there.  That brought to mind another passage, in the New Testament.
(2 Corinthians 4:7-10 KJV)  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.  We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
So?  That gives me that balance I need.  The Bible promises persecution if we walk in righteousness.  It also promises victory.  It is a formula I can live with today.  I will leave tomorrow in His hands. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Security Basics

(Proverbs 1:33 KJV)  But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

There are a couple of promises here.  The first is that we can “dwell” (live NASB) (7931) “safely” (securely NASB) (983).  What a marvelous promise.  How hard to accept.  How hard to sync with all of the issues of our day.  I don’t know what you are worried about.  Some people read about Korea testing missiles and worry about nuclear destruction.  Some look at the current headline about the GDP contracting and worry about their ability to pay their bills.  Some are concerned about the flu season.  It always seems to be something.

If we let it.

Here is where security comes in.  “Safely” (983) has a root meaning of trust.  The context in this verse is listening to the wisdom of God.  When we listen and believe, we apply.  This creates an attitude in us of trust and confidence.  Attitude is everything if we are to feel secure.  The attitude needs to be based in something or it is just empty, finger-crossed, hope.

There is a hymn that used to be sung in our churches that had these lines,
I know not what of good or ill May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days Before His face I see.
And the chorus starts this way,
But I know whom I have believed,
So?  Do you believe?  In what?  Or better in whom?  Believe, listen, trust, rest.