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, May 31, 2013

Wisdom Not Wiles

(Proverbs 31:26 KJV)  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

All is not physical work.  The godly wife also teaches with words.  Most of us were not in any doubt but this reinforces the understanding that “wisdom” (2451) is not the exclusive strength of men. 

Another observation hits me again.  Adults are not to be facilitators or buddies.  We are to be dispensers of wisdom.  We come with the benefit of age and experience.  Of course if it is not linked with some solid foundations in righteousness and a bit of discernment, wisdom is elusive, but adults have a better chance of achieving it than children.  This goes in direct conflict with the teachings of our culture.

So?  Are you a source of wisdom or foolishness.  Remember GIGO.  Somehow I feel that should be in the Bible somewhere. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Know When to Say “No.”

(Proverbs 30:30 KJV)  A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;

This must be understood in the context of the previous verse that talked about being “stately” (3190).  It is interesting to me the spectrum of images that are given.  It starts with the “lion” (3918), the king of beasts and ends with a human king when he is backed by his army.  Those are fine but in between he talks about a cock and a goat.  I am not sure what kind of an example we are being given.  I don’t mind the lion and king but to try to get me to identify with a billy goat...?

What do they have in common that makes them praiseworthy?  They “turneth not away” (retreat NASB) (7725).  Obviously this can be a negative trait.  It can speak of arrogance and foolishness, but I think the lesson for us today is different.  I think this is a reminder that we should not be backing down in our conflict with our culture.

We live in a culture that used to have the trappings of Christianity.  More and more that is being usurped by paganism.  The values that God wants to see are increasingly under attack.  We are reminded that we should not be retreating, but standing firm.

So?  Conversations, policies, laws.  All are going to be either anti-Christian, neutral, or supportive of God’s standards.  Know the difference.  Stand up for what is Godly.  Today.  Tomorrow may be too late. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


(Proverbs 29:7 KJV)  The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

The “wicked” (7563) “regardeth not” (don’t “understand” (995) NASB) what is going on around them.  They claim to have an exclusive hotline to the needy.  They think they have the answers.  Most of those answers involve throwing money at the problem and having professionals deal with the issues.  The problem is that they cannot understand because they deny the input of the righteous.

Consider a doctor who rejects germ theory.  How much damage would a surgeon do that refused to wash before cutting?  The same is true of educators, psychologists, social workers, politicians and philanthropists that ignore the presence of evil.

So?  You need to understand that you know more about what is wrong with the world than the most educated experts if they deny sin and grace.  Don’t be intimidated by the so-called experts.  Consider yourself that one eyed man in the world of the blind. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Us in Usury

(Proverbs 28:8 KJV)  He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.

This is one of those verses that makes no sense to me.  Having said that there is one thing that jumps out at me.  God really hates credit.  This hits me because it is a recurring theme.  In our capitalistic system we live on credit.  “Usury" (interest NASB) (5392) is a part of life.  I understand the problem with “usury” (8636), but why would anyone risk loaning money if they could not gain interest?  The NASB translates “usury” as “interest” and “unjust gain” as “usury” (8636).  The KJV puts it much stronger and condemns it even more.

I feel like a revolutionary when I read this.  Maybe it doesn’t make sense because I don’t want to hear.  Should we abandon all types of credit including home mortgages?  Are all people who loan money evil?  Some Christian voices urge us to get out of all debt.  Few of us will be big lenders but maybe we could stop being borrowers.

So?  Something to seriously think about.  I don’t want to hear it.  Maybe I should pay more attention to this. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cultures and Courtesy

(Proverbs 27:9 KJV)  Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.

“Ointment” (oil NASB) (8081) and “perfume” (7004) give reference to the vast differences between our culture and ancient Israel.  These refer to what we might consider “party favors.”  When you had guests to dinner one of the rituals was anointing them with oil and perfume.  This was common in Jesus’ time and is referred to by him.
(Luke 7:46 KJV)  My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
If you walked up to your guest and started pouring smelly oil on his head he might punch you but in those days it showed respect and courtesy.  Jesus was saying, “You showed me what you really thought about me, and so did she.”

So?  Times change.  Courtesy is expressed in different ways.  The attitude is the same and we should be careful to show courtesy in whatever culture we live.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lips and Hearts

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

We start with our sinful selves.  You may not like the picture painted.  “Burning” (1814) “lips” (8193) is not a pretty picture and it probably doesn’t feel good either.  Even worse is a “wicked” (7451a) “heart” (3820).  This is the exact same Hebrew that was used in the verse referenced yesterday that talked about a “troubled heart” (25:20). 

Not much to work with, is it?

Then we dress is up with the praise of the world.  This is the “dross” (5509).  Why are we impressed with the good things that the pagan world says about us?  Being the tallest midget is not exactly something to brag about.  It is like being praised for driving on the right side of the road in North America.

So?  What is your foundation?  Do you have the fire of God in your heart or the tepid flame of a soggy matchstick?  Seek Him while He may be found. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sometimes You Can’t Win

(Proverbs 25:20 KJV)  As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.

I return to the literal meaning of a word.  What kind of “heart” (3820) are we talking about here?  None of the translations comes even close to the literal meaning of “heavy” (troubled NASB) (7451a).  It means evil, pure and simple, if you can use the word pure to define evil. 

The evil heart.  It exists.  It responds to us.  If we try to adjust to it, we are rejected and despised.  The two pictures are cold and chemicals.  One brings misery the other destruction.  Sometimes the best thing to do is to avoid it.

So?  Pick your friends.  Pick your locations.  Pick your priorities.  Avoid evil. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Gold Filled

(Proverbs 24:29 KJV)  Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.

Here we see an affirmation of the golden rule stated by Jesus.
(Luke 6:31 KJV)  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
Here though we are being told, “Don’t do it.”  We are not to give an eye for an eye.  We are not to pay people back for the wrongs they have done us.  We are to march to that different drummer referred to in literature.

We are different.  We live in a pagan culture that only understands revenge.  We have adopted a pagan concept of “affirmative action” which says that the way to overcome past evils is to perpetuate more evil in its place.

We are different.  We are to not do as was done to us.  It is a hard standard, but someone has to do it.

So?  Let that someone be you.  You live in a corner I can’t touch.  I live in a city you don’t know.  We each need to apply the salt of forgiveness and the rule of gold in the row in which we are planted.  Today.  And tomorrow.  And the next day.  And... 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Shiny, Shiny

(Proverbs 23:31 KJV)  Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

We live in an affluent age and culture.  People in the United States who are considered to be living in poverty have “basics” that past centuries would have considered unimaginable luxuries.  Think about such a simple thing as a flush toilet.  Consider all the infrastructure that goes into such a simple devise:  Water purification and the pipes to deliver it, maintaining the pressure, the levers and valves to regulate the flow, the ceramic to make the fixture.  

The context here is the way life “giveth colour” (sparkles NASB) (5414/5869) and we are impressed with that glow.  The problem is when things are too “aright” (smoothly NASB) (4339).  We can be lulled into complacency in the face of evil.  We can be impressed by the surface when the core is evil. 

So?  Learn to see with spiritual eyes instead of just enjoying the view.  Look for principles and long term effects.  The world we live in is too superficial to continue without our input and insight. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

One Leg at a Time

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

Friendship involves going through common experiences.  When you cease to share you can drift apart.  Often it is the struggles which build the strongest bonds.  Too often social barriers keep those bonds from happening.  I remember when my parents forced us to change churches when I was a kid.  I hated the change but it was a very healthy one for all of us.  We left a church of people like us socially and went to one that had people “above” us.  I never knew it.

The church we went to had judges and millionaires who treated my blue-collar father like the honorable man he was.  Although he worked with his hands and only graduated from high school, he was accepted and never felt out of place.  That is the way the church should be.

So?  How do you get along with the janitor where you work?  You are the janitor?  How do you get along with the people you clean up after?  If you are brothers in Christ you should have a bond.  Even if you don’t, Christian courtesy is the order of the day. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Calling All Remnants

(Proverbs 21:1 KJV)  The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

The simple point here is that God can, and does, influence the decisions of kings, prime ministers and presidents.  I think the concept can be extended to CEO’s, HR, and managers.  So how does that apply to me and you?

I wonder if this is a way of restating, “A people get the government they deserve.”  There must be a reason that God allows evil to rule a nation.  I speak more in the context of history than in reference to our present situation.  Was there something in the character of the German people that let a Hitler emerge?  Was Nero allowed to rule because the Romans were at a low point in their lives? 

We know that we are to be salt.  We know that a few righteous would have saved Sodom.  As I look at the culture that surrounds me I can’t help but feel we are headed for disaster nationally.

So?  Be the salt that you can.  Be the light that you are called to be.  Hope and pray that God will direct our leaders because there is a faithful remnant, not because the masses have turned their backs on Him. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Actually, Tomorrow Does Come

(Proverbs 20:4 KJV)  The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

Our actions have consequences.  Some are long term, some irritating, others deadly. 

This can effect us.  It can limit our opportunities in our future.  When you are forty and have three kids it is a little late to decide you should have gone to college.  If you are in college the day before graduation is a little late to realize you should have applied yourself more.

They can effect others.  We may have nothing to give when others are in need.  We may have no example, no wisdom, no money.

It also may force us to make hard choices.  When you meet someone who has repeatedly made the wrong choices, is it your job to bail them out?  I am sure we do what we can but there are limits to our resources. 

So?  What kind of future are you establishing today by your choices.  Few people are farmers today.  We don’t literally “plow” (2790a) but we do lay the groundwork for the harvest in our lives.  What you do today makes a difference.  Live prayerfully. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Basics Are Basic

(Proverbs 19:21 KJV)  There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

We have many “devices” (plans NASB) (4284) but God’s principles don’t change.  We put great value on creativity and inventiveness.  In fact, one of the definitions of this word is “inventions.”  That is fine in its place but God puts his emphasis on the long haul, the things that make the inventions work. 

How many times have you heard an interviewer ask a great coach what is his secret of success?  The answer I usually hear is “basics.”  It isn’t the Statue of Liberty or the double reverse that wins football games.  Basics win football games.  Solid blocking, tackling and team work.  The same is true of life.

So study the “counsel” (6098) of God.  It is the basics that get you through the silly inventions of the moment.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Folly, Folly Hangs over Your Head

(Proverbs 18:13 KJV)  He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

Has “folly” (200) ever been a part of your life?  Stupid question, right?  It must be a big issue to God because the word is used at least 23 time in Proverbs.  We call Proverbs Wisdom Literature because it addresses things like folly.  The word is only used two other times, both in Psalms. 

What is “folly” (200)?  It goes to a root word meaning “fool” (191).  When I look at the explanation of what a fool is a see things like despising wisdom, mocking when guilty, quarrelsome and licentious.  I notice that these are all choices made out of self-centeredness and a sinful heart.

So?  You will make choices today.  Will they display the sin of folly or the grace of righteousness?  The power is God’s, the choice is yours. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rebels at Heart

(Proverbs 17:11 KJV)  An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

We tend to think that some are in “rebellion” (rebellious NASB) (4805) by nature and others are cooperative.  On the surface that is obvious but on a deeper level we are all rebels.  The Bible teaches that in our hearts we are sinful creatures, we are resisting God and seeking to be lord of our own lives.  We see this expressed throughout scripture.  Let’s look at one such verse.
(Isaiah 53:6 KJV)  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Seeking our own way is the same as seeking evil since we are lost in sin.  Of course Isaiah also promises the coming of the Lamb of God, His death on the cross and the removal of our evil, or iniquity.

So?  Where is your heart today as you move through your day?  Are you rebellious?  Are you seeking your own way?  It is time to change course before God sends a “cruel” (394) “messenger” (4397). 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wanna Bet?

(Proverbs 16:33 KJV)  The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

When I read about casting lots I think about gambling.  The “lot” (1486) was “cast” (2904) in both the Old Testament and the New.  I was recently doing some study in the book of Acts.  In the first chapter Peter leads the early church to choose a replacement for Judas.  He uses lots to make the choice. 
(Acts 1:26 KJV)  And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Peter being Peter, it is possible that he was being impetuous and not obedient.  Somewhere in my past I heard it suggested that God was preparing Paul for this position and Peter should have waited. 

Why are so many uncomfortable with gambling?  Like many “vices” it can be harmless or destructive.  This verse seems to imply that lots can be used to determine the will of God.  Perhaps this is another example of taking an action that should be reserved for special occasions as in finding the will of God, and using it for more mundane entertainment such as drawing to an inside straight. 

So?  Think about it next time you place your bet, buy your lottery ticket or make your bid.  Are you just having innocent fun or are you misusing a divine prerogative?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Is Anyone Listening?

(Proverbs 15:31 KJV)  The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

Who “heareth” (listens NASB) (8085) today?  I mean, who really listens to anything that does not bring them pleasure?  When I was a kid we had AM radios with a limited number of choices.  The latest radio in my car has a choice of AM and at least three FM bands.  If I wanted to get HD I could have even more.  I can choose and, if the choice doesn’t hold my interest, push a button.

Advertisers are going crazy with remote controls and recording devices.  They can’t get anyone to listen.  It is too easy to change channels.

So?  When God tries to talk to you do you get your spiritual remote and change channels?  It can start as day dreaming during the sermon.  The most common today is texting when you should be listening.  Sometimes people walk out of churches because they don’t want to listen.  It might be time to listen instead of punching the button. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Rest of Wisdom

(Proverbs 14:33 KJV)  Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.

“Wisdom” (2451) “rests” (5117), stops or relaxes, in our “heart” (3820).  Or at least it wants to.  God has given us so many sources of wisdom yet it seems to be in short supply.  We have the written word.  Few read it.  We have the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Few seek it.  We have the voices from the past.  They are often brushed off as “dead white guys.”  We have some parents and grandparents but the mantra of the generation running the country now was “Don’t trust anyone over thirty.”

For wisdom to become a part of our lives we need to lay a groundwork of understanding.  We need to want it.  We need to pursue it.

So?  How does your day look?  You will set aside time for meals, exercise, TV and who knows what else.  How about setting aside some time for wisdom?  If it is too late today, then pencil some time in tomorrow.  It doesn’t just happen. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

You Be the Judge

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

Just as the first part of this verse swings on “ransom” (3724a) and “riches” (6239) the second part depends on the words “hears” (8085) and “rebuke” (1606).  At first glance the first part seems clear and the second part confusing.  A lot depends on our understanding of “rebuke.”

Rebuke is one of the words used for correcting people.  It is used in both the Old and New Testaments.  It is usually confused with judging by those who do not want to be criticized.  It is an action that is open to contamination by self centered manipulation but it is still a legitimate part of the Christian life.

The point here is that those in poverty are not hearing these words of correction.  Some other time I will perhaps dwell on the lack of hearing.  Is it the receivers turned off or no one broadcasting?  For now just accept that the poor are not hearing the words that can make their lives better.

So?  The question I have today is, “Are you hearing?”  Take it spiritually or materially.  Refusing to listen in either area can lead to weakness and lack in life.  Don’t reject reproof because the hedonist you know said, “Judge not...”

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Make the Honor Role

(Proverbs 12:9 KJV)  He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.

Our egos make it very difficult to live with being “despised” (lightly esteemed NASB) (7034) and yet it is the better position to be in.  I don’t know about you but I tend to be skeptical when I hear people praised in public.  Pay a little more attention next time you hear someone read an award citation.  You might have a hard time not laughing.

It is probably good for us to be disregarded by out culture.  Think about the icons you hear about.  Would you really want to be in the same category as Madonna or Lady Gaga?  Would you really want people repeating your name if it was as silly as the ones chosen by rappers?   Would you want to on the same honor role as Joe Biden?

The point is we should be seeking the approval of almighty God, not our culture.  God does not feed egos, he nurtures souls.

So?  Listen to the whisper, or shout, of the Holy Spirit.  Spend time considering the message of the written word.  Take the sermon and seek to apply it.  The results are eternal. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Salt of Joy

(Proverbs 11:10 KJV)  When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.

How do you gauge the future?  How can we know the direction that our culture is going?  Up or down?  Growing or degenerating?  From this it would seem we need to watch the condition of the salt.

As followers of Jesus we are the salt of the earth.  We will never be the major ingredient but we will offer the savor, the seasoning, the preservative.  As uncomfortable as we are with the tag, we are the “righteous” (6662).  When things go “well” (2898) with us, it goes well with everyone.  People don’t understand but God’s blessing on a nation are directed in how that nation treats His people. 

Currently the righteous are under attack.  We see it on the marriage issue.  We see it in zoning and building permits.  We see it in editing books and redacting history.  We see it in hiring and firing.  My guess is that God is not pleased with the United States of America.

So?  Be salt.  Let God be the giver of blessing and curses. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Every Day Evidence

(Proverbs 10:32 KJV)  The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.

As I read through this chapter today I am struck how it reflects the society I live in.  Wisdom is absent.  Righteousness is absent.  As you look through the chapter you see the every day evidence of that absence.  By coincidence I end up being at the end of the chapter.

What are the results of a society based on foolishness?   The KJV calls it “frowardness” (8419), the NASB “perverted.”  I am sure that our culture thinks the KJV word is a misprint.  I am sure that they think the culture is moving “forward” as it denies the meaning of marriage, glorifying fornication and homosexual marriage.  Hollywood’s “forward” is God’s “froward.”  It means twisted or bent, in another word “perverted.”

So?  What do your “lips” (8193) declare?  What influence do you have at school, in your home, at your work?  Do you leave the world with a taste of righteousness or the hint of perversion? 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wise Not That You Be Not Wised

(Proverbs 9:12 KJV)  If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

As I was reading this today it again was puzzling.  I finally realized it might be a version of the admonition of Jesus,
(Matthew 7:1 KJV)  Judge not, that ye be not judged.
My thinking was not in just the first verse of Matthew 7 but in the full teaching which we usually ignore.  The key to understanding Matthew 7:1 is to keep reading until you get to verse 5.
(Matthew 7:5 KJV)  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Our greatest criticism, aka judgment, is to be of ourselves.  When we read what the Bible has to say we should be applying it to our own lives first.  That is so we are staying on track. 

But it does not stop there.  We are then in a place where we can share God’s teachings with others.  The same is true of wisdom.  To be “wise” (2449) we need to be applying it to ourselves first.

So?  Maybe if people see us applying wisdom to our own lives they will be more teachable themselves.  It won’t hurt to try it that way.  What do we have to lose?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Laying Down the Laws?

(Proverbs 8:29 KJV)  When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

The concept of creation rears it’s head.  When you talk to someone about creation you need to understand that the real issue is not the process, how or how long, but who.  God did it.  So what is this telling us about creation?

I don’t understand how this could be a physical “decree” (boundary NASB) (2706).  That would come naturally. It goes along with the language of creation.  Perhaps the idea of “coming naturally” is the point here.  This could be trying to express the process of God establishing the rules and principles that would guild the natural world, not just creating the material.  This could be the beginning of the law of gravity or the force of surface tension.  Perhaps this is the moment that God declared Bernoulli’s Principle or the Third Law of Thermodynamics. 

We tend to limit our thinking to the material.  This could simply be God declaring a few of what we would call the laws of nature.

So?  Rejoice in the fact that water freezes at 32 degrees and expands slightly instead of contracting like everything else when frozen.  Enjoy the ice in your favorite beverage and be glad it floats instead of sinks.  God’s hand is in everything.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


(Proverbs 7:24 KJV)  Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

I feel Solomon’s pain in this verse.  He has so much to share.  It is important to “listen” (8085) for immediate concerns and eternal consequences.  I don’t know what distractions he had to deal with in the ancient world.  I am sure there were wars and rumors of wars to get people to worry, just like today.  I am sure kids were pitching pennies or playing mumbly peg with their knives.  We think we are busier and more driven but they had to haul water, chop wood and that multitude of business that machines do for us today.

They did not listen any more than we do.  Human nature does not change.  We may have different topics of our gossip, different names for our romances and different technologies for our games but they still keep us from listening.

The ultimate distraction is our lack of concern.  I see it every day in the classroom.  I see it every day on the street.  I see it in others.  I see it in myself.

So?  First, accept the fact that God is trying to speak to you.  Yes, you.  Unless you check your e-mail you don’t know what it says.  Get with it and start listening.  I think that means now. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bind or Sever

(Proverbs 6:21 KJV)  Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.

Free will and accountability for our actions are everywhere in the Bible.  Some say we don’t have free will but somehow we are responsible for our sins at the same time.  I don’t see the logic but I agree with the conclusion.  We make a choice to “bind” (7194) the things of God to our “heart” (3820). 

Actually we make continual choices to bind.  This is not a one time decision.  It is not just a matter of clearly spiritual issues.  It involves things like courtesy, fashion choices, foods, friends and short cuts.  It takes us down the path of taking naps, leisure activities and returning borrowed items.  Every choice we make either binds or severs. 

So?  In the next few minutes you will need to make a choice.  Make it carefully.  Imagine God standing behind you and waiting to see what you do.  Does that make you nervous?  Good. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Cruel Truth

(Proverbs 5:9 KJV)  Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:

How many forms does the “cruel one” (394) take?  I like the way the KJV does not add “one” to make this sound like a personal being, say Satan.  The context is sex outside marriage.  The standard is that it is sin.  The knowledge that God has is that misusing this great gift if cruel.

You don’t see it?  I had a discussion with a thirteen year old child.  He told me that learning history was a waste of time.  He would never be able to use any of it.  I complimented him on the tremendous wisdom that his thirteen years had given him since he knew more about life than I did at 65.  Just because you don’t see or understand doesn’t mean that something is not true.

If you like the NASB as “cruel one” instead of “cruel” then ask yourself if you become the cruel one when you get involved with someone you are not already married to.  Do you tear down?  Do you defile?  Do you manipulate and lie? 

So?  God has reasons for His standards.  He is holy.  He expects us to be holy, not cruel. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Building Spiritual Muscle Tone

(Proverbs 4:13 KJV)  Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

As we look at this verse we see a statement that wisdom is “life” (2425b).  To get there we must deal with three verbs.  Remember your lessons in English?  What is a verb?  I cheated.  I used my software dictionary.  It says a verb is a word “used to describe an action, state, or occurrence.”

The first verb tells us we must “take hold” (2388).  Notice that the KJV adds “fast”.  This is a fairly common word in the OT, used over 300 times.  It is interesting to read the definition and see all the nuances of meaning.  What does not come through in this one spot is the idea of exercise.  It has the idea of strengthening.  It says it can mean to “be sore.”  Remember the Nike commercial?  “No pain, no gain.”  Actually, Nike stole it from an old German proverb.  If I can remember from my junior high days, “Ohne Fleis, kein Preis.” 

Do you want life?  Then grab hold of the bar and start the pull ups.  Take hold of the word and begin to work with it.  We are not saved by works, true, but Solomon is telling us it is part of the path to life.

So?  Wisdom does not come out of the empty air or the empty head.  Fill it.  Give the Holy Spirit something to bring to your mind. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

God Gets an Attitude

(Proverbs 3:34 KJV)  Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

Can you believe it?  God can have an attitude.  He “scorneth” (scoffs NASB) (3917b) at people.  I know that some people think that God is such a Teddy Bear that He would not do such a thing, but read it again.  God has different attitudes for different people.

Of course the “scoffers” (3917b) deserve it.  That is hard for us to accept if we have the warm fuzzy view of God and salvation.  Some people don’t deserve respect.  Some people don’t deserve to be taken seriously.  Some people should be ignored.

But just because God does it doesn’t mean we can do it.

So?  We are called to patience, kindness and such things as forgiveness.  We are also called to reproof, rebuke and excommunication.  Pray for wisdom, read the word and listen to the Holy Spirit so you know which to apply today.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Righteous Target

(Proverbs 2:7 KJV)  He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

God has positive and negative promises.  The negative are for the rebellious sinners who refuse to bend a knee to Jesus as Lord.  The positive go to the “righteous” (upright NASB) (3477).

Who are these people?  This word is incredibly frequent in Proverbs.  It means to be straight or right.  It’s root adds the idea of being smooth.  “Righteous” would be a synonym, as you see in the KJV.  It would be good to see both translations here.
(Proverbs 2:7 NAS77)  He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
These are the people who, through the grace of God and personal choice, live lives that are in accord with the will of God.

The promises of God are conditional.  They depend on how we respond to Him. 

So?  Choices have consequences.  Make yours and live with it.  Or die with it.  Your choice.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sign Ups

(Proverbs 1:11 KJV)  If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

Are you a joiner?  Do you find yourself signing up for things and getting on mailing lists.  Sometimes that is just a nuisance.  Sometimes it will cost us.

In the internet age you can sign up for things without being aware of it.  I just updated my security.  When I came to the end there were repeated boxes I had to uncheck.  If I had not done so I would have found my entire interface changed because they wanted permission to become my default in areas I did not want them to be my default.

Beware.  People and groups are trying to suck you in.

So?  Watch what you sign.  Read the fine print.  Be suspicious.  Invest your life wisely.