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, June 30, 2013

The Strutting Male

(Proverbs 30:31 KJV)  A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.

I need to include the NASB here to make sense of this.
(Proverbs 30:31 NAS77)  The strutting cock, the male goat also, And a king when his army is with him.
The Hebrew words translated “strutting cock” and “greyhound” don’t mean either but that is for another day.

I don’t know much about roosters and I have never had a goat but if I put them together I can get a “strutting” (2223) “male” (8495).  Since I work in middle school with a large number of young men who cannot read or write and think being a pimp is the highest calling, I see a lot of cocky males and their behavior.

The context here talks about them being stately.  That sounds good until you keep reading and get the context of the next verse where it talks about foolishly exalting yourself.  One of the lessons of Proverbs and the rest of scripture is that God is not impressed with out outward gestures.  He looks at the heart. 

I have one young man who gets up on a regular basis and struts around the room like he is God’s gift to women.  He is short, buck toothed and has a big nose but he is of the opinion that if he throws his shoulders just so and sways his hips they will be in awe.  They are not impressed. 

God is not impressed with our strutting either.

So?  Perhaps this is a good time to remember one of the Bible’s key verses,
(Micah 6:8 KJV)  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Walk humbly, don’t strut. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Snare Speech

(Proverbs 29:8 KJV)  Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.

Bad attitudes are exhibited in destructive actions which “snare” (set aflame NASB) (6315) communities and families.  I am not sure where the KJV gets “snare.”  The root is “to breathe, to blow” and transforms into the idea of speaking.  It is used at least seven times in Proverbs and I could only find one place where it was used of constructive speech.  The rest of the time it was linked with lies. 

Again we see the demand for truth and honesty. 

So?  Do we speak the truth in love or do we twist and turn to make ourselves look good?  Often we are caught by surprise and distort truth.  That is a time for repentance and a time to ask forgiveness to try to put out the fires we might have lit.  Perhaps that is what the second half of the verse is about. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Live Your Own Lessons

(Proverbs 28:10 KJV)  Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.

Beware of the leader who “causeth” (leads astray NASB) (7686) others to go astray.  But that is really not the point being made here.  This is a word to those of us who might lead others astray. 

We have a habit of assuming the warnings are for others and the blessings are for us.  One of the dangers of writing and posting is falling into the trap of thinking what God is saying is to be passed on to others without changing us.  As I write I am doing an eight week stretch of pulpit supply.  It is so easy to preach to others and not preach to my self.

It doesn’t work that way.  This warning is for me because I am reading it.  It is for you, not because I say so, but because you are also reading it.  Remember the words of Jesus,
(Matthew 18:6 KJV)  But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
So?  People are watching.  Each of us influences someone.  Let the “upright” apply to you, not the “astray.” 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Red Light, Green Light

(Proverbs 27:12 KJV)  A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.

Years ago, when I was a child, we had a local children’s program that was hosted by Engineer Bill.  The theme was railroads and each day had some privileged child sitting with Engineer Bill as he entertained the children. 

The reason that comes to mind is because this verse brought to mind one of his featured segments, the “Red Light, Green Light Game.”  It was a variation of “Mother, May I.”  It was a game to get children to drink their milk.  He would sit there and say “Red light” and “Green light” in unexpected orders and try to get you to make a mistake in drinking or not drinking.  At the end he would always say, “Because no engineer would ever run a red light.”

Life has red light and green lights.  We have things we see and recognize as telling us to proceed or stop.  If we have any common sense we stop when we should.   If we think we are going to be the exception, we “pass on” (proceed NASB) (5674a).  We often then “are punished” (pay the penalty NASB) (6064).  The penalty is usually more than spilt milk.  It may take time to demand payment.  Eventually the bill is due.

So do you really want to find out what it will cost to play the fool?  Do you really think God will be mocked?  Listen to the voice of God as He speaks through the many voices from the still small voice to the thunder of a sermon.  Pay day will come.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dog Lessons

(Proverbs 26:11 KJV)  As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

As I read this today I thought of the dogs I have known.  I must confess, I am not an animal person but my wife and daughter are.  We have had dogs, cats, rabbits, fish and even a chicken.  The only one that I have seen eat its own “vomit” (6892) is the dog.  Dogs can be so disgusting that they will even clean up the vomit of the cat.  Disgusting, but useful.

It doesn’t seem to bother them.  They may show shame when they have relieved themselves inside.  They may slink away when they have chewed up your shoe.  They may hide when you are trying to get a pill down their throat.  But shame at disgusting behavior?  Never.

Some people are like that. 

So?  Our behavior is supposed to be different.  Sometimes we are so poorly trained that the only way we can know we are out of line is to watch the reactions of others.  Stay alert.  The odds are you have no disgusting habits but be sensitive to others and their responses to your actions. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Defragging Solomon’s Disks

(Proverbs 25:1 KJV)  These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.

The way this is titled would seem to indicate that this was discovered during Hezekiah’s time as a fragment of the current book.  I wonder if Solomon walked around with a notebook and would jot things down as they came to him.  Or maybe he had a scribe that followed him and wrote things down for posterity.  If that is true there may be little bits of wisdom still to be dug up.

It also might indicate why Solomon repeats himself.  We have places in Proverbs where the same couplet is repeated, word for word.  This is the compilation of a lifetime.  It is possible that some of them were gathered from memory. 

So?  Two approaches.  First, write down your thoughts.  Keep a journal of some kind.  Later they may seem silly but maybe not.  Maybe you will find them encouraging to yourself.  Second, be careful what you record.  You never know who will read it. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Work the Field You Own

(Proverbs 24:30 KJV)  I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

One look and the traveler knew that the field belonged to the “slothful” (sluggard NASB) (6102).  Solomon goes into detail in the following verses but it strikes me that the lazy of the world are obvious if we are just willing to look.  It is obvious in different life styles.  In the back of my mind I have this picture that a “vineyard” (3754) is usually planted on ground that cannot be used for a regular “field” (7704). 

So we have a picture of a life that is on the flat productive ground and one on the thinner, sloped soil that requires more selective effort.  In both cases it is clear that work and effort are making the difference.

So?  Are you blaming your circumstances or are you making the most of your situation?  Perspective and attitude can make a difference in what you see.  How is the view today for you?  Try to look at the day through the eyes of faith.  It may be hard to grow wheat on the edge of a hill, but you don’t need to worry about swamps either. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The King Keeps Getting New Clothes

(Proverbs 23:34 KJV)  Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

Have you ever done something really stupid and had no one to tell you about it?  The context here is drunkenness.  It is a warning about the stupid syndrome that comes from alcohol.  The principle stretches beyond the bottle.  There are many things in life that can make us stupid.

This would be the place where we would introduce the story of “The King’s New Clothes.”  It comes to my mind frequently as I watch the way our society is committing cultural suicide.  Very few people are willing to tell the king he is naked, to point out the flaws in what is happening.  When they do speak up the ending isn’t like it is in the fairy tale.  No one listens because no one wants to know. 

Victimless crime?  Nonsense.  The wisdom of children?  Who are you trying to kid.  Respect for everyone?  Recipe for disaster.  We have plenty of naked kings but few honest children.

So?  If you can’t speak up or no one listens, at least we can listen.  Is someone pointing out an area in our life where we are trying to stretch out on the top of a mast?  Being all ears is a daily task. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Few and the Frequent

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

The NASB presents us with an interesting grammatical issue that is harder to see in the old English of the KJV.  The “prudent” (6175) has a singular verb, “simple” (naive NASB) (6612a) has the plural.  Is this just the translators or is it in the original?  I am not enough of a scholar to dig that out in the time I have but it is an interesting difference. 

It would indicate that thoughtful and focused people are few and that the simple and shallow are frequent.  That would fit with my observations.  It would also go along with the teaching of Jesus on the wide and narrow gates. 

Proverbs teaches that we have a choice on which camp we are in.

So?  What kind of choices are you making today?  I don’t mean whether you have sausage or pepperoni.  The question is eternal wisdom or current trends.

Friday, June 21, 2013

I Can Believe It Isn’t Butter

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

I use a spray on my pop-corn.  It is called, “I Can’t Believe It Isn’t Butter.”  Yes I can.  I have tasted the real thing.  I am not even close to being fooled.  In this case I still use it because I am not after butter, I am after a low calorie way to make the salt stick to the kernels. 

To be honest I never did believe the label.  I didn’t come close to believing the label.  I didn’t believe the commercials I saw.  Why?  Again, I have tasted the real thing.  Once you have experienced the real thing there is no point in looking further.  I can play a cheap guitar but I have experienced the real thing.  I can play miniature golf, but I have experienced the real thing.  I can read books by “experts” but why bother, I have read the real thing.

So?  God offers us wisdom.  He gives us insight to understand the eternal order of the universe.  He gives us insider knowledge.  Access it.  Mediate on it.  Follow it.  Today is a good day to start. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Do Not Season to Taste

(Proverbs 20:10 KJV)  Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.

The KJV uses the word “divers” to explain the problem.  Isn’t it strange that a word that was used to explain an abomination is now used in praise.  We live in a day when we think that diversity is a good thing.  There is a sense in which that is wholesome.  We need to get over expecting everyone to be exactly like us.

The problem is we live in a culture where diversity is the rule. It has become the basic philosophy of life.  It works out to mean that there is no objective truth.  There is no objective morality.  All ideas are right if they are right for you.  The cover word is multi-culturalism. 

Diversity in our modern, pagan culture means that all religions are the same.  Wrong.  It means that the law applies differently depending on the color of your skin or your political persuasion.  It makes a mockery of justice.

It is an abomination.

So?  If you don’t know the standards for right and wrong you won’t recognize a lie when you see it.  Get in touch with the Owner’s Manual provided by God.  Review the parts that explain the difference between sin and righteousness.  Then live as directed.  Do not season to taste. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Delight of Fools

(Proverbs 19:10 KJV)  Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.

I am seeing an acceptance of social classes, at least in Proverbs.  Perhaps denying it shows a lack of wisdom.  People are different.  In America we have looked at social class as less important than personal character.  That does not mean it is a fantasy. 

Notice that the “fool” (3684) is not necessarily equated with the “slave” (5650).  It is clear that the prince could be the fool. 

The point is that all people do not deserve “luxury” (8588).  It also implies that the good things of life are good to have.

So?  Don’t be afraid to go for the quality things of life whether that be a well tailored shirt or a prime cut of beef.  Don’t sell your soul for them either.  Set priorities.  The fool sets different ones than the wise. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Spam Filters?

I am resetting my filters in an attempt to keep all the anonymous spam out.  Most of it does not get published but I am tired of deleting it.  If this causes problems would someone let me know.  I can go back to the way it was before if this makes it hard to read or comment.

Grace and peace.

Wounds and Healing

(Proverbs 18:14 KJV)  The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?

Who or what can break our spirit?  All of us have gone through hard times and tragedies.  We have watched others struggle.  Some fold their tents and give up.  Others soldier on.  What is the difference? 

The Bible promises that we will not be tempted beyond what we can endure. 
(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.
We make the choices that take us through.  We are our own worst enemies. 

Still, why the different responses?  God promises to give us an escape.  He promises strength. 

So?  Whether we are facing a small inconvenience or a great tragedy, God has promised to see us through to victory.  The key is to make the decision to trust Him.  Then we must allow Him to work, not just in the situation, but in us. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fool Quotient

(Proverbs 17:12 KJV)  Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.

Do people become fools as they go though life?  Have fools always been fools or have they been degraded by training and example?  Have I changed that much?  I often feel like a “fool” (3684).  My wife would agree with that.  Have I always been a fool or is it something that came upon me during marriage?

Do people avoid me for this reason?  Ouch.  The bad news is that we are too often foolish.  The good news is that we can grow out of it, it just doesn’t happen too often.

So?  Listen to yourself.  Do some kind of a self check.  If you find your fool quotient is rising it is time to seriously study the word and apply what you read. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Spin on “Just Do It”

(Proverbs 16:12 KJV)  It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.

A key to this verse is to clarify what it means to “commit” (6213a) “wickedness” (7562).  It is more than just petty theft and jaywalking although they would be included.  “Commit” (6213a) is both a simple and complex word.  On the simple side it means “do.”  That is easy to understand and grab hold of.  On the complex side it means to “make” and is the word used of God when He was projecting the creation of man.
(Genesis 1:26 KJV)  And God said, Let us make (6213a) man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So I think this is a statement condemning those in leadership who are creative in their ways to be evil.  Too many leaders fit this category.  Too many of us follow their example.

So?  I doubt if any kings or presidents read what I write.  That leaves you and me.  I need to make sure that my motives and goals are right.  I must make sure that I do not have a desire to commit evil.  I can do that.  So can you.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Self Esteem, Self Destruction

(Proverbs 15:32 KJV)  He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

This brings a different perspective to the search for self esteem.  Once again the teaching of the Bible is directly opposed to the teaching of our culture.  The person who hates himself “refuseth” (neglects NASB) (6544a) “instruction” (discipline NASB) (4148).  The NASB is much better on this.  The idea is to pay no attention to something.  In Proverbs 13:18 we see the same combination.  There the results are poverty and shame. 

“Instruction” (discipline NASB) (4148) has to do with being corrected when you are wrong.  It is an important part of the personality that God wants us to have.  We need to be open to correction.  If we are not we are on the path to self destruction, which might be a synonym for the world’s understanding of self esteem.

So?  When someone tries to correct you and you start to get irritated, be aware that the irritation could be a form of spiritual pain that is trying to tell you something is wrong and needs to be treated.  Grow up.  Grow.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Self-Righteous Isn’t

(Proverbs 14:34 KJV)  Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

This is a truth that we as a nation have learned to ignore or pervert.  We would substitute many other words for “righteousness” (6666):  cool, free spirited, self actualized, open minded, etc.

But the clear teaching is that holy living “exalts” (7311) us, holy living that is possible because of the power of God in our lives, not from out own input.  That is the root of the rejection of righteousness.  Righteousness must be rooted in a holy God.  It is not self-generated.  We call that being self-righteous.  It is not about self-esteem, self-actualization, self-pride or any of the other synonyms we have for being self-centered.

We are becoming a nation of adult bodies with two year old maturity.  We want it and we want it now.  This is no way to be exalted.

So?  All you can be is a drop or a grain.  That is okay because we are not the ones who will make the big adjustments to our culture.  That is God’s doing.  May He be able to do it without disaster and suffering. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spiritual Cataracts

(Proverbs 13:10 KJV)  Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

I am convinced that some people enjoy and seek “contention” (strife NASB) (4683).  They thrive on arguing for the sake of arguing.  Their goal is not to advance “wisdom” (2451) but to stir things up.

It may be fun but it is not the way that God would have us go.  At least that is what this verse seems to be implying.  When we discuss things with people we should really be seeking the input of others to balance our own perspective.  We should be realizing that we all have our opinions and that sometimes we have spiritual cataracts. 

So?  Let someone else provide the laser that removes the obstacles to clear sight.  Remember that the model for the church is the Body of Christ and that one part honors the other. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Surprise Righteousness

(Proverbs 12:10 KJV)  A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Righteousness effects every part of life, even the way we treat our animals.  Most of us don’t have draft animals any more.  All we have are pets.  This is not about animals, it is about living consistent lives.  We do not put certain parts of our lives in compartments and tell God not to go there.  We don’t adopt a different set of standards for one day of the week or one building.

Righteousness makes a difference in everything we do and touch.  Or at least it should.

So?  Don’t accept an attitude that keeps God out of anything you do. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Sin Balance

(Proverbs 11:1 KJV)  A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

Are there levels of sin?  Do some offenses against God generate a greater wrath?  I think so.  One of the words that keeps coming up is “abomination” (8441).  Since we are saved by grace and whether you are Arminian or Calvinist that grace comes from God we tend to lump sin in one big category.  That is not the witness of the word. 

If you study the law you see different levels of restitution, punishment and sacrifice, depending on the type of sin and the attitude of the sinner.  While sin is sin God seems to be more hostile toward an adulterer than toward a man who steals because his family is hungry.

So?  Don’t take any sin lightly.  We are offered forgiveness, restoration and power.  We are given the strength to resist, a means of escape and ultimately cleansing when we fail.  Take advantage of all that is offered. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Righteous Mouth

(Proverbs 10:11 KJV)  The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

What we say makes a difference.  Here we are told that the “mouth” (6310) of the “righteous” (6662) produces “life” (2425b).  Change the word order a bit and call it a “righteous mouth.” 

What is a righteous mouth?  I would say that the obvious is a lack of lies and gossip.  I would also say that some of our daily language needs to be laundered.  Many followers of Christ are still peppering their comments with a “damn” or a “hell.”  I can’t make a case for this sending a person to eternal damnation but I would submit to you that it is not a righteous mouth.  You might find words in my vocabulary that are also borderline or over the border.

So?  Listen to what you say.  Does it bring glory to God or just serve to make you acceptable to your pagan friends?  Deal with it. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Don’t Be a Deer in the Headlights

(Proverbs 9:13 KJV)  A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

We cannot afford to be “simple” (naive NASB) (6615).  This is the only place this specific Hebrew word is used in the Bible but it comes from a family of words that are used more frequently, three other times in this chapter.  In some places it seems that being naive is a condition that reflects an inability to understand complex issues but often it is something that can be treated or cured.

The mental condition we need to beware of is a reluctance to see the real events in the world because we have been told to “be positive” or to “look for the best in people.”  Looking for the best in people can lead to hiring baby sitters that are perverts.  It can cause you to marry someone who is a man or woman of “folly” (3687).  It can open you up to making loans, signing contracts and committing yourself to things that will destroy you and your family.

So?  Use your mind.  Use your discernment.  If you don’t have much discernment then find someone who does and use the spiritual gift that God has given them to edify the body of which you are a part.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Rejoice in the Lord, Always and All Ways

(Proverbs 8:30 KJV)  Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

Solomon is talking about two things here that are not specifically mentioned in the verse.  Creation and wisdom.  In verse 22 it says that wisdom preceded creation.  This should point out why the universe is so glorious, it was created with wisdom.

Scientists talk about the fine tuning of the universe.  It is amazing how many different “natural” constants there are that seem to be the same throughout all of creation.  If just a few of those were different then life would be impossible on earth.  There is a reason that the stars are so beautiful.  If they weren’t, it is likely you would not be here to admire them.

So?  The awesome nature of our world is a product of wisdom.  God made it with both stability and appreciation in mind.  Enjoy, thank, praise.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Litter Bugs

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

The word on the street is that sin is fun.  You know the old line that if it tastes good it is bad for you.  When it comes to sin that must be true because who would deliberately do something that would destroy them if they were not able to push aside the long view for the short vavoom.  In this case the context is adultery, sexual sin.  It could really apply to any area of life that is against God’s standards.

There are two terms used here.  The first is “cast down” (5307).  The second is “slain” (2026).  Look at the first one.  It is a very common word that means to fall or lie.  It is translated many ways and when I look at the definition I see many nuances.  The picture I get here is the treatment that a litter bug gives to a gum wrapper.  It is casually tossed aside for someone else to deal with.

That is what sin does to us.  It uses us and casts us aside.  We become trash.  We become litter.

So?  As Joshua said
(Joshua 24:15 KJV)  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
You can either become a precious child of God or a piece of litter on the shoulder of the road.  The decision is up to you. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Input Shapes Output

(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.

We need to understand that the thing that is going to “lead” (guide NASB) (5148) us, “keep” (watch NASB (8104) over (5921)) us, and “talk” (7878) to us is the law.  Look at verse 20 for the context.  Solomon is talking about observing the commandments.  We understand that the Holy Spirit will be active but the guiding principles are in the written directions.

Nothing will take the place of actually knowing what God expects.  Nothing.  There will be times when we spiritually fly by the seat of our pants and God will honor it, but that is supposed to be the exception, not the gold standard.

So?  Give the Holy Spirit something to work with.  Make it possible for Him to give you clear directions by doing your homework.  Read, think, meditate, listen and expect. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Stranger Priorities

(Proverbs 5:10 KJV)  Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;

We have a double emphasis in this verse on how the equity of our lives can be siphoned off by others.  Here the NASB gives a better translation.  In the KJV you have “stranger” used twice.  The NASB uses two different words, “strangers” (2114a) and “alien” (5237) for a simple reason; they are different words in the Hebrew.  This has the sense of a prostitute or adulteress. 

The point is that there are people outside the family of God who want to use up our time, energy and resources for their purposes, not God’s.  To a certain degree we are committed.  We need to work and earn a living.  We need to apply for our driver’s license.  We have to file our taxes.  There are demands on us that reject any spiritual significance.  We need to make sure that we don’t allow them to drain off the blessings that God has given us.

So?  Fulfill your commitments but don’t forget that God still wants your first fruits and your first love. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Behind This Door...

(Proverbs 4:14 KJV)  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

This is a parallel thought to Isaiah 8:11:
(Isaiah 8:11 KJV)  For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,
The thought is repeated numerous times in the Bible.  In the New Testament you find,
(Romans 12:2 KJV)  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
These verses give us a direction and a promise.  The direction is to follow the ways of God.  The promise is that we will be capable of making the choice.  What is the point of giving directions if they cannot be followed?

So?  Life is a series of choices.  We are constantly given the opportunity to change direction.  That goes both ways.  Today’s decisions will either move you toward the Highway of Holiness or toward the pit of Hell.  Choose wisely. 

Monday, June 3, 2013


(Proverbs 3:35 KJV)  The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Come on now.  You really don’t believe this, do you?  I know that this takes a step of faith for me, but that is how we are to live, isn’t it.

In our world the “wise” (2450) don’t have an exclusive on “glory” (honor NASB) (3519b).  It seems that way, at least, but that is because we are often locked into the short term view.  I wonder if the KJV doesn’t get to the nuance of this better.  When we think of glory we tend to think of eternal life in the presence of Jesus.  At least I do.  Honor in this world is so fleeting.  So is dishonor.  What I am concerned about is eternity.

Wisdom is tied up in knowing the things of God.  It is dependent on knowing God.  I want to be wise in the things of God.  That will lead me to faith, obedience and the straight path of righteousness. 

So?  Do you want glory eternally or are you satisfied with a gold watch at your retirement dinner?  That seems like an easy one to me. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013


(Proverbs 2:8 KJV)  He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

We are to walk on the “paths” (734) of “judgement” (justice NASB) (4941).  This is so obvious you might wonder why it is repeated so often, but the call to obedience and justice resound through scripture. 

I think that we need to be reminded because we tend to substitute our personal “paths” (734) for God’s and we fall for the culture’s definition of “justice” (4941) because we hear it so much.  Perhaps the KJV use of “judgement” would be better for us.

How do we know the path that God would have us walk?  Some are universal to all mankind.  They are not personally tailored to our personality and gifts.  A brief summary can be found in the Ten Commandments of Exodus 20 as well as being restated other places.  There is no wiggle room.  The vocabulary is clear.

So?  Basics.  Basics.  Basics.  They are the key to victory in sports and business.  It is no less true in our spiritual walks. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Peace Offering

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

As I read this today the words of Jesus came to mind.
(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.
Peace is an illusive quality in our day and age.  Understand that the peace Jesus is talking about is not the absence of war but an inner calm that is only possible when He rules in our hearts.

Solomon has a different approach.  He is offering peace to the one who “hearkeneth” (listens NASB) (8085) to wisdom.  Jesus offers an inner peace from the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.  Solomon offers the godly wisdom that makes us aware of the promise and how to apply it.

So?  To steal a much overused advertising gimmick, “Got peace?”  It is available.  Read, think, pray, listen, relax.