An Idea Borrowed

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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Behaving Like a King

(Pro 31:4 KJV)  It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:

Are you a social drinker?  Do you enjoy a glass of wine at dinner?  I would be the first to accept that such behavior will not send you to hell.  The Biblical ban is on getting drunk, not the first drink.  I say that as one who hates alcohol and does not drink.

What we have here is a warning and a principle, not a prohibition.  This is a warning that alcohol is for the sheep not the shepherds.  It is for those who are content being followers, not for those who would step out boldly in leadership. 

So?  Take it for what it is worth.  Alcohol is to dull the qualities that provide insight, wisdom and leadership.  Think about it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Talk about the Weather

(Proverbs 30:10 KJV)  Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.

I am reminded again of the tendency to gossip.  I don’t see myself doing it in the classic sense.  I see myself, of course, as being above all that.  I am simply having a serious discussion about issues that are important.  Right?  Right.  To misquote Shakespeare, “A rose by any other name, be it oh so sweet, is still a rose.”

The NASB has “slave” (5650) and the KJV has “servant” (5650).  As you notice it is the same word.  If we were transported back in time we would not see much difference.  The king had absolute authority and at our social level you had not rights or wealth.  You would just be a cog in the machine.  You feel that way today. 

So?  Join me.  Cut your fellow worker some slack.  Maybe talking about the weather is the spiritual thing to do.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Spoiler Alert!

(Proverbs 29:16 KJV)  When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.

We have read the book and we know who wins.  There are times, like now, when I find some comfort in that.  I am surrounded by a culture that spits in the face of morality and righteousness.  I don’t think it is anything new, but it has reached a depth that I was not raised with.  This is a reminder that they will get what they deserve.

At the same time we are to seek reconciliation, not glory in their destruction.  God is love as well as holy.  His desire is redemption.
(Ezekiel 18:23 KJV)  Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
That is why the Holy Spirit is working to convict people of their sin and bring them to repentance.

So?  As they say on the airplane as it takes off, first make sure your oxygen supply is working, then help the person next to you.  Do a self check and then show some concern for your neighbor.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Quick Fixes Don’t

(Proverbs 28:23 KJV)  He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

Beware of quick fixes.  I have never used the stuff.  The product may have been improved.  I don’t know if it is still available.  Remember the tan in a bottle you used to be able to buy?  For people in a hurry you could slop some of this lotion on and in a few hours have a “glorious” tan.  People whom I saw using it came out looking like the CP3O.  They glowed with an inhuman hue.

Beware of quick fixes.  It also does not work too well to go out and spend the entire day laying in direct sunlight.  Does the word “sunburn” come to mind?  How about pain?  Itching?  Skin cancer?

Go for the long term.  It works for healthy skin.  It works in deciding what to say in a difficult situation.

So?  Don’t look for ways to butt into people’s lives.  When it is necessary, do what is right knowing that a rebuke is often a better measure of love than flattery. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Concrete of Life

(Proverbs 27:3 KJV)  A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.

This is a statement of reality not a formula for response.  Three things are common in our everyday experience:  “Stone” (68), “sand” (2344) and “fools” (191).  Have you ever gone a day without seeing a stone or some form of sand?  So why expect to go a day without encountering a fool?  I think the implication here is that fools are even more common.

Gear up for it.  Don’t be surprised.  Knowing that concrete has rocks and sand doesn’t make it any softer but it warns you that it is hard.  It is like going to the beach.  You can expect waves.  You lean into them or you get bowled over.  On stormy days the waves are bigger and you lean harder.

So?  Expect it as you head out or continue your day.  They are waiting for you. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Gifts, Tongues and Hearts

(Proverbs 26:25 KJV)  When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.

We need to get in the habit of looking beyond the happy faces that people put on in public events.  It is easy to speak “fair” (graciously NASB) (2603a) when you are trying to impress people and you know others are listening.  It is another thing to be gracious in private.  Politicians count on the fact that people have short memories and don’t want to believe that things are bad or that people are bad.  We can see the same thing in business and in the church.  We need to be alert.

Sometimes people with the gift of mercy don’t want to look beyond the surface.  That is why we have people with the gifts of wisdom and discernment.  The hard part is to accept their insight.  We want everyone to be happy.  We need to beware of evil hearts.

So?  If you are accused of being negative it may be because you see beyond the surface.  Examine your own heart and motives and decide but don’t automatically assume that it is bad. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Government We Deserve

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

There is no way of knowing how God would have preserved these verses of scripture if it was not for the concern of Hezekiah.  These verses were copied because he gave the orders and paid the salaries.  It is important to have leaders who are concerned about being obedient to God.  Picture what we would have if this king had said, “Put my name in here and here.  Write down this thought of mine as if it came from Solomon.”

Kings are not elected but I can’t help but remember the statement, “People get the government they deserve.”  I find myself in a position where I voted for none of the people who serve in government positions above me from city council to president.  I am not happy about the situation.  Of course God is dealing with more than my feelings but I would prefer to see a little more righteousness in office.

So?  I can’t appoint government officials.  I can walk in righteousness and add my salt to the social stew.  I can examine my life and repent as necessary.  It is part of walking in faith. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Everyday at the Tree

(Proverbs 24:17-18 KJV)  Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:  Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

What is God “displeased” (7489/5869) about?  These two verses get to the heart of sin.  Go back to the Garden of Eden and the conversation between Satan and Eve.  His promise was that she would become like a god.
(Genesis 3:5 KJV)  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
At the heart of sin is a refusal to accept the “Godness” of God.  He demands to be God.  He demands to be the ruler of the universe.  He reserves certain powers and actions for himself because only He is holy enough not to misuse them.  The rights of vengeance and retribution are reserved for God.  We are told to leave them for Him.  When we insist on “pay back” we are usurping God’s position.  We are trying to be in control.

So?  Have you submitted your day to the Lordship of Jesus?  Are you consciously planning on walking in submission and obedience in the areas you know are coming up?  That attitude is the only way to be prepared for the unexpected.  It gives the heart set to avoid sin.  Pray, read and walk upright.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Expectation Hope

(Proverbs 23:18 KJV)  For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

Many different Hebrew words are translated “hope” in English New Testaments.  In English we use the one word to convey many degrees of meaning.  In using “expectation” (8615b) the KJV tries to get across that this “hope” (8615b) (NASB) is not the empty wishing of the world but a foundation of assurance. 

The point is that we do not need to worry about the hope dissolving or dissipating.  We know that the day will come when all we see will come to an end, Jesus will return and the new Earth will be laid out before us.

So?  If you are having a bad day, lift up your eyes.  If it has been a bad year, look to the future.  When you get old enough you can tell people you are ready to go and see the puzzled looks on their faces.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Way Street

(Proverbs 22:16 KJV)  He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.

The Bible understands that there are different classes and economic groupings.  It does not take a Pollyanna approach and say that we can do away with poverty.  In fact, Jesus said just the opposite.
(Matthew 26:11 KJV)  For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
Proverbs gives many reasons for these differences and in most cases the responsibility for your financial condition is laid at your feet, not the rich oppressor.  That is no excuse for despising those who are different.

The key to Christian character is how we treat each other.  Are we motivated by agape love?  We are not to take advantage of those below us on the pecking order.  We are not to try to buy off those who are above us.  We are not to penalize one group to benefit the other.

So?  Honesty and courtesy pave a two way street.  I hope you don’t feel inferior because you don’t have as much as others.  The opposite is also true. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fringe Benefits

(Proverbs 21:20 KJV)  There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

Let me give you a general principle based on observation.  Countries that are culturally Christian are wealthier than non-Christian countries.  Protestant countries are wealthier than Roman Catholic or Orthodox countries.  I don’t know if this is universal.  I have not done a scientific study.  It is just an observation. 


It is not a matter of natural resources.  It is not a matter of intelligence.  So what is it?  It has to do with having a resource pool of wisdom that comes from a fear of the Lord.  This is not to say that a majority of these people are believers or practice what they believe.  A general acknowledgment of certain values seemed to do the trick.

So?  If it applies to cultures then why would it not apply to individuals and families?  I am not talking about a get rich scheme.  I am talking about a life where your needs are met.  It seems to be a fringe benefit of following the Living God. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Obvious for the Obtuse

(Proverbs 20:24 KJV)  Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

How can I “understand” (995) the will of God?  What does He want from me?  Here is a place where the question is asked but the answer is found through the entire book as well as the entire Bible.  You can start with basic scriptures such as Micah 6:8.
(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?
That is good for a general overview of attitudes and behavior.  Proverbs is full of advice.  The verse before this calls for honest weights and measures.  The verse after warns you to “think before you speak.” 

So?  God may not send you telegrams for specific choices but there are always general guidelines to help us.  Our problem is more that we don’t want to follow what we know than it is a need for more information.  Wear the blue today, it goes well with your eyes.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ruling Desire

(Proverbs 19:22 KJV)  The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.

What a surprise.  It is desirable to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. 
(Galatians 5:22 KJV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness (kindness NASB), goodness, faith,
There is a sense here where the word “his” should be capitalized because this kind of character is impossible without the touch of God so it really become His kindness, not ours.  When we walk with Jesus, “kindness” (2617a) [chesed] begins to grow and be a part of our personality.  When we are not exhibiting it, we become dissatisfied with our performance and strive to improve. 

It is also mentioned as an expression of love.
(1 Corinthians 13:4 KJV)  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
So?  Kindness is not an option in the Christian walk.  It is a gift and a discipline.  Allow God to do His part.  Do your part.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Big Time Sinners

(Proverbs 18:3 KJV)  When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.

I think that this concept of being “wicked” (7563) involves more than being a sinner.  When I look at the definition I find three conditions, actions or attitudes.  One is simply to be criminal.  A second involves clear hostility to God.  The third involves sinning against God or man.  All men are sinners.  That is basic to Christian doctrine.
(Romans 3:23 KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Sinners can be pleasant, well meaning people who are simply too stubborn to bow to their Creator.  They are still sinners but not what is talked about here.  This is the big time sinner, the person who consciously lives in rebellion.

So?  Understand that our battle is not against the human condition.  Our battle is different.
(Ephesians 6:12 KJV)  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Look at our culture.  See what the problem is.  Our culture glorifies the wicked and rebellious.  Accept that if you are faithful you will not fit in or be comfortable. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Prince of a Fellow

(Proverbs 17:26 KJV)  Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.

Most of the resource material on my Bible Study software is in the public domain.  When I  compare old translations like the KJV and Douay-Rheims with modern translations I see a different choice of words.  The old commentators like Henry, Wesley and Clarke understand this in the same way as the old translations.  The words I am looking at are “princes” (KJV) and “noble” (NASB) (5081).  The modern translations also put a “the” in front, making it “the noble.”

In the 17th and 18th centuries this was understood to refer to a class of people.  In modern times we translate it to mean a class of behavior.  Both meanings are in the Hebrew.  It is amazing how culture can take a word like “noble” or “saint” or “love” and put the cultural meaning on it instead of the broader Biblical meaning.

So?  Are you making assumptions about living an upright life that are not based on scripture?  Are you sinning by omission or commission because you have the idea that it doesn’t matter.  Think, read, pray and respond appropriately.  God will not be mocked but He will forgive. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Heart Education

(Proverbs 16:23 KJV)  The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.

We spend years in school.  One of the things that adults assume children are learning is how to speak and write properly.  How that is working is a debate for another type of blog, but it is the goal of education.  There is a more important lesson.  It is referred to by Jesus.
(Matthew 15:18 KJV)  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Public school refuses to deal with the “heart” (3820).  Since public school is in pagan hands that is probably a good idea but we need to understand that if we cannot change the heart we cannot change the man.  We need to find ways to put wisdom into the heart.  That only comes through grace and the work of the Holy Spirit.  Much of that work is done through you and me.

So?  Let the Holy Spirit install wisdom in your heart.  A necessary avenue of that is to spend enough time with wisdom for it to take hold.  Read, meditate, pray, listen and then pass it on.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Children’s Song

(Proverbs 15:20 KJV)  A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.

This makes me think of the children’s song that starts,

“The ‘wise’ (2450) man built his house upon the rock...”

It then continues with,

“The ‘foolish’ (3684) man built his house upon the sand...”

If you remember the song you know the results.  Poor foundations make a poor future.  Each of us has a responsibility to those under our influence.  We are contributing to their foundation.  If you are a parent that is clear and understood.  If you are an adult you have less direct influence but it is still there. 

So?  Let your example lead people toward wisdom.  Remember that in the song the rock is Jesus.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Pain of Laughter

(Proverbs 14:13 KJV)  Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.

Do not overrate “laughter” (7814).  We live in a jocular age.  Nothing is sacred or beyond the pale.  In those rare times when I am forced to watch prime time TV comedy, I notice that most of the humor is slapstick or locker room level.  This word is used about a dozen times and usually it has the negative sense of mocking or belittling. 

We need to be careful what we laugh at.  People often tend to be more sensitive than they let on.  We often are trying to say things through humor.

So?  Laugh but listen with your soul.  Sometimes a word of apology should follow a giggle.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Training Is Hard Work

(Proverbs 13:24 KJV)  He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

I don’t think most people like to be involved in correcting others.  This is the part of parenting that people hate.  It is okay to hate the “rod” (7626).  The problem is when a parent “spares” (2820) the child to avoid the responsibility.

Proverbs is very open about training children.  They need to be taught to act in a civilized manner.  No one needs to be taught to lie.  They need to be taught to tell the truth.  Part of training is correction.  When we don’t give it, chaos ensues.  Picture buying your child a toy train set and trying to run it without the tracks.  Your first problem would be getting it to move at all.  The power comes through the tracks.  If you overcame that it would still be pointless because it would just run into things.

So?  Discipline your children.  Put them in contact with the power of life.  Give them a track to direct their energy.  They will be out on their own soon enough.  If you don’t think they will listen now, what about then?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Abominable Autos

(Proverbs 12:22 KJV)  Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.

Are “lying” (8267) “lips” (8193) the end of the story?  That is literal.  What about the figurative applications?  What about lying hands?  Can feet lie?

What do we say to people by the way we dress?  Americans are casual about clothes but in many historical cultures clothing was regulated by law.  Certain colors, materials and styles were legally reserved for specific social classes or professions.  We dress to impress, good or bad.

What does it mean to dress honestly?  Is there deceit involved in the kind of car we drive?  We have all seen people who drive cars better than we do collecting some kind of government support.

So?  Honesty covers every aspect of our life.  Maybe the car you drive sends a message that is an abomination to God.  Maybe, like me, you need to wash it more often.  Righteousness touches every corner of our life. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Slow Lips

(Proverbs 11:13 KJV)  A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

This is not about lies or deceit.  This is about gossip.  I had not really thought about it, but gossip does not need to be untrue to be gossip.  A “talebearer” (7400) is one who runs around with lips running faster than their feet.  The root of this word means to “go about” and is translated “merchant” or “trader.”  It might have the idea of trading gossip.

All facts do not need to be shared.  It is not your job to reveal the sins of others. 

So?  Give what you are saying an extra moment of thought.  It is possible that you mean no harm but is that the way it will be received?  Make your lips peacemakers. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Silver Tongue

(Proverbs 10:20 KJV)  The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

This is an unusual contrast.  The “tongue” (3956) is getting praise and the “heart” (3820) is being condemned.  Usually we link the tongue to gossip and similar activities.  I am sure you are familiar with the words of James,
(James 3:6 KJV)  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
But here it is compared to the finest silver. 

Notice it is not the body part but the use.  In this verse the focus is on the person doing the using.  Other places it might be on the activity or intent.  I am not sure you can separate the three.

What do we do with what we have?  Do we take our assets and use them as “just" (righteous NASB) (6662) tools or do we follow the path of the “wicked” (7563)?  It really does make a difference.

So?  You may be a long way from the world’s richest man or the most talented actress.  You still touch the world around you.  Make your contribution a blessing, not a curse. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Expiration Date

(Proverbs 9:18 KJV)  But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

This last verse made me wonder if I was reading the wrong chapter for the day.  It seemed familiar.  I looked back at yesterday and saw that it also talked about death.
(Proverbs 8:36 KJV)  But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
What’s up?  Isn’t Proverbs supposed to be uplifting thoughts to help us live better lives?  Yes.  That is why it reminds us of death.  Two chapters.  Different words.  Different ways of expressing the idea.  The grave lies before us.  Here we are reminded, by choice of words, that the grave is not the end.  “Sheol” is the Hebrew word for the place that the unrighteous dead go.

It may not be pleasant but we need to be reminded of reality.  Think of it as one of those reminders you see on your milk carton, called an expiration date.  It only applies if you ignore it.

So?  Be ready.  The best, or in this case the worst, is yet to come. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hot Air Justice

(Proverbs 8:20 KJV)  I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

“Judgment” (justice NASB) (4941) is rooted in wisdom.  It requires wisdom if it is going to be truly just.  By definition, in repeated expressions, wisdom is based in the fear of the Lord.  The Bible teaches that in order for you to have the kind of society that we seek, Almighty God must be at the center. 

We hear a lot of talk about justice today.  Most of the time is has a modifying adjective such as “social” or it is steeped in a moral system that is far from the God of the Bible.  All the talk is just hot air if it is not rooted in wisdom.

So?  You are not a judge?  No, but you make decisions every day that effect you and the people around you.  Your part is to be salt.  Salt flavors all that it touches.  It doesn’t take much to make a difference.  Spread justice.  Walk in wisdom. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sin Is Like Calories

(Proverbs 7:23 KJV)  Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

You probably will get away with it.  A little lie may go undiscovered.  Lust can be hidden.  Cheating when it isn’t expected is rarely discovered.  Sin can be very private.  But sin is like that extra stop for a bag of chips on the way home.  Sin, like calories, will not be denied.

What we tend to push from our mind is that God will know.  As Christians that is one of our operating constraints.  We know that God will know.  Sin is never hidden forever. 

That is also one of the marks of a Christian culture.  We internalize morality because we know that God knows the heart.  In pagan cultures the only real sin is to get caught.  Look around you.  More and more our country is moving toward just a fear of getting caught.

So?  We are called to be salt.  We are called to conform to the inner law of God that has been written in our hearts.  We are called to be different.  Will it guarantee revival in our nation?  No.  But revival won’t come without it. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Irate Husband

(Proverbs 6:35 KJV)  He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.

We are sinners.  That is a given.
(Romans 3:23 KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
This verse is talking about how we can wrong people and they may refuse to forgive or even accept compensation.  Often people will not forgive us because they don’t know if we are sincere.  It is hard to forgive a compulsive liar when they lie to you.

God will forgive.  He knows if we are sincere.  The catch is that you cannot buy God off.  God does not do “ransom” (3724a).  There is a similarity in the rage of God against our sin and the anger of a man wronged in adultery.  Like the husband, God cannot be bought off.

Unlike the husband, God loves us enough to provide a way out.  When Jesus died on the cross He paid a price with his blood that pays the price for our sin.  We can trust in His death for our salvation and be forgiven.

God can do this because He can see our heart and know if we are sincere.

So?  If you have already “plead the blood,” rejoice.  If you have not then picture an irate husband out there looking for you.  And he knows where you live.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Do As I Do. Do As I Say

(Proverbs 5:2 KJV)  That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.

Today I read this verse more in its context than before.  That made me “regard” (observe NASB) (8104) it in a different light.  It is very easy in Proverbs to get in the habit of thinking every verse stands alone.  Solomon has just finished telling his son to pay attention and listen to what he is sharing.  This word is to reinforce that listening by calling on his son to watch.

On one side that is a reminder that we can benefit by watching others who demonstrate godly wisdom.  See how they respond.  Try to understand how they prepare themselves.  It might help also if we would read biographies of people who have walked the walk.  Jesus modeled this as He washed the feet of the disciples.
(John 13:15 KJV)  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
On the other side this is a call for us to live as examples.  After we have given our admonitions it is time for us to live it.  Some people who are quiet will skip the lectures and go straight to the daily demonstration.  Paul had no inhibitions about stating this.
(Philippians 3:17 KJV)  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
So?  Watch others.  Live like others are watching you.  Few of us are forest rangers living in a tower in the middle of the forest watching for fires. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

There Was a Crooked Man Who Had a Crooked Tongue...

(Proverbs 4:24 KJV)  Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

I start my study each day in the NASB.  When I checked the KJV I saw that “deceitful” (6143) was translated with “froward” (6143).  I just happened to check my Hebrew tools and it said this word was only used twice in the Old Testament.  That didn’t seem right so I looked a little deeper.  It turns out that there are several words translated “froward.”  Some are related, some are not but they all go back in one way or another to “twisted” or “crooked.”

The target of this verse is honesty in speech.  It does not use the word “lie.”  It uses the idea of being crooked as a synonym.  We can be so clever in how we speak that we can claim we have not lied but we have so twisted the use of the language that we have deliberately deceived.  This is not acceptable in the eyes of God.

So?  Be known as one who speaks directly and with clarity.  It may make people uncomfortable   It may get you in trouble.  It also may help you get into heaven.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy or Blessed?

(Proverbs 3:13 KJV)  Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

The vocabulary of the KJV is always good for a wake up.  The KJV has “happy” (835) while the NASB has “blessed.”  In usage across the Bible both translations use both terms interchangeably.  I don’t think most of us do that.  For me, happy is a feeling, a state of mind.  Blessed is an actual condition.  I can be one without the other. 

I often use the term “happy fool” to designate young people who are irresponsible and immature but not mean spirited.  I don’t think I would ever call anyone a “blessed fool.” 

Wisdom will bless us.  It might even make us happy.  On the other hand the “understanding” (8394) that comes from wise insight might be troubling.

So?  I would rather know than live in ignorance.  I consider that a blessing. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Ear Bone Connected to the Heart Bone...

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

Notice what seems to be a two step process for growing in wisdom.  It involves an ear that pays attention and a heart that implements.  We must listen and take in.  Part of that would be screening your sources.  It might be better to listen to an Alistair Begg sermon than a Comedy Central download, at least if you are after wisdom.  Part is dealing with what you have gathered.  Think.  Meditate.  Pray.  Discuss.  Above all, desire to understand.

Both are required.  If you don’t gather knowledge you don’t have a foundation or standards.  Picture trying to make a recipe if you didn’t have any knowledge of spices.  You then must do something with the knowledge you have gathered.  Omelets don’t make themselves you know.

So?  We have a tendency to get into neutral or on the wrong path.  Check your what and why for the day and make the necessary adjustments. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Simply Cynical

(Proverbs 1:22 KJV)  How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

The KJV uses the same root, simple, for the “naive” (6612a) and “simplicity” (6612b) of the NASB.  The difference in the Hebrew is that one is a noun and the other an adjective.  The Hebrew word for “simplicity” (6612b) must have a different meaning than the one the Richard Foster uses when he praises it in his book on simplicity. 

The concern is about people who always accept things at the surface level.  The simple person never looks beyond the superficial presentation.  We have had presidents who were this way.  They lacked discernment into human character.  It is not just for the lowly.  This is what Jesus was trying to get across.
(Matthew 10:16 KJV)  Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
A bit of cynicism can be healthy when it comes to questioning what goes on in our world.  In reality it is being realistic even when people call you negative.

So?  All is not sweetness and light.  Sin is rampant.  We need to be alert, mature and discerning.  If we, God’s servants, are not alert, who will be?