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, October 31, 2014

Dump the List

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

There are times in which I wish we would have more frequent transliteration in our Bibles.  For instance, I think it would be better communication to translate agape as agape, not love.  Here we have an entire phrase.  In our English it is “teaching” (8451) of “kindness” (2617a).  The Hebrew transliteration would be “Torah of chesed (lovingkindness).”  I mentioned this phrase before.

The thing that hit me today was that the Torah is not just a teaching, it is the law.  Out of the 219 times the word appears in the Old Testement, the KJV translates it “law” 219 times and the NASB 199 times.  Yes, it is taught.  No, it is not an option.

We are talking about the law of love.  This is the Christian standard.  It is the product of a heart transformed by the power of God.

So?  There is an unending list of attitudes and actions that we can’t keep track of.  Every time we turn around there is something else we are to not do.  It impossible to keep track.  It is all summed up in what the Hebrew calls chesed and the Greek calls agape.  Dump the list, live the law.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


(Proverbs 30:13 KJV)  There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.

The KJV uses a much more descriptive word than the NASB, “generation” (1755) rather than “kind”.  The NASB admits in it’s marginal notes that the KJV is more accurate.  We have seen this three verses in a row and will see it in one more.  Repetition has meaning in the Bible.

There are real differences in generations.  We have names for them now.  We have the Baby Boomers, Generation X and the Millennials.  I see it at school as narrowly defined as a year.  We fit into groups.

The group here is defined as thinking very highly of themselves.  These are not the eyes lifted up to God and worshiping in humility.  These are the eyes of the content and self-satisfied who look down on others and don’t really feel a need for God.  In modern terms these are those with self esteem and self actualization.  The thing we need to understand it that they are the ones bound for Hell.

So?  Beware if you are identified too much with your generation.  The kids at school are always telling me, “But the other teachers.....”  I remind them that I am not the other teachers.  Stand out for Jesus. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What Abounds?

(Proverbs 29:22 KJV)  An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.

Anger and fury are not the problem here.  They are emotions that come and go.  The problem is people who allow themselves to be controlled by these reactions.  It is the man who is known for his temper or the woman who is treated like delicate china because of her short fuse.

Allowing your emotions to control you leads to sin.  When they determine the behavior and response they are “transgression” (6588).  The unsaved can control their responses.  Even more, children of God can do so, and must.

So?  Temperance of behavior is not an option.  When you lose it, repentance is not an option.  Walk in righteousness.  Sometimes that means self control, sometimes confession. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Heart Switch

(Proverbs 28:26 KJV)  He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

Modern romantic thought is telling us to follow our hearts.  The idea is that if we reach down inside and listen to our inner self we will find true happiness.  That is only true in people who have had their “heart” (3820) remade by the Holy Spirit.  The real truth about our inner nature is stated early in scripture.
(Genesis 6:5 KJV)  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
But we also find the promise of redemption of the core.
(Ezekiel 36:26 KJV)  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
The Spirit makes that change.  With that change we seek wisdom.  Life is no longer futile.

So?  Start at the right place.  Finish at the right place. 

Monday, October 27, 2014


(Proverbs 27:6 KJV)  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

The definition of “faithful” (539) has a lot of interesting branches.  Among them are “nurse” and “nourish”.  We are looking at the part of love’s definition that has been discarded by the culture in which we live.  In the world around us love means “never having to say you are sorry.”  To God, that is a sorry definition.

Think about going to the doctor and needing a shot of some medication.  Often the doctor or nurse will say, “I’m sorry.  This is going to hurt a little.”  Would you go back to a doctor who said, “I have a treatment that will cure you but I am not going to use it because it might make you uncomfortable.”

So?  We are to do what is best for others, not what they want.  In a perfect world the two would always be the same.  I don’t live in a perfect world. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Mouths of Fools

(Proverbs 26:9 KJV)  As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

What used to be the most quoted verse in the Bible?  When I was growing up it would have been John 3:16, no question.
(John 3:16 KJV)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Things have changed.  The fools are taking over the pulpits and classrooms of America.  Now the most quoted verse is Matthew 7:1.
(Matthew 7:1 KJV)  Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Why do I say fools?  The current crop of leaders and church attenders have chosen the verse that serves their purposes and allows them to live in rebellion and sin but feel righteous about it.  You can quote John 3:16 out of context and the depth of meaning is still there.  So is the conviction and need for real faith.  Matthew 7:1 usually is quoted out of context and warped to fit the occasion.  No one keeps reading and sees the demand for personal accountability and the call to confront others in their sin.
(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.
So?  Don’t be a fool.  Use the word with care as it was intended to be used.  God will not be mocked. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dross Alert

(Proverbs 25:4 KJV)  Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

Who is responsible for the demand to “take away” (1898) the “dross” (5509)?  If you are going to walk with Jesus, this is a two barreled job.  It demands action by both God and man.

We cannot save ourselves.  Only the blood of Jesus is enough to pay for our sin.  That is a universal truth that all Christians embrace.  We are saved by grace, through faith.  We are sanctified by the Holy Spirit.  The dross is dealt with by God.  In the words of Martin Luther,
“When thro' fi'ry trials they pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flames shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.”
In addition to that, we are expected to remove from our lives anything that might hold us back.  We cannot continue to indulge ourselves in sin believing that God will look the other way.  He has done the heavy lifting, now we are expected to dust and tune.

So?  Get serious.  Daily.  Hourly.  Moment by moment.  Honor Him by obedience.  Walk in righteousness because He makes it possible. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Honey Be’s

(Proverbs 24:13 KJV)  My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:

I am not a “honey” (1706) eater.  I like it.  It is good.  It is also sticky and I always seem to get some on my fingers and from there to other places it doesn’t belong.  There may be a trick to it I am not finding but I am not willing to put the time into it to find out.  It is my loss.

How many good things are there to life that I have never learned to enjoy?  I have learned to enjoy coffee but not chai.  I like many old hymns but don’t know much about jazz.  I like science fiction but have avoided romances.

Sometimes we avoid things because of the potential for sin and evil.  I would put alcohol in that category.  Gambling contains the seeds for destruction.  But there are still many areas to explore.

So?  Is there honey in your life you are ignoring?  Life is full of so many opportunities.  Take a few.  Sky diving anyone? 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ignore at Your Peril

(Proverbs 23:21 KJV)  For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

Is this a rule or a principle?  I lean toward principle.  It is a warning that God has placed in His word to remind us of the kind of behaviors that can ruin our lives.  If you are concerned about the poor, people in “poverty” (3423), then you need to be concerned about alcohol consumption.

You may be a social drinker.  You may never go overboard.  That does not invalidate the principle.  Look around you.  Look at the ways in which alcohol ruins lives.  Here it focuses on the financial side of things.  Jobs are lost because of alcohol.  Careers are ruined.  Financial stability is destroyed because of the cost of booze.  People who could have been successful and prosperous are in the gutter and in the soup lines.

So?  Alcohol consumption is a moral issue.  We don’t need laws, we need a witness.  You want to help people out of poverty?  Quit laughing at drunk jokes.  Quit publicly remonstrating on how one drink won’t send you to hell.  Become a quiet witness for good lives. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Trusting the Person

(Proverbs 22:19 KJV)  That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.

The Christian life is based on “trust” (4009) {25:19}.  This is not the identical word from the verse we are most familiar with,
(Proverbs 3:5 KJV)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
but it is a derivative. 

Trust does not happen automatically.  Notice the word “known” (taught NASB) (3045).  Both the NASB and KJV have the idea that teaching is going on.  There is, however, a nuance to the knowing that I think is missed.  Thus, it becomes in a Pumice Paraphrase,

“I let you know me so you will trust me.” (PPP)

A popular song of the past said,

“To know, know, know me,
Is to love, love, love me.”

That is the concept here.  God does not stand afar off and expect us to run on empty.  He does not expect blind faith.  He gets up close, gets involved and lets us get to know Him.  I think of the times, after being out of town, that my wife sleeps better knowing that I am home. 

So?  Get to know Him.  Let Him speak to you.  Listen.  And then not only sleep better but live better.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Reversing the Locks

(Proverbs 21:23 KJV)  Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.

Usually we “keepeth” (guard NASB) (8104) focus on exterior threats.  We drive defensively.  We lock our doors.  We keep our valuables in a safe.  That doesn’t seem to be the focus in this verse.  Here the danger is from within.

Don’t get it confused.  We may make excuses that someone got us so stirred up that we said what we didn’t intend.  They may have stirred the pot but we are the ones who refused to take it off the fire. 

We can control what we say but not if we wait until the last minute.  A guard is useless if you only get one after the break-in.  Locking the door won’t work unless you do it every night.  These safety measures are habits and habits develop from conscious choices over time.

So?  Get started.  Get a handle on it.  Start laying the ground work.  Look at the verse again.  The consequences involve eternity not just our day. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Universal Breath of Life

(Proverbs 20:27 KJV)  The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

As I work through the usage of the word “spirit” (5397) in the Bible, the first thing I notice is that it is used to refer to the breath of God that imparted life into Adam. 
(Genesis 2:7 KJV)  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath (5397) of life; and man became a living soul.
It is used this way many times. 

As an extension of that it is used as the quality of being alive.  When someone dies, this is what leaves them. 

I could not find a time it was used to refer to animals.  It could be the Imago Dei, the image of God, that each human being is given.  Each and every living human being has a quality like this that says, “I am not a rock.  I am not an animal.”

So?  You have a quality in you that makes you uniquely human.  Everyone has it.  It is designed by God and for God.  If you are a computer geek, think of it as a backdoor into your human software that enables God to do a search. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Hater of Work

(Proverbs 19:24 KJV)  A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.

“Slothfull” (6102).  “Sluggard” (NASB).  Lazy (CEV).  These are not pleasant epithets.  The Bible in Basic English gives us the heart of the matter:  “The hater of work.” 

This can be healthy.  Most inventions were inspired by the desire to get more done with less effort.  That kind of creativity is not trying to avoid effort but to make it more productive.  It is at the heart of modern free enterprise economics. 

This can also be crippling.  To avoid all work because we don’t want to work is what leads to hunger and poverty.  Sure, oppression and greed exist but it is the desire of something for nothing that is at the heart of theft and deceit.  God gives us salvation because we cannot earn it.  He expects obedience because we must live righteous lives.  My parents fed me when I was an infant.  Then we moved to the place where I fed myself.  Then I began to help in the preparation and clean up.  Then I began to feed my children.

So?  Sloth by any fancy name is laziness.  It is not acceptable. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Lips of Contention

(Proverbs 18:6 KJV)  A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.

If you look at this verse and the following one you see a parallel thought process.  The difference seems to be the scope of the results to foolishness.  In this verse it seems to be focusing on our everyday lives.  Foolish talk can get us in a pickle.  The next verse seems to be focusing on the eternal.  Foolish talk can send us to Hell.

Wow!  I was just joking.  Actually, God wasn’t.  It was still foolish.  There is a well known verse on this.
(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.
So?  Think back over your day.  Think forward to what is coming.  Do you see any patterns you can change the might lead you in the paths of righteousness instead of the folly of loose lips? 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Lima Beans or Brussel Sprouts

(Proverbs 17:1 KJV)  Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

“Better” (2896a) is an English word that appears frequently in the Bible.  What came to my mind was the 11th chapter of Hebrews that talks about a better sacrifice and a better resurrection.  It is used 21 times in Proverbs.  Two things surprised me.  One is that the word “best” is less frequent and not used in Proverbs at all.  The second is that the word is used 21 times in Ecclesiastes. 

It is hard for us to get a handle on better.  Because we know Jesus who is the ultimate Best, we often think that we will have the best in all areas of our lives.  Usually our choices do not include the best.  Usually all we can hope for is the better choice.  Often we miss spiritual growth and fulfillment because we refuse to choose from the actual options we have.

So?  Your choices may not include the steak that came from the sacrifice.  You may be forced to chose between lima beans and Brussel sprouts.  Neither one is best in my world but I can decide which one would be better at the moment.  Do your best and trust for the rest. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Will Work for Food

(Proverbs 16:26 KJV)  He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

There is a lot of wiggle room in this verse for creative translation.  Compare this to the NASB.
PRO 16:26 A worker's appetite works for him, For his hunger urges him {on.}
In the English I don’t see a lot in common.  Let’s break it down a little.

“He” (appetite NASB) (5315) is the common word for “soul.”  The second most common translation is “life.”  The two words for “laboureth” (6001a) and (5998) are related words that refer to work. 

It is the inner man that drives us to work.  It is a desire in our hearts to meet needs, fulfill dreams and make a contribution.  This is more than just a need for food.  This is a need for purpose.

So?  What directs your heart?  What will it take to satisfy the appetite of your soul?  There are a lot of temporary fixes, but in the long run, God designed you with what Pascal called a God shaped vacuum in your soul.  Let Him fill it if He has not already done so.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

On Purpose

(Proverbs 15:22 KJV)  Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.

What “purposes” (plans NASB) (4284) do I have?  Are they in tune with God’s direction for my life?  Notice the different words used in the two translations.  The word from the KJV is by far the most common in my list of translations.  The only other offering was “designs” from the Douay-Rheims Bible.

Have you stopped to look at your long range goals in life?  What will it take for you to feel like your life arrived at the proper destination?  What will it take to hear those coveted words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  I am struggling with this as someone who is officially old.

So?  Don’t wait until retirement to try to find what God would have you do.  Make it a matter of thought and prayer, not matter how old you are. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fear of Wisdom

(Proverbs 14:16 KJV)  A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.

When I began reading this chapter today I started in verse 27 which talks about the “fear of the Lord” in a positive way.  Here we see the idea again except that the NASB translates “feareth” as “cautious” (3372a).  Notice that the fear is not directed toward “evil” (7451b).  We are to beware of evil.  We are to avoid evil.  We are to even to hate evil.
(Psalms 97:10 KJV)  Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
But fear is reserved for the Lord.  That is because this fear has the element of reverence and respect.  It comes from knowing the character of God.  It brings a willing obedience because of our high regard for God. 

We don’t respond to evil that way.

So?  Stay out of dark alleys and avoid the bad part of town.  That isn’t so much fear as wisdom.  Get close to God.  Him you can fear. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fill in the Blank

(Proverbs 13:1 KJV)  A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

My father has been dead for nineteen years.  His memory still lives on.  His children and grandchildren regularly bring up the solid foundation he raised.  It occurred to me as I read this that I can’t listen to his discipline any more.  So how does this apply?

I also noticed something else.  The first verb is not in the Hebrew.  If you have a KJV or NASB you will notice that the verb, “heareth” or “accepts” is written in Italics.  In those translations that means that the word does not appear in the original languages and is only added for clarity.  This is not uncommon.  It means that we have some flexibility in filling in the verb needed in English. 

So?  What would the verb be for you?  For me “remembers” might be a better choice.  You might like “applies.”  It is clear from the context that “rejects” is not acceptable even if it is so common.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Be a Prepper

(Proverbs 12:25 KJV)  Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.

As believers our “heaviness” (anxiety NASB) (1674) should be tempered by faith and hope but we all have had times of great concern.  It can range from panic to discomfort.  If we are walking in faith and believing the promises the effect is short and mild.  How do we keep walking in that umbrella of grace?  How do we get the “good” (2896a) “word” (1697)?

You don’t need to wait for Sunday morning when you are sharing with a friend.  You don’t need access to a phone to call someone for encouragement.  The word is given to us in many forms.  For us in modern, literate America we have the word printed and available in many translations.  Of course that is of no use if we are not reading and meditating.  That is why the Psalmist said,
(Psalms 119:11 KJV)  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
If we have been reading and meditating on the word, dare I say “memorizing”, then it will always be available to us.  The Holy Spirit can bring it to mind at a moment of need.  Do you store emergency supplies in your car?  Store away some emergency supplies in your heart.

So?  Don’t rely on someone else bailing you out with a kind word.  Plant your own seed and reap a harvest.  You might even have some of the bread of life to share with others. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tennis Anyone?

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

This seems to be a backhanded approach to something that Jesus taught.
(Luke 12:48 KJV)  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Jesus was saying that if God blesses us He expects more from us.  Solomon is saying that the one who gives a lot will be blessed more.  Keep in mind that in tennis you need forehands as well as backhands.  The object is to get the ball back across the net.  You cannot depend on just one stroke.

So?  Don’t wait to be blessed to begin being generous with what you have.  Think of it as a cycle.  God wants to bless us and wants us to be a blessing.  This is part of the formula for living by faith.  Who needs you today?

Friday, October 10, 2014

What Is Your Pleasure?

(Proverbs 10:23 KJV)  It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.

Have you ever been in a restaurant and had the server ask, “What’s your pleasure?”  In the words of Solomon it would be “What’s your ‘sport’ (7814)?”  What is it that you chose to do with your time?  The question still rings to us today.  In fact, the question probably applies to us more than any other generation. 

We have great variety in how we live our lives.  Two centuries ago people worked six days a week and a day was 10 to 12 hours long with no overtime.  They did not turn on a faucet for hot water.  They chopped wood, carried buckets and waited for the boil.  There has been little time for sport in our history.

We are blessed with large amounts of leisure.

So?  How do you spend your discretionary time?  Do you act like a fool or a wise man?  Remember that the choices continue and change is possible.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Keys to Increase

(Proverbs 9:9 KJV)  Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

This is this another example of “to those who have, more will be given.”  These are the words of Jesus.
(Matthew 13:12 KJV)  For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
It doesn’t seem fair.  It doesn’t seem right, specially if you are one of the have nots.  We hear a lot in our day about the inequality of wealth.  There are people who want to take what the wealthy have and redistribute it among the poor.  Two groups like this idea, the poor and the incredibly rich.  The poor want what the rich have.  The rich understand that they will get it back or shelter it so it won’t be taken.

We might say that the rich will get richer.  What we don’t understand is that it applies to intellectual wealth also.  The good news is that we can attain wisdom and righteousness which opens us up to the deeper riches.

So?  Don’t be content with “I don’t understand.”  Dig deeper.  Ask God to help you grow.  Start with righteous living.  It will come.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Path to Life

(Proverbs 8:35 KJV)  For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

Spiritual growth is the path to life.  Serious Christians often emphasize the moment of regeneration, when we are saved.  Jesus called it being born again.  There is no doubt that we must come to a point where faith and grace come together.  There must be an entrance to eternal life.  What next?

Here people of differing theological views express themselves differently.  If a person does not seek wisdom and grow spiritually there are real questions about whether they will have eternal life or not.  One group says that these spiritual retards were never really saved.  The other group says they were saved but fell away.  For our purposes we are looking at the words of Solomon.  Either way this verse seems to imply that we are to seek wisdom.  Then we will find it.  Then we will find “favor” (7522) with God.

So?  Don’t rest on your laurels or a date you wrote in your Bible.  Get moving.  Seek wisdom.  Find favor.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sin Kills

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

Sin has a number of steps.  Sin starts with temptation and ends up killing you.  Other verses deal with temptation and complicity.  I already wrote about the initial damage.  That leaves us the word “slain” (2026). 

Sin is not a benevolent dictator.  Sin destroys.  Sin kills.  You can take it figuratively or literally.  There comes a place where sin drags you so far down that there is no coming back.  Here it talks about sexual sin.  It could be gossip.  It could be deceit.  It could be sloth.

Sin leads to destruction now and death eternally.

So?  Just a reminder for you in your personal walk and in your concerns for others.  I would trust that if you are reading this you have taken steps of repentance and cleansing.  Don’t get complacent about your loved ones.  Don’t stop praying and witnessing.  Be a life saver. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Listen to Your Lips

(Proverbs 6:2 KJV)  Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.

The NASB and the KJV have different slants on this.  We see the difference through the translations.  The NASB throws in an “if” while the KJV is a bit more assertive.  One is a possibility, the other a promise.  I think I would go with the promise.  Our mouths will get us in trouble.  Count on it.

We are reminded that often the problems we face come from our own making.  We plant the seeds of our own defeat.  A snare doesn’t necessarily kill but it will hold you until the hunter arrives.

So?  Maybe it would be a good focus for the day to listen to yourself talk.  It might be time to try again on the “think before you speak” mantra.  If we don’t recognize the problem and work on it the odds are there will be no improvement. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Solomon As a Football Commentator

(Proverbs 5:5 KJV)  Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

I think Solomon must have been thinking of a football game he watched on TV when he wrote this verse.  He is thinking about all of the gyrations that some people take to make sure they end up in Hell.  When you “take hold” (lay hold NASB77) (8551) picture the way in which the spikes on the shoes of a football running back dig into the grass when he dodges to evade a defender.  This has the idea of purpose in it.  How often have you planned your week so you will not “be able” to make it to a social event you want to avoid?  How often have you tried that with God?

Hell usually does not happen in one evening.  It is the result of a lifetime of rejection and dodging.  God is continually reaching out to us, sending people our way, bringing our sin to mind.  He is patient.  He is not willing that any should perish, as it says in II Peter 3:9.

So?  This is the negative side of the promise.  Just as we have the promise of forgiveness and regeneration as a result of confession and repentance, we also have the promise of Sheol if we keep bobbing and weaving. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hiking Tips

(Proverbs 4:26 KJV)  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

I wonder what the tense would be if this were written in Greek.  I don’t know Hebrew well enough to dig it out.  I read it as being the Greek present tense.  That means that it is an ongoing proposition.  It isn’t like leveling the foundation for your house, as important as it is.  This is more watching your step when hiking in unfamiliar territory.  It is watching for stop signs on a road you have never traveled.

I know I like to get into mindless habits.  I can let my mind wander as I go through the motions.  This is a minor problem in the shower if I can’t remember if I washed my ears.  It is easy to do it again.  It is more of a problem if you make a sandwich and are halfway through it before you remember that the medication you are taking said you should have left the cheese out of the creation.

Righteousness requires us to take it off cruise control and engage our minds.  Dead rules can be satisfied by legalism.  A living God requires loving God with our minds as well as our hearts, souls and strength.

So?  Work on it.  It is a discipline.  But that is what it is to be a disciple. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Accidental Wisdom

(Proverbs 3:16 KJV)  Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

How many times have you seen someone do something really stupid and said to yourself, “What a fool”?  Since I drive the freeways of California every morning I find myself saying that quite often.  I often offer up a short prayer that the person immersed in selfish driving will live long enough to hear the gospel.  When I see crazies on motorcycles zooming between lanes of traffic I recognize an accident waiting to happen.

There are different behaviors that have a promise of long life.  Here it is based on the appropriation and application of wisdom.  Wisdom leads you into situations and solutions that prolong life.  Although I can see this applied to eternity, this talks about days not ages.

But then I looked and this is the same word used for ages.

So?  Long and wonderful or cut short?  Which is your choice?  Seek wisdom.  Seek the promise.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Who Hid Your Treasure?

(Proverbs 2:4 KJV)  If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

One of the themes you come across in literature is the search for “hidden treasures” (4301).  We sometimes dream about what we would do if we were suddenly wealthy.  When I am in a check out line and they ask me if I found everything, I will sometimes tell them I could not find the rack that had the winning lottery tickets.  I don’t expect to win the lottery.  My understanding is that you need to buy a ticket to win.

God has surrounded us with treasures.  Are they hidden?  Were my keys hidden when I could not find them or was I just not looking hard enough?  Yesterday I found the key I was looking for in the pocket of my sleeping shorts.  It just took a little thinking.  The book of Proverbs is full of gems and precious nuggets.  So are the other books. 

You won’t find the treasure if you don’t look.

So?  What is keeping you?  Pick up your Bible.  Put it down.  Did you leave prints in the dust?  Hmm......

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It Isn’t Ignorance

(Proverbs 1:25 KJV)  But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

If you are a serious believer in Jesus Christ you want others to know Him too.  This is because of the real time benefits that righteous living and a living hope give to us.  It gives life a savor and perception that cannot be explained.

We are also concerned about the eternal.  If you believe in heaven you have to believe in hell.  If you believe in an eternity in the presence of God you must accept an eternity separated from Him.  If you don’t believe in the latter you have no reason to accept the former because both are taught in the Bible.

So we care about those around us.  What is hard for us to accept is that many of them do not care.  Let’s face it.  Most of us do not “want” (14) (NASB), “would not” (KJV),  God’s “reproof” (8433b).  They don’t want to be told.  Recently I read Lake Wobegon Days.  In it Garrison Keillor presents the gospel.  Tongue in cheek and mocking, yes, but he presents it very accurately.  At the same time I think he rejects it.  People know.

So?  Care, witness, pray and hope.  But really, many people do not want to bend their knee to the God who demands repentance and change.