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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How to Stay Hopeless

(Proverbs 31:7 KJV)  Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

This seems to be really strange advice.  It also gives us a clue to the problem with alcohol.  Maybe it is more an observation than an endorsement.   “Drink” (8354) to “forget” (7911).  I have never been drunk but I spent a lot of time around drinking when I was in the Army.  One of the things I noticed at the time was that people who had been drinking could not remember what had happened.  One of my favorite conversations went like this.

“I had a really great time last night.”

“Oh, what did you do?”

“I don’t know.  I can’t remember a thing, but I had a great time.”

What topped this off was that I could remember.  I remembered seeing him laying in a ditch where he had passed out after emptying his stomach.  No wonder he can’t remember.

So?  I think the Bible wants us to keep in contact with reality.  I don’t think this is giving us permission to get drunk but an observation of how some people hide from life. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Full Quiver

(Proverbs 30:16 KJV)  The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.

Children are a blessing.  That is clear throughout scripture.  One of the clearest statements is in Psalms.
(Psalms 127:4-5 KJV)  As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.  Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
This goes against our family planning, two child mentality.  The only place where the benefit of children is in doubt is in the last days.  Jesus spoke about this.
(Luke 23:29 KJV)  For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
I think the point Solomon is making is that the “barren” (6115) “womb” (7358) is not a desirable condition.  The married couple that has no children will always be reflecting the previous verse that says, “not enough.” 

So?  You may be unmarried.  You may be childless for reasons beyond your control.  There may be other issues.  But there is something about life that says we are the losers if we do not have children.  If you are choosing that condition because you want to advance your career or some other self-centered motivation, you lose.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


(Proverbs 29:26 KJV)  Many seek the ruler's favour; but every man's judgment cometh from the LORD.

“Kiss-up.”  “Brown-noser.”  “Teacher’s pet.”  You know the type.  We all know people who “seek” (1245) “favor” (6440) from people in authority.  I am sure that we are all guilty of this at one time or another.  It doesn’t need to be wrong.  If you want a promotion or a raise you are required to produce what the boss demands.  As with many issues the real problem is balance and foundational principles.

As a teacher I am constantly hounded by the latest fad in education.  Currently it is Common Core.  In the past it has been things like “whole language” and “new math.”  Parents love to demand the latest.  Administrators base their future promotion on spouting the party line.  My calling however is not to please parents and ladder climbers but to prepare children for the future.  You may face similar stress in your work or home. 

So?  You can’t build much more than a tent without a solid foundation.  Usually we are not going to be given the concrete of truth from our “rulers” (4910).  We may not even get it from our pulpits.  The good news is that God has given you your own building code in the Bible.  Use it.  Know the difference between fads and truth. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Poor Excuses

(Proverbs 28:3 KJV)  A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.

What is worse than oppression by the rich and powerful?  Oppression by the “poor” (7236) and those even lower on the pecking order.  Why is it worse?  Partly is the brainwashing we have received about greedy rich people.  Greed and oppression are actions that come out of the heart, not the bank balance.  What do you call it when a bunch of young men with their pants hanging low use community tragedy as an excuse to break into the businesses of their equally poor neighbors and steal them blind?  Is it oppression by the rich?  Open your eyes.

So?  We should be spending time examining our own actions, motives and heart condition rather than condemning others.  Remember the observation of the man Jesus saw in the temple being grateful he was not as other men.  Jesus was not pleased. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Know the Trick

(Proverbs 27:11 KJV)  My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.

God wants us to have a “glad” (8055) “heart” (3820).  I did a quick search of the two words in the same verse and came up with 47 in the NASB and 36 in the KJV.  The most common ways the Hebrew is translated deal with rejoicing.  The heart is the inner man. 

Believers look at life and face the future with a different attitude than the non-believer.  Or at least we should.  We should have the gladness that comes from a sense of security and purpose.  We should be able to rejoice in the knowledge that we walk a straight path in a crooked world, that we can know truth in the midst of lies.  You remember the wooden cubes we used to get around Christmas time that we were supposed to take apart and reassemble.  Once you learned the trick it was easy.  In a sense, we know the “trick.”

So?  It is going to be a rough day.  Maybe at this moment it has been a rough day.  Rejoice and have a glad heart. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Open and Shut Case

(Proverbs 26:14 KJV)  As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.

I really don’t have a clue to what Solomon is talking about here.  That probably makes this a great verse on which to base a sermon because you can make it say whatever you want.  In that spirit lets look at a door turning on its hinges.  That could mean going through repetitive actions that take no thought.  That would seem to be one characteristic of the “slothful” (sluggard NASB) (6102).

Being slothful means that you never put any energy into original thought or creative action.  You are nothing but a consumer.  You may work a job and pay our bills but you are content with letting others build society and make a difference.

So?  A stretch?  Maybe.  But God has called us out to be salt and light.  They make a difference.  We are to make a difference.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lack Transparency

(Proverbs 25:9 KJV)  Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:

We tend to honor transparency too much.  We have a lot of psychological jargon we throw around about being “open” and “genuine.”  In education we talk about “authentic assessment.”  Most of it is meaningless babble designed to touch your feelings and manipulate you.  Here we are reminded that many of the things we make public are best kept private.

You have a disagreement?  Fine.  “Argue” (7378) your “case” (7379).  Notice that the Hebrew words are alphabetically next to each other.  It is like saying, “Contend your contention.”  We will have disagreements.  We need to be honest.  We don’t need to be loud.

So?  Share them with the person involved, not the world. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Yes, They Deserve It

(Proverbs 24:18 KJV)  Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

God is concerned about our attitudes toward others.  He is specifically concerned about how we react to our enemies going through hard times.  He is unhappy when we wish bad things on others, even if they deserve it. 

I had to deal with this today.  Spoiled, only-children-drivers are growing in numbers.  They bend and break all the rules of the road and do things that are not only selfish but dangerous.  I saw one today.  It started with a selfish move and then moved to being a danger to others.  Then he did something that could have killed him.  I found myself hoping he would miscalculate. 

God dealt with me on that. 

So?  We are to want the best for everyone.  It is a burden we carry.  It is an expression of grace.  Remember that Jesus died for us when we did not deserve it.  We are to live for Him in the way we treat others who don’t deserve it.  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Heart Ways

(Proverbs 23:26 KJV)  My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

Is it possible to be used by God if we are unwilling servants?  I would say “yes” based on such things as the life of Jonah.  He was given a clear word, ran away, repented and fulfilled his mission, and then was unhappy with the success.  I would say that he did not “give” (5414) his “heart” (3820) because he did not “observe” (5341) God’s desire.  The NASB is based on another reading which says with “delight” (7521).

God demands obedience.  He also expects the obedience to come with joy, not with resignation.  Does disobedience effect our eternity?  Yes, beyond a doubt.  Does a bad attitude stand in our way of God’s eternal blessings?  I tend to think so.

So?  Attitude check time.  God can help us with our attitudes but only if we acknowledge the problem.  It is hard to convince someone to lose weight if they think they are skinny. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Eyeball ID

(Proverbs 22:24 KJV)  Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:

Do you know anyone that always makes you walk on eggs?  When they come into the room you take a breath, draw back, put on a mask, and disconnect your tongue.  Here the character trait is anger.  It could also be someone who is always playing the victim.  It could be someone who takes anything you say, twists it and passes it on.

We are to avoid the “furious” (hot-tempered NASB) (2534) man.  It is also a good idea to avoid other types that will do nothing but drag you down.  If that means you miss the good parties, so be it.  If it means you avoid certain coffee spots, make it happen.  It may mean using the caller ID on your phone.  We often have more control over what we face than we want to admit. 

So?  Some people deserve being alone.  Even more, you don’t deserve their company. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ears Are to Be Used

(Proverbs 21:28 KJV)  A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.

The KJV is much more literal here than the NASB.
(Proverbs 21:28 NAS77)  A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.
Notice the words not in italics.  They are not in the Hebrew. 

The second part of this verse reminds us of an important principle in the life of the righteous, the importance of listening.  Too often we tend to spout off.  I know that I often will start answering before the question has been asked and that often leaves me hanging out like a fool. 

Much of what we say and do will be forgotten.  Make that most.  What strikes me as I teach is that students who don’t seem to be listening will perk up when I stick my foot in my mouth.  They seem to have radar that wakes up when a stray word wanders into their daydreams.  And that is what they remember.

So?  Listen.  Take time to hear.  Then open your mouth and share the benefits of your listening. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Everyday Terrorism

(Proverbs 20:2 KJV)  The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.

As I read this today I realize that what I think it says is that the “terror” (367) of the king is what I feel when he growls.  That is not the way it is stated.  The terror is not a feeling I have, it is a power the king has.

There are many people and organizations in our world that contain all the seeds of fear.  We have reason to fear them.  More and more those seeds are found in the bureaucracy of our government and not just in the “criminals” of our society.  I was talking to a man today who received notice that he needed to pay $5,000 in taxes or the government would put a lien on his home.  He made the mistake of sending the money and then calling his bank.  The bank said they had already sent the money because it was part of his house payment.  They had the documents to prove it.  Why did he send the money?  Fear.

So?  We are surrounded by things and people we cannot control.  We need to be reminded that our ultimate hope is in the Lord.  So look both ways, count your change, lock your doors and check our back trail.  But at the same time realize that God is directing your path. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Big Rascals

(Proverbs 19:28 KJV)  An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.

How do you label the people that seem to be a drag on society?  That is not a politically correct concept today.  That is what “rascally” (1100) is trying to get across.  It is interesting that the most common use of this word in the KJV is some form of “children of Belial.”  It could be sons or daughters.  The NASB waters it down a little with such things as “worthless fellows.” 

There are some people who are nothing but oxygen consumers because they have either never been taught the concept of responsible citizen or have rejected it because it doesn’t fit their narcissism.  Either way works out the same.  We are called to be servants of the living God.  We are called to walk in righteousness.  We are not called to be rascals.

So?  Are you are rascal?  Are you worthless?  Are you leading other people down that road?  I would hope not.  Only you and God can say.  Something to think about. 

The Big Rascals

(Proverbs 19:28 KJV)  An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.

How do you label the people that seem to be a drag on society?  That is not a politically correct concept today.  That is what “ungodly" (rascally NASB) (1100) is trying to get across.  It is interesting that the most common use of this word in the KJV is some form of “children of Belial.”  It could be sons or daughters.  The NASB waters it down a little with such things as “worthless fellows.” 

There are some people who are nothing but oxygen consumers because they have either never been taught the concept of responsible citizen or have rejected it because it doesn’t fit their narcissism.  Either way works out the same.  We are called to be servants of the living God.  We are called to walk in righteousness.  We are not called to be rascals.

So?  Are you are rascal?  Are you worthless?  Are you leading other people down that road?  I would hope not.  Only you and God can say.  Something to think about. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Rich Imagination

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

One of the banners that used to hang around our school went something like, “If you can dream it, you can be it.”  What nonsense.  While it may be possible that you will never achieve anything unless you have a goal, wishing is not as important as hard work and perseverance.  I dream of being a great pianist.  I want to be an awesome equestrian.  I even had fantasies of being a great athlete.  I would give anything to make those dreams become true, except the time and effort required.

When you are “rich” (6223) you sometimes think that gives you special dispensations in other areas.  For the moment extend your thinking to include riches that may not have dollar signs.  If we are rich in family, looks, strength, artistic ability or any other benefit we sometimes think that the future is settled.  Our “imagination” (4906) tells us we have it made.  Don’t count on it.

So?  Our hope for “success” is to be grounded in the Lord, not in our personal qualities.  That is hard for those of you who would be considered part of the beautiful people.  It is a little easier for those of us who are always window shopping on riches. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Age of Glory, part II

(Proverbs 17:6 KJV)  Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.

There is an interesting twist here.  I expect to see the sons being the “glory” (8597) of the fathers, but instead it is the other way around.  I am proud of my children.  I am not sure that Solomon was proud of his.  I think my children are proud of me.  It is a strange thought being the glory of my children. 

This becomes more clear as we get older.  I was reading a blog post recently, I can’t remember where, and the author was commenting on how it used to be her parents were always checking up on her.  “Are you eating right?”  You know the routine.  She said as she was getting older and her parents were aging, the direction of the questions had changed.  Now she was asking about their diet.

We can get frustrated in getting older or we can enjoy it.  It warms my heart when we are together and my son will put out his hand if he thinks I am having a problem.  So far it is cute.  Some day it may be life saving.


So?  Enjoy getting older.  If you are not even close to old it will give you something to look forward to. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Age of Glory, part I

(Proverbs 16:31 KJV)  The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

In my middle school classroom I can’t talk about a simple garden hoe because of the way the thug culture has permeated the minds of the youth.  Picture using the KJV’s term “hoary head.”  Many people have never heard of “hoarfrost.”  Being raised in Southern California I am not sure I have ever seen it, but I know what it is.

Beyond vocabulary, this verse represents another significant difference between today’s culture and the Bible.  People who follow the living God accept the fact that, in general, age is to be respected, at least until it demonstrates that it has learned nothing.  Experience is the kind of teacher that young people cannot understand.  Even if age is not proof of wisdom, youth is rarely blessed with sagacity in spite of what your TV programs tell you.

So?  Don’t accept old people as knowing everything but don’t write them off because they are over thirty. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Greedy Capitalists

(Proverbs 15:27 KJV)  He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

Read the verse again.  I would almost put money on a belief that you misread it.  I would almost bet that if someone asked you what it said you would understand it to be an attack on the greedy capitalists who are bleeding the poor to put money in their pockets.  That is what our culture sees because they are not in tune with truth. 

The problem is not profits, big profits or windfall profits.  The problem is using violence and threats to gain wealth.  The word “greedy” (profits NASB) (1214) is used one other place in Proverbs which makes this clear.
(Proverbs 1:19 KJV)  So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
So?  Don’t be afraid to make an honest profit.  Don’t be afraid to do well.  Do refuse to use coercion and violence. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Poor Grace

(Proverbs 14:21 KJV)  He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

If you have your Bible open you can see that the English word “poor” (6035) is used in the previous word as well as this verse.  In the Hebrew it is a different word.  In a quick look I found eight different families of words that are translated “poor” in the NASB.  They can’t all mean the same thing.  What is the emphasis here?

You don’t have to look that far.  If you have an NASB you can see a margin note that says it could also means “afflicted”.  So in this verse we are not being reminded of our treatment of those who simply are short of cash.  We are here being told to be “gracious” (2603a) to those who are going through some crippling condition.  It could be physical.  It also be emotional, social or spiritual.

So?  The root of “poor” is affliction.  The root of “gracious” is grace.  We are to extend the grace of God to those who are suffering.  Don’t act like they don’t exist. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Don’t Blame Me

(Proverbs 13:6 KJV)  Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.

What does it mean to be “upright” (blameless NASB) (8537)?  The Hebrew is a part of a family of words that talk about being complete or finished.  Translations include “perfect” and “integrity.”  It sounds a lot like the Greek word “teleos”.  Let’s look at the nuance presented by the translation here.

In our modern culture we can have certain people who are thought to be blameless even when they are not necessarily upright.  An infant running outside in the buff is considered cute; an adult, naked.  One is indulged, the other is arrested.  In some cases, but not all, if you are not aware of a law you are excused.  Thus you can see that even though we are not perfect and in this life will never be, we can be blameless and righteous. 

So?  Walk upright before the Lord.  There is a reward.  It makes a difference. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Be a Good Boy

(Proverbs 12:2 KJV)  A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.

This is a place where we need to set aside all the sermons we have heard on being unworthy and being totally depraved.  Those are true statements if your theology is sound and complete but they seem to go against this simple statement.

If God’s blessing has nothing to do with how we live, what is Solomon talking about?  It could be, if you want to twist it a bit, that he is talking about those who are already saved, decide to live like they are saved and God smiles on them.  It could be, but it doesn’t really fit the rest of the verse.

Think about some New Testament examples.  Zacharias and Elizabeth were to become the parents of John the Baptist.  The Bible says this about them.
(Luke 1:6 KJV)  And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
Jesus had not been born yet.  The cross was still in the future.  The Holy Spirit had not come, yet they were labeled as righteous and blameless.

Or take Mary, the mother of Jesus.
(Luke 1:28 KJV)  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
So?  The Holy Spirit is at work in the lives of everyone.  He is leading and nudging.  If you have not taken the step of faith, at least listen to that voice.  It won’t get you to heaven.  That requires a faith in Jesus, but it might bring some blessings. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Where Is Your Front Sight?

(Proverbs 11:19 KJV)  As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.

All these nouns, pronouns and prepositions and only one verb, “pursueth” (7291).  You have words added to clarify the meaning but the actual Hebrew only has one action word.  The result is as you would expect:  The “righteous” (6666) to “life” (2425b), the “evil” (7463a) to “death” (4194). 

The word that decides the result is “pursues”.  What are you after in life?  How do you steer your car on the road of life?  In the shooting sports they tell you to concentrate on the front sight.  If the front sight is not lined up with the target you have no hope of hitting what you claim to be aiming at.  When you decide where to go for dinner it may not seem to be a choice between righteousness and evil but it might be that you can’t really afford it and you are going out anyway.  Which is more important, your need for a break or your practice of stewardship.

So?  Where is your front sight?  What do you pursue?  You will arrive at the destination you are using to determine your choices.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Object of Hope

(Proverbs 10:28 KJV)  The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.

We see in this verse two words that have a similar meaning but lead to different results.  We have “hope” (8431) and “expectation” (8615b).  Both words are used in positive and negative ways.  What is the difference?

It would seem that the difference is not the feeling we have but the object of that feeling and how that is expressed in our daily lives.  Righteousness seems to have a reason for hoping.  Evil does not.  One is fulfilled; one, evaporates. 

So?  It is a simple little promise but maybe today you will be facing compromise or dilution of your position.  Hang in there.  It makes a difference. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

High Places

(Proverbs 9:14 KJV)  For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,

Do you respect people in authority?  Sometime that is good.  Sometime it is a mistake.  In this verse we are talking about a “woman of folly” (verse 13) not “wisdom” (verse 1).  They are both to be found sitting on the “high places” (4791).  How do you tell the difference?

Why would I take the word of Ann Coulter over Bill Maher, for example.  I don’t know either one of them.  Both are outspoken.  Both make strong statements.  I am sure that both get things wrong at times.  That is all part of being human.  If the two of them gave opposite statements of truth and I knew nothing but their philosophy of life, which would I chose?

On one side you have a woman who claims to be a believing Christian and gives respectful reference to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus.  On the other you have a man who mocks all religion and I would assume, based on that, rejects the teachings of the Bible.  Why would I put my vote behind Coulter?  Because part of her belief is the Biblical teaching that liars spend their eternity in hell’s lake of fire.  Partly because Maher belongs to a group of people who interpret truth as flexible and believe that truth is whatever fits their agenda.

So?  This is not about two people.  This is about deciding whom to listen to based on their core beliefs, not their political position.  Life is never simple but truth exists.  Seek it. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sons of Man

(Proverbs 8:4 KJV)  Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

“Son of man” is used 197 times in the KJV translation, 108 in the Old Testament. I was expecting to find it used frequently in Daniel because I have heard reference to Daniel explaining Jesus’ reference to Himself as the “Son of Man.”  That is based on one of two references in Daniel.  I found that Ezekiel used it 93 times.  It seemed to be God’s favorite title for Ezekiel. 

The phrase “sons of men” is used frequently. 

Putting these observations together I wonder if this reference in the plural refers to those who are faithfully responding to God’s call on their lives.  Understanding of the things of God comes to those who have been redeemed and transformed.  The ability to understand may be conferred at regeneration.  The volume of understanding comes through a life of listening and obeying.

So?  If you don’t understand what the Bible is teaching it could be just a matter of time as you gain a wider base of knowledge.  It could also be that you have never allowed God to save you. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015


(Proverbs 7:7 KJV)  And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

I think we all have times when we feel like we are part of the crowd of the “simple” (naive NASB) (6612a).  If we have never felt it then that might be an indication that we are still there.  What made this young man naive was not a lack of knowledge or understanding of moral truth.  Even the most depraved will understand that certain things are not generally accepted even if they refuse to follow the standard. 

I think that part of being naive is that we think we are slick when we are really bumbling.  We think no one is watching us make a fool of ourselves.  We don’t believe anyone knows we are breaking the rules.  One of the quotes attributed to Lincoln is “You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time...”  Maybe, but you can fool God none of the time.

So?  Don’t settle for naive, go for disciple.  God is watching.  Don’t make him wince.  God does not like to wince. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Fellow Travelers

(Proverbs 6:7 KJV)  Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

As I was looking at the three types of leaders here I was thinking about the ants I have seen.  There is no one leader that we can see.  They all seem to be marching by pure instinct at first glace.  But if you get closer and watch you will see that they are constantly touching their heads as they stream along.  I can only assume that there is some kind of communication going on.

And they listen to their fellow travelers.  When the word is that there is a rich source of food ahead the individual ant doesn’t go out on his own.  When there is no known source of food they spread out, after getting a touch from another.

So?  The ants seem mindless, and maybe so, but even in that mindless state they are able to work together and cooperate.  We are not mindless.  We have written instructions if we will bother to read them.  We have the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  And we have each other.  We should be working together even if we are on a solo mission at the moment.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Long Term Investments

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

“Lest” (Or NASB) (6435) is a little word, but so important.  It reminds us that we have choices and we make decisions.  Choices have consequences.  If you are an optimist you might say that choices have rewards.  That depends on the answer you bubble in.  The strategic point being made deals with wisdom.  The tactic being used to illustrate it is sexual purity.  The application could apply to any choice you are making in your life today.

Where do you want to invest your “honour” (vigor NASB) (1935)?  Do you want to give it to some short term interest that will be consumed, wither or become useless or would you prefer to live your life in such a way that years from now you will look back, nod your head, and smile quietly to yourself?  It makes a difference where you put your priorities.

So?  Take the long view.  You have seen the charts that demonstrate the power of compound interest as opposed to simple interest.  Invest you life where it will grow and deliver righteous rewards. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Be the First

(Proverbs 4:5 KJV)  Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

While it is true that “wisdom” (2451) is one of the spiritual gifts, it is also a quality that can be developed.  Not only can it be developed but it must be developed.  That development has been ignored and we as a people are suffering for it.

Pop culture had a song, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.”  The masses bought into this.  The church bought into it, which would have been okay but the church let the world define “love” with eros instead of agape.  We are paying for it with multiple scourges raging through our communities:  HIV, STD, children born out of wedlock, divorce, suicide...the list could continue.

So?  Act like it is the newest I-Phone.  Be the first in your neighborhood to “get” (acquire NASB)  (7069) “wisdom” (2451).  You may not be the envy of your friends but you will be approved of God. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Past, Present, Future

(Proverbs 3:20 KJV)  By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

What specifics are being discussed in the “depths” (deeps NASB) (8415) being “broken” (1234)?  You could get into all kinds of discussions about the flood of Noah as well as creation.  The basic point being made is that God has been in charge of geology as well as biology.  This is past tense up to the present.

But the “dew” (2919) is a regular, real time event.  We know the scientific principles.  We can talk about “dew point” and forecast when your car windows will be opaque in the morning and when they will be clear.  The point is that even the daily events are in the hands of God.  Because He is reliable and trustworthy we can use the scientific method to learn and measure.

So?  God was is charge, is in charge and will be in charge.  We need to remember that when we look at our day and make our plans. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Is the Playing Field Level?

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

What is “equity” (4339)?   If you are into real estate it would be the value in your property that is not tied up in debt.  Here it is more along the ideas of equal but it has a moral quality to it.  The definition involves uprightness and straightness. 

The context is studying the written word and learning wisdom.  Wisdom based on scripture will help you make the hard decisions, not on personal advantage, but on the basis of what is right.  When we deal with other people there is supposed to be a consistency in our behavior and choices that does not waver just because we think it will benefit us.  Think about how our pagan culture is working overtime to change the assumptions.  Marriage is being redefined.  Loyalty to organizations is being ridiculed.  Honesty is a matter of what you want.

For us there is an unchanging standard.  A lie is a lie.  Truth is truth.

So?  There is a point where flexibility becomes a betrayal of everything eternal.  Each of us will need to make our own decisions but we need to know where we stand before we can evaluate where we want to go.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Don’t Make Him Tell You Again

(Proverbs 1:30 KJV)  They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

God uses many different ways to bring people to obedience.  We see two different approaches in this verse.  First, we have “counsel” (6098).  For us today this is available in many ways.  The best is found in the Bible.  As we read and reflect on our reading, the Holy Spirit has the simple way to bring things to our attention.  Obviously we can listen to the Sunday sermon and Sunday school lesson, be selective in what we listen to on radio and pod-casts and even read things written on the internet.

Then we have “reproof” (8433b).  This is stronger and can mean a strong argument or actual coercive discipline.  This is where God is forced to go when we won’t listen to His voice or avoid places where we might hear what we don’t want to hear.

God will keep trying to reach us.

So?  In a sense we pick the extremes to which God needs to go to reach us.  I think I prefer to listen when the voice is still kind and gentle.  The people addressed in this verse had a different attitude.  They paid.