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, June 30, 2015

Choose Your Phobia

(Proverbs 30:19 KJV)  The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

Heights, snakes, ships, women.  What do they have in common?  Phobia.  The only one that comes immediately to mind is acrophobia.  I am sure that there are technical names for the others.  They all generate fear in some people yet they are also objects that generate awe and wonder.

Today, as I write, I am in a vacation condo, looking out over a golf course with a mist still resisting the heat and the mountains just begin to sneak out of the fog.  Yesterday I was watching bumper to bumper freeway traffic.  I am able to enjoy both, the freeway because the congestion was on the other side.  Life is full of experiences that can generate a range of responses.  Sometimes we get to chose, sometimes it is out of our hands.  It is easy to praise God for the mist and mountains.  It is a stretch to find glory in traffic, but it is worth the effort.

So?  Look the for lessons in the day.  Traffic can make us slow down and think or get frustrated and shut God out.  Practice wise application. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Bottom Up

(Proverbs 29:2 KJV)  When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

If you pay any attention to the mood of the public you will see that when some people “rejoice” (8055), others will “mourn” (groan NASB) (584).  This verse focuses on the type of leader.  I think the we also need to consider the type of follower.  Just as leaders come in different flavors, such as “righteous” (6662) and “wicked” (7563), so also do people in the general population.  When morality triumphs, the righteous celebrate.  At the same time the evil swing into action to undermine what is taking place.

We need to be aware that the battle between good and evil takes place on the street level as well as the places of power.  One of the realities I have heard expressed is that people get the kind of government they deserve.  On one level that is scary but on another level it brings to mind how God would have spared Sodom if they could have found just a few righteous people.

So?  Be salt.  Flavor your part of the world with the savor of righteousness.  Allow God to be the rewarder and punisher. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Better Reality

(Proverbs 28:6 KJV)  Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

Are you after the “better” (2896a) in life?  Do you feel like going for the better is a sellout, that we should always be after the best?  It is interesting that neither the KJV or the NASB use the English word “best” in Proverbs but “better” is fairly frequent.  This is explained by the reality that most of our choices are between shades of gray and not black and white.  Our final goal is the best but our daily decisions are usually just the better. 

The “best” would be “rich” (6223) and walk in “uprightness” (integrity NASB) (8537) but that isn’t the option being discussed here.  Most of us don’t have the choice to be rich but we daily face the choice to walk upright and righteous.

So?  If I want a taco but the only food available is McDonald’s, I have to make a choice of what is available.  Today may be like that for me.  I hope it isn’t for you. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Spreading the Joy

(Proverbs 27:14 KJV)  He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.

I miss having the kids around.  One of the joys of life was to walk into their room early in the morning and sing them a happy song when all they wanted to do was sleep.  It is a good thing they were not reading Proverbs at the time or they would have quoted this to me.  They have forgiven me, or at least I think they have. 

One of the fruits of the spirit and part of the definition of love is kindness.  Part of kindness is being sensitive to the emotional states of others.  I would say moods but I am not sure we need to be all that sensitive to moody people.  There are events and physical touches that can effect how people are seeing the world.  The loss of a pet to a child can darken life.  The loss of the child to a parent does not encourage happy thoughts.  The pain of illness or even recovery might make it hard for people to smile. 

So?  If someone isn’t enjoying your song, tone it down.  Try to see if there is a more loving, and spiritual, way in which you can deal with them.  I know I need this.  I hope you don’t. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Butt in, or Butt Out?

(Proverbs 26:17 KJV)  He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

When should we meddle and when should we pass by?  This is a real question because there are other places in Proverbs where it points out that we should rebuke, teach and counsel.  The English translations have the idea of a conflict that does not concern you.  I can’t find how that is justified in the Hebrew but it appears in one form or another in the English. 

I would possibly tie this together with how wisdom is wasted on fools and how people who won’t listen won’t learn.  We need to ask ourselves if we are wasting our time by sticking our nose in the situation.  Years ago we were working with a battered wife.  She was totally against doing anything about the situation.  We made many suggestions and offered many types of help.  We could not even go to court because she would not press charges.  There came a point where we needed to stop meddling.

So?  Sometimes you can only learn the hard way.  Sometimes we need to take risks and find out later we should have stayed out.  Be assured that there is a time to pull back and a time not to get involved. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Burden of Wisdom

(Proverbs 25:12 KJV)  As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.

I don’t want to be a “reprover” (3198).  A reprover sets people straight by telling them where they have gone crooked.  Some would say it is the job of the preacher.
(2 Timothy 4:2 KJV)  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Jesus points out the it is everyone’s job,
(Matthew 18:15 KJV)  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
The key is to be “wise” (2450).  While I am sure I can point out plenty of flaws in other people, I am not so secure in my wisdom.  Because of that I often let things go when I should speak. 

So?  Correcting others is necessary but not to be taken lightly.  It requires constant contact with the word.  It requires study and prayer.  It requires risk but it is required. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

So, What’s New

(Proverbs 24:21 KJV)  My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:

This is a verse that keeps nudging my mind as I get older and watch the trends that keep coming and going.  I see it in education, where I work.  We are always being presented with a new and life changing technique to educate students.  It makes me wonder how children were ever able to learn without the gurus and curriculum writers that suck up the tax money that was intended to help.  I digress.

There is a saying, “Variety is the spice of life”.  That is true.  Small “change” (8132) in routine can make the day fresh.  When I read through Proverbs monthly I find that routine becomes hypnotizing so I read different translations or start at different places in the chapter.  But variety, or change, is only the spice.  I might try a new vegetable but I will not become a vegetarian because the “experts” say it is healthier.  I might change the herbs I put in my soup but I doubt if I will leave out the salt and pepper.

So?  Always start with the basics.  Always be rooted in truth.  Beware of the inclination to conform to the latest attempt to avoid boredom.  Be eternal, not cool.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


(Proverbs 23:29 KJV)  Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

Drinking causes “sorrow” (17).  Adam Clarke suggests that this is a case of onomatopoeia.  For those who have been texting and forgotten the big words, that is a literary devise in which a word duplicates the sound it is describing, such as “hiss”.  Clarke suggests that this word, used only here in the Old Testament is meant to convey the sound of misery coming from someone who is in the grip of alcohol.

I heard it in a different context and about a different drug but to paraphrase, “Booze does not let you have a good time, it makes you think you are having a good time.”  One of the sad truths is that too much alcohol leaves a trail behind it and usually the trail is not desirable.

At times I wonder if I have missed something.  The beer in the mug, the whiskey with the warm light shining through it, the smiling crowds of drinkers, make me wonder if I should try it.  Proverbs reminds me of the potential for misery.

So?  Who you gonna believe, the beer commercial or the word of God?  You would think that would be a no-brainer, but I don’t see the liquor stores closing down. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Let It Go

(Proverbs 22:27 KJV)  If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?

Loans, credit, usury.  These are a part of modern culture.  Some people think that our economy would tank if people went back to saving up and paying cash.  That does not change the Biblical standard.  The Bible says, “Don’t borrow.”  It also seems to be unhappy about lending but if you do there are restraints.

Christian lenders have limits on how far they can go to collect what is owed them.  Here the illustration is to take someone’s “bed” (4904) from them.  What Proverbs is telling us is that if we were foolish enough to loan money to people who will not pay it back then don’t use the law and the contract to extract your pound of flesh.  It is unbecoming and unchristian.  Is if fair?  Not really.  Many people who cannot pay their debts have plenty of money for the fun things of life.  Many have lived beyond their means.  A few actually have situations beyond their control.

So?  Again, don’t lend.  If you do, accept the results.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Horse Play

(Proverbs 21:31 KJV)  The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

What is your “horse” (5483b)?  I don’t own the actual animal and although I enjoy the thought of horses I have never really felt comfortable with them.  I prefer a motorcycle.  A motorcycle does not have a mind of its own, a horse does.  I remember the time I was on a horse at the house of a family friend.  I was invited by the daughter to go riding.  When we were on the horses she said, “I’ll race you!”  My answer was, “No, you won’t.”  She just smiled and said, “Yes, you will.”  She then took off and no matter what I did to my horse, it followed.  I may have been in the saddle, but I was not in control.

We can prepare and train.  We can save and schedule.  We can be “prepared” (3559) in our eyes, but life has a mind of its own.  There are so many places where the timing and results are ultimately in God’s hands.

So?  Plan and trust.  Prepare and relax.  The focus might be a test you must take tomorrow.  It might be your retirement.  Maybe surgery is in the cards.  You do you part and God will do His.  Don’t get them mixed up. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Who’s Your Tonto?

(Proverbs 20:5 KJV)  Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

The NASB has “plan” (6098).  The KJV uses “counsel” which is by far the most common way the Hebrew word is translated in both translations.  The only problem with using “plan” is that it could be understood as something you do by yourself.  The Hebrew has the idea of consulting or getting advice.  In Proverbs the word often refers to the counsel of God or wisdom.

If you have a plan hidden away in your “heart” (3820) then the idea here is that it needs to be drawn out so that it can be examined by others.  At least it should be compared to the word of God.  Often we have plans or dreams that are totally centered in our selves and ignore the obvious standards and expectations of God.  Those are humorous and embarrassing at best, dangerous and destructive at worst.

So?  We need to plan.  We also need to seek counsel.  This is a role of the family and the body of Christ.  Remember that even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Knowledge Based Goodness

(Proverbs 19:2 KJV)  Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.

We have all heard, “Knowledge is power.”  Here it seems to be saying that “knowledge” (1847) is virtue.  There is a translation in my software called the Literal Translation of the Holy Bible.  It has an interesting spin.
(Proverbs 19:2 LITV)  Also, without knowledge the soul is not good, and he who hurries with his feet sins.
Notice that it is not saying that knowledge automatically makes you “good” (2896a).  It is saying that it is impossible to be good without knowledge. 

This is not the knowledge given by the university.  This is not the knowledge given in a trade school.  As important as those might be they do not bring goodness.  Proverbs focuses on knowing and fearing God.  It focuses on the wisdom that comes from God.

So?  Do you want to be good?  Do you want to be holy?  The only way is through the grace and power of God and you will have a hard time accessing that without knowing what God has to say about it.  Great cooks often don’t measure but they didn’t become great cooks because they don’t measure.  Freedom is a result of past learning. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Healthy Attitudes

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

“Infirmity” (sickness NASB) (4245b).  We all experience it.  It may be of differing intensity and frequency, but it hits all of us.  When I was younger I would not let illness stop me.  I would keep on.  As I get older I find that I don’t have the energy, the need or the foolishness to push.  I take a day off and take care of myself.

What heals us?  We believe that God’s hand is in it.  We also understand more now about how
God designed the body to deal with illness.  We understand the physical workings but we still see that our attitude has a lot to do with out recovery.  Some people who get a serious illness will give up and die quickly.  At the other extreme are those who refuse to give up and end up being restored.  We can’t quantify it, but somehow our attitude effects the physical body.  That is what Proverbs is talking about.

So?  Do you trust and believe that God has a future for you?  Are you defeated before the day begins?  It makes a difference in how you heal.  Give your body a fighting chance to work the way God has designed it.  Remember we are not just a mobile chemical factory but a combination of body, soul, mind and will.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Fact of Life

(Proverbs 17:8 KJV)  A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.

I am still asking myself, “Is a “bribe” (7810) (gift in KJV) righteous or evil?  The problem is, you can’t tell from this verse alone.  If all I had was this verse, I would conclude that bribery is the path to prosperity.  This is officially a difficult verse.  So we need to do some thinking.

In Proverbs you often have verses that stand alone.  Context does not help.  That would seem to be the case here.  Sometimes Proverbs has a pattern of contrast in these individual verses.  The good and the bad are compared to teach a lesson.   That does not happen here.

So we are compelled to look further.  A simple comparison from other places in Proverbs shows us in the same chapter,
(Proverbs 17:23 KJV)  A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.
This shows that bribery is an evil force.  Take this with commands to make your measures fair and to conduct business with honesty and you come to a conclusion that bribery is not an acceptable thing for God’s people.  What this verse does is point out that some people are successful because of their underhanded methods.  It does not condone it.

So?  Our world is corrupt.  This is a reminder.  Walk in righteousness.  Walk upright.  Walk straight.  It is a narrow gate and few will find it.  Be one of the few. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hearty Preparations

(Proverbs 16:1 KJV)  The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

Look at verse 9. 
(Proverbs 16:9 KJV)  A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
They have a similar flow.  Both begin with the idea that men have ideas.  God’s action is different in each one.  That is not inconsistency.  It is richness of understanding.   The NASB uses “plan” in both places but they are different words and different parts of speech.  The KJV shows the difference.  Here it has “preparations” (4633) as a noun.  This is the only place the word is used in the Bible.  In verse 9 it has “deviseth” (2803) and it is a verb.  Both translations use “heart” (3820) in this verse and the same Hebrew word in verse 9 with different translations.

God has given us free will.  He has not given us freedom of planning the future of the destiny or the results of our actions.  Here He is promising to help us mold our responses.

So?  When I make my plans and follow my trains of thought I do my best to base them on what I know about the expectations God has.  I trust Him to tailor the final product. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Fat Bones II

(Proverbs 15:30 KJV)  The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.

Previously I wrote about fat bones

I mentioned that one of the roles of fat in the body is to pad and cushion.  Another purpose of fat is insulation.  Fat protects from cold.  It doesn’t do so well with heat but in a winter climate it holds the necessary body heat inside.  Good news can help us through the discouraging times of life. 

The question of “What is good news?” comes in that context.  It involves the reproof of God, not that we have won the lottery.  Hearing good news means listening to what God is trying to say to us.  Sometimes it will be encouragement.  Sometimes it will be a kick in the seat of the pants.

So?  We need to listen.  We also need to share in the same spirit.  Sometimes we will bring people encouragement.  Sometimes what we need to say may not be welcomed.  Both can be good news.  Share it. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Crown Me

(Proverbs 14:24 KJV)  The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.

How you understand this verse depends on what you understand the “crown” (5850) to be.  The modern materialist would think that “riches” (6239) is the crown.  This would fit with the thinking of even that day and the day of Jesus.  Many people think that your wealth and status is a result of God blessing you because you are a fine fellow.  It gives you an excuse to look down your nose at those less fortunate.

That is not the point here.  The wealth that is the focus is the “crown of wisdom” not your bank balance.  Your crown is wisdom, not social standing. 

This is hard for us to embrace because everything around us drives in the other direction.  It is like going up the stairs on the right side in middle school.  They are all coming down on the up side.  The ones who are not coming down are sitting and staring at their phones.  I am in the right but it is very hard to move forward.

So?  Don’t assume that struggles are a sign of failure.  Consider that you might be the only one going in the right direction, not because you are brilliant but because you are obedient. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Light Emotions

(Proverbs 13:9 KJV)  The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

I never thought of “light” (216) as celebrating.  Notice it does not say that the “righteous” (6662) rejoices” (8055).  It should not surprise us.  After a long, dark night when the eastern sky begins to lighten you can feel your spirits starting to be renewed.  When the light come up on stage at a performance your spirit of expectation is aroused.  When the red light is seen in your rear-view mirror you also have an excess of emotion. 

Light effects us.  Here it is personified so that it almost seems like we are influenced by what it is feeling. 

So?  We have a choice about our environment.  If you watched Star Wars you are familiar with the invitation to come over to the dark side.  The Bible tells us that we are already on the dark side.  Jesus, the Light of the world, invites us to come over to the side of light.  Hopefully you have already made that journey.  Let’s live like it today. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Welcome to the Big House

(Proverbs 12:7 KJV)  The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.

This does not say the “righteous” (6662) will “stand” (5975).   It says the “house” (1004) of the righteous will stand.  There is a difference.  If you understand “house” to refer to the body, which it can, this would be an individual promise but the vast majority of times it is used, it is corporate in the sense of household.

There is a promise here but it becomes more of a principle than a specific.  The promise is that the family of God, the righteous, will not be destroyed.  That does not mean that you as an individual will not go through hard times.  It is a promise for our children and our community of believers.

So?  We have a different perspective.  We look at things in the context of eternity not what’s for dinner.  Or at least we should.  I find that I need to cultivate a God’s-eye view of life.  It is so easy to fall into the things I can only see without my spiritual glasses.  Just a reminder. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Oink, Oink

(Proverbs 11:22 KJV)  As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

We are so consumed with our outer self.  Am I the only one who looks for myself when someone shows a video or picture I might be in?  Am I the only one who looks in the mirror on the way out the door to make sure there is no mustard on my nose?  I try to match my colors.  I try to keep my hair combed.  I tell myself it is so I won’t offend others.  Am I telling the truth?

Jewels do not make up for a lack of “discretion” (2940).  My reference Bible tells me that the word literally means “taste”.  It is a part of wisdom.  Think of all the Hollywood celebrates that are mocked even by the liberal press.  I think of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.  They have money.  If properly posed, they have beauty.  No one thinks they have discretion.

So?  Where are you going to work on your life today?  Is it time to go to the mall and do a little shopping or time to go to the book shelf and do a little studying?  Perhaps it is time to go to your knees and do a little praying.  Your choice. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Just Mouth

(Proverbs 10:31 KJV)  The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.

The word mouth is emphasized in Proverbs.  Of the 294 times it is used in the OT, 142 are in the Wisdom Literature.  Proverbs uses it 46 times.  That doesn’t include the times the Hebrew word is translated other ways.

It would seem that God is concerned about our mouths and how we use them.

If you look through the way the word and its synonyms are used you find that they are words that in themselves are neutral.  Their moral value comes from how they are used.  We can bless with our mouth, or curse.  We can speak wisdom, or lies.  It is a reminder of what Jesus said,
(Matthew 15:18 KJV)  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
So?  What does your mouth show you to be?  Listen to yourself talk.  Ask God to change your heart so you can have a righteous mouth. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Accessory to the Crime

(Proverbs 9:17 KJV)  Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

What you are reading is the promise of the secular world.  Politicians promise to give you benefits that you know you have not really earned.  Advertisers promise results that no thinking person could ever embrace.  One of the reasons that scams work it because people think they are smarter than the average bear. 

They aren’t.  I’m not.  Neither are you.

This is a backhand about sloth and stealing.  We are expected to provide for our own needs under the providence of God.  If you think you can kick back and see God provide, the goodies may come in but it won’t be from God.  The kids who take candy from the man in the white van think it comes free.

So?  Think twice before you take a handout from anyone or any organization.  The strings attached may be deadly even if they don’t show up right away. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Truth and Change

(Proverbs 8:7 KJV)  For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

How will we know wisdom when we see or hear it?  It will be grounded in “truth” (571).  It will correspond to real facts.  It will not change because of the winds of popular opinion.  Wisdom has nothing but contempt for political correctness or fashion.

This is a hard truth.  This is why so many people reject the God of the Bible.  He is not a God that has been designed to be user friendly.  He is not concerned about your feelings.  He is concerned about your eternal soul.  Jesus did not die so we would be happy; He died so we would be holy.

Remember Jesus and the rich young ruler.  When the boy walked away because the price was too high, Jesus did not run after Him and negotiate a deal he would accept.  He let him go.

So?  Jesus will let you go if you keep insisting on your own way.  He will cajole, urge, plead and convict but if you refuse to change, hasta la vista, baby. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Dress to Impress

(Proverbs 7:10 KJV)  And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

What does how you are “dressed” (7897) say about you?  We live in an increasingly casual culture.  Coats and ties have given way to shirt sleeves.  Shoes have been replace by sandals.  If you go to a wedding in a suit you will be the oddball.  It says something about us and our culture. 

How about the scrubby look of the modern male?  They still shave but now they do so to make it look like it has been a couple of days. 

How do you dress for church on Sunday?  Do you dress to impress?  Then you are wrong whatever impression you are trying to make.  Do you dress to show your respect for God?  Then whatever you are wearing is good enough.

So?  Clothes don’t make the man but they tell you what he thinks of you.  There is so much variation that you can’t make any rules.  The young man knew he was facing someone with questionable morals.  What do people know about you? 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Moderation at Rest

(Proverbs 6:10 KJV)  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

This is not condemning “sleep” (8142) but the tendency to take a nap when there is work to be done.  It’s not about sleep.  It’s not about “rest” (7901).  It’s about laziness. 

Sin is often the misuse of blessings God has given us.  Knowing become adultery.  Appetite become gluttony.  Rest becomes sloth.  Keep in mind that God was the one who told us to take the seventh day off.  This was the Sabbath.
(Hebrews 4:9 KJV)  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
The Greek word here transliterates into a form of “sabbath”.  God is not only in favor of taking a break, He demands it, but not at the expense of being productive.

So?  Take your day off.  You need it.  God made you that way.  But beware of the tendency to eat the whole bag of chips when you only need a few. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

I Dare You to Teach Me

(Proverbs 5:12 KJV)  And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;

Attitude says so much about where we are in life and about where we are going.  Every day I face classes full of junior people who come with attitudes.  Some of them have the attitude expressed here.  They fold their arms, figuratively and literally, and say, “I dare you to teach me.”  There attitude is that everything we are doing in school is a waste of time, and they are right.  They are not right because there is no value to be had.  They are right because they refuse to take what is offered.

Do you have a Home Town Buffet in your area?  If not, you probably have something like it.  I used to love all you-can-eat places.  I still do but I have come to the acceptance that if I want to remain healthy, I must avoid them.  But picture someone who is taken to the buffet, turned loose and leaves hungry because they didn’t have any really fresh sushi.  The problem was not the lack of food but the refusal to eat.

So?  God is constantly offering us things to learn and ways to grow.  He is giving the same opportunities to your neighbors and unsaved family members.  It doesn’t matter how good the beef stew is, a vegan will never partake.  Don’t let it keep you from enjoying.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Shelf Life

(Proverbs 4:8 KJV)  Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

I am struck by the different words used in different translations.  The NASB says we are to “prize” (5549) wisdom.  The KJV says to “exalt” it.  Others say “value” (CEV), “take hold” (Douay) and “love” (Good News).  Any way you look at it, wisdom is to have a high place in our lives.

Unfortunately high places in our lives are often shelves that only get dusted at spring cleaning and then it is often by hired help.  The idea is that our respect should be reflected in our lives.  We have a Visa (or is it a MasterCard?) that we only use when a business won’t take Discover.  It only gets pulled out in a crisis.  Too often that is the way we look at the words God has given us.

So?  Don’t just talk respect, demonstrate it.  God’s principles are not designed to sit in a glass case with a sign saying, “Break in case of emergency.”  They should be the key on your ring that unlocks the door before you can drive away. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Safe Walking

(Proverbs 3:23 KJV)  Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

All of us have a “walk” (1870).  It is impossible to avoid that reality because it does not refer to a physical stroll but to a direction in life.  Thus, even if you are confined to a bed or wheelchair, you have a “walk”.  This is another place where the literal and figurative are wound together to give a more complete picture of how life works. 

Walking involves direction, speed and constant decisions.  The thing about life is it cannot be set on autopilot.  I have cruise control on my car.  On long trips it is a life-saver.  If I turn it on and go to sleep it quickly becomes a life taker.  It only controls one aspect of the journey.  It can keep us from getting speeding tickets but won’t keep us from taking the wrong exit.

So?  Walk with diligence.  Let God control the parts He wants and engage your heart, mind, soul and strength in the rest.  It makes for a better walk. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bad Apples

(Proverbs 2:12 KJV)  To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;

There are two things God delivers us from.  I already mentioned the first, the evil inclination inside us.  The second is the “perverse” (8419) “man” (376).  People around us glory in dragging us down.  There is an old saying about the bad apple that spoils the barrel.  I watch this every year in school.  I see certain students who have no intention of getting an education.  They spend all of their time trying to get others to follow their anti-social approach to life.  To some students they are water on a duck’s back but to others they are celebrities.  I watch the naive and weak fall under their influence and proceed down hill.

So?  I have always been a loner so these people have usually not derailed me but I have still felt the pressure at times.  On the times when I have been sucked in God has brought conviction and I have listened.  I have been blessed with an awareness of the role of repentance.  Avoid evil people. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Conditions for Ideal

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

So many of the promises of God are conditional.  Often you see the if/then combination clearly stated.  Sometimes it is assumed.  This promise is conditional.  All of the good things God promises the one who “hearkeneth” (listens NASB) (8085).  My wife hears things that go thump in the night because she is always listening.  So far she has only been right once and that was no danger to us.  But beware if you ever try to break into my house:  My wife is listening.  She knows that is her first line of defense.

When I listen to pod-casts dealing with personal security the experts seem to agree that the first and most important tool of defense is awareness.  When thugs in a parking lot are looking for someone to assault they look for the person who is not “listening”.  They look for the person who is not paying attention to what goes on around them.  Satan is that way.  He is looking for people who are not listening.  They are not listening to the written word.  They are not listening to the wisdom of others.  They are not listening to the Holy Spirit.

So?  Wake up and listen to the roses.  It may not help your appreciation of the rose but it might let you hear the bee that is getting upset by your nose.