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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


(Proverbs 30:22 KJV)  For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;

Remember the introduction to this verse.  These are things that disrupt the entire world.  I don’t know about you but I am forced to ask myself how being “filled” (satisfied NASB) (7646) with “meat” (food NASB) (3899) will shake the world.

First of all, there is nothing wrong with having enough food.  The word can be translated “satiated” in a negative sense but it can also mean “plenty” as in a good harvest.  It is one of those words that takes it’s moral value from the context.

What the KJV calls “meat” and the NASB calls “food” is a word that is most frequently translated “bread” in both.  It is translated that way because that is what it means.  In the literal sense it means a loaf produced from grain.  In the figurative sense it means the staple of life.  It is why Jesus reminded Satan,
(Matthew 4:4 KJV)  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
In a sense He was asking Satan, “What kind of fool do you think I am.” 

When Esau sold his birthright to Jacob the same “bread” is part of the deal.
(Genesis 25:34 KJV)  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
So?  What does it take to make you happy?  What does it take to make your world rock?  In the short term it might be a frappuccino® from your favorite barista.  In the long term only Jesus will do. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Flailing Net Work

(Proverbs 29:5 KJV)  A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.

If Solomon had been writing this today I wonder if he would have used something like an extension chord or broom handle as an example.  I don’t know about you but I have never been tripped up by a “net” (7568).  I have gotten tangled up with chords and wires that might wrap around my foot as I walk or a mop that had fallen across a place I walk. 

Notice that the things that trip us can be every day and they don’t cause a problem every day.  How many times have you walked over that bunching in the carpet and never looked like a fool?  Then, when least expected, it leaves you flailing the air like a windmill.

Another thing about this is that you don’t trip over anything when you are carefully watching your step.

So?  Avoid tripping when you can but remember that God is ready to forgive the stumble when it is accompanied by honest repentance.  After a bad day I need to remember that.  I might need to remember it more after a good day.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Glory of Legalism

(Proverbs 28:9 KJV)  He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

I continue to maintain that legalism gets a bad rap.  Sure, I know that there are people who get so hung up in the letter of the law that they won’t cook on Sunday.  That in itself is not the problem with legalism.  It becomes hypocritical and sinful when they use that as an excuse to go out to lunch. 

Usually people who yell, “Legalist!” are engaged in sinful behavior and want to distract you so you will not bring them to accountability.  This makes it clear that not listening to the law makes you an “abomination” (8441).  It doesn’t get much worse than that.

At the same time we are expected to look at the law through eyes that have been corrected by the Holy Spirit and a heart that has had the surgery of grace.  It means that we listen to the law so we can hear the desire of our savior, not to hear the judgment of men.

So?  Read and listen.  Ask the Holy Spirit to use the law to move you toward maturity.  Attitude makes a difference. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Get Your Irons Out of the Fire

(Proverbs 27:17 KJV)  Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Can bronze sharpen “iron” (1270)?  I don’t know.  In this proverb it would seem that it requires a substance at least as sharp as the one to be sharpened.  If that is true then one aspect of this proverb is that we need to pick our friends, associates and church carefully.  That is probably true even if bronze can sharpen iron.  I don’t think that a wooden stick is going to do much to give us an edge.

We tend to like to spend time with fun people.  We tend to avoid people who make us think.  We do all we can to avoid someone that we know who has the spiritual gift of exhortation.  We like them when they encourage us with a “thataboy” but we hate it when they say, “What does the Bible say about that.”  Then they become meddling and nosy. 

So?  When you find some iron, welcome the chance to get sharper.  Don’t run.  Listen.  Think.  Pray.  It may be a long time before you get the chance again.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Talebearing in the Woulds

(Proverbs 26:20 KJV)  Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

As I read this I think of how my mouth works overtime.  Surely I am not a gossip.  But am I a “talebearer” (5372)?  In trying to get hold of this I notice that the KJV and the NASB are translating different words.  The NASB has “whisperer” (7279).  They are actually different words in the Hebrew.  As I looked a little deeper I saw that the definitions are almost identical.  The key concepts in both are to murmur and to backbite.  

This must have some relation to gossip and slander.  I don’t think of myself as a backbiter but I can certainly be accused of murmuring.  This is an indictment.

So?  I am going to be examining my own heart here.  I invite you to do the same.  I hope your report is better than mine seems to be.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Strength of Slow

(Proverbs 25:15 KJV)  By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

This second portion of the verse feels like a common proverb of the day.  We find a similar thought in chapter 15.
(Proverbs 15:1 KJV)  A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
One of my software sources quotes a couple of German proverbs, “Patience breaks iron” and “Patience is stronger than a diamond.”

We have this idea that we need to hit things straight on.  I know I often feel that way.  I think that if I can just get all the facts laid out in an orderly and logical way people will listen and respond.  If you are old enough to pick your own clothes, you know it doesn’t work that way.  If it did there would be few wars fought and divorce would be a rare event.  Of course marriage might be equally rare.

So?  Relax.  In trying to change the world, take baby steps.  Speak gently but stick to your guns.  In time the other person might actually listen instead of just react.  Think about it.  Were you one of those rare people who responded to the gospel the first time you heard it? 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Few Shades of Gray

(Proverbs 24:24 KJV)  He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:

What is the standard expressed in “righteous” (6662)?  For a time it was a slang word among the cool crowd.  They would say, “That’s righteous.”  Of course what they meant was that they liked it.  Whatever was the target of their praise met with their approval.  Unfortunately we have allowed our culture to dictate to us what is right and what is wrong.  We have seen this swing taking place in our attitude toward all forms of sexuality.  We often target the depravity of homosexuality, but keep in mind that God is just as angry at adultery and fornication.  He is just as angry at idolatry.  He is even more angry with liars, I think. 

Yet we sit by and support people who take positions that are against the clear teaching of the Bible.  We may not use the word “righteous” but our votes, dollars and silence say that we think they are on the side of the angels.

They aren’t.  Are we?

So?  Everything worth talking about should be filtered through God’s ideas of right and wrong.  Sure there are areas of gray but not as many as we make out.  Sometimes things look gray because we refuse to take our shades off.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Balance and Principles

(Proverbs 23:32 KJV)  At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

Moderation and balance are Biblical principles to be applied in many areas of our lives.  In this passage we see some strong warnings against alcohol but we know there is not a total ban, just strong warnings.  We see another passage in Proverbs 31:4-7 that also addresses the issue.  I wish there was a total ban like there is on theft and false witness, but such is not the case. 

In doing this the Bible takes the difficult path of holiness.  Holiness involves a conscious engagement of the mind and reason.  In spite of the popular myth perpetuated by God haters, being a Christian is not being a mindless automatons, with a favorite word, “No”.  Notice the key word,
(Matthew 22:37 KJV)  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Love of God involves the mind.  In that area we are to be all out and fanatics.

So?  Don’t hide behind legalism.  In my middle school classroom I often hide behind, “Because I said so” but that won’t work well in the adult world.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Who Made You Do It?

(Proverbs 22:1 KJV)  A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

The KJV brings out something that is concealed in the NASB.  Instead of “desired” (977) the KJV has “chosen.”  In fact “chosen” is usually the translation of choice in both, so again I don’t know why the NASB went this way here.  Both words have the idea that it is something we want but to choose has more of the idea that we had a part in it.  Desire is more of a feeling or emotion.  A choice is an act of the will.

We make decisions.  Those decisions make a difference.  Sure, everyone wants a good name.  There are a lot of rewards in life that people want but many are not willing to get up in the morning to achieve what they want.  Some decisions are not earth shaking.  If you pick the wrong colors in the morning you only get laughed at for a day, and that only by people who notice.  If you pick the wrong wife, you pay for the rest of your life.

So?  Accept responsibility for your life and choices.  Some you can’t redo.  Others can be redeemed.  Thank God for the good ones and seek help on the poor. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

High Road to the Narrow Gate

(Proverbs 21:3 KJV)  To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

The KJV is a bit confusing here.  It uses two English words, “justice” (righteousness NASB) (6666) and “judgement” (justice NASB) (4941) which seem to be synonyms and miss the distinction being expressed.  The words are close in meaning and in most cases the two translations agree, but there is a nuance. 

The first word has to do with the moral quality of judgment.  It means that we are to do the thing which is true and right.  The second word involves the legal aspect of judgment.  In case you have not paid attention law courts are not really concerned about truth but legality.  When you are on a jury the judge will tell you to ignore anything you might know about the subject and only consider what is brought into evidence in that court room during that trial.  This is what leads to so many of the court cases that have us laymen scratching our heads.

God is not a court in the common law system.  He is One who seeks real truth and real justice.  He expects us to seek the same standard in our behavior and attitudes.

So?  It is not enough to follow the rules.  It is not enough to be legal.  We are also called to be righteous.  Seek the high road.  You will know it because it leads to what Jesus called the narrow gate that leads to salvation.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Political Salt

(Proverbs 20:8 KJV)  A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.

As I read this chapter today this verse seemed to tie in with another,
(Proverbs 20:26 KJV)  A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.
This brought to mind a verse in the New Testament,
(Romans 13:4 KJV)  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Two observations that I am sure I have made before but they keep coming up.  Evil exists.  Our culture seems to be in denial but they are also rejecting the God of the Bible.  Political leaders have a responsibility to attack, punish and control evil.  That also is not popular and it becomes an impossibility when the political leaders become agents of evil.  By agents of evil I don’t mean disagreeing on tax policy but accepting bribes and using government power to coerce common folks.

Our culture is in decline because these simple truths are being ignored.  Even worse they are being denied. 

So?  Often there is little we can do, or so it seems.  In reality we can be salt and we can exercise the power of prayer.  Don’t despair.  God is still on the throne and He will not be mocked.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Playing “Gotcha”

(Proverbs 19:5 KJV)  A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.

The words came to my mind, “Your sins will find you out”.  I knew it was in the Bible so I started looking and eventually found the verse I was remembering.
(Numbers 32:23 KJV)  But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.
If you look closely you will see that I had the quotation wrong.  This happens frequently.  I was saying that your “sins” would find you but the Bible says “sin”.  It is the singular.  That is a significant difference. 

Sin in the singular is often a designation of our condition, not our actions.  We often think that we can sin and if no one notices, we got away with it.  Because no one noticed and we got away with it we seem to have this idea that God did not notice either.  That is one of the difference between Bible based Christianity and cultural Christianity.  One is based on guilt and the other on shame.

Sin is a condition.  It is expressed in actions and attitudes.  It is rebellion against God.  Here the specific mentioned is lying, and whether you want to accept it or not, lying is a sin.

So?  What is your condition?  Are you still lost in the condition of sin or have you allowed the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to bring you liberty?  God notices, even if your neighbor doesn’t. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Thoughts First and Second

(Proverbs 18:17 KJV)  He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.

Who is really the “first” (7223) in his own “cause” (to plead a case NASB) (7379)?  When I read this I think of other people giving testimony and the caution makes sense.  Listen to both sides before you come to a decision.  Take a step back and get introspective.  What is the first to submit information when we are involve?  For me it would be my memory. 

Have you ever returned to a place seared in your memory from childhood and found that things were not near as big or scary as you remember?  Most new situations are evaluated by what we already know or have experienced.  You can second guess yourself into paralysis if you take this too far, but it is healthy to get in the habit of questioning your memory when it does not seem to mesh with what you are seeing or hearing now.

So?  Don’t rush to judgment unless you only have a split second to make a decision.  Take the time to think and listen.  Allow the Holy Spirit and His agents to help you clarify your day.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Salt, Not Peppers

(Proverbs 17:11 KJV)  An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

Is there a spiritually acceptable rebellion that is protesting oppression and seeking justice?  Think of Moses going to Pharaoh and demanding that he set Israel free.  Think of Nathan appearing before David and telling him he had sinned.  Picture the prophets.  How about Peter refusing to be quiet about Jesus.  These examples fit the idea of protesting oppression and seeking justice. 

That is not what is being talked about here.  None of these examples were self seeking or based on secular ideas of oppression and justice.  None went to the point of violence or inciting violence.  They involved declaring truth and accepting the consequences.  One is an attitude that focuses on self, the other is a drive to make things better for everyone.

So?  Do you feel like a crusader?  Get over it.  You are supposed to be salt not jalapenos.  We are to be a righteous savor not an evil pounding. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Omnis

(Proverbs 16:4 KJV)  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

This verse is foundational to our understanding of God.  It reminds us that God created everything and, even more, that He did it for His own purposes.  I am sure that God had us in mind from eternity but we need to understand that the entire universe is not about us, it is about Him.  In our self esteem based, narcissistic culture we tend to want the merry-go-round to have us as its only rider.  We think it should start and stop for us and everyone else is just an extra in our movie.


The universe is about God almighty.  He caused it and created it.  He has what we might call “goals” and “plans” that we can only get a small glimmer of.  Have you ever been in one of those stores that has a shopping cart with a toy car for the child to ride in.  Up to a certain age they are turning the wheel and making engine noises and it never occurs to them they are not in charge.  If they were, imagine where the cart would spend its time.

So?  Omniscience.  Omnipresence.  Omnipotence.  Big words.  Theological words.  They remind us that God did, and is doing it, His way and that is okay because He is God, not just a figment of your imagination. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fear Focus

(Proverbs 15:33 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

Again we see that phrase “The fear of the Lord is...”  This time it is mentioned in regard to the effect it has on the one who fears instead of the One who is feared.  Yesterday at a faculty meeting we were told that a student learns better when engaged.  Okay, that makes sense.  If you are not paying attention you gain nothing no matter how it is offered.  What creates an atmosphere of learning?

Hear the suggestion is “fear” (3374).  Again I point out this is not the fear of being bitten by a zombie.  This is the fear of awe and respect.  Why would you listen to a preacher living in sin?  Why would you listen to an environmentalist living in a mansion and flying in a personal jet?  Why would you listen to a teacher who knows less than you do?  You don’t.

God on the other hand deserves and demands our “fear”.  He is worthy.  If we accept that we are ready for the lessons He offers.

So?  It seems obvious but remember that He is God.  He wrote the book as well as designing the universal principles behind it.  Remember that today if you are inclined to take a short cut that you know is not right. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fear Treasure

(Proverbs 14:27 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

I did a search on the phrase “The fear of the Lord is...” and came up with eight hits in the NASB and nine in the KJV.  The difference was the verse before this which has a slightly different wording in the KJV.  Most of the references were in Proverbs and the only one outside Proverbs and Psalms was in Isaiah.
(Isaiah 33:6 KJV)  And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.
We see this attitude as the gateway to many blessings and personal growth.  God sees it as a “treasure” (214).  We have a glorious position in relation to Almighty God.  There is another expression that gives me a warm, fuzzy.
(Psalms 17:8 NAS77)  Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Thy wings,
So?  Fear is glorious.  Fear is an attitude of growth.  The proper respect and awe of God is a blessing to Him and a badge of glory for us.  How about a little fear today? 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Surrogates for Hope

(Proverbs 13:12 KJV)  Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

As I was looking into this verse I noticed that there are many different words in Hebrew that are translated “hope” (8431).  I quickly counted five.  There may be more.  There are many nuances.  This word is only used six times and is not the most frequent.  It is kind of generic.  How often do we “get our hopes up” only to have them dashed when reality or life steps forward?  We have all been there.

The advice here seems to be that we should be careful what we put our hope in.  As I write we are entering the posturing period for presidential elections.  It is very easy to look at political candidates and feel the stirring of hope.  We have a friend who had a miscarriage.  The stirring was snuffed out.  School is beginning.  There are many things that can give us a glimmer of hope, an anticipation.  That is okay but we need to make sure that we don’t invest too much in those surrogates for the real thing.

So?  Your hope should be an assurance found in Jesus.  Everything else is just a bump in the road to eternity. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Wicked Compassion

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

Sin is often taking something that was intended for blessing and using it in disobedience.  Thus the sexual blessing of marriage becomes adultery, rape and prostitution.  It would seem that the same thing can be said about “tender mercies” (compassion NASB) (7356).  This is a glorious Hebrew word.  It seems to be as lofty as chesed, or lovingkindness.  I love the KJV translation of “tender mercies”.  How can something like this be counterfeited and turned “wicked” (7563)?  The same way that thrift can become greed.  The same way that appreciation can become coveting. 

A primary way to take a God given behavior and turn it into sin is to make it self-serving.  It doesn’t take much to take an organization like the chaplains in the military and turn them into a force for evil.  You allow politicians and advocates of deviant life styles to forbid them from sharing the Gospel and the teachings of the Bible.  You put the chaplains in charge of morale and sensitivity training.  It doesn’t take long before they are doing the devil’s work.  Are they there yet?  Probably not, but it is coming.

The same can be said for us at work or in our communities. 

So?  As in all things requiring holy living we will need to engage our minds as well as our feelings.  We will need to either gain discernment or listen to those who have it.  The life of the believer is not going to get easier but it can still remain straight. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Stewardship of Hoarding

(Proverbs 11:26 KJV)  He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.

Americans are an affluent people.  In fact, most people in the West live very well.  Our “poor” are the envy of the third world.  This is an instruction on how we are to manage our wealth.  This could be targeted on a group that used to be small but now has become large.  Think of the speculator and the hoarder.  This group “withholds” (4513) what people need, in this case “grain” (1250). 

I think of how this could apply to me at school.  At times we run short of paper and are limited in our freedom to make copies.  To my knowledge there has been no world wide shortage of paper and, in reality, I could afford to buy paper if I wanted to.  But the school supplies are sparse.  I find myself taking paper as often as it is offered or available and hiding it so no one can find it, or even know I have it.  I become a hoarder of sorts.  To be fair I am willing to share with new teachers that come up short, but the attitude of hoarding sets in.

I can’t sell my hoarded supplies, even at a reasonable price.  I can share.  This is about people with plenty acting in a generous and fair way with people in genuine need.

So?  Check your drawers and closets.  Are you hoarding or just being a good steward? 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Antidote for Success

(Proverbs 10:2 KJV)  Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.

What is the goal of your life?  Question too inclusive?  What are you trying to accomplish today?  Still too much?  Why are you doing what you are doing now? 

Notice the two verbs used here, “profit” (3276) and “delivers” (5337).  The secular world makes the mistake of assuming that making money will provide us with what we want in life.  Obviously we need to have enough income to provide the basic needs.  That is not the picture here.  This is an antidote for the world's formula to success. 

Remember it is not an indictment of profits.  It is an insistence on priorities.  Remember the words of Jesus,
(Mark 8:36 KJV)  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
If you have an emergency at work and miss Sunday worship to put out the fire it is called an “ox in the ditch”.  If you develop a pattern of spending the Lord’s Day looking for cinders it is called sin. 

So?  Why is this a big thing?  Because people are watching what you do and ignoring what you say.  It could be your children.  It could be your parents.  It could be the waitress that knows you just came from a Bible study.  Go for the gold. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Killer Logic

(Proverbs 9:2 KJV)  She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.

Some vegetarians I can respect, some I tolerate.  The difference is not what they eat but why they eat it.  You can be a Christian and vegetarian but please don’t act like you are a vegetarian because you are a Christian.  This verse makes it clear that meat is an accepted part of the diet of believers.  It also has the endorsement of Wisdom.

It is hidden in the NASB which has “food” (2874) instead of the KJV “beasts”, but the best is found in the Literal Translation of the Holy Bible where it says “she has slaughtered her slaughter.”  The verb and the object are the same word.  Wisdom puts meat on the table.

Some people don’t eat meat because they consider the cow their brother, or sister.  This is pagan, new age nonsense.  If that is your reason I will sit next to you and be polite but I will have some serious questions about how you understand scripture.  If you don’t eat meat because you feel too much grain is used to feed them and people are hungry, okay.  I disagree, but I can accept that.  If you just don’t like meat then I want to go to breakfast with you so I can have your portion of bacon.  Just don’t claim it is a spiritual position.

So?  Why we do things is very important.  The standards of the world are frequently based on a different philosophy and concept of truth.  Know you stuff. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Ethical Salt

(Proverbs 8:10 KJV)  Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

We live in the information age.  “Knowledge” (1847) is power.  This verse would seem to be written for modern culture but the secular culture misses the bull’s-eye because they shoot at the wrong target.  We see concern for the poor turning them into a dependent class with no hope because we want to help them.  Welfare, EBT, WIC, dare I say it, Social Security, are wonderful ideas that are not guided by Biblical principles.

We have real problems in ethics.  Science is facing the real issue of “could” doesn’t always mean “should”.  How do you decide about things like research involving the body parts of aborted babies.  As I write our culture is doing its best to ignore video of abortion industry executives talking about “less crunchy” abortions and negotiating the price of the body parts produced.  They are ignoring the advice of Proverbs that their goals need to be guided by the eternal.  The prevalent ethos seems to be that the ends justify the means.

So?  When you hear the news and discuss the news you need to be salt.  You need to enhance the desire to think in the people around you.  You can’t be salt unless you fill your shaker.  Have a great day of growing.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Careful of the Clicks

(Proverbs 7:13 KJV)  So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

“I don’t know how it happened.  I could not help myself.”  Really?  How often have we been in a situation and find ourselves trapped so we do something we know we should not be doing?  Hopefully it was not, or is not, an adulterous affair like here.  Hopefully it is something as mild as being forced to have dessert after dinner at the bosses house.  That you will get over and can make up the next day.  Other situations may not be so mild in the consequences.

Like this young man we often allow ourselves to be pulled into the presence of temptation.  A good example might be pornography on the internet.  I starts with clicking on a link out of curiosity.  That link leads to one that is mildly provocative.  That leads to one that is erotic and before you know it, hard core porn is in front of you.  I have found myself a couple of clicks down the path before I got honest with myself and backed out.

So?  Be honest with yourself.  Many of the roads we should avoid have ample warning signs.  Perhaps you have already ignored a few.  It is never too late to wake up and change directions.  Sometimes that will simply involve a whispered prayer thanking the Holy Spirit for waking you up quickly.  Sometimes it will involve repentance and restitution.  The hardest part might be the honesty.  Blessings. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Face That Launched a Thousand Lies

(Proverbs 6:13 KJV)  He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;

We send signals by our physical actions.  Body language.  We can say something by the way we lean and where our eyes are focused.  Have you ever been talking to someone and realize that they are looking around to see who else might be important to talk to?  Have you ever been that person.  We can say a lot without saying a word.  I am currently in a hotel looking through one of the magazines they leave.  Most of it is advertising for local stores.  I noticed that in one series of pictures they used the same model to show a line of clothes.  I didn’t notice the styles but I did notice that she looked disconnected and uncaring in every pose.  She spoke loudly.  I would never buy from a line of clothing with that message.

In the KJV we see a word used in the previous verse, “froward” and used again in the following verse.  We would say perverse.  As I was checking my definition I noticed that the Latin word it comes from means “turned or looking from”.  Body language.  Life language.

So?  Be aware that just because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it right.  We are used to thinking this in terms of moral behavior but it also applies to the gestures and movements we make.  Do you smile openly or strive to look cool?  Jesus may know your heart but the clerk behind the counter doesn’t. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Genuine Prudishness

(Proverbs 5:15 KJV)  Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

This is an expression of what it means to be a prude.  I understand that there have been times when the church has taught that sex was evil and the only time you could be sexually involved, even in marriage, was with the intent to procreate.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  That teaching is a residue of the Gnostic heresies that seeped into the church from the culture of Bible times and soon after.  The teaching of Gnosticism that is involved here is the duality of existence.  The spiritual was good.  The physical was bad.  Thus sex, since it was physical, was bad and could only be a part of your life to make children.

These people evidently had not read Paul’s writings.  I give it here in the NASB because it is clearer.
(1 Corinthians 7:5 NAS77)  Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Read the whole passage to get the entire message.  It agrees with Proverbs.

So?  If you are married, enjoy the act of marriage.  If you aren’t, I am sorry but chastity is still your only choice.

Friday, September 4, 2015

What Have You Learned?

(Proverbs 4:11 KJV)  I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

This is not Wisdom speaking, but Solomon.  He is addressing his son.  Back in verse 4 he pointed out that he was taught by his father and now it is time to pass it on.  It does us well to remember that we are not to be cul de sacs but channels.  We are given knowledge.  We pass it on.  We have made mistakes.  We share them.  We have skills.  We show others how to apply them.  In the process we build a family.  In a larger sense we build the family of God.

So?  It doesn’t stop with us.  All around us are lives that are watching and learning.  I am  afraid that I don’t always demonstrate what I really want passed on.  Hopefully I will be able to do better today.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Something Wicked This Way Comes

(Proverbs 3:25 KJV)  Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

Can we assume from this that the “wicked” (7563) actually “comes” (935) and is not headed off at the pass?  I am not sure I like that but it is how the words go.

A key word here is “when” (3588).  It is always interesting to see how a common word like this is translated.  In the KJV it is used 1129 times.  It is translated “because” 460 times, “when” 245 times, “surely” 58 times but “if” only 166 times.  There are a slew of other translations much less frequent.  It would seem that the preponderance of translations speak of a definite expectation. 

So?  Badness will come your way.  It may stop right in front of you and stare you in the eye.  It is going to happen.  You may have a moment of panic but when your brain takes over and your memory kicks in, remember that God has promised to be there for you.  I hope it isn’t today. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Not Out of This World

(Proverbs 2:15 KJV)  Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:

Verses 11 and 12 tell us that two qualities, discretion and understanding, will do three things, guard, watch over and deliver, and then begins to give examples of what we need protection from.  In verse 12 it gives one mention of an impersonal way and then begins a list of people who practice certain behaviors and choices.  In this verse we are warned about people who walk “crooked” and are “devious” (3868).

Discretion and understanding will not keep you from rubbing elbows with this kind of person.  That is not the nature of this assistance.  We cannot retreat into special communes and refuse to engage society.  Paul points this out to us when he is warning us about phony Christians.
(1 Corinthians 5:10 KJV)  Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
The help we are promised is in recognizing, as the KJV calls them, “froward” (3868) people that warp their way into our lives.  We work with them.  We shop with them.  We worship with them.  We might be married to them. 

So?  We can live in victory but not if we do not read the warning labels.  Keep in mind that some of the foods we eat would be poison if they were not prepared correctly.  God can teach us to prepare life correctly and keep us on the straight path.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cultural Compatibility

(Proverbs 1:3 KJV)  To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

The KJV leaves a lot to be desired in this verse.  The first problem is using the word “wisdom” (7919a) (wise behavior NASB).  This is a totally different word than the one used in verse 2, which is the common word for “wisdom” (2451).  This must be a difficult word to translate because in the 70 times it is used in the KJV it is translated 25 different ways.  The NASB is even more varied. 

It looks to me like this word is more about the application of wisdom than the quality of wisdom.  I think a good approximation would be “be prudent.”  I can see why modern translations don’t use the word because it is not socially acceptable, but I don’t know why it isn’t used in the older translations. 

We need to realize that being socially unacceptable in our culture, or theirs, is a good thing.  It is uncomfortable and often dangerous.  It is offensive and rejected.  It is also right.  God is not as concerned about our cultural compatibility as He is about our walk on the Highway of Holiness.

So?  Stand up tall.  Get out your straight edge.  Be prudent and sense God’s pleasure.