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.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Soul Seekers

(Proverbs 29:10 KJV)  The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.

The concern of the “just” (upright NASB) (3477) goes deeper than a welfare check.  They are concerned about more than the “life” (5315) the NASB mentions.  The KJV gives the more common definition as “soul.”  “Soul” is the most common translation in both versions, followed by “life”.  That tells us that we are concerned about the total picture, not just how someone feels today.  In another place Solomon uses the same word with this reminder,
(Proverbs 11:30 KJV)  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls (5315) is wise.
This is not an excuse to draw back from meeting physical needs.  It is a demand that we not be satisfied with meeting physical needs.  To paraphrase a bit of wisdom, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.  Introduce Him to the maker of fish and feed him for eternity.”

So?  Walk upright.  That will put your vision above the crowd and help you to see the long term goals of bringing people into the kingdom.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Make Your Day

(Proverbs 28:14 KJV)  Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.

A bit of insecurity can make your day.  I think I am a pretty good driver.  It is easy for me to fall into a sense of security because I know I won’t do anything stupid.  That is a stupid thing to do.  I need to have a healthy fear of the crazy drivers around me.  That means driving defensively.  It means watching your mirrors and keeping extra distance.  It means a healthy fear that keeps you alert.

Lack of fear brings “calamity” (7463a) according to the NASB and “mischief” (7451) according to the KJV.  The root word for this is evil and that is the most common translation in both.  This is the fear that keeps you off the thin ice when skating.  It is the fear that makes you alert in rattlesnake country.  It is the fear that makes you look both ways before you cross a street.  It is the fear that makes you live without terror.

So?  Go ahead, be afraid.  It may make your day. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

On Horses and Water

(Proverbs 27:22 KJV)  Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

Face it.  Some people will never learn.  At least they will never learn from anything you do to or for them.  As a school teacher I find this hard to deal with but it explains a lot when I look at experience.  We might quote the proverb, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”  Some say that you just need to make him thirsty.  Those people do not understand the stubborn nature of fools.  They know better.  They just refuse to admit it.

So?  Give it your best shot and move on.  Don’t feel guilty if you have lived the life, talked the talk and prayed the prayers.  They are not interested.  It is ultimately the job of the Holy Spirit to cut through the foolishness. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Cynical Realism

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

Some people call me a cynic.  I have been accused of being negative.  I am sure that it would appear that way to some people.  There are even times, places and situations where it is true.  I prefer to think of myself as a realist.  I am always looking for motive and track record.  I consider the source and consult my common sense.  Recently there have been a spate of radio commercials that guarantee a good rate of return with no loss of principle if the economy crashes.  Sounds good.  The truth is probably in the fine print.  I know enough about economics to know that the higher the rate of return, the greater the risk.  When savings accounts are bragging about paying slightly over 1% and this company is guaranteeing 7% with no risk my baloney meter goes off.

We are approaching an election.  It seems like we are always approaching an election.  You may be looking at annual meetings at your church.  Tax time is a few months away.  You need to practice discernment.  That is true even if the big decision you need to make is the brand of corn flakes you are going to buy.

So?  God’s people are to be pleasant and courteous.  They are not supposed to be gullible.  If you give the panhandler a dollar and don’t know he will probably use it in ways you would not approve then you need to take a class in reality.  You may give it anyway but do it without living in a fantasy world. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016


(Proverbs 25:20 KJV)  As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing?  The context doesn’t really help us.  If we look back and consider this part of the previous verses then the pattern says it is bad.  If we look at the next verse the pattern says it is good.  For today let’s ask ourselves a few questions about the “garment” (899b).  It is interesting that the root for this word means treachery or covering.  I think the idea is that you are covering something up.  To take off a coat in this context would mean to expose that which does not need to be exposed.

This could be pointing out that there are times when we could remain silent and instead we blurt out some true statement that did not need to be said.  In many cases, all that does is add fuel to the fire that is already burning.  I can think of many times when I was working outside on a cold day and after I got warmed up I didn’t need the coat any more.  If I took it off without the proper preparation it was another story.

So?  There may be times to speak the truth in love.  The point here might be that we need to be investing a lot of work into the love before we come to that brief moment where the truth will be accepted.  As Paul said, “Love is patient, love is kind.....” 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Those Pesky Works

(Proverbs 24:29 KJV)  Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.

We are told not to “say” (559) this.  There is no magic in this word.  It is used over 5000 times in the Old Testament.  I would say that makes it common.  I have already commented on the aspect of turning the other cheek but there is another interesting aspect to his verse.  If you look back at verse 12 you find that God has made this statement.
(Proverbs 24:12 KJV)  If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?
In fact if you do a little research you will find that there are a number of places in both the OT and NT where it is stated that God will respond to people according to their “work” (6467).  For those of us who were raised on the concept of “Grace, good; works, bad” this is a bit unsettling.  Yes, grace is the force behind our salvation but keep in mind that our behavior is in the mix somehow.  Before you cast me out read verses 12 and 29 again and notice it is not my words but Gods.

So?  Rejoice in grace.  We cannot ever earn our salvation.  Live in obedience.  In some way it makes a difference.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What Floats Your Bloat?

(Proverbs 23:2 KJV)  And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.

What does it take to drive you to self control and self discipline?  Here the focus is falling for the manipulation of unscrupulous leaders.  The immediate reference is to our willingness to dull our senses with food.

I had been warned for years about the dangers of overeating.  If you read any literature about health a large number of infirmities suffered by millions are caused by excess weight, obesity.  The doctors would always tell me to quit smoking, cut down on my alcohol consumption and lose some weight.  Since I didn’t drink or smoke I assumed that one out of three could not be that dangerous.  It took being sent to a doctor who had a specialty of diabetes to get me to smell the insulin.  I am thankful that the Lord finally got my attention.

So?  Don’t wait to be hit up side the head to wake up.  I know it is easy to say and hard to do.  Ask yourself if all the consequences of your lack of discipline are really worth sitting at the table.  God is patient and persistent but eventually He may let us struggle with the consequences of our frivolity. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Seat Belt Serious

(Proverbs 22:6 KJV)  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

One of the important requirements to raising Godly children is to be Godly ourselves.  You would think that is obvious but consider all the people who send their children to Sunday School or even attend regularly without any real commitment.  I remember when we were trying to force our child into a car seat and later to put on the seat belt.  This was in the period that cars were required to have them but we were not required to use them.  It soon became obvious to us that if we did not do it ourselves, they would never go along with the restriction. 

Parents who do not live what they teach are like cars with unused seat belts.  Were we serious?  Then we needed to buckle up.  Are you serious?  Then you need to find the seat belts in your life and put them to use.

So?  It is never too late to start although it may be late to have the effect obedience could have had. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Strange vs Right

(Proverbs 21:8 KJV)  The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.

The KJV and the NASB are significantly different here.  The Hebrew words are the same but the way they are put together comes out different.  The translations I have to compare show the same two tracks.  Most agree with the NASB. 
(Proverbs 21:8 NAS77)  The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.
The King James does not hold together as logical literature.  The first part seems to be a statement about original sin and depravity.  If that is the correct translation then the second part is impossible.  You cannot have the nature of man “froward” (crooked NASB) (2019) and “pure” (2134) at the same time.  That is why I would go with the NASB on this.

That makes it a statement consistent with the idea of knowing a tree by its fruit.  Our lives demonstrate the condition of our souls. 

So?  Don’t judge yourself on one bad day but on the pattern and trends you see behind you.  Look at the goals and dreams ahead.  Are they crooked or upright?  What are you going to do about it? 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Deprivation by Sleep

(Proverbs 20:13 KJV)  Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

There is a line that some comedian came up with that points out those who are not panicked are not paying attention.  I am not going to doom and gloom here, just pointing out there is a figurative aspect to this verse.  It amazes me how many people don’t pay attention to what is going on around them.  I saw a list of new taxes that have come into place this year on Gorges Grouse blog.  I am not sure where he got it but it was scary.  None of them were put in place by the due process of the budget but hidden in the Affordable Care Act. 

How many other serious forces are in motion around us and we are not paying attention.  We are God’s people.  We trust but the trust is in God, not the government, insurance company or even the church.  Being awake may not save us from the wave coming but it might give us a chance to get into the life boats or put on our vests.

So?  Don’t get complacent.  Be alert.  It takes a bit more effort but it is part of being faithful.

Friday, February 19, 2016


(Proverbs 19:10 KJV)  Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.

I have never bought lottery ticket.  I don’t plan on buying a lottery ticket.  Every once in a leap year I think about it.  I figure it might be worth the investment to see if God wants me to be rich.  I figure He might need my help. 

The truth is, if God wanted me to be rich He would find a way without my help.  As it is, I have all that I could need and more.  There is nothing reasonable that I really want that I could not afford.  I am a saver.  I can always find a way to put away a few cents and they have a way of accumulating until my wife finds them.  I am not sure that I could handle being rich.  I think the “fool” (3684) in me would come out.  I would find that I could not handle it. 

So?  God finds ways to provide for us.  We are to work hard and be responsible.  He will see to it that our needs are supplied.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Finders, Keepers

(Proverbs 18:22 KJV)  Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

Adam Clarke from the 18th century says that all the different versions add a word to the Hebrew.  They all try to qualify “wife” (802) with “good”, in other words they insert the word again where it is not warranted.  I know I have that desire to edit the Hebrew but the simple fact is that this is declaring the generic wife is good.  If you are married there are probably times you question that just as wives would return the feeling about husbands.

It still says it.  Marriage is blessed by God.  It is one of the founding blocks of society because it gives a safe haven for the family and a place to prepare the next generation. 

While I am at it let me meddle a little.  The church is the Bride of Christ.  Jesus died for it just as husbands are to give themselves up for their wives.  Just as that is true there is another parallel.  Let me say it this way, “He who finds a church finds a good thing.”  If you are looking for the perfect church you are as likely of finding it as the perfect wife.

So?  Don’t confuse that with scripture.  It is just my thought at a time when I am again between churches.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Value of Sense

(Proverbs 17:16 KJV)  Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?

This speaks of the frustration of the rich fool.  He has the resources to buy anything he sees.  The problem is that nothing that is available fills the void in his life.  The KJV does a better job of translating by saying “heart” (3820) instead of the “sense” of the NASB.  Picture a vegan in a butcher shop.  He is surrounded by edible food but doesn’t want any of it.  A good example of this was in the recent hysteria over the lottery jackpot that reached over a billion dollars.  Three people shared the bounty.  I hope they are not typical of winners.  People who win millions in the lottery usually end up pennyless and miserable because they don’t have the heart of wisdom.  The money destroys them.

We live in an affluent age in a rich country.  Even our poor are better off than most of the world.  And yet we have so many people who are miserable in the midst of their plenty.  Keep in mind what they are missing, it isn’t wealth.
(Proverbs 9:10 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
So?  Feel free to daydream about winning the lottery but keep your feet in eternity.  I trust that you have the sense, or heart, that can put you in touch with the One who satisfies. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Solomon’s Invisible Hand

(Proverbs 16:9 KJV)  A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

This verse is a reflection on providence and grace.  I believe that God has given us free will.  The Holy Spirit works even in unbelievers to make it possible for them to accept the forgiveness that God offers.  This accepts that we cannot earn our salvation and it is not something we do and yet makes us responsible.  That is not the only place where God is moving.

Providence is God’s hand in our world.  He takes our feeble plans and arranges the world in such a way that we can see His will done.  Sometimes it seems because of us, other times it seems in spite of us.  He is the ultimate king maker and bump in the road.  He keeps His own counsel on why He does what He does.  Our job is to trust and keep moving forward.

So?  I hope you have a rough idea of your day.  You know where you work and where you live.  Go forward in the knowledge that God is not only watching over your shoulder but is also way ahead of you.  

Monday, February 15, 2016

Be a Pinch

(Proverbs 15:5 KJV)  A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

Today the biggest “fool” (191) would be our culture.  We are in the process of undermine society by discounting the importance of the “father” (1) in the home.  Society as a whole is rejecting the wisdom and stability he can provide.  Yes, I realize that I am a father and might have a vested interest in this but I did not write this verse, Solomon did under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

I think it is interesting that the Hebrew word is ab, the basis for Jesus saying “Abba, Father”.  Paul repeats the phrase twice.  If we want to get figurative and look for hidden meanings this verse could be interpreted to mean that society is being a fool to reject the discipline of God.

So?  We live in a fallen world and a corrupt society.  I remind you that we are not called to conform to that standard but to be salt and light.  We are to be that faithful remnant that will cause God to stay His hand of judgement.  In a soup a pinch of salt can make a difference.  In a dark room one match can keep someone from stumbling.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Brussel Sprouts or Pie

(Proverbs 14:32 KJV)  The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.

Are you a believer?  You have a “hope” (refuge NASB) (2620).  This is an interesting word that the KJV translates consistently different than the NASB.  The definition can go either way.  We do have a refuge but it is based on our hope, or trust, in God.  We have assurance facing “death” (4194) based on the trust we have in the sufficiency of the blood of Christ to cleanse us from sin.

Some would call this pie in the sky.  Maybe, but pie in the sky is better than Brussel sprouts on earth.  That is doubly true if both are assured.

So?  Death is certain.  What comes after is based on how we respond to the offer of a refuge.  As the sign in the window says, “Sale ends tomorrow”.  It just might. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Making Waves

(Proverbs 13:17 KJV)  A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.

What kind of a wake do you leave behind you?  Sometimes I think my wife wishes I had a care-giver to follow me around and straighten up the mess I leave.  She considers me a messy.  She is right and I need to do something about it.  Someday. 

Some people are messy in their lives.  If it is just unfinished business then solutions can be found.  Unfortunately it is often moral.  They leave broken lives and shattered hopes behind them.  They are “wicked” (7563).  This is a common concern in Proverbs.  The Hebrew word is used 84 times just in this book.  It is bad enough that they destroy themselves but they also tend to spread the damnation to those around them.

So?  Jesus blessed the peacemakers.  It is one of those areas of life where we have something to say on the issue.  What are people hearing from your life?

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Habit of Hearkening

(Proverbs 12:15 KJV)  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

We should be our own worse critic.  I know it is hard.  We are inside our own skin.  Our thinking is molded by our experiences and limitations.  We might be color blind or tone deaf.  We might be mentally deficient.  We might never have been out on our own.  With all that, how can we make the right decisions?

At school I have kids ask me, “How do you know so much?”  Now obviously, I am older and that should count for something but there are other ingredients to my knowledge pool.  The one I always point out is that I am one who “harkeneth” (listens NASB) (8085).  When I am at a faculty meeting and the chances of anything worth hearing are minuscule, I still listen.  You never know.  When I am listening to a boring sermon, poorly delivered, I still pay attention.  You never know.  When I get nagged, I consider what is said.  You never know.

So?  One of the things we don’t want said about us is that we never know because we never listen.  Try it.  You might find it handy in a Trivial Pursuit game.  You might find it handy in a crisis. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Righteous Reward Multiplied

(Proverbs 11:31 KJV)  Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

Do you think eternal life will be wonderful?  Do you think that there will be rewards even in this life?  I agree, but that is not what this is pointing out.  This is a comparison.  Say on the scale of life heaven will be 100 points of blessing.  This is saying that the payment for the “wicked” (7563) will be -200.  It won’t just be the opposite but will “much more” (637/3588).  That sounds like a party I want to miss.

It doesn’t matter if you think Hell will be a literal lake of fire or not.  The point is that eternity for those who have rejected God and refused to bend their knee will be one of unmeasurable misery.

So?  Life is full of choices.  Some make a difference in the color of your sox.  Some are a bit more important.  Choose wisely. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

By Lines

(Proverbs 10:7 KJV)  The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.

Notice that the “name” (8034) is linked with the “wicked” (7563).  All the “just" (righteous NASB) (6662) leaves is a “memory” (2143).  This is a way of saying “it is amazing how much you can get done if you don’t care who gets the credit”.  One of the tendencies of the upright is that they do what is right even when someone else gets the award. 

Everyone gets at least a little pleasure out of being recognized.  The believer does not demand it.  He takes the high road even when no one is looking.  As a result we see the quality of life rising.  When everyone is out for themselves things “rot” (7537).  We complain about how hard it is to get anything done when we run into the incompetent, self-centered clerk but think about how many times things are done right and on time. 

So?  Be a blessing.  Be one of the supporting cast and let the egotist go for the leading role.  People may not remember your name but they will be blessed by your life. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Correct Me if I Am Wrong

(Proverbs 9:7 KJV)  He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

He who “reproveth” (corrects NASB) (3256) is looking for trouble.  We all know this.  People do not like to be confronted with their errors.  I know I don’t.  Maybe you are different.  The tension comes when we realize that we are responsible to do what we hate.  Jesus Himself tells us,
(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.
It is to be done with care and in love, but it is to be done.  This verse is pointing out that we need to brace ourselves for the response.

So?  Part of love is correcting those in error.  If you have children, it is part of being a parent.  If it is overlooked there are those who will ruin their lives when it could be avoided.  Do you care enough to take the risk? 

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Dangers of an Isolated Verse

(Proverbs 8:15 KJV)  By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

This verse is a good one for showing us the danger of proof texting.  Proof texting in one sense is a legitimate pursuit of truth.  In this sense you are looking for texts that prove a point of doctrine or teaching.  It is valuable when done without an agenda and for people of good will doing honest research.

Unfortunately it doesn’t usually work out that way.  The term has become a description of a method of finding the truth you are looking for at the cost of real truth.  In this form of “research” the “scholar” will take one verse that says what they want and make it the basis for all kinds of applications that are alien to its context and intended meaning.  To do good proof texting requires ignoring the clear teaching of large sweeps of scripture.  Thus if you were trying to justify your political position as dictator you can simply read this and silence the opposition.

So?  Be careful when you try to base a big statement on a little verse.  The key words above are “good will” and “honest”.   You may fool some people but God is not that gullible. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Danger of Life Savers

(Proverbs 7:18 Webster)  Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

Immediate gratification is not just a problem in our generation.  Solomon was aware of the tendency even in ancient Israel.  We have so many areas of our lives in which we live in the present with no regard for the future.  That is why credit cards get people into so much trouble.  It is why so many are under a mountain of student loans.  It is why people buy things they cannot afford.  It is the reason for pandemic sexually transmitted disease. 

Christians should be different.  We live for eternity not the moment.  We don’t forget the concept of tangents.  A small variation now can mean a big difference tomorrow and an insurmountable barrier later in life.  I believe one life saver candy is ten calories.  Ten calories today won’t make a noticeable change.  After a year it means a pound, no big deal.  In thirty years it means thirty pounds.

So?  Work on an eternal perspective in your choices and priorities.  It means walking by faith because you won’t see the results for years.  Do you believe God speaks truth or not? 

Saturday, February 6, 2016


(Proverbs 6:18 KJV)  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

Contrast can teach us a lot.  There are times you can read a statement and the Holy Spirit brings to mind the opposite.  That hit me this morning.  This verse is talking about the “heart” (3820) that relishes “evil” (7463a).  That is the norm.  That is what I am surrounded by on the freeway going to work.  That is what I see filling my classes and sitting in authority over me at work.  This morning I was reminded that it doesn’t have to be that way.  Any or all of these people could be set free if they would bow their knee to Jesus and let the Holy Spirit do His work. 

The words of a hymn, “O for a Heart to Praise My God”, came to mind.  In this case it was the second verse.
A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
My great Redeemer's throne,
Where only Christ is heard to speak,
Where Jesus reigns alone.
Yes, we are surrounded by people who serve Satan.  They won’t admit it.  They may not even be aware of it.  It is kind of like the HIV virus.  You can be infected with it for years and not know.  The good news that we have and HIV carriers don’t is that we can be cured of our infirmity.

So?   If your heart has been set free, celebrate.  Rejoice.  If your heart is still longing to do the self centered thing, talk to God about it.  He has a cure. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Beware of Strangers

(Proverbs 5:20 KJV)  And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

Two types of people are to be avoided.  The “strange woman” (adulteress NASB) (2114a) and the “stranger” (foreigner NASB) (5237).  The translations tend to overlap in English.  The first literally means stranger and the second foreigner.  Keep in mind the tribal sense of social relationships of the day.  People identified with those related by blood.  Anyone outside was to be treated with suspicion.

We have come a long way.  Paul set the standard with
(Colossians 3:11 KJV)  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
Our new relationships are based on the blood of Christ.

So?  Limit your involvement with those outside the faith.  Obviously we cannot all go live in communes.  What we can do is listen to those who speak with wisdom and a fear of the Lord. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Evil Fix

(Proverbs 4:16 KJV)  For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

The NASB “evil” (7489a) is much better than the “mischief” of the KJV.  In our day mischief is something that an active child might get involved in.  We used to talk about how my son had “mischief in his eyes”.  At no time did we imply evil.  We need to understand that much of the antisocial behavior we see is not mischief, it is evil.

Think about the news for the last year.  Terrorism.  Child abuse.  Rape.  Rioting.  Government coercion.  It is not mischief, it is evil.  When a group of disguised Muslims line up a group of orange clad Christians on a beach and cut off their heads it is evil.  Not because of the religions involved but because such an act is evil.  This is a reminder that there are some people who don’t feel their day is complete unless they have been able to mess with someone.

So?  Don’t make excuses for evil.  Don’t make excuses for yourself.  Be salt and light.  Be the love of God in action, even as you see evil for what it is. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Apply the Antidote

(Proverbs 3:31 KJV)  Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

In our politically correct times the KJV would be a poster slogan.  It talks about the “oppressor” (376/2555).  One of the mantras of the political left is oppression and the greedy rich.  They might even like the NASB with its “man (376) of violence (2555), which is a more literal translation.  Those of us on the right might get a little tired of the way the warning is misused.  The problem is that when we are reacting to the perversion of the principle we often are also guilty of ignoring the problem.

Christmas is past at this point but the music of Christmas should teach us all year.  Take these words from the third verse of “O Holy Night”,
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Just because people take the concept of “justice” and twist it for their personal agenda does not mean that we are allowed to ignore it.  Oppression is real.  It is not just a social issue of rich and poor.  It takes places in families and in churches. 

So?  The antidote to oppression is not more federal regulations it is an application of Christian love.  You can’t oppress someone when you are being patient, kind, and so forth.  Apply the behavior that God has shown us.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Be Nice

(Proverbs 2:20 KJV)  That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

The long view goal of scripture is of course our eternal destiny.  We want to be on the list “When the Role Is Called up Yonder”.  But the teachings of the word are also very practical and very “today”.   It is to make our “walk” (1980) today the walk of “good men” (2896a).  The KJV makes this more clear than the NASB.  The word “men” is not in the Hebrew.  This is a quality of behavior.  Notice that in the last phrase you have “righteous” (6662).  The point is to contrast and compare, not expand.

The quality here is defined as pleasant and agreeable.  This means that by studying the principles of the Bible and putting them in motion in life we become nice people to be around.  It changes the way in which we relate to people around us.  They may avoid us because we are upright and won’t laugh at their dirty jokes but they should never shun our company because we are rude or obnoxious.

So?  Be good in the way that ice cream is good.  Sometimes that is called being a peacemaker.  Sometimes it is being patient.  Sometimes should become always.  Study and apply. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Basic Maintenance

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

This verse sums up the prevailing American attitude.  It also fits well with most of the world.  We sit like the three monkeys in front of the “counsel” (6098) of God.  In this case it is a matter of seeing no truth, hearing no truth and speaking no truth.  The truth is freely available and it is rejected.  Any time the forces of righteousness unite to use the democratic process to advance God’s standards an elitist judge will strike it down.  How long can the machinery of a country keep working when the basic maintenance is being ignored?

No one individual can change the direction of a country but we need to understand that many times God has intervened for the faithful remnant.  The question we need to ask ourselves, individually, is “Am I paying attention?” 

So?  If all you are able to influence is the air in the tires of society, then make sure that the air is good.  Do your part to be righteous and keep trusting God to paint the big picture.