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.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Condition Orange

(Proverbs 31:14 KJV)  She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

In this passage there are many references to the things that a good wife does to generate income.  We could look at this as another reference to that but I want to look at it figuratively.  A “merchant” (5503) is someone who travels and take risks in order to find items that will be of worth to others.  That is literal but a woman would be limited on how much travel she could do.  Picture the lady of the house as she travels through her day.  If she is the woman God wants her to be she is constantly sensitive to that which will strengthen and nourish her family.

She does not immerse herself in headphones and social media.  She watches, observes, processes and applies.  In a word, thinks.  She evaluates relationships around her.  She senses what is unsaid because she it alert.  Everything she sees goes into the priorities for the day, to the benefit of her family.

Like so many qualities this is one that should apply to every member of the traditional family and the family of God, the church.

So?  Don’t zone out.  Seek to understand your world.  Use that knowledge to benefit you and yours and God’s.  Allow the Holy Spirit to do His teaching even when you are doing common things.  I think that is when He likes to speak the most. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Locusts of Life

(Proverbs 30:27 KJV)  The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;

I could only find one other reference that mentioned “locusts” (697) in a positive way.
(Leviticus 11:22 KJV)  Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind.
It seems that although you cannot eat most insects, you can eat locusts.  Every other reference refers to them as pests.  They are pests that come in swarms and destroy everything in their paths.  Modern America has seen nothing like this.  There are references that say the swarms can be so large and dense that they blot out the light of day.

Do you have locusts in your life?  Most of us do to some degree.  Sometimes we think they have a “king” (4428) but there is probably no real conspiracy. 

So?  Just a reminder.  Somehow Proverbs still emphasizes hope, wisdom and righteousness in the midst of verses like this.  Don’t let the locusts of life get you down. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Short and Clear

(Proverbs 29:11 KJV)  A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.

This is a simple reminder:  Don’t lose your temper. 

It is so easy to give in to this.  It is easy to claim your are Irish.  Excuses are everywhere.  The simple command is:  Don’t lose your temper.

So?  Sometimes the short version is all you need. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Beware Lions Bearing Gifts

(Proverbs 28:15 KJV)  As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.

The focus of these evil leaders is on the “poor” (1800b) “people” (5971a).  This is the most common word translated “poor” but it is not the only one.  This one has a scope of meaning that goes beyond economics.  This is the word for those who might have enough money but are lacking in strength.  That strength can be political or personal.  If you look back at verse 3 you see it translated “lowly” in the NASB.  A number of translations have it as “weak”. 

There are many people who are not able to stand up and be counted.  They cannot do the right thing if pressure is put on them.  They tend to give in to temptation instead of resisting.  Evil leaders tend to manipulate and use these people.  That is why welfare and entitlements are so destructive.  They are used to gain political power, to buy votes.  It can make our form of government a joke.

So?  We are in a political time.  Use discernment.  Recognize that many political promises are simply the tool of unscrupulous politicians manipulating the sheep for their own benefit and power.  Vote accordingly. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Flock Mentality

(Proverbs 27:23 KJV)  Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.

I wonder if this is a way of tell a herding culture to mind their own business.  How many times have you had people that you don’t even know give you advice about a part of your life?  Some might try to tell you how to discipline your children.  Some might tell you the best way to make chili.  And they might be right.  The point of this verse is not to get us to stop listening to others but to stop us from butting into their business before they get into ours.

We all know school teachers who have children that are a total mess.  We see pastors who have marriages that are falling apart.  I always love it when I have young, single women trying to tell me how to live the life of an older, married father of two grown children.

If you have ever flown on an airplane you know the pre-flight routine.  One has to do with the oxygen masks.  Put on yours first, then the child’s.  It won’t help the kid if you pass out in the process.  Also, consider the verse everyone likes today that says, “Judge not”.  They miss the point which is a little further on.
(Matthew 7:5 KJV)  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
So?  Get our own act, fields and herds in order before you start trying to run the lives of others. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016


(Proverbs 26:26 KJV)  Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.

“Hatred” (8135) and “deceit” (guile NASB) (4860) go together.  The first is pretty straightforward.  It is always translated as a form of hate in both the KJV and NASB.  This seems to be the most common Hebrew word used.  You find a lot of condemnation of this emotion and attitude.  If you have anything with Strong’s numbers system you can follow it along with the more common verb “hate” (8130).

People follow a long convoluted road to cover up that hatred.  That is where the “guile” (4860) comes in.  This is the only place in the Old Testament that this Hebrew word is used.  The English word is defined as sly and cunning.  The implication is dishonesty.  It is not just a matter of being clever or creative.

So?  Beware.  Just because someone says something nice about you or does something nice for you does not mean they have your best interests at heart.  It is also a good reminder in a season of political campaigns. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Sloth and the Enemy

(Proverbs 25:21 KJV)  If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:

As I was reading this my mind went back to another word that has been coming up in my recent reading of proverbs:  Sloth.  Here we are told that there is a basic minimum that is expected of us in regard to our “enemy” (8130).  Does it say the same thing anywhere for the lazy? 

Think of those to whom we are expected to extend the love of Christ.  We have the poor, weak and sick.  We have orphans and widows.  We have foreigners and strangers.  This adds enemies to the list.  The same does not seem to be true for those with a sense of entitlement.

So?  Be a steward of your resources.  Extend kindness and courtesy to all but don’t be too concerned about the person who will not get up to go to work or expects something for nothing. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Walk on By

(Proverbs 24:30 KJV)  I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

Notice that the author “went by” (passed by NASB) (5674a).  Later it describes the dilapidated condition of the “field” (7704).  What is immediately clear is that the field belongs to someone who is lazy.  That is the meaning of “sluggard” (6102).  It was not run down because of poor soil, oppression, high taxes or bad weather.  It was because the farmer would not work.

Notice that there is no talk of helping him get the field up and running.  One of the points of Proverbs is that we suffer because of personal choices.  We are responsible for our own lives.  We are not supposed to sit around and wait for someone else to do our work for us.  The opposite side of that coin is that we are not to do things for people that they can do for themselves.  This is hard for people with the gifts of mercy and helps to understand.  They are so into helping that they don’t realize that they are hurting.

So?  Is it an emergency?  Be there.  Make a difference.  Is it sloth?  Walk on by.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What Price Success

(Proverbs 23:3 KJV)  Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.

I think this is one of the few places in Proverbs that we find a longer passage instead of stand-alone verses.  The context here is a reminder of the dangers inherent in trying to be a champion in the rat race.  It deals with priorities and the compromises we are inclined to make to achieve our dreams.

It does not mean that we should not desire to be successful.  What it does warn us against is making luxury and wealth the guide for our decisions. 

So?  Wealth and compromise are not the way to a happy and productive life.  It is also not the way to a pleasant eternity. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Wages of Debt Is Sin

(Proverbs 22:7 KJV)  The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

How do we avoid becoming a “servant” (slave NASB) (5650)?  Here the advice would seem to be, “Don’t borrow”.  Most of us would believe that is easier said than done.  Is credit borrowing?  How do you buy a home if the price is going up faster than you can save?  Are there any situations where it is acceptable to borrow?

We are a bit isolated from this because we are no longer sold into slavery for out debts.  Christian financial advisors will often make exceptions for a home mortgage.  The problem for most of us is not the mortgage, it is the credit card.  When done responsibly a mortgage requires enough of a down payment so that there is always enough equity in the home to pay the remainder of the mortgage.  On credit cards that is not the case.  On student loans that is not the case.  The bank takes a risk to charge higher interest on one and the government guarantees the other.  Those types of loans either put you in bondage to repay or teach irresponsibility.

So?  Debt makes us live in ways that might not be the best for us.  It might keep us at a job that is wrong for us.  The interest takes away from other priorities.  Do some serious thinking about this.  Don’t just blow it off because you don’t want to take the bus. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

And in This Corner

(Proverbs 21:9 KJV)  It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

Be careful when you read a verse like this.  If you are like me you have a tendency to see the other person as the source of contention.  Older people will remember Archie Bunker in the sit-com “All in the Family”.  Archie would often go storming off to the neighborhood bar to get away from the conflict at home.  I will admit that “Meathead” was obnoxious but it is hard to see how Edith was a “brawling” (contentious NASB) (4066) “woman” (802).  The problem was usually Archie.

Do you have a place you storm off to?  It could be work.  It could be church.  It could be to work in the yard or a garage workbench.  There is little you can do about the attitudes of the other people in your life except make sure that you are not the burr under the saddle.

So?  Make sure that the cause of dissension is not you.  About the only way I can think to self check is to ask yourself if home is the only place that life is rocky.  Do you find the same types of conflicts at work?  If so you might need to use that corner of the roof for a little self examination and repentance. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Count Your Change

(Proverbs 20:14 KJV)  It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.

Don’t take people or their ideas at face value.  As I write we are in a political campaign.  Of course it seems like we are always in a political campaign, but it is a good time to evaluate how to evaluate.  If you have been paying attention you know that people running for office will say a lot of things that they don’t mean.  They will often change their position from one speech to another.  In the past we would find multiple newspapers with different philosophies to help wade through the nonsense.  Now there is only one newspaper and you need to dig a little deeper. 

Two ways to dig deeper.  Second, you can search the internet.  What the candidate said about abortion or gay marriage is on record.  You can look for yourself.  Notice I started with second.   Again I need to remind you that the first should be knowing what to look for.  That comes from knowing the foundations laid down in God’s word.  Often with a little knowledge you can rule out a candidate or a position, but it does require a little thinking and a lot of honesty.

So?  Count your change and read the fine print.  Then get ready to participate in our version of democracy. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Long Anger

(Proverbs 19:11 KJV)  The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

Notice that spiritual maturity does not do away with “anger” (639), it simply puts it off.  The NASB has  “makes slow” the KJV has “differeth”.  The actual Hebrew means to make long.  It reminds me of the KJV translation of patience as long suffering.  Mature people still get angry but by delaying it they can either diffuse it, defuse it or focus it, whichever is more appropriate. 

Sometimes anger is a mark of maturity that is based on discernment.  Think of Jesus and His reaction to the moneychangers in the temple.  I also think He got a bit angry with Peter when He said, “Get thee behind me, Satan”.  Also note that on the cross He did not call ten thousand angels as the song suggests He could have done.

So?  Don’t buy the idea that anger is automatically sin.  There is much to get angry about.  We need to deal with it in maturity and love.  Hard, but that is what spiritual maturity demands. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Poor Excuses

(Proverbs 18:23 KJV)  The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.

If you look for figurative or symbolic meaning here this is a verse that points out a bit of Christian character.  Compare it to such teachings as the Sermon on the Mount and you see principles like,
(Matthew 5:3 KJV)  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Add things like turning the other cheek and you get a picture of someone who is not trying to dominate and control their world for their own profit.  The contrast is “roughly” (5794) which is a personality trait that we are to discard. 

As Americans we are at the rich end of the economic spectrum.  As a nation with few truly poor people we have a tendency to think highly of ourselves.  There is a warning here for us to demonstrate the love of Christ in all encounters.

So?  The work of the Holy Spirit is to take us with all our rough edges and make us into jewels for His crown.  Don’t hide behind, “Well, that’s just the way I am.”  Maybe you were but hopefully you won’t be.  We are to grow spiritually. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hard Friends

(Proverbs 17:17 KJV)  A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

“Love” (157) as understood by Christians is a unique quality in the world.  It is not based on blood or attraction.  It is not based on any quality in the other person.  It is based on the character of God.  A clear teaching of scripture is that we are not worthy of God’s favor.  We are rebels and have rejected Him.  We are centered on ourselves.  In spite of that He loves us.
(Romans 5:8 KJV)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
In the same way, we are to love. 

That love is not the warm mushy fluff served up by Hollywood and a lot of pulpits.  It is a commitment to do what is best for the other person, even when they reject that road.  It is why parenting is so hard.  You want to make the child happy now.  Instead you need to prepare him to be happy in life and for eternity.  It is why marriage is so hard at times.  It is, as this verse points out, part of being a “friend” (7453).

So?  It isn’t easy.  It will generate comments like, “I thought you were my friend”.  Love is a commitment to do what is best for the other person based on the standards of God, not the latest self-help book. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Divine Right of Kings

(Proverbs 16:10 KJV)  A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.

The NASB throws in an editorial “should” in the second part of this verse.  It doesn’t have a number to show the Hebrew word so I have to assume it is an interpretation. 
(Proverbs 16:10 NAS77)  A divine decision is in the lips of the king; His mouth should not err in judgment.
I like it because it makes this verse have some logical sense.  It seems odd to say that the king is always right.  This would be a proof text for the Divine Right of Kings people. 

I find it easier to understand with the “should” in there.  I can find rationale for the word because of other verses that talk about how a king should rule in wisdom and wisdom starts with a fear of the Lord.  We also need to allow for the possibility that God is working something out that we don’t see and would not understand if we did see. 

So?  Be careful before you criticize leaders.  Just because you don’t agree with them doesn’t mean that they are not God’s agents.  That hurts to say in today’s political climate but is still true.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Payday Comes

(Proverbs 15:6 KJV)  In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.

Here we are looking at how it is used, not just in how it is gathered.  An evil person can earn money in a legal and ethical way then use it for perverted ends.  Think of the closet alcoholic who works a job, maintains a public image and is walking a tightrope.  How many people are there that are doing good things in public but feast on a gluttony of pornography when the doors are closed. 

It would seem that the problem is not the money, but the heart and attitude.  What people cannot see is the way that these cancers eat away in the secret areas.  Sometimes the damage is hidden and explained away for a long time but the evil eventually does its work. 

So?  It is important to realize that God sees and knows all.  It important for us to know it about our lives but it is also important for us to keep it in mind when we are trying to help others. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Road of the Fool

(Proverbs 14:33 KJV)  Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.

It always amazes me when I call a students name and their response is, “I didn’t do it!”  Sometimes I know better.  Sometimes I wonder what just happened that I did not see.  Either way, since I had not accused them of anything they have demonstrated an “understanding” (995).  They know that something has happened that deserves The Wrath of the Teacher.  They may not grasp the wrath of God but they know what is expected in class and they have violated it.

God has placed a conscience in every human being.  In isolated cases we have sociopaths and psychotic individuals that might have been emotionally deformed from conception but that does not negate the existence of a conscience.  We can suppress it and isolate it until the voice is not heard.  Those who allow the Holy Spirit to work will continue to have a sense of right and wrong.

So?  People around you know right from wrong unless they have moved so far down the road of the fool that they can’t hear mother calling them to dinner.  We need to live like we hear and understand.  Maybe God can use us to make it known to them again.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Poor Definitions

(Proverbs 13:18 KJV)  Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

“Poverty” (7389) and “shame” (7036) are two conditions that have almost disappeared from our American culture.  We are worse because of it.

We still talk about poverty but we have redefined it and made the definition a tool to manipulate politically.  Poverty in history has been the lot of the majority.  You and your family were one meal away from starvation most of the time.  If you had a roof over your head it covered one room and had any animals you owned in one corner.  You were rich if you had an extra set of clothes.  You faced the reality of selling your children into slavery to survive.  That was poverty.  It was real.  It may exist today in much of the third world but not in America.

The cause is a lack of being willing to be corrected.  It is a refusal to learn from mistakes because you won’t listen.  That seems a bit harsh but it is the word for today. 

So?  If you are reading this you probably don’t live in the third world.  If you do, you are obviously not one of the poor.  Don’t get distracted by what might put them where they are.  That is another issue.  Make sure that you are listening.  Then, when your hearing is working, you can do something for others.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Get a Longer Fuse

(Proverbs 12:16 KJV)  A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.

I don’t know what translation you use but there are nuances in translation that might be important.  At one extreme we take this word, “wrath” (3808a) as it is translated in the KJV and we see it as “vexation” in the 1977 NASB.  The updated NASB follows the KJV’s lead and uses the simple word “anger”.  The CEV is simplest when it says “Losing your temper”.  The word covers that but this proverb is concerned with more than having a short fuse.

The word can mean grief, indignation or frustration.  It can be many different emotions.  The point is that it is foolish to let it all hang out.  Fools blurt.  You can blurt it out with word, gestures or expressions.  We are to learn to cover up things like this.

Why?  How many times have you lost control but few breaths later realize you misunderstood or deserved what was said?  How often have you wondered why you got so upset?  The point is not to avoid truth but to allow truth time to develop in our limited, emotional minds.

So?  Get a long fuse.  Develop a mask while you think.  There will be plenty of time to express your dissent after you think about it awhile.  It also gives the Holy Spirit time to do some teaching. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

An Abominable List

(Proverbs 11:1 KJV)  A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

What would you say is the worst sin?  I think most people are familiar with the concept of the “unforgivable sin”.  Something that is unforgivable would be pretty high on the scale of sins, or low depending on how you are rating.
(Matthew 12:31 KJV)  Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
I am wondering if “abomination” (8441) isn’t just below that.  I was wondering what might be on that list.  Here we have dishonest business practices.  As I did a search on the word I wondered what I would find.  Here they are in order with their first reference.

    Homosexual sexual practices (Lev 18:22)
    False objects of worship (Deut. 7:25)
    Cross dressing (Deut. 22:5)
    Offerings from illicit sources of income (Deut 23:18)
    Remarriage to a cast off wife (Deut 24:4)
    Being devious (Pro. 3:32)
    Arrogance, lies, murder (Pro. 6:17)
    Offerings of the wicked (Pro. 15:8)
    Justifying the wicked and condemning the righteous (Pro. 17:15)
    Scoffing (Pro. 24:9)
    Prayers of the unrighteous (Pro. 28:9)
    Oppressing the poor (Ez. 18:12)
    Adultery and fornication (Ez. 22:11)

Take your pick.  I am sure that there are many things that we think are terrible are not on the list.  The point though is not to avoid just the major sins but to live in righteousness.

So?  God Takes sin very seriously.  So should we. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Heart Foundation

(Proverbs 10:8 KJV)  The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.

The word “heart” (3820) is very common.  It is used almost 600 times in the Old Testament.  The translation has to do with our use of the heart as the center of our being and emotions.  That is the way it is used.  I don’t know if the Hebrew word is ever used of the physical organ like it is in English and I am too lazy to go through 595 references to find out.

This word points out that the believer and the life of faith is a total package.  It is not just the physical world and our actions.  It is the inner world and our motivations.  It is not just eternity, but the here and now too.  It is not just what we say, but what we believe.  This is why the put downs of “pie in the sky” and “opiate of the people” are just nonsense.  Faith in Christ is pie in the person too.  It is the hope of the people.

So?  Living by faith is not whistling in the dark, it is wisdom.  It is the sign of a solid foundation.  It is the first step to eternity. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Biggest Bigot

(Proverbs 9:8 KJV)  Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

We are so busy in the modern church trying to fit into a pagan culture and quoting “Judge not” that we forget to read the context of that quote and we ignore the repeated statements about the need to “reprove” (3917b).  The teaching of multiculturalism, “diversity” and “tolerance” is that every culture and activity is equal.  There is no moral or immoral, just differences.  That nonsense has permeated the church to the point that we mindlessly repeat the mantra of the New Age, “Judge not.”

The reason they have made that a mantra is because they need to be corrected, or reproved.  They are polluting our culture with their relativism and moral decay.  They want to do it their way and don’t want to hear your bigoted opinions.  Of course in their world God is the biggest bigot.

So?  Remember that one of God’s attributes is holiness.  He has standards that He expects us to live and proclaim.  You can’t do that without stepping on a few toes.  You can tell the righteous by how they respond.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

“Judge Not” Does Not Always Work

(Proverbs 8:16 KJV)  By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

What qualifies as a “judge” (8199)?  This is not reflected in our idea of someone in a black robe sitting behind a high desk in a court room.  That would be included but it goes beyond that.  This is the term for those who rose to lead Israel before they demanded a king.  It has to do with leadership.

One of the roles historically of a king is to hold court.  In this court people could approach him for a final appeal.  If they had been wronged and could not get satisfaction because they were too poor or weak, they could appeal to the king.  We see Paul using this tactic when he was arrested in Jerusalem.  He “appealed to Caesar”. 

There may come times when people appeal to you for a judgement.  It could be totally casual.  It could be for professional advice.  It could be spiritual or financial.  What are you going to tell them?  The key words here are “by me”.  We are to give advice based on the standards God has given us in His word.  We are to do it from hearts that are balanced by grace and the Holy Spirit.  It is a part of being salt and light.

So?  Be prepared.  You never know when someone will ask your opinion or advice.  If you know the standards and principles of God you will be in a better position to help. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Goodman vs Good Man

(Proverbs 7:19 KJV)  For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:

The KJV has an interesting bit of interpretation going on. Notice the term “goodman” (376) instead of the common “man” of the NASB.  Most modern readers would assume that this was just another way of writing “the good man”.  Not so to the translators of the KJV.  By using this term in its archaic way they were bringing social class into the picture.  Modern Americans are not into traditional class structure but your class determined how you were addressed.  To address someone as “goodman” or “goodwife” was a way for you to be courteous to a person below you on the pecking order.  The goodman would address the next step up as “mister”.  The class above that were those with a knighthood and were addressed as “sir”.

The distinction is not in the Hebrew at this point.  Although there are distinct classes conceded in Proverbs the Biblical standard is that the ground is level at the foot of the cross.  There is no room for looking down on others because of social class, economics, gender or ethnic background.  God wants us to life up the righteous and reject the wicked.

So?  We must respond and relate to people around us.  Make it a Biblical system based on the standards that God has given us.  That might mean changing political affiliation or finding a new mechanic.  It certainly applies to picking our friends and spouse.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Always in the Witness Stand

(Proverbs 6:19 KJV)  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

This is the same “false” (8267) “witness” (5707) we find in the ten commandments.
(Exodus 20:16 KJV)  Thou shalt not bear false (5707) witness (5707 against thy neighbour.
A lie is incompatible with truth.  A half truth is a lie.  This goes to the heart of Christian character and the character of God.  A few verses ago it said this was abomination to God.

So?  A Christians we believe in absolute truth.  Obviously there are times when we must seek the lesser of two evils or the better of two goods but that does not take away the fact that truth exists.  We are expected to be living witnesses to it.  We are expected to be different from the culture that we are immersed in.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

God’s Eye View

(Proverbs 5:21 KJV)  For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

We tend to forget this simple little reality.  God is constantly aware of what we do and why we do it.  When someone cuts you off on the freeway you don’t know if they are lost, drunk, late for work, heading to the emergency room or just incompetent as a driver.  God does.  He also knows how you respond, or should I say, how I respond.

We can take this as an assurance or a warning.  Which it is depends on our actions and our attitudes.  God is watching when you trip over a rock on the path.  He is watching when you take a public stand for morality.  He is watching when you quietly do the right thing.  It is a reality that we need to instill in our thinking.

So?  Have a glorious day even if nothing goes right.  God is watching the now and the later.  He has it all in control and wants you to remember that. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Be a Road Sign

(Proverbs 4:17 KJV)  For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

How can you tell if someone is an enemy of God?  This verse gives a few indicators:  “wickedness” (7562) and “violence” (2555).  The first should be obvious except that we too often define evil behavior by our cultural norms not those of God.  Cultural norms are fluid and arbitrary.  For instance, murder is defined differently in different cultures but all cultures have the concept of murder.  The concept is from God, the definition gets bogged down in local traditions.  Skirt lengths are always going up and down.  God’s standard of modesty is always in force.

God’s people do not blow in the wind, they point the direction toward right.  They are compasses, not wind socks. 

So?  How are your definitions today?  Are you an employee that radiates the standards of God?  Are you an employer that demonstrates the care that God entrusted to you?  Apply that to parenting, shopping, driving, etc.  Be an example.  The world desperately needs it. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Of Course You Don’t Understand

(Proverbs 3:32 KJV)  For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.

Many people reject the teaching of the Bible.  They reject Jesus.  They reject their need for a savior.  Often the rejection is not open and honest but is “froward” (crooked NASB) (3868).  We might consider it a form of rationalization.  People will say it doesn’t make sense or they don’t understand and will focus on a minor issue on something that is perfectly clear.  The word has the idea of looking for back doors and shortcuts.  It has the idea of avoiding eye to eye discussions and instead tweeting or posting to Face-Book. 

God is not happy with this.  Our resistance and refusal to listen make it so that the Holy Spirit cannot teach us.  He could but that would be coercion and as false as hypocritical religion.  One of the reasons that the Bible does not speak to people is because they refuse to listen.  That is a key element in walking in righteousness.

So?  Keep your ears tuned by making sure your heart, mind, soul and strength belong to Him.  He will take care of the rest.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sandwich of Hope

(Proverbs 2:21 KJV)  For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

This verse and the one before it are a sandwich of hope in the middle of a culture of doom.  In between talk of adulteresses and death and wicked being cut off we have reference to the “upright” (3477).  Maybe it slipped by you but that is supposed to be you and me.  It isn’t the slick lawyer or cost cutting builder.  It isn’t the heretic preacher or the cheating husband.  It is those who walk in obedience.  Most of the translations I have on my software use “upright”.

God does not ask us to accomplish what He does not prepare us to do.  We are all familiar with the verse that says,
(1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV)  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
That is the negative:  God will provide and escape.  This is the positive:  We can live in ways that please Him.

So?  It is good to know there is an escape clause.  It is better to know there is a victory clause.  I hope you can testify to that.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Love That Mocks

(Proverbs 1:26 KJV)  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

We are familiar with the concept that God is love.  The reason for that is that the Bible says so and we like that idea.
(1 John 4:8 KJV)  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
We like it because it makes us all warm inside and because we define love the way we want to instead of Biblically.  We confine God in our definition of love instead of understanding love as an attribute of God. 

Within that attribute of love is a holy, righteous God who rails at the sanctimonious excuses we make by trying to push Him as far as we can and then saying, “Oh, I am so sorry.  Forgive me.”  Read this verse again.  Somehow I don’t think it fits your stereotype of Grandfather God.  It does fit the character of a holy God who does not play games that mock Him.  Remember, He knows our hearts.  He knows when we have an ace up our sleeve or when we adjust the rules to give us the advantage.  He does not laugh.

So?  I trust this is not a warning to you.  I hope it is only a reminder that you need to look at the games that others play and not have a false sense of security about their standing before the Lord.