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.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Thinking Positive Thoughts

(Proverbs 30:32 KJV)  If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth.

Lets assume for the moment that this describes you, now or in the past.  You have dug a hole and it is raining.  As a result of what you have said and done you are about to go under.  As a guy on the radio used to say, “If you have dug yourself into a hole the first thing you need to do is stop digging.”

Stop being a fool.  Two flags of foolishness are given.  One is your mouth.  Stop talking.  Think and pray before you make things worse.  And the clue to how to stop your mouth is to rechannel your brain.  Your thought life, your fantasies and your daydreaming can get you to the point where your mouth starts digging.  How do you get your mind off the bad stuff?  By applying it to the good things.
(Philippians 4:8 KJV)  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
So?  You keep bad air from coming in by having a positive pressure on the inside.  The same goes for your thought life.  The Holy Spirit can help you on this but He probably won’t do it without you. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Family Recipes

(Proverbs 29:17 KJV)  Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

Why do we have children?  In the thug community getting a woman pregnant is considered a mark of manhood.  It makes you macho.  In the business community it gives you someone to pass on your empire to.  For some people it is just a thing that happens.  Christians are urged by the Bible to have many children.  There are a number of reasons given starting in the beginning.
(Genesis 1:28 KJV)  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Here in Proverbs we are told that children can give us “comfort” (5117) and “delight” (4574).  If you have young children you might question that.  If you have those in the throes of puberty you have serious questions.  Two observations.

First, you are required to “correct” (3256).  Children do not come ready to serve.  Think of fixing a pot of beans from scratch.  You either soak them for hours or cook them for hours.  Maybe you do both.  Unless you do they will crack you teeth.  Children require preparation.  That is your job.  It is your job if you are a parent, like here.  It is your job if you are part of the family of God.

Second, the greatest rewards come when they grow up.  Sure you can be proud of a child that does something great in little league but that is transient.  It is something else when they grow up to live productive lives. 

So?  Be patient and follow the recipe.  The greatest joys may be down the road a ways. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bias and Impartiality

(Proverbs 28:21 KJV)  To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.

Proverbs is loaded with examples of what we would call “respect of persons” (partiality NASB) (5234/6440) which are listed as requirements not given as examples of sin.  For example,
(Proverbs 27:10 KJV)  Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.
Or take the examples in the law where other Israelites are to be treated differently than foreigners.  Obviously there are times when we must make decisions and choices.  At other times were are to be totally unbiased.  Which is which?

The key is in the actual Hebrew.  Their concept is, as the KJV says, being a respecter of persons.  It means to consider their face and give them special treatment because of their class or power.  The call is to the rule of law.  It is a foundation for justice. 

So?  While a citizen might have certain rights that a foreigner would not, the law is to be blind to their persons when it comes to following the law.  We are to love everyone and treat them as creations of God but at the same time realize that we are not to throw our pearls before swine.  It requires some thinking. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Empty Self-Esteem

(Proverbs 27:2 KJV)  Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

The least likely person to offer you genuine “praise” (1984b) is a perfect “stranger” (5237).  You might get an occasional “nice hat” or “good swing” but you will probably never hear “way to love”.  That should tell us something about praise.

Our modern culture tells us that we need to dish out the praise to raise people’s self-esteem.  At school I am told to keep a quarter and a penny in my pocket to remind me to praise people 25 times for every criticism I offer.  You wonder why young people are so cocky for so little reason?  It is because of this philosophy. 

So?  Don’t self-praise.  Be leery of empty praise.  Don’t inflate egos with cheap words.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Unseemly for Fools

(Proverbs 26:1 KJV)  As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.

I once was given the opportunity to ride in a Jaguar.  I don’t remember what model it was but it was one of the sleek sporty model like an XKE.  I had worshiped them from afar for years.  One ride cured my fantasy.  I had a hard time getting in and almost could not get out.  They are sleek cars made for sleek people.  I don’t fit because I am not sleek.

Some people don’t fit for honor.  They are fools.  That is the bad news.  The good news is that fools can change.  They can start to listen.  They can actually pay attention to the reading and preaching of the word.  They can learn from their mistakes.  They, or should I say, we.  Just as we were all once sinners and by the grace of God became saints, fools can become wise.

So?  How are you doing today?  I have my ups and downs.  My prayer is that I am always taking more steps toward wisdom than foolishness.  The Holy Spirit helps me in that walk. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

You Are Not a Spring

(Proverbs 25:26 KJV)  A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.

One weakness of this analogy is that a “spring” (4599) has nothing to say about its condition.  It would be really easy to claim to be “a helpless pawn in the hands of fate”.  That is not the point.  A spring has no choice in being trampled.  We, as children of God, do. 

We may not have a choice about the abuse.  We do have a choice in the response.  This is what the Love Chapter is about.  This is what “turning the other cheek” is about.  This is what Christian character is about.  If you are old enough you will remember the song that says, “He could have called ten thousand angels....”  He didn’t.  He suffered and died to redeem the world.  We are expected to respond to the trampling and pollution of the world in the same way.

So?  They may be out to get you.  The grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit can give you the ability to take it and keep on loving.  We are not springs or wells, we are saints. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Embracing a Destiny

(Proverbs 24:1 KJV)  Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.

 I don’t think I have as much of a problem with this as some I know.  I don’t start drooling when I find myself behind a Tesla or Lamborghini.  I think it is stupid to pay a fortune for a Rolex.  I am perfectly happy getting the 99 cent special at the fast food place.  But I have had fantasies of being president.  I have been the star of the final game of the NBA playoffs many times.  I lived the life of Zorro.  I find that I look at others and start to wonder why I am not the big cheese.

I am “envious” (7065).  I covet.  I often find that I am not satisfied with my lot in life.  Are all of the people I envy “evil” (7463a)?  Yes and no.  The odds are that most of them serve Satan, at least passively.  At the same time they are not necessarily involved in openly perverted activity.  Although they have a problem, so do I.  It is too easy to look past the compromises that they have made and just want the finished product.  I am reminded of the words,
(Micah 6:8 KJV)  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
So?  It is frightening how often I need to remind myself of this standard of righteousness.  Don’t be frustrated because you came in second place.  Keep doing justice and loving kindness.  Walk in humility.  Let the evil embrace their destiny. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Ears Work

(Proverbs 23:9 KJV)  Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

Not everyone will concede to your “wisdom” (7922).  Get used to it.  Sometimes it is deserved.  They know you.  They know you did not do your homework.  They can see that you are faking it.  That is your problem.

Sometimes they will reject what you say because they are a “fool” (3684).  That means that they have turned off their thinking caps and their ears.  This happens when you speak eternal truth.  This happens when you repeat what God has said.  They don’t want to hear.  If they hear they will feel responsible and when they do nothing, feel guilt.  They would rather live depraved lives and spend eternity in hell than submit to the God of the universe.

So?  Sometimes it is you.  Sometimes it is them.  Sometimes it is God.  Do your homework.  Check your sources.  Be slow to speak.  And relax.  You are not responsible for their salvation.  That is between them and God. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Eyes of the Lord

(Proverbs 22:12 KJV)  The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.

Here is another verse for the “literal translation” people.  Does God really have “eyes” (5869)?  The Bible also mentions the hands of God, His back and so forth.  It also says,
(John 4:24 KJV)  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Can a spirit have eyes?  I don’t see why not but I don’t think they are the same as what we call eyes.  I am not sure we would recognize them if we saw them.  They have some of the quality of Superman’s eyes with x-ray vision because God can see into our hearts and minds.  They also have the quality of healing because they will “preserve” (5341).

So?  God is watching.  He preserves knowledge.  He preserves us.  That is something to rejoice in for the day. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Planting Seeds for Tomorrow

(Proverbs 21:17 KJV)  He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

Why is the love of “pleasure” (8057) a problem?  Neither word is necessarily evil.  “Loveth” (157)  can refer to your love for God.  Pleasure is usually translated “joy” or “happiness”.  What could be wrong with that?  It is the combination.  Combinations can change things.  Think of water which is necessary for life.  It is the combination of two explosive elements.  Think of fire as the combination of the oxygen we need to breathe and the carbon which makes up most of our bodies.  Is gasoline explosive?  Only in the right mixture with air. 

How we mix joy and gladness is a matter of choice.  The combination is something we decide on.  How we mix the two is based on our priorities.  We see our nation sliding down hill as we become more materialistic and hedonistic.  If you know your history you understand it is the way Rome went as it decayed from within.  The rot starts in the individual because the individual makes up the whole.

So?  Look at your choices for the day.  What have you decided to invest your time and money in as you move forward?  Are you starting the decay of the nation?  Are you giving it a push toward the brink or lifting it toward righteousness?  Today’s decisions make a difference in tomorrow’s destiny.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Neighbors and Strangers

(Proverbs 20:16 KJV)  Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

This verse demands a little bit of thought because on the surface we seem to get some contradictory instructions.  Consider this from the Law,
(Exodus 22:26 KJV)  If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down:
In Exodus we are to return what was taken as security for a loan.  In Proverbs it is to be kept.  Maybe you see no problem here and that is because you understand two differences. 

First, it is the person guaranteeing the loan that is fair game.  As bad as it is to borrow, it is also bad to loan.  We can sell at an honest price.  We can give to those in need.  Borrowing opens all kinds of doors to greed and exploitation. 

Second is the difference between “neighbor” (7453) and “stranger” (2114a).  I believe that in the Old Testament the neighbor is one of the spiritual family of Israel and the stranger is not.  In the New Testament the terms are “brother” and “neighbor” with the same breakdown.  There is a difference in how we treat people who are a part of the communion and those outside.  There is also a priority in the way we give of our resources to what has become charity.  We should not give to every charity that comes to the door even if they are worthy.  We only have so much to give and we are to take care of our immediate family first, then our spiritual family and only then do we give to the world at large.

So?  Be generous but don’t lose sight of priorities and principles.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Having Pity

(Proverbs 19:17 KJV)  He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

Why are we to reach out and help those who are less fortunate?  In an ideal world it would simply be because we are wonderful people, we feel like it.  This tells us God will reward us.  It goes deeper than that.  God takes it personally.  Consider these words:
(Hebrews 13:2 KJV)  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
There are places where the Bible infers that angels are moving and acting among us.  Even more personal,
(Matthew 25:40 KJV)  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
We serve each other and we serve the poor because when we do we do it for Jesus.

So?  Motivation and action go together.  Have you ever felt like you have been taken advantage of?  Live with it and do what is right. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Importance of Regular Exercise

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

Why am I writing this?  Why do I try to structure my day so that I can spend time with the Lord and in His written word before I enter the maze of employment?  Experience has shown me that I can often make it through the day without a lift but that over time I get worn down to a frazzle.  It comes out in depression and frustration.  I can easily have my “spirit” (7307) “wounded" (broken NASB) (5218b) over time.  The only way to prevent that is by a daily dose of “snake oil”. 

The difference does not come over night.  It has been so hot and I have been traveling so much that I have not walked consistently for weeks.  I noticed yesterday that I was starting to breathe heavy as I went up the stairs at work.  It is beginning to catch up with me and I know that if I don’t get back into discipline it will only get worse.

So?  Don’t go frantic if you didn’t read your Bible this morning but be concerned if that is an ongoing pattern in your life.  The relationship we have with the Living God is one in which there is flexibility and understanding but certain things are important to our own health.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


(Proverbs 17:23 KJV)  A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.

A “bribe” (7810) can take many forms.  My first thought on bribes is money under the table in order to get special treatment.  In some parts of the world nothing happens unless there is a little “gratuity” to grease the wheels of government.  When I read novels about the Middle East the term that comes up is “baksheesh”.  It can mean tip, charitable given or corrupt bribery. 

There are many ways in which this takes place without money being involved.  Personal favors can be exchanged or implied such as “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”.  Affection and friendship can be used for bribing people.  Praise can be used to manipulate.  Doing charitable work can be nothing but a way to influence others.  The problem with all of this is when it is used to “pervert” (5186) “judgement" (justice NASB) (4941). 

So?  Is it innocent or evil?  Is it benign or malevolent?  You will need to check your heart and consult your owner’s manual to answer that. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Building Codes

(Proverbs 16:3 KJV)  Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

I have a vision here of the process a builder must go through to construct a new home.  It isn’t just a matter of having a dream, putting it on paper and creating the masterpiece.  You are required to “commit” (1556), or turn in, your carefully drawn up plans to the city and get them approved or “established” (3559).  You cannot even start digging the foundations until you have that seal on the plans.  Rarely do you get them back without some changes being required.

The number of changes depend on how well you have followed the city ordinances in your dreams.  It isn’t enough to dream about soaring arches, you also need to provide for drainage for your toilets.  You have to provide clearances and specify materials.  There is a building code.

So?  We can dream and lay our plans before the Lord.  His approval will depend on how well we have followed the standards He has put down.  It isn’t automatic.  It isn’t anything goes.  It isn’t just follow that dream.  It causes less frustration later if you study His building code today. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Are You Better Than Jesus?

(Proverbs 15:12 KJV)  A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.

Have you ever been frustrated by people who will not listen to the truth?  It is a consistent experience for me.  I can be having a great conversation with someone but the minute I throw in a spiritual thought the eyes begin to glaze and I can almost physically see the mind turn off.  People avoid finding answers that they don’t like.  They don’t want to know.  They seek gurus instead of believers.  They seek Methodists instead of Salvationists.  They read NLB instead of NASB.  They read Lucado instead of Luke.

It is easy for us to get on a guilt trip.  We didn’t know our scriptures.  We had sinned in front of them.  We were not nice enough.  All of those things have an influence but we need to understand two things.  First, it is the Holy Spirit that brings conviction, not our clever presentations.  He is the one who brings them to the point of repentance.  He can overcome all of our shortcomings when the heart is willing.  Second, the heart is not willing.  There is a need to bow the knee and humble the heart.  Sometimes the refusal is blatant.  Sometimes the rebellion is subtle.  All times it is pride and wanting to be God of our own life.

So?  Accept the fact that even if wisdom was hanging in the doorway they would still duck around it.  Think of all the people that Jesus spoke to who rejected Him.  You think you are better than Jesus or something? 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Proud Back

(Proverbs 14:3 KJV)  In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.

Again we see the mysterious thinking of translators.  The KJV talks about a “rod” (2415) of “pride” (1346).  The NASB calls it a rod for his “back” and has a footnote saying it is literally “pride”.  As I look at different translations I see both trends.  I am not willing to sit all day reading small print to find out the deep thinking that goes into this but I did find that it goes back to a scholar who thought this phrase was a technical term for a rod used to beat people on the back to break their pride. 

Either way the point is the same.  Your mouth can either cause you pain or “preserve” (8104) (protect UNASB) you. 

So?  When in doubt, let nothing out.  Don’t you get tired of needing to hear that? 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Poor Conceptions

(Proverbs 13:23 KJV)  Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

This morning I seem to be wearing the hat of a teacher and under that hat a figurative picture emerges for me in this verse.  How much potential is hidden in the “poor” (7326) classes?  One of the big stereotypes put out by politicians is the effect of income on success in school and other areas of life.  They like to act like being poor is why some people don’t achieve.  They blame crime and health on poverty.  The problem is that if poverty caused crime then the time of the Great Depression would have seen a crime wave to end all crime waves.  It didn’t happen.

Can the poor be helped?  How much could they do if they had an opportunity?  I think most of us are on board with the concept of equal opportunity but it is easily manipulated by nanny state people to mean special opportunity for chosen sub-groups.  If equal opportunity is the answer then how do you explain children from the same neighborhoods and families who go such different routes?

How much could they do if they had the drive?  Why do they lack the drive?  There are many questions.

So?  We should assume that since all human beings were created in the image of God that there is the potential for “much food” to be found in that quality.  It is crippled and destroyed by sin but with the application of grace and the attitude of repentance the fallow ground can blossom.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Brutish Force

(Proverbs 12:1 KJV)  Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.

Part of the pagan brainwashing going on today involves condemning traditional actions, values and vocabulary.  These are painted with the brush of being cruel and outlandish.  Today as I began reading this chapter in the NASB I came across the word “stupid” (1198) and, as I have been trained, I felt a discomfort with the word.  The KJV is even more aggressive and uses the word “brutish”.  This is not being nice but the Bible is not trying to be nice.  The Bible is trying to redeem a race that has fallen into sin and gone their own way.  Contrary to the modern trend to being user friendly, that is not the way you get stupid people to change.

I did a search on the word “stupid” and found it was used twelve time in the NASB but was the translation of five different Hebrew words.  In trying to understand the Biblical use of the idea I found that the KJV’s definition gives us a clue.  Look at this verse, from the NASB to see the contrast,
(Job 18:3 NAS77)  "Why are we regarded as beasts, As stupid (1198) in your eyes?
Stupidity is a characteristic of animals.  When you understand that animals can be clever, hard working and have different levels of intelligence and consider that they can be highly skilled in certain activities you need to understand that the concept of stupid does not mean useless.  What it means is that you are incapable, or unwilling, to think on a higher level. 

So?  We are surrounded by stupid people.  The sad part is that many are stupid by choice not by genes.  Life can be much less turbulent if you let your mind run in neutral.  Make sure that yours is in gear. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Building a Definition

(Proverbs 11:6 KJV)  The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.

This verse gives us some insight into what it means to be righteous.  “Righteousness” (6666) is contrasted with “naughtiness” (greed NASB) (1942).  It is interesting the ways in which this contrasting quality is translated.  In the NASB we have calamity, destruction, desire and deadly.  In the KJV we add wickedness, mischievous, iniquity and perverse.  That is quite a list of variations. 

We are talking about a desire in the negative sense.  I am surprised that “lust” is never used because that would seem to fit.  Righteousness does not allow our personal desires to overcome our behavior.  Righteousness makes decisions based on eternal standards not immediate gratification. 

So?  It is just one point but gives us some help in understanding what it means to live as disciples of Jesus.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Understanding Discernment

(Proverbs 10:13 KJV)  In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.

Discernment is one of the gifts of the Spirit.  In our current touchy/feely culture it is one that the church has come to discount because we are more concerned with fitting in than we are with being salt.  I think the KJV translation of “that hath understanding” (995) is a good insight into the meaning of the word and the place of the gift.

Discernment means that you see past the fluff and wrestle with the substance.  It means when you drive by a school that has a sign up about free lunches you know, without any research or need for deep thinking, that nothing is free.  When you hear politicians talking about free health care you realize that the only way to have free health care is to have doctors that are willing to work for nothing, pharmacies that don’t pay their workers and utility companies that somehow produce electricity out of happy thoughts. 

Discernment means when you see sin you recognize it as sin and when you hear foolishness you only feel the pain of the moment.

So?  Rise above the masses and follow Jesus.  Seek wisdom which involves understanding of why things don’t seem to be going well.  It is painful but necessary. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Thinking Required

(Proverbs 9:13 KJV)  A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

Translators use two techniques that require us to do a little thinking.  Frequently what we would consider as adjectives are used as nouns in the Hebrew.  The translators add the noun to make it a modern thought.  Other times both words are present in the original.  This verse has both “woman” (802) and “folly” (3687) in the Hebrew.  An example of the other style is found just a few verses back.
(Proverbs 9:9 KJV)  Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
In this case the “man” is not in the Hebrew, just the words “wise” and “just”.  In places like verse 9 you could insert “person” for “man” and be true to the translation.  In today’s verse that would be taking liberties with the word of God.  The Contemporary English Version and the Good News Bible translate in such a way as to be politically correct and avoid gender altogether. 

So?  Is the use of “woman” significant?  It is if you believe the Bible is inspired.  Does the point apply to men also?  Yes, it does.  The point is to be careful of the translation you use and look a little deeper.  For Christians faith is required but so is thinking.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tracks of the Trinity

(Proverbs 8:22 KJV)  The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

The Jews believed in one God, period.  Christians also believe in one God because the Bible says there is one God.  At the same time it identifies the one God as three Persons:  Father, Son, Holy Spirit.  This verse is an indication of that.  Wisdom is personified at a number of places.  Here we see words that open up speculation about the Trinity and the nature of the Godhead.  Wisdom was around before creation.  This has a taste of John 1:1:
(John 1:1 KJV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Before creation, Wisdom was around.  Of course you can go many ways with this if you want to get into deep philosophy.  One of the questions that come up is about numbers being real even though they are non-physical.  Was the principle of 4 created by God or before God?  You can argue with Plato and Aristotle all you want but this says that Wisdom was around before the creation.

So?  We serve an eternal God.  Here is a verse to back up the concept of the trinity, the three in one.  Today you are a theologian.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Early Choices

(Proverbs 7:25 KJV)  Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

This is a warning about leaving the path of righteousness.  It raises the question of whether it is deliberate or accidental but in the end it doesn’t matter.  If you leave the path it leads to disaster.

We are faced with many choices in life.  Some are of no consequence.  Some effect out eternal destiny.  Some simply lay the groundwork for later decisions.  It is easier to make the right decision early.  It gets harder as time surrounds us with the glue of life.  If you are laying a block wall the blocks are easy to adjust when first put down.  After a few minutes you can still pull them off, scrape off the mortar and start again.  There comes a time when you can knock off the block but have a hard time cleaning off the residue of mortar.  Eventually it will take a sledge hammer and destroy just about everything.

So?  Be alert for the compromises that change the direction of you life.  Make corrections as soon as possible because the mortar starts to lock you in before you know it. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Beauty As the Beast

(Proverbs 6:25 KJV)  Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

Does this verse condemn “beauty” (3308)?  As I looked through the use of the word it has a moral value based on its context, like so many words.  It is used to describe God and Jerusalem.  Usually it is used in such a way as to say it is not all that important.  It is fleeting.  I don’t do a lot of click bait when I am online but I notice there is one that wants to show us how celebrities have aged.  The one picture they give without clicking is not pretty.

Being attractive is not a sin.  Being preoccupied with outward appearance is.  It is so easy for us to be distracted by beauty that we need to be warned against it.

So?  Work on looking at the inner person.  There is no real correlation between being good looking and being a good person.  Be leery of eye candy.  It may not make a difference if you are choosing which table in the lunch room to sit at but it will in whom to take out to dinner. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Spiritual Arthritis

(Proverbs 5:4 KJV)  But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.

In a previous post I discovered that “wormwood” (3939) is bitter but helpful.  The taste is horrible but it helps to heal.  Now consider that in this verse we are discussing a woman who has rejected the wisdom of God.  She is now approaching her “end” (319).  I am guessing that the solution to her problems is now becoming clear to her and she is still rejecting them because to her the cure is more painful than the illness.

Why do people persist in their pursuit of their own agenda and reject the path God lays out to them?  We have all met them.  They are people who can quote theology to you.  They are people who might have once embraced the faith.  They are people who are going to Hell because they reject Jesus.  How can this be?  I think the answer is found in the verse that says,
(Romans 14:11 KJV)  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
The problem is in bowing the knee, submission.  What keeps people away from salvation is the desire to be in control of their lives instead of submitting to God.  People with arthritis stop doing certain things and stop moving certain ways because it is too painful.

So?  For some of us submission comes easier than for others.  Pray for those you know who have stiff joints on their souls.  You can’t talk them into change.  Maybe the Holy Spirit will have more luck. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Products of Good Philosophy

(Proverbs 4:22 KJV)  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

It makes a difference what our philosophy of life is.  You don’t have a philosophy of life?  Actually you do, even if you have not thought about it too much.  Everyone does.  What is the basis for your decisions?  What helps you set your priorities?  For some it is pleasure.  For some it is money.  This verse is written to people with a philosophy of life based on being a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Of course it was written before Jesus was born but the principles are the same.  Jesus is the source of wisdom and wisdom is here offered as the source of “life” (2425b).

So?  If you have been studying Proverbs it helped you “find” (4672) the answer that lead to life.  If you stumbled across this by accident them it might be worth your while to read through the book.  It is found in the Bible. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Two Daily Choices

(Proverbs 3:3 KJV)  Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

I can understand how “mercy” (kindness NASB) (2617a) [chesed] can be a choice but how does “truth” (571)?  Truth either is or it isn’t.  Perhaps this is a reminder of the twofold nature of the Christian life.  Being a follower of Jesus effects our inner attitudes.  Kindness is the Hebrew word chesed which is the word translated “loving-kindness”.  To me it is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek agape.  It is an inner quality at the center of Christian character.

“Truth” (571) is part of the character of God.  It is an external force.  Nothing can change it.  All we can do is acknowledge it and embrace it.

So?  Every day we have choices to make.  Some involve what is at our core and how it effects our behavior.  Some involves the unchanging standards and principles that God has established for the universe.  We can make wise choices. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Search Patterns

(Proverbs 2:4 KJV)  If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

The closest I have come to looking for silver is to check the quarters I get from the laundromat change machine to see if someone used an old one with any silver content.  It doesn’t touch any bases that I run.  I could say the same thing for buried treasure.  It all sounds exotic but I would rather read a book.  Yet I still know what Solomon is talking about.  And so do you.

When something is valuable to us we will put in more effort than if it is just a requirement for a class we hate.  I don’t know how many classes I have taken and seminars I have endured just trying to figure out what was the least I had to do to get through.  If we handle our spiritual lives that way we will get as much out of it as we did those classes and God isn’t interested in our transcripts.

So?  What is your passion?  It needs to be Jesus.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

White Lies Can Kill

(Proverbs 1:32 KJV)  For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

How serious is “turning away” (waywardness NASB) (4878)?  This verse says very clearly that it will “slay” (kill NASB) (2026).  It is important for us to understand this if we have any influence on other believers.  We need to be clear in our minds how serious this is.

Waywardness is the least threatening of the translations of this Hebrew word.  It is also translated “apostasy”.  It may seem to be just a little wandering but even small variations are the result of choice.  It is possible that some people think a little wandering is not big deal.  We have terms like “white lies”, “spin” and point of view to describe this.  It is still a departure from the path.

Wandering is serious.

As for “slay”, it is pretty clear.  It won’t just cause you to have a bad day.  It isn’t just a little matter of breaking fellowship with God.  It is death.

So?  Examine yourself.  Live in such a way that you can be a good example and have the moral authority to speak to others who are being cavalier about eternity.