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, April 27, 2017

Soul Food

(Proverbs 27:7 KJV)  The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

This is a verse about balance.  Notice that two souls are held up for sampling.  I say “souls” instead of “man” (5315) because that is the word.  The KJV is more accurate here.  The Hebrew is “nephesh” which is usually translated “soul”.  This is referring to the basic inner nature or core of your being.  The two examples are extremes.  The word is to not be in either extreme.

What is the problem with extremes?  They drive us to make bad choices.  They jumble our priorities.  Here the example is one we can understand.  We know what it is to eat so much of our favorite food that we don’t want any more.  We know what it is to be ready to eat anything.  The principle is one that should be applied to every area of our lives from leisure to purchases.

So?  Keep your eye on the center line.  Pretend you are on a narrow bridge in the fog and all you can see it the yellow line outside your window.  They usually don’t lead you over the edge.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Word to the Not-Wise

(Proverbs 26:5 KJV)  Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

“Fools” (3684) need to be kept in their place.  I am sure there are many ways to do it but this verse seems to be telling us not to encourage their foolishness.  This seems to be calling for us to get aggressive about keeping them from running away with the show.

What do you do when the fools outnumber you?  What do you do when they are in charge?  We can’t be aggressive in those circumstances but we are still called to be honest.

So?  Pay careful attention to your situation.  Truth does not change.  When people will listen does. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

All Around Righteousness

(Proverbs 25:5 KJV)  Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

I don’t know how you read this without thinking of politics.  We all have a tendency to evaluate how our leaders are doing based on our personal opinions.  We assume our personal opinions are the best because they are ours.  We interpret the standards of God for our own convenience.  While we do that righteousness still exists.  Right and wrong still exist.

We don’t seem to be able to get leaders who do more than pay lip service to eternal standards.  They go to church and live life as it pleases them.  We should be encouraging them to pick the right people for support.  If we could surround the president with godly people then the advice would keep pushing in the right direction. 

So?  The presidential election is behind us but we have lot of voting at different levels that is still to come.  Keep praying and voting.  Be salt. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Asking for It

(Proverbs 24:6 KJV)  For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Life is full of conflict and challenges.  We have phrases such as “battle of the bands”, “gas war”, “conflict resolution” and many others that point out the competition in a free society between people with different priorities and values.  Some may be just as insignificant as what to have for dinner.  Others may involve surgical procedures.  As Christians we are not above making mistakes or needing the advice of others.

It is not a sign of weakness to seek counsel.  Often it is a sign of wisdom.  We often take input without thinking about it.  We read body language and tones of voice.  Other times we have to make a point of asking serious questions.

So?  In regard to the Lord we are told to ask, seek and knock.  That can sometimes be done when we seek the accumulated wisdom in other believers.  It doesn’t make us less, it makes us more. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Rejoicing in Righteousness

(Proverbs 23:16 KJV)  Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.

We “rejoice” (5937) about many things.  We rejoice when others share what God is doing in them.  We rejoice when a healthy child is born in our family.  When someone speaks truth and supports what is “right” (4339) we tend to be surprised and shocked.  This is reminding us that we need to be a little more excited when it happens.

I think that one aspect of this rejoicing is thanks.  We need to thank God for bringing forth a brave witness.  Maybe if we get thankful we will see more of it.  Another thing we need to do is let the person who took a public stand know that we are supportive.  Encourage the speaker of righteousness.

So?  This is not pushing for us to make a statement as much as recognizing it when someone else does.  When it is our turn maybe they will step up to have our backs. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hearing Aids

(Proverbs 22:17 KJV)  Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.

I have heard people discuss the difference between the words “hear” (8085) and “listen”.  One is considered the physical ability, in other words, your ears work.  The other involves having your mind actively engaged to bring your conscious awareness into the process.  This difference points out you can hear a sound without listening to it.  In looking at this word I find that the NASB translates it frequently either way.  The KJV only uses “listen” once but uses “hearken” frequently. 

The point is that the Bible expects us to do more than acknowledge the existence of wisdom.  We are to engage our minds with it and apply it.  If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there does it make a sound?  If wisdom is spoken and no one listens, is it wisdom? 

So?  God holds us accountable for what is available.  People may claim that they never had a chance to respond to the gospel.  I would say that their hearts were already made up because they would not listen to the words that would draw them in.  We need to make sure that we do not turn off our conscious listening to the direction of the Holy Spirit in our walk of faith.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Pencil Economics

(Proverbs 21:20 KJV)  There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

In discussions on economics, often disguised as “poor me”, someone pointed out to me that it isn’t how much you make that is important but how you spend what you have.  It is very easy to fall for the current political mantra that we are poor because someone else is rich.  It is ________’s fault.  Whether you put in Donald Trump, George Soros, Bill Gates, or your landlord depends totally on your political views and honesty.  The real difference is the wisdom or foolishness of the spender.

I see the pattern developing everyday at my school.  I have students who come to class everyday and need to borrow a pencil.  I don’t mean the kid who had a hurried morning.  I mean literally every day.  It doesn’t matter how many times you give him a pencil, he will not have one the next period.  Why?  It is a shortage of pencils?  Is it a plot by rich capitalists to keep him ignorant?  No.  It is because his foolishness “swallows” (1104) it.  Here you can lay it at the feet of irresponsible behavior and a lack of effort.  Any way you want to slice it, if he had a house full of nice things they would be trashed in short order.

So?  Be on the lookout for people who deserve your help.  They will never ask but that does not mean the need is less or your need to help can be ignored.  Do not reinforce foolish behavior. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bearing

(Proverbs 20:25 KJV)  It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry.

We come across another place where the Hebrew gets different translations.  The KJV talks about “devoureth” (3216) and the NASB says “say rashly” (3886b).  In the Hebrew, as far as I can tell the word is written exactly the same in both places but often the same word can have different meanings.

Take for instance the English word “bear”.  What does it mean?  It all depends on context.  First, is it a noun or a verb?  That makes a difference but in the Hebrew our word is a verb.  Okay.  So are you bearing a load, bearing left or bearing a child?  Do you see the problem?  In situations like this I like to consider both in order to come to an understanding.

That is part of the point.  It is often necessary to wait for meaning to develop.  Sometimes that is just matter of pondering.  Sometimes it is purely time. 

So?  Don’t make major decisions on the spur of the moment.  Often time and thought will reveal nuances that you had not taken into consideration. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Live in Fear

(Proverbs 19:23 KJV)  The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

“Fear” (3374) and “life” (2425b) are linked.  That may seem strange to us in our modern civilizations.  Our ancestors would understand the link much better.  Start with the hunter-gatherer level or even the nomads of the Bible.  A healthy fear kept you alert for danger.  An awareness of potential tragedy was the impetus to take extra precautions and have emergency plans.  Even today we have earthquake drills and such, just in case.  Caution can lead to less pain and suffering.  I remember the header I took down some stairs and the miracle I was not permanently damaged.

In looking at the transliteration of the Hebrew word is seems to be the word used in Fiddler on the Roof in the song that comes back to the phrase “to life”.  The idea in the movie is that there is a joy and exuberance available.  It revels in the idea that we are not just animals looking for the next meal or amoebas with an urge to divide.

So?  Live in fear.  It adds value to the day. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Name It and Claim It

(Proverbs 18:10 KJV)  The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

The significance of a “name” (8034) has been lost.  I guess maybe I should say that the loss of respect and courtesy are reflected in how the current generation uses names.  I don’t watch TV unless the choice is TV or divorce.  Even then it is a close call.  One of the things I think I have seen on TV is children who call parents by their first name.  Every once in awhile I have a kid who asks me my first name.  I always tell them, “To you, it is ‘Mister’.”  If they ask my middle name it is “and” as in “Lord and Master”.   They don’t like it but there it is.  Names have power and modern culture is about getting power.

It is a step toward the destruction of a stable society.  If we cannot show proper respect for parents and social positions as teachers then we become a barbarian culture where the biggest muscles, sharpest sword and quickest draw become the order of the day.  It eventually moves to the level of rejecting God.

So?  Strive to understand the significance of God.  We are told to not take His name in vain.  Even if you say something like “God bless you” make sure it is a genuine expression of concern, not just a fitting phrase. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Maybe You Are Not the Problem

(Proverbs 17:1 KJV)  Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

I wonder if this is an invitation to divorce or separation?  I hardly think so when you take in the context of Proverbs and the entire Bible but what does one do when you are in a covenant with strife?  A big question is “How much responsibility does a person have for the tenor of a home?”  Is it my fault?  Am I the jarring note in our marital symphony?

Since there is a good chance it is me, I need to ask the question.  I need to be open to correction and improving my attitude.  We need to have 100 cheeks to turn and a thousand extra miles to go. 

There is also a chance it isn’t me.  I also need to be open to that.  This is where grace and the power of the Holy Spirit can help us to have the tranquility of heart that can give us peace in the middle of strife.

So?  Ask the hard questions.  Make the changes.  Ignore the barbs that are not deserved. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Roots of Sunday School

(Proverbs 16:20 KJV)  He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

One of the contributions of believing Christians to our culture is a goal of universal literacy.  Not only have Protestant churches been on the cutting edge of higher education but they have been working to educate the masses.  Think about the Ivy League colleges.  Harvard and Princeton were started to educate ministers for the church.  Even USC was started as a church sponsored college.  The original purpose of Sunday School was to educate the children of England who were growing up illiterate because of the institution of child labor.  Sunday was the only day they had off so believers started Sunday Schools.

The emphasis was on each believer being able to read the Bible and understand for himself what God was saying.  Each was to be able to “handle wisely" (give attention NASB)” (7919a) the “word” (1697).  The NASB which gives it better than the KJV here.  It is interesting to note that the expectation of being able to read the scripture goes back to Old Testament times.

So?  Rejoice is your ability to read.  Allow that to be a channel in which the wisdom and direction of God can move through your eyes and mind to your heart. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Little and Great

(Proverbs 15:16 KJV)  Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.

As I approach retirement this strikes a bell.  One of the accepted truths is that you have less income when you retire than when you are working.  I expect that will be true in my case.  We are running the numbers and I can see I will not be buying a new Lexus soon.  That doesn’t mean much to me because I would not have bought one anyway.  I am acutely aware that I will be doing better than many people who have worked all their lives.  I didn’t plan it that way but the paths I feel the Lord led me down put me here with a teacher’s retirement instead of the social security that my dad had.

My father was self employed and not a great businessman.  He was a model of integrity and never lacked for work.  His example raised four sons of integrity.  He never had a lot but he had enough.  My mother lived on social security and was able to keep her head above water.  With that example I know that life can be good regardless of the income.

So?  God will provide.  It may not be the way I would have planned it.  It will be enough to live a blessed life.  Thanksgiving in April is always a good thing. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Fool Antidote

(Proverbs 14:7 KJV)  Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.

How does one follow this advice?  I find that I am surrounded by fools.  Keep in mind that wisdom starts with a fear of the Lord and the vast majority of people you rub elbows with have no fear of the Lord.  That means no wisdom.  That means fools.  They may be afraid of crystals, breaking a mirror, death or zombies but they have no fear of the Lord.

The first step is to accept it.  It is not being judgmental to acknowledge that the majority of people you meet don’t have a clue to the real values of life.  It is a simple fact.  They can still be nice neighbors, compatible co-workers and a great second baseman for the softball team.  While you are cheering the team on remember that it isn’t wisdom you are exhibiting but hospitality. 

So?  Saturate yourself with wisdom.  Tune up your fear.  Make the eternal ooze from your spiritual pores.  If you can’t get away from them you can at least leave the smell of righteousness. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Fat Worship

(Proverbs 13:4 KJV)  The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

How does this apply in regard to worship?  I have approached it this way before but it grabs me this way again because I am struggling to find a place to worship.  In my heart I know that I can get something from the most boring worship service.  I know that my attitude has a lot to do with it, but....

It is hard for me to get into the “song of the week” style of contemporary worship.  We have “worship leaders” who think that the words they came up with this week trump Isaac Watts, Fanny J. Crosby, Graham Kendrick and so many others who are genuinely gifted in worship music.  It has been a long time since I have heard a piece of music that is new to me that grips my soul and motivates my heart to sing.  I don’t think the problem is in me.

So?  I am grateful for my I-pod and other devices that allow me to worship at any time.  Sometimes I feel really fat just driving in my car.  I only wish I could have that experience in corporate worship.  I will continue to try. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wicked Is As Wicked Does

(Proverbs 12:2 KJV)  A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.

How do we recognize the difference between the “good” (2896a) and the “wicked” (evil NASB) (4209)?  I will concede that it is sometimes hard, hard enough that we are told not to judge.  At the same time we can recognize actions and whether they are good or evil.  We can tell whether they build up or destroy.  We can tell whether they conform to the clear teaching of scripture or violate it in principle and detail.

In short we can often tell the good from the bad by observing actions.  If someone is living in sexual sin, whether it be adultery, pedophilia or sodomy, we know that they are devising evil.  It really doesn’t matter how much they claim to love Jesus. 

So?  There are times to draw a line and defend it.  Standing up for God’s principles is not judging.  Condemning someone else for what you do in secret is.  We can know the difference. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Glaze Meters

(Proverbs 11:13 KJV)  A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

The obvious application here has to do with gossip.  It occurred to me today that this could also be applied to a person who reveals too much of their own personal information.  Who really wants to hear all the “secrets” (5475) you have to offer about your own personal thoughts? 

The most common offense in this type of behavior would be the organ recital.  As I get older I have more aches and pains.  When I get together with other geezers we find common ground and get into a quid pro quo of ailments.  That may work with some people but since I don’t like to hear about their latest visit to the podiatrist it doesn’t work well with me.  I must learn patience with them but more important must learn restraint for myself.

So?  Develop a glaze meter.  Watch people’s eyes to see when they start to glaze over.  It is not hard to exceed the limit of someone’s TMI index.  I sometimes wonder if God gets tired of our griping. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Silver Standard

(Proverbs 10:20 KJV)  The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

This is a strange comparison, or should I say contrast:  The “tongue” (3956) and the “heart” (3820).  James talks about the tongue being one of the least parts of the body and yet here we have it being linked with silver.  We need to take note of that as we set the priorities in our lives.

The idea is echoed in Paul’s discussions on the spiritual gifts.  We have a tendency to put people in a hierarchy and treat them based on our judgement.  God, on the other hand, looks deeper and wider.  We don’t have God’s x-ray vision, true.  We do however have the standards that He has given us.  For instance, we know that righteousness is more important than money in the bank.  That means that it is more important to tell the truth than get the account.  It is a matter of uprightness to not be considered “with” it so that we can stay on the straight and narrow.

So?  You may be rejected today.  Make sure it is the smell of righteousness they are rejecting, not just your attempt to save water.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Wake Up Reminder

(Proverbs 9:18 KJV)  But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

“Sheol” (7585), or as the KJV calls it “hell”, is a reality.  I don’t like it.  Many reject it.  We use it as a cuss word rather than a place to avoid.  There are people who attend church, preach in pulpits and call themselves Christians who reject the idea.  How you can reject anything just because you don’t like it and still call yourself a Christian is a puzzle to me.

Hell is a place to avoid.  It is enough of a reason to turn to Jesus.

So?  Maybe we should pick a day each year to stop and remind ourselves about what Jesus has saved us from.  Maybe Halloween would be a good day.  Or perhaps April Fools day would do the job.  Don’t ignore the consequences of rejection. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Wise Beginnings

(Proverbs 8:27 KJV)  When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

Wisdom is not eternal but seems to have come into being before what we call creation.  One of the questions that keep coming up as you read Proverbs is the personification of Wisdom.  There are times when it seems to be Jesus and other times when it seems to be the Holy Spirit.  It is neither.  Although this verse makes it sound eternal, previous verses seem to indicate it was created or produced. 

When I listen to William Lane Craig talking philosophy he sometimes gets off on whether numbers are eternal or created.  To a philosophy major it is interesting and challenging.  To the rest of us it is often time to fast forward.  Wisdom is from God.  It is not God.

So?  I guess we should not get into being impressed by college degrees and certificates.  The real question is, has our fear of the Lord caused us to be open to learn His wisdom and given us the courage to life it.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Family Business

(Proverbs 7:4 KJV)  Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

Are you comfortable with the teaching of the Bible?  I never had a “sister” (269).  My wife tells me that is why I don’t understand women but I am not sure I have met a man who does and many of them have sisters.  Let’s just say that I have a greater deficiency in understanding women.  Having a daughter has helped some. 

I have watched my children though.  My daughter is probably my son’s best “friend” (4129).  They have had their share of fights and knocked heads over the years but it has served to bring them closer, not drive them apart.  The word should be that way with us.  We may not be comfortable with something we read.  I certainly don’t like the concept of Hell and eternal damnation.  I struggle with it.  I try to understand it in a way that would not happen if it were just a casual acquaintance.  In the end it brings me the “understanding” (998) I need.

So?  Wrestle with truth and it will become you friend.  God does not want us on causal terms with Him or His teaching. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Justice Is Not Soft

(Proverbs 6:31 KJV)  But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.

Whatever happened to forgiveness?  Isn’t that supposed to be the standard for God’s people?  That is a good question and one that needs to be answered as we interact with society.  Jesus explains why it is important to forgive.
(Matthew 6:15 KJV)  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
That does not seem like it is optional yet as Paul tells us the role of government is to punish.
(Romans 13:4 KJV)  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
I think it points out what our attitude is to be in spite of the requirements of action.  Payment of debts is a requirement for stable society.  It is not an excuse for a personal vendetta.  We may punish criminals but not for vengeance.  Thus the death penalty is supported by scripture while we are told not to hate or mistreat our enemies.

So?  No one ever said life would be easy.  Our minds must be engaged as much as our souls. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A la Sinatra or Solomon

(Proverbs 5:11 KJV)  And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,

This expression of despair does not take place in a vacuum.  It is not the expected result of a long life.  It is what you can expect from an old person who has lived a long life void of wisdom and righteousness.  It is describing how you will feel when you look back at all the knowledge and guidance that was offered and ignored.  Often the directions given to us don’t make sense at the time but when we look back we can see the value.  By then it is too late.

One of the stereotypes of old people is that they are all organ recitals and woe.  We have heard about people stuck in nursing homes and left to mumble to themselves.  It happens.  I have seen them.  I always wonder if these are the people who dumped their kids in day care and never made it to the baseball game.  I wonder if they invested their life guided by wisdom or did it a la Sinatra, “I did it my way.”  There are others that have family around them and light up the room.

So?  You may have plenty of time and figure you don’t need to worry about it.  Wrong.  Now is the time to start whether you are closer to the end like me or just starting out. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Some Choice

(Proverbs 4:27 KJV)  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

I often laugh when people tell me I have a choice.  You have been there.  Someone in authority asks you which do yo prefer.  Usually the alternatives are both bad.  My answer is, “You are asking me if I want to be shot or hung.”  That is bad enough when a change is forced on you at work but it is the seed of destruction when it chops away at our integrity or moral condition. 

One example might be staying in a motel with some kind of cable access.  You have 30 channels to choose from.  None of them are worth watching.  You tend to forget that you have the additional choice of reading a book.  The book might also keep you from watching something that would damage your sensitivity to spiritual things.

So?  In those cases we need to avoid the choices forced on us.  At work we might have no way that is good but in our culture we need to take the third route, the one that avoids “evil” (7451b).  Remember the promise,
(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.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Got Enough Lip Gloss?

(Proverbs 3:9 KJV)  Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

Why do we give tithes and offerings to God?  It certainly isn’t because He needs the money.  I would imagine the God who said, “Let there be light” could also say, “Let there be twenty dollar bills in sequential numbering and well used” and it would happen.  Yet we are called to “honor” (3513) Him in this way.

What does it mean to “honor” (3513)?  This is the same word used in regard to parents.
(Exodus 20:12 KJV)  Honour (3513) thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
As I looked at the definitions and their different uses a common theme was used in each:  To be heavy.  Make God heavy in your life.  Recognize that He is the great force and mass of your existence.  By giving we acknowledge that He is our first priority.

So?  I am always amazed at students who don’t have a pencil or pen but they have an endless supply of gum, lip gloss and lotion.  Are we doing the same thing as we claim to follow Jesus? 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Then

(Proverbs 2:9 KJV)  Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

So many of the promises of God are conditional.  We follow the guidelines, “then” (227) we get the results.  One of the traps for Christians is a glorification of grace and the omniscience of God to the point that our response and choices are really nice but not necessary.  Here we are talking about wisdom not salvation, but the principle and perversion of it are the same.

Could God just make us wise?  Yes.  Does He?  Not usually.  I am sure that there are people who have the gift of wisdom and catch on quicker than the rest of us but the gift without the fear is a questionable condition.  I am not sure it is possible.  Keep in mind that asking “Could God do _______,” does not mean that He will.  Possibility does not mean probability.  Probability does not mean predestined.

So?  Lean on grace.  Trust in grace.  While you do it, sharpen your skills through obedience and discipline.  It is an investment that will pay off. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Righteous Justice

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

As I compare the NASB and KJV I see one major difference in the translations.  Where the KJV has “justice” (6664) the NASB has “righteousness”.  What is strange to me is that the KJV usually translates this Hebrew word as “righteousness”.  Both translate it “justice”.  Go figure.  To us the two words have different meanings but it would seem that in God’s economy righteousness and justice are tied together. 

That would mean that both are tried to eternal truths.  The reason they are linked to wisdom is because you cannot have moral behavior or a just society without being tied to the values of God.

So?  Don’t cringe and think that Christians are trying to live by medieval, Western ideas that are out of date.  The nonsense that our culture is pushing is not new either.  Satan has been pushing the humanistic approach to personal and social behavior since the Garden of Eden.  Resist.  Learn.  Live in righteousness and justice. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Snow No Fear

(Proverbs 31:21 KJV)  She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

I live in an area that seems to have a similar climate to Israel and it has never occurred to me to be “afraid” (3372a) of “snow” (7950).  I guess it could cause a problem but only if I go looking for it.  As I write the mountains above me are covered with snow and I saw some hail in the past month but unless I get lost or deliberately drive into the mountains, it is no problem.

Which brings up the question of how much trouble we could avoid if we simply took the time to think and plan.  You can’t avoid taxes, true, but you can keep your receipts and accurate records.  You may not be able to avoid the flu bug but you can reduce the chances of illness by keeping your hands clean.  Most of the people I know in crisis are there because they have made a series of bad decisions, usually a very long series.  The time to start acting with wisdom is now.  The place to begin is with the fear of the Lord.

So?  You can’t avoid it all.  Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t avoid disaster.  You can make it hard for the bad times to bring you down.  You can also trust in the Lord and know no fear. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Food Chain

(Proverbs 30:14 KJV)  There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.

We have the predators in our culture and we have the victims.  This points out that there are those who seek out the weak and disadvantaged and target them.  In other verses it talks about being concerned for the poor and seeing that justice is done.  Yesterday the idea of rights ,or fair judgement, was referenced.  There are two reminders for us.

First, there are evil people out there.  It is a dangerous world and jackals are looking for the weak members of our community to drag down.  They may do it through legal means or through threats of violence but it is still destructive.

Second, we as Christians are to be champions of the weak and helpless.  Some of that is taken care of as we work together in our churches.  Some is by being salt.  Some is by political action.  Any way you want to frost the cake we are to make a difference for the weak.

So?  Live it and apply it.  Make it a natural part of your day. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rights Cause

(Proverbs 29:7 KJV)  The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

The KJV talks about the “cause” (1779) of the poor.  The NASB uses the word “rights” (1779).  The KJV does not use the word “rights”.  That is probably because it was translated in a time of Divine Right of Kings and common people did not really have any rights.  When modern people think of rights they think of something that they have coming to them.  In the Bible all we have coming to us is hellfire and brimstone.  Grace has no room for rights.

We need to get a Biblical grasp of rights.  We live in a day when everyone talks about their rights.  In the Bible it means justice.  That means, as Proverbs repeatedly says, that when you pay for a pound of wheat you have the right to a pound of wheat.  It does not mean that you have freedom of speech and definitely not freedom of religion.  By implication it would mean a fair trial but not by a jury of our peers. 

So?  As followers of Jesus we have duty, we do not have privilege.  We do not have rights we have the responsibility to treat people justly according to the law of God. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Guilty as Charged

(Proverbs 28:24 KJV)  Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.

Some people say that America has never been a Christian country.  If you require a population that is 100% converted and walking in righteousness, then no, we haven’t been.  If you mean a country that has been based on Biblical ethics and justice, then yes, we have.  The sad thing is that is changing.  People have committed adultery since the dawn of time.  People still commit adultery.  The difference today is that people are starting to say, “No big deal.”  We have come up with this nonsense of “victimless crimes”.  Politicians have always been on the take but now there is no shame involved.

We are surrounded by a culture that denies their actions are sin because they do not believe there is sin or sinners.  That is bad enough but this thinking is permeating the church.  The word evil is not used in this verse but it appears several times in this chapter.  This kind of thinking is evil.

So?  I don’t expect to be prefect.  I don’t expect you to be flawless.  What I believe God expects is for us to be willing to call a sin, sin.  Confession is part of repentance.  It is necessary for the application of grace. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cutting Remarks

(Proverbs 27:6 KJV)  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Some “wounds” (6482) make us stronger.  Maybe we need to expand the meaning of wound.  When the nurse pokes you with the needle she is wounding you but the purpose is a medication to heal or protect.  When the surgeon puts the scalpel to your skill he is going to wound you but the purpose is to get to the problem that cannot be seen.

If we are “faithful” (539) there are times when we will need to be spiritual nurses or surgeons.  We need to make sure our attitudes are right.  I am not sure I would want to get a shot from a nurse who was gleeful for the opportunity.  I would not want the doctor to have that look in his eye that tells me he thinks this is fun.  They would also explain what they are doing and why.  Maybe we should take that as guidance.

So?  There are times when we will need to speak with painful candor.  If done properly it will definitely hurt us more than it hurts them. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Diamonds in the Rough

(Proverbs 26:4 KJV)  Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

We are looking at the bonding and application of several qualities.  We are looking at an attitude of love with a background of knowledge and wisdom, measured by discernment and applied with power.  None of these words are used here.  All are implied.  Without them you are whistling in the dark without lips.

We must not respond to individuals or social expectations in the same terms of the secular pagans.  They run the newspapers, TV stations, educational system and most offices of government.  They have rejected the standards of God.  They think they are smarter that people who accept the God of the Bible.  It may be true.  They may be smarter.  What they are not is wiser.

So?  We are the ugly ducklings.  We are the quarter you occasionally find that is old enough to have silver in it.  We are the frog waiting to be kissed.  We are children of God in a perverse generation, or we should be. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Demanding Tense

(Proverbs 25:4 KJV)  Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

If this were in the Greek I would want to know if the verb was in the present or aorist tense.  Is this an ongoing process or a one time action?  Is this the process of sanctification or the act of being sanctified?  Interesting linguistic questions but I don’t know Hebrew well enough to give an opinion.  Actually I could give an opinion but it would be a “guess”-inion. 

What is clear is that this is declaratory.  It is a command, not a request.  It is a demand, not an option.  “Dross” (5509) is pollution.  It must be removed.  Culturally this is a call on the church to be prophetic and call out evil.  Personally it is a statement that we are to be growing in grace and purging our lives from anything that keeps us from being what God wants us to be.

So?  The script is written.  The stage is set.  Repentance, humility and change are in the lines.  Will you read them as an entertaining play or live them as reality? 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Political Action

(Proverbs 24:11 KJV)  If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;

This verse reminds me of why Christians need to be involved in the political process.  We are to be prophetic.  We are to advocate the position of righteousness.  If that means we are to try to legislate morality, then so be it, but not at the expense of speaking the truth.  We are surrounded by people who are “ready” (staggering NASB) (4131) toward being “slain” (slaughter NASB) (2027).  They are doing it individually but also as a culture.  Too long have we hid behind the veil of being nice and not offending. 

As I say this I need to stress that our main influence on our culture is not political.  We are to be involved in prayer and supplication.  Intercession is our primary weapon.  We are not to use the tools of the pagan with violence in the streets and subterfuge in the back rooms.  We are also not to use our prayers as an excuse to be silent.  We are blessed with residual freedoms dug out by a previous generation.  We are to use them.  We are also to live them on a daily basis.

So?  Live in righteousness.  Vote in righteousness.  Speak in righteousness.  We are to be salt and salt on an open wound hurts. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Take the Long View

(Proverbs 23:15 KJV)  My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.

What do you wish for your children?  It is a question to be asked when they are young but the goal should never disappear from before your heart.  One of the struggles I have with parents, other teachers and school administrators is what we wish for the children we work with.  Most of what they want for them involves how the kid feels about themselves for the next twenty minutes.  It is all about feelings and self esteem.  I run into conflict because my focus is where they will be in twenty years.  It makes a difference in how you treat them and what you expect from them.

Here the goal is wisdom.  I can think of a passage that wishes many children.  Proverbs also seems to think a wife is good for a man.  Nothing comes to mind in regard to being rich or powerful. 

So?  Being poor and hungry is not a great place to be but lacking wisdom is a greater failure.  A neighbor can give you a loaf of bread.  No one can chose your priorities. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How Long Is the Second Mile?

(Proverbs 22:16 KJV)  He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.

How far are you willing to go in order to become rich and powerful?  This reflects on the tendency to manipulate and use people for your own ends.  On one end you have oppression and on the other bribery.  The goal is selfish achievement.  This is not God’s way and it cannot be our way.

We are to treat people as befits creations of God.  Things like wealth or social standing should not change the element of courtesy and consideration.  While it is true that their behavior may generate different responses from you, there are limits.  I have a student in mind.  He never brings anything to write with.  Every day he expects someone else to supply what is his responsibility.  I was helpful for a few days but after a time refuse to help any more.  It isn’t because he is poor.  It is because he is lazy and selfish.  By now the class won’t loan him anything either because he often breaks what they give him and rarely returns what is loaned.

So?  Kindness, compassion, consideration are staples in our lives.  They are not offered because of class or self benefit, they are due.  They can also be abused and withdrawn.  Of course that is my humble opinion.  Many would disagree with me. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Simple Is Often Better

(Proverbs 21:19 KJV)  It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

It is a good thing Solomon is not around today to explain himself.  If this was the case, why did he have so many wives?  Sure, many of them were political matches, but how many powerful countries could there have been around that required all those wives?  I think his roving eye got the better of him.

How many times have we seen something we like and gone for it without thinking of the consequences?  How is the payment on that sports car coming along?  Are your credit cards maxed out with purchases of items that have gone out of style, worn out or broken?  Who is to blame?  One of the advantages of being in a “desert” (4057b) “land” (776) is that the malls are few and far between.  This could simply be while camping out.  It doesn’t necessarily mean a literal desert as much as an area that is uninhabited.  What do you need to make you happy when you are communing with nature?

So?  This is a reminder that we do not need all the perks that we think we do.  Maybe it is a call to simplify life.  Maybe it is a call to remain single.  For many of us we don’t have much choice on that second option, so go with the first. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Enjoy the Paradox

(Proverbs 20:24 KJV)  Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

One of the paradoxes of the Christian faith is the tension between free will and God’s omnipotence.  Without free will morality lacks meaning.  It is simply programing.  Without omnipotence God is not God in the Biblical sense.  Whole books have been written trying to come to grips with these two different requirements.  I won’t solve them today.

Both are still vital to the Christian life.  We must acknowledge that all is in God’s hands.  When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we say, “Thy will be done.”  That is a confession as much as a request.  We are saved by the gift of grace.  We cannot earn salvation.

At the same time God calls for a life of obedience.  This would be sham if we did not have the ability to disobey and mockingly false is we had not choice in the matter.  It would make God nothing but a game designer and us his pieces.  That does not answer the question either.

So?  Relax in the tension.  Rest in the struggle.  We are challenged to think and reason.  We are to seek understanding.  It is an appetite that will be momentarily satisfied yet will keep bringing new horizons for eternity. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Unusual Contrasts

(Proverbs 19:22 KJV)  The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.

Proverbs likes to use contrasts and comparisons.  Here the contrast is between “kindness” (2617a) [chesed] and lying.  Strange bedfellows.  One is required to get into heaven.  The Hebrew “kindness” is the equivalent of the Greek agape in my opinion.  It is a dominant theme in both Testaments.  The other is a quality that will get you thrown into the lake of fire.  What do they have in common?  Both are qualities that we downplay because they are inconvenient.

We are too busy to be kind.  We are too injured to turn the other cheek.  We reserve our love for those who deserve it.  We endanger our immortal souls. 

We stretch the truth.  We spin.  We exaggerate.  We hedge and evade.  In so doing we endanger our immortal souls.

So?  Sometimes this is clear and obvious.  Sometimes even we have a hard time knowing our own minds and hearts.  The Holy Spirit stands ready to help us see the problem in our life and do something about it. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

More than Adrenalin

(Proverbs 18:9 KJV)  He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

Is “slothful” (slack NASB) (7503) something that comes over time, develops full blown or a trait we are born with?  The word is fairly common in the Old Testament, found in 45 verses.  It has the idea of relaxing, sinking or becoming less aware.  I think of a guard at the end of his shift.  He is not on edge.  His energy is waning and his attention is wandering.  That is the condition.  From that I would guess that it can strike anyone at anytime.

Have you ever been on an all-night drive and you begin to get sleepy.  You are having a hard time staying awake.  Suddenly you almost kill yourself, the adrenalin begins to flow and you are alert again, at least for a time.  The real need in those situations is to stop and get some rest, not to keep drinking coffee.

So?  Rest can take many forms and there is a time for it.  Where am I getting slack?  Has reading my Bible become a ritual instead of an adventure?  Has doing my best at work drifted from my mind?  Then we need to ask ourselves about our roles as spouses and parents.  Rest and focus.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sidelined by Silence

(Proverbs 17:28 KJV)  Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

Notice the similarities and differences between what the world sees as wisdom and Godly wisdom.  Both would admit that there is wisdom.  The wisdom of God is rooted in a fear of God and adhering to the truth.  Silence can be respected but does not automatically convey wisdom.  A pause in a sermon can be powerful but an empty pulpit conveys nothing but the suspicion that someone forgot to set their alarm clock.

The world is different.  Since wisdom is in the ears of the listener, if you say nothing they can assume that you agree with them. 

This can also be a trap for us.  There are times when we are to speak up.  What we say will be rejected by the world.  We might be persecuted for it.
(Matthew 5:11 KJV)  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
The temptation to remain silent and thus imply agreement can be very powerful.

So?  It may not be right to always make statements but the church of God is being sidelined because it is silent.  Too often we take the path of least resistance instead of the path of wisdom.  If there is an error we make it is being to courteous. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Highway Humility

(Proverbs 16:19 KJV)  Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

This is one of those concepts that we pay lip service to but in practice don’t allow to permeate our hearts.  Humility is great but I don’t have time for it today.  Being poor in spirit is very noble but it doesn’t move me up the food chain.  We need to prosper and we can’t do that if we let someone else get the gold ring.  “Spoil” (7998) can take many forms.  It could be nothing more than the anger you feel at someone cutting in line at the grocery store.

How much are we willing to give up to live in righteousness?  One of my daily battles is with my attitude as I drive to work and I see aggressive, self-centered people passing on the right and endangering everyone’s life in order to get ahead a couple of inches.  God is working with me on it.  I don’t need to be happy about it but I do need to learn not to ram them.

So?  Humility is a daily challenge for me and I am a nobody.  What must it be like for those who are “successful” or really gifted.  Pray for our leaders.  Pray for those arrogant enough to think they have something to say on blogs. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Beauty Is in the Heart of the Beholder

(Proverbs 15:15 KJV)  All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.

We have all heard someone say, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”  We have probably said it ourselves.  This verse is talking about the beauty of the “days” (3117).  The Hebrew word has the same range as the English.  It can mean anything from hour to epoch.  Here it is about how our attitude can make a difference in our attitude.

Assume that both parties are going through the same experiences.  It doesn’t say that but it doesn’t say different.  One complains about the weather, the other takes a walk in the rain.  One cowers in fear of the lightening, the other is in awe of God’s power.  One stays home sick and whining, the other uses the time to read a good book. 

So?  Do you believe that God is in control?  Do you believe in grace and providence?  You need to put that flash drive into your computer and let it reboot.  It can be a good day.  If you don’t trust me, trust God. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Buyer Beware

(Proverbs 14:15 KJV)  The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

Since the last presidential election we have been hearing about “fake news”.  Long ago I developed an attitude that says all news is “fake”.  I have that attitude because I am not “simple” (naive NASB) (6612a).  At least I like to think I am not naive.  I understand that there are levels of fake from the deliberate to the uninformed.  Thus when I read the news from some sources I question even the hard numbers given.  At other sources I just keep my filters on and my mind in gear.  Everyone gets it wrong sometimes and the first reports on the news are often full of error.

We face the same thing in our spiritual life.  When I talk to a Jehovah’s Witness I assume that they have a spin on what they say.  Some are deliberately lying to me and they know it.  Others are still young in their cult and have not had a chance to think it through.  When I hear a pastor in a genuine church spouting nonsense I often recognize it as nonsense.  The way I know is to get out my Divine Yardstick and start reading for myself.  The Holy Spirit will keep me informed if I put the right data into the Spiritual USB port.

So?  Always keep your thinking cap on whether you are listening to the news or the sermon.  Don’t believe everything you hear.  It is a sad truth but a necessary one.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mouth Life

(Proverbs 13:3 KJV)  He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

I casually did a search on “mouth” (6310) and was a bit startled.  The Hebrew word is used  55 times just in Proverbs.  The English word come up 65 times in the New Testament.  I have been thinking about themes in Proverbs and I would have come up with gossip but it would have never occurred to me that the simple reference to the mouth would be so common.

We overlook the evil and good that can be done with our mouth.  In addition to things like gossip and food intake it is also a major highway of germs and disease.  Here it is tied to “life” (5315).

So?  A small part of our body.  A big contributor to our destiny.  Worthy of some thought, I would say. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Self-Starting

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

Today I am thinking of “instruction” (discipline NASB) (4148) in the sense of doing what I need to do instead of playing a game, going shopping or taking a nap.  The thought works better with the NASB translation.  I have it when it comes to writing this blog.  I seem to lack it in so many other areas of my life.  There are so many books I want to read.  There are so many books of the Bible that I need to study.  There are so many in depth articles on the internet waiting for me.  So much and yet I dilly dally. 

I need to “love” (157) “discipline”.  I need to make today one of those days where I take a serious look at my time and start living up to the priorities I already know about.  I don’t need to make any new lists or come up with fresh resolutions.  I don’t need to listen to any lectures.  I need to take the next step, and the next step and keep it up.

So?  Thanks for reminding me.  I return the favor. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Save Trash Talk for the Dump

(Proverbs 11:12 KJV)  He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

Does this mean that I can’t trash talk the guy in the next apartment?  Actually, yes, but it goes much farther than that.  This goes down into our inner man and how we look at other people.  We don’t need to accept or approve but we do need to love in the Biblical sense.  You can’t do that if you have a genuine, heart felt contempt for the unregenerated pagan next door.  You can’t do that if you won’t speak to someone who sits in the pew behind you because of something they did or because of who they are.  This goes double if your arrogance is based on race or class.

This does not mean you must respect them.  Respect if earned and deserved.  It does mean that you must be courteous and polite.  It means you need to be honest in business and word.  It means that you need to treat them as a potential brother or sister.  Sure they aren’t there yet but they may never get there is they find out what you said about them.

So?  Watch the mouth.  Check the heart. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Not-Word from the Wise

(Proverbs 10:19 KJV)  In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

This is not very promising for people who talk a lot or people who don’t think before they speak.  All of us have had moments when a comment bursts forth in its glory and our shame.  I don’t think there is any way to avoid it and it becomes a real issue in our modern culture of hate speech and safe spaces.  I was criticized recently because I made a student feel uncomfortable.  He could not point out anything specific that I said but he felt bad.  ????  I don’t really think that is what Solomon was talking about so I don’t worry about that.  But what about the joke that goes wrong?  What about a moment of honesty when tact was required?  What about a poor choice of words?  What about that four letter word that slips out withing consulting you?

So?  We know the problem.  It effects each of us differently and every day has different challenges.  We can’t stop talking.  All we can do is acknowledge the problem and prayerfully make progress. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

They Know Not of What They Speak

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

Every time I read this chapter I am struck by the fact that both the foolish woman and Wisdom start off saying the same thing.  Both invite the naive to sit and partake of what they have to offer.  One offering leads to life and the other to death.  I am wondering if they are even offering the same words of advice.  Here the foolish woman admits that she has stolen her offerings from someone else.

We see a lot of this in our world.  The secular world tries to piggyback on Biblical principles.  They talk about compassion and justice.  They speak of love and the importance of family.  They know a lot of the lines but they don’t understand the implications.  It reflects back to the middle of the chapter, an idea that is expressed several ways in Proverbs,
(Proverbs 9:10 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Without the fear of the Lord there is no way to apply any kind of wisdom.  One reason I always buy tapioca ready made is that I would have no idea what to do with the raw root it comes from.  The world is like that with wisdom.

So?  Be careful what you believe in the world.  They may know all the right words and phrases.  They do not know the context or application because they do not fear the Lord. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Dusting Shelves in Eternity

(Proverbs 8:26 KJV)  While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

God is eternal.  Although He created the world ex nihilo, out of nothing, He did not suddenly pop into being or evolve.  He has always been.  These verses are reminding us of the eternal nature of God. 

We are creatures of time.  I really can’t picture how we will adjust to eternity.  When you find infinity in every thought it changes how you look at things.  We are used to “fields” (2351) that have fences and boundaries.  We are used to dust that we can wipe off of shelves.  God is beyond all that.  He defined the boundaries.  He has none.

So?  It is good to reflect on this once in awhile.  When we are surrounded by Ph.D.’s who sometimes act like they know something keep in mind that, compared to God, they are just as ignorant as you are.  If they don’t know God, they are more ignorant, but that is the subject of another verse. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Growing Tension

(Proverbs 7:3 KJV)  Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

Christians live in the tension of grace and obedience.  Some deny it and manage to live in obedience anyway.  Some accept it and give up to living in rebellion.  It really doesn’t matter where you are on the free will scale, we are expected to take action in our life of faith.  Here we have a clear command to do something in order to experience the wisdom of God.  If this were Greek it would be in the imperative.  It would be a demand.  I don’t know what the equivalent is in Hebrew but the demand is still there.

So?  Activate your faith card.  Whether it is credit or debit it will not be useful until you have the bank of heaven make the connection.  Then use it.  Spend time reading, listening, meditating, praying and growing.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Motive Myopia

(Proverbs 6:30 KJV)  Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;

Don’t get too excited about this being license to steal.  We have a lot of people who will say that there are extenuating circumstances and that people should not be punished when they are really victims.  Not so.  You need to read the next verse to get this but the thief is still to be punished even if he is driven by necessity. 

Crime is crime.  Evil is evil.  Neither is excused by expedience or desperation.  Mercy and forgiveness can still play a role.  In fact they should play a role but the act is still wrong.

So?  Our attitude toward law and order are to be built on a foundation of the Bible and it’s authority, not on the most recent standards advanced by the American Psychological Association or the Department of Education. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Invest Properly

(Proverbs 5:10 KJV)  Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;

There are three Hebrew words and three English words that keep being thrown around dealing with people outside your circle.  Two of each are used here, “strangers” (2114a) and “alien” (5237).  If you go back to verse 3 you see the third English word, “adulteress” (2114a).  The third Hebrew word is not used in Proverbs.  The three words have a lot of overlap and seem to be interchangeable in translation.

The point is that there are those who are part of the “family” and those who are not.  While we are to show courtesy and concern for those outside the circle, those on the inside are to be given first consideration.  In this verse we see concern about our present efforts and how we dispose of our wealth when we die.  I have had kids at school ask my if I would cut my children out of my will if they went down the homosexual path.  The short answer is, “Yes.”  The long answer is, “Yes.” 

So?  I am to spend my life building and investing in the kingdom of God.  I am to see that the resources He blesses me with are used wisely and righteously after I am gone.  Obviously there are no guarantees.  Keep in mind that Harvard was started as a Christian school to train pastors.  That does not let us off the hook. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Autopilot Warnings

(Proverbs 4:26 KJV)  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

There are certain times when I watch my step, times when I am on automatic and others that I step out with boldness.  Unless I am running in the dark or some other stupid activity I generally do my stumbling when I am on automatic.  I find it happens more often as I get older.  Things that used to happen smoothly now require thought.  As long as I am focused I am okay.  One example is the stairs at school.  I used to fly down them without a conscious thought.  After a few senseless close calls I now try to have a hand on the rail and pay attention.

God tries to warn us with close calls.  When we don’t listen we have unpleasant surprises.  When kids at school start asking for tissue I am reminded it is time to double down on hand sanitizer.  When cars in front of me start hitting their breaks I start looking for objects on the road or a cop cars behind trees. 

So?  Are you on autopilot?  Maybe it is time to wake up, stop smelling the roses and look for cracks in the sidewalk that you don’t want to trip over. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Holiness and Health

(Proverbs 3:8 KJV)  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Why is it so hard to simply accept this statement?  It is a simple statement that living God’s way creates what they are calling wellness.  Holiness means health.  Righteousness makes you robust.  Go for all the alliteration you can handle. 

What is God’s way?  Chastity comes up frequently.  Honest business practices are repeatedly referred to.  Humility is demanded.  Hard work is expected.  How long a list do you need?  My guess is that we don’t need to put down many areas before we see something that we have been giving a pass. 

So?  Remember that if holiness produces health then rebellion brings the opposite.  It may not bring overnight results but it will change the end game.  Think about it when you make decisions today. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Web of Covenants

(Proverbs 2:17 KJV)  Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.

“Guide (companion NASB) (441a) of her youth (5271)” stirred a memory of another verse.  It didn’t take long to find it.
(Proverbs 5:18 NAS77)  Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
We see a call to commitment coming from both sides.  We see a warning against wandering directed at both sides.  We are reminded that marriage is a “covenant” (1285).  Abandoning the person you married in your youth meant walking away from the covenant that you had with God.

Notice this is not a mark of patriarchal society where men can abandon their wives with a simple divorce decree.  This is not about protecting weak members of society.  This is about wilfully letting your commitments lag.  It is about destroying the most important oaths and pledges.  As Christians we are part of a community of righteousness.  There are certain promises that are not just pinky promises. 

So?  Be faithful.  Here it is to your spouse and your God.  In other places it is to your customers.  Children and neighbors are thrown into the mix.  Walking with Jesus is a total package not recommended for weekend warriors. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Reproving Spirit

(Proverbs 1:23 KJV)  Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

I have been coming across this call to “reproof” (8433b) recently.  I checked and the Hebrew word is used sixteen times in Proverbs.  What is interesting to me here is that reproof is one of the ways in which the Lord speaks to us.  It is a learning tool of the Holy Spirit.  I would guess this supports the idea that we learn more through struggle than we do through pleasure.

It is true for me and I think it is true for people in general.  Think of the cycle that Israel would go through.  God would bless them and they would prosper.  In prosperity they would begin to focus their confidence on material success and withdraw from God.  God would warn them and be ignored.  Finally you would have tragedy that brought revival.  Revival would bring blessing and the cycle repeats itself. 

So?  This is why Bible believing churches used to have revival services on a regular basis.  It was not a ritual, it was a renewal.  We don’t see it much in the church any more.  That means it is up to us to search our souls and listen to what God wants to teach us. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

This Hurts Me More Than It Will Hurt You

(Proverbs 28:23 KJV)  He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

It occurs to me today that we might be a little confused about what it means to “rebuke” (3198) someone.  This comes to mind because my last experience with a group of narcissistic spoiled brats had one special child telling me what a terrible teacher I was.  She says it often and has a routine of thrusting her head forward, rolling her eyes, nodding her head and waving one hand like a magician.  That is not a rebuke.  That is a childish attempt to manipulate me into doing things her way.  I usually tell her, “Nice eye roll.” 

Rebuke is not insult, manipulation or defense mechanism.  Rebuke is sharing something that might be painful but will help the person being spoken to.  We rarely see it and that is a shame.  It is one side of the gift of exhortation.  It is something God does to the faithful.  It is demanded in both the Old and New Testaments.  And instead we try to build self-esteem by praise and complements.

So?  Short term, feel good comments keep us safe but don’t do much to help the person who has a problem.  Love demands that we do what is best for the other person.  Sometimes that is rebuke.  If the rebuke fits, don’t put it back on the rack. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Open First

(Proverbs 27:5 KJV)  Open rebuke is better than secret love.

“Better” (2896a) is a comparison, not an absolute.  It is not the same as best.  Best is a clear winner but better often seems to be hard to determine.  Best is the peak above the mountain range of choices.  Better is when you only have two possibilities. 

What is strange in our thinking is thinking that “rebuke” (8433b) can be looked at in a positive light.  That is the product of our pagan culture and a dominance of sinful attitudes.  We see this in a generation of children that have never been disciplined.  We see it in schools that turn out graduates that know nothing and people wanting jobs but not wanting to work.  We see it in people attending church and being satisfied with a social club that entertains instead of a sanctuary that compels worship.  We see it in avoiding repentance while we are satisfied with celebration. 

So?  We need to grow up and look at things through God’s filters and not the world’s.  We need to seek the right and not be satisfied with just the good.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Rod Cycle

(Proverbs 26:3 KJV)  A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.

I don’t know much about horses.  I know less about donkeys.  Unfortunately I know a lot about “fools” (3684).  The scary thing about fools is that they don’t realize what they are.  I could be a fool and not be aware of it.  Does a horse know it is a horse?  Does a donkey know it is a donkey?  One of the differences between animals and humans is self awareness. 

Sometimes I feel like I am too self-aware.  I say “feel” because in reality that is often just feeling sorry for myself.  I have cycles I go through.  The advantage for me in getting older is that I recognize the cycle and know how to hold on until things start to feel better again.  I can even speed up the improvement part of the cycle.  I do that by focusing on the things of God.  I remember that God is on the throne.  I look back at how He has worked in history and in my life.  And, to be honest, some times God shakes His head, knows I am being a fool, and uses the “rod” (7626) on me.

So?  Often when the rubber hits the road and the rod hits my back it is time to slow down, listen to what God is trying to say and make some changes.  I can’t help you with your rod moments.  You can’t help me with mine, unless you are the rod.  If you are, then thank you. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Your Context

(Proverbs 25:3 KJV)  The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.

The context is kings.  The point can apply to so much in our lives from the reason for hunger in the world to why my wife does not understand me.  Some things are going to be too big for me to grasp.  Some things are going to be so intricate that I can’t begin to figure them out.  In between is a small area for me to actually grab hold of and work with.

Does that mean that I don’t try to stretch and understand the trinity?  Does it mean that I don’t meditate on the holiness of God?  Am I to ignore the implications of forgiveness?  Obviously not, or at least it is obvious to me.  God made us in His image.  We have minds and imaginations.  Yes, they have been tainted by sin.  Yes, we are not as smart as we think we are.  We can still enjoy the struggle to understand. 

So?  Keep moving forward and expecting serendipitous experiences.  Keep in mind that if Balaam’s donkey can talk, we can listen. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Knowledge Is Power

(Proverbs 24:5 KJV)  A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Here is a foundation for the idea that “knowledge” (1847) is “strength” (power NASB) (3581b).  That goes back to Francis Bacon in the 16th century.  With the rise of modern computers and internet searches we have seen this in a new age of data.  The one who knows what is happening can make better plans and investments. 

This has a different support.  The differences are in the content of the knowledge, the source of the power and the results.  Obviously Proverbs is concerned with the world around Solomon.  The advice given is useful in how you live your day.  What is not obvious to some people is that these daily decisions have eternal consequences.  To the average pagan telling the truth might lead to more trust and increase their business results but can be cast aside if the rewards are big enough.  For the Christian the result of lies is the lake of fire.  That lake burns up your excuses and rationalizations as well as you.

So?  Knowledge is power.  Too much power can burn out your circuits.  Make sure you go for the right type of power. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hot Rods

(Proverbs 23:14 KJV)  Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

I wonder if this is a proverb written late in life.  Did Solomon already see that his sons were on track to divide the kingdom?  Did he see the results of his lack of discipline?  The other option is that he is reflecting on how his father raised his sons and how they even tried to kill their father.

Either way this comes across as a command.  We are to use force in teaching our children right from wrong.  It isn’t just a matter of teaching them to behave properly in public.  It isn’t just to civilize them.  It is to keep them from going to Hell.  Of course this is not a license to pointless beatings.  As in all things we see the balance as shown by the apostle Paul.
(Ephesians 6:4 KJV)  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
I find that the juvenile delinquents in my classes have no problem with being kicked out when they misbehave.  They know they have messed up.  It is the sheltered, pampered child that thinks they are entitled to do whatever they want with no consequence. 

So?  Children need to be shown the boundaries and impressed with the importance of proper behavior.  They need to be taught cause and effect.  Eternity is in the balance. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Two for the Price of One

(Proverbs 22:15 KJV)  Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

This is a twofer verse.  You get to reject two common beliefs of our pagan culture in one swoop.  That is to be expected when you read and apply the Bible.  What God has to say causes a real jarring of teeth in the secular world.  First the Bible teaches that children are foolish.  Second it teaches that physical punishment is not evil.  That is enough to send the trend setters of our world screaming down the aisle. 

Unfortunately it also causes many in the church to start looking for excuses.  Too many who attend church on a regular basis live in a world that rejects what the church should be teaching.  It is much easier to adjust our beliefs to the expectations of our neighbors than to be salt.  Most are familiar with this verse. 
(Romans 12:2 KJV)  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
J.B. Philips has a paraphrase of the New Testament.  I generally avoid paraphrases but he wrapped this one around my head in such a way that I keep coming back to it.  This is from memory but I remember his putting it,
“Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.”
So?  We are being squeezed.  We are being pushed and pulled.  We need to be alert to the pressure and refuse to compromise. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pray for the Peace of Israel

(Proverbs 21:18 KJV)  The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.

One type of promise that is hard to understand and apply is the repeated idea that God’s people will be blessed and see prosperity.  I think of it as a principle of promise not a law.  If you look down through history you can see how this has applied to the people of Israel.  They have gone through some terrible suffering.  We are all familiar with the Holocaust generated by Hitler and the Nazis.  That is just one chapter in centuries of persecution and hostility.  Israel has suffered.  We see anti-Semitism on the rise, not only in Islam and neo-pagan Europe but in the secular American society. 

In spite of that the Jewish people have continued to be blessed by God.  They have been massacred through history and still are a numerous people.  They have been persecuted and faced death for their beliefs and yet they still identify as Jews.  They have been driven from country after country and after 2,000 years have a homeland again.

And what has happened to the nations and people that persecuted them?  They have been a ransom.

So?  Get hostile to the Jews at your own peril.  Keep in mind that the United States is not now, nor has it ever been, the chosen people.  We have been blessed but not chosen.  Pray for the peace of Israel. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

You Don’t Need a Lawyer

(Proverbs 20:23 KJV)  Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.

In some places the Bible deals with mystical concepts that will not be totally understood in this life such as the trinity.  Who knows, maybe we will not even be able to understand it when Jesus is in the pulpit.  At the other end you have simple, easy to understand directions such as the Ten Commandments that tell us not to lie, steal and commit adultery.  Here is another clear demand for people who follow Jesus:  Be honest in your business dealings.

It is really simple.  We want to cloud the issue with contracts and lawyer talk.  We want to set up all kind of “situations” that we might face.  The principle is simple.  If you say a dollar an ounce then make sure the dollar is good and the ounce is an ounce.  There is no wiggle room.

So?  Selling a house?  Selling a car?  Borrowing money?  Keep in mind that before you have your lawyer check the wording, God has already made a decision on your willingness to live in righteousness.  His opinion is the one that matters. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dream On

(Proverbs 19:21 KJV)  There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

It is normal for us to have “many” (7227) dreams bouncing around in our heads.  I think this infers that we are expected to have inner brain storms and consider all kinds of possibilities.  People with better imaginations will have more variety.  One of the adjustments I have had to make is that as I get older, paths are shut off.  Options are reduced.  Wild ideas become impossible.  When I got married it walled off all other women in the world.  When I realized I was color blind it ruled out any dreams of being a fashion designer.  Not that I had such dreams but now they would be futile.

What does not change is the path that God wants us to walk.  He must put up with a boatload of nonsense before we can whittle our dreams down to size.  Sometimes the plan He has for us is bigger than we could have ever dreamed.  Sometimes it is more mysterious than we can imagine.  Sometimes it is to be the guy with the stop watch when someone else is winning the race.  It is still what is right for us.

So?  Dream big.  Dream often.  Be open to God being a bigger dreamer. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lowered Voices

(Proverbs 18:8 KJV)  The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

You may have noticed that there is a difference in the way the KJV and NASB translate this verse.   It seems they are looking at different Hebrew words.  The KJV says “talebearer” (5372) and the NASB uses “whisperer” (7279).  When I dig a little I find that in reality they are the same word but for reasons that are beyond me have different numbers.  Go figure.  Another error that turns out to be not an error.  It probably goes back to an ego contest between two scholars.

Onward.  In your experience is gossip whispered or shouted?  My feeling is that when people have a juicy tidbit to share they look around, lower their voice, lean toward you and pass it along.  That might be a good indication if something should be shared.  If you can’t say it in a normal voice without worrying about being overheard, maybe it should not be said.

So?  Have you had to lower your voice this week?  Think about why. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Clueless or Confident

(Proverbs 17:27 KJV)  He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

If we had a modern bit of jargon for this attitude it might be “laid back”.  However you want to translate the description here it comes back as someone who is not rattled by what is going on around him.  Think of all the things that get us worried today:  Political results, terrorism, environment, taxes, health, the list goes on.  Some of the upsets are serious, many are just momentary.  We are to be relaxed.

Some wag once came up with the statement, “If you can keep your head when other around you are losing theirs, you probably don’t understand the situation.”  That could be totally correct, or you could just honestly trust in God.

So which is it?  Are you uptight or at ease?  Are you clueless or trusting?  I know what I prefer to be.  It is a matter of choice.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Common and Dangerous

(Proverbs 16:18 KJV)  Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

“Pride” (1347b) is something that gets a lot of bad press but continues to thrive.  It is one of those character traits that we can see in others but don’t recognize in ourselves.  We aren’t proud, it is you that are lacking in appreciation.  The kind of pride that we are looking at here is along the lines of hubris and arrogance.  It isn’t that sturdy sense of self worth that helps us through rough times.  It is the assurance that we know what is best for not only ourselves, but the rest of the world too.

We tend to see it in politicians and celebrities.  We miss that it is just as common in the masses.  It is the attitude that feels entitlement.  We see it rioting in the streets in the current elections.  We see it demanding higher wages for less work.  We see it everywhere we look.  Pride does not know how to turn the other cheek or go the extra mile.  Pride ultimately does not know how to bend its knee to God.

So?  My job, and your job, is not to bring down the proud.  Our responsibility is to examine our own hearts and make sure that we are broken before the cross. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Focal Points

(Proverbs 15:14 KJV)  The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.

The NASB’s use of “mind” (3820) and the KJV’s use of “heart” demonstrate the different cultural focuses of the two centuries.  The Hebrew word is very frequent and has a wide range of translations but all of them circle back to the concept of the inner man.  What is the focus of your inner man?  The inner man is reflected in what we seek in life and how we set our priorities. 

This brings to mind,
(Matthew 6:33 KJV)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
To the world this is ridiculous.  To the cultural Christian it is put on the back burner.  Both of those groups would be joined at the hip as “fools” (3684), not because they are incompetent but because their focus makes it impossible to see the big picture. 

So?  Only you and God know where your inner focus points.  Only you and God can do anything about it.  Being a fool is a choice.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Closet Mocker

(Proverbs 14:6 KJV)  A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.

Have you ever had the feeling that God is not listening to you?  You ask for wisdom in a decision you face.  You seek guidance in your plans.  You admit your need for patience.  You call upon the Lord and all you get are crickets.  All of us have been there.  Where is the holdup?  Maybe it is because you really don’t want an answer.  Maybe you are a “scorner” (scoffer NASB) (3927b) in your heart if not in your mouth.

I know I have been guilty of framing my expectations with the jargon of the denomination I was raised in and filtering it through the ideas of normal presented by the surrounding culture.  If I listen to the media and the theologians I will slowly drift away from what the Bible actually teaches as wisdom. 

So?  I need a daily dose of the word taken as directed.  That means I read for understanding, not to fulfill a chapter a day quota.  It means I meditate on what I have read, not just get it out of the way.  It means I make decisions based on what I know as a result of that.  It means not being a closet mocker. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Meals

(Proverbs 13:2 KJV)  A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.

Do you “enjoy” (398) the produce of your mouth?  Once again the KJV is more literal.  The word is a simple word meaning “to eat”.  When I look at the definitions I see things like “devour”, “consume” and “burn up”.  It almost seems like there is a mix up in the word order.  I wonder if it is possible to say that your words will eat you.  Probably not.

When you look at yesterday do you get a warm feeling in your belly?  Are you happy about what you had to say?  How about today?

So?  I know I need to work on what I say and how I say it.  No one else can do it for me.  Of course that means I can’t do it for you either. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Grave Concerns

(Proverbs 12:28 KJV)  In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

I have not been to a funeral in a long time.  I have had friends who have lost parents in the last few years, but they have been far away.  I think that the next funeral I go to will be my own.  At least I hope so.  One of the themes that are perpetual at Christian funerals is that the person being remembered has not really died but has just moved along to the next step of eternity.  Most of us have heard the words of Paul in Corinthians 15 but are not aware he is actually quoting the Old Testament.
(Hosea 13:14 KJV)  I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
It would seem that death should be afraid of our savior.

So?  Physical death in the eyes of the world is as sure as taxes.  Eternal life is also assured for those who follow Jesus.  May your walk here be productive and full of joy.  May the next step bring no fear. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Bless the City

(Proverbs 11:11 KJV)  By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
As I read through this chapter today I am repeatedly struck by the frequent use of words like “upright” (3477).  Other words from the NASB are “righteous”, “perfect”, “man of understanding”, “faithful spirit”, “gracious woman” and many other expressions that get across an idea that we often resist.  We are expected to be salt in our communities.  You cannot be salt without being salty.  Just as you don’t add ginger when the recipe calls for salt, so you can’t accept the role of being unrighteous and expect to be salt.

So?  You were a sinner.  You have been saved by grace.  You now walk in the light.  You are now salt and need to get around the business of being a blessing to your city.  You are different and God has made you that way.  Serve.  Influence.  

Friday, February 10, 2017

Hate Targets

(Proverbs 10:18 KJV)  He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.

Contrary to popular opinion, “hatred” (8135) is not always wrong.  For instance the verb form is used a few chapters earlier,
(Proverbs 8:13 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is to hate (8181) evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
The concern is the reason for our hatred and the target for our hatred. 

Too often this feeling is simply a result of an injury to our pride or pocketbook.  Instead of turning the other cheek and going the extra mile we develop an unrighteous anger which morphs into hatred.  That would be sin.

On the other hand when we have social mores that endorse killing unborn children, denying access to opportunity because of skin color or stealing from tax payers to line the pockets of corrupt politicians, hate might be the correct emotion.

So?  God is love.  True.  But God hates evil and so should we.  Keep in mind that we may be sinners but that does not necessarily mean we are evil. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Being Open Is Simple

(Proverbs 9:16 KJV)  Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

The idea of being “simple” (naive NASB) (6612a) is also seen in reference to the woman tempting this young man in verse 13.  The words in English are the same but slightly different in the Hebrew.  Both come from the same root.  It is the root that we need to understand.  The root means “spacious, wide, open”.  Somewhere else I noticed that being simple means having an open mind.

The danger of being open is not a willingness to wrestle with new ideas.  The danger is in wrestling with no awareness of the rules.  In the pagan world there are no limitations on what is allowed except your own sense of well being.  Thus we get the idea, “If it feels good, do it”.  We glorify self-actualization and self-esteem and all the other selfs.  The wise, on the other hand, understand that when you run your finger down a sharp knife you cut yourself and when you cut yourself you bleed and if you don’t stop the bleeding you die.

So?  An open gate is one thing.  An open highway is a joy.  An open mind can be a disaster. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Settled Wisdom

(Proverbs 8:25 KJV)  Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

I am not a geologist although when I am driving across the country, observing the rock formations, I have wanted to take a few classes.  One of the details that keeps me from doing it is the knowledge that whoever taught the class would be approaching the subject from an evolutionary point of view.  It would be like taking a class in aerodynamics from a professor that believed the speed of sound would never be passed.  Here we see an indication that God was implying things about geology.

How would the king of a small country on the Mediterranean know about “mountains” (2022) settling?   This is obviously not a full blown scientific statement.  It is not meant to be.  But it implies that things were once chaotic and finally “settled” (2883) down.  This is not something Solomon would remember.

And before that the wisdom of God was already established.  Wisdom somehow had a place when dinosaurs roamed the earth.  It had a place before God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation...”

So?  The latest great meme that comes over the internet or airways is just a bit of fluff if it does not agree with the eternal.  That applies to moral behavior as well as the proper use of technology.  Expect to be at odds with your contemporary world.