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, August 31, 2017

Biblical Trumps Cultural

(Proverbs 31:24 KJV)  She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

This is one busy lady.  Every time I read this chapter I am overwhelmed at how many different balls she has in the air:  Buying land and farming it, supervising a large staff, making several different articles of clothing and marketing them, importing and who knows what else is implied.  This is a long way from the little woman cooking, cleaning and serving.

I hope you see the difference between this Biblical view of women and the veiled, isolated harems that are presented by much of the world.  This is not offered up as one of a kind but an example to be followed.  Think of the Chinese women of the day with bound feet and locked away in an inner sanctum.  Think of the many cultures that treated their women as chattel. 

And this is presented as the ideal.

So?  Too often our ideas are based on cultural traditions rather than Biblical reading.  That applies to how our homes are structured as much as murder and theft. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Obviously Ignored

(Proverbs 30:19 KJV)  The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

Four familiar events that Solomon is saying are not to be understood.  On the surface they might seem to be obvious but in reality, who knows.  Take the flight of an “eagle” (5405).  I was talking about the miracle of flight this week.  Have you seen the contraptions that were tried over the years to imitate the flight of eagles?  Most of them totally missed the principle God had developed to make flight possible.  The man on the ground focused on the flapping of wings and never got off the ground.  It took the development of the scientific method to look at all the failures and do the research to find the answer.

Flight is possible because of Bernoulli’s Principle.  It was discovered that birds can fly not because they flap their wings with vigor but because of the shape of the wings being flapped.  As the air rushes across the top of the wing is greater than the bottom and that moving air causes lift.  Airplanes don’t flap their wings.  They are propelled through the air and the bird shaped wings give enough lift for flight to take place.

Who would have known?  That is an easy question, God.

So?  How many issues in our lives have a solution that God knows but we have not considered?  Many of the things we do everyday by habit in a Christian society are foreign to other cultures.  The concepts to honesty and mercy don’t develop naturally, they were demanded.  Read about those and the other principles that God has established for the good life. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Trust Big

(Proverbs 29:23 KJV)  A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

In English “pride” (1346) can be understood two conflicting ways.  There is the sense that can be understood as arrogance and also the idea of dignity.  Two different words are translated as “pride” in Proverbs and both have the first sense.  This pride is based on the sin of arrogance.

The root of this sin is reflected in different ways all through Proverbs.  All come down to the focus of our trust and the foundation of our standards.  This pride is anchored in yourself.  It is an assurance that you are the ultimate.  We can hide it from others and sometimes live in denial to ourselves but it is an inner refusal to bow our knee to the God of the universe and the Lamb of the Cross.

The resounding chorus of Proverbs is that our trust is in the Lord, nothing else.

So?  Is your day full of speed bumps and potential viral infections?  Even when you have the resources to plan around them you need to prepare with the awareness that ultimately success is in the hands of God.  Trust big. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Trust Bold

(Proverbs 28:1 KJV)  The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Why are the “righteous” (6662) “bold” (982)?  It is not based on a sense of personal accomplishment.  It is based on trust, which is the root meaning of the word.  One of the translations is “careless” but the point is not cavalier but confident.  Last night I went out to dinner.  Usually I balance my willingness to pay with the attraction of items on the menu.  Last night I did not even look at the prices.  Why?  Because my son was paying.

I was not being careless with his money, I was trusting in his desire to pay, his ability to pay and a knowledge that he did not care how much anything cost.  He knew he could well afford anything on the menu.  I knew he could afford anything on the menu.  What would have been the utmost in extravagance for me was simply a pleasure and a desire to give for him.

It is that way with the righteous.  We can trust.  We can go forward with boldness.  We know the One who is paying the bill.  That is why a believer can face surgery and economic crisis with peace and confidence.

So?  Trust boldly.  To be confident in the future because of our resources would be arrogance.  To have it based on His is simple trust. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Special Joys

(Proverbs 27:11 KJV)  My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.

As I read this today it has special meaning since I am spending a week with my son.  I am very proud of “the boy” who is a full grown man making his way in life.  When I begin my day thinking about the blessings of my life I always think about my children.  This would be a great prayer to be repeated often.

Is everything in his life as I would want it to be?  Of course not.  He has his quirks and individual preferences but he continues to “make my heart glad”. 

So?  Today it might be a good time to slow down and be thankful about some of the people God has blessed you with.  The possibilities are almost endless from your parents to the lady with the full grocery cart who let you go ahead with your yogurt.  Always remember to include the Perfect Lamb of God who gave His life for you. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017


The “thorn” (2336) is not the problem.  The problem is the fool who is not paying attention.  We have moved to a piece of property that has areas we will not mow.  When I walk through those areas my shoe laces become coated with thorns.  As long as I am careful it presents no difficulties.  It does not do me any good to get mad at the stickers.  They are doing their job.

Thorns in some cases are for protection.  A cactus has points to keep from being eaten.  A bull has horns so it can protect the herd.  Sometimes it is to increase the chances of reproducing.  The burrs on my shoes could be picked off and spread to generate new plants.

The key is in how I respond.  If I am careful I can remove them with no pain and suffering.  If I ignore them they will end up in my wife’s foot.  If I hurry I experience pain.

So?  Life gives us thorns.  How we respond depends on our wisdom level. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Spirited Discussions

(Proverbs 25:9 KJV)  Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:

The Christian community has retreated from the public square.  We avoid conflict in the quest for being a peacemaker.  We sit quietly and call it humility.  In the process we have stopped being salt and light.  We have ceased to witness.  People may think we are fine fellows but they don’t know it is Jesus motivating us.  Maybe He isn’t.

The NASB “argue” (7378) may be a little strong for this spot.  The KJV “debate” goes to the other extreme and emphasizes being polite.  The root idea is to contend, to push for what you believe in.  Contrary to the contemporary church fixation, it is possible to have a spirited discussion and part friends.  I have a friend who is a KJV only man.  Everything else is polluted with heresy.  We have some great discussions and are still friends.  I don’t know that I have changed his mind but I have developed a greater appreciation for the King James Translation. 

So?  Don’t be afraid to express a contrary opinion if the basis for your opinion is solid and backed by eternal truth.  It can be done politely. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Prep School

(Proverbs 24:10 KJV)  If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

If we knew when the crazy driver was going to pull out in front of us we would have no worries about accidents.  If we knew when someone was going to break into our home we could have the police waiting for them.  Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way.  We are often taken by surprise.

What can we do about it?  Develop habits that reduce risk.  It is not a bad habit to look both ways after a light turns green because someone may be running the red.  It is a positive thing to wash your hands on a regular basis.  It is also a bit of insurance to spend focused time each day with the Lord and in the word.  We all get distracted but we tend to go with our training and habits.

So?  Bad days will happen.  With a little preparation we can make them less bad, or even glorious.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Wealthy Attitude

(Proverbs 23:4 KJV)  Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.

As I write this I am retired.  I am no longer chasing the rabbit or grabbing for the gold ring.  At the same time I think about going back to work or getting something part time.  Why?  At this point it would only be to be “rich" (gain wealth NASB) (6238).  Why?  There seems to be a certain gene in us that always wants more.  I stand on the porch of my new home and gaze out over the receding ridges.  It is so much more stirring than the middle school I used to have taking up the horizon.  Yet I am aware that we have the smallest house in the neighborhood.

An attitude I need to develop, in fact I should have developed it long ago, is to be satisfied with enough.  I can’t go pay cash for a new car.  I can pay to have my old one fixed, and that is a good thing.  We are all at different places but the assurance we have is that God will provide.  My wife asks me if I am worried about having enough money as we age.  I answer, “No.”  We mean different things.  She worries about having money to live her dreams.  I am concerned about living in dignity.  God will sort out which is more balanced.

So?  How much is enough?  It will be different for all of us because of personality and situation but I have a feeling God wants us to understand that we can be happy and content with less than we think.  It is often a matter of attitude. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cultural Cacophony

(Proverbs 22:21 KJV)  That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

This verse is enough to make me a pariah in modern culture.  This is one of the great divides that has wedged its way into our understanding.  We live in a world that says there are no absolutes, there is no truth.  Our culture tells us that everything is relative and if we think differently we are intolerant and intolerance is the big sin of our age. 

Jesus was exclusive.  He did not believe there were many paths to eternal life.  He believed there was one and it went through Him.  This echoes through the Bible from the Shema,
(Deuteronomy 6:4 KJV)  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
To the words of Jesus,
(John 14:6 KJV)  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
So?  It is hard to see and hear when we exist in a cacophony of pagan nonsense.  Be aware that often that confusion exists in the church.  Do your homework.  The truth is available but your surroundings are working overtime to keep you from knowing what it is. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Proud or Preoccupied?

(Proverbs 21:24 KJV)  Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.

We should be careful about putting these labels on people we do not know well.  Many times it is our misconception.  Have you ever had someone drive by and ignore you?  It is too late now but try to remember, were they driving into the sun?  Were they fighting a reflection on their windows?  Were they deep in thought?  We need to give people the benefit of the doubt.

At the same time we need to make sure that these terms do not describe us.

So?  Give others some slack but hold yourself to a high standard.  If everyone would do that we might begin to approach an even handed reality. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Beauty of Age

(Proverbs 20:29 KJV)  The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.

There is “honor” (1926) in “gray hair” (7872).  Why do so many people try to cover it up?  Why are so many people reluctant to tell their age when the number is big.  I remember a mother who would visit me at school and bring her younger children.  One of the rituals we went through was to talk about how her little one was three years old.  He was proud to hold up the fingers and share it with us.  It was a big deal.  I don’t ever remember the mother’s age being discussed.  And we all know people who tell us they are 29 and will always be 29.

Perhaps we do this because we want “glory” (8597) more than honor.  We want the fun and games rather than the insight and wisdom.  The Bible does not condemn strength and vitality but also reminds us that it is fleeting.  Wisdom on the other hand becomes more useful.  Wisdom also might keep us from doing something that is “fun” or dangerous.  Maybe that is why we don’t seek it as much as we should.

So?  If you are young, enjoy it.  The same if you are old. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Be a Legacy

(Proverbs 19:26 KJV)  He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.

My parents have been dead and gone for many years.  I am approaching the point where I could die in this world at any time.  I don’t expect it, but you never know.  Since they are gone I don’t have much call to violate this verse.  At this point they live in our memories.  How can I attack them?

I guess I either attack or endorse them every day by the way I live.  Do I continue in the steps they demonstrated?  Do I live by the principles they taught?  In my case that would be living a godly life.  If you have the image of people leaning over the banister of heaven and watching what we do then the issue is how they feel about what they see.

So?  I am the legacy of my parents.  They may be gone but the legacy continues, or it should. 

Friday, August 18, 2017


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

What keeps me going every day?  What keeps you going in the face of horizons of struggle?  We have all seen people with minor issues who fold and live in defeat when others with major handicaps live in victory.  It has to do with the “spirit” (7307) [ruach]. 

I think that this involves more than numb endurance.  The process going on has to do with comprehending the struggle.  As believers we can understand what is at stake.  When we look at an election we realize it isn’t just about tax rates and immigration quotas.  We realize that we are involved in a cosmic struggle and it is the underlying principles that are at stake.  It is the view of life that gave the martyrs their courage and provides us with the inner resources to press on.

So?  Life is not a party but it is a journey overseen by our Creator.  We can face a lot if our inner spirit is in tune with the Eternal Spirit. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Laughing at the Three Stooges

(Proverbs 17:5 KJV)  Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.

The second part of this verse reminds me of I Corinthians 13:6 where it says love “rejoices not in unrighteousness,...”  This is a key part of our faith.  We are not allowed to desire damage to our enemies.  I have been doubly aware of this being trapped in a room with perpetual television.  Do you realize how many lawyers advertise on TV?  And they don’t summon those who have been persecuted by the government.  They generally are looking for people who are in a situation where the other side has good insurance and would be glad to settle out of court.  When I hear the lawyer wanting my business on the radio he wants cases where you have been hit by an 18 wheeler, not the guy with no insurance.  I can’t help but believe they are glorying in my “calamity” (343) or at least hoping they can.

So?  As Christians we are to desire the best for others, even when we don’t like them and they can’t stand us.  It is an extension of turning the other cheek. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sweet Talk

(Proverbs 16:24 KJV)  Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Usually “honeycomb” (1706/6688) is presented in a positive light.  This is actually a compound word which literally means “comb of the honey”.  Only one other place has this combination.
(Psalms 19:10 KJV)  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Here it talks about “words” (561); in Psalms, the Law.

Our speech is to be pleasant and true.  We are to be that rock in the middle of the stream where a traveler can put their foot and know that it will not turn under them.  We are to be that electrical appliance that is properly grounded so a touch will not kill.  We are the living representatives of Jesus.

So?  I sometimes shudder to think that people would hear some of the things I say in moments of weakness.  We are not like the animals.  We have mouths that can choose truth or falsehood.  We can heal or destroy.  I know which I want.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Respect for Both Parents

(Proverbs 15:20 KJV)  A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.

There are days when a verse catches my attention while reading the chapter and it ends up being the same one that I would have picked next by method.  I enjoy those days.  This is a verse that is designed to show how we should please our parents but something else hit me.  It also is one of the numerous places where the Bible points out the fact that we are not supposed to live in a male-only world.  Both parents are mentioned.  The approach is different but the result is the same.

The Bible sets up order in the family.  In that order there is no loss of importance, just different roles and duties.  In Israel women had much more freedom than they did in surrounding cultures.  It is an attitude that we also find in the New Testament.  Christians were at the front of movements like education for women and giving women the right to vote. 

So?  Read the Bible and take what it says as the final answer.  Don’t rely on the pastor, the politician or the blogger.

Monday, August 14, 2017


(Proverbs 14:11 KJV)  The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.

What are the lessons in the word pictures of these words?  The “upright” (3477) are given a “tabernacle” (tent NASB) (168).  I am not sure if the KJV gives more clarity or less.  The word is meant to carry emotional meaning.  This refers back to the tent of meeting or the Tabernacle, which was a tent.  The tent moves as God moves and is able to adapt to flexible needs.  Remember that each day the children of Israel would follow the cloud as God led.  Each time they stopped they would set up the Tabernacle and set up the Holy of Holies.  It was part of God’s promise to be where His people were.

So?  Keep in mind that God being with His people meant that they had to follow where He would lead.  It gave flexibility and variety but it also demanded obedience. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Find Your Fences

(Proverbs 13:8 KJV)  The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

I really can’t figure out what this verse means, at least not enough to make a definitive statement about it.  I notice that you have the two extremes of society mentioned.  Look at this as a continuum or spectrum rather than two choices.  I say that so we can all be included.  Few of us will ever consider ourselves rich and even our welfare classes live in luxury  compared to the poor of the Bible or the rest of the world today.

It would seem we all have a need for something to keep us on the right path.  The rich who want to stay rich live to preserve their wealth.  Spendthrifts often end up in the poor house.  The poor are often ignored but they need correction just as much as the wealthy.

So?  Seek guidance.  Be aware of the fences that are around you to keep out the wolf and to keep you from straying. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Color Samples

(Proverbs 12:6 KJV)  The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.

How many “words” (1697) of the “wicked” (7563) are lurking in your home?  By that I mean how many books, videos, albums or games are in your house just waiting for an unsuspecting mind to open itself?  As a mature adult I don’t worry about the books on my shelf.  There are works of literature that I have read to be informed.  That is part of being wise, knowing what the other side thinks.  But there is a caution I would suggest.

Do you have any children around that are susceptible to nonsense?  I have read the Koran.  I have read Atlas Shrugged.  I have read a lot of science fiction.  If I had young children they would be among the titles I would not have in my house.  Be wise.

One reason Christians understand the world better is because we are totally surrounded by the thinking of the other side.  The pagan God haters control just about every source of information we have.  If we are on track we spend time each day in the word so we have a solid foundation to resist and interpret their nonsense but it does not happen automatically.

So?  Be alert when you pick up a book on history or a source of news.  Be like the home owner wondering what color paint to buy.  He takes a sample of what he is trying to work with and uses it as the basis of his decision.  The word is your color sample. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Boomerang Principles

(Proverbs 11:17 KJV)  The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

A brief look at the Hebrew shows us a difference in the original text used by different translations.  If you have the cool software you can note two Hebrew words with the numbers 2617a and 1580.  The first is “merciful” in both the KJV and NASB but while the second appears in both translations it is associated with different English words.  It seems to be just a matter of the translators having issues because the meaning comes through the same for both. 

The point is that our attitude and intent tend to be boomerangs.  They eventually loop back and hit us in everyday life.  I don’t think this is a short term promise.  I think it is a long term principle.  Jesus put it this way,
(Matthew 5:7 KJV)  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
I like to think about how He had to Old Testament scriptures in mind when He spoke.

So?  If you want the best out of life, give the best. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Self Fulfilling Prophecy

(Proverbs 10:24 KJV)  The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.

There is a phrase that comes to mind, “self fulfilling prophecy”.  Here it relates to the state of our mind as we face life.  When your focus in life is on evil, and Proverbs has a very wide definition of evil, you are going to reap the harvest of that focus.  Have you noticed how animals seem to sense fear in humans?  I like horses but I am afraid of them.  They know it.  When I ride they pretty much ignore me. 

So?  Life will reward you, good or bad.  It will give you the desire of your heart.  Most people are determined to be lord of their own lives and God will honor that rejection. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What Do You Mean

(Proverbs 9:4 KJV)  Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

Often you can’t tell right from wrong by the words used.  Think of all the people talking about love.  We hear a lot about peace.  How about justice?  These are the obvious ones.  In education we have terms like “authentic assessment” and “cooperative learning”.  In politics we are told we need more “bipartisan” approaches.  The problem is in what the words mean. 

I remember having a long discussion once with some Jehovah’s Witnesses who came to my door.  They told me that they believed Jesus was the Son of God.  At least that is what I heard.  The words were fine but what they really meant was that Jesus was a son of god.  You had to know exactly what to ask and when to ask it.  They also believed that you and I are sons of god. 

So?  Be wary.  Always plug in your mind.  Don’t accept what people say at face value unless you know them well enough to trust them and even then be wary.  Wisdom and truth are available but not if we insist on being “simple” (naive NASB) (5493). 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Involving Trees in Worship

(Proverbs 8:31 KJV)  Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

Christians are to have a different attitude toward the natural world around us.  Pagans tend to deify nature.  Some versions have spirits, demons and little gods located in each tree and rock.  You might not cut down certain types of trees because the tree gods would be unhappy and cause the wood in your bow to break when you needed it most.  To Christians this is a superstitious attitude toward nature. 

A Christian might also spare the tree but not because he is worried about the spirit of the tree or feels that the tree is his brother.  The believer spares the tree because he is a good steward and realizes that God enjoys the tree He created.  The tree is for man to use, not to waste.
(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.
Notice that we are to subdue the earth but also replenish it.

So?  Enjoy nature, don’t worship it.  Worship God through your enjoyment.  Glorify God in his creativity if you are a scientist delving into the complexities.  Praise God for his taste if you are an artist using it for inspiration. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Teflon Saints

(Proverbs 7:8 KJV)  Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,

There is a difference in the “through’s” of life and the “to’s” of life.  We must go through life.  It is the only way to get to the other end.  We need to be very wary of what we allow in this life to influence our choices and directions.  We have a goal and certain distractions can exclude us from success. 

But it works both ways.  Some people manage to walk through the garden of grace without being touched by the beauty.  I think back to my youth.  I sat under some of the most solid preaching anyone could hope for.  I had some awesome teachers.  I lived in a town of 100,000 that had seven libraries.  What a place to grow and get established.  Yet at least one in the group committed suicide.  Most rejected Jesus.  Many have been divorced.  They were the Teflon attenders. 

So?  What is God giving me as an opportunity today?  I have already decided to follow Jesus.  He continues to offer me choices that determine the path I will take.  I pray to be listening, learning and alert. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Forgiveness and Scars

(Proverbs 6:35 KJV)  He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.

America is the land of second chances and that is glorious.  I met a man last year who had dropped out of high school and been a total failure.  He got his act together, earned his GED and eventually was accepted as a student at Cal Tech.  He was given a second chance, big time. 

God is big on second chances.  We have the promise,
(1 John 1:9 KJV)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
At the same time this passage implies that there are some results of our sin that might never go away.  We may be forgiven but still be forced to live with the consequences of our actions.  If you get high on drugs and have an accident that cripples you, God can forgive you.  What will usually not happen is the restoration of the use of your legs.  You may go to heaven but you can’t go up the stairs.

So?  Don’t assume.  Don’t play games with God.  Get serious.  Forgiveness waits but sometimes the scares won’t go away. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Be a Bucket

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

Modern Americans are generally ignorant of “cisterns” (953a).  Before the days of indoor plumbing water was always a problem.  You might get a lot of rain for half the year but nothing the other half.  Streams could dry up.  In some areas wells were impossible to dig but most people could dig a pit, which is the basic meaning of the Hebrew word.  I was listening to a TV program about houses in Central America that had cisterns holding enough water for a family of four for a year.  The modern equivalent might be the water towers that you see above many towns as you drive across the country.

This is a metaphor about being faithful in marriage.  Each person is to have their own sustaining relationship with one other person.  We used to call people butterfly when they went from relationship to relationship.  We are supposed to be buckets connected to one source.

So?  God’s plan is one man and one woman, for life.  This is just another expression of it. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Live the Speech

(Proverbs 4:4 KJV)  He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

What is sad to me when I read this passage is that it didn’t work.  This is Solomon.  He is the one whom God gave the gift of wisdom.  He ruled Israel when it was at it’s greatest.  He wrote Proverbs and probably Ecclesiastes.  He shared his wisdom with his sons.  They didn’t listen, or if they did, they were like all children when they are told to take out the garbage.  How do I know?  Read how Solomon’s children broke up the kingdom and led Israel away from God.

I am thinking of one of the great preachers I have had the opportunity to hear.  He proclaimed truth and he did not water it down.  He is revered by millions.  He had three children and as far as I can tell, none of them are serving the Lord.  We all know examples of this.  My father had four boys and all of them are Servants of Jesus.  He was a blue collar worker.  He could interact well with clients but I would never think of him as a preacher.  We all know examples of this. 

So?  Might I suggest that it is the daily way in which we apply what we speak that makes a difference in the people around us.  Know the truth.  Speak the truth.  Live the truth. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Solid Foundations

(Proverbs 3:13 KJV)  Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

Knowledge is a good thing.  It is used forty times in Proverbs.  Accurate information and a good reference library or data base are important.  But here it is talking about “understanding” (8394).  What is the difference?  A computer can have knowledge but at this point, no real understanding.  You might have flawless spelling but not know what the words mean. 

Of course the goal is wisdom.  Wisdom is more illusive but requires accurate information and the mental acuity to understand what you know. 

So?  Keep seeking the information you need but never forget that it requires the help of the Holy
Spirit to make the information yield wisdom. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Doctrine Matters

(Proverbs 2:13 KJV)  Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

There is a doctrinal point here that I think is important.  It has to do with the possibility of leaving the fold of the saved.  Some call it backsliding.  Some call it apostasy.  Others call it impossible.  Many Christians believe that once you have been saved by grace there is no way you can depart from that grace.  Many of those people live upright lives.  It works for them.  I can’t help but believe though that there are people who look on that kind of doctrine as an excuse to live wild and dissipate lives.  Then people say they were never saved in the first place.

I find it hard to understand how you could “leave” (5800a) something without having been there in the first place.  There is a similar verse in Galatians with the same issues. 
(Galatians 5:4 KJV)  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
How do you fall from a tree you have never climbed?  How do you leave a party you never went to?

So?  For sincere believers it won’t make much difference in their eternity.  For those on the border it can have eternal consequences. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

First Fear

(Proverbs 1:7 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

I often hear that love is stronger than hate.  Is love stronger than “fear” (3374)?  Is it possible to really love God without fearing Him?  Although the context here is “knowledge” (1847) we are seeing a formula that is repeated several times in Proverbs.  A healthy fear of God is the basis for important spiritual growth.  I emphasize, “healthy”.  This is not the fear that holds a frog motionless while the snake slowly puts its mouth around it.  This is not the fear of the refugee creeping through barbed wire on a border.  This is the fear that is based on a desire not to offend a loving parent, the fear that keeps us from doing something stupid, even when no one is watching.

God is love.  We know that because the Bible tells us so.  He is also holy and His wrath burns toward those who defy Him.  He also wants us to serve Him out of the love of our hearts.  Sometimes it is fear which makes us aware of His love.  My wife still remembers a movie called “Thief in the Night” and reading The Late, Great Planet Earth.  The fear instilled by those tools brought her to love the God of the universe.

So?  Don’t turn into a bowl of quivering jelly but be aware that the God of love is also an awesome being whose wrath is only held in check by His love.