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.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Poor Poor

(Proverbs 19:7 KJV)  All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.

Usually the Bible takes up for the “poor” (7326).  This verse seems to denigrate them.  That means we need to look a little deeper.  I submit that the quality being evaluated here and other places is not how much money they have but the kind of attitude they exhibit. 

We have all know people who have little money but a healthy pride.  They do not beg.  They do not complain.  They work hard and do the best they can.  Again I submit the statement, “We aren’t poor, we just don’t have much money.”

Then you have the people who always have their hand out and a chip on their shoulder.  They always blame others and play the victim.  The sad part of our culture is that we seem to be training an entire generation of this type of people.  This is the person who only shows up at church when they need some money or need a ride. 

So?  It is natural to flee such and I don’t sense a condemnation in this verse.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Friends and Neighbors

(Proverbs 18:24 KJV)  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

This might be a good time to look at an outlier translation, called the Literal Translation of the Holy Bible.
(Proverbs 18:24 LITV)  A man of friends may be broken up, but there is a Lover who sticks closer than a brother.
This gets to the essence of the actual words in Hebrew.  There are different levels in relationships.  We sometimes talk about “friends” (7453) a bit cavalierly.  It irritates me when someone I hardly know calls me “my friend”.  I am not their friend, I am their acquaintance.  There is a difference.  If a friend was in crisis and needed a thousand dollars, I would find the money.  An acquaintance would just get The Look.

So?  It is true that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.  It starts in the Old Testament and is frequently quoted in the New.  That is okay.  There are certain liberties I would not even grant myself. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Back Off

(Proverbs 17:14 KJV)  The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

I am not a farmer.  I am not even a gardener.  I have never experienced the movement of dirt to allow water into a new row or field.  My “letting out” (6362) is usually confined to opening a faucet.  It is something that I have learned to do with caution.  I have learned to turn slowly and listen carefully.  I have learned to make sure that the hose is already attached and pointed in the right direction.  I might even make sure that the end is in my hand.

We have all experienced what it is like when we ignore these precautions.  At best we might see the end of the hose dancing around the yard.  From there we can proceed to getting doused.  It can even go to the point where real damage is done. 

I think that usually we can sense when things are moving toward “strife” (4066).  That should be the warning to slow down and take a deep breath.  The best way to win a fight is to avoid a fight.

So?  Being a macho dude is not in God’s game plan.  Our charge is to avoid conflict, not be obsessed with winning. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Change of Plans

(Proverbs 16:1 KJV)  The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

This is not a criticism of planning or preparation.  It is a warning about not planning with an understanding that God has the final approval.  We should always start with the basic principles that God has laid down.  Do we need extra money for a project?  Then certain options are not open to us.  You cannot rob a bank.  You cannot cheat your customers.  You cannot dump your parents on the state.  There is clear scripture on those options.  As we plan we are listening to God’s directions and standards.

After the plans are moving along we need to be seeking God’s final approval.  We need to consider that we may not have been hearing clearly or that God has let us head down the wrong path for reasons we don’t understand.  We also need to be open to the fact that God may block our plans at the last minute.

So?  Walking by faith is not being the only guests at Disneyland.  It is having a hope within you even when you don’t understand why a tragedy has knocked on your door. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Double Joy

(Proverbs 15:30 KJV)  The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.

As a grandparent I am watching the new addition develop.  One of the facets that brings a stirring of the heart is when the “eyes” (5869) of the infant begin to respond.  A newborn is glorious but they usually don’t track or focus.  They are learning.  Then there is the magic of seeing they know you and recognize you.  I am not sure it is something that can be explained but it is there.  You know you have contact.  If you think it brings joy to your heart just think about the process going on in the mind of the baby.

When we grow in our awareness of God it supplies joy both ways.  We, of course, are rejuvenated by the awareness of the contact.  In a strange way that reflects the infinite capacity of God, it is a special moment for Him too.

So?  Bless God.  He may be infinite.  We may be finite.  There is still a two way connection that needs to be made. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Poor Judgement

(Proverbs 14:20 KJV)  The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.

This is not a statement of how it should be but an observation of reality.  It would seem that some things never change.  Human instinct is to be drawn to the rich and powerful while we shun the poor and weak.  We are drawn to the successful.  While it may be natural, it isn’t necessarily the gold standard of discernment.

We are called to a greater vision, a vision that looks at the hearts and character around us rather than the labels on clothes and the stores shopped at.  The Bible calls us to be aware of differences but to focus on differences that matter.  Money is not a difference that matters.  Integrity is.  Generosity is.  Humility is. 

So?  Does that mean we reject people of wealth?  No.  We are to reject people of conceit.  Keep in mind that poor people can be just as greedy as wealthy people.  The major difference is that they have not been as successful in their greed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Poverty Simmering

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

I believe that Solomon was thinking literally when he wrote this but often the leading of the Holy
Spirit causes more to be said than is said.  I think there is a kind of mental and spiritual poverty that is included in this formula.  It is not the “deep hidden meaning”, it is just part of the package.  We as a country are deep in poverty of the mental and spiritual type.  We are the richest in physical terms but are losing our edge in the areas that lay the foundation for tomorrow.

It is like the parts of Europe that have adopted socialism and are still seen as prosperous and wealthy.  I think of Sweden.  They are living on the wealth that capitalism brought them and still have bits of it remaining but the effects of socialism are slowing draining their resources.  The same thing is happening to the church in America.  While I think a church can be large and still be the church, it is very hard to avoid the compromises that always seem to creep in.  Look at the cathedrals of Europe is you want to see the possible future of the American church.

So?  I know I can’t reform the church.  I doubt if you can.  I can be a squeaky wheel.  Who knows, if we get enough squeaky wheels maybe it will give new avenues for the Holy Spirit to work. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Archie Meets Spock

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

This also would, outwardly, conform to the ideas of the Stoics.  The Stoics were a school of philosophy that is much more complex than I would want to study but the bit of popular lore that is tied to them is keeping a straight face.  They were known for not reacting with passion to the good or bad of life.  A generation ago we would have talked about Mr. Spock, the Vulcan.  Most people thought he had no emotions.  In reality I think he was supposed to have been taught to ignore them and follow logic.

For us there is advice here to hide our reactions and thoughts.  Do not broadcast everything you feel and think the moment you feel and think it.  There may come a time to share but not in the heat of the moment.  It is amazing how often your first reaction looks a bit foolish in the floodlights of time.

So?  As another generation would remember, Archie would tell Edith, “Stifle yourself”.  Not a bad idea on the short term. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Conditioned Insights

(Proverbs 11:27 KJV)  He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.

Is it a complement or an insult to be called a “Pollyana”?  Maybe there is something to having an attitude that always looks for the good in people and situations.  Maybe we should not get into questioning motives or checking out facts.  This verse could be understood that way.

For me this is a needed reminder about attitude.  I have been called a cynic.  I respond by saying I am a realist.  I see them as being different but it is possible that I am just making excuses for the way I am instead of listening to correction.  You might have the opposite problem.  I would imagine that both extremes need to move toward the middle without abandoning their strength.  We need to remember that the gifts of the spirit include both discernment and mercy.  They are there to keep each other in balance and avoid extremes.

So?  If the world looks too dark or too happy it might be time to listen to someone who disagrees with you. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Not Optional Equipment

(Proverbs 10:1 KJV)  The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

This is not a statement of doctrine but it gives us an indication of what family should contain:  A “father” (1) and a “mother” (517).  We have plenty of examples in scripture of widows having children and orphans are given as a concern but the basic structure remains.  We live in a modern culture that is trying to restructure that.  The Bible standard is solid.  In spite of the scattered cases of multiple wives the basic example is still one man and one woman united for life.

We see this in the standards for leaders in the church.
(1 Timothy 3:12 KJV)  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
And God is clear about marriage lasting a life time.
(Malachi 2:16 NAS77)  "For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously."
So?  Our standards and expectations should be coming from the Bible, not the culture.  This gets harder everyday.  That does not make it optional.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Best Deal in Town

(Proverbs 9:14 KJV)  For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,

A sad truth about life is that we can never turn our brain off and coast, at least not for long.  We need to always be alert.  Don’t assume.  I know it is a dreadful way to live but it is necessary.  It is easy to get our attention and then move to deception.  Let me give a simple example.  Have you ever seen an advertisement that says something to the effect of “We have the lowest interest”?  The statement may be true but what they don’t tell you is that interest is controlled by some government decree and everybody’s interest charge is the same.  Thus, everyone can claim they have the lowest interest.

We are surrounded by deception.  Some is morally neutral in the sense that selling you shoes is not a concern of eternity.  Any can be used by Satan to start you down a road you don’t want to travel.  It always looks good for the first few steps but what about around the first corner or after dark?

So?  Stay awake.  Stay alert.  The Holy Spirit is prepared to guide and protect but we still have free will, at least in my book. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Second Chance

(Proverbs 8:5 KJV)  O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

I don’t know if we think about it much but one of the underlying principles of American culture is the second chance.  Our entire educational system seems to be based on the idea that for many reasons some people bloom late or have hurdles to overcome.  Thus we have remedial classes, GED, junior colleges and a myriad of tutoring programs.  Although many people don’t want to admit it, people who fail often have no one to blame but themselves.

The same applies to our spiritual lives.  Of course the ultimate is
(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.
This was written to Christians, not the world.  This verse approaches another level.  Solomon is saying that “wisdom” (6195 KJV, 3820 NASB) is available to anyone who will seek it.

So?  I need to be reminded of this when I am sitting around feeling sorry for myself.  It doesn’t hurt at other times either. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Time, Place, Participants

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

Years ago, as a teenager, I was spending the night in someone else’s home.  I can’t remember how it all worked out but I observed one of the residents open the refrigerator, take out a bottle of milk and take a long drink, then put the bottle back on the shelf.  To be honest, I have done the same thing myself but I have never done it in a house full of people who might be accessing milk from that same bottle.  What might be a simple matter of laziness for a bachelor living alone becomes a health issue when you have a house full of people.

That is the situation here.  If this were a dialogue between a woman and her husband, yeah team.  It would be a wholesome, positive invitation.  It isn’t.  This is an invitation to step outside the bounds of God’s providential blessings and turn a great good into a great evil.  This is an invitation to sin based on time and participants.

So?  Will your day be full of blessings or perversions?  Often the difference is the choices we make. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Half a Loafer

(Proverbs 6:10 KJV)  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

Life throws us curve balls.  Some of them are extreme.  Most are subtle and sneak up on us.  Why is it that we have heard more about things like demon possession in third world countries than we have in America or Europe?  Part of it is that Satan knows that it is easier to swell the roster of Hell by slow seduction and sloth than by frontal attacks.  We recently heard about another family man who was doing well on TV and got involved in an affair on the side.  I don’t know how it is going to work out in his life but he has ruined what he had.  I don’t think he left home every morning saying, “I wonder what I can do to ruin my life?”  It snuck up on him one little decision at a time.

So?  Sometimes compromise is necessary.  Half a loaf is better than none unless the cost of the half loaf is your family now and your eternity later. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Wisdom Is Not for Storage

(Proverbs 5:2 KJV)  That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.

Wisdom is meant to be applied, not worshiped.  It is not that bottle of fine wine that is 100 years old and worth a fortune.  It is the daily vitamin that is taken regularly in order to supplement the rest of life.  Wisdom is for living, not for storage.  I think it might be something like vitamin C.  You can’t put it in reserve for a rainy day and call upon it when needed.  It isn’t like fat. 

That is why it is so important to practice the disciplines of worship, prayer, mediation and study.

So?  Miss you vitamin pill for one day and no one notices.  If you are eating properly you could probably miss it every day but that is because your life style provides it along the way.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Choice Cuts

(Proverbs 4:14 KJV)  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

Following Jesus and coming to eternity is a series of choices.  It is my theory that those choices start long before we are aware of the truth of the gospel.  This is not a doctrinal statement.  It is my way of trying to understand why so many people do not respond to the gospel.  Grace begins working in our lives before we are able to read a Bible or understand a sermon.  There is something in our hearts that responds to the call of God.  When we are children the Holy Spirit nudges and whispers.  We either respond or reject.  The process continues and we either get more calloused or more tender.

When we hear the gospel we are at a place that is the result of many branches in our lives.  I think that is why some are ready and some never will be.

Verses like this say to me that we continue making choices.  It is important that we continue to resist the “path” (734) of the “wicked” (7563).

So?  Yes, it makes a difference how you live your life today.  Whether you are a Calvinist or an Arminian, there are consequences for disobedience. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Necklace of Grace

(Proverbs 3:22 KJV)  So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

I think the NASB really misses it on this one.  Where the KJV has “grace” (2580) the NASB has “adornment”.  This is the only place the NASB translates it this way.  It us usually “favor”.  This is a familiar term.
(Genesis 6:8 KJV)  But Noah found grace (2580) in the eyes of the LORD.
The wisdom of Proverbs is not just a bauble that makes your neck look good.  It is the favor of Almighty God that helps your neck turn your eyes in the right direction.  It is grace that helps you bend a stubborn part of your body in submission to God and in dealing with your fellow man.

So?  Wisdom does not make you the smartest kid on the block.  Okay, maybe it makes you functionally the most smart, but the purpose is to make you the most righteous you can be.  It is not a beauty contest.  It is a preparation for eternity.  The necklace of grace is more than a sparkly.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Transparency

(Proverbs 2:22 KJV)  But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

As I was looking at the first part of this verse I came across a comment by Adam Clarke on the “transgressors” (treacherous NASB) (898).  He likens it to the Greek word “hypocrite” which was a term for actors who put on costumes to represent a character.  With that I am warned about being a hypocrite and also about the presence of hypocrites in the church.

This is a difficult issue.  On one level we are told not to judge.  We are told that we are not supposed to try to remove the tares from the wheat.  We are commanded not to seek revenge.  So the understanding we have is not to go on a witch hunt.  It is also an announcement to those who are acting out their spiritual lives that God is not fooled nor amused.  The insincere will be dealt with.

So?  This is for me and you, not for them.  It is a chance for us to look at our own hearts and commitments.  Rejoice in a God who keeps working with us. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

There Are Two Types of People...

(Proverbs 1:16 KJV)  For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

We have a way of dividing up groups according to our personal preferences.  On theme after theme there are two types of people, those who agree with us and those who don’t.  Our divisions are rather selfish and capricious.  God has also divided the world into two types of people.  Those who serve Him and those who refuse.  Of course each has many sub-groups and this verse reminds us of one we don’t want to recognize.

We are aware that most people do not serve Jesus.  The frustration we have is that so many of them seem to be really wonderful people.  Because they refuse to bow their knee to Jesus they are still passive servants of Satan.  That is not the group being described here.  The people being referred to here are actively seeking to do and be evil.  They may still think they are just out for themselves but they are very focused on advancing the agenda of the anti-Christ.

So?  Remind yourself that they exist.  Yes, there are people who are out to get you simply because you are a follower of Christ.  Be alert.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thanksgiving All Over Again

(Proverbs 31:29 KJV)  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

There is nothing wrong with legitimate praise.  That is what is being offered here.  The preceding verses have given ample evidence and examples.  This is a summary.  Sometimes praise is deserved and should be accepted with humility but not denial.

We have just celebrated Mothers’ Day.  Americans spend millions of dollars on cards and candy.  How much of what was said reflected reality and how much was just nonsense.  Some send expensive gifts out of guilt because they have ignored their mothers all year.  Some go through the motions to avoid criticism.  And then there are those who are simply taking the day to pause and extend their appreciation as a special moment.  It should be like Thanksgiving, just an extension of what is normal daily behavior. 

So?  Look for legitimate reasons to praise people.  Be aware of the multitude of reasons to praise God.  Celebrate daily.  If you can’t find anything else to rejoice in remember the cross, resurrection and the grace of God. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Locusts and Salvation

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

This is an ideal verse for a preacher to use to reinforce what he already wants to say.  I experienced this last Sunday.  The text was about the ascension of Jesus and the key point was the promise of the return.  It was the final sermon of a series started at Easter and looking at the resurrection.  There are a lot of important things to be taught from that context but somehow the sermon came out the way I think it always did, “Jesus could come at any moment.  Are you ready?” 

In the same way I would use this verse to talk about the unity of the Spirit and the community of believers.  The church does not need an earthly leader, we have a heavenly king.  We should not need a bunch of rules and drill sergeants giving orders.  Between the ability to read the word ourselves and the inner guidance of the Holy Spirit we should be able to work together and walk together.  We should be able to be as organized as locusts.

So?  I don’t see that happening.  One key difference is that we are created in the image of God and the locusts are not.  We have individual responsibility and the locusts do not.  We are creative and locusts are not.  We sin and locusts do not.  Which would bring the preacher from Sunday back to an altar call and invitation.  Jesus is coming.  Are you ready? 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Justice vs Morality

(Proverbs 29:4 KJV)  The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it.

I look at these two words, “king” (4428) and “justice” (4941).  In our modern, secular republic we are forced to struggle with how those words apply to us.  We don’t have kings in America.  The closest we come is the president.  With the exception of the Clintons we had a long run of men who seemed above reproach in their personal lives.  Then we get Donald Trump who has a lot of baggage.  Yet when it comes to applying the law he seems to be coming closer to justice than his predecessors. 

It is possible that justice is not the same as morality.  In my mind they are, but my knee jerk definition of morality has to do with things like adultery, dishonest business dealings and deceit.  Justice is much bigger and at times might ignore the basics of morality.  Thus a judge will decide a case based on the facts at hand rather than the personal failures of the litigants.  You may not like the innocent party but he may have justice on his side.

So?  Life isn’t always simple.  We need to keep our brains engaged and our spirits humble.  The Holy Spirit seems to need to work overtime these days.  Good thing He is God. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Unfriendly Persuasion

(Proverbs 28:10 KJV)  Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.

Today my mind is focusing on the phrase “in an evil (7451b) way (1870)".  Does this refer to the method or the direction.  As I look at the various translations available to me they are either vague or say that the believer is being tricked into doing things that are evil.  For us this is always a danger.  Other places in Proverbs it makes it clear that there are people who have no greater joy than to drag us down.  When you are hanging around with your “friends” they will always be encouraging you to cave.  It will seem good natured but underneath there is always the desire to bring you down to their level.

The good news is at the end of the verse.  In spite of the pressure and temptation we can stay on the straight and narrow.  It could also be interpreted that repentance is always possible.  Think of Peter and Judas.  Both sinned against the Lord.  One repented.  One died in his sin. 

So?  Be alert to people trying to drag you down.  If you buckle you still have the choice of the path of life or the path of death.  I find that encouraging. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Playing for Keeps

(Proverbs 27:20 KJV)  Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

What will Hell be like?  We have images of fire and brimstone.  We think of eternal torment.  It will definitely be a place where it is impossible to be aware of the presence of God or the comfort of the Holy Spirit.  How much is literal in the word pictures?  I don’t know.  Just to be safe I am going to assume they are literal.  I hope to never find out personally. 

Here we have a characteristic of Hell that I had not thought of that goes along with the idea of eternal torment.  The KJV version uses two different English words for the same Hebrew term.  Both “full” (7646) and “satisfied” are the same in the original language.  However you want to portray Hell it will never be finished taking the life out of us.  It is a characteristic of evil.  Evil causes pain and suffering because it is its nature.

So?  Be aware.  We are not living in a video game that we can reset every time we start losing.  This is for keeps.  

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Madman

(Proverbs 26:18 KJV)  As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,

I am glad I never got past childhood day dreams about being a police officer.  From what I pick up the most frequent calls that they get involve domestic disturbance.  That is basically a husband and wife arguing and getting violent so that someone calls the cops.  I also think I have heard that this is the situation in which most cops get hurt.  It seems that the adversaries will turn on the intervening officer and make common cause. 

How often are we tempted to get between two people in an argument.  I will concede that sometimes it is necessary but be wary.  This follows the previous verse that talks about butting in and calls such a person a “madman” (3858b).  The word is not common and as I look at the definitions it seems the madness of the disconnected not so much the violent. 

So?  There are times when we are called to get involved, to correct, rebuke and reprove.  Make sure that you are doing so under the guidance of the Holy Spirit rather than the inner fool. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Do You Solemnly Swear...

(Proverbs 25:18 KJV)  A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.

I read this as a general condemnation of lying.  I still think that is true but as I looked into the meaning and uses of “false” (8267) “witness” (5707) I found that there are at least two approaches to this problem.  The other word I found for this was usually translated “lie” or “liar” (3576).  It is a more basic, straightforward word and is wrong.  The term in this verse has more of an idea of lying in court or under oath.

Either way it is deception and violates the holiness that we are to live.  We cannot hide behind the legal backdoor and say we were not under oath or we had our fingers crossed.  That may be okay for a child of Hell but it is not acceptable for a follower of the Most High God.

So?  Basic honesty is to be a part of our character.  Don’t accept the excuses of our culture or make up your own. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Bag Full of Worries

(Proverbs 24:19 KJV)  Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked;

I think we have a tendency to “fret” (2734) over a lot more than “evil men” (evildoers NASB) (7489).  As I look back over the past month I see concerns about our new grandchild, the unknown of flying to a foreign country, car problems, the labyrinth of renewing medications, taxes, centipedes in the driveway and wasps in the kitchen and the list goes on.  We always seem to find a bag full of worries.

We are told to fret not.  Fretting is grounded in a lack of trust in God’s providence.  Maybe you don’t have this problem.  It seems to me I have met a few people who are so in tune with Jesus that they never worry.  My conviction is that they either have short memories or are so naive they never understand the situations facing them.  I could be wrong.

So?  Start your day with some thanksgiving.  Remind yourself of all the things you have worried about for no reason.  Fret not.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Small Deposits

(Proverbs 23:28 KJV)  She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.

Sin “surely” (637) waits for us.  The KJV approaches it with the word “also” which is also the most common translation in the NASB.  It is almost a casual, “Oh, by the way...”  Have you ever had that happen in your life?  Have you ever purchased something based on the price you see and be rudely awakened by the final real price.  It happened to me recently.  I was looking at some bookshelves on line and comparing features and prices.  The materials in the cheap ones were questionable.  The price on the solid oak was national debt style.  At one site I saw a price that sounded really great.  The more I saw, the better I liked it.  Eventually the cold water arrived.  The number I was getting excited about had some small print I had missed.  It was one word, “deposit”.  They wanted what I considered a high price just to start talking to me.

So?  Sin is like that.  We usually miss the fine print.  The cost is more than we can afford. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Dispensations

(Proverbs 22:1 KJV)  A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

My mind is on grace this morning.  I have a friend who is opening a discussion with me about dispensationalism.  It is at the beginning stages but if I am hearing him correctly he is saying that the Old Testament is all about works while the New Testament is about grace.  I am aware of the general statement that we are under grace not works.  My conflict is that I believe that even the Old Testament covenant was dependent on grace.

This verse brings this up from the word “favor” (2580).  The KJV translates it “grace” 38 times and “favor” 26 times.  The NASB goes with “favor” 51 times and “grace” 8.  The point of the concept is that it is a gift given by God not a payoff we have earned.  In reality that applies under the Law as much as the Gospel.

So?  I will continue to be aware of my unworthiness and the free gift of salvation.  I will continue to consider this idea of dispensations but I see it as more a straining after gnats than a deep pool of wisdom.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Right Eyes

(Proverbs 21:2 KJV)  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

Does this mean that we are never “right” (3477)?  No, it doesn’t say that.  What it is saying is that we have a tendency to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt.  It isn’t even conscious.  It is automatic.  If your “heart” (3820) is “right” (3477) then the chances are that your instincts are good.  Your conscience is engaged and effective.  Your priorities are in line.  God is pleased because you have allowed Him to do the overhaul that was needed.

Of course part of that right heart is being willing to listen to the counsel of others and question your own rightness.  With listening comes a willingness to change. 

So?  Has God recalibrated your heart?  We have theological terms such as regeneration but you need to understand those are Biblical terms too.  Regeneration is to re-generate or re-create.  In everyday terms that means born again.  If you have not been there maybe it is time. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Nose Holders

(Proverbs 20:8 KJV)  A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.

Although the words don’t appear here this is really an if/then statement.  We usually look at the total statement and come to the conclusion that the job of political leaders is to fight evil and reinforce good.  That is fine as far as it goes but there are some conditions in this that we should be thinking about as we approach the elections that are coming.  Keep in mind that there are always elections coming.  They may only be for school  board but there are elections on an almost constant basis.

If we do not figure the moral condition of candidates we are not doing our job.  I understand the problems.  We are not to judge.  Okay, so do you pick a blind person to drive your car home?  Do you ask someone who has problems with coordination to do your surgery?  We judge all the time.  The problem is not making judgments it is in making them in a self-righteous way.  Look at the requirements for elders if you don’t believe me.

When we get past that hurdle we come up with the reality that we usually only have the choices of degree of unrighteousness.  We live in a representative democracy.  God has put us here and given us not only the liberty but the responsibility.  That may change some day and we will adjust just as people have done through the ages but until that day we are called to pick leaders who embrace the least evil.  When kids would ask me how I could vote for Bob Dole I would tell them I didn’t need anything more than Bill Clinton to make me choose Dole.

So?  Grow up and realize that sometimes our choice is not between organic tofu and Twinkies.  Usually it is from what is on the shelf.  Pray for guidance, if necessary hold your nose, and make a choice. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Long Live the King

(Proverbs 19:6 KJV)  Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.

Unlike the Constitution the Bible is not a political document.  Both are covenants but have different parameters and purposes.  The Bible does not teach us about democracy.  It does not give clear responsibilities to specific political offices.  Yet it is full of principles and statements that give us important guidelines.  Some we have embraced.  Our idea of “all men are created equal” is a direct application of the ground being level at the foot of the cross and “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  That principle was what eventually led to the end of slavery.

Other assumptions of the Bible we reject as cultural or historical.  I am not sure that is correct, but that is the way it is.  One of those you find in this verse.  The NASB hides it here but the phrase “generous man” (5081) has the marginal reading of “noble”.  That is the most common translation followed by “princes”.  The KJV gets it spot on.  The Bible seems to assume a class system that we have rejected.  In fact the Constitution specifically says we shall not give “titles of nobility”.

So?  It isn’t a major issue for us now but we need to be aware that democracy and republics are not matters of doctrine and rejecting them is not heresy.  Keep that in mind if we ever lose the glorious liberty we have had for two hundred years. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Poor Example

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

Is this good or bad?  Is one being praised?  The Bible is full of concern for the “poor” (7326) and warnings for the “rich” (6223).  At the same time it tells us
(Acts 10:34 KJV)  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
God is not going to judge us on our bank balance or lack of bank balance.  He will judge us on how we treat each other.  The reason rich and poor are brought up as examples so often is that we tend to respond to our bank balances and judge each other that way.  How often have you seen people sought out for their opinions because they drive fancy cars or never seem to shop the sales.  This is not just a hangup of the wealthy.  I can remember my classes full of students receiving free lunches and living in subsidized housing who would laugh at me when I said I shopped at thrift stores.

So?  Humility and righteousness are usually expressed through the polite answer and turned cheek. Even if we are not financially poor we should be poor in spirit. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Go Forth and Do Good

(Proverbs 17:13 KJV)  Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.

This verse is a variation on a theme that God keeps trying to get across to us.  Are you old enough to remember the song “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love”?  Christians are supposed to be different.  Actually, since this is in the Old Testament, Jews are also expected to be different.  Our guiding principle in relationships is love.  In the Old Testament that is chesed, loving kindness.  In the New it is agape love. 

While there is a bit of assurance in this that when people do us wrong there will be payback, in this location it can serve as a reminder that we need to be careful not to take advantage of people who do us “good” (2899b).  We have looked at other verses that remind us that we are to love our enemies and not rejoice in their tragedy.  This reminds us to reward good with good.  There is no qualification on whom is doing the good.

So?  Go forth and do good, to everybody.  Do double good to those who are good to you. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Destiny of Marinara

(Proverbs 16:33 KJV)  The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

Is there such a thing as chance or luck?  I did a quick search for the two words and found only a few for chance and none for luck.  The few that I did find seemed to have the idea of an unplanned meeting.  The only verse that I could find that reinforced our idea was,
(Ecclesiastes 9:11 KJV)  I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
The pagan world had the idea of fate and the Fates, three harpies that wove the destiny of all men and women.  You could not escape your fate. 

This verse reminds us that what may look like an accident still has the hand of God in it.  That of course must be entwined with the concept of free will and our abilities to make decisions because we are created in the image of God.

So?  God may not be directly guiding every drop of marinara sauce when you eat pasta.  He will let you get it on your shirt.  The point is that if it is absolutely vital to your eternal destiny and ultimate happiness to come away from the Italian restaurant spot free, it will happen. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Who?

(Proverbs 15:29 KJV)  The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

This verse implies and other verses clearly state that, except for the prayer of repentance, God does not hear the prayers of those who reject Him.  Now I have a question.  When rejecters pray and seem to get answers, where do those answers come from?  An extension of that is the question that arises in our observations of society and the lack of justice:  Why are so many rich people evil?  Why do cheaters seem to prosper in spite of the childhood pronouncement that they don’t? 

If God is not the source of their prosperity and wealth, who is?

So?  Be careful what you wish for.  If you have drifted away from listening to what Proverbs calls the Law or we would talk about as the word, if God is not listening, if you are living in rebellion, who wants you to be satisfied? 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Smug Does Not Attract

(Proverbs 14:19 KJV)  The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

I don’t know about you but I like this.  The problem is that if I like it too much I am confessing that I am neither “good” (2896a) nor “righteous” (6662).  One of the basic understandings of the Bible is that we are to want the best for others.  We should not want them to come crawling to us.  We are not to be smug when it turns out that we are the only one who filled our gas tank before the station ran out.  This is more along the lines of making it through a rocky time in your marriage and having people turn to you in their crisis.

I think of some friends who lost a baby.  Everything was great up until the day of delivery then suddenly the baby strangled on it’s chord.  It was a tragedy.  They handled it in righteousness and faith.  As a result another couple came to the Lord and are still serving 30 years later. 

So?  Humility is not smug but it is attractive.  We need to be careful not to be self-righteous.  It isn’t pretty nor attractive. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Agents of Change

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

I noticed another difference in the two agents represented here.  The results are obviously different but there is also the implication of whom is effected by their witness.  Notice that the “wicked” (7563) causes unhappy results for himself and the “faithful” (529) brings blessings to others. 

Some of this is focus.  Selfishness is one of the attributes of the world and Satan’s minions.  This was illustrated in the chapter I read yesterday,
(Proverbs 12:10 KJV)  A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
It is the reason that so many ideas that start out as glorious dreams, like the welfare system, end up destroying more lives than they help.  It is why the government cannot pass a budget without all kinds of pork and waste. 

Some of this is the domino theory in action.  It is what I call the “Problem of Good”.  This is my response to the philosophical issue of “The Problem of Evil”.  If you don’t remember that from Philosophy 101, don’t worry about it.  In spite of all that the evil of history, at this point we tend to point out Hitler, good continues to exist.  When we allow ourselves to be faithful to God’s calling He makes it work.

So?  Be an ambassador of faithfulness.  Change your world whether you plan it or not. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Straight Is Right

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

I don’t like to admit it but I think there is a bit of the “fool” (191) in all of us.  I am guessing about you.  I am sure about myself.  I recoil at the thought but I am acutely aware of how I think I am “right” (3477) most of the time.  It might help to understand this Hebrew word a little bit.  The basic meaning is straight and upright.  At heart it is a moral quality.  It is the “right” in “righteousness”.  It is not like the right answer in math.  It is more the right reasons for how you vote. 

The Christian life is a constant journey, one step at a time.  In one sense we arrive when we are saved.  In another sense we never arrive until we reach the end of the journey.  It calls for a constant humility and correction of course.

So?  Trust in Jesus for paying the price for your sin.  Be aware that you don’t coast from here but that you work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Corny Synonyms

(Proverbs 11:26 KJV)  He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.

If you have a sense of history and are reading from the King James you will might think of this “corn” (1250) as being one of those places where the Bible has an error.  Corn to us is a grain that is usually white or yellow and grows on ears in Iowa.  We are now using it to make ethanol which we add to gasoline.  You will know that corn was a plant developed by the American Indians and although it might have been known in 1611 it was not being grown in Judea during the time of Solomon.

The simple explanation is that what we call corn is more correctly called maize which is an Indian word.  Corn was a word used to refer to grain generically in the world of King James.  Of course this choice of vocabulary does nothing to water down the truth of the verse.  We are not to hoard the necessities of life. 

So?  Don’t be distracted by choice of words.  Don’t seek excuses for avoiding what is obvious and understood.  You don’t need to hear that?  Maybe I do. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Lip Service

(Proverbs 10:32 KJV)  The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.

Becoming a Christian brings changes in how we relate to our world.  The pace and order of that change varies from person to person.  We all come to Jesus as we are but do not stay that way.  One of the changes involves this word “righteous” (6662).  It is moral component of our life that goes deeper than any specific action.  Some people change immediately in dramatic ways.  Others go through a steady process of reform.  All depart from a life of wickedness and sin.  ‘

This verse focuses on our mouths.  It involves vocabulary, tone of voice, timing and any other aspect of oral communication.  We change when we come to Jesus.  I was raised in an environment where “darn” was as bad as “damn”.  Others don’t have that ingrained in them but eventually they begin to want the words of David to be our testimony,
(Psalms 19:14 KJV)  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
So?  Does your mouth reflect Jesus?  Change what you can and pray that He would teach you a new way of speaking.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Party Animals

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

I taught middle school for years.  Twice a year we would have elections for the Associated Student Body.  I would say that 90% of the time this verse describes the person who would win the election as president.  We even had one candidate promising trips to Hawaii.  For one stretch I was able to predict who would win.  It would be the persons who was the life of the party with not an ounce of sense.  If they had a long list of trips to the deans office they were a shoe in.

Unfortunately this is the kind of leader we tend to elect.  We are drawn to the life of the party.  How often have you looked around for someone quietly sitting in the corner eating their lunch.  We are attracted by the noise.  While it may be natural we need to work against it. 

So?  This is important in elections.  It is important in picking friends.  It is important in asking what kind of person we want to be. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Adamson

(Proverbs 8:4 KJV)  Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

Modern sensitivity has trouble with the phrase “sons (1121) of men (120)”  The modern attempts to communicate the word of God finds ways to avoid the masculine noun.  It could have been translated Ben-Adam.  You have seen the first part in the name of the hero Ben Hur, meaning son of Hur.  And of course Adam is the Hebrew word for “man”.  I guess if you were doing a Scandinavian translation you could say Adamson. 

The point being made is that the words of wisdom from the Bible are for all people, everywhere.  The contrast that we should be bringing away from this is not that the women have been left out but that the Gentiles have been included. 

So?  The Bible applies to you, and you, and you and, yes, even you.  It applies even if you reject it so if you have not looked seriously at it, give it a read. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

More Than Nouns and Verbs

(Proverbs 7:17 KJV)  I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

Taken in isolation there is nothing in this verse that should set off any alarms.  You have a group of nouns that speak of everyday items.  Well, maybe you don’t have any myrrh around but the rest is common.  You have a verb that would not startle anyone.  Yet if you read the entire passage we see that it ends in death and hell.  It is a reminder about so much of what we do in life. 

The key to living upright lives is so often in the context and the intent.  What went on before the meeting today and what is the result?  Why did you decide the way you did?  Some people say that God does not care if you wear a red coat or a green coat.  True.  He does care if you pick the color to attract attention or because you know it will irritate someone.  You may not have any myrrh but you do have motivation. 

So?  Examine your motives and your goals.  Are they to glorify Christ or to satisfy a craving?  The reason will effect the result, sometimes more than the action itself. 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Creeping Sloth

(Proverbs 6:9 KJV)  How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

I never thought I would be quoting the Urban Dictionary but it gets to the meaning I think is being conveyed in this verse.
“Slug is the ultimate epitome of laziness. A state of idleness and inactivity, primary caused by excessive weed or alcohol consumption.”
We tend to think that being lazy is a little thing.  The Bible and the thinking of the church do not agree.  Sloth is one of the seven deadly sins.  It is at the core of the wasted lives we see in our inner cities.  I think one of the dangers is that we can grow into it.  As children we were quite willing to let someone else pick up after us.  If we are not taught to be responsible that can lead to a life expecting servants and for most of us it isn’t going to happen.

So?  Be alert to losing your alertness.  Don’t let sloth creep up on you. 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Not a Board Game

(Proverbs 5:1 KJV)  My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:

Solomon is reminding us that we have a part to play in our lives of righteousness.  Following Jesus is not a matter of a prayer we prayed ten years ago.  That prayer does not give us a card we show on judgment day after ignoring it all our lives.  We are to focus.  We are to “attend” (give attention NASB) (7181). 

Of course it won’t do any good to pay attention if you have not been washed in the blood.  If you do not trust in Christ as the perfect Lamb of God it won’t do you any good to admit that there is something to this Christianity thing.  While we were visiting family we were introduced to a new board game.  One of the group kept trying to do things that were against the rules.  She was really excited as she went to put down her pieces but she was quickly reminded that it doesn’t work that way.

So?  Following Jesus is much more than a board game.  Pay attention to how you are expected to move. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Guard Duty

(Proverbs 4:13 KJV)  Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

Again we see the reminder to “keep” (guard NASB) (5341) what God has given us.  Guard duty is important in any army.  We are currently staying on a military base in a foreign country.  At the gate is an armed guard who stops every car and checks every ID.  My wife wonders what one young woman with a pistol can do if the barbarian hordes decide to charge the gate.  Not much but if she is doing her job she will have backup before the base is overwhelmed.  Guard duty is not about stopping an enemy army.  It is about alerting your support that there is a danger.  It is about making it hard for the enemy to execute nefarious plans. 

When we are alert and watching it does not mean that we are equipped to deal with evil on our own.  It means we recognize evil for what it is.  If a Roman legion began to approach the front gate of a Marine base they could do some serious damage if the guard is asleep.  If he is alert and on task they will be helpless.

So?  Be alert.  Make the forces of evil work for every step they take.  Ask them for the password, “He is Risen”.  He is risen indeed. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Good Through...

(Proverbs 3:21 KJV)  My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

This reminds me that I need to “keep” (5341) my driver’s license active.  It reminds me to check when it expires.  Pardon me a moment...still good.  As I look at my everyday carry I pause to consider all the items that have expirations on them.  I have a passport that has a few years to run and a visa that is only good for 90 days.  I have credit cards with “good through” dates.  I have coupons.  I left my library cards at home when I headed for the airport.  My daily life is run on little cards that I need to keep active. 

Why should my spiritual life be any different.  It isn’t a matter of our effort saving us.  All I need to do to get a new credit card is ask.  For my driver’s license I need to fill out a few forms.  I also need to keep in practice driving.  A little bit of responsibility will keep things in force.  Why is it that we think the gifts and fruit of the Spirit will stay sharp if we ignore them?

So?  Keep your accounts active by using them and applying them.  Sharpen them daily and they will be ready when called on. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Tense Time

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

We see two verbs with two different senses of time.  On the one hand we have the now.  The “upright” (3477) will “dwell” (live NASB) (7931).  The NASB has a marginal reading of “dwell.”  This brings to mind the NT idea of abiding.  That is a promise for today.  God is with us.

We will also “remain” (3498).  To get the context you need to look at the next verse where you find that the evil have been pulled up by the roots and cut off.  This tells me that there may be some rough sledding ahead but when the bouncing and sliding stops we will still be on board.  That is a promise for tomorrow.  God will be with us.

So?  This is the promise that if it is raining you will be on the high ground and the sun will come out tomorrow.  Rejoice and be glad. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Fun and Games

(Proverbs 1:15 KJV)  My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

Have you ever run into one of those people who claim that you can’t have any fun if you are a Christians?  I have.  They talk about all the things we can’t do.  I concede the facts of their tunnel vision.  It is true that if I am to serve the living God I am not allowed to lie, murder, fornicate, get drunk or eat rare steak.  That last one is my interpretation of the admonition not to eat blood.  The question is, why would that mean I can’t have any fun?

It is a similar approach that Satan used in the Garden of Eden.  All the fruit in the garden was available for Adam and Eve.  They were only told to avoid one.  Did that mean they were going to starve to death or even go hungry?  If the answer to that is obvious so is the picture of God as a killjoy.  Start thinking about all the “fun” things that are open to you.  You can sky dive, bull fight, drag race, snow board, moto-cross, cross Niagara Falls on a highwire and the list goes on. 

So?  Don’t choose to “walk” (1980) in the way of fools.  Sometimes we decide which way to go, sometimes which way to avoid.  We have awesome choices. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Cony Brotherhood

(Proverbs 30:26 KJV)  The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;

Have you ever been in the market to come up with a deviant doctrine?  This could be a place to dig in.  Notice that these animals are called “folk” (5971a).  This is a common word for people and is used around 2,000 times in the OT.  If you were on a “save the whales” campaign you could use this to elevate the animals to really being our brothers.  Why don’t we?  Because we understand that the Bible speaks in literary styles and used figures of speech.  We also know that the only created beings that are made in the image of God are humans. 

One reason we are charged to study the whole scripture is to be able to understand when someone is going off on a tangent.  Some variations are of little importance.  Christians in the Middle East and Christians in the West celebrate the resurrection on different days.  That is not the important thing.  What is necessary is to believe in the resurrection. 

So?  Read.  Study.  Think.  Pray.  Truth is available.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Choice or Blame

(Proverbs 29:3 KJV)  Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.

“Wisdom” (2451) is one of the hardest treasures to pass on to the next generation.  Money is easy.  Looks are automatic.  Bad habits seem to be a given.  Wisdom, on the other hand, seems to be a constant uphill battle.

Part of the fault lays on the parents’ heads.  You have to have wisdom to pass it on and too many adults are busy chasing their own “harlots” (2181) to gather any true wealth.  The harlots can be figurative or literal but they keep us from spending time in the word, prayer and mediation.  Those who have some wisdom often don’t live consistent lives before their children.  It is hard to imitate what you have never seen.

Notice, though, that the blame is not being laid on the father.  It is the son who is making the decisions and following the path of sensuality.  We are big on laying blame today.  Everyone is a victim.  Everyone needs a counselor or analyst.  Therapy is the go-to drug of choice.  While God encourages us to be supportive of one another and forgive those who sin against us, we are still responsible for our own lives.

So?  You know the old line about what to do when life gives you lemons.  Keep in mind that the grace of God is waiting to fill the gaps in your life and restore purpose and joy.  Even believers can get off track.  Reboot and reload if that is the order of the day.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Our MRI

(Proverbs 28:9 KJV)  He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

While visiting in Japan we went to worship at the base chapel.  Overall it was one of the most satisfying services I have been to in a long time.  It was not polished and professional but it had the elements that made it possible for me to worship.  Hymns were sung.  Scripture was read.  The preaching was Bible based and called us to repent of our sin. 

The chaplain used an illustration that went along with this verse and the law.  He talked about an experience he had with an MRI machine and how it examined every part of his inner body.  He pointed out that the MRI did not heal you, in fact too much of it could make you sick.  What it did was highlight what was wrong.  It occurred to me that the law is like that.  
(Romans 7:7 KJV)  What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
Like the MRI, the law of God helps us to know what our sickness is and how extensive it is.

So?  Don’t be afraid to look at the Old Testament and the Law.  If it does nothing else it can give you a reason to be thankful for the blood of Christ and the cleansing of the Holy Spirit.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Narcissus Heart

(Proverbs 27:19 KJV)  As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

“Heart” (3820) is a good translation here as long as you understand it figuratively.  The Hebrew word is used to refer to the inner man, the will, the core of being.  Thus when we talk about a “hearty” soup we don’t mean that it was made with that organ but that it is a rich, complex stew that offers a wide range of satisfaction.  The opposite would be thin not French onion.  Unlike soup, the heart cannot give off a robust aroma and be weak at the same time.

Jesus insists on reaching down into our inner man, our heart.  A little child may think of Jesus as physically entering our blood pump but a mature mind understands that what is filled, what is cleansed and what is given is the inner core of our being.  Our hearts should reflect Jesus.

So?  Have you allowed Jesus to transform your mind or are you still satisfied with the reflection of a mirror?  Our role model is not Narcissus by the pool but Paul on the road to Damascus. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Grab an Ear

(Proverbs 26:17 KJV)  He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

This is a bit confusing to me.  I am not an animal person but there have been a few dogs in my life.  One of the things you do in showing affection is to ruffle a dogs ears.  Yet here we are warned about it.  In my investigation I looked up the word “takes” (2388) which in the English is a simple word.  The Hebrew definition had 25 different nuances and variations.  All of them seemed to indicate forceful grabbing.  That seems to be the key.

There is a difference between an affectionate touch on the cheek and a vicious slap.  The recipient knows and the deliverer knows.  It is no secret what the intention is.  This is not saying, “Never touch a dog.”  It is telling us to be gentle and not push in where we are not wanted. 

So?  People know your intentions.  Make sure they are pure. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Foot Problems

(Proverbs 25:17 KJV)  Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.

The KJV and the NASB have a different point of view for the same problem.  The KJV assumes that you have already made a nuisance of yourself.  You need to “withdraw” (3365) when your welcome is worn out.  The NASB seems to be proactive, “rarely” go.  The word means to be precious and highly valued so I guess the root idea is to treasure and protect the time you have with other people.  It is part of the Biblical standard of moderation.  Too much of anything leads to satiation and a loss of appreciation.

So?  Be sensitive to how other people are responding to your visits.  It is one of those things that will be different for everyone. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Watch Out for the Backhand

(Proverbs 24:18 KJV)  Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

Do you need a reason to love your enemies and bless those who persecute you?  Here you have it.  It might be a little twisted but the point is the same.  To put is simply, if you say “Yes!” when someone who is your enemy has a tragedy, if you feel that they have finally received what they deserve, if it pleases you, then God will “turn away” (7725) His “wrath” (anger NASB) (639). 

God wants us to have the mind of Christ.  He wants us to live a life based on love, not revenge.  I don’t think we need to worry about that initial, unplanned response.  I think we do need to worry about the gloating.

So?  It is a bit counter-intuitive, but you only help your enemies by enjoying their pain. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

World Class

(Proverbs 23:27 KJV)  For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.

The “whore” (harlot NASB) (2181) is both literal and figurative.  In looking at the definitions in my Hebrew study tools I noticed that one usage of this word is “temple prostitute.”  The religion of the Bible is one of the few religions of its day, maybe the only one, that did not allow for religious sex.  The Greeks and Romans had prostitutes affiliated with their religions somewhere.  It was common to take and combine the sacred and the profane.

We like that.  God forbids it.  We like to take parts of life that God has established and twist them just enough to make them sin.  Sometimes it doesn’t take much.  Here it talks about sex.  What about our giving?  It is expected for God’s people to tithe and give offerings.  There is some debate about the tithe for Christians but most of that falls into this category of not wanting to follow something that is pretty simple to understand but hard to do.  There are others who take the idea of stewardship and twist it into ways of milking the faithful and foolish.  I remember a man in a parking lot telling me if I would just put some money in an envelope, write “seed faith” on it and mail it to his favorite televangelist, I would get rich. 

That is a deep pit indeed.

So?  Look for the heart of God and the principles He is trying to teach.  Our secular training will tell us things like “God would not expect that” and “Don’t be a legalist”.  God will say, “Do it”. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Please and Thank You

(Proverbs 22:29 KJV)  Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.

Vocabulary can be interesting.  Words change.  I don’t know if you have noticed but even today the English spell words different than the Americans.  For instance in England you have colour and in the U.S. you have color.  I don’t know what the contemporary definition of “mean” (2823) is across the Atlantic but for us it has changed since 1611.  That is why the NASB has “obscure”.  We tend to think of “mean” as being deliberately cruel and enjoying inflicting pain.  It used to imply being limited as in being a “person of small means” was a phrase for poverty.

The implication is that poor people do not have the cultural foundation to know how to act properly.  That is a cultural understanding more than a Biblical understanding.  While poverty may keep you from having extra sets of dishes and limit you to used clothing stores it doesn’t keep you from saying “please” and “thank you”. 

So?  Practice the courtesy of Christ even if you have the bank account of the prodigal son.  It doesn’t cost anything but it says a lot about whom your master is. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

History Lessons

(Proverbs 21:1 KJV)  The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

We are often reminded to pray for our leaders.  That is good advice.  Too often we criticize and complain and don’t apply the prayer solution.  That applies when we have a president we agree with and equally when we have one that we think is on Satan’s staff.  What we need to keep remembering is that God is capable of guiding their decisions or neutralizing their actions.  We tend to forget that.

Think of history.  Think of the ways in which even leaders that rejected God did things that have no explanation to a sane mind.  Why did Titus pull back the Roman army that surrounded Jerusalem and allow the Christians to scatter?  Why was Yorktown in the American Revolution one of the few times that a French fleet defeated an English task force?  Why did Hitler invade Russia when all he had to do was be patient while he dealt with the British in the east?  How many times have leaders changed course and we don’t even know about it.

So?  You may not be into history but you need to understand that the hand of God “turns” (5186) any leader or follower He wants.  Our main concern is to be obedient in the daily events and let God direct the sweep of history.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Integrity Walk

(Proverbs 20:7 KJV)  The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

“Integrity” (8537) is a concept that our culture has lost.  We use the word, but to quote a now famous line from Princess Bride, “You keep using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means.”  The root meaning of the word is completeness.  I think that infers we are talking about a complete character.  I think it infers we are talking about a person who considers every action in relation to the eternal standards.  I think it infers someone who knows the goal and is always moving in that direction.

That means that when it seems like a little deception, minimal effort, or deliberate misunderstanding is okay, the person with integrity will not take the pill but will walk with uprightness.  In our modern culture it is hard but I think it has always been hard.  We tend to think that we have it harder than our grandparents.  Not really.  We just have different challenges and modified temptations.  The choices are still the same.

So?  Always remember that God does not play games and He will not be mocked.  Keep the goal in mind and your eyes on the road. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ain’t No Stormtroopers Here

(Proverbs 19:5 KJV)  A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.

When we talk about the sin of lying we always want to play jailhouse lawyer and ask about times when it might be necessary to lie to protect a life.  The example often brought up is the people hiding Jews from the Nazis and saying, “No, we don’t know about any Jews in the area.”  Somehow I don’t think God has any problem with that and doesn’t even break stride if He ever goes out for a walk when that happens.  In fact I think He might even say, “Good job.”  And let’s be honest here, after all it is only you and me, when was the last time you had to lie to the Nazis about the Jew hiding in your attic?

We may be really good at rationalizing why we are lying.  We forget that God knows our hearts and our minds and is not amused when we become spin doctors or play politician.

So?  Get it into your head that a lie is a lie.  Don’t lie to yourself on this issue.  Jesus did not say, “I am a way, a little white lie and one of the choices”.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Counter-Culture

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

My temptation is to understand and interpret this verse in the atmosphere of how the day has gone.  If being married has been pleasant I am inclined to say “Amen!”  If it has been a bad day I question the wisdom of Solomon.  Neither should be the basis for evaluation of the Biblical principles.

Marriage is an institution established by God.  It is used by Paul in Ephesians to illustrate the church, which was also established by God.  It is another area where Christians are at odds with their world.

So?  Although marriage is not for everyone it is a baseline with God’s blessing. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Happy Hearts

(Proverbs 17:22 KJV)  A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

This morning I was reading in the Amplified Bible and this verse seemed to jump out at me. 
(Proverbs 17:22 AMP) A happy heart is a good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing but a broken spirit dries the bones.
What got me was the “happy” (joyful NASB) 8056) “heart” (3820).  I have been struck by the way in which a good morning of worship can keep me from being depressed and dragged down during the day.  God wants me to have more than avoiding defeat.  He wants me to live a life of victory. 

So?  That does not mean victory in the sense of the treaty that ends a war but victory in the sense of D-Day.  There were many battles to come but there was a belief that the allies would win.  If I am willing to keep my focus on the Lord Jesus, I can live with a happy heart. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Passive Aggressive

(Proverbs 16:32 KJV)  He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

I have been accused of being passive-aggressive because I refuse to let my anger loose.  It seems that following the Biblical mandate here and numerous other places is a psychological disorder.  Of course the people who accuse me of this are usually people who are trying to get me to blow up, yell and scream and maybe throw things.  Some people are able to live that way.  Then they “kiss and make up”.  I guess it works for them.  It doesn’t work for me.  I would rather take the cause of the disruption and examine it to see if I deserve what I am getting.

Is it because I read about turning the other cheek and adopted the principle or is it because I am a repressed person and it fits my personality?  I don’t know.  I do know that anger has its place.  I don’t think it is in winning a few points.  Even when we are angry I don’t see explosive verbiage and physical violence as being acceptable. 

So?  I could be wrong.  I could be passive-aggressive.  I am not so worried about being better than the mighty.  I just want to be upright. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Beyond the Headlines

(Proverbs 15:28 KJV)  The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

I have found that a time of daily worship is necessary for me and it needs to be in my morning.  How else can I keep from going off half cocked and full of myself.  I like both translations, the “ponders” (1897) of the NASB and the “studieth” of the KJV.  To the world this would simply have the idea of pausing, counting to ten and picking our words before we respond.  What we see is that we are to turn our focus to the word of God and listen with our inner ear for the direction of the Holy Spirit. 

We face a lot of barriers to a victorious life.  I find that I can’t trust the headlines and need to keep looking behind what is being blared for the real facts.  In that process I also need to keep looking to the reminders that God moves in mysterious ways and my days are in His hands

So?  It doesn’t improve the stock market or stop the saber rattling.  It does remind me that God has seen it all before and is still in charge.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sensibly Prudent

(Proverbs 14:18 KJV)  The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

A good question for the day would be “What does it mean to be prudent (6175)?”  The NASB update of 1995 changed the translation to “sensible”.  At first I thought it was an accommodation to the culture of the day that thinks being a prude is negative.  In looking at the Hebrew definition I concluded that they did not go far enough.  It means being sensible in the crafty, sly and shrewd sense. 

We are not to be deer in the headlights.  Part of what that means is we avoid the lifestyle of the world around us but we might need to do it in such a way as to not call attention to ourselves.  I am not what I would consider a hard core survivalist.  I don’t have a garage full of Mountain House or MREs.  I can’t make a fire with sticks, although I will confess I have watched it done.  The thing this verse tells me is that I would not tell you if I was.  The advice I come across from people who prepare is, “Don’t tell anyone.” 

So?  We are to be witnesses and share the love of Christ.  We are not to be foolish in dealing with a world that thinks the redistribution of wealth starts with taking what I have to give to the guy who never saved a penny. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Folly Literature

(Proverbs 13:16 KJV)  Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.

“Folly” (200) is something that no one likes to talk about, or write about.  It was interesting to me that this word is used 25 times in the Hebrew and 23 are in Proverbs.  Its root word {191} shows the same pattern, 20 out of 27 in Proverbs.  We talk about Proverbs being part of the Wisdom Literature.  Maybe we could call it the Folly Literature. 

Folly seems to be a choice.  Some might have more of a tendency but it comes down to our preferences and priorities.  We decide what parties to attend.  We stop to watch when we should move on.  We click the link on the web site.  We ignore the speed limit.  It is a national past time to blame other individuals or institutions for our problems, and there is often some reason for that, but ultimately we are the ones who perpetuate the folly.

So?  If you are reading Proverbs you are aware of the kind of life you should be living.  No one else can live it for you.  I don’t know about you but one of the struggles I have is in accepting responsibility instead of making excuses.  Folly. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Words Have Meaning

(Proverbs 12:14 KJV)  A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.

Why do some translators refuse to use the great word pictures given in scripture?  Here the NASB has “fruit (6529) of his words (6310)” and then gives us a marginal note that “words” is literally “mouth”.  If that is what is says, why not translate it that way like the KJV?  There is much more to the influence of what we say than the words.  One reason I don’t like the telephone is that I can’t pick up the body language.  There is much that can be added to the meaning of a phrase by the tilt of the head or the raising of the eyebrows.  You can say something and read something and get totally different responses because it isn’t just the words.

That is why a child can say something and the response is “Isn’t that cute?”  If a teenager says it the response is “You are grounded for a week.”  The child might need to be corrected but he does not need to be disciplined.  One of the burdens of adulthood is being responsible for what we say.  That means we need to be careful in what we say.

So?  What I am taking to my mental file drawer is to examine my real motive for making a joke or expressing an opinion.  There are probably many laughs that no one needs to have. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Generating with Generosity

(Proverbs 11:25 KJV)  The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

Which comes first, being “liberal” (generous NASB) (1293) or being “fat” (prosperous NASB)
 (1878)?  My mind turns to the concept of tithing.  It is amazing how many people change the meaning of the tithe, one tenth, to “whatever you can afford”.  The assumption is that poor people cannot afford to tithe.  Since we are no longer under the law they are free to make their case but this verse adds a bit of spice to the argument that people might be poor because they do not tithe.

My concern is not tithing.  That is between you and the Lord but the point being made here is that God wants us to be generous to people in need.  He wants us to be generous in general.  This is not a crass, vending machine promise.  This is a principle of the universe, laid down by God.  I guess it might be a corollary of the golden rule.

So?  Simple.  Be generous.  Share your wealth of money and time.  Be a blessing.  If done with the right attitude it will be rewarded. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Just Mouth

(Proverbs 10:31 KJV)  The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.

I want to live a “just” (righteous NASB) (6662) life.  I want to be pleasing to God.  The Bible seems to indicate that we will have times when we let Him down even though our hearts can be cleansed by faith.  In spite of that we can live upright, blameless lives.  One of the ways in which we can see if we are bringing joy to the heart of God is by examining what comes out of our “mouth” (6310).

Several areas come to mind.  Do we participate in the vulgar, coarse vocabulary of the people around us?  It is true we can throw in a lot of dirt without taking the name of the Lord in vain, but I have a feeling that there is a lot of our everyday language that leaves something to be desired.  There are also the times when we say things that are designed to injure.  It doesn’t really matter what our provocation is, agape is not provoked.  Lies are an abomination to the Lord.  It doesn’t matter if you are spinning or “joking”, a lie is a lie.

So?  I can think of places I need to apply this in my own life. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Laws of Physics vs Wisdom

(Proverbs 9:12 KJV)  If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

Wisdom is not for the ages.  It is for me.  It is to be applied to my life.  It is to set my priorities and impel my action.  It is personal. 

God is all of the omni's.  He is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.  What makes Him unique is that He is also personal.  That does not mean He is just a big version of man.  It means He is aware of Himself and is not just a force of nature.  He set the laws of physics in place to generally run the universe, except when a miracle is needed.  Wisdom is the laws of physics written in small case so that they apply to us as individuals.

So?  Don’t get too caught up in figuring out how the Big Bang happened or how time can slow down as you go faster.  Wisdom is to remind you how to treat your neighbor or run your business.  Use it.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Look for the Gates

(Proverbs 8:3 KJV)  She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

What does a “gate” (opening NASB) (6310) involve?  The Hebrew word literally means “mouth”.  I think we can see how this would apply here.  We run into openings in our life on a regular basis.  Even I, retired and by nature sedentary, regularly speak to people I have never seen before on a regular basis from waitresses to doctors.  I go in stores I have never visited.  I visit web sites that are new to me.  Every one of these is an opportunity to reach out and touch the world.  It could be a new relationship of any kind.  It could be a new job or position, a new acquaintance, a new home or just standing in line with “new” people.

It would be encouraging if we would learn to look at every new restaurant as a chance to spread a little wisdom.  I watched a friend do this the other day.  He is at a stage where he is thinking about the Old Testament dietary laws and their possible benefits.  God did not make them up arbitrarily and although they are not binding on those of us outside the Old Covenant they still had a reason.  Right now he is avoiding bacon and in the ordering at the restaurant the waiter got concerned because he thought there might be a little bacon grease in something and the problem might be an allergy.  It lead to a good discussion and wisdom was dispensed in a polite and civil manner.

So?  Look for the gates and the opening to dispense the truth of God.  It might be love.  It might be morality.  It might be eternal. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Bed Spreads and Bed Bugs

(Proverbs 7:16 KJV)  I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

Have you ever visited a home that has covers on all the living room furniture.  Maybe your home is like that.  Sometimes you never know about it because they take them off for your visit.  One of the purposes of the coverings is to protect the furniture.  That is a legitimate reason to cover something.  Another legitimate reason is to make old furniture look presentable because you can’t afford anything better.  A beautiful tablecloth can make an old laminated kitchen table look elegant.  Too often the cover is to conceal the truth and deceive.

We can do this in our lives.  We can take the decayed morals we live every day and dress them up for Sunday or for a family dinner.  We can live one way publically and another way when only God knows we are being deceptive.  Jesus gave an example of this kind of behavior.
(Mark 7:11 KJV)  But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
Here a man who is responsible for caring for his aged parents is instead putting it into the building fund at church.  Perhaps it could be a father ignoring the needs of his children.  God is not amused.  Think of a hotel that covers their bedbugs with expensive linens.  It doesn’t help.

So?  You can fool people.  You cannot fool God.  Ultimately you cannot fool your own heart.  I need to think about what I am covering up in my life. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Expiration Dates

(Proverbs 6:8 KJV)  Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

There is a time and a place for everything and it would be good for us to pay attention.  I don’t know if you use coupons or not but some of them have expiration dates on them.  Sometimes the store will ignore it but other times they will not give you the discount.  It is too late.  I am getting ready to go vote.  Many areas have what is called early voting but I don’t know of any that have late voting.  If we miss the day we wait until next time.  Ants know this by instinct.  We need to think about it.

What kind of things must be taken care of before it is too late?  Some things have a specific date such as voting or getting a two for one deal.  Others you don’t know about until it is too late.  It is hard to tell someone you love them after they die. 

So?  Take a few moments to look at priorities.  What must be done today?  Consider the unexpected.  Pray as you plan. 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Gaming the System

(Proverbs 5:23 KJV)  He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

The pagan world we live in asks some of the same questions that Christians ask.  They want to know what is going wrong and how do you fix it.  One of their solutions deals with education.  The lower classes who have no hope just need to get job training and they will begin to do better.  Their problem is lack of opportunity because of lack of education.  Yet we continue to throw billions of dollars at schools and things only keep getting worse. 

The problem is not lack of education but lack of the character to make use of the opportunities offered.  I see it in the church and community in terms of spiritual maturity.  People are always claiming they didn’t know.  Some will still try that when they stand before the judgment seat.  I don’t know if He will bother, but I see Jesus with a big video screen where He plays back the many times that they were offered “instruction” (4148) and they were too busy flirting with the girl beside them to listen.  Do you remember the Bible reading contests that we used to have in Sunday School?  No?  We were to keep track of the number of verses we read during the week and the one who read the most verses got a prize.  The hope was that we would read the book of Romans or work through Isaiah.  The reality was that we turned to John 11:35 and read it a hundred times.

(John 11:35 KJV)  Jesus wept.

And He did weep because He was offering us an opportunity and we made it a game.

So?  God will not be mocked.  He is Holy.  He is just.  Part of that justice is that He will offer us the chance to listen and learn.  Then comes the judgement. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Sometimes the Fourth Time Is the Charm

(Proverbs 4:12 KJV)  When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

Have you ever claimed that you followed the directions and the item still did not go together correctly?  Think of toys assembled at Christmas.  For me this would be true of almost any auto repair that I attempt.  It never seems to come together.  I recently built some shelves in the garage.  I had an idea of what I was trying to do and yet I always seemed to be one board short or have the wrong length of screw.  I don’t know how many trips I made to the material store.  I don’t know how many boards I needed to lengthen.  But I got the job done.

Was my project “straitened” (impeded NASB) (6887a)?  Yes, because I interpret this as slowing me down and making things difficult.  The word has more an idea of stop or prevent.  I was out of my element.  If you want me to write a paragraph, consider it done.  If you want me to cut a board straight, go away and come back in a week and we will see if it is done.  Sometimes wisdom gives us the blueprint to keep going.  Sometimes wisdom gives us a standard that lets us know we are still not square.

So?  Wisdom will keep us going until we arrive.  I would rather take the express but sometimes the local is the only train available. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Big Truths

(Proverbs 3:20 KJV)  By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

Keep in mind that the Bible is not a scientific text book.  It is not a “How to” book.  It is not a collection of bedtime stories.  It is not a philosophical tome.  Although it may have aspects of all those things it is basically the written words that God knew we would need to find Him and live as He wants us to live.  It is a book of the big truths and concepts.  Those big ideas are tied to the mundane in a way we can understand but everything is based on eternal principles.

Truth exists.  Untruth must also be possible.  I have heard several places that if I say the beach is to the right and you say it is straight ahead we can’t both be speaking truth.  One of us is in error.  Thus the nature of God cannot be as both the Bible and Koran describe Him if they are different.  He cannot be personal and impersonal as we see in the difference between Christianity and Buddhism. 

God has passed the “knowledge” (1847) we need to us in the Bible.  How He “founded” (3245) the “earth” (776) (verse 19) we do not need to know in order to be faithful husbands and solid parents.  We are welcome to study science and seek for explanations but it isn’t required to walk in righteousness.

So?  Don’t be too impressed by the latest scientific theory.  If science is doing its job the next hypothesis will go in the opposite direction.  It is the nature of science.  God never changes and we can take that knowledge to the final test.