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.

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


(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. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

For Example

(Proverbs 2:20 KJV)  That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

At times it seems like there are no healthy role models for us to follow.  Lets face it, that is the usual situation.  As I write the headlines are full of corruption and deceit.  The term “fake news” is something that we can all understand and it is more than just having opinions we don’t like being published.  In this chapter if you look back toward verse 14 you will be reminded that there are people who delight in planning and doing evil.  It does not matter what they are doing.

This verse does not demand a role model.  It doesn’t give names or titles of whom to follow.  In fact we may be the only one on the road.  We are still to follow it as it is laid out before us in Scripture.  It might be a good day to review the words of Joshua,
(Joshua 24:15 KJV)  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
So?  Walking in righteousness depends on our decisions, not on our situation.  I pray we will choose wisely.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

A Lot of Learning

(Proverbs 1:14 KJV)  Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:

This is the “lot” (1486) of chance.  There are times in life when you honestly don’t know which way to go.  You have studied, meditated and prayed.  You have no clear sense of direction and yet a decision is necessary.  God gives you permission to flip a coin, which is our modern version of casting lots.  It is not to be done casually or because we are lazy or because we don’t like what God is telling us to do.

This verse is a negative application.  It means when we take the chance by trusting people that clearly don’t have God’s will on their agenda.  Too often we get more involved than we should with people we are thrown together with.

So?  Be cautious of the commitments that come your way.  Trust in the wrong places can lead to disaster.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Slippery When Frozen

(Proverbs 31:28 KJV)  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

There seems to be a glaring omission in this description.  What about the wife being responsible for the “children” (1121) [ben]?  This is the only mention of them.  You would expect to find it here, but you expect wrongly.  My guess is that this passage is dealing with the things that are not a part of common wisdom.  Women were expected to spend time on the children.  In that day and age people understood things like that. 

Compare that cultural awareness with today.  Have you ever bought a cup of coffee at a take out place?  You may not have noticed but the cup and the lid tell you the contents is hot.  It does it in several languages.  It would seem obvious but the obvious often isn’t to our modern culture.  Or think about the warnings for smoking.  After reading the labels for years people still won a lawsuit against the tobacco companies.  My grandmother’s generation called it a filthy weed even then. 

So?  How many simple standards and values are we aware of that we ignore?  One reason to think while you read the Bible or listen to a sermon is to connect with the truth being shared.  I find that when I forget that knives are sharp I cut myself more often.  I also find that I never slip on the ice when I am thinking about it.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Small Packages

(Proverbs 30:25 KJV)  The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;

Most people are not fans of ants.  Solomon, on the other hand, sings their praises.  Ants are only referred to twice in the Bible and both are in Proverbs.  In this listing of small beings he is pointing out their wisdom.  It is something that might not seem to require wisdom to many people but that is a characteristic of wisdom.

Although they are not “strong” (5794), they “prepare” (3559).  I found the idea of strength interesting.  It has the possible nuance of being fierce but that is not necessary.  It is enough to be stable and firm.  Part of wisdom is knowing what is important and believing in your priorities.  In that situation even the small and weak can be effective.

So?  You don’t need to be a type A or a dominate person to stand up for truth.  Sometimes it is just that inner patience that is a gift of the Spirit and a product of love that makes us giants in God’s paradigm. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Relative Tuning Is for Solos

(Proverbs 29:2 KJV)  When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

How do you determine righteousness and evil?  What are the measuring sticks.  They seem to be different for different groups.  Democrats and Republicans used to have some common ground on what was right and wrong.  That doesn’t seem to be the case any more.  It used to be that the movie industry had an awareness that some things were not to be expressed in polite society.  No longer.  Music used to involve more than a sub woofer and a volume dial.  There are still differences.

Morality is not a variable standard.  It is absolute.  I like to play a bit of guitar.  I can tune the guitar so that it sounds right and be totally wrong.  I can tune it to itself.  Each string is in correct relationship to the others.  It can do just about anything a properly tuned guitar can do.  The big exception is that it can’t play with other instruments.  If you have ever been to a concert everyone tunes their instrument to the first violin.  If you don’t you have chaos.

So?  Don’t rejoice just because your political party won.  Seek a society, family and life that are in tune with the First Violin of Eternity.  There are rewards promised. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Of Interest

(Proverbs 28:8 KJV)  He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.

I have yet to find anyone who is in love with Bank of America.  I have never done significant business with them so I don’t really have any bad feelings.  If you listen, you find that just about every bank in business is targeted by a lot of anger.  Sometimes that is just us being petty and jealous of the rich and successful.  Sometimes the hostility is because of one employee who should be fired.  Too often the criticisms are deserved. 

We are so used to banks and credit unions that we think they are as natural as motherhood.  I would venture to guess that many people wonder if Marco Polo used Discover or American Express.  It amazes me how many people pay for minor purchases with some sort of plastic.  We live on credit.  We should not be doing it.  God seems to have some real issues with money that is made simply by interest.  It isn’t the profit that is the problem, it is the method.

So?  It would be nice to live in a perfect world where we paid as we go.  Governments are trying to move us in the other direction.  That should give you something to think about as you go about your day and find yourself in situations that will not accept cash. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Servant Class

(Proverbs 27:18 KJV)  Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.

Most Americans find the second part of this verse hard to understand.  Since when do we have a “master” (113)?  We tend to emphasize our independence and freedom.  A master speaks of slavery and inferiority.  Yes, it does and at all levels it gets our dander up.  We resist anyone telling us what to do.

At one end you have the idea of a slave owner.  Keep in mind that in many ancient Middle Eastern cultures there was only one free man in the entire country, the king.  All the land belonged to him.  Everyone was considered his servant.  The idea of the independent warrior comes from the barbarians of Europe.  It was not a question of “Are you a servant?”  It was a question of “How high or how low?”  We reject this thinking.

At the other end this word is used of God himself.  Unfortunately this independent thinking also extends to God for most people.  The offensiveness of God to us is not that He is bigger or stronger but that He thinks He has the right to tell us what to do.  That is why I think that on judgement day, even standing before the throne, most people will refuse to bend and acknowledge Him as Lord.

So?  Yes, Jesus is a friend of mine.  Yes, Jesus loves me.  Yes, we are joint-heirs with Jesus.  We are also servants.  Get used to the idea and accept it. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

A Pod of Fools

(Proverbs 26:16 KJV)  The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

In this case “sluggard” (6102) is synonymous with “fool”.  It isn’t just a matter of being lazy.  Think of the times in life when you have had a series of people tell you a certain action was really stupid and you did it anyway.  I think of this when I watch certain videos on the internet.  You have people doing the stupidest stuff.  Sometimes it works.  That does not make it smart, it just makes them lucky.  This time.  Next time, not so much. 

Sometimes we are careful whom we ask.  As I write a current meme on the internet is young fools eating Tide pods.  When I saw the first idiot I thought his friends had been playing a joke on him.  After a few views I realized they “knew” what they were doing.  Their friends were egging them on.  And they wonder why we wonder about the younger generation.

Of course there will be times when you are the only one standing up for truth.  That is a matter of study and discernment.  To use Tide pods as an example, I could be surrounded by an entire middle school of students cheering me on.  I could have the faculty telling me it would be a good way to relate to the students.  I still would not do it.  That is the ridiculous.  The sublime deals with things having eternal importance.

So?  Common sense is available and the Holy Spirit will fill in the gaps.  Don’t listen to the crowd, listen to the wise. 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Rolling Stones Half Way Wisdom

(Proverbs 25:16 KJV)  Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

The Rolling Stones recorded a hit called “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”.  I don’t know many of the words but that part I remember.  It is almost like they were reading Proverbs.  To return the favor I read the lyrics I found on the internet.  Those words simply reinforced my thought.  The Stones go through a list of promises that life gives us about what will bring us that sense of satisfaction.  None do the job.

There are two words that are necessary to find the answer to the question that the Rolling Stones never did get around to asking.  The first is “sufficient” (what you need NASB) (1767) and the second is “filled” (have it in excess NASB) (7646).  The promise of satisfaction is fulfilled by knowing what we need and stopping when we reach that point.  It is a hard lesson to learn.  I struggle with it on food.  Some might fight it with money.  Some might be collectors of hub caps.

So?  Life would have so much more joy if we would admit we know when to stop and act on that knowledge.  Maybe my problem is the internet.  Time for serious thinking. 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

I Don’t Have to Like It

(Proverbs 24:17 KJV)  Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:

My first assumption is that the “enemy” (340) referred to here is encountered in war.  That is safe because back in verse 6 it talks about waging war.  I think that limits our understanding too much.  Most people will never fight in a war, at least in modern America.  Most people will come across people who are less than friendly.  We will have neighbors and co-workers who are impossible to get along with.  We will have people at church that we can’t stand.  They are enemies in the sense that they are not friends.

We are to desire the best for them.  We are not allowed to say things like, “They only got what they deserved”, or “serves them right”.  While it is possible that God in His wisdom is using tragedy to bring them to repentance, we are not to be judgmental by enjoying their pain.

So?  It seems counter-intuitive but it is agape love.  It is one of those aspects of serving the true God that I don’t like but I accept. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Mine Eyes Have Seen

(Proverbs 23:26 KJV)  My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

It is amazing how much your “eyes” (5869) have to do with our success.  In baseball you are to keep your eye on the ball.  On the other hand, in golf I am often told to keep my head down and let the other guys follow the ball.  But when lining up the ball your eyes need to be on your goal so that you can swing correctly.  What I have learned to do is look at the long range goal and then find a spot close to the ball that will make it possible to line up my shot without looking up.

That is a good way to live my day.  I take a long look at my God and understand His love for me.  I think about the goal of living a righteous life and for the day I look at the choices I will have in my field of vision.  That gives me the orientation I need to make the choices I must.

So?  Taking our life a day at a time does not mean giving up the long range view.  It means putting our short term correctly in relation to our long term. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Landmark Rant

(Proverbs 22:28 KJV)  Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

There is a real danger of becoming a curmudgeon here based on my own preferences.  To be honest I am getting tired of attending worship with the music being led by people who have obviously rejected the traditional hymns of the church.  There is no attempt to teach the great hymns to a new generation.  At the same time there seems to be no musical taste in the new compositions that are introduced.  It isn’t the words themselves.  They are acceptable or at least not heretical but it is like they have tried to replace the classic lines of a 57 Chevy with a new Prius.  Both will get you there but one is incredibly boring.

In order to stay awake during the contemporary music I play a game.  It is kind of like the old TV show, Name That Tune.  I try to guess what the melody will be after hearing about four notes.  Usually I am right or really close.  If you want to sing about the cross what is wrong with “Alas, and did my Savior bleed and did my Sovereign die...”  Use the drums.  Work the bass.  Turn the lead guitar loose.  Knock yourself out showing us how good you are, but give us something that is worth singing.

So?  I guess that was a rant.  I forgive myself even if you won’t. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Harness Moments

(Proverbs 21:31 KJV)  The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

This reminds me that there is nothing wrong with trying to be “prepared” (3559).  This word is used frequently in Proverbs.  Its most frequent NASB translation in Proverbs is “established”.  It is used of ants gathering food.  It is used of preparing for war.  It involves expecting there to be a tomorrow and making common sense choices to get ready for what is coming. 

As I write we face a primary election.  I need to be prepared.  It is a form of battle.  I will do my homework, vote and then trust the Lord to use the outcome.  The range of “battle” (4421) we face starts at washing our clothes and moves up from there.  As believers we are to plan in faith.

So?  I don’t know your battle today.  I probably don’t even know what mine will be but I know a few.  Part of trusting in the Lord is knowing that He will work out details we are not even aware of at this point. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

What Tiggers Do Best

(Proverbs 20:6 KJV)  Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

Have you ever been part of an organization that makes a proclamation?  They start with “Whereas...” and after a long list of whereas’s “proclaim” (7121) some kind of award or day of recognition.  Sometimes they print them up on fancy parchment and attach ribbons and seals.  It is all very impressive to someone.  I tend to be a cynic.  I realize that the person who really deserves the credit usually works without praise. 

Beware making such proclamations.  That is not the major point here but it applies anyway.  We are not supposed to be tooting our own horns.

At the same time beware believing the proclamations of others.  If they are praising you, be courteous but don’t sign any agreements because of the fancy words.  More to the point, don’t be too impressed with the self-evaluation that others give themselves.  And have a sense of humor.  They may be joking when they say they are the best.  If they are being a Tigger then keep the laugh within.

So?  Always be courteous.  That does not mean that you can let yourself get trapped by a good sales pitch. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Friends and Neighbors

(Proverbs 19:4 KJV)  Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.

The NASB uses “friend” ( 7453) twice but the second time the KJV uses “neighbor”.  In the Hebrew it is the same word.  I imagine the reason the KJV used a different word was for style.  Neither translation seems to stick to a consistent English word.  I think it is important to use the same word because I think the difference is significant in both the OT and the NT.  In the New Testament I think the difference is more between “brother” and “neighbor”.  Put it with this in the Old Testament and you have three levels of relationship.  Each level has a different dynamic.

The group that demands the most out of us is the body of Christ.  They are referred to as brothers and sisters.  They are to be held closer than blood kin.  Next would be friends.  These would be those that we have established some relationship with but they don’t share the bond of Christ.  The rest of the world is neighbors.  They may live next door.  They may work in the same building.  The only bond we have with them is location. 

So?  We are to love all men and our neighbor as our self.  There are times, however, when we need to establish priorities.  We might have limited resources.  Who has first call?  I would say those in the body.  If I have enough left over after I know my brother and his family are not hungry then I can donate to community groups. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Love Tongue

(Proverbs 18:21 KJV)  Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

I have a hard time thinking of this verse as a song of rejoicing.  I think the idea is that the “tongue” (3956) is a major source of distress.  All you need to do to get a Biblical understanding of the principle is look at the last verse of the previous chapter,
(Proverbs 17:28 KJV)  Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
Calvin Coolidge, Silent Cal, would have been the Biblical example of a perfect man, at least in the use of the tongue.

I think there are people who “love” the results they get.  People who gossip get a real kick out of passing on tidbits.  People in pubic life think they are advancing their status with slander and liable.  They really enjoy it.  They are also not God’s children.

So?  Examine your feelings when you “win” an argument or point out the error of someone else’s ways.  You might find a red flag.  Did I enjoy saying that? 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Fool Fear

(Proverbs 17:12 KJV)  Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.

This verse does not mention fear but brings it to my mind.  What situations do we avoid?  What people do we stay away from?  I think of a teacher I knew, actually more than one.  Every time I saw him coming I would try to go a different direction.  Was he a nasty ogre?  No, he was a talker.  If you as much as said, “Good morning” you might not make it home in time for dinner.  He could not stop.  I feared him.

Everyone knows not to get between a mama bear and her cubs.  Most of us would not recognize a fool if he was wearing a sign.  Proverbs gives us a lot of clues to make the identification.  We should get more serious about it.

So?  Life is too short to spend a lot of time in the presence of fools.  Don’t feel bad when you avoid them.  It is a sign of wisdom. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Aging Well

(Proverbs 16:31 KJV)  The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

The KJV puts in the little word “if” between the phrases here.  It is in italics, so the Hebrew does not contain it.  Many of the translations have a conditional word in there someway.  I like that.  I think it brings it together.  I think it makes this clear that age does not necessarily bring wisdom or make someone worthy of praise.  It is age gained in a life of “righteousness” (6666).

Take Solomon as an example.  He started off well.  He was given the gift of wisdom.  He was known well enough that the queen of the south came to visit him.  Yet the older he got the further he was from that gift of wisdom.  Leave aside all the wives and concubines.  All you need to do is look at how his sons turned out.  It really is not for me to judge but it seems that if all your kids go bad there is something missing in your parenting.

So?  Don’t expect respect just because you are old.  Walk in righteousness and you will deserve it even if it is not granted.  Keep in mind that we are supposed to be pleasing God not the Gallup pollster. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018


(Proverbs 15:27 KJV)  He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

This is a place where multiplied translations help us find better understanding.  One group uses the word “greedy” (1214) compared to “profits”.  They then talk about “gain” (1215) in place of “illicitly”.  Both approaches have a negative word with a neutral word.  Both are trying to get us to understand the sin we must avoid. 

Everyone is faced with finding a way to put food on the table and a roof overhead.  When the Bible talks about the tithe it is to be on the increase.  That means being productive.  In order to be productive it is necessary to generate more coming in than going out.  That is called profit or gain.  In itself that is good and blessed by God. 

The problem we face is found in this combination of words which has the idea of coercion and violence to get what you want.  The end does not justify the means.  Attitude and methods are significant. 

So?  Go to work.  Make a living.  Learn how much is enough and how is important. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Plan Well

(Proverbs 14:17 KJV)  He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

Notice that it makes a difference in what is in your heart.  Neither is approved but they are different.  Some people have a short temper.  Raging anger is condemned in the Bible.  Temper tantrums are childish and destructive.  The point here is that a short fuse makes you do things that are stupid.  It may be something you say, a gesture, a look, something thrown, the list is almost endless.  It might hurt someone else but the damage is mostly self inflicted.

On the other hand you have the person who thinks out their negative actions.  The Hebrew for “devices” (4209) is not itself a negative word.  It simply means to thoughtfully plan something.  It is often used in a positive sense.  For instance we are told that the purpose of the Proverbs is,
(Proverbs 1:4 KJV)  To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion (4209).
Context can make it evil.
(Proverbs 24:8 KJV)  He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous (4209) person.
So?  Plan your day.  Look ahead and make allowances.  Set goals.  Make sure that they are not evil goals.  Plan in righteousness. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Qualities of Recruitment

(Proverbs 13:15 KJV)  Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

This verse seems to be pointing to qualities and actions that lead to God’s “favor” (2580).  Some people have a hard time with that.  They tend to forget that God is building citizens of eternity.  He is not building a Super Bowl contender.  He is not even building a Boy Scout troop.  What is the difference?

I am not a big sports fan, so bear with me.  My perception of athletic stars is a bunch of overgrown boys who are paid a lot of money to play games.  The only traits that are important to coaches and team owners are the ones that score the points.  Personality and ethical behavior are not even considered.  In fact, they can get in the way.  That is why we read about the high levels of criminal behavior among NFL players.  That is why you see so many fights at soccer games.  While it is true that God may “recruit” those thought undesirable, take the apostle Paul for instance, He is looking at the entire package and its potential.

So?  God looks at our heart and our potential.  One reason we are not to judge is because all we can see is whether they can score.  My desire is to be available and malleable to His purpose.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Evil Is

(Proverbs 12:13 KJV)  The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.

Why do I think it is important to translate as close to word for word as possible?  This is a good example.  The KJV and NASB are both word for word translations.  The NASB has “evil man” (7451a) and the KJV has “wicked”.  I actually like the KJV but that is a topic for another day.  Both get across the idea that some people are evil and some are “righteous” (6662).

Now compare that with one of the popular contemporary translations, The Contemporary English Version.
(Proverbs 12:13 CEV)  We trap ourselves by telling lies, but we stay out of trouble by living right.
In this case both sides are us.  That could be a useful side point in a sermon, but it is not the point of this verse.  The verse is pointing out that some people are evil and some are righteous.  Modern New Age thinking would deny that point.  Is that why it was translated so broadly?  I don’t know.

So?  We are to live righteous lives.  It is possible.  We should reject the current thinking that denies that people can be evil.  Be careful what you agree to.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Target Practice

(Proverbs 11:24 KJV)  There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.

Generosity is a character trait that is consistent with being a spirit filled Christian.  There are numerous references to giving to the poor and sharing with those in need.  We are told to be generous givers when it comes to the needs of the church.  What came to mind was the parable of the sower and soils that Jesus told.  It starts like this,
(Matthew 13:3 KJV)  And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
The picture of the sower is scattering the seed.  I imagine taking a hand full and sweeping my arm around and trying to produce an even spread.  I am sure that it takes a lot of practice to do it right. 

Solomon is probably aware that we need more practice in scattering, whether it be slipping a few dollars to a struggling family in the church or speaking up about Jesus in a public meeting.

So?  Practice takes place two ways, planned and spontaneous.  I need to improve in both.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Good Roots

(Proverbs 10:30 KJV)  The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

There is a chorus that pops into my mind when I read this verse in the KJV.  The opening words were, “I shall not be, I shall not be moved...”  Actually that is a little different than the “removed” (4131) of the KJV and different from the “shaken” of the NASB.  In either translation it is a word of hope.  It has a lot of translations and the one I like best is “dislodge”.  The promise here is that we will be like the strong oak in the middle of a storm.  We may lose a few leaves and our branches may move a lot but our roots are firm and secure.

So?  We live in a time of increased anger and dangers.  We will not go unscathed but we will go without being uprooted.

Friday, March 9, 2018

And if Tomorrow Doesn’t Come?

(Proverbs 9:11 KJV)  For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

I am over the hill and riding for the finish.  I have reached my three score and ten.  I know I am wearing out because they put a pacemaker in me.  Oh, well.  I am not too worried about it.  I am aware that it is the hands of God.  If God decides that this is my last sunrise then nothing I can do will extend my stay on earth.  It won’t matter how long the battery in my device will last.  If God isn’t done with me then there is no power on earth that can do me in.

I find that to be reassuring.  I am not one of those seniors who is willing to bankrupt the country and leave my children dust just to buy myself a few more days.  I know that from here I go on to something even better. 

So?  I am ready.  Are you?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

High Standards

(Proverbs 8:2 KJV)  She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could take this literally in our modern world?  The “heights” (4791) would be represented by our courts, universities and the halls of Congress.  We could expect to hear wisdom when we turn on the evening news.  Our children would graduate from high school ready to make their way in life.  Our pulpits would resound with truth.  In a nation that elects school boards, state judges and members of congress, why do we have so little wisdom coming from the top?

Possibly because we do not seek the real source of wisdom when we vote and serve on boards.  Too often we think that because someone has a gavel or a robe they want truth and wisdom to prevail.  It isn’t so.  We need to be prepared to decide whether the person speaking has been in contact with the source of wisdom.

So?  God reaches out to us as individuals.  We respond to Him as individuals.  As long as we have the liberty to influence who will be the leaders we should seek to elect righteous individuals. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Smell of Burning Pants

(Proverbs 7:15 KJV)  Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

They lie.  I know it is hard to accept but telling the truth is becoming the weird behavior of our times.  The women doing the talking is giving the impression that she was really excited about meeting this fool.  In reality she is preparing a sheep for the slaughter. 

They lie.  I used to have a speech class and the last speech was “Five Principles on Which I Base My Life”.  It was a real challenge to explain what I meant by that.  The idea of basing life on principles was beyond their understanding.  Once we got going they showed they still did not understand.  What was more frustrating was the number of young people who would say that speaking the truth was a principle.  Before you get excited and high fiving you need to realize that the next sentence was something to the effect of, “I always tell the truth...except when it hurts me.”

So?  We are expected to speak truth.  Liars will burn in hell.  Don’t expect the world around you to return the favor. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

We Need More Indians, Not More Chiefs

(Proverbs 6:7 KJV)  Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

How can anything function with no one in charge?  It seems hard to believe.  If we are talking about a football team or a bank, it would be impossible, but there are areas that function just fine with no one giving orders.

Take the interstate system as an example.  Obviously you have rush hour and construction zones but as a general rule the freeways function without anyone standing out there and saying, “You next.”  People get on and off without supervision.  Lane changes happen too often but there is no one saying, “It is your turn”.  It works because it is assumed that everyone knows the rules and will come close to following them.  As long as there are not too many rule breakers the rest of us can keep out of their way and the flow goes on.

That is the way the body of Christ is supposed to function in many areas.  The Bible does talk about various offices but there is no clear indication that one person is in charge of everything.  Perhaps the question we want to ask is how can anything function without me in charge?  Since ants are insects I think we can assume they don’t have a sinful nature.  We do not live in that kind of world.

So?  We need to trust the leadership and planning ability of the Holy Spirit more than we do.  As I write it is flu season.  Are we to stay home wearing gloves and a mask or do we simply keep washing our hands and go about life? 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Capture the Tag

(Proverbs 5:22 KJV)  His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

I don’t generally worry about getting tripped up by a clever lawyer because of previous testimony.  A wiser man than I once observed that he doesn’t have any trouble keeping his stories straight because he always tells the truth.  It makes for less to remember and, except for basic forgetfulness, the truth doesn’t change.  I guess it doesn’t change even if you forget.  What will “take” (capture NASB) (3920) the “wicked” (7563)?  His own sins.  The traps that he laid himself.  It is like tripping over the shoes you left in the middle of the room.

We live in a day when everyone is a victim.  It is true that we are surrounded by corrupting influences.  Some people start with two strikes against them.  A few are actually victims.  Playing the victim card will only help when you are playing the victim game.  God will not be impressed.  Jesus died and the Holy Spirit convicts with the goal of giving everyone a shot at salvation. 

So?  Our choices make a difference.  Eternity hangs on what we capture not on what someone else went through.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Give It a Chance

(Proverbs 4:11 KJV)  I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

This is specifically directed toward parents but I think the point can have application in everyone’s life.  We all have times when we want to help others down the road.  Sometimes they are receptive, other times not so much.  In many cases, maybe most, they can not be forced.  They can only be “taught” (directed NASB) (3384).  It is frequently translated “teach” but it has the idea of throwing or casting out.  Think of the parable of the sower and the soils.  He cast the seed.  It was up to the soil to receive it or not.

This should be encouraging to us.  It takes the pressure to produce off our backs.  We live our lives of witness.  We explain to people why we live the way we do.  We talk about Jesus.  We direct them by continually pointing in the right direction.  We do not coerce.

So?  Witnessing to others should be a natural flow out of our lives.  If someone has just read a new book and is enthused about it, the book will come up naturally in conversation.  Give it a chance. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Putting Power in Harness

(Proverbs 3:19 KJV)  The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

God created the heavens and the Earth.  It is the first thing the Bible tells us.  He “established” (3559) the heavens as a part of that process.  I don’t know about you, but when I think of that I think of the omnipotence of God.  Think of the power it takes to make all the forces assumed to be involved in the big bang.  And all of that was as nothing to the power available to God. 

But power is not what is being emphasized here.  Notice that it says He did it by “understanding” (8394).  Raw power is not very useful.  Think of the billions of cubic feet of water flowing in the rivers of the world.  By the laws of physics it has power that you and I could never measure.  Uncontrolled it is capricious.  In Egypt the Nile covered the land with fresh soil every flood season.  In much of the world it destroys people and property.  One step toward being useful is storing it behind the dams in the world.  Even then it is useless unless harnessed and directed.  That is where understanding harnesses the power.

So?  Think of the power God has invested in you and me.  Think about how His wisdom and understanding would like to direct it.  If we insist on being in charge we have futility.  God can produce creativity. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Avoid the Big One

(Proverbs 2:19 KJV)  None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

People are sometimes concerned about what is called the “unpardonable sin”.  We see reference to this in the words of Jesus.
(Matthew 12:31 KJV)  Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
This verse in Proverbs seems to indicate the same concern.  Is this something we need to be concerned about?

The short answer is “Yes and no.”  That about covers it.

Is there a point of no return?  It would seem so.  Is it easy to avoid it?  Definitely.  Should I worry about it?  About as much as I need to worry about falling off my roof.  I avoid that by never going up.

So?  Generally if you are focused on not committing the Big Sin then you don’t need to worry about it.  Simple and safe. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Will Work for Food

(Proverbs 1:13 KJV)  We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:

Is there a difference between “find” (4672) and earn?  In English there certainly is.  They are different in the same way in Hebrew.  If you have your Bible and can read the context, this is a passage where a young man is being invited to join a gang and victimize people who are passing by.  It condemns the Robin Hood mentality that some have.  Some feel that others should share what they have earned and saved with them.  Sounds good if you are the taker.

God says, “No.”

This is not a condemnation of people who have when they share and feel responsible to help those in  need.  This is a condemnation of people who chose to take from others because it is easier than working for themselves.  It doesn’t matter if it is legal or socially acceptable.

God still says, “No.”

So?  Be generous of what you have.  Don’t expect others to do your work for you.  It is a Biblical standard.  Paul put it this way,
(2 Thessalonians 3:10 KJV)  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Birds of a Feather...

(Proverbs 28:7 KJV)  Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.

What kind of “companion” (7462b) are you?  This is another one of those Hebrew words that seems to depend on context.  The NASB differentiates from 7462a.  They look like the exact same word but are thought different.  The word the KJV references, 7462, contains both translations.  When I look at them I don’t see that it makes any difference.  The “a” word has the idea of pasturing together.  The “be” word means to associate with.  It would seem to me when you pasture with someone you associate with them.  Scholars.  They have more issues that the latest software.

Either way we are told that it is important the kind of people we associate with.  In some cases we have little choice.  When I was called to serve in the Army I did not get to chose who was in my unit.  I did have a choice of the people I hung with when off duty. 

So?  Look for people your father would be glad for you to know.  Every time you change jobs or move to a new city you have a chance to start fresh.  It makes a difference. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

On Being Rubbed the Wrong Way

(Proverbs 27:17 KJV)  Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

In Proverbs, context is not as important as the rest of scripture.  Yet, it is interesting to note that this verse is in the context of the contentious wife.  If you don’t have one I am sure you have seen other wives who are that way.  One of the temptations we have is to be contentious right back.  We ignore Jesus telling us to turn the other cheek.  We forget that love suffers long.  We don’t stay sharp by lashing back.

You sharpen an edge by not cutting.  You dull a knife when you use it as intended.  Think about the process.  With a stone you scrape off minute amounts of metal.  With a honing rod you straighten the edge.  Barbers used to use a leather strap for the final touch.  In none of those examples do you meet head on.

So?  As much as we want to respond to attacks we need to understand that it will dull our spiritual life.  Sure a knife needs to cut meat and wood but it also needs to be re-edged or it will be useless.  Find someone who sharpens you. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

How Lazy Can You Be?

(Proverbs 26:15 KJV)  The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.

I wonder why Solomon chose this word picture.  I would think anyone who stops when he “hideth” (buries NASB) (2934) his hand in the salsa would never get invited to dinner again.  Like many word pictures it is probably meant to be applied figuratively. 

Some people never finish what they start.  I find it much more exciting to start a new project than to discipline myself to finish it.  In writing for my other blog I have pages of ideas I have started and not finished.  Maybe this is a reminder to fish or cut bait, whatever that means.  When I start to clean up my desk I am tempted to leave the final parts for another day.  It is easy to be distracted.

Some people expect others to do “it” for them.  It is not a matter of losing focus.  It is an expectation that others should do it for you.  This could be from the child who will not pick up his toys to the adult who leaves dirty sox where they fall.

So?  Being lazy does not bring a smile to God’s face.  He does not say, “Boys will be boys”.  He says, “Get your hand out of the salsa before you lose it.”  I am sure I have some applications of this today. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Put on a Long Face

(Proverbs 25:15 KJV)  By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

This is another place where I think it would be great if the translators would simply go literally and let the reader beware.  The KJV comes a little closer with “long (753) forbearing (639)”.  The NASB combines it into “forbearance”.  It is a compound word which the NASB tells you in a marginal reading means “long anger”.  “Anger” traces back to face or nostrils and has the idea of a face that is contorted either with rage or self control.

Sometimes we just can’t get over it.  We find it hard to forgive, let alone forget.  It is still the standard we are expected to follow.  It may take time but it will come.

So?  Have a long anger.  Eventually it will become patience.  Eventually it will become forgiveness.  I can’t promise forgetfulness.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Mount Up

(Proverbs 24:16 KJV)  For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

This verse makes it clear that just because we are “just" (righteous NASB) (6662) we still have the ability to mess up and do it repeatedly.  What is interesting is the word at the end.  The KJV and the NASB come from different Hebrew words with the same implication.  The “mischief” (7451) of the KJV is the basic word for evil and is translated that way over 400 times as opposed to 19 for mischief.  The NASB has “calamity” (7463a) which has “evil” as its most common translation.  Notice that this result only applies to the “wicked” (7563).

The good news is that the upright will recover.  Or you could assume that the times the blameless falter will not be when recovery is impossible. 

So?  The old idea is that when you fall off the horse you should get right back on again.  The idea included here is that the righteous will fall off the horse on flat ground and the evil will fall off when they are going over a bridge.  Mount up. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Don’t Miss Out

(Proverbs 23:25 KJV)  Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

Have you noticed the changing attitude toward having children?  If you are young enough you accept the current thinking as normal so you would have no idea what I am talking about.  It was assumed at one point that marriage and children were a normal part of life.  Now children are just another choice that we can make depending on our goals and resources.  When did it change?

My current theory is that the change was going on between the birthdays of my wife and I.  After we had been married and had children she was asking me about whether I had wanted children or not, as if it were an option.  It puzzled me because I had never though of having children as a goal.  Children were assumed to me.  Before my son was born I did not have a clue to the love of a father for his children but I knew that they were a part of life.  It would never have occurred to me that you would plan not to have them.  I believe that is the way God planned it.

So?  If you couldn’t have children my heart goes out to you.  If you deliberately did not have children I think you really missed something.  I say that even after I have worked in middle school for almost thirty years.  That is a miracle. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Sleep on It

(Proverbs 22:27 KJV)  If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?

The Bible is generally in favor of being responsible in our finances.  This verse is a bit jarring.  I believe if someone borrows money, they should pay it back.  Yet this verse seems to be saying there are limits.  Sending the collection agency should stop before you put someone on the street.

Keep in mind that this is written in a culture where you could be sold into slavery for debts.  It wasn’t like today where you declare bankruptcy and walk away free.  And notice that this is directed toward the one who owes the money, not the one desiring to be paid back.

So?  I guess that the consistent position in all this is that we should not loan money we are not willing to lose.  I would suggest that you should also not lend money to someone who does not really need it or has a lifestyle of sloth that creates the need.  Of course the other side of that is to be willing to give if there is a real need. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Check It Out

(Proverbs 21:30 KJV)  There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

We live in an age in America when the powers that be are focused on removing God from the equation.  It can be global warming to homosexuality.  The eternal “wisdom” (2451) that is found in the Bible is trumped by the new insights that a mature and sophisticated elite have brought to the table.  That is why we have claims that every type of weather is an indication of global warming.  That is how the media can claim that ten percent of the population is homosexual.  It is where the HIV virus gets civil rights and all whites are racists.  There is a lot of nonsense.

It could be avoided by a little humility and willingness to accept the teaching of the Bible.  When a group of Ph.D.’s make a loud proclamation I should get out my bologna detector.  When God whispers I need to snap to attention. 

So?  The Bible may not give you the answer to the question on the algebra test but the knowledge that He is eternal and unchanging can give you the assurance that the answer can be found and can be correct. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


(Proverbs 20:5 KJV)  Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

There are times in life when the next step is clear.  If you need Philosophy 200 to graduate and you need to take Philosophy 100 first there is no question.  The question this verse refers to is the major you chose that requires you to take Philosophy.  Those questions require some thought.  Those are the questions that come up usually in unfamiliar situations.  If I am in a restaurant that I frequent the choices have been narrowed by experience.  If my son is dragging me into a whole new cuisine I need help.

This is a reassurance that we will be able to find the answers we need in life.  It does not say the answer will come automatically, quickly or with no effort.  The implication is that we will put some thought and effort into it.

So?  Life is not easy.  Life is not fair.  Life can be lived in victory.  Persevere and trust. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Wisdom Is Not Just Another Choice

(Proverbs 19:3 KJV)  The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.

It is interesting the different ways the result of “foolishness” (200) is translated.  At one end we have the “perverteth” (5557) of the KJV.  The 1977 NASB moves to “subverts” and the Updated NASB changes it again to “ruins”.  All are in the range of meaning but I think the KJV has the strongest sense.  Perversion is much stronger than ruined.  Ruin can be accidental.  You can be financially ruined and have no moral judgement.  You can have a soufflĂ© fall and still go to heaven.  Perversion, on the other hand, is evil. 

I think that is the point here.  Being foolish is not just an “Oh, well” moment.  It is a twisting and warping of the moral universe.  It has eternal consequences.

So?  Seek wisdom.  It is available.  It is not just another choice. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Fruit of the Mouth

(Proverbs 18:20 KJV)  A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.

I have heard of the fruit of the Spirit.  We have the fruit of righteousness and the obvious fruit of the womb.  What is this “fruit” (6529) of the “mouth” (6310)?  I could only find three places, all in Proverbs, where the Hebrew expression is used. 

Hebrews has a similar idea explained as worship,
(Hebrews 13:15 KJV)  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
We should be conscious about what our mouth puts out.  While the Bible does not specifically forbid some of the crude four letter words that we hear more frequently every day, it does seem to tell us we should speak with courtesy and respectful attitudes. 

So?  Watch your mouth.  What you say may come back to bite you and even worse may cast a cloud over your Lord. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Obedience Street

(Proverbs 17:11 KJV)  An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

Which comes first, rebellion or wickedness?  It might not seem to matter and in the end both go against God, but I think it is a matter of whether we are born with free will or whether we are locked into our destiny.

“Rebellion" (rebellious NASB) (4805) is a choice.  We face it every day in some area of our lives.  People are always trying to tell us what to do.  Some have the authority.  Some have the power.  Others are just pushing their luck.  We have a choice in how we respond.

“Evil” (7451b) is a condition of the heart.  All Christian denominations, whether they believe in free will or not, agree that in our natural state we have a sinful nature.  That is evil.  Without the grace of God it is our natural condition.  If we are saved we have entered into a new relationship with almighty God.  We are not longer evil but if we have free the choice to be rebellious is always with us.  God gives us direction in His word.  He speaks to us through preaching and the experiences of life.  The question is, “How will we respond?”

So?  Every day gives us options.  My prayer is that I will take the ones that go down Obedience Street rather than singing, “I did it my way.” 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Sealed Lips Can Sink Ships

(Proverbs 16:30 KJV)  He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.

It is a good possibility that “moving” (compress NASB) (7169) does not mean to purse your lips but to keep quiet when something “evil” (perverse NASB) (8419) is being planned or carried out.  If there is a sin in the modern Christian church it is being quiet in the face of evil.  I am not talking about the quiet of a rabbit hiding in the bush while a wolf walks by.  I am talking about the quiet of the watchman when the enemy sneaks over the wall.  We have had leaders and intellectuals that have told us we should not be involved in the world.  We have been told not to judge.  There are times when that is the right thing to do but we have allowed the forces of evil to take over our schools, the media and many of our government offices by doing nothing.

The KJV has a poor translation here when it says “moving”.  The word means to compress.  Technically when you press you lips together they are moving but that is not what is being conveyed.

So?  Use a bit of discernment to know the difference between judging and proclaiming truth in the face of evil.  It is not comfortable.  It may be dangerous.  It must be done.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Adjectives and Nouns

(Proverbs 15:26 KJV)  The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.

In comparing the KJV and the NASB we see a different emphasis in the translation.  In the NASB it is the “plans” (thoughts KJV) (4284) and “words” (561) that are being evaluated as bad and good.  In the KJV it is the thinker and speaker.  The KJV uses all nouns and the NASB uses adjectives and nouns.  I don’t know enough Hebrew to figure that one out.  I would prefer one over the other in an inconsistent manner.

Perhaps that is one way in which the Holy Spirit helps us to apply scripture to our lives.  The core meaning is not changed but the insight for today might be different.  If I need to be convicted and brought to repentance, focusing on my sin might be best.  If I need a simple reminder in way of discipline, the behavior might be the focus.

So?  Evil words are evil words.  If they come out of my mouth there is a problem whether they are deliberate or accidental.  This does not let me make excuses either way. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Fear Conformity

(Proverbs 14:16 KJV)  A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.

The KJV is more accurate here.  It has “feareth” instead of the NASB’s “cautious” (3372a).  The word is used hundreds of times and the most common translation is a form of “fear”.  This is the only place the NASB uses “cautious”.  Go figure.

Notice though that fear is not a lack of courage or commitment.  It is a matter of wisdom and moral strength.  Usually the “evil” (7451b) way is the easy way, the common way, the way everyone else is going.  Often evil involves nothing more than conforming to the crowd.  There is a lost of pressure today for us to conform to evil on issues like homosexuality, fornication, drugs, abortion and the list goes on.  We are being silenced in the public square.

So?  Wisdom knows the right and follows it in spite of the consequences and pressures.  I am still not as strong as I would like but I expect to continue to make progress.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Flow of Wisdom

(Proverbs 13:14 NAS77)  The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn aside from the snares of death.

Today my attention was caught by the phrase “fountain (4726) of life (2425b)”.  It occurs five times, four of them are in Proverbs.  The KJV sometimes substitutes “well” or “wellspring” for “fountain”.  The idea is that wisdom is a constantly giving source.  The definition is either fountain or spring.  It has the idea of flowing and constant renewal.

This is why we need to be constantly in the word and attending worship where preaching is going on.  Wisdom has aspects of a reservoir but it is not stagnant and can’t just be stored up.  The problem with storage tanks is they reach capacity.  Often we have seen where large lakes used to store water are forced to let it go because heavy rain is expected and if they don’t get rid of some water the damn will break.  Another thought is that stagnant water is more inclined to pollution than flowing water. 

So?  Keep seeking and watch the needed wisdom being supplied on a day to day basis. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Results Reflect the Heart

(Proverbs 12:12 KJV)  The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.

The “wicked” (7563) takes, the “righteous” (6662) gives.  One dreams, the other produces.  We are again reminded that there are wicked and righteous in the world.  We are being told that their modus operandi is different. 

Both are conditions, and in reality, they are the only two choices.  We are either on the side of God or the side of Satan.  Some people are consumed with the horrors represented in satanic worship and the rituals of the occult.  What they miss is that people who refuse to bow their knee to God are living in the “blessing” of the devil.  He is quite content to keep the masses out of heaven.  If he can get a few to follow his rituals fine, but that is frosting on the cake.

Not only is our condition different but how that is expressed is different.

So?  Start with your heart.  It must be broken before almighty God.  Our knees must be bent.  Or sins must be forgiven.  And then the adventure really begins as we live that out in a world that runs by different rules.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Good Place to Start

(Proverbs 11:23 KJV)  The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

Is your “desire” (8378) “good” (2896b) because you are “righteous” (6662) or are you righteous because you are good?  Which comes first?  Which is the cause and which is the effect?  Is it a goal or a condition?  The clear statement is that they go together.

It is also not a guarantee that everything the righteous do will turn out good.  Even the best of intentions can fail or be misguided.  Good people can be manipulated.  To me welfare programs have been a total failure.  They have ended up damaging millions while they might help a few.  I think we have seen the same thing with civil rights activity like affirmative action.  They start out with the best of intentions and end up becoming tools of poverty and discrimination.

So?  We do need to think, observe and be discerning.  We cannot be naive and simplistically trusting.  At the same time we can take some comfort that if our hearts are right, our intentions will be for the good.  It is a place to start. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

You Don’t Need Their Help

(Proverbs 10:29 KJV)  The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

Who are these “workers (6466) of iniquity (205)”?  I did a search for the exact phrase and came up with five hits.  The one that gave me the most context for insight was in Isaiah,
(Isaiah 31:2 KJV)  Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity.
The “He” of this verse is God.  The leaders of Israel have appealed to Egypt to bail them out of a crisis instead of trusting and obeying the Lord.  In His wisdom, God is going to “bring evil” and it will be targeted not only toward the deviant leaders of Israel but towards those help.  The helpers, Egypt, are the “workers of iniquity.

We will always be able to find people who will help us rebel against God.  In the church we have had leaders who are concerned about being acceptable to the world.  They claim that their desire is to remove barriers that might keep people away from Jesus.  In reality they are covering up who Jesus is.  Jesus wants disciples, not seekers of the latest cool.

So?  Look inward for the values that shape us.  The latest polls and the opinions of social workers may be of interest but they are more entertainment than health food. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Agape Fear

(Proverbs 9:10 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

I am wondering if the  “fear” (3374) of the Lord shares a characteristic with the Greek agape.  Both are foundational and mentioned often, but what I am talking about is that both are a choice, not an emotion.  Both are concepts that have been polluted by our culture.

When people think of love they tend to be dominated by the romantic, Hollywood meaning of the word.  Think of the poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning which begins “How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.”  It is a beautiful poem full of beautiful ideas but there is no mention of the things you find in I Corinthians 13. 

We have the same thing happening to our understanding of fear.  We have come to define fear as something we experience at a noise in the night after we have seen a Freddy Krueger movie.  It is a craven, bone rotting chill that crumbles our inner sense of right.  That is totally opposed to the fear of God based on reverence and awe at His majesty.

So?  We chose to love.  We chose to fear.  Emotions are wonderful but don’t let them dominate you. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Take it or Leave It

(Proverbs 8:1 KJV)  Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

“Wisdom” (2451) is active.  It will not wait; it will “call” (7121).  This indicates the way in which the Holy Spirit is active trying to convict people of sin and draw them toward the Savior.  It indicates the way in which the Holy Spirit will bring to mind truth when we are before those who accuse us.  This speaks of the Advocate who comes along side to help, the Paraclete. 

It does not mean that everyone will hear, or, if they do hear, they will respond.  In the words of Jesus,
(Matthew 22:14 KJV)  For many are called, but few are chosen.
God wants all to be saved but in the interests of free will and genuine love He gives us the choice to respond and then makes His choice based on that.  People don’t always follow what they know to be best for them.  Watch the food we eat.  Note what we do for entertainment.  Hear all the excuses we come up with. 

So?  Wisdom speaks.  It is available.  Do we respond? 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Ritual vs Righteousness

(Pro 7:14)  I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.

There have been times and places where the tithe and certain offerings were treated like a tax and not a response of gratitude.  In those cases they would come and get it if you did not send it in.  To God those kind of “gifts” are empty.  There is another kind of giving that I think God would consider an abomination and that is spoken of here.  Empty ritual has no relationship to righteousness.  Take this woman as an example.

She is at best a prostitute and even worse, an adulteress.  Notice that adultery is one of the Big Ten and prostitution isn’t.  In spite of that obvious evil in her life she went to worship and went through the expected ritual.  It meant nothing.  That is one reason I don’t automatically assume someone is living an upright life if they are up front in church.  God will not be mocked.  Consider the words of God Himself:
(Malachi 1:10 NAS77)  "Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you," says the LORD of hosts, "nor will I accept an offering from you.
So?  Watch lives not public performance.  In the same way we need to make sure that our lives are consistent with what God wants others to see. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Ant Lessons

(Pro 6:6)  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

Where I have moved in Texas we have a scourge called fire “ants” (5244).  They can build hills over night at any location.  I have had some over a foot across and four or five inches high.  One of the things that this type ant does is defend the home nest.  I am told to make sure that I don’t stand on one of their mounds because they will swarm me and, if my information is correct, they will wait until some mysterious signal and start biting at the same time.  The pain of the bite is where they get their name.

I am sure that Solomon does not want us to go out and start biting people like it is a zombie apocalypse.  Here he talks about being industrious and in the next verse he praises how they gather food.  We could also praise their cooperation and defense of their homes.

So?  Lessons in life are all around us if we will but look. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Its All Part of Omniscience

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

We don’t hear the word “Providence” much any more.  We have a lot of synonyms but the problem, and blessing, of synonyms is that they bring out nuances, not the real emphasis.  Part of the providence of God is that He is omniscient.  That is the big word we use meaning He knows all that there is to know.  The philosophers get off in the weeds telling us that this also includes knowing all the possible things that cannot be true or possible.  Thus God would know what you would look like if you had three heads.  Such concepts bring joy to philosophers.

For me it is enough to know that God has His eye on me.  That can be an encouragement not to wander.  It can keep me coloring between the lines.  It can also be an assurance.

So?  When you check the weather in the morning remember that the weather man is just making an educated guess.  God could tell you the precise high for the day but that would take the mystery out of life.  Enjoy.