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, July 31, 2018

When Grace Isn’t Enough

(Proverbs 31:30 KJV)  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

“Favour” (charm NASB) (2580) used here kind of slides by us in its meaning.  Yes, we know that it is generally a good trait.  In fact, it is a glorious trait.  This is the word used in Genesis,
(Genesis 6:8 KJV)  But Noah found grace (2580) in the eyes of the LORD.
It is the undeserved favor that God extended towards Noah and extends toward us.  It is good.

Some people have this trait.  It makes them wonderful to be around.  The point here is that being a wonderful, considerate person is not enough in itself.  It is still required that we have the proper attitude toward God.

So?  One of the mysteries of my life is why so many wonderful people do not bend their knee to their creator.  It must have to do with desiring to be the god of their lives.  They may naturally tend toward being great neighbors and conscientious public servants but they still need to “fear” (3372a) the Lord. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Say, “Goat Cheese”

(Proverbs 30:29 KJV)  There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going:

In the KJV you miss the point that a Hebrew word is used twice.  In the NASB it is “stately” (3190) both times.  The KJV has “well” and “comely”.  Of the three I think “well” is the best choice.  It is translated dozens of ways but combinations that use “well” in some way are the most common.  The root idea is pleasing, bringing gladness, goodness.

I think we can take away from this the acceptance that life has its good components.  The illustrations in the next verse may not rev your engines, I don’t identify with a goat, but keep in mind this was written in a time when wealth was often measured in how many goats you owned.  Life can be good.  God’s blessings are real.  Part of the promise God gives us is that if we live according to His law we will avoid certain problems and if we live in joyful obedience under grace we will also see that many disasters steer around us.

So?  Life has its up’s and down’s.  Without God’s active grace they would be crashes and explosions instead.  Be thankful.  If you can’t think of anything else be grateful that wealth is no longer measured in goats. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

A Reason to Sing

(Proverbs 29:6 KJV)  In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.

I find this a verse that meshes well with the belief that the power of the Holy Spirit can keep us from sin.  I will concede that the potential is still there, after all I John 1:9 was written to Christians, but the one who is being trapped and destroyed by sin is the person who is “evil” (7451b). 

We have what some call a plan of salvation that God has laid out for us.  It has the elements of confession, repentance and faith on our part and a lot of big words that God puts into motion:  Propitiation, justification, atonement, adoption, sanctification.  There comes a point were believers are no longer evil but are saints. 

So?  Sometime in the next few days you will have the opportunity to meet with other saints and be part of the singing and rejoicing.  You will have much to celebrate.  You might want to take a break right now and get started.  It will be safe if you are getting in your car to drive to work or driving nails on a ladder, but I would not recommend it if you are in an open office environment.

Saturday, July 28, 2018


(Proverbs 28:12 KJV)  When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.

This is a verse where the KJV comes closer than the modern translations.  They tend to translate “rejoice” (5970) as “triumph”.  A better word for modern times might be “exult”.  This is not the simple process of being thankful in times of stress.  It is not making lemonade from lemons.  This is an attitude that people have, not when they see the righteous triumph, but when they see righteousness triumph.  This is the celebration that comes when you see wrongs being righted and evil being thwarted.

So?  It is okay to celebrate when the good guys win.  I realize that there will be some variation in what your issues may be and what needs to be fixed but there should also be a very large area of agreement. 

Friday, July 27, 2018

Fool’s Grind

(Proverbs 27:22 KJV)  Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

Have you ever tried to use a mortar and pestle on something hard to grind?  I tried it on coffee beans once and decided that some things have gotten better with progress.  Coffee can be ground with this method but it takes a long time.  My guess is that the slaves were put on the task in ancient times and were beaten if it did not come out fine enough.  You need that kind of motivation to make it work.  If the guy drinking the coffee was forced to grind it I think that coffee would have never become a popular beverage.

We need to take that lesson to heart when it comes to working with fools.  Can they be helped?  Maybe.  This verse would make it sound impossible.  It seems to say “once a fool, always a fool”.  But just as grain or coffee can be eventually ground down, so might a fool.  It might take longer than they have to live and it certainly will take more energy than you have to give, but it might happen.

So?  Learn to recognize fools.  They come in all shapes and sizes.  They cover the entire spectrum of the IQ scale.  It might be that the only way you can find out for sure is to talk about real wisdom and see how they respond.  Keep in mind that even Jesus was rejected by the multitudes. 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Stirring Words

(Proverbs 26:20 KJV)  Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

Some “fire” (784) is more stubborn than others.  I don’t know how many times I have struggled to let someone have the last word, hoping that they will drop the mouth and get on with the task.  Usually it does not work right away.  They keep coming up with another comment to generate a response.  Eventually it dies down.

This is more like a camp fire than a match.  When we would spend time in the mountains one of the high points was the evening fire.  There would come a point that we would stop putting on wood.  The flames would eventually shrink until you had a bed of coals.  Even then there would be occasional tongues that would sneak out.  The coals could be all buried but even then I know that all I would need to do to get back the blaze was throw in a faggot and stir. 

So?  It is really hard but we need to let things die if we ever want to get any sleep.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

More than Heavy

(Proverbs 25:20 KJV)  As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.

I am always amazed at how translators work to be creative and insightful.  The meaning of “heavy” (troubled NASB) (7451a) is evil.  The KJV translates it that way 440 times.  Both the KJV and the NASB use these English words once.  I think there is a desire in us to deny the presence of evil all around us.  None of the Bibles on my software uses “evil” here.

We think of evil as child molestation or rape.  Both of those actions are destructive and almost impossible to make right.  Yet how many children have been ruined for life by well meaning teachers who teach them to avoid responsibility for their actions and to look at themselves as victims?  How many “loving” parents have seriously handicapped their children by refusing to discipline them?  How many meaningful actions of congress have been gutted with pork barrel add ons?

So?  You don’t need to walk down the street pointing a finger and yelling, “Evil!”  You do need to be aware that it exists and it won’t go away just because you sing it a nice tune or pay it a compliment.  The only antidote is the grace of God and the blood of the Lamb. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Have Correct Change

(Proverbs 24:21 KJV)  My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:

The Hebrew word used in the KJV is different than the one in the NASB in spite of the fact that they are translated the same.  Putting them together gives us a better insight. 

The KJV uses 8138 which means to repeat.  The NASB uses 8132 which means to change.  According to the Pulpit Commentary the difference is in whether the verb is transitive or intransitive.  There seems to be some confusion on that so it becomes a matter of interpretation.  If you go with the idea of repetition then the idea is that you are repeating so that you can get a different outcome.  It is like a gambler rolling the dice and hoping for a winning number this time.  You come up with the idea of people who are never happy with things as they are and the only value is in “New and Improved” as you see on the package of breakfast cereal.  How you can keep improving corn flakes is beyond me but some people go for it.

A quip I have seen repeatedly on line comes to mind.  It is attributed to Albert Einstein but I have seen no reference so I  don’t know if it is true.  I will paraphrase from memory, “Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.”  Some people are that way on important issues.

So?  I think we need to be open to new insight and improvements but need to be leery of change for change’s sake. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Don’t Tarry, Don’t Seek

(Proverbs 23:30 KJV)  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

When seen in isolation there is something you might not notice in this verse:  It is the answer to a question.  To summarize the previous verse, the question is, “Who is really messed up?”  Solomon’s editors probably would not let him make it that simple but this would be the Reader’s Digest version or perhaps the Message.

The point is that alcoholic beverages tend to mess you up.  It is not a blanket indictment, just an observation.  If that bothers you think about why.

So?  What do you think the list would say if every bottle of wine came with the same type of printout that your medication is required to provide.  God provided a brain that has more than instinct.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Macho Wisdom

(Proverbs 22:3 KJV)  A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

“Discretion is the better part of valor”.  This is a corruption of Shakespeare and I would guess that he got the idea from Solomon.  If you are a John Wayne fan you find this offensive.  Real men confront evil.  Cowards hide.  Edmund Burke wrote, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  That is the American way, right?  Evidently it is not the Biblical way.

It does not mean that we do nothing.  It means that we respond with wisdom not react with muscles.  Keep in mind that Gideon was eventually sent out with his small band to confront the invaders.  Remember that he went in the timing and under the direction of the Lord.  That is the difference between wise and macho.

So?  Be brave but be discreet. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Plowing with a Lamp

(Proverbs 21:4 KJV)  An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.

If you compare the KJV and the NASB you notice that one has “plough” (5215) and the other has “lamp” (5215a).  The Hebrew word that brings out a different translation of “plough” (5215) in the KJV looks exactly the same in transliteration but is slightly different in the Hebrew.  In trying to figure out the difference I came across something called “vowel points” in Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible.  This is a reminder of the difficulty of translation. 

Hebrew originally did not have any written vowels.  Us laymen are most familiar with this process when we come to the Hebrew word YHWH which is usually translated “Lord”.  My understanding is that we get the name Jehovah by taking the consonants from the Hebrew YHWH and the vowels from the Greek adonoi and put them together.  The story is that no one knows how to pronounce it because the name of God was too holy to be spoken out loud.

So?  Is it “lamp” or “plough”?  Once again the answer is, “Yes.”  Both or either will work just fine.  It may be that the Holy Spirit will use each to touch your heart on different days.  It would sure be easier if God made everything plain old black and white but it would also be much more boring. 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Section 8

(Proverbs 20:10 KJV)  Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.

God is not just concerned about the mysterious qualities of eternity.  He is concerned with the everyday business of the world He created.  I mean business literally. 

The earliest reference to this idea is in the Law.
(Leviticus 19:35-6 KJV)  Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.  Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.
We find reference to this concept in the Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, where Congress is given the power
“To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;”
One of the foundations of society is fair trade.  By that I am talking about the market place even though it might apply between nations.  Have you ever been the beneficiary or the victim of government preferences?  It happens all the time in places you might not think of as an abomination.  When we used to spend time in Hawaii there was a municipal golf course on Maui that had rates that were a little higher than I was used to but cheap for Hawaii.  I think it cost me around $50.00 to play a round.  On a resort it would start around $150 so you can see my point.  I should have been happy but I noticed that if I qualified as a local resident I could play for $15.00.

So?  God has given us a standard of treating people equally whether that is in business or recreation.  The basis of that standard is in the Ten Commandments.  Remember, “Thou shalt not lie.”  Remember, “Thou shalt not steal”.  I guess when I saw the deal the locals got I should have been remembering the commandment about not coveting. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Self Love

(Proverbs 19:8 KJV)  He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.

Most translations have “wisdom” (3820) here.  That seems so wrong to me.  It is a very common word used 595 times in the Old Testament.  In the KJV it is only translated “wisdom” six times and all of those are in the so called Wisdom Literature.  By far the most common translation is “heart”.  It refers to the inner man.  It is not translated “soul” in either the KJV or NASB. 

A certain level of self-esteem has its place.  It begins in the “wisdom”, heart or inner man.  Keep in the front of your mind the qualifiers though.  I said “certain level”.  There is a point where the self-centered carnal nature runs wild.  There is also a point where you must believe in your worth before God.  That is the basis of the verse Jesus quoted,
(Leviticus 19:18 KJV)  Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
So?  If you can’t care about yourself then you can’t care about others.  It is part of the new heart that God wants to give you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


(Proverbs 18:1 KJV)  Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.

When should we isolate ourselves from the input of others?  I think it is why a lot of people pursue hiking or backpacking.  It gives a chance to get away from the constant litany of advertisers and commentary as people try to influence us and effect our thinking.  It often gives us a chance to recharge our batteries.  Isolation can be positive.

Isolation can also be negative.  If we don’t take along our Bible or at least meditate on the wisdom we have heard we flirt with the danger of being consumed with our own wisdom.  It is a good question to ask, “Which is more dangerous, the influence of others or the lack of influence of others?”  The key is the basis of the wisdom.

So?  If you need to get away for a few days, go for it.  Don’t forget your anchors, though.  You don’t need any more drift than you already have. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Know the Difference

(Proverbs 17:15 KJV)  He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.

Two observations.  First, there is a difference between what God considers “righteous” (6662) and what our culture is starting to call just.  Keep in mind that when your neighborhood teacher or liberal minister talks about immorality they are referring to your slack in recycling or your intolerant attitude toward homosexuality.  They tut tut your concern about such things as out of wed lock births or the epidemic waiting to spread from the streets of San Francisco.

Second, we can expect the forces of our modern culture to reinforce the “wicked” (7563) as they work to destroy the Christian influence.  Courts and government bureaucrats are more interested in dealing with “white privilege” than drunk drivers. 

So?  We are called to be salt and light but remember that our culture will tell you that salt is bad for your blood pressure and light causes skin cancer.  You need to know better. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Hardest Honesty

(Proverbs 16:2 KJV)  All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

I am getting old.  Actually, I am already old but I am getting older.  I often joke about losing my mind and how I will be the last one to know.  Actually that is just an extension of our normal insight.  I would say that we are usually the last one to know that we are wrong.  Even the person with low self esteem assumes that perception is reality.  In their case it might be a low opinion of themselves instead of arrogance.  It is still limited by being self perception.

We need to do our own thinking and make our own decisions.  We also need to realize that input from others is healthy.

So?  Be willing to listen and then try to evaluate from what you know God has said through His word.  There are many propositions you can reject out of hand. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Eternal Ears

(Proverbs 15:31 KJV)  The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

The call we receive is composed of a series of responses.  It starts with this one, to “listen” (8085).  From there you have a call to faith, a call to repentance, a call to obedience.  As a result we will “abide” (dwell NASB) (3885a) among the “wise” (2450).  I remind you and I remind myself, that is an eternal dwelling.  This is not just a cool promise that we will sit with a bunch of awesome people.  In Proverbs it talks about sitting at the gates and high places.  That sounds impressive.  I think it also it a reminder that we will be with the wise for eternity.

So?  Keep your listening ears on.  Turn up the microphone.  God is giving directions and you probably have an intersection just ahead. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018


(Proverbs 14:21 KJV)  He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

Are you a cranky “neighbor” (7453)?  Am I a cranky neighbor?  You will never know.  Where we live now the neighbors are far enough away that if they are cranky we will never know.  This verse is a reminder that we should be the most pleasant house on the block.  That doesn’t mean that you are taking cookies to everyone or mowing their lawn when they are not looking.  It does mean that you don’t play loud music at night or clog up the street with wild parties.  It might mean bringing in their empty trash cans when they are late getting home.

So?  People should know we are nice to live by before they find out we go to church.  If we are obnoxious it will not matter how good our pastor is our how friendly our congregation. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Core Conceptions

(Proverbs 13:19 KJV)  The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.

Our culture is in direct conflict with the Christian faith.  One of the areas of conflict regards the nature of the human being.  What are we on the inside?  Christians believe that we are contaminated with original sin and thus we tend to be selfish and inclined toward evil.  The world believes that all people are morally neutral or inclined toward the good.  The teachers in your public school have been indoctrinated by psychology and sociology to believe that the reason so many children are messed up and making bad choices is that their environment has blocked their natural goodness. 

Environment has consequences.  Most people will concede that.  The difference is where you start.  This verse reminds us that there are some people who feel very strongly that they need to continue down the path that rejects a holy God and His expectations of righteousness.

So?  Don’t expect to fit in.  It may go well at times.  It may be under the surface.  The standards of the world reject the standards of God.  Decide which side you are on.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Simple Truth

(Proverbs 12:17 KJV)  He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.

The simple statement here is that the believer “speaks” (6315) “truth” (530).  Many people try to fudge on this.  They come up with many excuses and qualifications.  If that is how you swing then it is questionable if you are a believer.  True is the opposite of false.  It makes a difference.

So?  Speak truth.  Is that simple enough for you?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Coupons and Faith

(Proverbs 11:28 KJV)  He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.

Is the stock market going to crash?  Will Social Security go bankrupt?  Will we be forced into a cashless lifestyle?  Stay tuned, it just gets more interesting.  It is interesting to us because our confidence is not in the “riches” (6239) of the economy.  We balance our check book, pay our rent and utilities, use coupons and lock our doors.  We do not panic because the federal deficit is too big.

This is not just a cliche or platitude.  This is a rock that we base our life on.
My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus blood and righteousness.
So?  That is not just an old song that we used to sing.  It does not just apply to eternity.  It is a daily choice that we make. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Above the Law

(Proverbs 10:2 KJV)  Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.

I appreciate the attempts of modern translators to try to make thinking easy for me but I believe in the long run it makes my thinking weaker.  It also can make my faith weaker by not expecting me to think.  The NASB phrase “ill-gotten gains” is literally “treasures (214) of wickedness (7562)” as printed in the KJV.  Once again by trying to help, the translators limit my choices.

“Ill-gotten gains” is one aspect of the phrase.  It focuses on the actions of the wicked.  “Treasures of wickedness” is better because not only includes the actions but the possessions, attitudes and priorities of those who live for themselves.  It is possible to procure something through legal means and have an attitude which makes that object more important than a hungry man next door.  The purchase was not ill-gotten but ignoring your brother in need was wicked.

So?  As followers of Jesus we are called to a higher standard than just following the law.  That is the glory of living under grace.  It does not excuse law breaking, it takes us to levels of obedience fueled by love and guided by a desire to walk straight. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Silent Partners

(Proverbs 9:15 KJV)  To call passengers who go right on their ways:

One of the concerns discussed in the Bible is demon possession.  I upset someone who was making an issue of it by saying that Satan does not push this in the west because he has found that the slow seduction of the faithful provides him with more recruits.  When you throw demonic forces at people they tend to either capitulate or turn to God in desperation.  When you dangle the possibility of winning the lottery you get many more takers. 

Notice that the targets of this evil woman are people who are trying to walk “right” (straight NASB) (3474).  Keep in mind that people who are not serving the Lord are serving Satan even though they don’t think of it that way.  They are silent partners.

So?  If you are being faithful then expect to be harasses by the Evil One.  He already has the guy beside you and he will have you for eternity if you listen to him. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Good Expressions

(Proverbs 8:6 KJV)  Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

As followers of Christ we are expected to be touched by wisdom.  I know when we look around we don’t see much of that commodity.  A question to ask is, “Do they see it when they look at us?”  How does this work out in day to day terms?  A verse that this brings to mind,
(Philippians 4:8 KJV)  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
So?  Wouldn’t it be nice to be known for talking and acting that way?  It might not make you the life of the party or the celebrity at the local bar, but it would certainly make you the kind of person who leaves a positive legacy. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Blame Game

(Proverbs 7:19 KJV)  For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:

This reminds me that there are many situations that I cannot resolve or prevent.  The man being described here has done nothing to deserve being betrayed.  At least we don’t know of anything.  He has gone on a business trip.  It may have been necessary to keep his business going.  It is probably the way in which he earns the wealth to support his wife so that she can spend his money stabbing him in the back.

I would venture to guess that there are things facing many of us today that are not pleasant.  We have played by the rules and done the responsible things.  In spite of that we are on the short end of the stick.  One of the things we need to remember is that our success is not measured in who gets the promotion or who is publically recognized.  It is in being faithful to His calling.

So?  We cannot make others trustworthy, just ourselves.  God sets the standard and we either obey or not.  I promise not to feel guilt for the actions of others. 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Self Check

(Proverbs 6:11 KJV)  So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

“One that travelleth” (vagabond NASB) (1980) is what a previous generation would have called a hobo or tramp.  In theory there is a difference but both have the mystic of being free spirits with no roots.  Often there is a concern about them having sticky fingers for things not tied down.  If you are familiar with Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” you get the idea.

This verse is reminding us that one of the biggest causes of poverty is sloth and lack of integrity.  Modern social justice warriors don’t like that.  They need a rich person to blame.  Oppression happens.  Even more common, at least in this country, is lazy.  Most poor people are not lazy.  Many lazy people are not poor.  The intersection is bigger than we want to admit.

So?  Keep in mind this is not an excuse to judge others.  This is intended as a standard by which we can evaluate our own actions and attitudes.  This is for you to apply to you and me to apply to me.  It works best that way. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Wanting to Believe

(Proverbs 5:3 KJV)  For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

We can be effected by sweet talk and smooth talk.  Admit it.  You like to be told sweet nothings by the right person.  You like to believe what they tell you.  And then there is the guy who has an answer to any question you might ask.  We run into these situations.

Part of the solution is to know what you are a sucker for.  Since I am a bit of a cynic the smooth talk doesn’t work that well with me.  I question just about everything.  I am a sucker though for the person who goes from being ornery to sweetness and light.  I tell myself that I must have been mistaken.  I fall for it every time.

So?  Wisdom can help us in the quest to not look like a fool.  It doesn’t always work because we don’t let it, but it is available.  Our choice.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Quad Safety Valves

(Proverbs 4:15 KJV)  Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

The “it” in this verse is the path of evil and evil men.  If you want to walk that way you are not reading this.  Solomon suggests four strategies to use if your desire is to live a righteous life.  Some can be matters of habit, others are results of focus and discipline.  Habits can be established with repetition.

It could be that the first advice is a summary of the next three.  “Avoid” (6544a) evil.  Then there are three strategies to avoiding.  You avoid something by staying away.  When I go to the grocery store I have learned to never go down the aisle that has the Cheesits.  I am better off if I don’t need to fight the temptation.  If by mistake I find myself approaching those distinctive red and yellow boxes I can “turn” (7847) around and go back the way I came.  If it is too late I can just “pass” (5674a) the threat.  Last time I heard, boxes of snack crackers do not jump off the shelf and attack shoppers.  I could be wrong on that.

So?  I have four steps.  Any one of them will keep me where I want to be.  They will not take themselves.  They require my cooperation.  The box is in our court.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Roller Coasters

(Proverbs 3:23 KJV)  Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

Some people like excitement more than others.  I have ridden on roller coasters.  I can’t say that I look forward to doing it again.  Intellectually I was feeling safe and secure.  Emotionally and physically, not so much.  There is something unsettling about coming over the top of the rise and heading almost straight down.  There is only one way you could get me on one and that was by being sure that it was safe.

To be honest I never went and checked the documentation to see if the ride had been inspected.  I assumed.  I never doubted that some mysterious person or team had gone over the bolts and the beams making up that skeleton structure and declared it solid.  I never looked at the equations that showed the cars would not fly off into space on a curve.  I just assumed.

So?  When you have confidence in the Celestial Engineer and the Author of All Things you can make certain assumptions about the life you live and the challenges you face.  It makes the roller coaster of life more bearable.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Peeps Behind the Bed

(Proverbs 2:1 KJV)  My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

It is easy to “receive” (3947).  It is a bit more challenging to “hide” (treasure NASB) (6845).  Think about last Christmas.  Assume that you received a nice pile of gifts.  When it was time to get them out of the living room, what did you do?  If you are like most people the general pile was transferred to your bed or some other flat space.  There it awaited its distribution, but there are always exceptions.  If you received one very special item you either put it in a special place or gave it special attention.  It is possible that there was another item, such as a package of Peeps, that fell down behind the bed and were forgotten about.  You know which ones were treasured by the way in which they were treated.

Around the tree where you were receiving you made the appropriate comments.  In your room the real attitude came out.  It is the same with the wisdom of God.  We learn to make the appropriate responses to the sermon.  We say stirring things at the Bible study.  But do we treasure?

So?  Separate the things you hear and give them the fitting amount of attention.  I am not sure we need to fixate on separating linen and wool but we might want to mediate a little on turning the other cheek. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Bird’s Eye

(Proverbs 1:17 KJV)  Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

I am reading a book dealing with the search to understand the qualities that make up human beings.  Most of the book so far deals with debunking all the attempts to establish ways to measure intelligence.  The writer is a liberal who fits in with modern education.  He is afraid to say that there is such a thing as intelligence.  Proverbs has many measures to tell the quality of a person’s mind and thinking.  The overall word is not intelligence but wisdom. 

Here it points out that wisdom includes the ability to learn from your experiences and the experience of others.  The person being described is someone who does not seem to be able to learn from the most obvious.  To people with the benefit of the Holy Spirit it is obvious that some behavior is destructive.  It is clear that the wrong priorities can make success impossible.

So?  God always gives us enough knowledge to make decisions if our heart is open.  Pay attention.