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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

You, the Prophet

(Proverbs 31:1 KJV)  The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.

How is it possible to teach a “prophecy” (oracle NASB) (4853b)?  We tend to think of this as prophecy which involves predictions about the future.  We also tend to think of it as a gift that is given by the Holy Spirit.  In reality the major part of an oracle or prophecy is what we would consider every day preaching.  It is taking the recorded truth of Almighty God and applying it to the everyday lives of ordinary people.  Just about anyone can be taught to do this.  Some will be better than others but most can learn.

This is a specific job of parents.  Here the mother (517) is mentioned.  It could apply to any relative and to friends.  Obviously it involves preachers and teachers.

So?  You prepare people to understand how to live their lives.  We do it by example at all times but there are also times we can expect to talk about it.  Prepare.  Be ready. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Mouth Control

(Proverbs 30:32 KJV)  If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth.

I noticed that the NASB has “evil” in italics but the KJV does not.  Both reference the same Hebrew word (2161).  It is another case of a neutral word that depends on its context.  In the next chapter we see the contrast.
(Proverbs 31:16 KJV)  She considereth (2161) a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
That is why the NASB marks “evil” as assumed instead of literal.  The basic idea has to do with planning.  From the context it is clear that the motive has to do with applying conceit and selfishness to your daily life.

Two things strike me about this today.  One is that we can be aware of what we are doing.  The second is that we have the ability to do something about it.

So?  Don’t fool yourself.  Humility and love do not run a public relations campaign to make themselves look good.  It is obviously sinful and needs a strong dose of repentance. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Foolish Contention

(Proverbs 29:9 KJV)  If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.

We have a young mesquite tree in our yard.  The previous owner decided that he wanted a tree that would reach for the heavens instead of looking like the crooked little man from the crooked little house.  To reach that goal he attached ropes from various angles to make it stand up straight.  It isn’t working.  There are some things in life that are determined to defy your straight edge and bend to the forces around them.  Fools are like that.

Fools will even fool you.  They will look like they are listening.  They will repeat the great insights that you share with them.  They might even write it down.  In the end they go back to being fools.  It is easier that way and some people take the path of least resistance in everything.

So?  Say what you have to say.  It might be used by the Holy Spirit to wake someone up.  Usually they will just get back to business as usual as soon as you look the other way.  Perhaps it might be an opportunity to listen to your own wisdom and gain from it. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Another Choice Approaches

(Proverbs 28:15 KJV)  As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.

I don’t run into many wild animals in my daily life.  If I do they tend to be deer and vultures.  I have occasional glimpses of road runners and I think I have seen a hedgehog.  None of them have a tendency to attack.  When I walk I go through areas with heavy growth and it is possible there might be coyotes or bobcats watching me.  What worries me most are angry dogs and people under the influence.

The same is true in my rulers.  I know that there are people in power who have the ability to mess with me if they get in the mood.  I know that I get very frustrated when we have a president whom I disagree with and a congress that seems to be out to ruin us.  This is a warning about those kinds of people and I remind you that we live in a culture that allows us to choose our leaders.  We have an election coming up.  We will not always have a chance to pick righteous leaders.  Unless we want to run in fear we need to pick the lesser of two evils.  God will take care of the rest just like He does for people who have no say.

So?  Living by faith involves actions based on being responsible and an attitude that rests in the knowledge that the Creator has our back.  When it rains I trust my roof.  When they reign I trust my God.  The roof has let me down. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Hay Seeds

(Proverbs 27:25 KJV)  The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.

I assume that translators get bored like everyone else.  I wonder if they sometimes try to see how creative they can be and still not cross a line of deception.  Here we have two Hebrew words that are the same for both the KJV and NASB translators.  One has “grass (2682) disappears” (1540) and the other has hay appearing.  This is not a big theological controversy but I wonder which one it really is.

The KJV gets the prize for obscure.  It ignores its common translations of common words and calls the grass “hay” and has it mysteriously appearing instead of being carted away.  Out of 217 times the Hebrew appears it is translated this way only twice.  I guess they have a picture in mind of the green grass disappearing and becoming dry hay.

So?  The point is that life continues to change and there is a natural process to that change.  Those of us who are turning into hay need to rejoice because the next generation is finally getting a chance to get the full rays of the sun. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Slipping Dross

(Proverbs 26:23 KJV)  Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

I recently was given a small box with a bunch of silver dollars in it.  I did not look at it closely.  I put it aside for examination later.  Because the person giving it to me acted like it had value, I assumed there were at least a few genuine silver coins in the pile.  You may not think about silver dollars much but at one point they were actually made of silver and had intrinsic value in themselves.  Just for fun I checked the spot price of silver and it tells me that the precious metal in a genuine silver dollar is worth about $14.00 today.  Around 1964 they started taking the silver out and debasing the currency.

Many people we run into are like that.  They may come recommended by others or be relatives.  We are often content to accept the surface value.  Often that is the way to go because we are cautioned against getting too excited about judging others.  At the same time we need to be discerning and aware that the dross can slip at any time.  Solomon is going to great effort to make us aware that not only books can have deceptive covers.

So?  Stay alert.  Know the standards of righteousness.  Know the difference between a moment of weakness and a character of deception. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Stamp of Approval

(Proverbs 25:23 KJV)  The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

Do you think people knew this before Solomon wrote it?  Is this common experience or divine revelation?  If this had been David writing, I could have looked back at his experience as a shepherd and guessed it was observation or camp fire wisdom.  I don’t know that Solomon got out in the real world much.  Since the Holy Spirit caused it to be included we need to go with the Hand of God no matter how common the statement was.  Consider it a stamp of approval.

Many times what you find in the Bible is “common sense”.  That is why you find similar statements to the Golden Rule in other religious and philosophical traditions.  What the Bible does is help us separate the common sense from the cultural flatulence.  We have all heard people say, “Everybody knows...” when we know that they don’t know.

So?  We really need to stop frequently and examine our assumptions.  Make sure you are quoting Jesus and not Benjamin Franklin. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Modern Heroes

(Proverbs 24:24 KJV)  He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:

If this verse does not bring to mind modern American culture then you are not listening.  Think about the basics of Biblical morality that go back to 1,500 B.C. with the writing of the Ten Commandments and to the unknown date of Noah’s Ark.  Now find me a modern “hero” that would be willing to stand up in public and espouse those values.  Remember how Tim Tebow was persecuted for public prayer?  Remember when Mike Pence was laughed at when he shared he did not dine out with women who were not his wife? 

Instead we have celebrities who cheat on their wives when they don’t get a divorce.  We have news reporters who lie deliberately.  We have religious leaders who deny the most basic of Christian beliefs. 

So?  We need to be cautious about aligning ourselves with people who reject the values that God laid out for us.  In time history will judge them.  For now we need to see clearly. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A Tool, Not a Toy

(Proverbs 23:33 KJV)  Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

Off the top of my head I can’t think of anything good that Proverbs has to say about alcoholic beverages and it is full of warnings.  It is like the pocket knife I carry.  It has its uses and its times.  I like to keep it with me.  It is a tool, not a toy.

Booze is similar.  It has a sharp edge and can cut.  The cut can be fatal.  It can be misused and is potentially dangerous.  Does that mean we ban them?  Not really.  I remember a day when every little boy had a pocket knife with him at school.   We played games with them during recess.  The potential for problems was there but the risk was worth it.

So?  I accept that alcohol has a use and a place.  I also accept that it is very dangerous if not handled with caution.  Maturity is full of these kinds of issues.  I am glad that God has chosen to entrust us with decision making ability. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Yes, You Can

(Proverbs 22:6 KJV)  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

How long do we need to wait to find out if we did good raising our children?  I will admit that I am looking for some straws to grasp that tell me I have been successful in life.  So far I am satisfied with how my children have turned out, but how long do we need to wait?  Notice that it says “when they get old (2204)”  The NASB sticks with variations of “old” but the KJV goes even farther with some use of “ancient”. 

On the frustrating side it says that I won’t be around to find out the end of the story.  I think of my uncles who did not come to the Lord until after their father had died.  On the encouraging side it tells me that it is possible to do it right.  We can lay the groundwork for the next generation.

So?  Today I am encouraged.  It seems to be working in our lives and the lives of our friends. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Violent Times

(Proverbs 21:7 KJV)  The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.

I am asking myself if we have ever seen a time in history where “robbery” (violence NASB) (7701) as we see it defined here has been so prevalent and accepted in a culture.  We see the fascist thugs of Antifa and the left attacking anyone they disagree with.  We have rap “music” that glorifies brutality and pounding on women.  We have video games that repeatedly destroy everything.  Actually we do have historic examples but we tend to think of them as barbaric and uncivilized.

There is a place for war in the Bible.  The punishment of criminals is a given.  At the same time we are told to treat our enemies well and forgive those who wrong us.

So?  Sometimes it seems that all we can do is keep peace in our corner of the world.  That should be reassuring.  God may call on us to be more active but we can rest assured that the real power plays are in His hands.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Oppressed by Sleep

(Proverbs 20:13 KJV)  Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

If I had to pick out themes in Proverbs this would speak to one of them:  Causes of Poverty.  As Christians we are constantly bombarded with the idea that people are poor because of the greed of the rich and multinational companies.  Oppression by the powerful is the mind set of the day.  I will readily admit that the Bible speaks about oppression and taking advantage of the poor.  What our culture does not want to admit is that many people are poor because of their own decisions and actions.  That is almost totally true in the United States.  I was talking with some kind hearted Catholic friends.  They were concerned for the hungry in our country and how many children were starving.  Puzzled, I asked them what their church would do if someone came asking for food.  It did not take them long to admit that they would be given food.

Here the personal choice being warned about is refusing to get out of bed and be productive.  I can sympathize with this, or I used to.  When I was working as a teacher I had three months off in the summer.  I eventually made enough that I did not need to chase summer jobs.  It was very hard for me to start setting the alarm when school started again.  I half-seriously thought about going on welfare.

So?  Are you oppressed?  Maybe.  You may also just be sleeping too much. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Timed Anger

(Proverbs 19:11 KJV)  The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

“Discretion” (7922) involves making decisions.  The decisions are based on values, information and character.  Rarely are we required to make blind choices.  The groundwork has already been laid and unlike the cop writing you a ticket when you did not know the speed limit, God can see your heart.

This points out that “anger” (639) is also a choice.  I don’t mean that first response down in our gut.  I mean the expression of that gut reaction.  There are times when it is appropriate.  Notice this verse does not say you never get angry.  It says it will be “slow” (748) in coming.  That speed is determined by our spiritual maturity.

So?  We are charged with growing spiritually.  That means controlling our anger and making sure that the target is deserving.  Sometimes it is sin to express anger.  Sometimes it is sin to not express anger.  We can learn the difference. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Wade in the Waters, Carefully

(Proverbs 18:4 KJV)  The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.

The contrast here could be offered as a warning.  As I write we have an election approaching.  We have a lot of people trying to influence us with their “words” (1697).  We have the politicians themselves.  We have the people in the MSM.  We have all the bloggers and wannabe MSM.  In order to make informed decisions we must listen to someone but this is telling us to be discerning in our listening.  We cannot just accept the surface meaning of what we hear.

The same goes with our spiritual research.  We need to listen with our ears turned on and an awareness of what the Bible really says.  This can be with the honest presentation of historic theological positions.  If you are a Wesleyan you will hear Calvinists expressing their understanding.  It could also be the prosperity gospel nonsense that can damage your soul.

So?  It never goes away.  What never goes away?  The fact that you are to love the Lord your God with all your mind as well as the other items on the list.  You were made in the image of God and part of that image is having an intelligence that you are expected to use. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Sales Resistance

(Proverbs 17:18 KJV)  A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.

This concept can be extended to volunteering for just about anything.  Often we speak up when someone presents a need and later we cool down and realize that it wasn’t such a good idea, but we are committed.  I remember years ago I applied this principle to responding to the gospel.  When the evangelist gave the invitation I dug in my heels and said, “No.”  In my heart of hearts I was not resisting the gospel, just the evangelist.  I did not want to make a life changing decision in the emotional manipulation of the moment. 

Looking back I believe the Lord could see my heart.  One of the bits of pressure put on by revival speakers is “what would happen if you were hit by a car on the way home?”  I think the contract has an escape clause in it.  Salvation is not a matter of putting together a mechanical clock and having it fail because you left out one screw.  It is a covenant between God and man.  It is designed to save as many as possible.

So?  Don’t give in to pressure.  At the same time, don’t pass up the real deal.  I believe we can tell the difference.  I know God can.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A Proud Club

(Proverbs 16:5 KJV)  Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

“Everyone” (3605) sounds conclusive.  In many situations there is some wiggle room.  Fools are hopeless, but we find some indication that they can learn.  Sinners are lost, but can be redeemed.  The arrogant have no such hope.  This is more along the lines of,
(Romans 3:23 KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
We tend to think, or at least I do, that arrogance is an attribute of the rich and powerful.  When I stop to consider I find that it also exists in the poor and weak.  It is an attitude of mind that puts the self first and looks down on others.  That is a human trait not just a rich human trait.

So?  This is why we need to keep in daily contact with the Lord.  He needs to keep softening our hearts and molding our minds.  He can’t do that if we fall into the trap of having arrived. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Be a Peacemaker

(Proverbs 15:1 KJV)  A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Again we see free will at work.  We are often confronted with situations that we do not create nor do we desire.  How often have you run into someone who is having a bad day and they are determined to pass it on.  You may have done everything you could be avoid the situation.  It still faces you with no escape.  Now the choice is yours.

Notice that it doesn’t say you will calm the anger.  All you can do is “turn it away” (7725).  There is another verse that this brings to mind. 
(Proverbs 25:21-22 KJV)  If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:  For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
The possibility offered is that your refusing to return the anger will get them to think and maybe get a little embarrassed.

So?  Whether it “works” or not we are still required to follow the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.  That involves the other cheek and the extra mile.  Be a peacemaker. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Labour Party Platform

(Proverbs 14:23 KJV)  In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

 How does work “profit” (4195) us?  Our first consideration is that we earn our living by our productive efforts.  We might do this as farmers, miners, plumbers, teachers, pastors, the list goes on.  We find something to do that is of worth to someone else and the transfer enough wealth to make it worth our time.

There is also value in the “labor” (6089a) itself.  There is a dignity and a sense of responsibility that comes from effort.  This is why working for less than we think we are worth is still a good thing to do.  It teaches us that we should value the bread we buy.  It does not come easy.  I find that I would evaluate something’s financial cost in how long it took me to earn the money for it.  People who have never earned a salary or run a business don’t understand that.

So?  Work.  Produce.  Give to society and grow in your character. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Make Them Work

(Proverbs 13:22 KJV)  A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

I think it is interesting that the idea of leaving wealth skips the children.  Based on reading and listening from sources outside the Bible, I have heard people comment on how often children are spoiled by rich parents.  The parents knew how to work hard but too often they think they are going to do their children a kindness by sheltering them from that lesson.  Some learn it in spite of the handicap.  Others are weakened to the point of destruction.  When a child believes he is going to inherit a fortune, why would he put in the effort to train himself for success.  It is guaranteed. 

So?  Instead of making life easy for your children you should be preparing them for the trials and struggles ahead.  Then let them do the same for the grandchildren. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

On Whom Is the Joke

(Proverbs 12:20 KJV)  Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.

Who are the biggest victims of “deceit” (4810)?  If you are on the short end of a con game you feel like you are the one who suffers.  That is true on today’s radar but if you learn from the experience you come out ahead.  The con artist goes on feeling like he has achieved a victory.

Deceivers think they are winners but what is down the road?  There is a good chance that prison or murder is in their future.  There will be a lot of fear and loneliness.  There lives are like I imagine it must be to have a drug habit with little money.  You have a brief high and then comes the desperate search for the next fix.  Deceit is like that.

So?  A number of things come to mind.  Get the last laugh.  Learn from your mistakes.  Feel sorry for the trickster wallowing in his desperation.  Pray for his foolishness.  Don’t feel like you will be happier if you join him. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

On the Record

(Proverbs 11:31 KJV)  Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

A recording “artist” comes to mind.  If I remember correctly he had a series of hits and became very successful.  Then at 26 years of age he committed suicide.  I don’t remember his name.  Neither will the world.  He got everything he wanted but it was not enough to keep him alive.  What destroyed him?  Was it the business executives that gave him millions?  Was it a type of music that I would consider ridiculous noise?  Ultimately it was his demand to get what he wanted instead of what he needed.

This picture is repeated with great regularity.

So?  Don’t be fooled by the facade presented by so many people.  Seek ye first the kingdom of God,...  You know the rest. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Victory Snooze

(Proverbs 10:5 KJV)  He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.

This is not a condemnation of sleep.  Proof-texting can cause all kinds of problems.  Usually it is done by someone with an agenda.  Sleep is a necessary part of life when it is done at the right time and in the right amounts.  Here the problem is the right time.  When it is time to work, work.  When it is not time to work, sleep.  Other places in Proverbs sleep in the wrong amounts is one of the causes of poverty.

The victorious Christian life is not always a matter of what as it is when and why. 

So?  Seek balance.  Work on timing.  Live in victory. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Fun Choices

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

From what I hear, sin is fun.  Of course I have no first hand knowledge...., right.  One of the lines I have heard before is that if it is fun or enjoyable, it is a sin.  That is obviously not the whole story and impossible to be true.  Life is full of fun, fulfilling activities that we can participate in and still be righteous.  In spite of that we tend to focus on the few things that we are not allowed to do.

When I went to watch my daughter ride in a rodeo it was fun and up to God’s standards.  It wasn’t so much fun watching her fly off the horse and hit a fence, but no harm, no foul.  When my son beat the sox off of me playing fussball, it was fun and God probably enjoyed it more than I did.  He didn’t lose.  The list is only limited by your imagination.

So?  Keep the big picture in mind.  Sin may be fun now but the payoff has some serious drawbacks. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Unregenerated Deafness

(Proverbs 8:9 KJV)  They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

If you want to end a conversation then start talking about Jesus.  I have seen it frequently.  If you even sound like you are getting serious about spiritual things or Godly behavior the glaze comes down over the eyes and attention wavers.  Share the same words at a prayer group and people zero in and light up.  One “understands” (995) and the other doesn’t.  Why the difference?

It has to do with the Holy Spirit.  If the Holy Spirit is not involved then it does not register.  One indication of this is given to us by Jesus,
(John 14:26 KJV)  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
My opinion is that the Holy Spirit is working on everyone.  Some respond to that leading and are brought to a point of repentance and new birth.  At that moment the Holy Spirit is free to lead to a deeper understanding.  Until you reach that point it remains cloudy.  I remember the difference in my understanding of love changing in the moment my first child was born.  You could tell me and have me write out definitions but when I saw that boy, I understood.

So?  Witness.  Share.  Live.  But don’t understand that everyone, or many, will understand and respond.  It doesn’t work that way.  Remember how many listened to Jesus and walked away.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Ultimate Discipline

(Proverbs 7:22 KJV)  He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

The NASB has the phrase “discipline (4148) of a fool (191)”.  I have never noticed it much before but today it sounds disturbing.  If you continue reading you find that his foolishness is not only going to get him into a compromising situation but will send him to hell.  It is the ultimate discipline.  The purpose of discipline is correction.  It is possible for fools to learn and grow.  What is disturbing is that this does not seem to be a high possibility.   It assumes that once you get far down the road to self indulgence and disobedience, the results are fatal.

So?  I guess it seems a no brainer but the word whispered in my ear is, “Do a self check and do what is necessary to get back on track.”  The results will be different for each of us and different each day.  I would hope the results can be the same.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Heart Evil

(Proverbs 6:14 KJV)  Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.

If you are reading this verse in isolation it is important to recognize that Solomon is not asking a question, he is making a statement.  It is already established that there are evil people in the world.  This is hard for many to grab hold of.  We see things happening such as children being molested and brutal murders.  Uninvolved bystanders are injured in drive-by shootings.  Politicians are caught with their hand in the til.  We see it and think it is the exception.  It really isn’t.  We see it and wonder how people could do such things.

Grab hold of this truth.  There are large numbers of people who are only happy when they are wreaking havoc or disrupting lives.  Don’t expect to understand it.  Accept.  If it is hard for you then ask yourself how Satan, who has been in the presence of God and has a knowledge of how things work better than you or I could ever hope for, can pretend he can win against God.  I don’t think he plans on winning, just taking as many of us with him as he can.

So?  Make sure you don’t join him.  Be willing to punish his minions.  Recognize the reality. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Stumbling at Both Ends

(Proverbs 5:6 KJV)  Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

Is it necessary to remain “movable" (unstable NASB) (5128)?  Are we locked into a pattern of perpetual falling and stumbling?  I hope not.  The Hebrew has a variety of applications from waver to quiver.  As I am past my allotted time of three score and ten I am aware that my physical abilities are deteriorating.  As I watch my granddaughter I can see that she has a lot of coordination to gain.  Life is like that.  We go through stages. 

Usually we can improve our condition but it requires an awareness that we need improvement and a belief that it can happen.  Babies learn.  I watch the look of surprise on her face as the infant gets a teething ring in her mouth and between her gums.  Eventually she will catch on.  Will I ever get it into my thick head that I can’t bend over and then straighten up quickly?  The jury is still out on that one.

So?  If you are wavering or quivering understand that you can improve.  It applies in the spiritual and emotional worlds just as much as the physical.  God made the whole package.  He designed it to wind up and wear out.  Enjoy the ride. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018


(Proverbs 4:18 KJV)  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

I noticed a difference in translation between the KJV and the NASB that I thought was interesting.  The KJV uses “perfect” (3559) while the NASB uses “full”.  It caught my eye because I come from a theological persuasion that uses the terms “perfect love” and “perfection” in statements of doctrine.  Often we are criticized for using the word and usually the criticism is because others use their definition of the word rather than the Biblical one.  If you will excuse the slight of tongue, perfect does not mean perfect.

I know that sounds like the often mocked statement, “That depends on what the meaning of “is” is.”  It is not, because we see the same pattern in the Old Testament and the New Testament.  In both cases the word has the impact of things being at the goal.  They do not mean there are no rough edges or a seam out of place.  It means that the total picture presents the image intended.  Notice that it is the “day” (3117) that is perfect.  Somehow I can’t help believe that somewhere in that day there is an unhappy worm or a bit of dust on a counter.

So?  God is real and He deals with real people in real lives.  It is a perfect arrangement. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Asleep At the Wheel

(Proverbs 3:26 KJV)  For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

This is a really hard lesson to learn.  As Americans we used to be taught to stand on our own two feet.  Recently I visited the John Wayne birthplace and was reminded of how much of the traditional American mystic was molded by men like him.  Modern generations have been taught to be victims and to turn to the government for our safety.  As Christians we need to be continually reminded that the president and politics are just junior programs not the final source.  That is God’s place.

It is even harder to apply regularly.  We can read a verse like this and get juiced up and then when we walk out the door we forget it all.  Maybe we don’t even get out the door.  Maybe the TV news or a conflict within the family is enough to distract us and make us fall into our old patterns.

So?  We lose focus if we don’t seek to be reminded on a regular basis.  It is like a steering wheel in the car.  Life requires constant small adjustments.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Bullion Wisdom

(Proverbs 2:4 KJV)  If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

I don’t know if you pay any attention to the price of gold and “silver” (3701) but an ounce of gold costs a lot more than an ounce of silver.  For example, at this moment gold is $1,200 an ounce and silver is $14.10.  Silver is much more in the reach of the average citizen than gold.  That is just economics.  This verse reminds me that wisdom is within the reach of the average believer.  Yes the Bible also refers to jewels and gold but it does not ignore the more reachable assets.

So?  Don’t think that the truth of the Bible is just for people with a lot of fancy education.  Often that stands in the way.  Keep in mind that $2,000 worth of silver has the same value as $2,000 of gold. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

For Crying out Loud

(Proverbs 1:20 KJV)  Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:

When was the last time you took a public, moral stand?  I would bet it has been a long time.  If you are like me you might behave personally in a moral way but you don’t make a big deal when others stray from the path.  I know that in some cases I have learned that the people who are telling lies or dealing dishonestly don’t want to hear it.  Often they have already convinced themselves that what they said was true because of special circumstances or they actually believe their memory is correct.  In those cases I think we have some excuse.

But there are certain actions that God has clearly condemned.  Sexual sin is one clear example whether it be homosexuality or fornication.  Cheating in business is also a clearly defined sin.  Our problem is that we have been effectively silenced because the culture threatens us. 

So?  Wisdom is meant to be shared.  Sometimes it may be quiet but it must be.  Pray for strength.