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.

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

Perfect

(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.