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, December 9, 2018

The Dead Are Recruiting

(Proverbs 9:18 KJV)  But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

Have you ever had someone say, “God would not expect that of me”?  Or perhaps you have had someone ask, “How could a loving God do that?”  Both are based on a view of God that has been molded by our culture instead of the Bible.  Our idea of love is Hollywood lite.  The older generation’s understanding of the holiness of God is based on Father Knows Best and Leave It to Beaver.  I am not sure where the youth of today get their understanding, maybe Spongebob Squarepants.

God is holy.  He is in this for keeps and for eternity.  Since He is holy He has an understanding of evil that we cannot grasp.  That means there are consequences for our decisions.  “Hell” (7585) (KJV) or “Sheol” (7585) (NASB) is very real.

So?  God is very patient.  Think of Him as a modern steel radial tire.  There is a lot of redundancy built in and a genuine tolerance but eventually it blows or just goes flat.  The warning is clear.  Don’t ignore it. 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

No Shortcuts

(Proverbs 8:11 KJV)  For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

We used to sing a chorus that was taken from this passage of scripture.
Lord, You are more precious than silver.
Lord, You are more costly than gold.
Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds
And nothing I desire compares with you.

by Lynn DeShazo, ©1982, Integrity’s Hosanna!
As so often happens in the arts, license is taken.  The Bible is talking about Wisdom.  The song writer is talking about the Lord.  I would imagine that the slight change is still an uplifting thought.

God says that His wisdom is to be pursued above all other goals.  This assumes that you have taken the basic steps to salvation and are already a part of the family of God.  Other places it tells us that if you have not done that, wisdom is out of your reach.

So?  Step by step we can move toward the eternity God has for us.  There is no shortcut.  We are so intent on the quickest and the best deal that we forget that.  Build according to the plan.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Slow Down or Saunter

(Proverbs 7:23 KJV)  Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

One of the constant scenic wonders of Texas is road kill.  It always amazes me how many deer, racoons, armadillos and even boars get pasted by cars.  Just a few days ago as I was returning from the airport early in the morning my high beams picked out a large animal walking across the highway.  I was in no danger.  He was in no danger.  The difference is that I saw the possibility and did something about it.  I slowed down.  He sauntered.  I did what I could to avoid tragedy.  He ignored it. 

Birds hurrying to a snare, deer playing chicken and people flirting with adultery have a lot in common.  They ignore the probably outcome.

So?  I have been warned and so have you.  The outcome can be life or death. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Breaks

(Proverbs 6:15 KJV)  Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.

Ice is slippery.  I know that.  I knew that.  I went down so fast that I did not have time to remind myself.  I learned something else, or at least had it reinforced:  The ground is hard.  I had a few minor issues and a few days of soreness.  I have completely recovered.  The same would not be true if my moment had ended just a little differently.  What if my temple came in contact with the bumper of the car?  What if I had slid under a moving vehicle? 

Sometimes there will be no opportunity for second chances.  That is what this verse is talking about.  God is gracious.  God is patient.  God give many chances.  Eventually God will offer no “remedy” (healing NASB) (4832).

So?  As I often share with people when danger approaches, “I am ready to go.”  I still watch my step but I am ready. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Little Advice

(Proverbs 5:7 KJV)  Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.

Are you good at taking advice?  I don’t think I am.  Sure, I listen and I may even try to apply it but what I find is that I have a hard time doing things like other people do.  This applies in many ways.  Take teaching.  I first noticed this in Sunday School but it became even more clear as I took a job in pubic schools.  My first full time teaching job worked out great for me.  They were desperate.  The original teacher of the class quit after two weeks.  Six weeks after that they still had no prospects.  They grabbed me before I could change my mind.  They handed me a thick, district guide for the class.  I remember it had a yellow cover and it was one of a set for all subjects the district had put together.  They gave me a text book and a class full of wild children and walked away.

It worked well for me.  All I really needed was a general guideline for what they wanted to cover and a copy of the book the kids would be using and I could take it from there.  Years later they were trying to micro manage what went on each day in each period.  I would have died in that atmosphere because I don’t do things the way others do them.  I did not want them telling me what to do.  At the same time I did listen to the advice of teachers around me who were in the trenches.

So?  God holds us accountable.  He gives us the tools we need to live righteous lives.  He gives us the Holy Spirit.  He also puts people around us that can give us pointers.  Ignoring them may not make it impossible to live right but listening can be a read advantage. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Getting What You Want

(Proverbs 4:19 KJV)  The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Many people who practice evil do so deliberately.  Many do so without thinking.  Many don’t have a clue.  All are doing what they want to do.  The difference is in understanding what is really going on.  If you are old enough to remember the TV program “The Twilight Zone” you may remember the one in which the criminal was shot and thought he had ended up in heaven by mistake.  He was delighted that every wish he had was granted.  After a while he got tired of winning every time he played the roulette wheel.  He begged his escort to send him to the other place because he did not deserve to be in heaven.  The “angel” burst into laughter and said, “This is the ‘other place’.”  The criminal got what he wanted and it wasn’t what he wanted.

So?  Part of living the righteous life involves trusting God to know what is best for us and obeying even when we don’t understand.  We often don’t “know” (3045) what the reasons or long term results will be but we can understand that God does.

Monday, December 3, 2018

A Passive Pocket of the Positive

(Proverbs 3:27 KJV)  Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

In this verse we switch from concern about the actions of others to a reminder of the kind of actions we should be taking.  In a sense it is from the passive to the active, from the receiving to the giving.  This is a reminder that I need.  I regularly reach out to the reassurances that God has given.  I trust.  I work on fretting not.  That is all good.

I need to also get active in being an active positive force, not just a passive pocket of the positive.  God called us to be salt, not baking soda or vinegar.  Both have a quality that they can absorb bad odors.  You may have heard about putting an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator to neutralize offensive smells.  You can do the same thing with an open pan of vinegar.  Salt, on the other hand, when left on the shelf does little besides absorb moisture and get hard.

So?  This is difficult for me because I am an introvert.  I prefer alone time to mediate and think.  That is well and good but God wants me to be contributing to the world around me.  I believe there was a book with a title something like Out of the Salt Shaker and into the World

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Time for a Little Fear

(Proverbs 2:5 KJV)  Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

“Fear” (3374) of God is natural.  Human beings are not equipped to feel comfortable around the divine or the eternal.  Think of the general reaction to angels appearing:  fear.  Remember Isaiah’s response to being in the presence of God.
(Isaiah 6:5 KJV)  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
I imagine that even a rebellious unbeliever would quail in the presence of God.  Swagger would dissolve into knees of jelly.  There would be an unavoidable awareness of the gulf between a holy Creator and a sinful creature.

That is not true for believers because through the blood of Christ we have been enabled to approach the throne with boldness.  At times we get a little too cocky and familiar.  It is important that we have the fear brought back to its healthy balance.

So?  Fear enough to be in reverence.  Fear enough to be in awe.  It will open the gate to His presence.  Most of us will be like the shepherds in the field more than the wise men coming from afar. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Be a Compass

(Proverbs 1:21 KJV)  She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,

We really need to learn to speak out more.  It is getting more risky.  We have all this “hate crime” legislation.  What a silly title, as if there is anything such as a “love crime” or “disinterested crime.”  Most of the people pushing this vocabulary are also striving to deny the voice of the God of the universe.  The real foundation of the hate crime industry is those trying to push homosexual rights.  Somehow we need to learn to speak up.

We need to speak with care.  That is not just because we will be targeted but because we often speak from our own ignorance and thus speak wrong.  We often do not share wisdom but tradition.  We do not always share truth.  Instead we share our opinion.  We need to spend serious time studying, praying and listening before we speak.

So?  In spite of that, speak we must.  If we pay attention, God will give us the opportunity.  We can see the culture heading in the wrong direction.  We need to be part of the compass that sets them straight.