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, September 16, 2019

A Hard Lesson

(Pro 16:16 KJV) How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

I am not so sure that we believe this.  We say we do.  We might even say a hearty “Amen!”, but when the choice is before us we hesitate.  Really, Lord?  Did you mean this?  After all I can use the money now but we all know that no one will listen to wisdom when we dispense it.

God does not give up.  He keeps trying to speak to us.  He works on us constantly to pound this in. 

So?  I wish I had an easy way to learn the lesson myself.  If I did, I would bottle it and sell it on line and make a fortune.  Of course that might not be wise. 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Endings

(Pro 15:11 KJV) Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

How can a loving God send people to Hell?  It is a good question and has answers but before you can be concerned about such answers you need to wrap your acceptance around something:  Hell exists.  There are graphic pictures throughout scripture.  It isn’t important to me if you want to call the lake of fire a literary devise or a literal description.  What is vital is that you wrap your mind around the teaching that after death most people will end up in Hell. 

If you can’t accept that jump from Proverbs then listen to the words of Jesus,
(Mat 7:13-14 KJV) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
So?  You don’t need to dwell on it all the time but be aware that the people around you do not live stories that have happy endings.  Be sensitive to chances to share the hope that is in you. 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Errors

(Pro 14:33 KJV) Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.

Always check your sources.  My NASB from 1977 uses “bosom” for the “midst” of the KJV.  Both are from the Hebrew word with the Strong’s number (7130).  When I checked my software which ties the numbering in the NASB Updated the word is changed to “hearts” and gives a number of (7310).  The word is okay.  The reference is the kind of thing that the hand copied manuscripts were supposed to be susceptible to.  Someone switched the numbers in the middle.

Is this an error in the Bible?  No.  It is a technical problem.  Could it be serious?  Only if you refuse to do your homework, keep your mind in gear and trust that there are answers. 

So?  Be responsible for your own spiritual growth and always be willing to check things out. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

Pretend Money

(Pro 13:7 KJV) There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

This verse is not about money.  It is about attitude.  The second reference “poor” (7326) is the clue.  It generally means poor in the sense that we think of it but in this form of the Hebrew, called the Hithpolel, evidently means to “impoverish himself”.  It is a deliberate act.  That is why the translations include “pretends” in the NASB And “maketh himself” in the KJV. 

I would take from this that if money is your god and you set your cap on it, the attitude will eventually ruin your life.  If you use your wealth to serve others without being consumed by dollar signs, you will be blessed.

So?  I am not sure how that works out in our mortgaged, car payment, college tuition world, but I think we need to do some serious thinking as Americans about what our priorities are. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

It Matters

(Pro 12:2 KJV) A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.

Are these rewards temporal or spiritual?  To me it is obviously both.  Others might disagree.  Some would write books to say that this verse does not mean what it says. 

These rewards are temporal.  There are plenty of places where God makes promises that are conditioned on our choices and faithfulness.  Those promises may not always have dollars signs but they do have worth in the here and now. 

These rewards are spiritual.  They will lift us up and empower us in this life.  They will also follow us into eternity.

So?  It makes a difference the kind of person we are.  Let it be so today. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Enough

(Pro 11:14 KJV) Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

How many is an “abundance” (7230)?  Sometimes all we need it one and that is the danger being expressed here.  Often we define wisdom as agreeing with us.  If we have one person that we can trust to tell us we are right then we stop there.  Counseling done.  It might be a second source is sought.  Children do this when mom says no.  They go to dad.  If that doesn’t work there is always grandma.  I don’t think that is what this is talking about.

The KJV likes “multitude” for a translation.  The idea is that we seek a broad scope of input.  And consider your sources.  If you are listening to the radio and a godless pagan gets onto something you are concerned about, his opinion might not be as well balanced as you might like.

So?  Start with the word.  Some things are simple.  Go to the body of Christ.  Above all listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say to you. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

No Peasants Allowed

(Pro 10:15 KJV) The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

There are at least four different Hebrew words that are translated “poverty” (7389) in the KJV.  In trying to figure out the differences I began to wonder if this one has to do with the class systems of the world.  Most cultures have them whether they admit it or not.  It can be based on the ethnic group you belong to.  It can be traced to religion.  In the case of Israel it was what we might call the peasants.  If you were born into it, you were it.  There was almost no chance of changing. 

A peasant class tends to stay “poor” (1800b) because of their attitudes as much as their lack of money.  We are seeing that in our culture.  We don’t actually have classes that are acknowledged.  We have a small group of people that think they have the right to run the lives of others but the others tend to reject that.  We do have what is becoming called an “underclass” that is getting locked into a poverty mindset. 

So?  As Christians we cannot embrace the concept of class.  We are all children of God and the ground is level beneath the cross.  That involves regarding others.  For ourselves we need to make sure that we don’t fall into the peasant mind set and give up on hard work and a healthy frugality. 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Avoid Dog Food

(Pro 9:9 KJV) Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

I just noticed when copying this verse from the KJV that “instruction” is in italics.  That is true in the NASB also.  This is used to indicate that the word is not in the original language but is added for clarification.  The same is true of the word “man”.  So what happens when you leave them out?  It becomes,

    “Give to wise and teach righteous”.

We have a clear declaration to “give” (5414) and “teach” (3045).  We know that.  What we tend to overlook is the target of our giving and our teaching.  In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus gave this instruction,
(Mat 7:6 KJV) Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
The way that Jesus used reference to dogs usually meant gentiles.  We would say non-believers.  There is again a clear admonition about priorities.

So?  Our first priority is to give to needy brethren and to teach those young in the faith.  If we can do more, well and good but we are to go to the Body of Christ first. 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Twist of...

(Pro 8:20 KJV) I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

Our culture is perverted.  Perversion does not exit in a vacuum.  Often, if not always, it takes something that is good and perverts it.  That is why we call it perversion to take the love of a parent for a child and turn it into incest or molestation.  The Biblical words for perversion seem to have the idea of twisting.  Our culture has done that to the concepts of “righteousness” (6666) and “judgment” (justice NASB) (4941). 

The twist goes back to having no wisdom, which is what this verse is about.  The lack of wisdom goes back to the statement that it starts with a fear of the Lord.  The gurus of our culture hate God simply because His righteousness and His righteous demands knock us off the throne of our lives and keeps us from twisting what is good.  The human condition wants to twist.  It is the way we are made.  It is why training children is so hard.  They are little gods and want to keep ruling.

So?  On one side you have the righteousness that God expects.  On the other side you have the twisted version of truth that our culture embraces.  In the middle is where each human being stands.  The big question is which way are we going to go.  Only you can make that decisions for you and remember to not decide is to decide. 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Ad Antidote

(Pro 7:5 KJV) That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

How many of us don’t want anything to “keep” (8104) us from the “adulteress” or literally, “strange” (2114a) “woman” (802)?  I imagine most people would say they believe adultery is wrong and yet the common wisdom is that sex sells.  How often do I find myself taking a second look at a picture with a provocative woman in a prominent place?  It happens more often than I want to admit.  Satan knows our weaknesses and works them ruthlessly.  How do we emerge victorious?  By knowing the teachings of wisdom and following them. 

So?  One thing that sex will not sell is holiness and a saving status before Jesus.  We have many decisions to make and it starts with reading the directions. 

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Question of Cain

(Pro 6:24 KJV) To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

We need something to “keep” (8104) us from “evil” (7451b) in general, let alone away from evil “women” (802).  This might bring to mind the question of Cain,
(Gen 4:9 KJV) And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper (8104)?
For Christians the answer is, “Yes.”  We are to be prepared to help, exhort and support those around us.  That goes double for the family of God.  That is not the provision being given here.

If you look back at the context you will find that what protects is an internalizing of the law.  It is knowing the standards revealed in the commandments that is to be our primary defense.  God has given us access, at least in modern times, to the written word and all that it contains.  Yesterday I was in a doctor’s office and on every table in the waiting room there was a Gideon Bible available.  I would guess that God would say that everyone who sat down to wait in that room had a chance.

So?  I have a million excuses for every failure in my life.  God is not interested.  He has given me all that I need to avoid futility, frustration and condemnation.  Now to make use of what I have. 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Share Not

(Pro 5:16 KJV) Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.

The word picture being drawn here is of a cistern and the use of stored water.  The advice is to not throw away a valuable resources.  The literal application behind the figurative speech is to keep your affection and sexual contact within the bonds of marriage and not throw them out into the general public.  That seems pretty simple.

A cistern would obviously be limited in the water it will hold but I never stopped to think that even a well will run out of water if too many people are using it.  Stewardship applies to our sexual facet as well as our financial.  God blesses us and we are expected to use them in righteousness.

So?  Don’t waste your affection on those outside of your personal covenant.  Remember that water running down the street is dirty and gets dirtier as it runs. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Activate Your Attention Span

(Pro 4:1 KJV) Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

It is very important that we embrace what it means to “hear” (8085).  The definition given in Brown-Driver-Briggs is “to hear, to listen, to obey”.  It is that last part that we like to ignore.  My wife is concerned about my hearing.  Putting aside her tendency to not finish sentences and change subjects with no warning, the question is often asked, “Didn’t you hear me say...?”  Since I confess I was able to hear other things that she said it comes down to not paying attention.

I won’t go into all the reasons why I might not have been paying attention to my wife.  You will have your own.  There are times when it is perfectly appropriate to drift in our attention.  I think of churches I have visited and after a few minutes of the sermon I begin to realize there is nothing there.  I think of people who don’t know what they are talking about trying to tell me how to do something.  I need to make sure it doesn’t happen when God or His written word are trying to talk to me.

So?  I find it helps me to do an attitude check.  I kick myself in the morning before I start to read Proverbs.  I remind myself I am supposed to be paying attention, not just going through a habit.  Sometimes it helps but it never helps if I don’t to it. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Messing up the Square

(Pro 3:1 KJV) My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

We “forget” (7911) the things we do not practice.  Years ago our family got involved in square dancing.  It seemed a strange thing to do but we all went weekly for lessons and kept at it until we graduated.  This was a real miracle because my family is not known for their sense of rhythm.  It goes to show that if you pay attention you can have victory even in your areas of weakness.

Then a strange malady struck.  My wife started coming up with excuses to not go to the weekly meetings of the club.  What had been a lot of fun as a family activity became a partial family activity.  It soon became clear that she was losing the feel for square dancing.  Many of the moves are conditioned in so that you respond automatically.  It goes fast enough that if you have to stop and think then you mess up.  Messing up is expected for new learners.  The experienced dancers took it in stride but when someone does not keep up their skills it soon becomes apparent and all they do is mess it up for the other seven people in the square.

So?  One reason for us to keep up our spiritual skills is so that we don’t mess it up for others.  God is patient and forgiving but the people around you may not be strong enough to stumble because you did. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Something Wicked Never Left

(Pro 2:14 KJV) Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;

If you have been paying attention pedophiles are being mentioned more often lately.  Currently I have been seeing that historic figures such as John Maynard Keynes seemed to be linked to sexual activity with young boys and of course we have the Island hops of Epstein.  We will also probably see that this type of activity will get less and less criticism and more calls for tolerance.  What the KJV calls “frowardness” (8419) is well on its way to social acceptance.

What Christians need to understand is that sexual perversion is real and it is a part of the sinful nature.  Being accepted by your local public school and society at large does not make it right.  It is just an indication of where people are coming from and where they will go if not countered by the grace of God.

So?  Evil exists.  It has been toned down by Christian culture but Christian culture is not the same as a society filled with Christians.  Until we see revival it will get worse. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

We, not They

(Pro 1:30 KJV) They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

This says “they”.  We should first consider if it is really saying “we” or “I”.  We get into a certain mindset.  I recently bought a cheap air compressor.  As I was trying to figure it out I noticed that there were several pages of small print saying things like, “Don’t stick the hose up your nose” and other warnings.  Generally I am one of those guys who likes to look at the directions on how something is supposed to be used but I tend to ignore the obvious stuff at the beginning.

Many times we don’t consciously think about certain points God has made.  Is it because we don’t know them?  In a few cases that is true but do we really need to read “Thou shall not murder” every day?  The bigger question is, “Do we ‘accept’ (14) the terms of the contract”.  That is generally a matter of the heart and our deep priorities than it is information.

So?  Each of us has to make our own decision.  We need to make it every day.  In a sense we are faced with it whenever there is a fork in our road.  We are walking on the Highway of Holiness not staying in the Hotel of Sanctity. 

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Wiggle Room

(Pro 31:6 KJV) Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

Is “strong drink” (7941) different from “wine” (3196)?  They did not have the trick of distilling hard liquor at that time in history so we are not talking about things like whiskey.  Almost every time that “strong drink” is mentioned it is linked with the use of wine so I would imagine that there is a bit of poetic license involved.  Not being a drinker I am speaking from speculation but I think it was customary for people to mix their wine with water.  How much water depended on the occasion.  If you were having a time of serious discussion there would be a lot of water and little wine.  If you were out to get drunk as a skunk you would leave the water for washing dishes.  That would then qualify as “strong drink”.

All of that is academic because almost every time you come across this word formula it is used in a negative context.  It speaks of losing control and wanting to abandon reality.  It is to be avoided.

So?  Again I concede that a bit of alcohol does not send you to hell but I also hold that it is better to avoid it all together. 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Just Enough

(Pro 30:7 KJV) Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:

Does your prayer life resemble a grocery list?  I feel uncomfortable with some of the prayer requests I hear.  So often we look at God as some kind of awesome vending machine and as long as we enter the right amount of celestial change, we get the reward we wanted.  Because I have this hang-up I tend to not ask for much specifically.  I would also note that I am so blessed that there isn’t much I need to ask for.  This verse I can get on board with.

I think this is a prayer that God answers and one that we don’t like to offer.  We might have a different idea than God about what is just enough.  There are times when we might be short changed.  There are definitely times when we get more than we deserve. 

So?  It is going to be interesting to reach eternity.  I have this idea that we will at last be able to ask questions and get specific answers.  Or maybe with the resurrection mind we will see the answers that were there all the time. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Embrace Your Inner Meany

(Pro 29:17 KJV) Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

The verse I looked at yesterday dealt with how children treat their parents.  This verse deals with how parents are to treat their children.  This one lays the foundation for the other.  The action that is demanded of parents and they avoid like the plague is correction (3256).  We don’t want to be the bad cop.  The genuine source of that is the desire to avoid conflict and not wanting to spend the time.  It is reinforced by social pressures that tell us normal discipline is child abuse. 

Our standards are to be those of the Bible, not the American Psychological Association, or whatever they call that organization.  It will never be popular with the garden variety psychologist nor with children born with a carnal nature.  It is still a basic requirement.

So?  Keep in mind that the child that claims you are a meany today will thank you tomorrow.  Okay, maybe not tomorrow.  It may take a few years, but it will come.  If you don’t trust me then do it because God says so. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Family Bonds

(Pro 28:24 KJV) Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.

We all know families where the children and parents don’t get along.  For some it is a part of a cycle of short term disagreements that seems to be a pattern for their life.  You could say they kiss and make up.  For others it becomes a life long estrangement.  When I was younger I could not understand how this could happen.  How could you not get along with your parents?  None of my brothers went through any big rebellion period.  I don’t know of any in my circle of friends that did so, yet it was considered the “norm” for our culture.

Keep in mind that the norm for our culture is based on a rejection of the standards of God.  Children are to obey their parents, yes, but we often overlook the verse that says,
(Col 3:21 KJV) Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
As in so many areas of life the Biblical life is balanced.  As I get older and see beyond the masks and smokescreens of life I can see why children turn away from their parents and the faith.

So?  We often laugh about being nice to our grandchildren because they are the ones who will pick our nursing home.  I am not worried.  To be honest, I think the first choice will be a room off the back of their house.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Where Do They Get These Translators

(Pro 27:7 KJV) The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

Translators continue to puzzle me.  Compare this verse in the NASB and KJV.
(Pro 27:7 NAS77) A sated man loathes honey, But to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet.
Neither one reaches down to the real words.  Start with the word “sated” (7649) in the NASB.  It is “full” in the KJV, which is much more literal.  It means full or satisfied and this is the only place where it is used with its negative sense of stuffed to being senseless.  It is actually a good thing to be.

Then we have “soul” (5315) [nephesh].  The KJV wins here.  This is a much deeper concept than just the “man” of the NASB.  This is not just a reference to physical gratification. 

On “loaths” (947) both strike out.  The meaning of the word is to trample or reject.  I am sure that loath would cover that but in this context it gives it a superficial feel that will go away in a few minutes when the stomach has digested its overload.  I find it is time for a Pumice Pathetic Paraphrase.
(Pro 27:7 PPP) A satisfied soul finds it easy to walk past temptation.
So?  The best way to reject the temptations of life is to be filled with the things of God. 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Fool Judgement

(Pro 26:4 KJV) Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

One of the points we want to avoid when confronted with a verse like this is deciding who is a “fool” (3684).  It might be that you think of verses like,
(Mat 7:1 KJV) Judge not, that ye be not judged.
or other words of Jesus,
(Mat 5:22 KJV) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
As for the first verse, the context reminds us that we will be judged by the same standards as the one we are looking at.  That means that we use discernment and a knowledge of the word to declare God’s standards not ours or our culture’s.  We are still told to rebuke and correct.

The second would require more discussion but the fact that Proverbs constantly refers to fools should be part of the discussion.  I think it is safe to say that a fool is someone who rejects wisdom.  Wisdom is defined as starting with a fear of the Lord, thus for the context of this verse, we can assume that anyone who rejects the Lord is the kind of fool we would not want to follow.

So?  We cannot turn off our minds.  We are to be aware and discerning.  It may not be easy but it is required. 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Refining Faith

(Pro 25:4 KJV) Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

In reality I know little or nothing about refining metals.  I read a lot and pick up snippets but who knows if they are correct, but that having been said....

My impression is that refining silver is not a one step process or was not in the days of Solomon.  My picture is a crucible of molten silver that is held over the fire and the impurities slowly rise to the surface.  They are skimmed off and the heating continues.  The longer it takes the more pure the silver becomes.  There might be modern techniques that speed the process but Proverbs is drawing a picture in BC technology.

Becoming what God wants us to be is often a painfully slow process.  I have heard of people who were delivered from addictions in a moment.  I have heard of others who had to go through the withdrawal process.  Why?  I don’t know but the cleansing was necessary.

So?  If God removes something from your life in a moment, rejoice.  If it is a painful plod, rejoice.  Keep in mind that God knows best what will work in your life and how to get you there.  It is part of living by faith. 

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Naps Numb

(Pro 24:33 KJV) Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

Is there any difference between “sleep” (8142) and “slumber” (8572)?  My first response is, “No.”  What was interesting was that out of the ten times the words are used in Proverbs, only one was in a positive way.  Should I be relieved that the word “nap” was not used?

Is sleep necessary?  Obviously.  Can it be abused and used as a way of avoiding situations that need to be faced?  Obviously.  This reminds us that there are many things in life that are generally good but can be misused, or overused, to produce evil.  I think of the mixed messages about honey in Proverbs.  Consider that sacrifice can be turned from atonement to abomination. 

So?  Someone said to me recently that it is easier to deal with things like alcohol addiction than it is with gluttony.  The reason is you can totally abstain from alcohol but you cannot go without food.  The problem is moderation.  We are challenged to live a balanced life, not to be fanatics.

Friday, August 23, 2019

The Thinking Heart

(Pro 23:7 KJV) For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Why is regeneration so important?  Regeneration is a big word that is synonymous with the phrase “born again”.  In spite of the blasphemous way in which some advertisers us the term, it comes from the mouth of Jesus. 
(Joh 3:3 KJV) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Seeing is colored by our vision.  I am mildly color blind.  Because I am aware of that I avoid certain vague greenish/brownish colors because I can’t really tell them apart.  I look forward to the resurrection because I will then be able to find out how beautiful God’s creation really is.  Until then it is impossible. 

In the same way I cannot see the beauty of salvation until the color blindness, or sin, of my heart is dealt with.

So?  Christians think different.  We see different.  We act different.  It starts in the heart that is able to think. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Salvation or Salvage

(Pro 22:15 KJV) Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

There are times when reading the Bible should make you squirm.  That is because the word of God sets up dissonance in the siren song of our culture.  Our culture says, “Don’t worry.  Be happy.”  God tells us,
(Pro 9:10 KJV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Our culture says, “Love means never having to say you are sorry.”  The Bible talks about repentance and confession. 

The differences also run into the area of raising your children.  No, children are not fountains of wisdom.  Their literal understanding may cut through all the smoke screens we like to put up but in their hearts they are fools.

So?  Children are fools.  Many adults are also fools because other adults have never pointed that out to them.  We need to be molding the next generation for salvation not the salvage yard. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Crash Course

(Pro 21:16 KJV) The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

The “way” (1870) is a common translation of the roadmap of the spiritual life.  It’s literal meaning is road.  It can be figuratively used as “manner”.  It is a reminder that salvation is a journey, experienced by a living soul, that requires buy-in.  Too many people think salvation is like some of the kiddie rides where a child is put in something that looks like a cartoon vehicle with a phoney steering wheel.  A rail on the ground guides the child and keeps them from harm’s way.  You can watch them frantically turning the wheel as if it would really change anything.  I quit riding them when I went the entire ride without touching it and arrived just as safe as everyone else. 

That is not the “way (1870) of understanding (7919a).  That is a perversion.  God is not satisfied with automatons.  He wants saints who take up their cross daily and follow him.

So?  If you want a ride that resembles the Christian life then you need to watch the bumper cars.  Happy crashing. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Focal Point

(Pro 20:22 KJV) Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.

I think the focus of this verse is the same that Jesus had with His famous statement about turning the other cheek.  It is personal.  We like to take the mention of evil and say, “What about Hitler?”  or “What about the millions killed with abortion?”  The real question is, “What about my wife?” or “What about the guy in the car in front of me?”  The real concern is our day to day attempts to justify our behavior.

Have you noticed that you are just having a bad day but the other guy is a menace to society?  The answer to this is the same as it is to many questions.  Take for instance when Peter tried to begin the comparison game,
(Joh 21:21 KJV) Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
Jesus told him the same thing He is telling us.
(Joh 21:22 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
So?  The key question in the Bible is not pre-trib or post-trib.  The real question is, “What is that to thee?”  The answer is follow.  Today.   Now. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Up for the Count

(Pro 19:20 KJV) Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.

Wisdom cannot change the past.  We have all done stupid and childish things.  We have made bad choices.  We have sinned.  We can’t get over it.  We are doomed to lie in the bed we made.  Then comes Jesus.  Many consequences cannot be undone.  Joni Eareckson Tada will not regain use of her entire body in this life.  Veterans of Iraq will not grow back legs.  Aborted children cannot be reclaimed.  That is the hard truth.  The glorious truth is that with grace, forgiveness and hope we can look to change the future.

Part of that change begins now.  Part will move into overdrive after the resurrection.  The great part is that we can start today.

So?  Absorb the lessons and benefit from them.  Be prepared for the New Jerusalem that is set in a new earth.  Count on it. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Will to Hear

(Pro 18:13 KJV) He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

Hearing is an act of the will.  Our ears work all the time.  I can’t turn mine off.  In spite of that handicap my mind can do a good job of putting up barriers.  We hear when we want to.  I don’t know if you have ever worn hearing protection.  You see them at shooting ranges, on airplanes and I have even seen them being worn by musicians.  People who work around loud machines wear them.  One of the interesting things about them is you can still hear.  It is possible to be wearing a device designed to protect your hearing but be able to hear the person speaking next to you.  It happens because you are paying attention.

So?  This is something we can all work on.  We need to recognize there are times when it is important that we listen.  It is not easy.  It can wear us down.  It is still important. 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

I Don’t Know

(Pro 17:27 KJV) He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

I think it is fairly common for us to talk too much.  People ask us a question and we feel we need to answer with more than a raised eyebrow or, “I don’t know.”  In some situations I am comfortable with that but usually I feel the person asking knows even less than I do.  In those cases I try to start with an “I don’t know, but....”  Having confessed my ignorance I then try to use what I do know to come to a logical conclusion. 

It works for me but it often does not work for the other person.  They never seem to hear the “I don’t know”.  It would probably be better to stop right after the “know” and before the “but”.

So?  Keep in mind that the person asking possibly did not want to know and won’t listen to what you have to say anyway.  In our ego we believe that people value our opinion.  Don’t count on it.  Restrain yourself. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Off the Radar

(Pro 16:15 KJV) In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.

As I general rule I think it is wise to stay off the radar of anyone who has a “king” (4428) complex.  You can avoid a lot of trouble by staying away from people who enjoy giving it.  The principle extends to anyone in a position of leadership.  This verse is positive but if you include the previous verse, take note and beware.  It can be a king, hard to find in America, or a police officer.  It can be your supervisor or the president of the HOA.  Even for the good ones you never know what there mood is.

So?  Follow that great verse in Micah 6:8,
(Mic 6:8 KJV) He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
That refers to the Almighty not the local demagog. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Corrected Walking

(Pro 15:10 KJV) Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.

With a nod to the fact that this is an Old Testament statement it still seems to be a reminder that people who are walking on “the way” (734) have the ability to “forsake” (5800a) it.  The concept is used all through Proverbs and the Old Testament.  You also find it in the New Testament in spite of those who deny it. 

We stand before God in a walk.  We are not statues touched by Midas.  We are living beings redeemed by our trust in the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.  It is a journey and anyone on a journey can decide to go a different route or to a different destination.  Even people riding airplanes can leave the airport different ways or get on another flight.  God does not reject us.  We reject Him.  We do it by our disobedience and refusal to listen.

So?  It does not have to happen.  People do not “lose” their salvation.  They throw it away.  Keep active and He will strengthen your grip. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Deny Denial

(Pro 14:32 KJV) The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.

Every once in awhile I come across someone who claims that the Jews did not believe in “heaven”.  By that I assume we mean an eternity with the blessings of God.  I am not sure how they work that out with verses like this. 

The afterlife exists.  It is obvious to anyone who does not start out with a need to deny it and there are people like that.  They even occupy positions as pastors and teachers of theology.  If you find yourself listening to someone like this in church or class, it is time to leave because they have nothing to say that will not be tainted by their own personal superiority to the word of God.

The afterlife for the “righteous” (6662) is a good place.  Here the word used is “hope" (refuge NASB) (2620).  I don’t think that would overlap with ideas of a holding tank eternity.  Some people claim that there is a kind of Limbo that souls go to.  This would seem to be better than that. 

So?  Certain details of the Christian faith are basic.  Embrace them and accept no substitutes.  It contributes to our strength in these strange days.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Attitude of Leisure

(Pro 13:6 KJV) Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.

I like the contrast in the effects of our behavior.  If we are walking in the light then we are guarded and protected.  If we insist on living in sin then we are weakened and twisted.  This would almost seem to be automatic.  Our behavior does effect our being.

One reality behind this is the nature of the law.  Most people who want to make life an eternal party think that the law of God is there to keep them from having fun.  In reality the standards that God has set for us are a well thought out plan to live the best life possible.  We tend to look at immediate gratification.  God looks at eternal satisfaction.  To use an example of me as I write, I am sitting in my Lazy Boy recliner.  It is my favorite spot but I find that if I sit in it too long it is hard to move when I get up.  I get used to the attitude of leisure when I need to exercise the mobility I am blessed with. 

So?  I need to constantly remind myself to get out of my spiritual recliner and get the blood flowing.  I don’t think I am alone in this. 

Monday, August 12, 2019

Growing Pains

(Pro 12:1 KJV) Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.

Adam Clarke draws a parallel with an ox who “hates” (8130).  Keep in mind that an ox can be trained to respond to voice commands.  That does not mean that it likes to be guided.  I would imagine that if an ox could really think, it would rather turn toward that green grass on the side of the road than go straight ahead.  In the same way we can learn to do what is right and still hate the limitations.

That could be a basic difference between the law and grace.  The law can be followed even by people who do not like it.  Grace transforms a heart.  Even there I think there is a limitation to those who come willingly.  And we come from where we are.
(Mar 9:24 KJV) And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
So?  I would call on God to transform my heart in such a way that I welcome those situations that help me, or force me, to grow. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

A Disciplined Mouth

(Pro 11:13 KJV) A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

Having a “faithful” (539) “spirit” (7307) (trustworthy NASB) means having a disciplined mouth.  I am not so sure that all gossip is malicious.  I think much damage is done by people simply sharing a good story without thinking.  The KJV does a good job of literal translation here.

Casual conversation is a danger.  Think of the way talk goes at gatherings of people who are not committed to each other.  When I was teaching the staff had an annual Christmas party.  In thirty years I can only think of one time I might have gone.  Such gathering have little interest to me.  I can make small talk but I don’t see the point.  I think it is such times that encourage the kind of talk mentioned here.  Of course much of it could just be that I am an introvert by nature.

So?  We are to be friendly but need to beware of the danger of loose talk.  The law of unintended consequences applies to casual comments too. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Pause

(Pro 10:14 KJV) Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.

As I read this verse I am reminded that I don’t always need to share what I know.  While I would hesitate to call myself “wise” (2450), I have a lot of good stuff churning around in my head.  I have a lot of great ideas that seem to emerge from the soup and often have an urge to share them.  Fortunately for me there is not always someone around to listen.

I have a little recorder that I use to store up my bits of wisdom.  If I am really organized I will type those thoughts into a file on my computer.  It is amazing to me how many of my great insights into the gears of the universe turn out to be nonsense on reflection.  That bit of pause will often keep me from sounding “foolish” (191) even if I deserve the title.

So?  We are what we are but that does not mean we need to broadcast it.  That applies to both the wise and the foolish. 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Breath Wasting

(Pro 9:8 KJV) Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

We tend to think of wisdom as a noun, something that is spoken.  Sometimes it is just that.  Wisdom is wisdom no matter who speaks it but there are times when wisdom is wasted.  There are times when we should not be wisdoming.  There are times when we are not to give others the benefit of eternal truth.  Those times are defined by their character, not the truth.

I guess this verse could be rephrased as “don’t waste your breath on people who will not listen.”  Here it refers to correcting people.  It might also apply in witnessing or explaining.  Part of our wisdom is recognizing people who are not interested.  I know the times I have watched people’s eyes glaze over when I move into spiritual things.  That tells me this is not the time.

So?  Timing is important.  That word to the wise might need to wait until wisdom is present.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Pay Off

(Pro 8:19 KJV) My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

This is a reminder of priorities and the relative value of achievements and goals.  It is not telling us that wealth is evil.  It is simply telling us that wisdom is of more value.  We hear a lot of talk today in politics about redistribution of wealth.  There are some who think if you took all the wealth in the country, put it in a common pot and passed it out equally among all American we would achieve some kind of equality.  You might, for a few moments, until the checks are cashed.  Then you would find out who has the wisdom to deal with the assets of life and who simply knows how to spend.  My opinion says that within a short period of time many of the people who had been wealthy before would be wealthy again and most of those who had been poor before would be out of money.

People make decisions.  Decisions have consequences.  When you chose to buy a shiny new car instead of making a down payment on a house, you have made a decision that has long term consequences.  When you go out to eat instead of preparing a meal at home the future is changed.  Enough of these decisions will change your destiny.

So?  In America we have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to making mistakes.  Wisdom still pays off, always in the long run and often in the short.  Think twice, or more. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Gender Studies

(Pro 7:4 KJV) Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

I am used to the American culture where we personify things and give them a gender.  Thus ships are “she”.  I don’t know if that is the same in all cultures.  In Proverbs Wisdom is usually referred to as being feminine.  Is that cultural or does it have some deeper meaning?  Again the answer is, “Yes.”  We have a both/and situation.

Traditionally we think of women as being more intuitive.  That means they have a deeper understanding of things.  Many situations in life are not cut and dried.  Grey is more common than black or white.  Right and wrong can be murky.  That does not mean that we can put off decisions or stop moving.  It means that we need wisdom.

So?  Keep adding to the foundation that makes it possible to make the right choices.  It will involve facts and principles.  It is molded by the package into wisdom. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Glory of the Law

(Pro 6:23 KJV) For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

One of the attitudes I have been noticing as I read the last few days is a love of the law.  A lot of different words are used but the idea is consistent.  This makes me ponder just what the law includes.  Somehow I don’t think Solomon was getting excited about the regulation to not cook veal in the milk of the mother cow.  I am not sure he was excited about all the little regulations that the rabbis had come up with.

I think he was responding to the holiness of God that is a part of so much of the law.  This high standard of morality and conduct was attractive to many people who were not willing to submit to circumcision or the kosher requirements.  In the New Testament Paul refers to a group of people that hung around the synagogues and were drawn toward the God of Israel.  They were ready made converts when grace moved them beyond legalism.

So?  Don’t discard the commandments of God because you are under grace.  Keep in mind that Jesus said He came to fulfill the law not do away with it.  Keep in mind that the core of the law is love of God and neighbors.  Have a good day of worship.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Life Spice

(Pro 5:15 KJV) Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

Have you heard it said that “variety is the spice of life”?  That may apply to your diet and your wardrobe but it does not apply to your sex life.  Sex is like chewing gum.  It is not to be shared cavalierly.  It is so special that it is to be reserved for that one special person.  I know that goes against every TV program and college course on diversity.  Chalk it down to following the standards of God rather than Google.

Have you ever had something so special that you were saving it to share with just one special person?  It might be a mountain view you have discovered.  It might be a recipe that is hard to duplicate.  It might be a poem from your heart.  Have you ever shared something like that and the other person looks at you blankly and says, “Yeah.  So?”  I think of stories of people who have had a rare and expensive bottle of wine and a family member with no understanding of fine wine serves it for dinner some night.  Sex is like that.  It is to be reserved for marriage and that special one God has for you.

So?  Keep in mind that God’s standards are a reflection on His holiness and when applied make our lives better. 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Right or Left

(Pro 4:27 KJV) Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

In politics we talk about the “right” (3225) and the “left” (8040).  The reference refers back to the days when the French legislature sat on certain sides based on their politics.  We often take the easy way out and follow the course set by the spokesman for the side we choose.  Labels can help.  A political party might give some guidance.  Ultimately our choice is not between right and left but between right and wrong.  Often there is a moral dimension that we are overlooking.

We want to ignore that some choices are just plain “evil” (7451b).  This is a very common word in the Bible and a very rare word in our culture.  What is frustrating is that when the word is used it is often used to take a stand against the law of God.  We need to work on some clarity about what is good and what is evil.  If you are pleading ignorance here then turn to Exodus 20 and read the Ten Commandments for a starter. 

So?  Evil exists.  We are supposed to be on the other side.  Knowing which side you are on is impossible if you don’t know the difference between right and wrong. 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Spelling “Epitaph”

(Pro 3:35 KJV) The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

We watch our granddaughter and then try to decide where her distinctives come from.  Does she “inherit” (5157) her obvious intelligence from her mother or father?  Both?  Anything that is less than optimal I attribute to my wife’s French ancestors.  It is hard to tell what is gained from our DNA and what from our observation.  We do tend to absorb things though.

There is not much we can do about our genes.  We can, however, do something about our environment.  I can control what I watch, read and listen to.  I can choose whom I hang with.  I can pick my words.  There are things we cannot control but there are many we direct.

So?  What legacy do you want on your tombstone?  What character do you want written on your heart?  Today’s decisions will determine that. 

Friday, August 2, 2019

Paths to Not Follow

(Pro 2:13 KJV) Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

There is a special class of danger to believers.  I would like to say new believers but I don’t think that the danger ever goes away.  It is from those who “leave” (5800a) the path of righteousness.  Often they are people that we know and care about.  They could be very close to us and when they decide to go a different way in their lives it causes us to think again and maybe doubt.  It could be that they were the ones that influenced us toward following Christ. 

This is why it is so important to keep our eyes on Jesus and read His word for guidance.  We may be inspired by someone’s example but it must be more than that.  I have confidence in the Holy Spirit.  He can keep us on the path but we need to focus on Him and not our good friend.

So?  Ultimately our salvation is a person commitment between us and the living God.  Pray for those who leave but don’t follow. 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Who Is Number One

(Pro 1:29 KJV) For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

Motivation is a powerful force.  It can bring victory or be willing to settle for defeat.  We love the stories of people who have overcome adversity in order to be successful.  On the other side we see people with everything going for them who destroy their lives.  Many people who are raised in a Christian environment will reject the love of God.  That is because they are motivated by hatred.  They hate anything that edges them off the throne of their lives.  They resent anyone who tries to tell them that they are not god. 

Think of the attractive elements of certain religions.  In Mormonism you have the attraction of becoming gods.  In Islam you are put in a position of dominance over other human beings.  In most pagan religions the gods are not smarter than you, just more powerful.  The God of the Bible is to be feared and thus He is hated.

So?  As Jesus quoted from the Old Testament,
(Deu 6:5 KJV) And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
May people cannot deal with that because it puts them in submission.  I hope you can. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Shiny

(Pro 31:5 KJV) Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.

Although this is a passage talking about drinking too much it is also a reminder to us of whom we should accept as leaders.  Drunk leaders “pervert” (8132) what they touch.  I would add that even followers destroy what they touch when under the influence.  When I went to look for the definition of “pervert” I was expecting to find a word that reflects the usual, to bend or twist.  Not so in this case.  The root meaning is “to change”.  That brought to mind another verse that I have noticed and I wondered if it was the same word in the Hebrew. 
(Pro 24:21 KJV) My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change (8132):
It was. 

This is an argument for the place of tradition in our lives.  There may be times for change.  Where would we be if America rejected the horseless carriage?  I guess there would be a lot of jobs available for sweeping up the horse manure off the street but it would have lowered the quality of life for the average person.  On the other side is the need for a flashy new car every two years.  The point is we need to avoid people who want to change just for the purpose of change.  The new is not always better than the old.

So?  Be wary of political leaders and church leaders who come up with innovative ideas.  There is a good chance they are not on the side of the angels. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

No Additives Allowed

(Pro 30:6 KJV) Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

One of the big questions that the early church struggled with was, “What is to be included in scripture?”  It was an honest question and different people had different understandings.  The results were hammered out over a couple of hundred years and we come up with the 66 books that are accepted by all Christians and the Apocrypha which is added by some.  Personally I don’t feel like anything beyond the 66 is to be included.

Then comes the question of translation and manuscripts.  That will probably never be agreed on by the entire church.  In the disagreement you have two large groups of scholars.  You have one group that is honestly trying to get to the best understanding of the original sources.  They are on the side of the angels and have the support and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  The second group are the ones who are simply trying to be the most clever kid on the block.  To them it is an intellectual exercise at best and an ego trip a little further down the road.

So?  For those of us in everyday life we need to accept what this verse is telling us.  There is a body of writing that is the Word of God.  Other things may have a use but they are not on the same level.  Try to understand and ask all the questions you want but do not add or subtract from what was given to us. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Influence

(Pro 29:16 KJV) When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.

In Proverbs context does not always have the power it has in the rest of the Bible.  That is because the book is a collection of thoughts that may have been written down a little bit at a time as they occurred to Solomon.  This is one of those places where the verse seems to stand alone, and yet....

The verse before and the verse after both have to do with the importance of discipline.  It would be possible to infer that how we raise our children will have an influence on the amount of evil we see in our culture.  We often tend to think that we live in isolation, that what we do will not matter.  This is a reminder that the world we live in can be influenced.  No, more than that, it will be influenced by each of us.

So?  It is easy to think we are so unimportant that we can slide through life.  God doesn’t seem to look at it that way.  Decisions we make influence us, our family and our world.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Ayes of the Beholders

(Pro 28:23 KJV) He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

I have always assumed that this verse was talking about the response of the person put on a short leash.  You know, the way a parent tells the little boy, “Someday you will thank me.”  What if that is not the case?  What if this is a matter of the observing congregation or family who are favorable? 

I know I have appreciated it when someone straightens out their obnoxious child.  I also enjoy it when someone calls down a public figure who needs correction.  This should encourage us to take a stand when it is needed.  Too often all we see is the reaction of the target, not the audience.

So?  It would be great if we would do the right thing all the time.  How about once today as a step in the right direction. 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Critical Listening

(Pro 27:6 KJV) Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

This speaks about the painful honesty of a true friend.  It also reminds us of the quality of friendship that is willing to listen.  I wonder what kind of friend I am.  That has to do with both the speaking and the listening roles.

So?  Next time you are criticized, listen and be open.  The criticism may be wrong but what do you have to lose by thinking about it for a moment?

Friday, July 26, 2019

A Hot Rod

(Pro 26:3 KJV) A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.

You may have heard the saying, “Spare the rod and spoil the child”.  Those into Montessori will be glad to know that this is not in the Bible.  Those who are into the Bible will know that the sentiment is, even if the exact phrase is not  The Bible endorses corporal punishment.  The “rod” (7626) is not there just for looks.  It is to be used for discipline.

At the same time it is not to be overused.  The point is the discipline.  If you can enforce it using other methods, then feel free.  It is also clear that some people only learn through pain.  I know that kicking rocks teaches me to watch where I am walking and bumping my head teaches me to duck. 

So?  Who are you going to believe, Dr. Spock or God almighty? 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Unsolicited Advice

(Pro 25:3 KJV) The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.

It amuses me when reporters and talking heads try to tell a president what he should do in a certain situation.  For one thing the sitting president managed to get elected and they didn’t.  For another he has sources of information that they don’t.  It is pointless to tell him what to do.

For us peasants it is also almost a waste of time to try to understand why certain things are done.  A president is not going to share everything they know or all the different balls they have to keep in the air at the same time. 

So?  Keep your eyes on the standards that God has given you and as far as possible measure what our leaders do based on those, not on the current cultural mantra.  Even more important keep your own feet on the path of righteousness.  Keep in mind that you will not be judged for anything a politician does. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Danger

(Pro 24:32 KJV) Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.

There are certain concepts that continue to elude me.  Don’t bother getting me into a discussion of watts, amps and volts.  I have made attempts to define and understand them.  In spite of my questions and people giving me patient answers, electricity is one of the great mysteries of the universe to me.  In my heart I am convinced that I could wrap my mind around it but for now I am satisfied by knowing that electricity can kill me and more watts makes for a brighter bulb.

Could I really understand it?  I am convinced that I have not “considered” (reflected NASB) (7896/3820) on it enough.  That means that I have refused to wrestle with the concepts and play with the wires for the required amount of time.  It also could be that I don’t really need to know with the desperation that is required to focus.

So?  I can live just knowing that electricity is dangerous.  The subject of the context here is sloth.  I cannot live a righteous or productive life without conquering laziness.  Neither can you.  I hope we all learn to apply this daily. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Strings of the Evil Eye

(Pro 23:6 KJV) Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:

As my mind roams in the soup of this verse I wonder if this is a warning to me about accepting “help” from the government or my friendly local social worker.  Thankfully I am not in a position to need such, or so I think.  Then I stop to reflect on my experience with my annual physical under Medicare.  It was no longer the annual physical I was used to.  I was used to the doctor checking some basic things like prostrate and liver.  I was used to a series of blood tests to see if everything was in balance.  He would check my eyes and my reflexes.

That was before I was under the care of a government program.  It is no longer an “annual physical”.  It is now a “wellness check”.  The doctor checked nothing in the time I was with him but he took a good deal of time asking me questions to see if my mind met up with the government standards.  He could have done all of the basics in the time he spent with me but instead he went by the government script, “Do you know what year it is?”

So?  Be careful about accepting help from sources you don’t know well.  There are strings everywhere and “string attachers” are looking to score some points.

Monday, July 22, 2019

It’s the Pits

(Pro 22:14 KJV) The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.

Which comes first, the sin or the “curse” (2194)?  Notice the way the verse reads.  It looks like the falling for the lie comes after God writes you off.  If that is the case it is an application of what we read in the first chapter.
(Pro 1:28 KJV) Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
This rejection by God comes after repeated refusals by man.

From this verse I could come to the conclusion that people who are mired in the “big” sins got there because they were cavalier about the little sins. 

So?  God is patient.  We sin and the Holy Spirit speaks but, like living by the railroad tracks, eventually you stop hearing.  Be alert for the beginnings of rebellion.  We used to have a bit of jargon that applies for lack of attention, “It’s the pits”. 

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Arrows, not Weathervanes

(Pro 21:15 KJV) It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

As I read this chapter this verse jumped out at me because of what I see happening in the national arena but to go there would require me to get more political than I want to get here.  The point is still important because of the terms involved.  There are two concepts here that are very important but we are in real danger of interpreting culturally rather than Biblically.  Those can be addressed without being overtly political.

First we have the idea expressed in the KJV as “just” (6662) and the NASB as “righteous”.  We have developed Valley Girl speech patterns to the point where we insert the word “just” as a filler that becomes meaningless.  Because of that you need to think of it as referring to a decision based on eternal values of right and wrong not a modifier as in “just too cute”.  Even the KJV uses “righteous” 164 times to 42 for “just” when translating it.  God has standards that do not change.  He is holy and His standards reflect that.

The second is the “do” (6213) of the KJV and the “exercise” (6213a) of the NASB.  Here the KJV gets it straight and simple.  Even the NASB uses a form of “do” around 1,000 times to the one translation as “exercise”.  Politics aside, we are to do what is right and the measure of what is right is God and His word, not the latest edition of your favorite TV show.

So?  God’s people are called to be arrows pointing true north not weathervane rotating with the latest wind of fashion.  Many who attend church don’t like it but it is still true. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Speed Traps

(Pro 20:21 KJV) An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.

I used to see a road sign, “speed kills”.  I have not seen it in a long time but that could just be because I am not looking.  It is a good reminder to stop and think.  Why do people speed? 

Some go fast for the thrill.  Remember how exciting a go cart was?  It didn’t really move that fast but gave the impression of dangerous speed.  It was a rush.  Some look at driving as the competition of life and they want to be first.  You have noticed the guy on the road who always needs to pass you no matter how fast you are going.  Maybe you are that guy.  Then there is the driver who always gets a late start and it trying to make up his lack of preparation by endangering your life. 

So?  Some of us need an attitude adjustment.  Some need a little discipline.  The point Solomon is making is that rushing through things can be dangerous for you.  I am reminding you that it can also be dangerous for those around you. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Irish Need Not Apply

(Pro 19:19 KJV) A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.

Certain lessons must be learned the hard way.  Here the issue is “wrath” (anger NASB) (2534).  It could just as easily be financial irresponsibility or washing wool in hot water.  The offender tends to make excuses.  How many times have you heard, “I’m Irish” to explain sudden flare ups.  Maybe so.  Some people are Irish.  All are sinners.  All are expected to grow in their daily walk.

We cannot “deliver” (rescue NASB) (5337) some people from a problem like anger.  You can become what the Alcoholics Anonymous people call an “enabler”.   That means stepping in to keep people from experiencing the results of their actions.  In the process you keep them from growing up and facing their failure.  It makes you feel great but keeps them dependent.

So?  Accept that you cannot solve everyone’s problems.  I don’t think this is my issue but I have seen so many others who want to get everyone they meet straightened out.  Good luck with that. 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Before the Fall

(Pro 18:12 KJV) Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.

What is the source of the “destruction” (7667) promised here?  Is it God or man?  I would imagine it is both and the real question is which comes first.  Often the mighty are brought down by what seem to be earthly forces.  I think of Hitler, always an easy target.  He seemed to have it all going his way.  Everything he touched turned to gold.  Fast forward and he is isolated in his bunker.

What happened?  Was it the western democracies that brought him down.  Yes, but it was more a matter of God making it possible.  There are a long list of stupid things Hitler did that allowed the allies the time to defeat him.  One example is Dunkirk.  Hitler overruled his generals who wanted to destroy the British on the beach.  Instead he let them escape. 

So?  The promise is clear and in reality it doesn’t matter if you think it was God that brought you down or that dirty so-in-so who never liked you anyway.  Humility is an asset.  Pride is a destroyer.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Holy Politics

(Pro 17:26 KJV) Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.

Pardon me for getting a bit into the political scene but keep in mind that politics is a part of life whether it be office or national.  Mike Pence is currently vice president.  I do not know him personally but he has made statements that says he is a devout believing Christian.  This comes in direct statements and in positions he has taken.  The political forces of the left have repeatedly attacked him for this.  It is like Solomon was writing in response to modern news.  Funny how the Bible works that way, isn’t it?

You may remember how he said he would not go to dinner with a woman unless his wife was along.  He was mocked repeatedly for that and yet it is a common sense position to take if you want to avoid the appearance of evil.

So?  How does that relate to us?  We need to be careful not to be pulled into the vortex of evil by supporting people who try to “strike” (5221) the righteous.  We need to support people who are willing to take the heat of the wicked as they try to drive us from the public square.  It isn’t politics, it is holiness. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Watch Out for Black Helicopters

(Pro 16:14 KJV) The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.

I find conspiracy nuts are either a lot of fun or a total bore.  It depends on the subject and my mood.  So I ask you, “Is the deep state out to get you?”  As a general rule do you drive around worried about the black helicopters descending on you and the Department of Agriculture SWAT team taking you into custody at gun point?  Do you at least have a concern about the local cop sitting in a speed trap?  You are not necessarily paranoid.  They may be out to get you.

According to this verse the government, the “king” (4428) really is out to get you.  God sends the word to Samuel when they demanded a king.  It starts with this verse,
(1Sa 8:9 KJV) Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
It goes down hill from there.  You can read that on your own.

According to Paul the government is instituted by God and has a purpose.  That does not mean that it will always be your friend.

So?  Be a good citizen but don’t fall into the nonsense of Big Government being you daddy.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Hard to Believe

(Pro 15:9 KJV) The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.

And they don’t care.  Really.  It is hard for believing Christians to wrap their heads around but the world as a whole is quite happy being in their handbasket playing their “wicked” (7563) games.  They are quite content telling you that marriage does not matter if you are really in love.  Sin is fun and holy living is boring to them.  So they really don’t care.

It isn’t the sin that generates God’s wrath as much as the insistence on rejecting the blessings of the kind of life He has for them.  He sees the destruction of fornication, abortion, indulgence and self centeredness.  He knows how it will warp the mind and deaden the soul or warp the soul and deaden the mind, same difference.  But His love is rejected.  That is abominable.

So?  Witness by words when you can.  Witness by action all the time.  Pray and hope that some of the people you care about will come to the point of repentance in time to make the final cut.  The Good News is that God is patient.  The bad news is that He does not play games. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Not Good Enough

(Pro 14:31 KJV) He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

I wonder about the choices here.  We have “oppresses” (6231) and “mercy" (gracious NASB) (2603) [chesed].  I don’t know about you but I feel like I am somewhere in between.  Is that good enough? 

That is a dangerous question for followers of the one who told us to deny ourselves, take our cross and follow Him.  I don’t want to get to the judgement day and hear Jesus say, “I guess that was good enough, thou flaky servant.” 

I don’t need to worry about oppressing the poor.  I don’t have enough power or influence to make a negative difference in their lives and I don’t accept the current mantras of the social justice warriors.  I could do better at being gracious.

I don’t think this needs to be an obsession.  I don’t need to get up in the morning mumbling about finding a poor person.  I don’t need to stop at every fast food joint looking for a panhandler.  It does need to be a greater awareness.

So?  That gives me enough to worry about for the day.  I will let the economy run itself and pray for world peace.  At the same time I need to be more gracious.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Era of Rationalization

(Pro 13:5 KJV) A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.

In our era of rationalization we keep looking for words that soften the blow of sin.  We water it down to the point where we think we don’t need to be concerned any more.  One way of watering it down is the NASB use of “falsehood” (8267) as opposed to the “lying” of the KJV.  We tend to move toward the part of the definition that says “deception” and put that in the category of what a woman looks like when she gets her make-up on.  Lying sounds so negative.

It is.  We may want to say we were just exaggerating.  Maybe we were but if the stretch was to deceive people and not just to tell a humorous story then we are standing on the bank of the lake of fire, getting ready to jump in.

So?  A lie is a lie is a lie.  You may be able to get away with it with your friends but God is not amused.  Walk in righteousness.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Two Roads Diverged...

(Pro 12:28 KJV) In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

The phrase “way (734) of righteousness (6666)” made me think of this verse from the NASB,
(Isa 35:8 NAS77) And a highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it.
In the KJV it is,
(Isa 35:8 KJV) And an highway (4547) shall be there, and a way (1870), and it shall be called The way (1870) of holiness (6944); the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
In spite of the similarities in English the words are different in the Hebrew but I have always liked the phrase “highway of holiness” and the ideas are parallel.  God has laid out a path for us to follow.  It deals with attitudes and action and through the law, the blood, grace and the work of the Holy Spirit He has made it possible to walk that way.

So?  Don’t kid yourself about sin and sloth.  There is a way to live so that we can live and a way to live so we will die.  Choose wisely.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Love Despiseth Not

(Pro 11:12 KJV) He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

This verse gives us an insight into the meaning of love.  Granted it comes from the negative but even that will help us understand love a little better.  When asked about the greatest commandment Jesus said,
(Mat 22:39 KJV) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Both Jesus and Solomon are talking about neighbors.  One says to love, the other says to not “despise” (936).  What that tells us is we really need to watch the negative attitudes.

So?  Got a neighbor you can’t stand?  You don’t need to invite him over for Thanksgiving dinner but you do need to examine your attitude.  Maybe one way to do that is to invite him over for Thanksgiving dinner. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

No and Yes

(Pro 10:13 KJV) In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.

As I said before, “Discernment is one of the gifts of the Spirit”.  Some people have it at a level that the rest of us can only guess at.  But, like all gifts, there is an level of discernment that is expected of all of us.  As all don’t have the gift of evangelism, all are to witness.  It is the same with discernment.  We are expected to go about in our lives in such a way as to develop this ability.  That requires focus and discipline.

Focus means making it a priority.  Certain things will not happen unless we are determined.  I will not lose weight wishing.  I will not play better golf by sitting in my chair.  I must make the choices that move me in the direction I theoretically want to go.  I must study.  I must prioritize.  I must learn to say “No”.  I must learn to say, “Yes”.  In other words, I must be disciplined.

So?  Unfortunately discipline is not a fruit of the Spirit either but with the help of the Spirit it can be developed.  Will it happen?  It depends on when we use the “yes” and when we use the “no”.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Don’t Waste Your Powder

(Pro 9:7 KJV) He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

This is not telling us to refuse to “reprove” (correct NASB) (3256) or “rebuke” (reprove NASB) (3198).  If you have read your Bible you know that it is expected when the timing is right.  What is being declared is that it is a waste of time on some people. 

You may have noticed that some people refuse to hear your simple English.  It is a rare find if you can locate someone who will admit to being a Calvinist or a liberal.  Or if you really want to find out what it feels like to ram your head against a block wall, find a “journalist” and try to convince them that they have a liberal bias.  The same thing happens when you confront people on spiritual issues they don’t want to hear.

So?  Keep your powder dry but don’t use a rifle to shoot at hornets.  They may need it but you won’t touch them. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Package Deal

(Pro 8:18 KJV) Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.

Wisdom produces life with a package deal.  That means that the wise person is not out of balance.  So, often as we set our goals we limit our vision.  Sometimes the limitation is based on our ability.  Sometimes it is lack of imagination.  Too often it is not done in consultation with the standards and power of God.

Money is pointless if it is not “enduring” (6276).  Recently we walked through the floor of a casino and I watched people punching buttons on slot machines.  One of the problems with gambling is that when you win you just put the money back into the system hoping to win more.  It isn’t like taking the gain and investing it in a home or something else that will be around for a few years.

So?  If you want to throw away a dollar on the lottery, who am I to stop you.  I am not sure God would bother either.  If you want to throw away the groceries hoping to get the gold ring then you have a problem that needs to be dealt with. 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Figurative Surgery

(Pro 7:3 KJV) Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

How do you “write” (3789) on your “heart” (3820)?  I would say this is obviously figurative language but that does not answer the question, just helps us focus.  Part of the writing is done by a desire to see the commandments of God internalized.  That gets us to developing the right kind of habits so that some things are foundational and don’t need to be repeated.  They become a spring board, not a new lesson.

One of the disservices that modern education has done is getting rid of what they label as “Drill and kill”.  Too much repetition can be counter productive, true.  Too little can keep you stupid.  There are certain boring things that I will only retain if I repeat them often enough.  There are even things I want to retain that will fade if I do not practice them. 

So?  Develop spiritual habits and then practice them enough to keep them fresh.  Like so many things in life there are so many areas to work on we will never run out of material and we are so different that the bell I need to ring is automatic for you. 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

All Charged Up

(Pro 6:22 KJV) When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

Have you met Siri?  I now have an I-Phone and Siri is that mysterious voice hiding behind the screen that emerges every time I hit the button in the wrong way.  I never ask her anything but she keeps trying to get in the middle.  Like the law of God she is there all the time, ready to advice and guide.  I wonder if an artificial intelligence can get frustrated?  I wonder if the Holy Spirit gets frustrated?

One of the values of a daily time of worship is that I structure my day for a time of listening.  It is still common to get on auto-pilot.  I know I have read entire chapters and then said, “Huh?”  But usually it pays off.

So?  Like your phone, God is with you all the time.  Unlike the phone, God wants to charge you instead of needing a charge. 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Assembly Thoughts

(Pro 5:14 KJV) I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

As I looked at the context of this verse I noticed for the first time that it is a statement in regard to adultery.  Here is someone sitting in the middle of a group of worshipers and is thinking about his total failure.  I don’t know if he is ready to repent but at least he is ready to admit his problem.

It is a common thing for us to listen to a sermon and think about how it applies to the life of someone else when we are really the target the Holy Spirit had in mind. 

So?  Next time you are at worship, in church or in your Lazy-Boy, take a moment to do a little self analysis. 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

One Step at a Time

(Pro 4:26 KJV) Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

Have you noticed that it is hard for your heart to go where you feet don’t lead?  Of course I mean your physical heart.  Your emotions and feelings are a different matter, or are they really?  From what I have read it is possible to change how you feel about people and things by the way in which you live your life.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but it can be done.

The point here might be to remind us about the daily discipline of life.  It is great to pull out a map and point to a location across the continent.  It is sometimes good to dream about where you want to be in life ten years from now.  You will never get to either if you do not step right today.

So?  Plan and dream but make sure that you don’t step in a hole you were not looking for today. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

He Giveth More Scorn

(Pro 3:34 KJV) Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

You have heard it said that God helps those who help themselves.  Repeat after me, “That is not in the Bible.”  As attractive as it is, you won’t find it.  On the other hand this verse seems to be saying that God will respond to you based on your attitude toward Him and His laws.  You want to live in rebellion and defiance?  Then He will help you along your way.  Notice here that what gets help for the “lowly” (afflicted NASB) (6035) is not their bank balance but their attitude.

So?  We have a lot of promises about God being there for us.  They are usually conditional and apply only to the faithful.  Live like you believe it. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Deliverance Card

(Pro 2:12 KJV) To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;

One question we need to ask ourselves is, “Do I want God to ‘deliver’ (5337) me?”  It seems like a no brainer.  Of course we want God to pull our chestnuts out of the fire, but we need to understand that this is not the conclusion offered at the end of a night of debauchery or a joy ride in a “borrowed” car.  This is a promise that comes when we have been walking in the path God wants for us.  It would also apply if we are on a learning curve and doing the best we can to stay on the road.

So?  Deliverance is one ingredient in a life of obedience.  It is not a Get Out of Jail Free Card. 

Monday, July 1, 2019

Unescape Clause

(Pro 1:28 KJV) Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

We do a disservice to non-believers and weak believers.  We give the idea that God is not God in that He can’t seem to realize that we are not sincere about our spiritual lives.  The biggest problem to me is the young Christian who might get the idea that God is no smarter than the gods they read about in their fantasy literature.  He cannot be tricked.  He will not be mocked.

At the same time He is a gracious and forgiving God.  When we approach Him with open hearts and a spirit of obedience, He will listen.  He ignores this verse for you.

So?  Walk in honesty before God.  Live the life and if you mess up, confess, repent and be restored.  Glory! 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Pure Test

(Pro 30:5 KJV) Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

If you compare the KJV and NASB you see that one uses “pure” (6884) and the other says “tested”.  A straight meaning might be refined or smelted.  You can see how each could be used.  We have a little different perspective than they did in Solomon’s time.  We have several thousand years to see the results of that testing and refining.  We have the vantage point of seeing prophecy fulfilled.  We know of the ultimate Word, Jesus Himself, who came and lived among us.  For believers it has stood the test of time.

You can still get a copy of Plato’s works in a good book store.  You can download all kinds of ancient works from Project Gutenberg.  A lot of the old stuff has survived but only the Word of God can be found in almost every home in America.  It has withstood the test of time.

So?  Why not get acquainted with something that works?  One of the great refinements is the number of translations that range from very loose paraphrase to hard core word for word.  Find the one that allows God to speak to you. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Tribal Wisdom

(Pro 29:15 KJV) The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

In looking at the definition of “rod” (7626) I notice that one of the possible translations is “tribe”.  That set my mind off on a tangent about what is being taught in this verse.  If you substitute in the translation it starts off,

“The tribe and reproof give wisdom.”

In spite of all the race baiting politics going on in America to divide us based on ethnic and economic lines we are still a society that is non-tribal.  My suggestion here is that the body of Christ is our tribe.  They are the ones we are to listen to and relate to.  The example of older believers should be a large part of out foundation.

So?  The real church should be showing us the way and getting in our face when we don’t listen.  You don’t need to talk to the psychologist, you need to listen to the saints. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

Eye Development

(Pro 28:22 KJV) He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.

The New Testament mentions a spiritual gift called discernment.  Its primary function is to have a sensitivity to the difference between good and evil.  Like most gifts, there is a level of spiritual skill that can be developed or practiced.  For instance some people have the gift of giving.  All believers are expected to be stewards.  Some are evangelists, all are to be witnesses.  Often the spiritual gift develops as we cultivate the gifts of the Spirit.

Some people who resist the leadership of the Holy Spirit develop what is here called an “evil” (7451a) “eye” (5869).  I guess it might be considered just the opposite of the gift of discernment.  This person seeks out and recognizes evil.  It is the result of many choices.

So?  Little bits add up to major bits.  If we work on the little things then the big things will often take care of themselves. 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Unhidden Treasure

(Pro 27:5 KJV) Open rebuke is better than secret love.

As I was thinking about the contrast between “open” (1540) and “secret” (concealed NASB) (5641) I thought back to my basic training in the army.  We were being instructed about how to hide in plain sight in a combat situation.  It was night time and we were facing an open field.  They shot off a flair and told us to look carefully.  The field looked empty.  Then they shot another flare and the field was full of soldiers.  What was the difference?  During the second flare they were moving and waving their arms.  They were essentially invisible when they did not move. 

The same is true of our responsibility to love.  It is not something that can be hidden and still be effective.  Love is expressed and applied.  It is not always a matter of what we say but it is always a matter of what we do.

So?  Love is lived out in daily activities whether it is patience or forgiveness.  It is active.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Pitfalls and Booby Traps

(Pro 26:2 KJV) As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

Proverbs is about applied wisdom.  It is about the benefits of obeying God’s law.  It deals with how we are to think and act.  It lays the foundations for both.  One of the repeated thoughts is that God blesses those who walk on the Highway of Holiness.  The corollary to that is that those who stray are cursed.

One of the blessed truths that we often overlook is that living the righteous life shields us from many of the curses of life.  Sometimes that shield is total protection.  I must admit that I do not worry about HIV personally.  If you live a chaste life, not to worry.  Sometimes the protection is a matter of principle and balance.  The Bible does not speak of chocolate, coffee or cigarettes but I have a feeling that a little thinking and a bit of moderation will keep the problems associated with them away from your door.

So?  Life is full of pitfalls and booby traps.  If we live right many of them will never visit our doorstep. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

gods Are Not God

(Pro 25:2 KJV)  It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

It is not clear in the KJV but comes through in the NASB that the same word, “glory” (3519b) is used twice in the Hebrew.  Once the KJV translates it “honour”.  This points out two contrasting concepts from the Bible.

First, we have the similarities between man and God.  We are created in the image of God.  That means we are different than the animals around us.  They too were created but not on the same level or with the same intent.  Only in humans do we find the stamp of the divine.  Only for humans was the sacrifice of the Lamb.  Here we see both man and God connected to glory.

Second, we are not gods.  The glory has different functions in each.  One “conceals” (5641) and one “searches” (2713).  One knows all and filters it to man.  The other has to seek out truth.  We are limited and finite.  He is unlimited and infinite.

So?  We are not gods.  We can never be gods in the Biblical sense of the word.  There is a reason that proper English usage does not capitalize “gods” in the plural because they are always extensions of man and lacking in Godhood.  Rejoice that the God we serve is above all so-called gods.