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.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

A January Mothers’ Day

(Proverbs 31:2 KJV)  What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?

This is a verse that might be appropriate for Mothers’ Day if Mothers’s Day were a Christian event.  Mothers’ Day as we celebrate it is a time to feel guilt over not calling Mom on a regular basis and stimulate the economy as a result.  Is that cynical enough for you?  Why is this a verse for Mothers’ Day?  If you look at the previous verse you see that this is quoting a mother.  What we ought to be doing on Mothers’ Day is remind mothers of their duty as godly women. 

Most women will admit that someone is their child, in this case a son.  Too often they don’t want to admit that the child is like them.  Usually they forget that this child is a result of their “vows” (5088).  Part of this is to remind us that being a mother should only take place in the shelter of marriage vows.  Our culture is denying that.  What started as compassion for unwed mothers has morphed into a glorification of their valiant struggle.  Godly mothers are within the vows of marriage. 

Even more it is within a vow to God.

So?  Stop glorifying unwed mothers.  If there is repentance then forgive and be supportive but only if there is a genuine vow to God.  He has His standards and we should not be watering them down. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

You Name It

(Proverbs 30:1 KJV)  The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal,

Historically names have been important.  They say something about you or about the hopes your parents have for you.  In pagan cultures it is common to have a name that you received when you came to adulthood and had a spirit quest.  In that experience something would happen that would give you a name.  Other times you received an adult name that said something about you.  Thus I might be called Big Foot, son of Limp.  The reason I bring this up is that as I was looking at different translations I was amused by the Douay-Rheims Translation.
(Proverbs 30:1 DRB)  The words of Gatherer the son of Vomiter. The vision which the man spoke, with whom God is, and who being strengthened by God, abiding with him, said:
Gatherer is from the Hebrew but I can’t find where the “Vomiter” comes from.  It makes me wonder what happened in this man’s life to generate such a name.

So?  If your intimate circle had to pick a name for you, what would it be?  I shudder to think what I would be called.  Maybe it is time to live up to the name I want. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Too Much, Too Often

(Proverbs 29:11 KJV)  A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.

A key word here is the “always” of the NASB which I assume is the same as the “all” (3605) of the KJV.  There are probably times to let it all hang out.  Strong expression has its place.  The problem we have is that some people feel like they always have the right to verbal excess.  The other problem is that some of us don’t have a very good gauge of when is the right time.

So?  A general rule that seems to come out in Proverbs is, “Don’t”.  Control your temper.  Say less.  Take the hit without retaliation.  We don’t like it but there it is.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Evil Targets

(Proverbs 28:17 KJV)  A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him.

Is this verse aimed at the great killers of all time or at the educator that goes through life dumbing down young minds in the name of political correctness?  Is it Stalin or your kindergarten teacher?  I think the answer is both.  I don’t know which Solomon had in mind.  He certainly had his share of bloody kings and emperors to deal with but he also had people who went through life just getting a rush from being evil.

As I have said before, evil exists.  Admit it and learn to recognize it.  This also tells us that we are not to support it.  That calls for us to develop a Biblical view of what is evil.  It does not mean to accept what your local social justice warrior tells you.

So?  Life will never get easy.  We need to engage our minds and be alert.  We need to recognize that standards of God and embrace them.  It will never be automatic.  It will never be easy.  It can be done. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Good Help Is Hard to Find

(Proverbs 27:27 KJV)  And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

I will have enough goats milk to provide for my “maidens” (5291).  I am not sure if that gives me a great deal of comfort on first read.  I don’t have any maidens.  One source suggests that these are the servants who care for the goats as in “eight maids a milking” of the Christmas song.  I guess we could extend it to servants, but I don’t have any of those either.  Maybe in modern life it could be your auto mechanic or plumber.

So?  I think the point is that God is aware of our needs and will make sure they are provided for.  This does not rule out the necessity of our responsible behavior.  It gives us a foundation for our daily trust. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Beware Fair Speech

(Proverbs 26:25 KJV)  When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.

Discernment is a very hard quality to develop.  This is double true in our current culture that talks about tolerance and safe spaces and trigger warnings.  We have seen the problem in the church when we misquote the “judge not” passage to mean spiritual blindness.  We are told “don’t speak ill of the dead” and “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.  Those are all important points but they become destructive if applied without discernment.

There are some people who are living “abominations” (8441).  This is a word that is used at least 25 time in Proverbs.  God is serious about getting across to us how serious this is.  Some people are evil, not by accident but by intent.  They are sometimes smart and clever at the same time.  It is a deadly combination.

So?  We can of course trust in the Providence of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.  We do not need to walk in fear but in discernment.  If something seems off, approach it with spiritual eyes. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Good News

(Proverbs 25:25 KJV)  As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

It has been a long time since I have been working all day in a hot, Southern California summer.  If you have never had that kind of experience then you don’t understand how good water can taste.  It doesn’t even need to be cold.  Just the water out of a hose can be an elixir of regeneration.  That is what good news can do for us.

It can be such basic information as the plane carrying family members landed safely.  It can be a lab report saying the biopsy was benign.  It can be a reminder that Jesus died for your sins and that you are trusting in that shed blood for your salvation.  God has many ways of reminding us of His blessings.  I had another, “Why me?” moment this morning.  My thoughts went around the world to parents in other lands who wondered where the food for their children would come from today.  I thought of people in war zones and children separated from their parents.  There are people who have children that won’t talk to them.

So?  Good news is all around us.  May God open your eyes and help you see it. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Lips of Memory

(Proverbs 24:26 KJV)  Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.

This verse comes at the end of several dealing with honest talk as opposed to deceit.  The summary is that people are drawn to those who give honest answers.  On the short term we do not seem to be seeing that in our society.  Liars and vulgarity seem to be the order of the day.  When we have political campaign we hear all kinds of promises that even a little bit of thought would realize can’t happen.  Yet people keep voting for the same liars.

I have to believe that we should be living to a different standard.  We need to work on our memory and when it comes to votes or contributions review what we know before we act.  There is a saying that would apply here, “Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.” 

So?  We are to forgive wrongs done to us but we are also supposed to be wise enough to not put a thief in charge of counting the offering, or as one church I know put a child abuser in charge of the nursery. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Side Effects

(Proverbs 23:35 KJV)  They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

In the days of Solomon you had fewer mild altering substances than you do today, but you did have them.  If Solomon were writing today I can’t help but think that he would mention marijuana and the palate of drugs people are taking on a regular basis.  For most people alcohol would have been the drug of choice. 

One of the problems with drugs, be they prescription, over the counter or back alley, is that they often cause more damage than they remedy.  Take almost any medication and you will find a list of side effects.  I will grant you that much of the print is legal jargon to keep from getting sued but there are some serious possibilities.  I am taking a blood thinner.  The most serious warning is that you bleed easier and clot slower.  It can happen internally so you don’t even know it.  That is a problem.

So?  Sin usually does not come with a list of side effects.  You may need to do your own research.  Drive down to where the homeless encampments are in your neighborhood and ask yourself, “How many of these people has access to drugs?”  Be aware of the rewards of unrighteousness. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Iniquity Is Not Isolated

(Proverbs 22:8 KJV)  He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

I am not happy with the translation of “iniquity” (5767b).  That meaning is included but there is a deeper meaning.  Iniquity seems to emphasize the personal act of sin or unrighteousness.  The Hebrew word adds to that the element of violating justice.  The way it is translated brings out that the actor is bringing condemnation on himself for his actions.  This could be a lie or stealing something from a department store.  It is a sin for you but it does not necessarily cause major havoc in the person violated.  The Hebrew here tries to point out that your action is a violation of the justice of the universe. 

What we do effects us.  That is bad enough.  The point is that sin also effects others.  When someone lives well and when their credit cards catch up with them they can declare bankruptcy.  This is an admission of financial failure.  What is often overlooked are the little people who have their security threatened by the irresponsibility.  I remember going to a meeting called by well paid lawyers to share what had happened to a limited partnership we invested in.  We lost a lot of money.  At least it seemed like a lot to us at the time since we were young and almost hand to mouth.  What put it in perspective were the elderly people at the meeting who had lost most of their retirement savings and were facing serious deprivation.  It was all because some guys wanted to live well on other people’s money. 

So?  Sin can send you to hell.  It can also make the lives of others very difficult.  We do not live in isolation. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Short List

(Proverbs 21:9 KJV)  It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

The Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year/Epiphany medley is over.  How did it go?  Was their any contention?  It is amazing how much tension can be generated by the simple process of decorating a tree.  And then we have the people who keep forgetting the family traditions.  This verse is a good reminder to look back and ask a question, “Was I the voice of harmony or dissonance?” 

Often the only way we can know is to be honest in our evaluation of how people respond.  The thing we should be asking ourselves is not, “What is wrong with them?”  That assumes that we are purer than the snow you wanted for Christmas.  No, the first place to look when someone else is having a reaction is in your own behavior.  My guess is that we are the culprit.

So?  Apologize if it doesn’t make it worse.  Make a note to work on your behavior or sensitivity.  Most important, be like Santa Claus who not only made a list but checked it twice.  It should be a short list because you are the only one on your list. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Emergency Plan

(Proverbs 20:15 KJV)  There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

We are advised to have in mind what is most important to save if our house should be on fire and we only had a few minutes to get out.  When we hear about floods and some of the huge fires that have engulfed the West in the last few years we hear about people loading up their valuables in their cars and fleeing.  What would be on the top of your list?

Might I suggest that your children should get priorities.  Then you start asking yourself what you can’t replace and then what is hard to replace.  That is hard.  The good news is that what you have stored away in your heart and mind is already loaded and does not take much space.  We should be spending our time building up the treasure that cannot be wiped out by a sudden disaster and realize how important those things are.

So?  It is good to have an emergency plan.  It is even more important to have your body, soul, mind and spirit in order. 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

At Least the Rain Stops

(Proverbs 19:13 KJV)  A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.

What can you do about a “continual” (constant NASB) (2956) “dropping” (dripping NASB) (1812)?  Think of the possible sources:  A leak in the roof, a runny nose, the Japanese water torture.  Some can be fixed, like the roof.  Torture might just be something you must endure.  Here the source of the irritation is a nagging wife.  How do you deal with her?  If you have a nagging husband, how does she deal with you?

There are certain solutions that I assume are not acceptable such as a club.  While there are times when violence is necessary, nagging is not one of them.  Withdrawal is suggested in other places but how do you do that when you live in the same house?  I guess the final word is again the love chapter and the gifts of the Spirit.  We are given patience and we are to avoid keeping a list of offenses.  We are not to be provoked.

So?  It is not as easy as it might sound, and I know that.  This is an area where practice and mediating on the meaning of love are so important.  Either way, nagging is nagging.  We may not be able to stop the nagger, but we can work on not being one. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Have a Slow Day

(Proverbs 18:6 KJV)  A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.

I like to bask in the foolishness of others.  It is frequent and clear.  The problem is that by my measure, I am just as big a fool.  Probably bigger.  How many times has my mouth seemed to take charge and say things that I can’t call back?  It is a good thing that I am not counting.  It is a bad thing that God is.

The good news is that fools have hope.  They can change.  Sometimes it happens overnight.  Other times it takes years.  The point is, it can happen.

So?  Every time my mouth reveals what is going on inside me I need to have a moment of repentance and recommitment.  I may slow down my day.  It will slow down my mouth.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

A Growing Heart

(Proverbs 17:20 KJV)  He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.

Do you have friends who like to tell dirty jokes?  Maybe you like to pass them on.  We are in the middle of a passage dealing with the difference between people who want to walk in righteousness and those who simply like to be thought of as cool.  There is a difference in how they think and how they talk.  There is a difference in their goals and dreams.  We don’t like it but there it is.

One of the problems we face is trying to find the ground between seeing and recognizing evil and seeing nothing good in anybody.  When we don’t like someone’s politics it is easy to assume that everything they touch is evil.  We can dislike someone simply because of their favorite baseball team.  The key to this is making sure that our heart is straight.  That can only come about by the work of the Spirit in our lives and a desire to make Jesus Lord.

So?  Often living an upright life is as obvious and inhaling coming after exhaling.  At other times it takes an examination of ourselves as much as those around us.  Growing in the Lord involves our mind as well as our heart.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Choice Combinations

(Proverbs 16:8 KJV)  Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.

There are certain Biblical teachings that I have a hard time with but I accept because they are Biblical.  One is the concept of eternal damnation, hell.  I would prefer to think that people just end rather than suffer for eternity, but there it is.  The teaching of this verse is one that I think has been rejected by most American Christians.  It has been rejected by the rest of the world, too but they often don’t have any choice in the matter. 

“Righteousness” (6666) is more important than wealth.  In an ideal world you would have both but we don’t live in an ideal world.  Living a moral life often forces us to make choices that are not beneficial to our immediate bottom line.  Wealth tends to cloud our thinking so that we compromise on right and wrong.  They can go together but only the vigilant can deal with it.

So?  You have choices today.  Some you can do without thinking.  Others require more thought.  Many are just a matter of choosing God’s way or the world’s way.  Stay alert. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


(Proverbs 15:3 KJV)  The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

Have you ever seen someone look around carefully, think they are unobserved and sneak something into their pocket?  They think they got away with it.  Such a person is not a Christian because we are aware that God is always watching.  It is hard for us to understand because we are locked into our bodies and our need for sleep.  We can only follow so many things at a time.  I know that some people are capable of multi-tasking but there are still things they miss.  Not God. He is on top of it.

I would hope that most of the time we do the right thing because it is the right thing.  At the same time I think all of us have those moments when we toy with the idea of cutting a few corners.  If you understand this verse then you do the right thing.  I used to get kids at school to think I had eyes in the back of my head when all that was involved was knowing them and what they would do when I turned my back.  God has eyes in the back of His head, figuratively speaking.

I had an aunt who was losing the battle with some form of dementia.  I remember one time when we took her to a Mexican restaurant and she kept sneaking chips into a napkin in her lap.  It was sad as well as funny.  She had an excuse.  We don’t.

So?  Act like God is watching everything you do.  He is. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

OT Evangelism

(Proverbs 14:25 KJV)  A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.

This could be viewed as another Old Testament statement about evangelism.  The most common translation of “lives” (5315) is “souls” in both the KJV and NASB.  We should be concerned about evangelism.  We seem to have forgotten that people are going to hell if they do not come to Jesus.  There are two applications of being a “true” (truthful NASB) (571) “witness” (5707) . 

First, we must proclaim the gospel.  We are told to be ready to explain what we believe.  We must know enough to give an honest statement.  We must believe it ourselves.  Beyond that it is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to convict and the sinner to respond.

Second, we are to live lives that are above reproach in the area of honesty.  People should know that your word is your bond and if you say something is so, it is.  I remember the librarian who let me take some materials when the computer system was down.  She said, “I know you will bring it back.”  Either she was buttering me up or my witness had been truthful.

So?  We touch our world.  Make it a genuine touch whether you are quoting John 3:16 or borrowing a cup of sugar. 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

For the Children

(Proverbs 13:24 KJV)  He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Our culture likes to talk about how they are doing things for the children.  In reality they are usually using the children as an excuse to advance their own agenda.  Children are just an accident or another tool that is to be exploited.  Few people think about what it means to raise a child.  I know that I didn’t.  I just took it for granted that there would be children and that they would somehow come to adulthood.  I had no understanding of what my parents had put into me and my brothers.

Most of the parents I worked with would tell you they loved their children.  They might even believe it.  That does not make it true.  Love is not a warm feeling.  It is not what people instinctively feel towards babies.  Anyone can smile at a baby and try to get it to smile back.  It is love that repeatedly gets up in the middle of the night to sooth it back to sleep.  It is love that changes diapers with gentleness.  It is love that cleans up the strained spinach that has ended up on the walls.  It isn’t much fun but it is love.  That is where discipline comes in.  It isn’t easy, but it is love.

So?  Love does what is best for the other person.  Hate takes the easy road. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Little White Abominations

(Proverbs 12:22 KJV)  Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.

“Lying” (8267) is an “abomination” (8441).  If there is one line of demarcation in our society, this is it.  In the church, instead of standing tall for truth we look for ways to redefine what a lie is.  While I will concede that there is a time for diplomacy and tact we have gone overboard to excuse our deceit and exaggerations for personal gain.  You may not want to answer if a dress makes your wife look fat but you do need to let her know that it does not look good on her.

In God’s eyes there is no such thing as “little white lies”.  Try calling them “little white abominations” instead and see how that plays. 

Why do we talk about lies so much?  The main reason is that Solomon felt a need to bring it up so often and the basis for that is the tendency to lie in 800 B.C. as well as the tendency to lie in 2019.

So?  Simple.  Tell the truth.  If you can’t, don’t say anything. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Payoff

(Proverbs 11:6 KJV)  The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.

This chapter has a theme of the rewards and results of “righteousness” (6666).  It is a strong statement but I don’t see much about the upright being aware of the payoff.  Even here where we are promised deliverance there is no time frame.  It doesn’t say “before lunch” or “today”.  It just says it will happen.  That is what Christian hope is all about.  It is not a matter of hanging on until the cavalry arrives.  It isn’t counting the gold in our bag.  It is an assurance about the future.

So?  Are you worried about what you see in the world around you?  Then lock your doors, stay out of the wrong neighborhoods and watch your mouth.  Those are always marks of wisdom.  At the same time don’t stay awake night worrying about whether we will see our liberty taken away.  Of course we will.  It is just a matter of time.  We will live in victory no matter what the circumstances. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Precious Memories

(Proverbs 10:7 KJV)  The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.

One thing I notice is that there is no timing on this “memory” (2143).  One of the comments I was used to hearing from students was, “I hate this class!”  I didn’t keep a record but I would guess that some of the loudest were the ones who would come back to see me a few years later.  Memory is different than reaction.  Have you ever had an experience that you totally hated but on reflection you realize it was a teaching moment for you.  I think of my time in the army.  I would not want to do it again, but I am glad I experienced it. 

You can’t know how many lives you touch and how you touch them.  What you can take to the bank is that if you are living in righteousness the touch will be for the good.

So?  Live like someone is watching.  Talk like someone is listening.  Long term reality is different than current awareness.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Roots of Wisdom

(Proverbs 9:1 KJV)  Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

God does not operate on the spur of the moment.  Our behavior does not surprise Him.  In a paradox that I cannot begin to understand, He knows the future yet we have free will.  Part of that knowledge must be in the form of wisdom.  We might even think of it as universal laws of physics.  Even that isn’t deep enough because the laws of physics either keep changing or keep being discovered.  We have the physics of Newton.  We have the physics of Einstein.  We have the physics of people I can’t name.  Each previous name did not even imagine the math involved in the next level.

God is different.  He actually knows the laws of physics because He created them.  He created them in a logical and methodical way that makes life possible and planning useful.  This dependable quality of God is part of the reason why the science of the West developed and eclipsed the science of the East.

So?  Wisdom is ready.  It is ready for the temporal and the eternal.  That means God has prepared it for today.  Step out boldly because gravity will continue to function, people will continue to drive like sunspots and gas prices will change. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Super Hero?

(Proverbs 8:12 KJV)  I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

“Wisdom” (2451) is a package deal made up of bundled litmus tests.  Wisdom is not some isolated superpower that you could build a comic book on.  I doubt if we will ever see a hero called Wisdom Person.  Here you see it linked with “prudence” (6195) and “inventions” (discretion NASB) (4209) which are two unpopular qualities today.  We might put up with “knowledge” (1847) as long as it doesn’t make us uncomfortable but the other two are, well, prudish.

In the Bible, Christian character is built on the person of Christ.  He is infinite and complex.  We can try short cuts like saying, “God is love” but then you need to go to I Corinthians 13 and study the multitude of qualities that are involved in love.  It has nothing to do with warm fuzzies.

So?  We are to seek wisdom.  We are to attain wisdom.  We will not be able to do that without a little bit of other qualities that demand we change, grow and conform to the image of God.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Bong, Bong, Bong

(Proverbs 7:24 KJV)  Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

The KJV uses a term that is not really archaic if you are paying attention.  Instead of the “listen” (8085) of the NASB it says “harken”.  Why do I say it is not archaic?  If you go to a church that realizes there is anything besides songs written last week you would be familiar with the Christmas carol that begins,
“Hark,” the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new-born King.”
Now I know that some of you grew up thinking the angel’s name was Hark but it really means, “Wake up and pay attention.”  If you go to public school you would recognize it as the “bong” that comes over the PA before the principal shares some vital bit of information.

So?  One of the messages of the Christmas season just past and the new year that is upon us is, “Wake up and pay attention”.  If you are not paying attention you will never know when it is time to play trump or turn in your library books.  Life has consequences.  Be aware. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Frown of God

(Proverbs 6:16 KJV)  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

We need to work at forming a Biblical view of God.  Yes, God is love. 
(1 John 4:8 KJV)  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
The sinful, wicked part of us responds to that because we have had our minds warped by a romantic hijacking of the word “love”.  We think Hallmark movies or Fabio.  We think Romeo and Juliet.  We think wrong.

Love is not the only word used to describe God and the definition we use for it is not the one used in the Bible.  God is also holy,
(Leviticus 19:2 KJV)  Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
We could go on with a lot of verses that give a picture of a very complex God, not one who is defined by “Love is never having to say are sorry”.

So?  When you get flippant about who God is think about the word “abomination” (8441) and how a holy God will respond to our corruption of His character. 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Careful of the Cookies

(Proverbs 5:8 KJV)  Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:

It has been a long time since I have seen the invitation to meet beautiful Russian women looking for a serious relationship.  I don’t think about the lack, but this brings it to mind.  Why am I not being invited any more?  Have they run out of beautiful Russian women?  Did they find out about my bank balance and lose interest?  What I think has happened is that I have not responded so the algorithms have looked for other things to try to sell me. 

I am told that certain adds are called “click bait”.  It doesn’t have to be something as full of danger as a Russian scam.  It could be anything that the cookies in your computer say you are interested in.  Keep in mind that Satan has those cookies planted all around you.  He knows what will catch your eye.  On the positive side you know what you should avoid and the Holy Spirit has alarms ready to go off if you have signed up for that service.

So?  Avoid danger spots.  There might, notice I said “might”, be a bit of a thrill but is it really worth your eternal soul? 

Friday, January 4, 2019

Pick a Door

(Proverbs 4:20 KJV)  My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I ‘incline’ (5186) toward believing him”.  Often in life there is an intangible something that makes us lean one way or the other.  Sometimes it is just an unknown quantity because we have to make a decision.  I don’t know how many times my wife has announced that she wants to go out to get something to eat and then when we get in the car she says, “Where do you want to go?”  The short answer is, “Nowhere.  I have plenty of food in the house.”  If you are married you know that is not acceptable.  Your inclination in that situation may simply be the first thing that pops into your mind.

In other situations it is more important to make the right decision.  Is it time to change jobs?  Is it time to look for a new church?  Should I ban some of my children’s friends from the house?  Should I worry about too much salt in my food?  You may not have any clear indication but still have to make a decision.  The point here is that if you have been listening and studying there will be some indication of which way you should go.

So?  Invest the time now for the decisions that will come later.  Trust me, they will come.

Thursday, January 3, 2019


(Proverbs 3:28 KJV)  Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

I think this applies to our business dealings as well as our tendency to hoard.  Proverbs often warn us about loaning money, borrowing money and cosigning on loans for people.  This could apply to a situation where we have ignored that.  Picture a situation where you have borrowed from a friend or family member with certain terms of payback that could run from $10 a month to whenever you can afford it.  Now they are in need, you are doing well and they come asking to have the balance to get through their crisis.  You have the money available but have it in a nice CD that has a penalty on it.  For your own personal profit you refuse the request.

Bad news for everyone.  You have allowed the desire for profit to override your moral obligation.  They have lost what they though was a friend.  Two hearts are hardened.

So?  Every “deal” we make needs to have the holiness test.  I don’t mean whether you can justify it in a court of law but whether you can still look into the face of God and say, “I have loved my neighbor”. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Conditions and Context

(Proverbs 2:6 KJV)  For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

This sounds like a glorious promise.  God will deliver.  We like this idea.  The popular understanding of Christmas reinforces it.  Jesus was a gift.  Grace is undeserved.  God loves us and wants us to have wonderful lives.  That is good as far as it goes.  But remember the three most important values in real estate:  Location, location, location.  Bible understanding is the same only we would say, “Context, context, context.” 

If you read back through all of the glorious promises you find that at the beginning is the provision for personal discipline and study.  If you seek, you will find.  If you knock it will open to you.  Someone said that once.

So?  God has many gifts to give us.  We do not deserve them.  We cannot earn them.  If you had two children, one brilliant and lazy, the other disciplined and focused and you could only send one to college, to which would you give the gift?  What seems obvious to me might not be to you. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Even Arbitrary Has a Beginning

(Proverbs 1:22 KJV)  How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

We start off the new year with three personality traits that are condemned:  Naivety, a critical spirit and ignorance.  Proverbs assumes that these are bad and that we can do something about them in our lives.  The hardest for me is in the area of being overly critical.  Some call me a cynic.  I call myself realistic.  The Bible uses “scorner” (scoffer NASB) (3917b).  It seems to me that being critical is part of avoiding “simplicity” (naive NASB) (6612a).  Obviously by this verse that is not true.  But we can do something about it.

And of course the question is “How long?” (4970/5704)  Isn’t that always the question?  How long can we expect God to be patient with us.  He is much more patient that we would ever be but contrary to some teaching, He will not wait forever.  If you don’t believe me, then read a few verses further and find out the harsh truth.

So?  It is the beginning of a new year.  That is totally arbitrary like the length of an inch, but it is useful for measuring.  Take a deep breath and get on with it.