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.

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!