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, October 31, 2019

Halloween Party Reminder

(Pro 31:7 KJV) Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

I have real trouble with this passage.  The first part is good.  It advises leaders not to let their minds be clouded by alcohol but this part seems counterproductive.  We need to run our minds over the other teaching in scripture to keep a balance.  We have the pro of Paul talking to Timothy.
(1Ti 5:23 KJV) Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
But make a note of the limitations and boundaries on this.  We see it listed as a contrast to righteous living.
(Rom 13:13 KJV) Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
And we see the contrast that is expected of us.
(Eph 5:18 KJV) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Perhaps this is a directive to those who make the laws to not try to pass things like Prohibition.  It may be an admission that people in stress are going to numb their minds with the bottle and at least find some comfort.

So?  Walk in righteousness and discernment.  The fact that sin seems to mean being crooked and when drunk it is hard to walk straight might be a clue. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Two Is Enough

(Pro 30:9 KJV) Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Most of us have seen some version of the Three Wishes.  It can involve a mysterious lamp or a leprechaun.  Solomon was able to get it down to two.  The first one in the previous verse had to do with character.  The second has to do with finances.  These are two areas of righteous behavior that we are very resistant to.

Truth versus lies is something out culture is redefining.  A politician recently said, and I paraphrase, “We are concerned with truth, not facts.”  To anyone who genuinely knows the living God that is an incredibly evil statement.  We see more and more people claiming to be followers of Jesus who are quite willing to fudge a little bit in order to get what they want.  I remember missionary books our denomination put out and talking to people in our local church who were from the area the book spoke about.  They said that the story didn’t happen at all like it said in the book.  It is called, “Thou shalt not bear false witness”.

And then there is money.  It always amazes me how many people have trouble with the concept of the tithe.  Yes, I know we are not under the law.  People think they can ignore the Biblical standards because we are under grace.  When I read the teachings of Jesus and He is dealing with a point of law He would quote the law and then say, “But I say unto you....”  Usually what He had to say instead was more demanding than the law.  God wants you, not your money but He knows that as long as you look at your monthly income as 90% yours then we have a problem.

So?  Make it a matter of prayer:  Honesty and financial balance.  I know.  I am being a hater.  Nothing personal.  I don’t even know how much you spend eating out. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Peasant Mentality

(Pro 29:19 KJV) A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.

One of the observations of the Founding Fathers was along the line that a country cannot thrive economically based on slavery.  The areas that had slavery in our country were very class oriented and stratified.  It was not just a division between slave and free.  It was a division between the very wealthy plantation owners, the very poor free population and the slaves.  Because of slavery the South never developed a thriving middle class or a significant level of tradesmen such as black smiths and carpenters. 

People who live in bondage, whether it is official slavery or just a class system, have no reason to work any harder than is necessary to avoid the lash.  They develop ways of looking busy when they are not.  They have a radar that tells when the boss is coming.  There is no reason to do more than avoid punishment.

The same is true in the church.  If you look at it as a game of legalistic requirements it is a natural tendency to try to gimmick the system to get the most for the least.  The reality that never seems to sink into those with the minds of spiritual peasants is that God knows not only their production and its quality but the desire of their hearts.

So?  This can be a heart breaker or an encouragement.  It depends on you and your attitude.  I find it encouraging that God can know my heart. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

Your Cheatin’ Heart

(Pro 28:26 KJV) He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

We have a saying, “Let your conscience be your guide”.  That is better than no guide but we need to understand that it is not infallible.  Your conscience is a product of input.  Picture a new born.  Infants are not known for their sense of right and wrong.  They only know, “I want.”  Move forward to the middle school level that I used to teach at.  It always impressed me how many of the kids had a basic sense of right and wrong that was not too bad.  The problem was to get them to admit it in the face of public pressure.  Somewhere in that time the pressure of socialistic thinking being forced in them in school begins to wear them down and by college most of them  have not reliable inner guidance system any more.

So we cannot trust our “heart” (3820).  We can only trust the unchanging truth that God lays out for us.  When our hearts are regenerated and taught the truth they can become a useful guide but we always need to make sure they are consistent with the objective truth of God.

So?  If you have not already done so, get your heart right with God.  Then you can begin to trust your motivation. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Social Oil

(Pro 27:9 KJV) Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.

Sometimes I am glad I live in modern times.  In the ancient Middle East, as in much of the world, it was considered hospitable to apply oil and ointments to guests.  Today we have so much variety in how people make themselves look that it might not seem strange but we live in the era of shampoo, hair dryers and hair spray.  In those days when you were welcomed into a home they would “anoint your head with oil” like it says in the 23rd Psalm.  It was an insult to not offer it to a guest.

We have our own traditions to make people feel welcome.  Some of us might need to work on them a little more.  On hot days we might offer tea or lemonade.  On cold days coffee or tea.  Part of the ritual is to accept so the person can extend hospitality.  We could probably work on this a bit.  We need to learn to extend hospitality to visitors, to make them feel welcome.

So?  It probably is not considered gracious when someone come to you door to ask, “What do you want?”  It might be a better witness to work on being gracious.  If it is a salesman and they refuse to take “No” for an answer, then you can get more focused in your refusal.  Most of us need to work on hospitality to non-salesmen. 

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Keep the Perspective

(Pro 26:6 KJV) He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.

One application this might have is being careful whom we vote for or appoint to office.  I sometimes wonder what kind of people elect some of the people in congress.  I wonder if the voters in their districts are all on some kind of dole.  I wonder if the election process is totally corrupted.  I even wonder if some people are just plain stupid.

When we look at people running for office we need to take into consideration their basic abilities but we also need to take a strong look at their moral fiber.  One of the big questions we have is, “What if no choice is morally strong?” 

So?  We are blessed to live in a representative democracy with free elections.  As good as that is we need to always make sure that our confidence is in God and His power, not the people we vote for.  Corruption is a part of the political process but time is on God’s side. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

Great Problems

(Pro 25:6 KJV) Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:

The KJV tries to get closer to the meaning of “great men” (1419) by putting the “men” in italics.  This is an adjective, not a noun.  I think the best translation would be “the great” which is by far the most common in both KJV and NASB.  This should be reaching out and reminding our souls of the need for humility. 

Some are called to work with the up and coming but the general goal for believers is to reach out to the poor, weak and lonely.  I know a lot of churches that will play the “serve the poor” chorus but when it comes to the verses their entire program is designed to appeal to the well heeled.  One of the few churches that is still focused on reaching the needy is the Salvation Army.  What some people don’t want to remember is that the Salvation Army is a church and has local congregations.  If you want to see people get really busy suggest that they go with you to attend a Salvation Army church sometime.  They will be much more inclined to go to First Middle Class Fellowship.

So?  Be aware of the tendency to want to be hanging with the “better sort”.  You might be needed somewhere else. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Target of Envy

(Pro 24:1 KJV) Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.

The KJV uses a word that is not in the Hebrew so it is not technically correct but is a helpful comment on the problem.  The word is “against”.  Envy is not just a desire for the things that a person has but is an attack against the person.  I think that is an important distinction. 

When we look at the wealth, status, looks, personality or any other quality of another person and feel disenfranchised because we don’t have it, part of that lusting is an attack on the other person.  It at least generates hostile thoughts and those will effect our actions.  It is not just wanting the thing, it is wanting them not to have it.

So?  It really does not hurt us to work on being satisfied with what we have instead of always striving for more.  I know that danger of that is complacency and sloth.   I know it can sound like a condemnation of worthy ambitions.  Some need to try harder but in America a large group are selling their family’s future to get ahead.  Balance. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

How about a Nice Pat on the Head

(Pro 23:9 KJV) Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

 I am wondering if this is one of those places in Proverbs where context applies.  This chapter has two different warnings against getting too excited about being invited to dinner.  There is a tendency to think that you might have something to say.  Picture being invited to a state dinner in the White House.  You would be surrounded by important people, or so you think.  You might ask yourself if they are more important than you or just invited for political payoff.

I don’t know how many meetings I went to as a teacher and we were told they wanted our “input”.  After they got it they went out and did what they had planned originally.  I remember when they were spending several million dollars of bond money to remodel the gym.  The PE coaches really got into it.  They went to every meeting and jumped through all the hoops.  I was told later that they got nothing they wanted.

So?  I guess we can share our ideas but don’t be surprised if all we get is a pat on the head. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Leaning to Learn

(Pro 22:17 KJV) Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.

I am sure I mark my age but those of you old enough may remember a commercial on TV where a couple of people were in a noise restaurant talking and then one of them say, “My broker is E.F. Hutton and E.F. Hutton says...”  At that movement the restaurant become pin drop quiet as everyone in the room leans toward the guy talking.  Then the concluding line is, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen”.  I don’t know about that but it is the sense of this verse.  When you accept that someone has something important to say situate yourself to benefit from the knowledge.

So?  God is speaking.  Sometime it is what has been called “the still small voice”.  Sometimes it is the booming baritone of the preacher.  Always it is the written word.  Give a listen. 

Monday, October 21, 2019

It Makes a Difference

(Pro 21:18 KJV) The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.

To move toward understanding in this verse we need to start with the word “wicked” (7563).  We need to get over our limited scope of wickedness.  We tend to think of rapists and child molesters as wicked and they are.  But the contrast here is with “righteous” (6662) not nice.  A wicked person does not need to be a Nazi concentration camp guard in order to get the label.  It could be your child’s kindergarten teacher or the lady next door who bakes you cookies. 

When I have seen people suffer I have wondered why.  What did they do to deserve the suffering?  Usually it is nothing we can see but I think this is a promise that there will be more suffering for the wicked than the righteous.  It could also be that God has some purpose that we will not understand this side of glory.  We cannot judge.

So?  Righteousness pays off today and in eternity.  Believe it. 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Back Seat Driving

(Pro 20:24 KJV) Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

I am not sure if this is a rhetorical question or not.  Let’s assume it is.  Then this can either be a matter of frustration or a reason for comfort.  To paraphrase a bit, God has things going on that you can never understand.  The question is do you relax or kick against the pricks. 

Some people need to be in charge.  They want to know where you are going, why you are going and what you are going to do when you get there.  Then they want to know what route you are going to take coming back and what time you will arrive.  Basically, to that person, I say, I don’t have a clue.  Picture being a short person on the back of a bicycle built for two.  You can’t see where you are going.  Your handle bars won’t turn.  Are you totally uninvolved?  No, you can do two things.  You can peddle and you can lean. 

So?  Generally we can assume that God will give us the information and ability to do what is needed.  The problem is that often we are not listening or willing.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Point from Reference

(Pro 19:22 KJV) The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.

My Hebrew skills consist of a wish and some reference books based on the Strong’s numbering system.  That means I could be totally off on this but my sources say that the KJV is more accurate here than the NASB.  In the NASB the desire is a modifier pointing at the man.  My sources say that the Hebrew for “desire” (8378) is a noun.  The NASB seems to be implying that the desire is in God.  What it is saying is that we as human beings should have a desire for kindness.

“Kindness” (2617a) in the New Testament is part of the definition of love.  Love is a conscious choice, not an emotion or an hormonal response. 

So?  Once again walking in righteousness comes down to our choices.  Those choices are expanded by grace and the power of the Holy Spirit but choices they remain.  This is a day to chose wisely. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Seeker Garden

(Pro 18:15 KJV) The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.

We have a lot of words that we would love to have applied to us.  Don’t you wish you had this verse with your name in it?  The key is the price we are willing to pay to earn the accolades.  This is where we decide to go to lunch.  Notice the two verbs, “getteth" (acquires NASB) (7069) and “seeks” (1245) .  That means that the compliments are not delivered by Fed-Ex overnight but are grown like vegetables in the back yard garden.  No one may be aware of how much you spaded and hoed.  All they see are the great tomatoes. 

You are obviously not God.  You could not take a bunch of sand and gravel and turn it into a tomato.  God caused the soil to develop and causes the chemical processes in the plant to produce something that is delicious and nutritious.  All you had to do was sweat a little.

So?  Grace is free.  Wisdom is sought.  Be a seeker. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Morsels of Glory

(Pro 17:1 KJV) Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

We are just a few weeks away from the most festive time of the year.  We have Halloween for those who celebrate it.  Then we have Thanksgiving, Christmas and New years.  It is a time for gathering together.  It should be a time of glorious focus on the blessings that God has given and will continue to give.  Too often we focus on the wrong things.

We are influenced by the people we are with.  That can be good or bad.  Family get togethers can be like fingernails on a chalk board or they can be a renewing brew.  If they are destructive then you are better off being “sick” this year.

Family and friends mean food.  How seductive is the food.  It is the one big sin available to Christians.  The feast is a part of the fellowship.  It can also be a gateway to so much that is wrong in our lives.  Gluttony is a sin.  Then there are those who eat to distract themselves from other pain.  Obesity and the results destroy our bodies.  It might be better to stay at home and have some crackers and cheese.

So?  So much depends on our attitude and how we interact with our situation.  Rejoice in what you have even if it is a thin sandwich in the kitchen by yourself.  Invite God to share it with you and the heavens can come down. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

You Must Leave before You Arrive

(Pro 16:17 KJV) The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

As I write I am looking at maps and planning a road trip.  One of the features of the maps program on my computer that is not available on my phone is the ability to chart a route that avoids toll roads.  Another factor is that the computer might show different routes at different times of the day because of traffic patterns.  That is handy because you might not want to go through town during rush hour. 

Usually when we plan routes it is a desire to get somewhere but Proverbs points out that the purpose of the road is also to get away from somewhere.  Set aside fleeing natural disasters and just think about what is the best way to get out of town.  Since I will be driving from a location I am not familiar with to one that I know it is probably more important for me to plan the getaway.

So?  In life Satan may have a few surprises waiting for you.  It is reassuring how often we can chart our path and avoid those traps simply by living a righteous life.  There are signs.  I know I am not in the best part of town if I see a lot of bail bondsmen.  Keep your eyes open as you move down the highway. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Reject or Accept

(Pro 15:12 KJV) A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.

Attitude is so important.  It filters what we hear and censors what we say.  Attitude also determines what we feel.  I recognize this when I see others processing what I say.  I am not so alert when I am the one falling short of the law of love. 

Why do we reject advice?  Sometimes because we have thought it through and rejected it because it dilutes righteousness.  Would that it was always that way.  When someone tells you how to get away with a flagrant violation of honesty it may seem golden at first listen but if your standards are right you will almost immediately feel the dissonance.  Other times it takes a bit longer but an attitude of honesty and seeking first His kingdom will eventually wake you up.

What if it doesn’t?  Maybe you are a “scorner” (scoffer NASB) (3917b) at heart.  Maybe I am a scoffer at heart.

So?  Righteous self examination is always in order.  I think it is always good to make sure that our motives are right and our foundations are true.  Read.  Study.  Ponder.  Act. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

A Wagon on a Hill

(Pro 14:34 KJV) Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

I am glad to be an American.  I am also embarrassed to be an American.  Actually that should be expanded to “I am embarrassed to be a human being”.  Our cultures are rejecting the idea of “righteousness” (6666) and glorifying “sin” (2403b).  The change may have started subtly but we are going down a steep hill with well oiled wheels.  The question is, “What do we do about it?”

When I was a kid we lived briefly in a house with a steep dead-end road out our front door.  We were cool.  We had a wagon.  We were stupid.  I am not sure at what point in the ride I considered that it might be a bad idea but I was convinced when I reached the bottom.  Blood and scrapes were the order of the day.  The smartest thing would have been to not get in the wagon.  If I had half a brain I would have bailed early.  Like most of us, it was too late before I realized the danger. 

So?  We can’t usually bail from our culture, or can we?  The word for church is “called out ones”.  We need to be looking for things that we can be called out of.  Think of clubs and organizations you have joined.  Some might be able to change jobs.  Many will need to find a church that is not oiling the wheels. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Ranking Riches

(Pro 13:8 KJV) The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

How do you define “riches” (wealth NASB) (6239)?  The quick answer for most people involves looking around and checking their standard of living.  Most people on reflection will look a little farther.  In this context of “ransom” (3724a) it is a question of paying to redeem your captivity.  If you were captured by pirates and they demanded a ransom most people would give up their money rather than their children.  Wealth is a matter of attitude and priorities.

So?  Look at your calendar.  Look at your checkbook.  What does that say about the things you value most?  Is God pleased? 

Saturday, October 12, 2019


(Pro 12:3 KJV) A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

“Wickedness” (7562) does not have a “root” (8328).  It does not start with one.  It does not develop one.  Adam Clarke makes an interesting statement about this.  He says, “Evil is always a variable...”  I know that variables are a part of math and necessary for equations but in living life variables become a matter of convenience.  Have you ever tried to play a game like Monopoly with someone who keeps changing the rules?  It doesn’t take long before no one will play their game.

You run into people like this all the time.  In politics we see this as one difference between those called liberal and those called conservative.  Whatever the value of their positions and whether you agree with them or not, one side adjusts the facts and the other adjusts to the facts.  Truth does not change.  In order to not change it must exist and be understandable.

So?  We need to be constantly seeking to understand the truth.  In order to do that we need to find out what it is.  That is another good reason to begin each day in the Book of Truth.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Strangers in the Day

(Pro 11:15 KJV) He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.

Keep in mind that just because someone is a “stranger” (2114a) doesn’t mean that they are treated like trash.  In some cases non-Jews were to be held accountable just like Jews.  In other situations they were to be given a bit of leeway.  There was an overriding principle:
(Lev 19:34 KJV) But the stranger (1616) that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Here we run into some difficulty with translations.  Some strangers are stranger than others.  Notice that though the English is the same the Hebrew number from Strong’s system is different.  The one used here in Proverbs is also used as adulteress.  It means strange in an corrupt way.  The one in Leviticus is more like someone with a tourist visa or a green card. 

So?  Nuance requires thinking.  Be careful about one-verse proof texts.  We can never afford to turn off our minds.  God wants a package deal of body, soul, mind and spirit.  Robots need not apply. 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Mark It Paid

(Pro 10:16 KJV) The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.

The word for “sin” (2403b) has an interesting potential for translation.  It can be translated this way but there is a word added throughout the Old Testament that gives it a different slant.  That word is “offering”.  Thus the promise to the unrepentant sinner is that they will become a sin offering.

When you put this together with
(Rom 6:23 KJV) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Heb 9:22 KJV) And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
it becomes clear that the sinner will pay for his sin with his own blood.

So?  We can rejoice in the knowledge that the shed blood of Jesus on the cross moved us from the sin offering category to the paid in full column.  A good thought to start the day and apply by our obedience. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Fear Hormone

(Pro 9:10 KJV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

How can it be healthy to live in “fear” (3374)?  We tend to think of fear as something that locks our joints, turns our muscles to jelly and freezes our mind.  There may be some people who need to look at God with that attitude but not the believer.  For us fear is a growth hormone that gives strength and vitality.  It opens new worlds to us.  Sound strange?

Think about the first time you got behind the wheel of a car.  You entered in fear and it is a good thing.  Your actions now made the difference in how 2,000 pounds of steel and plastic interacted with the world around you.  Remember how hard it was to control the steering wheel?  Every little tremble caused the car to change direction.  In time you learned to live with it but it started with fear.

In one sense that fear should never go away.  The car is still a lot of mass that can cause a lot of damage.  If you forget that then you have even more reason to fear.

So?  God is not an inanimate object.  That makes Him even more dangerous.  At the same time He has these auto-correct features that put Him in control.  Fear.  Relax.  Obey.  Trust.  Get on with the journey. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Refreshing Priorities

(Pro 8:21 KJV) That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

We need to keep in mind verse 10 when we look at this.
(Pro 8:10 KJV) Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
It is a delicate edge to keep that requires us to reject wealth in order to gain wisdom and have the wealth promised in the same chapter.  It seems to me that the promise of one would cause us to lose focus on the other.

But such is the life of faith.  We see a similar conflict in,
(Joh 12:25 KJV) He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
There are times when we will need to react based on our inner compass but much of the time walking with Jesus demands a mind as fully engaged as our heart and soul. 

So?  Every day is a constant renewal of priorities.  That is one reason it is so important to start with worship and imbibing in the word.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Look Out

(Pro 7:6 KJV) For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

I wonder if this picture is studied or accidental.  It doesn’t tell us if the observer has been standing there a long time looking for something specific.  He could have just glanced out and seen one young man who stood out.  I imagine in life we will run into both.

It is good for us to look around us and be observant.  When I read about people who are attacked or have problems it is amazing how often it is a result of being someplace they should have avoided.  I live in Texas.  We have quite a bug population including scorpions.  Scorpions like to sit in out of the way places.  Scorpions sting.  Stings hurt.  So I make it a practice not to pick up boxes in corners without looking.

Sometimes we need to simply be paying attention and we will see things.  I don’t usually have any problem running into deer while I am walking across the yard.  It does not take much for us to avoid each other.

So?  Be alert and keep you brain in gear.  God promises to guard us but it is amazing how often we are told to be alert in spite of that.  He never promised to make all doors open in the direction we are going. 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Beyond Skin Deep

(Pro 6:25 KJV) Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

I don’t know if we are ever going to win this one.  God made creation beautiful and gave us the ability to appreciate it.  That may be one of the differences in us that make up the image of God.  I can’t imagine a cow on a hillside being entranced by the view across the valley.  When your dog looks at you with puppy eyes I don’t think it is “beauty” (3308) he is seeing.

Maybe that is a lesson for us.  Your dog doesn’t care if you have sox that match or if your hair is combed.  He might care if you had a bath but I would not count on it.  There is some deeper and more basic connection that he is making.  We are all about culture and appreciation of the arts and knowing good coffee when we taste it.  That ability is from God.  So is the ability to look beyond the surface and make decisions based on more important values.

So?  Are you beautiful?  On the outside or the inside?  One is more important than the other. 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Well Known Strangers

(Pro 5:17 KJV) Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee.

There are three concepts that get confused in translation.  The word that brings this up is “strangers” (2114a).  In this chapter it carries the idea of an adulteress which is another of the concepts and the third is foreigner.  The point here, although rooted in a discussion of adultery, is that there are certain people whom you are not to trust.  It does not mean that you can mistreat them or sin against them.  It just means that they are outside of any covenant with you and thus do not live the way you do.

Or at least there should be a difference.  The thing is that we are the ones who are supposed to be different.  The ways of the stranger are the long established ways of the world.  The ways of the believer are different.  We look in horror at the revelations about the euphemism of “human trafficking”.  We forget the age old terms of prostitution and child molestation and act like this is something new.  No, it is not new.  God’s people have always stood against it but as we have been conforming to the world it has become accepted.

So?  We are to be holy.  We are to reject the ways of the world whether it is updated with modern language or the simple old terms we have known for so long.  Remember that the Greek word for church means “called out ones”.

Friday, October 4, 2019

A Word Gone Dirty

(Pro 4:2 KJV) For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

One thing that puts my teeth on edge is the number of people who go around claiming to be followers of Jesus and rejecting the idea of doctrine.  They say it is all about Jesus not doctrine.  That is a totally unbiblical and unchristian attitude.  The KJV uses “doctrine” (3498) while the NASB tries to avoid controversy by translating “teaching”.  This simply begs the question which moves on to “What do you teach?”  If you are part of the “Jesus Only” group then the question is, “What do you teach about Jesus?”  Whether you teach what He taught or teach about Him you have moved into doctrine.

The New Testament is more clear on this issue.  The word translated doctrine in the NT and the word translated teaching are almost always the same.  Doctrine is not a dirty word.  It is simply one of those words that the modern age has tried to avoid because it requires them to surrender some of their ego and self power.  That sounds like a good thing.

So?  Of course there is bad doctrine as well as good doctrine.  The best way to know the difference is by reading the source of the doctrine and using your own mind under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  Happy growing. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Dealing with Raw Oats

(Pro 3:2 KJV) For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

This is a promise that speaks to me today.  I was ambushed this morning by some doom and gloom about the deep state and how they were controlling the weather and it seemed there was no hope.  Woe is me.  Then I read Proverbs 3 and the rock came up to meet my feet.  The rock is not just a big boulder but the foundation of creation.

The important thing to include is that this is not an empty promise without context.  You need to read around it and absorb the magic ingredients.  Raw oats are a the promise of nutrition but it is an empty promise if they are not prepared.  Oats require some kind of milling, a liquid to cook them in, a fire to heat the mixture and ideally a bit of salt and some sweetener.  God’s promises are often like that.

So?  It is a day to rejoice and a day to prepare for the next day’s rejoicing. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019


(Pro 2:15 KJV) Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:

The KJV again uses the English “froward” (3868) but there is a difference in this Hebrew word.  That is why the NASB says “devious”.  I think a better word would be sidetracked.  It means to turn aside.  It is a picture of someone who knows where they are supposed to be going and how to get there but decides to dally.

Sometimes the distraction is momentary and no issue but when we allow the pattern to set in it becomes a destructive habit.  Have you ever missed an important appointment because you stopped to do one more thing on the way?  It may have been important and a good thing to do but it kept you from something more important.

So?  One appointment you don’t want to miss is with Jesus.  Don’t let the good distract you from the best. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019


(Pro 1:31 KJV) Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

What is the result of doing things our “way” (1870)?  Can you think of a time when someone gave you a chore with specific directions and you did it your way instead?  When it comes to taking out the garbage you may get away with it but shortcuts in cooking chicken can get you poisoned.  The problem with being human is that we tend to see things from our perspective.  We expect people to see us coming.  As a result we often “eat” (398) it. 

So?  God did not give us the written word so that we would have a use for excess paper.  It is there to share the wisdom of a better way.  It is there to guide us to salvation and righteousness.  It is something you cannot do your way.