An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Hang On to What You’ve Got

(Pro 11:16 KJV) A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

This is another place where the translators make choices and it comes out different.  I find that the NASB clashes with the principles God wants us to live by.  I find that the KJV makes sense.  One difference is the word that KJV translates “retain” (8551) and the NASB gives as “attains”.  The word itself is neutral in moral value.  It can be negative as,
(Pro 5:22 KJV) His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden (8551) with the cords of his sins.
It can also be positive,
(Pro 31:19 KJV) She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold (8551) the distaff.
So?  I would say that one of the jobs of a man is to maintain the family wealth instead of squandering it.  Other places may include the women in this task but here it is a recommendation to the husband. 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Having a Bad Day

(Pro 10:12 KJV) Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

Proof-texting, bad.  Eisegesis, bad.  Both call to me in this verse.  I recently reflected on a previous verse,
(Proverbs 8:13 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
I pointed out that we are required to hate evil.  Now as I read the first part of this verse I am reminded of the probable consequences of hating evil, “strife” (4090). 

The actual context is to emphasize “love” (160) over hate but when we exercise “hatred” (8135) in a Biblical manner we need to understand it will cause tension.  It will cause tension among church attenders because they have been conditioned to avoid conflict even in the pursuit and defense of truth.  Their answer always seems to be, “A little more water, please.  It is still too strong”.  The other group that will think bad thoughts toward you are the evil that you are exposing.

So?  Jesus promised we would be persecuted if we followed Him.  It is a promise that we don’t like to remember but it is still true.  Happy truth day. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Ad in Advice

(Pro 9:16 KJV) Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

It always amazes me how easily we are conned.  I have been amused by the recent spate of work desks that are designed and sold for standing up while you work.  I think the idea is that it is more healthy to stand up than to sit all day.  Usually the desk is accompanied by an attractive model who looks like they have just had a happy pill.  I understand the aspect of standing up and taking a walk or stretching but somehow I think of the work desks Cratchit used.  They look similar and are the symbol of Victorian oppression.  Now they are cutting edge.

It is not so amusing when people find numerous ways to say, “That is not what God meant.”  Or “That is the God of the Old Testament.”  Or “That does not belong in the Bible.”  It sounds good.  It may even start off the same as the correct advice but if you look down a few verses it leads to death and hell.

So?  Advisors, counselors, teachers, they can all be wonderful but they can also be the door to hell.  Make sure that you compare what they advise to the actual written word of God. 

Friday, November 8, 2019

Be a Hater

(Pro 8:13 KJV) The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

As Christians we often tend to be very selective in our memory of scripture.  That is sometimes because we see what we think is a conflict and can’t deal with it so we suppress certain verses.  I think that is what is going on here.  We have gotten so used to interpreting the Bible so that it can be approved by your friendly neighborhood pagan or heretic that we water it down.

We remember the verses about the “fear” (3374) of the Lord being the beginning of wisdom and knowledge.  Somehow we forget that it also requires us to “hate” (8130).  That is not nice so it must be a misprint, right?  Wrong.  We need to develop a passion of hatred for the “evil” (7451b) of the world as much as we are to love.  The hate is to be focused.  It is not aimed at people or to be on our latest prejudice.  Of course if the people are perverted it will be hard to separate the two. 

So?  We need to get more active in campaigning against the evil in our society.  Love is not always nice.  God is love and yet He will allow people to go to Hell. 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Moment of Truth

(Pro 7:22 KJV) He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

I think this is a key verse in understanding the fulcrum of sin.  If you read over the chapter you can see that this plunge into adultery was not a sudden inspiration.  It seems to have been planned and the plan was followed step by step.  In a very real sense the sin was in the intent.  Jesus makes that clear when He talks about what is going on in our hearts.
(Mat 5:28 KJV) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
So intent is important but there is something about the moment you commit yourself by action.

Until you act the sin is between you and God.  Once you put it in motion you bring others into the equation.  In this verse the other party was just as guilty but what about the husband who is away on business.  When you act there will be consequences.  The conclusion here is that the man is now dead.  His actions brought fruition to his attitudes.

So?  Be alert for the downhill journey.  It may start very mild but will eventually begin to speed up.  It is much easier to grab the rail in the stairway when you first feel insecure than to wait until you are flying through the air.  God forgives but we might get to the point where we can’t repent.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Waste Abounds

(Pro 6:26 KJV) For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

Wasted money.  Wasted resources.  Wasted lives.  This is a reminder that God expects us to be stewards of what we have.  The context is sexual sin but I don’t think the words necessarily mean prostitutes.  I think the context works just as well with the casual fling.  It is so easy to throw away everything we have built up in life and do it in a moment.

Here the danger is sex outside of marriage.  It could just as well be going for that one time shady business deal that is going to set you up and you promise not to do it again.  It could be the lie that gets you out of a tight spot but comes back to bite you. 

So?  Forgiveness is available.  Grace is a gift.  God is patient.  He also is not big on playing games and you can’t fool Him. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Solomon the Marriage Counselor

(Pro 5:18 KJV) Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

I am a bit amused at Solomon giving advice on marriage.  I am reminded that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.  Granted, many of these were political marriages but I somehow have a hard time believing there were 1,000 countries whom he needed to impress. 

One lesson for us is that good advice can come from questionable sources but you don’t know it is good advice unless you know God’s standards of righteous living.  The point being made here is that we are to focus our affection on our one and only wife.  We are not to go looking for a sympathetic ear or a young face.

So?  Truth is available if we want it. 

Monday, November 4, 2019

Righteous Clarity

(Pro 4:18-19 KJV) But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.  The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Good and evil are the contrasting themes of this chapter.  In our day of polite discourse and wishy-washy Christians we want to avoid both the demand for holiness and the reality of evil.  We have Christians claiming that we cannot live righteous lives and multiple web sites talking about the 613 laws of God that no one can live up to.  On the other hand we refuse to call the swelling evil in our society what it is because we don’t want to offend anyone.

This does not please God.  In this verse it is clear that the “righteous” (6662) road is one that shows what is ahead.  In the next verse Solomon points out that the road of wickedness is shrouded and vague.

So?  We need to consciously chose to follow the Highway of Holiness.  The markers are clear if you will look for them. 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Reload Your Page

(Pro 3:3 KJV) Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

As I read through this chapter today I was struck by the constant call for buy-in.  I guess in computers we might talk about refresh.  When you are on the internet you see a little circular arrow in the top corner.  I think of it as a refresh for the page.  When you hover your cursor over it the term is “reload page”.  In our spiritual lives we tend to want to get stuck in the mud, with the familiar.  We don’t want to get current.

Often that is not a problem but we do not serve a static God.  He may be immutable but He is vital in His personhood.  There are always fresh insights and truths that slipped under our radar.  I know when I approve comments on my blog they do not appear until I do something that renews the page.

So?  “Relationship” in the modern sense is not in the Bible but it does lift up the reality of a walk with the Living God.  While it is eternal and based on eternal truth it is constantly renewed.  I am guessing that is because we are not capable of eternal focus and need to be retargeted. 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Processing

(Pro 2:10 KJV) When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;

Most of us want to jump to the results, the reward, the promise.  Then we wonder why it doesn’t seem to work out.  Because we have skipped over all the preparation required.  Have you ever read what it says on a can of paint about preparation?  I have and then I ignore most of it.  That might be why my paint jobs don’t come out so good.  In some cases if you don’t prep right then the paint will peel off in a short time.  The same is true of our spiritual walk.

If you look back at this chapter in regard to the preparation you will see that the promise of a wise heart and a pleasant soul are based on a lot of things like seeking and listening.  God is not a magic elixir that mysteriously makes things right.  Yes, He does what might seem like magic and He deals in mystery but our part is much more basic.

So?  Grace is a gift.  Growth is a process.  Start processing. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Calm Waters

(Pro 1:33 KJV) But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

There is a lot of “fear” (dread NASB) (6343) floating around today.  My wife has gotten into watching some of the talking heads on You Tube who have nothing but doom and gloom to forecast.  I can’t say that I disagree with their general analysis that things are going down hill but I do have two issues.  One is that things have been going down hill since I can remember.  So I take that with a grain of salt.

The second thing that occurs to me is found in this verse.  Yes, I am supposed to have eyes that see and a mind that thinks but it is supposed to be attached to a heart that is rooted in God and a fear of God.  This verse that calms our waters is juxtaposed to the verse earlier that actually begins the advice of Proverbs.  In case you don’t have a Bible handy, let me give it to you again.
(Pro 1:7 KJV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Our lack of dread begins with a solid fear.  It is a healthy fear based on an awareness of God.  We know who He is.  We know He is holy.  We know He is mighty.  We know Him because we know Jesus.

So?  Am I concerned about the state of the economy?  Of course.  I will need to be as long as I need to pay for groceries.  Am I freaked out because the Deep State is trying to put me on the street?  No.  My God is bigger and if I end up on the street there will be a place to go.