(Pro 30:22 KJV) For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;
How do the ruling elites control the masses? I guess there are different methods depending on the variables of numbers, awareness, ability and weapons available. Pharaoh kept them so poor and hungry that they worked as slaves. Islam has at times used the terror approach. Look at the Armenian Holocaust as an example. Rome, facing a massive group who knew how to use weapons went for bread and circuses. People can be controlled.
What do the elites of America use? I would suggest the Roman approach. Our bread and circuses are wrapped up in social media, sports, alcohol, ignorance and drugs. By drugs I don’t just mean the illegal kind. I don’t know how many children I worked with who were tanked up on medications to make them pliable.
So? As Christians we need to be aware that there are godless groups trying to separate us from the joy of the Lord. Sadly some of those people are in leadership in the organized church. It is up to you as a child of God to seek His face so that He can remind you of who He is and quicken your spirit. (Posted, November 30, 2020, PP)
Monday, November 30, 2020
(Pro 30:22 KJV) For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;
Sunday, November 29, 2020
(Pro 29:3 KJV) Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.
Certain types of people suck the life out of you. Here the reference is to “harlots” (2181). It brings to my mind the prodigal son who “wasted his substance with riotous living”. There are many ways in which you can throw away your inheritance. We hear about young people going into a business with no idea of how to make it work and losing a fortune. We know of people who spend too much on fast cars and expensive bistros. This is the opposite of “wisdom” (2451).
So? Proverbs seems to say that our needs will be met but I don’t think that promise applies if we waste what God provides us.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
(Pro 28:10 KJV) Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.
“And they lived happily ever after.” So end the many stories we heard as children. As a child I accepted that as a good ending. I wanted to think that life had one big problem, which solved left the future a time of unicorns and rainbows. I probably kept wondering how come it didn’t work out that way. Actually, it will.
As Christians we are promised a happy ending. The problem is that we don’t set the time or place. That is in God’s hands. But the assurance is there. I don’t know how many times I have used the mantra, “I have read the book and we win.” There will be stumbles along the way. I may not be one of those destined to arrive at the earthly destination. Think of the Pilgrims who came to Plymouth. I think around half of them died the first winter. They did not live to see the next chapter of the story, but it was there.
So? We have a promise. We may not see it in our three score and ten but we will see it in eternity.
Friday, November 27, 2020
Pro 27:20 KJV) Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
A misconception of our society is that sincerity is a deciding factor. Thus if we really want something, it must be good. Not necessarily. This verse reminds us of the carnal nature that we are all born with. My granddaughter is with us for a few weeks and she is in the “mine” phase. She probably won’t get out of it until she is saved and the Spirit takes control. It is amazing how many things are hers. The reason? Because she says so, or as this verse would put it, her eyes say so.
When we are redeemed and the Holy Spirit has worked on the inner man our choices become more righteous.
So? There are three levels of spiritual life mentioned at the end of I Corinthians 2 and the beginning of chapter three. The natural man is unsaved. The fleshly man is saved but not mature. The spiritual man is ready to make decisions in confidence. Strive to be the spiritual man.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
(Pro 26:20 KJV) Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
We would like to think that the “wood” (6086) is the facts about our actions. We live under the illusion that if we just live the right way then there will be nothing for people to attack. I am not sure if I should say, “Dream on” or “Wake up and smell the roses.” What is bursting into flames is the gossip and innuendo, not your behavior.
In one sense there is little you can do about the problem. It is their mind and mouth. In reality you might be able to pick your associates more carefully.
So? You may not pick your family, you might have limited choice of whom you work with, but you are the one who decides on friends.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
(Pro 25:19 KJV) Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
I am at the age where I cannot assume that my feet will work properly. It is weird the way I can suddenly develop a pain in one ankle for no reason and after a few steps it will depart. It isn’t something I can have a doctor check out because, just like in my old cars, if it ain’t broke, you can’t fix it.
I can’t fix it but I can prepare for it. When I get up, whether it is from bed the first thing in the morning or from a chair in the middle of the day, I stand with caution. It only takes a few moments to get mobile. Sometimes it is just that pause to make sure everything is working. Other times it is a chance for the parts to come together as intended. Then I am ready to go.
So? Before you put any confidence in the people around you, give it a pause. Consider and pray. It might keep you from an unexpected fall.
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
(Pro 24:11 KJV) If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;
As I write we are days away from a general election and the people of America are on edge. We have witnessed violence and we are promised more violence. As I post this we will know how those prophecies worked out. In the midst of all this we have a commission. If we have placed our faith in Jesus Christ it is because of the truth we have found in the Bible and the way in which the Holy Spirit has applied that truth to our hearts. In the midst of the chaos and potential chaos we have an assurance that is echoed throughout this chapter.
The assurance we have applies both today and forever. We have an inner sense of peace because we believe that God is working in His providence to bring about His will. We are a part of that plan so we can rest and be blessed. That is for today. We also have the promise that when it comes to the ultimate “death” (4194) we have nothing to fear. We will be like the child being put on the airplane and told that our grandparents will meet us at the other end.
So? This verse tells me we need to use the social state of anxiety to share with those around us why we are not fearful of the outcome. We can “deliver” (5337) those who can’t sleep at night. Tell them why you can.
Monday, November 23, 2020
(Pro 23:22 KJV) Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
The Bible is full of standards that have been rejected by our culture and generations before us. Here is another one: Respect for our parents. One thing that gives me a hard time is that there is no qualifier about the parents being worthy. I guess we could assume it but children who are inclined to discredit their parents already have their mind made up. Is it because the parents did a bad job or just because the kids are so steeped in sin that they can’t see straight?
On the other side, we as parents are called to be worthy of respect. That means that we understand our place is to be foundations and not friends. We are builders of young lives not buddies of narcissistic teen-agers. The call is to be worthy even if they don’t see it.
So? I write after going to dinner with my daughter and grandson. It was a glorious time. It wasn’t always that way when she was being raised. I hope you have the same joy I do.
Sunday, November 22, 2020
(Pro 22:1 KJV) A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
Is money important? In our modern culture yes. If you lived in North America a thousand years ago, not so much. At that point you couldn’t even count your horses as wealth because the Europeans had not brought them yet. The point here is not the physical minerals made into coins. The comparison is objects you value compared to relationships you value, things versus people.
Things can be replaced. If your house was on fire would you rescue your child first or your antique clock? I hope that you don’t need to think too long about that.
So? Priorities. We all have them. They will decide if you have time to worship. They may determine how your children turn out. They will effect your eternity.
Saturday, November 21, 2020
(Pro 21:30 KJV) There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they respond to something you didn’t say? Maybe you have been the one who makes a fool of yourself. It happens. It can also take the form of someone making a big point about a point they completely missed. During the presidential debates President Trump made a comment about coyotes smuggling children across the border. Evidently a lot of people who consider themselves important started mocking him for the statement. They seemed to think he was talking about four legged, canine animals. They immediately demonstrated their lack of “wisdom” (2451) and “understanding” (8394).
When it comes to politics and people who have over-inflated self-images this can be funny. If we are talking about eternal issues it can me much more serious.
So? Consider your own opinions. Consider the opinions of people who reject the wisdom of the Bible. One is to be ignored, maybe both if they are based on the same data base.
Friday, November 20, 2020
(Pro 20:6 KJV) Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
I want to rephrase the question to “Can you find anyone worth trusting?” This is an important question. It must be answered regularly in our daily interactions and decisions. This verse also makes it clear that the person you are wondering about is not supposed to have a lot of influence in the decision. His opinion does not matter. It cannot be trusted.
This does not mean he is unworthy. An honest opinion of our self is always the hardest to form. The error goes both ways. It always amazes me the people that are willing to get up and sing solos in church. Once I could see. Everyone is entitled to give it a try. Repeated strings of flatted notes and cracking chords should not be repeated. I enjoy playing the guitar. I have been working on playing the melody of hymns I enjoy. When I worship on the front porch at sunrise I honestly believe the Lord enjoys it as much as I do. I only had to try it once in church to realize I was not ready for prime time.
So? Be honest with yourself. Be honest when considering others. Keep in mind that if they clean out the dishwasher you might be the one trying to find the silverware.
Thursday, November 19, 2020
(Pro 19:5 KJV) A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
Lying is a big deal. We find all sorts of synonyms to take away the stigma. Our culture seems to accept it and many of the cultures blending with the American stream seem to have no problem with it. In spite of that, lying is a big deal. It is one of the corrosive agents that is breaking down the fiber of our society. Yet we still don’t like to call it out.
Think about the consequences of even little lies. It means that we cannot trust the other person. We cannot take their descriptions of events or the quality of their work. Lies weaken the ties that hold us together.
So? It is not mystery about why truth is so important to God’s kingdom and any earthly political entity that wants to prosper.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
(Pro 18:4 KJV) The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.
As I write we are in a political season. Since we are Americans, it is always a political season. We have a lot of people who want us to listen to them. I guess this blog is another example of that. I don’t know if I have anything to say but I have a need to say. I am satisfied that I am seeking truth. I may not always recognize it but it is the goal. You cannot assume that of many of the sources you have.
Always consider the source. I remember the first diet drinks that were successful. They were put out of circulation because of some “research” that said the sweetener caused cancer. What was of interest was the rumor that the “research” was paid for by the sugar industry. That is a common denominator in people who push green energy because they want government contracts to teachers that claim they need more money for education.
So? Remember the words of Jesus,
(Mat 10:16 KJV) Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.Don’t fall into the deep waters of deception.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
(Pro 17:15 KJV) He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
This verse shouts out to us today. We want to ignore it. We do ignore it. All around us we see a culture redefining morality and nailing down the Jello of justice. How about another alliteration: The Silly-Putty of Spirituality. Pedophelia is going mainstream. Rioting is the new family outing. Ignorance is glorified. God is not amused.
We often forget that the ultimate judge is not Judge Judy or the Ninth Circuit. It isn’t even the SCOTUS. The ultimate judge is God. The final measure of evil and good is His word.
So? The standard is established. It just remains a question of which side we want to come down on. Choose wisely.
Monday, November 16, 2020
(Pro 16:30 KJV) He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.
In this verse we have two of the monkeys, you know the “See no evil, hear no evil...” bunch. The translations of the KJV and NASB are a bit different but they hit the same two problems. Our eyes can get us into trouble. In our modern internet culture evil is often only one click away. Our eyes are constantly attracted by cleverly designed candy. A lot of money goes into research for the graphics and even the location on the page. Add to that a general knowledge of human habits and weaknesses and you have traps everywhere.
So? It is almost impossible to avoid electronic media. Maybe we should take a lesson from martial arts from fencing to the latest import from Asia, build the right habits and automatic responses by practice and discipline. You might not be able to stop the first glance but you control the next focal point.
Sunday, November 15, 2020
(Pro 15:24 KJV) The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.
The path of the righteous leads “upward” (4605). Notice the implication that Heaven is up and Hell is “below” (4295). We tend to be taught that is literal but I am not so sure. Take “heaven” for instance. Its frequent meaning is sky. It also refers to the abode of God but is usually not a reference to a place we spend eternity. Hell, or Sheol, is the underworld but I don’t think there has been any evidence in mining or drilling that there is a vast cavern under the earth holding Satan and his minions. Yet we still see the designation of high and low.
One point we need to understand is we are expected to take what is called the high road. We see this every day in politics. People who reject the God of the Bible are quite free to change the rules and lie. Christians are not. We are to take the path that leads upward. That is true for our personal fate. It is also true for our nation because that is the only way we will survive and prosper.
So? Live upright and righteous. It is the minimum standard, not just a fuzzy goal.
Saturday, November 14, 2020
(Pro 14:11 KJV) The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
This is a prophecy that is easy to dispute. We all know people living in blatant and unashamed defiance of God who seem to be doing very well. We also know people who are obviously living upright lives that are struggling. It is easy for us to fall victim to appearances, and I say that without apologizing for rationalization.
What you see is not always what you get. I know of times when I take a big bite of an apple and immediately realize that I did not inspect if carefully enough. We have all had a big, juicy slice of watermelon that has as much flavor as unsalted tofu. Careful cooks will crack their eggs one at a time in a separate bowl. This applies double for people around you.
So? Don’t believe everything you see. Don’t assume that inner turmoil will show. Walk in faith and righteousness. It is the only assurance.
Friday, November 13, 2020
(Pro 13:19 KJV) The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
“Desire” (8378) is another one of those words that can be used in a positive or a negative way. Its value is in the context. Sometimes the context is the situation. Other times, like this, the context is in the person doing the desiring. Since the negative part of the verse refers to “fools” (3684) it would follow that the first part refers to the wise or righteous.
The promise of fulfillment is to those who are not foolish. Although the contrast is wise/foolish you need to remember that Proverbs also says,
(Pro 9:10 KJV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.So? Proverbs 9:10 is a well known verse. It might help in our lives if we would take it seriously.
Thursday, November 12, 2020
(Pro 12:16 KJV) A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.
Have you ever been deliberately insulted. Someone looks you right in the eye and boldly tells the world what is wrong with you. The verse doesn’t specifically say if you deserve it or not. It does assume that it will happen. The recommendation is to avoid showing any response. Proverbs has a lot of advice about not getting angry, being slow to respond, gentle responses and such. Here there is the recommendation of a dead pan face.
One advantage of this is it gives the situation a chance to settle down and resolve itself. It may blow over because you don’t make an issue of it. Someone else may step in and call the bluff. You may think of a righteous way to respond to the situation.
So? Maybe you could practice an unresponsive face in front of a mirror. My granddaughter likes to practice and watch herself. Maybe it would help us.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
(Pro 11:27 KJV) He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.
The NASB uses the English “seeks” twice for two different Hebrew words. The KJV translates them differently as “diligently seeketh” (7836) and “procureth” (1245). Unfortunately this is the only place the KJV uses this translation. Over 190 times it is some form of “seek”. So we don’t see a guarantee here, we see a goal.
It is not clear if the benefit comes from God or man. It could be both. Either way it seems to be telling us that if we go out looking for trouble, we will find it.
So? Motive is always as important as the actual action when it comes to righteous behavior. Check what you heart has as a goal because you will get results based on that.
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
(Pro 10:28 KJV) The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
“Hope” (8431) is one of the great New Testament words. That hope produces “gladness” (8057). This is assurance. This is guarantee. This is payoff. No empty wishing is involved here; God will deliver.
But wait. We are not in the New Testament, we are in the Old.
Hope is contrasted with “expectation” (8615b). This is the kind of hope that comes through politics and economics. It is generated when we feel we are in control or have made the right decision. It allows us to pat ourselves on the back.
So? I am free to have my expectations about the economy and to plan for them. On eternal issues my only plan is to trust in Jesus.
Monday, November 9, 2020
(Pro 9:4 KJV) Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
Here it is Wisdom speaking. Although she is speaking specifically to the “naive” (6612a) there is a sense in which she speaks to everyone. If you look down at verse 16 you see the same words coming out of the mouth of a “foolish woman”. There is a sense in which she is also speaking to everyone.
(Pro 9:16 KJV) Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,The key in both cases is the meaning of “lacks” (2638) “understanding” (3820). The KJV has “wanteth understanding”. Neither one gives the best translation. NASB does better with “lacks”. In modern times “want” means to desire. In 1611 it meant to be without. And the margin of the NASB point out “understanding” literally means “heart”. So the call is to people who have heart problems created by sin and ignorance.
So? If you have heart problems you don’t go to see the dermatologist. You don’t consult the dentist. We need to seek real solutions to what ails us.
Sunday, November 8, 2020
(Pro 8:32 KJV) Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
The context of this remark is creation and the march of history. We are then reminded of how obedience makes us “blessed” (835). I don’t know about you but I begin every day rejoicing in the creation. I watch the day emerge from the darkness. Some days are spectacular. Some days are pure vanilla. All of this show the variety and care that God has put into our world. I often reflect on how awesome it will be when I have perfect vision and no infirmities.
I am also living in a blessed time in history. If you know anything about the advance of civilization you know we live in a bubble of progress and prosperity. In America even the poor people live in luxury compared to history.
So? Rejoice if you are living in obedience. The promise is there for you.
Saturday, November 7, 2020
(Pro 7:15 KJV) Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
Have you noticed how convenient it is for us to believe what we want to hear? When you dress up for a special event and someone says, “You are looking good,” something in us believes them even if we have just looked in the mirror. It isn’t always the advertisers that deceive us. One of the techniques of selling is to make you think you need something. It moves from something you never thought of to something you want and eventually becomes what you need.
So? I guess the problem is our ability to lie to ourselves. Others help but the biggest fool is the one who believes it.
Friday, November 6, 2020
(Pro 6:2 KJV) Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
One piece of advice they gave us in the Army was to never volunteer. One of the reasons for that was you never really knew what you were volunteering for. You could never get the information you needed to determine if this would be an exception to the rule. How do you tell when it is okay to join, support, get involved or pledge yourself? You have heard the advice, “Know thyself.” A corollary of that is “Know the other guy.”
The context here is dealing with both friends and strangers. I remember one time my brother asked me to help him unload a couple of awkward pieces of furniture when he was helping his daughter move. I was good for that. Hours later the entire truck was empty, my hands refused to open and his family had sat and watched us do the whole thing. Next time he called I did not answer the phone.
So? Really be careful in your involvements. They can drag you down and ruin your whole day.
Thursday, November 5, 2020
(Pro 5:5 KJV) Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.
We are in a passage contrasting wisdom with the adulteress (NASB) or strange woman (KJV). The difference is in both behavior and information. What you believe to be true determines how you will act. The point being made here is that bad behavior based on false information can lead to eternal disaster.
Truth exists. I would concede that there are many areas where our limitations force us to choose between shades of gray but we make those decisions based on what we believe to be true. One of the political footballs of the election is something called the Green New Deal. The facts are amazingly clear. Current technology and technology of the foreseeable future does not make it possible to produce dependable power with renewable resources. Can the wind generate electricity? Obviously yes. Can you depend on the wind? Obviously no. Yet people still want to invest millions in windmills. Maybe they know something the historic Dutch didn’t but the action is based on false information.
So? Where your electricity comes from is a matter of debate. False information in relation to your eternal soul is a bit more serious.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
(Pro 4:14 KJV) Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
Is it easy or hard to recognize a “wicked” (7563) “path” (734)? Sometimes the difficulty depends on the path; sometimes, the chooser. I think of mowing the lawn. There are times when it is easy to see where I have mowed and others where it is impossible. If I am going through brush I look for indications of where people have gone before. If I am at the airport everything is labeled. One key factor is knowing where I am going.
Some people end up on the wrong road because they don’t know their destination. As followers of the living God we should know a bit about where we want to end up. I think a lot of our choices are clear if we are honest with ourselves.
So? God knows what you know. He knows your heart. He does not play games but is always willing to forgive honest mistakes. Choose wisely.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
(Pro 3:12 KJV) For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
One thing I have given up on is trying to raise other people’s children. When I was a teacher it was part of the job. It was a thankless task because many of the parents didn’t want you corrupting their children with things like responsibility and honesty. I did what I could but there was a limit on my investment. With my kids it was a different story. That was an area that did not allow for giving up. With grandchildren it gets a little more testy but since we raised our daughter right we are not worried.
So? Accept the position of God’s child not someone else’s kid being babysat. God has a genuine investment in shaping you up.
Monday, November 2, 2020
(Pro 2:5 KJV) Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
“Fear” (3374) gets mixed reviews. There is a lot of political turmoil going on right now and believers keep reminding themselves that they are to fear not. At the same time Proverbs keeps telling us to fear the Lord. It is one of those decisions that can be healthy or crippling depending on the target and the reason. If we are unrighteous the fear that we have for the Lord is totally different than the upright.
We tend to fear the things that God is in charge of. Hurricanes and earthquakes drive some people up a wall. Death is nothing but terror for billions. Tomorrow is a reason for sleeping late.
So? Do your homework. Embrace your fear by embracing your Lord.
Sunday, November 1, 2020
(Pro 1:30 KJV) They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
When it comes to wisdom and the direction that God wants to give us, there must be buy in. We must “would” (accept NASB) (14). You are used to doing this in your daily life without paying attention. You do it every time you put an app on your phone, add software to your computer, visit a new doctor or just about anything you do that requires you to sign your name. We keep getting asked, “Do you agree to the terms?” It really irritates people when you actually try to read the small print but it might be important to find out if you are pledging your first born child to Microsoft.
If you have spent any time reading Proverbs you have noticed that there are certain things that keep getting repeated. You are to fear the Lord. You are to be honest in business. You are not to be a sluggard. If you are even half way paying attention you know what God wants.
So? Are you accepting his counsel and reproof? He waits.