Pro 28:13 KJV) He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
Is there a difference between the “transgressions” (6588) of the NASB and the “sins” of the KJV? Not in the Hebrew. I noticed though that this word is overwhelmingly translated “transgression” by the KJV and always by the NASB. I have not idea why the change here. I would suggest that “transgression” has a wider target than sin. Sin would be against God. Transgression would also include acts against other people. Both are condemned.
So? We are to be the same people in public that we are behind closed doors. Our attitudes and actions toward others is part of righteous living.
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Pro 28:13 KJV) He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
Saturday, February 27, 2021
(Pro 27:23 KJV) Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
There are times when my study tools confuse more than explain. When I look at the “know well” of the NASB and the “diligent to know” of the KJV I get a doubling of the number, 3045. My assumption is that the word is repeated in the Hebrew for emphasis. We see a similar arrangement in other places.
(Pro 20:10 KJV) Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.This is literally “a stone and a stone”.
What today’s verse is calling us to is paying attention to things that are important and that we have some responsibility for. I don’t need to know if the president likes two scoops of ice cream but it is important to know how my city council members vote.
So? Stay awake. It is hard to make a difference if you are taking a nap.
Friday, February 26, 2021
(Pro 26:23 KJV) Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
“Burning” (1814) “lips” (8193) could be a description of praise. It could refer to someone who has something important to say and they are intense about saying it. It could be, but here it isn’t. Here the connection is with an evil agenda. This is a person with a warped purpose who is adamant about pushing his narrative. He could be convincing and seem so sincere. He could be charismatic. He could be a lot of things but he is bad news.
We run into this in so many places. It seems ready made for politics. It is too common in the pulpit. The news is a natural home. We need to be careful to look past the words at the intent. We can’t do that very well when people are coming across a screen or even out of a book. It is still a question we need to ask.
So? Be wise. Be discerning. Be a skeptic. There is really only one ultimate source of truth and everything must be measured by it.
Thursday, February 25, 2021
(Pro 25:22 KJV) For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
It is strange how some people respond to kindness and expressions of practical love. It can get violent at times but we are still called to represent Jesus. Rest assured that underneath it all you are providing ammunition for the Holy Spirit to work. Don’t expect to see the results. Often we are the witness to someone coming to the Lord because of what someone else did years ago.
I get tired of planting seed and not seeing the harvest. I think that may be part of the agenda in the resurrection. God works in wondrous ways.
So? Live in surrender and obedience. It is part of walking by faith. We don’t always see the destination but we know the way.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
(Pro 24:12 KJV) If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?
If you read the entire chapter you find that this concept of “render” (7725) “according to” (not in Hebrew) “works” (6467) is used two times. The first time is when it says God will do so and the second is when we are told not to in verse 29.
(Pro 24:29 KJV) Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.Some might say this is inconsistent, but that is not necessarily the case. As a Bible believer I would say it is necessarily not the case. The words are the same but the actors are different. In one God is acting; in the other, man. The point is that certain actions are reserved for God, not just because He is God, but also because He is omniscient. Notice in this verse that it says that God looks into the heart and takes your inner motives into account. God can do that. You can’t. I can’t even tell my motives all the time.
I think this could even go back to the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were told not to partake of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They were not ready for it. Possibly we still aren’t.
So? God can create universes. We can’t. God can see the heart. We cannot. But we can trust Him and live lives of obedience based on that trust.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
(Pro 23:25 KJV) Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
When I am in one of my pity pot moments it always helps me to think of the blessing my children have been and are. Sure, they have their moments, like when they destroyed my prized ukulele, but overall they are daily miracles. I could only wish that every parent could feel the same way. I hope my children feel the same way.
I once said I would write my book on parenting when my children turned thirty. I figured by then I could speak with authority. I don’t think it will ever get written because I am constantly reminded of “there but for the grace of God, go I”. I have watched other people raising their children. Many I have shared the journey with. I think they did a stellar job, but somehow it didn’t work out the way they though it would. My children didn’t either but that has usually just been unexpected blessings.
So? Praise God for His blessings and do your part.
Monday, February 22, 2021
(Pro 22:20-21 KJV) Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
We live in troubling times. That is true but I think most times could say the same thing. The truth of the Bible is under attack and it has always been that way. Some of the attackers are blatant in their hatred. Others are hiding under the cloak of being clergy or scholars. What we need to be constantly reminded of is that there is Truth and it does not change. We may be in a time when metric replaces English standard. It does not change that reality that a pound is to be a pound and a kilogram, a kilogram. It does not mean that a pound is a kilogram.
We must know the truth that does not change and how to tell it from the relative. These verses remind us that God has given us what we need to know to live in our times and answer the questions. He has also made it clear what is acceptable and what is abomination.
So? It doesn’t do much good for your mother to prepare a marvelous Thanksgiving feast if you decide to go to the beach that day. Feast on what God has given us if you want to be prepared for what is coming.
Sunday, February 21, 2021
(Pro 21:2 KJV) Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
Modern Bible studies are often just pooling of ignorance and narcissism. I hate it when someone asks, “What does this say to you?” It is possible that the question is honest and the answer will be honest. The problem is that most of us are so locked into ourselves that we refuse to look at what it says. Instead we warp it to fit into our present mood.
The first question should be, “What does this say?” It is okay to paraphrase. It is okay to consult the watered down “translations” which are themselves paraphrases. Don’t consult commentaries. Just, what does it say? Then you can go on to what it is that God is trying to say to you today. There are current conditions which might help you understand and apply but they can’t be allowed to turn the meaning into a treasure hunt.
So? One of the reasons that the Bible can grate on us is that God knows our hearts and knows what rough edges need to be sanded, or blow-torched, off.
Saturday, February 20, 2021
(Pro 20:9 KJV) Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
As you read this keep in mind that Solomon is writing before Ezekiel made his prophecy about the new heart. It isn’t that he is Biblically illiterate. It is that he is pre promise. This could be a cry for the touch of God. It is also possible that he was echoing in his own way the cry of his father,
(Psa 51:10 KJV) Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.This needs to be a question that we ask ourselves. For some it might be daily. For others, the first time.
So? Keep in mind that there is an answer. Jesus blood, shed on the cross, is offered as a cleansing atonement for our sin. He can cleanse our hearts. Rejoice.
Friday, February 19, 2021
(Pro 19:8 KJV) He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.
Often people are open to what is “good” (2896b). The problem we have is defining or explaining what is good. It would seem that such a process would be easy, but not so. There are some things that everyone can agree with, at least for now. Most people would agree that it is not good to push granny out in front of a bus. After you move beyond that things get murky. It used to be that adultery was not good. Now it seems that if you are cheating on your spouse because they are not sensitive, all is good. At one time people agreed that telling the truth was the right thing to do. Now it only applies when it advances your political goals.
As believers we have lots of clear indications about what is good. You can start with the Ten Commandments. You can read the Sermon on the Mount. You can refer to formulas like,
(Mic 6:8 KJV) He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?Of course that requires you do to some studying to find out what justice is according to God.
So? Go for the good. It is there. It can be achieved. It is not automatic.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
(Pro 18:7 KJV) A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
Most of us reject the conviction that we are “fools” (3684). Deep down in our hearts we think we have at least a few of the answers to society’s questions. I guess that is natural. We tend to be locked into our own senses and mind. It is rare, if even never, that two people can really understand each other. We survive and get along much of the time because we are wise enough to keep our mouths shut.
Keeping our mouths shut is extra important in this modern day of microphones and cameras everywhere. Try to think of a time you are not within recording distance of some piece of technology. Now consider that the few gaps in that coverage are covered by the ear of God.
So? Avoiding being a fool helps us in our daily relationships. It may keep us out of jail. It will also help us in our spiritual walks.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
(Pro 17:18 KJV) A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.
“Some people don’t have the ‘sense’ (3820) [leb] they were born with.” I can remember people being described that way. The KJV uses “understanding” here. Either way it is a real indictment of people’s ability to think and make decisions. We all do dumb things but some have more of a vacuum than others.
The word is common in the OT. It refers to the inner man. The most common translation is “heart”. We use heart that way a lot today in describing what motivates people. In our Sunday School theology we talk about giving our heart to Jesus. The Bible also uses this kind of figurative language.
(Eze 36:26 KJV) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.So? We make decisions based on what is in control of our heart. It can either be a redeemed and regenerated heart or one still in the grip of sin. Watch how you deal with others and make your own judgement. Act accordingly.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
(Pro 16:33 KJV) The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.
We live in interesting times. My wife wakes up in the middle of the night and watches various presentations on You-Tube. They all have great plans for what is going to happen. My favorites are the ones who call themselves “prophets”. There are times I wish we could bring back the OT standard for prophets,
(Jer 14:15 KJV) Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.I do not put a lot of trust in prophets who have a dubious track record. What I do put confidence in is Providence.
That is what this verse is about. It isn’t about me expecting a winning lottery ticket when God wants me to get a job. It isn’t about refusing to act on known truth and rolling some dice for “a word from God.” It is about understanding that God controls even the roulette wheel.
So? People are praying for revival. Often revival only comes after persecution and hard times. Be careful what you pray for and keep trusting the God of the lots.
Monday, February 15, 2021
(Pro 15:27 KJV) He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.
“Gifts" (bribes NASB) (4979) clearly refers to something that is not only bad, but evil. In this context it refers to using your power to grant favors in order to produce a result that you want. It isn’t a matter of reasoning. It is not openly paying for ads in the local newspaper. This is the kind of thing that we have seen going on in the political scene as politicians, news outlets and churches are heard advocating things that they have always been against. At least they were against them in theory. It is possible that desire for personal gain was bribing them even then.
God’s people stand for truth. Truth does not change based on what benefits you or yours. Truth in the secular sense is when the number of apples matches up with the numbers reported. In spiritual terms it means that your statements have a one to one ratio with the standards God has set down.
So? We live in a world of relativity and chaos. Part of being salt means that we stabilize the world around us by adhering to God’s word.
Sunday, February 14, 2021
(Pro 14:8 KJV) The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.
One of the greatest blessings, or curses maybe, of “wisdom” (2451) is that it makes it possible for us to understand our motives. It gives us a window into our hearts. We know what we are about. That is a blessing because being a believer means you are anchored in eternal and temporal truth. You are not allowed to deceive yourself out of things you don’t like. You are not allowed to stretch your words to make yourself look good. That is the curse part. It can be very uncomfortable.
“Fools” (3684), on the other hand, live in a world of delusion. They will believe anything and relish repeating the lie. It leads to disaster for them and often for the people around them. The crisis is often delayed, you can keep shuffling money in your accounts, but eventually God will call the bill due.
So? Wisdom may be wise but it is not always popular.
Saturday, February 13, 2021
(Pro 13:22 KJV) A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
Does a “good man” (2896a) leave any money to his grandchildren? Maybe, maybe not. That isn’t the point and is not what is said. It simply says he will “leave an inheritance” (5157). When I look to the inheritance my father left me it included a bit of money but it was the example and priorities that were of the greatest value. Who knows what happened to the financial legacy but I can see the spiritual inheritance being passed on to my children.
So? This is not just rationalization. It is reality. It is a foundation that cannot be destroyed by inflation or taxation. It is a gift of God.
Friday, February 12, 2021
(Pro 12:19 KJV) The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
One of the common bits of advice that you hear is, “This too shall pass”. What we forget is that it applies to both the good times and the bad. That advice is not echoed in this verse. It is true that deceit will pass but the promise is that truth will endure.
Do you believe that or is it just a platitude we like to repeat? The world talks about luck and chance. As believers we are not lucky, we are blessed and what looks to us as odds and statistics are numbers in the hands of God.
So? Believe in Providence. That is a word we don’t hear much. We need to bring it back.
Thursday, February 11, 2021
(Pro 11:30 KJV) The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
I would assume that most of us have been to some kind of evangelism training in our lives. One of the terms for people who do a lot of witnessing is “soul winner”. I don’t know about you but I have not seen a lot of success with this. I have read books. I have gone to seminars. I have never even approached the level of soul winner. I think this translation is unfortunate. I have often heard it quoted. Yet this is the only place in either the NASB or KJV the Hebrew is translated this way but note that in the KJV a form of “take” is used 812 times. The NASB follows that pattern.
I am not sure what to make of that but I had a wisp of a thought that gave me a hope to grab hold of. This is a promise that “righteous” (6662) living will produce results. We may not see it. It may be hidden from us. The strength of the word says our upright walk plants seeds everywhere we go.
So? Don’t feel like a failure. I often do. Maybe you don’t experience it. But I believe that everywhere we go we leave seed if we will live the life we are called to. I guess that might be a big “if”.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
(Pro 10:31 KJV) The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
One of the concerns that Americans have in the present is finding a reliable source of news. Since God has placed us in a republic and we have the responsibility to vote, this is an important goal. One way I filter out whom I listen to is by statements they make having to do with moral issues. If the source expresses support for abortion, homosexual marriage, critical race theory or any of a number of concepts that are antithetical to the Bible, then I know they do not deserve my listening ear.
You see, it is only the “mouth” (6310) of the “righteous” (6662) that can speak truth. I know it says “wisdom” here but wisdom is grounded in truth. If someone will speak evil in one area that God has made clear, they will speak evil and act evil in other areas. They are not to be trusted.
So? God gave us a brain. In our case He also put us in a political situation where we are expected to engage them in our choices. Keep seeking truth. Keep seeking truth sayers.
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
(Pro 9:7 KJV) He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.
I generally write these thoughts on Proverbs a month ahead of time and try to keep a week ahead in my posting. By the time this is posted in February we are going to see a lot of changes take place in our country. There have been many voices calling God’s people to prayer. We are in troubling times and if you have been paying attention, many of the politicians seem to get special joy out of shutting down churches. We have been called all kinds of names by people who attend churches, or used to. We have tried to speak to people. They have not listened. In fact this verse points out that it is impossible to speak to people who refuse to listen.
That is political. Getting beyond politics the question is focused on us. We can’t do much to change the hearts of those who reject truth. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. All we can really do is be available to that same Holy Spirit to give a verbal witness and a non-verbal example as He leads and prods.
So? In this time of chaos, get your own house in order. That does not mean bury you head and ignore the demands of our society. It means that we need to make sure that we are listening, paying attention. It means that we are saturating ourselves in the word so that we will be able to recognize the truth when it is presented. Along with that is the ability to recognize the lie when it rears its ugly head.
Monday, February 8, 2021
(Pro 8:35 KJV) For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
Are “life” (2425b) and “favor” (7522) synonyms, steps to salvation or totally separate? Is it possible to receive the gift of life, which I assume means eternal, without being in God’s favor?
The most common translation of “favor” has to do with acceptance so I would assume that the two go together. When we find life it is because we have found acceptance. For those who are wondering where total depravity comes in, it is before we are redeemed, regenerated and all of the other concepts that go with becoming a child of God.
One of the important steps to salvation is to begin the journey into wisdom. It is a life long journey. It is an eternal journey. It begins when we trust in Jesus for our salvation.
So? If you are a believer you have already begun the journey. Keep on truckin’.
Sunday, February 7, 2021
(Pro 7:18 KJV) Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.
Just this once and then I will stop. How many times have I said that to myself? How many times have I stopped? One answer is, “Many” and the other time it is “Almost never.” Years ago I lost a lot of weight. It is slowly coming back. I am still fighting the battle. Usually I just give up and start eating again. This time every pound has to fight its way kicking and screaming onto my body. I like to blame others for the gain. You know the drill, they fix your favorite desert. They want to go to a fancy restaurant. It is Christmas. I keep telling myself those are the problems.
Wrong. The problem is that I always go for that second portion or continue the lack of restraint when I am by myself. It is a continual parade of “just one more.” It doesn’t work that way.
So? Don’t give in or give up. I know that is easy to say and hard to do. It is still doable. God is patient and forgiving.
Saturday, February 6, 2021
(Pro 6:5 KJV) Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
My son is a dreamer. At one point he lived in a state that did not allow him to go hunting. The deer were protected, at least during certain times of the year. You needed to have a license. The one exception was if the deer were eating your crops, then you could shoot. His solution? Find a nice safe area with a hill behind to absorb any misses, plant some corn at the bottom and wait for the unsuspecting deer to show up to dine. Legal.
Understand that the forces of evil are planting corn to attract you to the hunt. While God may protect you as you avoid evil, that shield may not be applied if you go looking for a loophole.
So? Avoid evil. Avoid the appearance of evil. Avoid the seeds of evil. You have the guidelines you need: The Word and the Spirit.
Friday, February 5, 2021
(Pro 5:8 KJV) Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:
The context here is to avoid associating with loose women. The principle is much broader than that. The caution we should be embracing is to stay far away from people who are committed to evil. I know it is fun to hang around with some people. The problem is that the compromises begin almost immediately. It may start with the need to simply laugh at a dirty joke. I doubt that will send you to hell. Face it, some jokes are funny even when they are dirty. The problem is that once you start to move you tend to keep moving. You also tend to accelerate.
So? There is some wise saying about taking care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves. It is true. Wouldn’t you rather try to recover from cussing at the dog than murder?
Thursday, February 4, 2021
(Pro 4:17 KJV) For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
We have two interesting word pictures here. We have the “bread (3899) of “wickedness” (7562) and the “wine” (3196) of “violence” (2555). I would imagine that almost every meal in ancient Israel would include these two ingredients. The bread would probably be a barley bread rather than wheat. Barley is a much hardier crop and would be available to the poor when wheat was not. The wine would probably be a very low quality and diluted with water to the point where it made the water safe to drink. But rest assured these were the every day elements of life for people.
This is a reminder that the general population is full of people who thrive on evil. Not only do they thrive but they require it. That is one of the reasons why our culture is in decline as we drive the principles of God out of the public square. Look at primitive, pagan culture. You have universals such as slavery, treating women and children like animals, a small rich elite dominating the masses of poor. Life was dominated by muscles and swords. As the pagans gain power we are moving back in that direction.
So? Start with prayer for yourself and your community leaders. For yourself, ask for wisdom to be salt. For your leaders pray that they would be humbled by the Power of God.
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
(Pro 3:14 KJV) For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
One economic reality is that a business that does not make a “profit” (5504) will not continue to exist. If you have nothing left after business is concluded you will not be able to replace your stock, pay your employees or buy food for your own family. Profit is not evil. Many people today try to act like it is just the results of stealing from the poor. That is nonsense. Making a profit is a solid Biblical principle.
The real questions are how you made the profit and how you use the profit. That is where wisdom comes in. That is where the financial system you support becomes a question of morality. If you made money based on lies and deception, you are the real loser. If you use what you made to do nothing but live the high and fast life, you are the real loser.
So? Feel comfortable being good at business or your trade. God will bless you if you are wise in your methods and your goals. Be the kind of money maker that is a blessing by providing for your customers, your family and your community at large.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
(Pro 2:9 KJV) Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
It has been a rough year and there is no promise that this year will be any better. That is a statement that could be written almost any time. It is still true. As Christians who want to be responsible citizens we are called upon to make decisions. Too many Christians ignore that call or refuse to apply their minds and spirits to respond. It is hard to know how we can move our world on the “good” (2896a) “path" (course NASB) (4570).
The comforting thought is that our responsibility is primarily to direct our own paths. After that it extends to our families and our church. Only then do we need to feel a charge to change our society. As we move away from personal duty, each step gets harder and less achievable.
The frustrating part is actually accepting our responsibility to be salt and light. We are surrounded by sources of information that should make us the envy of history. We have access, but how do you discern what is worth listening to. I think it is possible but it requires effort on our part. We must start with a solid foundation in God’s word. We must then seek to apply that prayerfully.
So? No one who lives in the real world ever said it would be automatic. No one who lives by faith will say it is impossible. If we don’t do it no one will salt the broth.
Monday, February 1, 2021
(Pro 1:33 KJV) But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
We like God’s promises. We ignore His conditions. It is part of the human condition. It is what you might call having dog ears. If you have ever had a dog you know how they can often not hear you when you say “come” but they are right there when you open a bag of cookies. Children are the same and we shake our heads about it. God probably does more than shake His head. Here we have the promise that we can “live” (7931) “securely” (983). We like that and we can even go along with listening as long as no one takes it too seriously.
To get the conditions necessary for the promise you need to look at the previous verse where we are told that we need to avoid “waywardness” (4878) and “complacency” (7962). Both of these go beyond the promises of grace and trust in Providence. The first requires decisions to walk in righteousness and the second requires us to be alert.
So? Trust the promises. Apply righteousness. Expect the reward.