(Pro 15:29 KJV) The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
Keep in mind that although the Lord is “far” (7350) from sinners, He has great hearing. It does not say that he cannot hear them although that seems to be implied. The problem for the sinner is that God can hear their heart, not just their voice. It doesn’t matter what your lips are saying if you heart is not in tune.
So? Are you walking through the valley of the shadow of death? I know I seem to be. The world seems to be on the verge of chaos. If I were not a believer I would be very much afraid of viruses, wars, black helicopters and all the rest. I am aware and concerned but the Lord is with me. It makes a difference.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
(Pro 15:29 KJV) The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
(Pro 14:15 KJV) The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
What is the difference between a cynic and a realist? Between a skeptic and a thinker? Between being critical and being negative? Often it is a fine line and the difference is in whether you agree with them or not. Pardon me if I don’t believe that congress passes laws to benefit the country. Forgive me if I don’t rush out and buy some product that a celebrity has endorsed. Don’t expect me to believe the milage boasts posted on the window of a new car. Please don’t color me “simple” (naive NASB) (6612a).
Part of being a follower of Jesus Christ is having a thinking cap and wearing it at all times. That applies even when you are reading the Bible. The problem isn’t the Bible but the interpretations we have heard over the years which tend to predetermine what we read.
So? God can speak but only when we listen. One thing I have noticed is that I can’t hear what my wife says from the other room when I have the water running and the microwave on task.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
(Pro 13:24 KJV) He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
Spoiler Alert! In case you are still living in denial and/or attend a liberal church, the standards of God are at constant conflict with the world you live in. This extends through the moral degeneration represented by abortion and the homosexual agenda to the philosophy of deconstructionalism. In the middle of all that is child discipline.
Your world tells you that wisdom is in the children and parents are oppressors. The Bible teaches that children are born with a sinful nature and need to be nurtured in the truth of God. That will not be easy. If you have not had an encounter with God yourself then it may not be possible.
So? If you are not on board with Jesus, make the choice. Then you can apply the lessons that God wants you to demonstrate instead of the mush your school counselor tells you to dish out.
Monday, April 12, 2021
(Pro 12:21 KJV) There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
Have you ever stepped on a Lego with your bear foot? Have you ever been walking through the house and your foot seems to have a mind of its own as it swings wide and catches your little toe on a table leg? How is it going when you are in a hurry, go out to your car and find one of the tires flat? I would advise you not to read this verse at a time like this.
The time this verse comes home is when you are going in for some kind of surgery. You can do so knowing that Providence is alert and on the job. You can know that whatever the result, it will not qualify as “evil” (205). It is interesting that one of the definitions of this word is “idiolatry”. A broader meaning is sorrow. We do not need an attitude adjustment if we are trusting in the Lord.
So? Get ready for the adventure of the day, taking comfort in the knowledge that you have read the book and you know who wins.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
(Pro 11:1 KJV) A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
One of the often repeated ideas in both the Old Testament and the New is that Israel was to keep God’s laws. They were to obey His commandments. Those concepts have a bleed over effect on Christians for although we are not saved by the works of the law we still have those standards that we are aware of. It is those standards that make us aware of where the lines are between righteous and sinful behavior.
As New Testament believers we often mock the idea of the law. We look at commandments not to mix linen and wool together or not to boil a calf in its mother’s milk and we say, “Nonsense that is better left behind.” Large numbers reject the idea of tithing because it is the Law and does not apply to us. The danger is that we fall into the heresy of antinomianism. Remember that the Ten Commandments are part of the Law and if you reject tithing because it is in the law maybe you can also lie with impunity because, after all, it is in the law.
Here we see the Law being applied to business dealings. We are not allowed to cut corners or fudge our measurements. To do so is an invitation to experience the wrath of God.
So? Righteous living is our calling. It applies to every part of our life. Since we will never get it down perfectly, we have grace and the blood. Those make it possible. They do not mean we can ignore it.
Saturday, April 10, 2021
(Pro 10:1 KJV) The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
Every child will disappoint parents at some point. I understand that they are human and it isn’t good enough to blame those bad moments on the genealogy of your spouse. Kids mess up. The question is not if but how much and how bad. Child failure can be a teaching moment. The key is are you teaching. Of course that requires that they listen.
Keep in mind that to instill wisdom you need to have wisdom. Wisdom starts with the fear of the Lord. Wise children begin with seeking parents.
So? It is never too late to start. Your children may have moved on or in tragic times you may have outlived them. There are other little ears and eyes watching. Prepare to prepare.
Friday, April 9, 2021
(Pro 9:9 KJV) Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
The emphasis we need for this verse is not in the verbs but what I think used to be called the direct object. It has been a long time since I studied sentence structure. It is the response of the receivers that is key, not the gift. The gift is available just about anywhere. Bibles can be found in many motel rooms and any thrift store. Most churches will give you one if you ask. The answers to the quiz are right there but it is like giving an open book quiz to middle school students who were too lazy to look for the answers.
So? God offers wisdom and instruction. We need to offer ears and attitude. It can be a winning combination or just frustration for the Creator. That is not good idea.
Thursday, April 8, 2021
(Pro 8:1 KJV) Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
I recently read an article about Star Wars and it kept talking about the great wisdom of Yoda. This is something that comes up often in Science Fiction and Fantasy. The books will often have quotes from fictional “holy books” or the sages of the planet. There will be songs and poems; aphorisms and proverbs. What always mystifies me is that people who write from their imagination think that they can come up with eternal truths. I am amazed, not at their wisdom, but by their arrogance.
It is possible that they are just paraphrasing what they have read elsewhere. We should not be guilty of having many sources and processing them through our imagination. The life God wants us to live is not based on us being creative with His eternal truth and modifying it with our spin. Too many theologians and Bible translators look at it that way. God has given us the Bible to base everything on.
So? I say it often because I am not listening. Make the Bible the starting point. For that matter, we should make it the finishing point also.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
(Pro 7:20 KJV) He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.
I can get fixated on minor details. In this verse the KJV says “day (3117) appointed (3677)”. The NASB says, “full moon” (3677). I start wandering, which is it? I went to the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament for more depth and all it said was, “full moon”. There doesn’t seem to be much wiggle room. This is one of those rare cases where the KJV is acting like the Living Bible, it is paraphrasing.
Biblical people could plan and have schedules. It is not a modern occurrence. They may not have had the atomic clocks we have for incredible accuracy but they had enough to serve them in their day. Remember, no one else had a Rolex either. There are times when we just have to go with cultural conventions.
So? This is another reminder to let what is Caesar’s be Caesar’s.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
(Pro 6:7 KJV) Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
The ant does not labor under a supervisor. At the same time, the ant knows what its job is. Part of that is instinct. Ants don’t build bee hives. They don’t dam up rivers. They dig tunnels and gather certain types of food. That is instinct. Where the food is and where it is stored is information gathered from those who have gone before. There are lessons for us.
When we are transformed by the Holy Spirit there are certain qualities that are built in. This is why we can often let people grow in grace. They have an inner sense that certain things are not to the glory of God. At the same time they can learn from others on the same path. That is the value of times of testimony and reading biographies of godly people.
So? Walking the path and learning about it are important and available. You may not want to dig tunnels but you can dig into the word.
Monday, April 5, 2021
(Pro 5:10 KJV) Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;
Our current cultural enthusiasm is for diversity and equality. Society is trying to level the playing field in all areas. Excellence and achievement are suspect. We hear that such things as being on time and honesty are cultural affectations. All cultures are supposed to be of equal value. No one is better than anyone else. Part of this, of course, is the communistic mantra of redistributing the wealth so that no one is rich and no one is poor.
To this the Bible says, “Rubbish.” Here we see one example of this. The fruit of your life is accumulated to be given to those close to you, not to the one from far away. Are we encouraged to share with those in need? Yes. The point here is that you don’t share with the guy you never met before you take care of your family, church and friends.
So? Don’t fall for the mantra of the world. Follow God’s standards and priorities.
Sunday, April 4, 2021
(Pro 4:19 KJV) The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
After tripping over something in the dark I start turning on lights. It only lasts so long. I gradually get back to walking around the house in the middle of the night without seeing where I am going. After all, I know where the furniture it, right? Maybe, but we don’t always “know” (3045) what we think we know. Texas has these little critters called “scorpions”. And they have bigger creatures called “centipedes”. In addition to that we have a cat that is capable of leaving little surprises.
Evil is “as” (like NASB) “darkness” (653). In the English it would seem to be slightly different than being darkness. Let’s go with that. Evil is a characteristic that keeps us from seeing clearly. Thus a bright light in our eyes can keep us from seeing the trap in front of us. The point is that evil keeps us ignorant.
So? Take the time to gain the knowledge and wisdom that Proverbs refers to so often. I have flashlights all over the house. It does not take long to flip a switch. The resources are there. Use them.
Saturday, April 3, 2021
(Pro 3:16 KJV) Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
What is the point of a long life if you can’t enjoy it? I am at the age where every cough and ache makes me wonder, “Is this the one?” So far it has not been, but maybe next time. The current panic over a virus has driven many people into cocoons. They look out the door in fear and recoil when anyone gets close. They live in fear. That is not the result of reading Proverbs or Romans. It is the result of listening to the people who have a vested interest in keeping you petrified.
There is a reason why wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. When you have the right relationship with the greatest power you worry less about the lesser.
So? Work on the wisdom. It will give you a better reason to live longer.
Friday, April 2, 2021
(Pro 2:13 KJV) Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;
A Biblical truth that is stated here is that people can “leave” (5800) something called the “paths” (734) of “uprightness” (3476). Most Christians would accept that because they have seen it. The difference is in understanding what it means. For the Calvinist it means that they were just going through the motions of conforming to church behavior. They were never really saved in the first place. To the Wesleyan it can mean that they have gone apostate, they have denied the faith and consciously left it.
So? We need to learn to accept that people can turn on us. Whether they were really saved or not does not change the fact that they get a real joy from messing with God’s people. Be aware.
Thursday, April 1, 2021
(Pro 1:2 KJV) To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
The Bible is full of promises. In verse 2 we are in the middle of a long promise that God is making to us. If you have a chance read, over the first seven verses of chapter one. Maybe you could even pause and make a list of the qualities that are being offered. Then ask yourself how many people you know exhibit these qualities. You might even join me in looking at ourselves and asking how we measure up.
We begin a new month. Months are a bit arbitrary as are weeks. Days have a definite beginning and there is some basis for years. All of them are useful for the pause that generates growth.
So? It may be April Fool’s Day but that does not mean we need to be part of a Fool’s life. Embrace the promise and move forward.