(Pro 31:24 KJV) She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
We run into people who try to force socialism into the Bible. They look at the events of Acts and how the rich were selling what they had and dividing it among the poor. If you read Acts with an open mind you will find that the socialist approach did not work too well. We find the same thing in the Pilgrims and Jamestown. When you expect people to respond to the “from everyone according to his ability” of Marxism you find that no one seems to have any ability.
Here we have what we would call free enterprise. Probably not capitalism because that is a reflection of big investors organizing for greater profits and production. Here you have an individual, using her talents and energy to produce a product and sell it at a profit. Earlier you saw that she was using her resources to invest in property.
So? Really try to run the strange theories you hear by the word to test them out. Some may make you think. That can be good but make sure that your thinking is within the framework of eternal truth not peer pressure.
Thursday, March 31, 2022
(Pro 31:24 KJV) She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Be a Scholar
(Pro 30:1 KJV) The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal,
This is a good place to remind ourselves about how to study the Bible. Much of what we “know” isn’t true. Most people would tell you categorically that Solomon wrote Proverbs. They say this because either they never read Proverbs or they read it in the I-must-read-five-chapters-a-day mode in which they never bother to engage their brain. The Bible clearly states that this chapter of Proverbs was written by someone named Agur. You see the same thing in the book of Psalms. When you study the Bible, start with the Bible.
I would also say, finish with the Bible. It is amazing how commentators will throw in things like “Agur is another name for Solomon.” My response is, “Says who?” Not the Bible, that is sure.
So? Like much of life we need to learn to do our own thinking instead of listening to experts who are having ego issues. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to lead us into all truth not our local specialist. Happy studying.
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
(Pro 29:7 KJV) The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.
In our modern, narcissistic times we have perverted the concept of “rights” (1779). Because we have accepted the humanistic view that man is the end of all things and the center of the universe, we interpret this idea to be special consideration for ourselves. This obviously runs into conflict when someone else wants special consideration.
The idea here is that there are universal standards of right and wrong. Everyone should be treated the same in regard to those standards. What is right is the standard, not the individual. As human beings we have the limitations of our senses and the objective nature in which we experience and remember. That is why we have dictionaries and the Bible. That is why we have a Constitution and written laws.
So? Hard as it is, we must get out of ourselves. We must embrace the eternal instead of the temporal. That is impossible without the cleansing power of the blood. Even for the redeemed it is a tall order, but order it is.
Monday, March 28, 2022
(Pro 28:20 KJV) A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
Again we see the contrast of two different lives. I would assume that we would want to be thought of as “faithful” (530). I could assume wrong. At the other end is the person who is so concerned about making a big splash in life that he is willing to make just about any compromise.
Before we get too judgmental we need to examine our own priorities. It may be that financial wealth is not your weak spot. There are other goals we can pursue robustly and with a focus that distorts all around us. We learn to make excuses for what we deem important.
So? We should be leery of saying things like, “God would never expect that of me.” Another one I think is abused is, “God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.” Not that it isn’t true but I am not sure that he has put them in your care. Faithfulness requires alertness and honesty.
Sunday, March 27, 2022
Hubris and Humility
(Pro 27:2 KJV) Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
A word which is making a comeback is “hubris”. A few years ago I had to look it up. Now I could use it myself with growing frequency. One thinks of politicians. One thinks of social media executives. One thinks of the medical profession. One thinks of our children. Hubris is everywhere.
The cure for hubris is the application of Christian love. I Corinthians 13 is a good place to start but a verse that always hits me in this way is,
(Php 2:3 KJV) Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.So? I guess another way to say this is “don’t toot your own horn”. As hubris is thinking too much of yourself so humility is having the right perspective. Even when others praise you be careful about believing it.
Saturday, March 26, 2022
Who’s the Fool?
(Pro 26:6 KJV) He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.
I have been looking to compare the righteous with the unrighteous this month. I have had a hard time trying to find that in this chapter. There is a steady list of statements about those who invoke God’s wrath but little about the obedient. So let me look at the two roles provided in this verse. We have the “fool” (3684) and the fool’s enabler.
Fools exist. If you glance down the beginning verses in this chapter, you find repeated reference. It is used 49 times in Proverbs. I would say that Solomon knows his fools and finds them everywhere. If Solomon was surrounded by them I think we can assume that they are still with us.
Don’t join them. I think the point here is that if you trust a fool then you are a fool yourself. I think it is also assumed that we can see the fools if we look. Of course that starts with remembering that fools have no wisdom because they have no fear of the Lord.
So? I don’t want to be either one. I think I will work on fearing the Lord.
Friday, March 25, 2022
The Moderation Gene
(Pro 25:16 KJV) Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.
Moderation again. Don’t you get tired of moderation? I have a can of peanuts. I don’t dare open it because if I do I will eat way too much. Now I probably would not eat enough to “vomit” (7006a) but I would certainly eat more than is moderate. This verse assumes that some people will eat too much and others would restrain themselves. It isn’t fair because some people do not have the glutton gene. You have seem people eat half a cookie and leave the rest. I don’t understand it.
I wish I had the moderation gene. It would make life so much easier. The reality is that I don’t when it comes to food. That is where discipline comes in.
So? We are expected to learn moderation if it does not come naturally. It is part of the package just like telling the truth may not come naturally to some. Here the issue is vomiting. Other places it talks about becoming so full that we lose our ability to respond. Either way, moderation is the road we are expected to follow.
Thursday, March 24, 2022
Quick Change Artists
(Pro 24:21 KJV) My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:
Think of the two kinds of people represented here. It would seem that one fears the Lord and the other doesn’t. The one who doesn’t is always changing things to suit his purposes. This is one reason I look at new translations of the Bible with a bit of skepticism. I accept that over the centuries language changes. Words fall out of meaning. There might even be some new scholarship that gives us a better understanding. That does not excuse the travesty of paraphrasing the word and words of God.
Beware of people who try to “change” (8132) the message of God by making it more modern or contemporary. A great example of this earlier in this chapter. Notice the difference between two translations,
(Pro 24:5 KJV) A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.
(Pro 24:5 CEV) Wisdom brings strength, and knowledge gives power.
I will accept the general truth of the CEV but in this case both times you see “man” the word is in the Hebrew. In fact there are two different words for “man” (1397 and 376) which use synonyms to reinforce the ideas of wisdom and knowledge. The problem, as I see, is that the paraphrasers made the changes to keep the feminists on the committee happy. They don’t seem to sense the frown on God’s face.
So? God ahead and change froward to twisted or perverted. That is updating. Don’t drop out words that make you uncomfortable or might be controversial. That is sin.
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
(Pro 23:21 KJV) For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
We do not have two polarities mentioned here. We have two extremes, at the same end. I think the KJV gets the award for direct language. It mentions “drunkards” (heavy drinkers NASB) (5433a) and “gluttons” (2151b). We are talking about behavior that is clearly sinful. For those of us who pig out at pot lucks and look down our noses at the local bar, there is something here to pay attention to.
Sin is usually involved with two perversions of a blessing God has given. One twist is the wrong time and the wrong place. Think of adultery. The other is a lack of moderation. That is the focus here. If we had to follow this months idea of evil and righteousness then we would be forced to face the principle that a lack of moderation is sin.
So? I don’t drink. I am a glutton. My concern about watching what I eat is three fold: Lose weight, fight diabetes, avoid sin. Three good reasons not to eat the entire box of Cheez-Its.
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
(Pro 22:2 KJV) The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.
Two kinds of people, the “rich” (6223) and the “poor” (7326). There is much that divides them. I find it amusing and enraging when I hear about the need to tax the rich. What these people mean is to tax everyone that makes a little more than they do but only if they are not part of the inner group that knows how to use tax loopholes. At the other end you see people acting like they care about the poor and everything they do assures that the poor will remain poor. We live in a day of identity politics that is designed to divide us.
The message God has for us is that He made all of us. That means we cannot hate or attack people who are different from us just because they are different from us. Here it is the rich and the poor. Other places the brotherhood is expanded.
(Gal 3:28 KJV) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.We are told in both the Old and New Testaments to be kind to our enemies.
So? This is the world God wants us to achieve. Don’t buy into the political attitudes that are designed to lift up one superficial characteristic at the expense of the Body of Christ. In the verses looked at today you see plenty of categories to be aware of. I am sure that your thinking, praying and studying can supply more.
Monday, March 21, 2022
The Defense Rests
(Pro 21:15 KJV) It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
Recently I reread a book by Massad Ayoob dealing with self defense. In many states it is assumed that you will be charged with a crime no matter how obvious it was that you were simply defending yourself. In addressing the court case he said that he encouraged innocent defendants to take the stand. He said that many lawyers advise against it and he said the reason for that is they are used to dealing with clients that are guilty and if you put them on the stand they will either confess or lie. If they lie he says a good prosecutor can easily trip them up because they can’t keep their lies straight. He maintains that if you are innocent that can’t happen. He obviously has confidence in the judicial system.
Look at the two types of people in this verse. The one who lives a righteous life should have nothing to fear from justice. The evil have everything to fear. It makes a difference in how we live life.
So? Live in such a way that you don’t need to fear justice. Of course there are the places in the New Testament where it says we will be persecuted for being on the side of Jesus, but that is a different issue.
Sunday, March 20, 2022
Plow or Please
(Pro 20:4 KJV) The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
Only one type of person is mentioned here but the inverse is obvious. The guy mentioned here is too lazy to go to work or even to do anything that might make him uncomfortable. In this example he has waited until “autumn” (2779) which can mean winter and the KJV calls “cold”. Is this sloth or procrastination or both? Then he seems to expect someone else to donate to his cause.
This is what we see when we pass someone begging outside a door that has a “help wanted” sign. This is the “hungry” living in a town that can’t find enough people willing to work so that they can open for business.
So? First, start with ourselves. Are we willing to stand on our own two feet and do our part? I hope that is a rhetorical question. Second, be honest in evaluating why the other person wants a handout. It could be a genuine need. It also could be the results of sloth.
Saturday, March 19, 2022
True to Yourself
(Pro 19:5 KJV) A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
Proverbs has a number of themes that keep coming up and we need to realize that they come up all through the Bible. Proverbs is not an island of wisdom in a sea of fluff. It is a focus. One point of focus is on telling the truth. It would seem obvious that there are two groups here, liars and truth tellers. That is true but it isn’t always clear.
The reason for confusion is that often the person we lie to the most is ourselves. We have a lot of words for it: Rationalization, subjective, confusion, forgetfulness. We have a way of adjusting our memory so that what we want for ourselves becomes a righteous position. We think we are different that anyone else. How many people have talked themselves into marrying a pagan and how many different excuses have they used? How many times have we searched the scripture, not looking for truth, but looking for a picked cherry that will justify what we want to do?
So? Honesty is better than cleanliness when it comes to being next to godliness. It is not a coincidence that telling the truth is one of the ten most important behaviors in the Bible.
Friday, March 18, 2022
The Non-Pause that Embarrasses
(Pro 18:13 KJV) He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
This chapter makes a lot of approaches to the misuse of our mouths. This verse points out two different types of mouths and that stood out to me when I noticed that it went along with verse 2,
(Pro 18:2 KJV) A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.The righteous mind will listen before it speaks. The carnal mind is focused on itself and consumed with getting in its opinion. These are two types of people.
The difference starts in our hearts. Having the Living God set up housekeeping in our innermost being changes our priorities and our outlooks. Often there is still that residual that we call original sin which keeps popping up and trying to reestablish control. Much of the battle is fought by the Holy Spirit. There is still a place for discipline.
So? Do you find yourself looking back on conversations that were really monologues and feeling a bit of embarrassment about what you said? I think we all have had that experience. The length of the speech will vary but it will be long enough to stand out. We can work on that and God expects us to.
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Glory at Your Feet
(Pro 17:6 KJV) Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
Only one type of person is mentioned in this verse, the one who has descendants. We can make a few divisions here, one has no moral value and the other does.
Some people are not able to have children. That is simply a biological fact. I know people in the prime of life who are doing well in every area who would love to have children but it isn’t happening. We don’t know why but the fertility does not exist. Unless it is the result of past sin, such as abortions that destroyed the lining of the womb, there is nothing to be ashamed of and no one but the childless would know if there is some sin that caused the problem. From those on the outside there should be no condemnation.
Then you have the growing number of people who don’t want children for selfish reasons. They want their toys. They want their careers. They want their freedom. That is a spiritual issue that needs to be dealt with. The Bible is clear that children are a blessing. As a grandparent who had a grandson breeze through just long enough to have a cookie and mess up the living room, I can testify to that.
So? There is little you can do for others except develop an understanding that children are not something to be avoided. If you have grandchildren, celebrate. If you don’t then celebrate with others.
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
(Pro 16:19 KJV) Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Humility is one of those things that we praise but I am not sure we recognize it. Here we have a division between those who are “humble” (8217) and those who are “proud” (1343). I have a hard time understanding humility because it is not humble to claim you are humble. So my mind ran to the love chapter. In I Corinthians 13 it talks about the proud and gives some descriptions of attitudes and behaviors that seem to be set against them. I will use the NASB for this.
(1Co 13:5 NAS77) does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
Humility would not act unbecomingly, well you can read the verse yourself. These are things that can be measured and acted upon. We can develop humility by working on our love.
So? Never forget the resources we have in grace and the power of the Holy Spirit. Add to that a personal commitment to be the person God wants you to be and you are moving toward humility.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
(Pro 15:29 KJV) The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
We have two types of people and I think we can assume that both are praying. Notice that there is a different response to the two prayers, or should we say people who pray. One God “hears” (8085). One He ignores. We tend to forget this. When a avowed pagan says something to the effect “our prayers are with you” my response is, “So what?”
It is not just here. The Bible makes it clear that God does not pay attention to the prayers of people who are not following Him. I assume that does not apply to a prayer of repentance. It does not do any good for a person living in rebellion to ask for healing. That is one of the reason why they will call the church for prayer. In their hearts they know God is not listening.
So? This is not just an honor but a responsibility. Keep your heart right and pray for others, just make sure that there is always a prayer for their salvation involved.
Monday, March 14, 2022
(Pro 14:2 KJV) He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.
One of the ways to dichotomize people is by how they view the God of the Bible. There actually might be more than two nuances but the extremes are clear and represented here. The polarity is a major dividing line in our culture. As those who understand and fear God become less influential the God haters get bolder.
Stop and think about all of the sources of thought that are trying to move our culture away from an acknowledgment of an omnipotent, holy God. It can be the comedians on late night TV and You Tube. It can be so-called intellectuals giving us lectures to explain away the truth of the Bible as some kind of warp in our personality. It can be fiction that continually portrays real Christians as perverts and psychopaths while offering up shallow substitutes as role models.
They hate God because He gets in the way of their deification.
So? Remind yourself on a regular basis of whom the God of the Bible really is. He is not an old man sitting on a throne. He is not an angry lightening bolt thrower. He is the Infinite Person who is omni enough to create the universe, hold it together and listen to you, all at the same time. That is a God worthy of fear.
Sunday, March 13, 2022
(Pro 13:1 KJV) A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
An important character trait if you want to live a righteous life is to be teachable. Here we have the contrast between the good and the bad. The difference is that they “hear” (listen to NASB) (8085) people trying to give them guidance. Note that the first usage is in italics which means it is not in the Hebrew but is inferred from the context. Also note that the NASB and the KJV use different words.
One of the questions I have is the difference between hear and listen. One speaks of physical ability and the other of metal receptiveness. While I acknowledge the two conditions, I am not sure that the words are not interchangeable. Either way, we need to be aware of the teaching before we can deal with it.
So? Listen. Pay attention. Process what you hear. Make sure that you have the tools to process what people say. I have been listening to podcasts that are interesting but full of nonsense based on the speakers lack of information or refusal to listen. How do I know? Because I have been listening.
Saturday, March 12, 2022
(Pro 12:5 KJV) The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
Two types of people; two different measuring sticks. This points out to us why it is important for us to consider the spiritual foundations of people and organizations. I could make quite a list of companies, charities, universities and such that were started by “righteous” (6662) individuals or groups and have since been taken over by the “wicked” (7563). With that change the entire direction of the organization has changed.
The same can be said for churches. Look at the history of the Methodist church. It developed from the tendency of John Wesley to organize his followers into methodical classes for personal development. He remained in the Church of England all his life and encouraged the people he preached to to do the same. Eventually their spiritual stands drew them out and you have a solid, Bible based denomination come together. Then the liberals took over and today the United Methodist Church as an organization has abandoned any claim to be the body of Christ. There are still those in it who are true believers but the struggle is being won by those who are deceitful about what the Bible teaches.
So? We are responsible to be righteous ourselves. We are also responsible to put our resources behind those who are righteous. We don’t like it but we probably don’t like the idea of Hell either.
Friday, March 11, 2022
Sharing the Fat
(Pro 11:25 KJV) The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
This verse and the ones around it contrast two personality types. One is giving and sharing; the other is tight and selfish. It is obvious which is the one we should follow. I would wonder how much of this is natural and how much is discipline. I have read studies that say people who are conservative in politics give a lot more to charities than the liberals. The difference is dramatic. Since in my world view people who are serious about Jesus tend to be conservative politically it would also follow that believers tend to be more generous than pagans.
I would think that some people when they are converted have an automatic change in this area of their lives. The sad facts are though, that many of us need to work at it. We need to make a conscious choice to give and share. I know I am that way. God is working on me.
So? It is probably better to give too much than too little. We do need to be stewards of what we have and find the best targets for our extra giving but at the same time being careful not to use that as an excuse to hold back. I wonder if I am listening.
Thursday, March 10, 2022
The Gift of Stability
(Pro 10:30 KJV) The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
This chapter is a litany of differences between the “righteous” (6662) and the “wicked” (7563). This verse speaks of stability. I think we can admit that there will be trials and tribulations if we follow Jesus. Those will ultimately be mild compared to what the evil will go through.
I wonder how much of the unstable lives that they live will be because they are so restless. They are looking for something that is right in front of them but instead of embracing the saving message they move on.
So? Be stable. Be strong. Be dependable. It is all a part of the gift of God that comes to us with a clean heart.
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
5 or 17
(Pro 9:4 KJV) Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
I don’t know how many times I read this chapter before I realized that the words of this verse are repeated exactly in verse 16. Exactly. Really. If you don’t believe me go check. I’ll wait.... Before and after the message changes but this is the same. The lesson for my theme this month is that you can’t always take first impressions or opening statements and build on it.
In our initial contacts with people and ideas we need to be gracious and kind. That does not mean we turn our minds off. We keep listening and watching and observe what goes on around. Do they appeal to righteousness and honor like verse 5 or do they invite to dissipation and compromise like 17? It does not always take a long time to catch the drift.
So? Go ahead and give people the benefit of the doubt at the beginning but that doubt should dissipate one way or the other. Stay alert.
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
(Pro 8:36 KJV) But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
I have been reading a book called The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant. It is reminding me why I don’t like to read philosophy as a rule. I am in a chapter on Arthur Schopenhauer. I have finished summaries of Voltaire, Kant and Hegel. It reads like much of the science fiction that is being written today. It is simply human beings trying to find a reason not to believe in the God of the Bible.
Here is an example.
“The task of religion is to reach and feel that Absolute in which all opposites are resolved into a unity, that great sum of being in which matter and mind, subject and object, good and evil, are one. God is the system of relationships in which all things move and have their being and their significance. In man the Absolute rises to self-consciousness, and become the Absolute Idea - that is thought realizing itself as part of the Absolute, transcending individual limitations and purposes, and catching, underneath the universal strife, the hidden harmony of all things.” pages 322-3This is Durant’s summary, not the words of Kant but you get the idea.
The world is like this verse. They hate God and love the death.
So? Recognize what you are up against. They can make it sound very deluxe but it is still the path of death.
Durant, Will. The Story of Philosophy. Garden City, New York: Garden City Publishing Co., Inc., 1926.
Monday, March 7, 2022
(Pro 7:7 KJV) And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
Two kinds of people are commented on in this chapter. The first, who gets the least attention, is the son who is being told to listen to the commandments and wisdom. The one mentioned here, and by extension the woman he has an affair with, are rejecting that advice.
Two descriptions are given. First, he is “simple” (naive NASB) (6612a) and second he is “lacking” (2638) “sense” (3820) or “void of understanding. If you follow to the end of the chapter you find out that this guy is bound for hell. That is a significant difference but it is caused by the real difference. The reason he is bound for hell is he refuses to engage with the truth that is offered to him. He probably thinks he is smart enough to avoid the pitfalls. He would have to play all kind of mind games to say he didn’t know anything about it, after all, he lived during the time period when Solomon was building the temple. It was not a time of ignorance about the law and God’s expectations.
So? We all have opportunities. We all have the necessary knowledge for how things go for us in eternity. Some people, no matter how much they are talked to, will refuse to listen. They don’t want to hear it so they don’t. I trust we will make better choices.
Sunday, March 6, 2022
(Pro 6:19-20 KJV) A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
Most people will admit that telling “lies” (3577) is a bad thing. When it comes to their own speech, though, the definition of a lie goes through a metamorphosis. They aren’t lying, they are exaggerating. They are editing. They are interpreting. They are many things, but not lying. Here we come again to the dividing line between the people of God and the forces of the enemy. You cannot be a child of God and continue to distort the truth.
How do you know what the truth is? This is important for what we say and what we hear. The next verse gets into that. It brings up the commandments and the law. Truth is measured by comparing it to reality. If you are telling a tall tale and everyone understands that is what you are doing then you are free to range across the possible story lines. I remember someone getting into an argument about where Paul Bunyan came from. It is hard to know since he never existed.
So? If you have decided that you want to be on the side of the angels then it would help to know what the angels know. That is the only thing that will help you discern truth from falsehood.
Saturday, March 5, 2022
Join the Resistance
(Pro 5:10 KJV) Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;
Proverbs continues to describe two types of people, the righteous and the wicked. One of the differences that is described in this chapter is the question of whether you are a giver or a taker. In warning his son about the pitfalls he faces in life, Solomon warns him that there are people who are looking to suck the life out of him. They are not going to work on their own. They are going to take his “strength” (3581b). Here the NASB is better.
The evil in the world are not just trying to live well on your labor, they want to dominate and destroy you. The totalitarian regimes of the world are not content to control people’s behavior and prosperity, they want to control their thinking and minds. This is why we are seeing so much censorship all around us. It isn’t just the government. It is every major social media network whether it is the news or a place where you can throw out 140 characters. You are encouraged to participate as long as you think the way they want you to.
So? Again, take warning. God has given us the ability to think. He has given His word to read and study. He has even given us the writings of people long dead. And the reason these things can be effective is a combination of our free will and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Resist evil.
Friday, March 4, 2022
Plans for the Day
(Pro 4:16 KJV) For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
“Have a nice day.” How many times have you heard that this week? How often have you said it? Usually it is in the category of Automatic Social Response like “Hi. How are you?” Neither means a whole lot. If it did, what would it take for you to have a nice day? This chapter dwells on the two spiritual types.
The godly are seeking to know more about God and how He wants them to live. For them a good day is one where they learn something to advance that goal or they actually do something that makes the world a more righteous place. That is what the first part of the chapter is about.
On the other hand you have the people described in this verse. When these people go to bed and look back at their day it causes them to toss and turn if they were not able to do some damage. They might look back at an opportunity to humiliate someone or a chance to gum up the works that was not taken. They hate themselves for not hating enough.
So? These are daily choices we make. They make a difference. They broadcast what kind of person we are and lay the tracks for our eternity train.
Thursday, March 3, 2022
Not an Orphan
(Pro 3:24 KJV) When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
At this stage in my life I generally don’t have a lot of trouble getting to sleep. I wake up a lot because my bladder likes to talk to me, but I go back to sleep. Part of it is because of the situation found in this verse. It stood out to me as I was reading today and then by what some call coincidence I read this in Isaiah,
(Isa 8:12 NAS77) "You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.What I responded to was the second part of the verse.
I am looking at differences between believers and the rest of society. There is a lot of fear out there. I see people wearing masks and some have a haunted look in their eyes. Others are worried about the black helicopters coming for them. Then there are the people who worry that a 1/10th of an inch rise in the oceans is going to destroy civilization. We are to be different.
So? Fear the Lord, not the multitude of other proclamations that are trying to manipulate you. Yes, lock your doors. Look both ways before you cross the street. Wash your hands. Have food on hand. But do it is a precaution and a steward, not as a panic stricken orphan.
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
(Pro 2:11-2 KJV) Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;
This chapter has several comparisons between the righteous and the wicked. Verse 11 comes at the end of a long description of people who make daily choices and those choices lead them toward Godliness. The next verse points out that people who want to walk upright lives are constantly in the presence of people who want the crooked path.
Beware of the “froward” (perverse NASB) (8419) mentality that is all around us. There several different words translated “perverse” or “froward”. This one comes from a root to overturn or overthrow. I think it is warning us that there are people and forces that are working to overthrow our loyalty to the God of the Bible. It does not matter if it is deliberate or coincidence. It doesn’t fit into a conspiracy theory. It is real.
So? Look over the first part of the chapter. Take it to heart and apply it diligently. Disappoint the perversity around you.
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
(Pro 1:7 KJV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
As I begin to read Proverbs again I come with some baggage. In Proverbs, Psalms and the rest of the Old Testament there is constant reference to the law and our attitude towards the law. I have serious discussions with people who get focused on the 613 laws of the Old Testament and how they are impossible to keep. I won’t go into the artificial number of 613 at this point or on this blog. The point that we must deal with is that God has certain standards and behaviors that He expects of us. Even die-hard, five point Calvinists are guilty of living by this higher standard.
What I want to try to do this month is focus on the two sides in this plan of salvation. This is the first verse in Proverbs that brings up the two sides. This month I will try to remember to look for those differences. Here we have those who “fear” (3374) the Lord as opposed to those who are called “fools” (191). The first six verses point out the benefits of fearing the Lord, which means listening and following His direction. The others are fools.
So? Start the month by asking yourself if you are a God fearer or a fool.