An Idea Borrowed

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

It’s the Law

(Pro 31:26 KJV)  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

This verse gives us a good insight into the definition of “wisdom” (2451).  It has to do with “teaching” (8451) [torah] of “kindness” (2617a) [chesed].  I think we tend to think of wisdom as some cerebral substance that gives answers to problems.  I guess in a way that works here but not like we think.  

Wisdom shows us how to apply this giant word from the Old Testament.  It is lovingkindness, mercy, goodness, kindness, loyalty, you get the idea.  It is kind of like a combination of the Greek words for grace and love.  It is Christian character.

So?  Seek wisdom.  Teach wisdom.  Do it in every deed. 

Monday, May 30, 2022

Deception of Enthusiasm

(Pro 30:6 KJV)  Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

Recently my wife called me in to watch a video about an archeological finding.  The focus was supposed to be a small lead fragment which could be the earliest known Hebrew writing.  I think they were saying it dated from the time of Joshua.  That was interesting and could have been covered in a minute or two.  The problem I had was that the host of the show had a half hour to fill up and so he went into what he labeled as the altar of Joshua.  Still interesting but he found a need to do a lot of repetition and padding.  

This verse, which I read the next morning, was read just after I tried to verify one of the statements he made with great enthusiasm.  As near as I can paraphrase him he claimed that God had declared altars should be build with ramps instead of steps.  He was excited about this because the video we were shown showed an altar with a ramp.  That did not sound familiar to me so this morning I did some digging with my Bible search software.  I first looked for “ramp” and when I found nothing I tried “slope”.  I found nothing on “ramp” in the KJV or NASB and three different Hebrew words for “slope” in the NASB.  I found one use of “steps” referring to altars,

(Exo 20:26 KJV)  Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.
This does not substitute ramps for steps.

At what point do we run into God’s anger when we let our enthusiasm run away with us?  I don’t know about you but when I hear believers, or anyone else, making claims I can demonstrate as false, I question everything else they say.  If I can look things up, so can the pagans.

So?  Stick to the actual declarations of God and His word.  He knows what He is trying to say.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Different Time Zones

(Pro 29:9 KJV)  If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.

What kind of things would we seriously disagree with in relating to a fool?  Or maybe the question is not about serious things but about things that are of no importance.  Often I find myself getting upset over the position someone takes.  Sometimes it is a person I know but usually it is a talking head on an electronic device or a writer I have never heard of before.  Take such an obvious conflict such as listening to people support men competing against women in sports because they “identify” as female.  

What this verse seems to be saying is that there is no way to win an argument against someone with those opinions.  It is like trying to convince someone they only have two hands when they believe they have three.  If they were not in a different time zone to start with there would be no dispute.

So?  Learn to walk away.  Whether you need to make a statement before you leave is up to you.  My read of this verse is that you are wasting your time but if we never say anything they continue on their voyage to perdition with possibly no warning.  Use discretion and make sure that there is a safe exit nearby. 

Saturday, May 28, 2022

A Nasty Nephesh

(Pro 28:25 KJV)  He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

One of the values of a good study Bible or software is that you can go a step deeper into seeking the original message that God was giving to His people.  This verse is a good example.  I refer to the word “arrogant” (7342) used in the NASB.  It has a footnote that says it literally means “broad soul”.  A quick check shows that the KJV gets closer by giving us “proud” (7342) “heart” (5315).  “Broad” is a good translation of the first word.  The second is nephesh in Hebrew and is an important theological word referring to the inner essence of man.  It involves a self awareness that is never attributed to what we would call the lower animals.  If I remember correctly Hugh Ross said in a podcast that nephesh only existed in animals that could relate to humans on a personal level.  Thus a dog or horse would have nephesh.  A fish would not no matter how much some people claim to have befriended them.

I would speculate that the combination here refers to a person who is so sure of his own worth that it trumps the value of others.

So?  I am not sure that this is a problem for many people.  Life tends to knock arrogance out of a lot of us.  It is still a sin to be aware of. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Rejoice in Jealousy

(Pro 27:4 KJV)  Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

I had an attack of “jealousy” (7068) recently.  Actually it was at Christmas time.  I received two photographs of family members surrounded by their children and grandchildren.  As I was enjoying the pictures I realized that this was one area where I was jealous.  One of my brothers had six kids and now he has an army of grandchildren.  The other had four and three are being very productive.  It was a glorious sight.

And I was jealous.

So?  There are exceptions to almost every rule.  In this case jealousy is really rejoicing with their blessings.  I think what this verse is telling us is that we should rejoice with other people’s blessings and not bear ill will.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Careful Now

(Pro 26:12 KJV)  Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

I have just returned from a family gathering and today I will join a different group for sharing and discussion.  One of the great difficulties I find in life is knowing when I am full of hot air and when I am waxing eloquent.  I would say “at this time of life” except I think it has been a problem since I learned to talk.  How do we avoid being verbal fools?  At the core is how we can deal with our mental foolishness.

Certain things should be obvious.  We should be rooting our opinions in the word of God.  That sounds really good until you get with someone who disagrees with you on interpretation and has different favorite scriptures.  It isn’t simply that they use the NIV as a source but that they come down on the other side of the county, not just the fence.

Serious introspection is called for.  Honest listening is needed.  Often we need to change but don’t do it too fast.  Haste makes waste in spiritual decisions as well as financial choices.  

So?  Start with an assumption that you may be wrong.  Accept the fact that you may be right.  Spend the time necessary to listen to the Holy Spirit as well as the verbal barbarian who is trying to straighten you out. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022


(Pro 25:18 KJV)  A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.

I continue to be impressed by how often lying is mentioned in the Bible.  Here it is verbal but keep in mind that deceit is at the root of false weights and adultery.  It is the total opposite of the reference to Jesus being the truth.  Think of all the ways in which lies are a part of our daily conditioning.  Think of advertisements, news, politics and gossip.  It is everywhere.

So?  Short and simple.  Speak truth.  Live truth.  It is bedrock to righteousness. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Attitude Is Vital

(Pro 24:17 KJV)  Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:

Christians are told to turn the other cheek.  At the same time we are told that the government is to use to sword against evil.  The key to this paradox is found in this verse.  It does not mean we refuse to administer justice.  It does not mean we don’t punish crime.  It doesn’t even mean we do not kick out pastors caught in flagrant sin.  It means that we are to do it with the right attitude.

You have heard parents say, “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.”  They are not talking about physical pain.  They are talking about the difficult process of disciplining children when they are so cute.  The problem is that the cuteness becomes a knife aimed at their own hearts if they are not taught right from wrong.

So?  Be strong.  Be rejected if necessary.  Reprove and correct.  Do it without joy but with a sad heart that loves the object of your correction enough to struggle with the emotional struggle involved. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

Knowing Your Limitations

(Pro 23:30 KJV)  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

What do we get if we look for a general principle for righteous living in this verse.  The Bible as a whole makes it clear that wine itself is not sinful.  I am a teetotaler and feel alcohol is an evil that is best avoided but that is different.  At the same time it applies to the principle.  We are warned about hanging around certain things, and possibly people.  We are warned about looking for trouble.  Both give sin an opportunity to get a foothold in our lives.

We are better off if we avoid certain situations and activities.  Take skiing.  I have never tried it and never intend to try it.  Why?  I know my limitations.  I know my lack of coordination and perspective.  For me to get on skis and head down a hill is asking for serious injury.  Double that with skateboards and parachutes.  In the area of morality we need to take that seriously.  

So?  Life can be so much better if we keep our brain in gear and our rationalizations under control.  God gives us the ability to live in obedience but it is not an autopilot. 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

The Place of Ice Cream

(Pro 22:4 KJV)  By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.

As I write this I am playing catch up because I have been on the road.  The previous comment dealt with the idea of arrogance.  Now I come across “humility” (6038).  This form of the word is only used a few times and is a positive trait.  If you trace it back to its root it becomes very frequent as “affliction”.  

It is hard for us to accept that we are expected to endure through hard times.  Modern Americans on the whole don’t know much about affliction.  We think that having the store run out of our favorite flavor of ice cream is a personal tragedy.  We have a lot to learn and learn it we must.

So?  Much of our inner conflict comes from being too self centered and assuming that the world revolves around us.  As I said to a semi-pagan recently in a philosophical discussion, “I am not sure that you are anything but a figment of my imagination.”  Focus on God and go from there.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

No, Not Today

(Pro 21:17 KJV)  He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

There is no virtue in poverty.  There is no virtue in wealth.  Virtue can exist at either end of the economic scale and all points in between.  A man’s “loves” (157) determine if his life is one of virtue or sin.  Your love establishes priorities and generates enthusiasm.  It guides the daily choices and long term objects.

Where do you expect to be in 10 years?  What results will bring joy to your life?  What are you going to do today?  I imagine we put time and effort in what we really care about.

So?  Seriously look at what you are willing to do without and what you regard as necessary.  It has eternal consequences.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Be Not Puffed Up

(Pro 20:6 KJV)  Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

It is a verse like this that makes the Strong’s Concordance with the numbering system helpful in looking for understanding.  The NASB uses “loyalty” (2617a) and the KJV “goodness”.  The most common translation in the NASB is “lovingkindness” and in the KJV “mercy”.  This is a very important word.  It is not to be taken lightly.  Usually it refers to action of God.  This warning is about people getting too loud in tooting their own horn.  It is a warning to not try to usurp God’s position.

So?  Be careful about how righteous you think you are.  While it is true we can live moral and upright lives we need to keep in mind that it is through the power given by the Holy Spirit, not through out own strength. 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

The Pain of Humility

(Pro 19:10 KJV)  Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.

The Bible is full of references to Royalty and nobility.  The word for “princes” (8269) is often translated that way but also as “leader” or “official”.  It seems to be someone higher on the pecking order than you.  One of the facts of life is there is a pecking order.  The reality also points out that neither you nor I am at the top.

While I am all for achieving the most you can and rising as high as possible the hard truth is that for the Christian it is more important to be submissive than to be top dog.  We don’t like it.  We have all kinds of ways of explaining why we are as good as the next guy.  It may even be true, but that is not the point.  Humility is the point.

So?  Be the best you can and learn to take orders with dignity.  A hard lesson. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Taking It In

(Pro 18:1 KJV)  Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.

My first reading of this has the separation being physical but on reflection I think it also includes the rest of our life.  It would be important for us to not isolate ourselves intellectually.  That means that we need to be reading and listening.  Obviously there are sources that can be nothing but destructive.  There is a need for discernment but it isn’t enough just to mediate.  We need to give a foundation for our meditation.

So?  I would start with the Bible and speakers whom I know respect the word and communicate well.  I would also suggest some of the classic materials that have stood the test of time.  That needs to be the starting point so we can evaluate what else is of value. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Info Wars

(Pro 17:4 KJV)  A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.

As I read this a lot of current discussions came to mind about how you can’t believe anything you read or hear in the public square today.  Today I came across an article that said Duck Duck Go, an internet search engine that people had been going to in order to avoid the political slant of Google, was now going to start censoring.  Again, that was consistent with what people had been telling me who had been researching.  I am not sure why this would surprise us or if it should.  As the molders of news and information move away from acknowledging God and His standards, it is something we should assume.

Some people think the end is coming and are into being preppers.  I might suggest that we also start stocking up on truth and sharpening our discernment for falsehood.

So?  Make sure you start with the word.  That will make it possible for you to have an unchanging standard to compare to what you hear.  It may not work in your favorite sour dough recipe but it will work in how you set your priorities and treat those around you. 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Dollars and Sense

(Pro 16:16 KJV)  How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

What kind of measure do you use for setting priorities.  I know that the gold aspect figures into decisions.  What does “wisdom” (2451) add to the list?  How about health?  What you eat for dinner could be a wise or foolish choice.  What about the example you set for your children?  What about your reputation?  What about eternity?  See, there are many areas of life that are influenced by our decisions.

I think this is also one of those areas of life where we get the gold ring when we make the decision that seems to be a sacrifice.  Delayed gratification has long term pay-offs.  Self denial builds a lot of things starting with character.

So?  Don’t ignore the dollars and cents but don’t let that be the priority either.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Dross Filters

(Pro 15:31 KJV)  The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

This is much tougher than it should be.  I like to think that if Jesus sat down with me and gave me direction I would listen and obey.  That probably will not happen until after the rapture.  What do I do in between?  God has given us other sources of instruction.  The information we need is readily available.  The problem is in the ears and mind.  I am not sure I want to listen.

I have just gone through a tongue lashing.  It is easy to react instead of responding.  For me it is nature to reject things I don’t like.  To be honest, much of the criticism we receive is not deserved or at least is not honestly offered.  Our job is to cut through the hatred and coercion and find the truth underneath.  

So?  I think that is my prayer today.  I want to be able to cut away the dross and get to the core that is worthwhile.  Help me, Lord. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Says Who

(Pro 14:6 KJV)  A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.

Have you ever used a word for descriptive purposes and had someone say, “What do you mean by _____?”  The reason that is usually a dodge is that if it is sincere, it is an admission of ignorance.  Most people are seeking time to think up a go-around or simply don’t want to deal with what you are saying.  That leads us to a good definition of “scoffer” (3917b).

That might also be a good way to differentiate between a scoffer and a cynic.  For all of his negative vibes a cynic can still be looking for truth and if given enough information might come around.  Of course the information would need to be good.  For the scoffer it doesn’t matter how good it is.  We see this in the difference between a socialist and a believer in the free market.  We see it between pagans in the pulpit and genuine seekers of God.

So?  Ask questions.  Investigate.  Test.  Do it with a sincere heart and a genuine desire for truth and you will find answers that ring true.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Rich Choices

(Pro 13:23 KJV)  Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

One of the big concerns you hear about today is the possibility of famine and millions starving.  Here in Texas the main concern will be if you can get the brand you want.  I really don’t see widespread starvation in the works for us.  I could be wrong and what would make me wrong is the focus of this verse.  If we face massive starvation in Texas it will be because of political decisions, not a lack of food.

This thought is not original with me.  I have heard it in the past.  I heard it again just yesterday when a guru was speaking about the forecasts of world-wide starvation.  In modern times hunger has not been really about a lack of food.  It has been about governments and politicians playing games with the food available.  I remember hearing about starvation in a third world country.  We were told to donate and send food.  If you kept looking you would find the article that revealed that tons of food was being burned in the port because to give it out would lower the price of grain and make powerful people less money.

So?  The problem with the world is not the world that God gave us but the sin in the hearts of the people who live in it.  Be aware.  Check your heart to make sure that you are part of the solution, not part of the problem. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Warped Cores

(Pro 12:8 KJV)  A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.

What does it mean to be “perverse” (5753a)?  The basic meaning is bent or twisted.  One of the words the KJV likes for this is “froward” but that translation does not show up for this word even though it means the same.  The KJV gives us a better understanding of what this means by using the word “heart” (3820) instead of the “mind” of the NASB.  The NASB tells you it literally means “heart”.  So why didn’t they just translate it that way?  

We are looking at people who are warped in the core.  In one sense that is all of us before the grace of God gets hold of us and the blood of Jesus does its work.  That is too easy for us though.  Some people who are not part of the family of God are still battling for a moral life on their own.  This is talking about a subgroup that is really committed to evil.

So?  Remind yourself that evil exists.  It may have different levels and concentrations, but it is real.  Live with your eyes open and your heart in God’s hands. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Not Good Enough

(Pro 11:27 KJV)  He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.

Contrary to what you think you see there is no guarantee for the “good” (2896b) guy here.  There is a sense of praiseworthiness for that person but it does not say he will definitely find what he seeks.  There is, however, a promise for you if you are seeking the dark side.  

This is the paradox of morality.  If you reject it, you lose.  If you embrace it, you might still lose.  Keep in mind all the hypocrites that are trying to get the praise of the good people but refuse to bend their knee to Jesus.  One of the pictures that comes to my mind regularly in cases like this is the bar owner in the movie Lilies of the Field.  He was not a believer but made a big contribution to the building of the new chapel.  When asked, “Why?” he answered, “Insurance.”  

So?  There is no insurance you can buy.  It is your faith in the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus which makes the difference.  It is also very clear that after that you are expected to live a holy and upright life but that alone is not enough to get you into the Kingdom. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Shades of Hate

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

To be honest I don’t think I have a problem with “hatred” (8135).  It is interesting that the verb form is used slightly more times in Proverbs than the verb form of love.  The nouns are reversed.  They are close enough to be of equal emphasis.

I don’t think of myself as a hater but when I think about Jesus teaching in the Sermon on the mount and the way in which he takes what we consider minor and makes it major, it is something I need to consider more seriously.  When you realize that the NASB translated “hated” as “unloved” in regard to second wives and concubines you get some of the nuances that might be in the word.

So?  As always we need to examine our own minds and hearts.  We need to have charity and patience towards others and hold ourselves up to a strict standard.  Grow. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Awe Factor

(Pro 9:10 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

If you were asked to produce a Top Ten List of Scripture, would this be on your list?  I have never tried to do so.  I can’t answer that myself because I don’t know if I could narrow the Bible down to ten verses.  God did it with the Ten Commandments.  Jesus did better when asked about the most important commandment.  That being said, there are so many passages that speak to us over time it would be hard to say which is in the top 10.

This verse would be on a list of important verses though.  It points out the importance of a proper balance of our priorities and concerns.  I know that when I am contemplating the glory of God in my morning worship, it is easy to drift into a mindset of buddies instead of creature/Creator.  At the same time a healthy fear draws us closer to God.  It does not drive us away.

So?  Are you too familiar with God.  We sing about friendship with Jesus and other concepts.  Maybe we need to work on the awe aspect. 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Passive Wisdom

(Pro 8:2 KJV)  She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

Sometimes wisdom is passive.  It is just there.  We don’t need to dig or research.  It is handed to us on a plate.

Yet we still have an awesome ability to ignore it.

It is kind of like the question about the salvation of people living in, say, a jungle who have never heard the gospel.  Is it fair that they not have a chance at salvation?  I am sure that God has an answer to that.  In my totally unbiblical speculations I have surmised that God knows us so well that he places people in that situation whom He knew from conception and knew they would never respond to the good news.  We can’t have that level of perception but God can.  As I said, this is speculation not doctrine.

I don’t think we have that excuse, either in salvation or in wisdom.  Or problem is more that we ignore what we don’t want to limit our options.

So?  If you are serious then open your eyes and ears.  God has already placed the knowledge and influence that you need to access wisdom.  Count on it. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Surprise! Surprise!

(Pro 7:23 KJV)  Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

When I was very young we temporarily lived in a house with a steep hill just out the front door.  I don’t know if we did it any other time but one day we decided for me to get in my red wagon and take a wild ride down the hill.  It did not go well.  If you asked me to participate in such an adventure today I would either laugh myself silly or walk away in disgust.  Why?  Experience.  

Some people learn from experience.  Some don’t.  I remember watching a short video of a guy who thought he would do a wheely on his motorcycle while in the fast lane of the freeway.  I am not sure when he realized it had not been a good idea.  Maybe he passed out before he had a chance to know much of anything.  I would like to think that if he lived he would not do it again.  I would like to think that but I don’t think so.  

So?  Study wisdom and learn to apply it.  There are many disasters we can avoid with just a little paying attention.  Of course the biggest disaster is dying without Jesus.  Use you time wisely. 

Friday, May 6, 2022

Catalysts of Worship

(Pro 6:22 KJV)  When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

I have placed pictures around the room.  I have not bothered to count them or to tally who appears the most often.  The major focus is my grandchildren.  Their parents sneak in at times but the ones that bring a smile to my face are the little ones.  I never had to do that with my children when they were young because they were always there.  As I have shared before, I would often look in their bedrooms as I was getting up to go to work.  It reminded me why I was getting up.  

Grandchildren are not always with us physically but I can make them a daily experience by putting reminders everywhere.  That is kind of what is being talked about in this verse.  We need to position reminders everywhere of whom we serve and how we are to live.  It doesn’t hurt and it could very well help.

So?  I think the reminders will be different for everyone.  One persons mental shout may be someone else’s sedative.  Look for catalysts of worship.  Find places for them that cannot be avoided.  Worship when you see them. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Lean Times

(Pro 5:13 KJV)  And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

I think I heard someone say that when you stop growing you start to die.  Maybe I made it up.  Either way it comes to mind with this verse.  We need to keep growing.

This verse has some insights into growth.  The first clue is the cross over between the NASB and KJV.  One says “listen” (8085) and the other says “obey”.  Both are obviously necessary even if we ignore one or the other.  The key is in the next phrase and both use the same word, “incline” (5186).   I think it might be safe to say that this includes the idea of stretching out or reaching toward something.  

So?  God has many ways to teach us.  We need to be setting our sails toward those lessons or they are just so much wind in the trees.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Updates Provided

(Pro 4:18 KJV)  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Today I am thinking that this is a call to optimism.  It is not a call to be Pollyana.  It is not a call to be an ostrich.  It is a call to look to the future with confidence.

The “righteous” (6662) have a roadmap.  On the one side that gives us the right “path” (734) to follow.  On the other side it warns us of the things that are off the road.  Some of those things are neutral.  The only danger is that they might keep us from making progress.  Some of those things will be evil and by following the route spelled out for us we can avoid them.

So?  I would say the obvious road map is the Bible.  The book may have been printed years ago but it is like a constantly updated map on your phone only it has a God’s eye perspective.  You see, many things never really change.  You can paint it with fancy words but a pit is still a pit.  Stay alert.  Stay informed.  Stay on the path. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Charity Filters

(Pro 3:27 KJV)  Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

There is a distinction here that we don’t like to acknowledge.  It makes us uncomfortable.  It forces us to make value judgements and we all know that we should not judge, don’t we?  Evidently that caution does not mean what it is usually used to mean.  In this verse the benevolence we are expected to administer is to those to whom it is “due” (1167), not just everyone.

The phrase here means literally to the “owner, husband, lord.”  These are categories of people to whom we have a commitment.  While we can find other passages that probably refer to being concerned for the whole world, this is specifically talking about those that might deserve our concern.  The context is people that you owe.

So?  We are to be concerned about the poor in a generic sense, true.  But this is talking about those you have commitments to.  When times get rough it might behoove us as Christians to make a priority to be sharing with those who are a part of the body.  Our current affluence means that we share widely but if things start to come apart we need to focus on the family of God for our assistance.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Final Landing

(Pro 2:21 KJV)  For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

This verse and the next refer to the “land” (776).  To Israel this brought to mind the promises of God about the geographical location of Israel.  As a nation the people of Israel were emotionally and spiritually tied to the land.  Often that is the meaning in the Old Testament.  In a sense, because the OT has a lot of reference about salvation tied to the Promised Land, salvation was often a corporate event for them.

Not so much Christians who also embrace the New Testament.  One of the revelations that we have in those books is the personal nature of salvation.  It is in the OT also but the NT does not give corporate salvation much play.  So for us we might understand this more as “earth” than “land.”  It might call to mind the basic fact about eternal destiny.  Our eternity will not be spent floating around on clouds playing harps.  We will be centered in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth.  We will be in bodies that have been transformed just as Jesus was transformed.

So?  After the rapture and all that stuff you love to listen to from prophecy, remember that your final home will still be here in the land. 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Wanting to Belong

(Pro 1:10 KJV)  My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

We are constantly faced with temptations.  I guess many don’t face us but sneak in when we are not looking, but they are there.  If you read through the next few verses you might find the same thing I am seeing:  None of those are real temptations to me.  I don’t get too drawn in by murder or robbery.  My guess is that those will never be offered to us.

What gets us is the compromises that do strike home.  As I read through the Old Testament, I am in Jeremiah now, I find constant reference to how Israel and Judah ignored the law of God.  It seems to me the most common way that is done is by conforming to the norms and expectations of the pagan culture.  It is peer pressure.  It is a desire to be included.  Often it is sin.  

So?  Keep in mind the first four commandments.  One of the phrases that comes out to me is having other gods before Him.  That takes many shapes and we need to be alert to follow the narrow path.