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.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Three or Four

(Pro 30:18 KJV)  There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:

Several times in Proverbs we see this pattern of “three, no four”.  I am guessing it is a literary device to get your attention.  We see a lot of this type of thing in the Bible and we often turn off our understanding of the world around us and the nature of literature when we try to understand.  One of the problems with Bible interpretation and translation is in these type of figures of speech.  Most people will agree that the Bible has both figurative and literal passages.  Where they run into problems is in agreeing on which is which.

This comes up in such Phrases as “forty days and forty nights”.  It is a problem when you look at the first chapter of Genesis.  How about the references to “the whole world”?  There is more than one way to understand things and we need to accept that.  Your understanding may fit well in your system but not in mine.  And don’t tell me you don’t have a system.

So?  Keep your mind turned on and your judgmental attitude turned off.  Remember how much of our ignorance God has to overlook.  I know Jesus got frustrated with the disciples and He was working face to face. 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

A Basic Breakdown

(Pro 29:10 KJV)  The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.

As I watch the world around me I see that there is a breakdown of the rule of law.  Part of that is in the streets.  A more important part is in government and the courts.  There was a time when I believed it was enough to obey the law and live an upright life and all would go well.  That is not the case any more.  We see an increasing number of powerful people twisting the system to grind down the average person and gather the benefits to themselves.  They are attacking the “blameless” (8535).  They are the enemies of justice and righteousness.

We already see in some locations that the government is trying to muzzle the voice of the Bible.  Pastors are being threatened if they say certain things which go against current social dogma.  Fines, arrests and other coercions are being applied to the “upright” (8535 KJV).

So?  First, recognize it is happening.  Second, we need to understand that when it comes to it we are going to be persecuted for righteousness sake.  Jesus warned us.  Continue to have faith in God, keep your spirits up and rejoice that you are found worthy. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Not a Good Ratio

(Pro 28:2 KJV)  For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.

Do you ever look at your choices on a ballot and feel nothing but despair?  I think part of what is being stated here is that having a majority of self-centered egotists running for office or being in power is not unusual.  It is something we can expect.  Then when we find someone of “understanding” (995) we tend to wonder if it is true.  

Sometimes we need to look past the surface or the screaming of the media.  I think we have all met people who look suspicious on first meet but in time show a depth that we need.

So?  Do your homework, vote and speak up.  If you believe someone has the qualities needed then let others know.  Keep in mind that applies to the church board as much as the president of the United States.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Moving away from the Honeycomb

(Pro 27:7 KJV)  The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

Israel went through a constant cycle.  I have seen it presented as an observation in general.  Bad times bring repentance.  Repentance brings changes in behavior.  Changes in behavior bring about good times.  Good times make people stop doing the good things and bad times result.  Israel went from disaster to blessing and back again.  We in the United States have been going through some really good times if you consider history and the rest of the world.  Now the debauchery sets in.

So?  God will notice.  He will respond.  We are not His chosen people but He has blessed us as a nation because we had a sizable minority that believed and lived what they believed.  As that minority becomes ever more minor there will come a point where it all falls apart.  God is watching.  Each of us need to be doing our part before it falls around our ears. 

Monday, September 26, 2022

Do an Agenda Check

(Pro 26:9 KJV)  As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

As I read this I thought of some of the people I have heard in pulpits and Bible studies who teach some of the most ridiculous things.  Actually it is worse than that.  Many teach nonsense.  Others are undisguised heretics.  

In some cases it is a matter of not listening or not being mature enough to understand.  I think of how Jesus taught in parables.  That is the word used in the KJV for “proverbs” (4912).  He had to explain them in great detail to the chosen disciples.  It is no wonder the multitude did not understand.  

There are others like the magician Simon in Acts 8:9 who wanted the power of God for their own purposes.  That is getting closer to what we are talking about here.  Some people are feeding their own ego or desire for power when they step up to preach and teach.

So?  Beware.  If you are in a church that has that kind of leadership and you can’t do anything about it, I would suggest finding another church. 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Time to Stand

(Pro 25:26 KJV)  A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.

I am a city boy.  I have camped out and enjoyed the forest but at heart I am an A/C and microwave kind of guy.  That means I don’t really know what it means when someone messes up a natural source of water.  Just open another bottle or turn on the tap, right?  That is not the point.

The point being made here is that if we don’t stand up for righteousness we are pretty much useless.  I don’t like it.  It doesn’t ask me to like it.  It is a statement of fact.

So?  Stand up for righteousness.  Speak truth.  Vote morals.  Live above the line. 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Be on the Right Side of History

(Pro 24:24 KJV)  He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:

So often it seems like the author of a particular verse in Proverbs has been listening to our modern news programs.  It is very common for the talking heads to be in total denial about reality.  Actually it is worse than that.  They know the truth but refuse to express it.  We live in an age when people who hold to the standards God gave us in the Bible are labeled with a long list of pejorative adjectives.  Those who believe in morality are labeled immoral.  In fact, morality is totally redefined.  

If you have been paying attention, the dictionaries available on line are changing the definitions of words.  They are able to do this because they deny truth as an objective reality.  Truth is whatever advances their agenda.  This is why it is so important for us to keep in contact with the source of truth.  It is time for us to admit that we are under attack and need to see to our defenses and training.

So?  One of the first steps in a cure is to admit it is needed.  Then the solution must be sought.  Be strong and trust in God. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

Build a Better Rod

(Pro 23:13 KJV)  Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

I had the conversation again today.  It was a grandparent concerned about an over-active grandchild.  You could hear the pain in her voice.  There wasn’t much I could say.  I would bet dollars to donuts that the parents would reject this verse totally.  

Children need discipline.  Obviously it can be overdone.  There is a level in which it becomes abuse.  The problem with today’s society is that their level of abuse is before it starts.  You don’t want to spank?  Fine.  Find a different type of “rod” (7626).  If you are blessed with a child like our second then you know that a frown can be a rod.  If you have one like our first then you know that for some even the rod isn’t enough.  Strangely enough putting him on a chair seemed to do the trick.  Go figure.

So?  Don’t throw out the standard of discipline because of the word “rod”.  Grab the principle and apply it.  Save a life. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022


(Pro 22:9 KJV)  He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.

I don’t know what the major media outlets are saying but everywhere I read people are worrying about a developing famine.  The reasons are many.  The most basic is government interference.  I think farmers can deal with natural disasters.  They know what to expect and where to cut corners.  What they can’t deal with are regulators who know what is best.  Any way you want to look at it we are looking at some kind of food shortage.

In that world this verse reminds us of our need to be generous.  Most of us can cut back some but we need to develop an eye that sees need.  I would suggest that we begin watching for candidates that we might be able to help.  Think of families with children and jobs that are marginal.  I would say try to get a sense of whom the working poor are.  To me it is good stewardship to share what I have to share with those who are most deserving.

So?  Maybe it will blow over.  It is still a good idea to look for places to help those less fortunate.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Post Time

(Pro 21:22 KJV)  A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.

One of the terms I have heard the last few years is “post Christian”.  I don’t like it but the more I observe what is going on in our culture the more I think it is descriptive.  All of the sources of influence seem to have sold out to the pagan world view.  It saddens me to include the church in that statement.  Yes, there are individual churches, boards and pastors who are proclaiming the truth but the list gets constantly shorter.

It is time to stand up and be counted.  Understand you will not be welcomed.  Not only will your congressman ignore you but your family may ask for a DNA check to see if you are really theirs.  It won’t change the truth.

So?  I have lived through some of the most glorious times in history.  Liberty and freedom were assumed.  I am living through the surrender of our culture.  My task now may be harder because I did not stand up as tall as I should have when I had the chance. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Lookin’ Good

(Pro 20:13 KJV)  Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

Are the “eyes” (5869) that we are supposed to “open” (6491b) physical, emotional or spiritual.  Are they to be directed inward or outward.  I would imagine that this becomes one of those both/and situations that depend much on circumstances.  It is a call to be aware.

We need to be aware that sin exists.  We need to be aware that there are needs all around us.  We need to look at the blessings God has heaped on us.  We need to be honest about our hangups and foibles.  

So?  I would imagine that we all have plenty to work on.  It is a good thing that God is patient and has sent the Holy Spirit to oversee the work. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Team Dues

(Pro 19:9 KJV)  A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.

There is a serious threat in this verse.  It says liars will “perish” (6).  There are many different translations for this word and none of them are pretty if you are the object of the verb.  One of the reasons I give for believing someone I know to be a Christian over someone I know is not has to do with this verse.  If Jim Dobson lies to me he knows it could send him to hell.  If Richard Dawkins lies to me it is just another day at the office because he does not believe in hell.  It makes a difference in how reliable people are.

So?  Stick with the truth.  We serve a holy God.  One of the words Jesus used to describe Himself was “truth”.  You are either on the team or you are not. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Time to Judge

(Pro 18:5 KJV)  It is not good to accept the person of the wicked, to overthrow the righteous in judgment.

We have an election coming up.  We live in a republic that was designed for the power to be in the hands of the people but that power was to be managed by elected representatives.  I don’t care how jaded you are to the process.  There is corruption in the process.  The people running will lie to us.  They may be bought off when elected.  We still have a responsibility.

We are to support and elect people with the most “righteous” (6662) “judgment” (4941).  I don’t believe we should refuse to make a decision because none are worthy.  Life is about making thoughtful choices.

So?  Do your homework and be responsible.  It will improve the atmosphere we live in.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Attitude Gifts

(Pro 17:8 KJV)  A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.

Whether you are considering giving a “gift” (7810) (KJV) or a “bribe” (NASB) there is always the question of motive when you extend something good toward another person.  I know people who are always giving gifts.  They seem really generous.  The problem I have is that they seem to keep a record of what they give and what they get back.  In reality it was more of a bribe.  You may have heard someone say, “How could they do this to me after all I have done for them?”  You may know some parents who are always putting their children on a guilt trip.

So?  Our attitude is so important in what we do.  I think we should give without a concern for return.  Stewardship says we select carefully where we invest our wealth but that is not for our payoff. 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Popcorn Faith

(Pro 16:20 KJV)  He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

We live in interesting times.  It can get so interesting that we have a hard time sleeping at night.  We avoid certain parts of town.  We are suspicious when someone knocks on the door.  We don’t let our children out of our sight.  Interesting.  The times also lack a sense of security.

That does not need to be the case.  We are to “trust” (982).  We don’t have confidence in the government, the police or even our family.  Our foundation needs to be based on a belief that God is in charge.  It is not a guarantee that things will work out the way we want.  It is a guarantee that they will work out the way God wants.

So?  Get out the popcorn and buckle in.  The ride is just beginning.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

A Word from the Wise

(Pro 15:2 KJV)  The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

Wisdom is linked to integrity.  What this verse is pointing out is that the wise person can be believed.  They don’t play games or deceive.  A person can have many positive qualities such as intelligence, flexibility, creativity and such but if they are not used with wisdom and integrity they become damaging.

So?  I want to be rooted in truth which means I must pursue wisdom.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

No Deceit Allowed

(Pro 14:8 KJV)  The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.

I would imagine that one of the problems with “deceit” (4820) is that we even practice it on ourselves.  I think that is the contrast being given here.  It is a challenge to look at ourselves objectively.  It would help to take the entire Bible into consideration.  Some like to emphasize that we are all sinners.  True.  Too often we ignore the fact that Paul also called us saints.  One should apply mainly before we meet Jesus and the other should be the norm afterwards.

That deceit works both ways.  Some of us who are insecure tend to play down any strengths or skills we have.  At one level it is humility.  At another point it becomes sinful deception and rejection of God’s work in your life.

So?  Remember mankind was created in the image of God.  Believe that He wants you to be a righteous representative of Him and His kingdom. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Secrets We Don’t Need to Know

(Pro 13:7 KJV)  There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

What is the dividing line between honesty and deceit?  I can see some real problems with filling out a credit application and exaggerating your resources.  It is probably harder to do today than it used to be, but if you can’t game the system you probably are not really trying.  

I wonder if the ones acting poor are doing the “woe is me” routine that we hear so often.  You know how often you hear from people about their lack of funds.  Usually the ones who are really in trouble don’t talk about it.

So?  Beware of people who try to convince you either way.  Be honest but realize that people around you don’t need to know how much you can pay for a car or if you had to buy the store brand of green beans for your casserole this week. 

Monday, September 12, 2022

Speaking of Character

(Pro 12:13 KJV)  The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.

Have you ever had the experience of someone saying you said or did something that you don’t remember?  When that happens I first consider the source.  Is the reporter someone to be believed?  Do they have an agenda?  Are you on their radar?

If the person passes muster then it is time to analyze what is reported.  One of the questions I ask myself is, “Does that sound like something I would have said?”  Often the glove just doesn’t fit the hand.  If it involves foul language or profanity then I can almost guarantee it wasn’t me.  If it is criticism of something I approve of then I doubt seriously that the truth is involved.

So?  Obviously we need to start with guarding our mouths but I think if we are building our character then we can at least be confident in how it is expressed. 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

The Smart Shouldn’t Smart

(Pro 11:15 KJV)  He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.
This is about trust.  The idea of “surety” (6148) is a recurring theme in Proverbs.  The Updated NASB uses “guarantor” as if illiterate readers would understand that any more.  One of the common elements of when this word is used is the type of person you are not to trust.  Usually it is the “stranger” (2114a).  In every case there is an obvious reason why you should be slow to commit.

This is not about helping your son get his first car, although it could be applied that way and if your son is a sluggard it would hit right home.  This is about risking your stability on someone who does not deserve it.

So?  It is always hard for us to make calls like this.  We keep thinking about “love”.  We want to be warm and friendly.  We don’t want to judge.  Keep in mind that one of the spiritual gifts is discernment. 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Hate Light

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

A few day ago I wrote about how God hates evil.  Here we seem to have another side of “hatred” (8153) and it got my mind going on a tangent.  Before I go down that road I realize that the point of this verse is to tell us we should love not hate.  But I started thinking, if we take seriously the thought of Proverbs 8:13 then when we speak up for righteousness people will understand that God does not approve of what is going on in their life and it will stir up “strife” (4090).  It won’t be our hatred but the reaction of the unrighteous.

So?  Prepare yourself.  We are called to be salt and light.  We are surrounded by people who have a creed of “me first” and will not respond well to the call of repentance, let along a call to righteousness. 

Friday, September 9, 2022

Target Selection

(Pro 9:8 KJV)  Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

One of the things we don’t like to do is be selective.  We think it is virtuous to minster to the homeless but wrong to target the well-to-do.  In reality we should be looking for those who are receptive.  If people are happy in their sin there is little you can say to them and we need to understand that many in poverty are happy in their sin.  Part of that sin is envy of the wealthy.  Part is sloth.  You can find similar issues with the in crowd.

We need to be ready to respond to those who are open.  That is often something we cannot determine without getting to know someone.  I think that most evangelism takes place with people who are like you, know you and will listen to what you say.

So?  This is not an excuse but a reality.  Watch attitude not logos. 

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Maybe a New Song

(Pro 8:13 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

We need a new song.  

“What the world needs now
Is hate, real hate.
Evil needs a comedown
If its not too late.”
This would be a song for the church because this hatred would need to be controlled by agape and not vengeance.  We are not allowed to wish bad things on people or rejoice when sinners suffer but we also are to stand up for righteousness.

When this verse says, “I hate” it is God speaking.  

So?  Make sure that your attitudes toward the things and people around you are the ones that God would have.  Remember,
(Rom 5:8 KJV)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Stir Well

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

A few day ago I wrote about how God hates evil.  Here we seem to have another side of “hatred” (8153) and it got my mind going on a tangent.  Before I go down that road I realize that the point of this verse is to tell us we should love not hate.  But I started thinking, if we take seriously the thought of Proverbs 8:13 then when we speak up for righteousness people will understand that God does not approve of what is going on in their life and it will stir up “strife” (4090).  It won’t be our hatred but the reaction of the unrighteous.

So?  Prepare yourself.  We are called to be salt and light.  We are surrounded by people who have a creed of “me first” and will not respond well to the call of repentance, let along a call to righteousness. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

No Excuses Allowed

(Pro 7:2 KJV)  Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

Is there a difference between “commandments” (4687) [mistvah] and “law” (8451) [torah]?  In this verse I think it is just repetition for emphasis.  In other places it might be significant.  This is a reminder for all those who think grace negates the need for obedience.  Grace reflects the fact that we are unable to do enough good things to pay for our sins.  That was as true in the Old Testament as the New.  It does not give you permission to take your scissors and cut out all the references to living the way God wants you to live.

So?  Don’t get hung up in the letter of the law but embrace the spirit of obedience.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Life Saver Theology

(Pro 6:27 KJV)  Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

It would seem to me the obvious answer to this is, “No.”  Obvious does not always mean applied.  There are so many things we know are true but we act like they are not.  Keep in mind that every potato chip you eat adds calories.  You may have the willpower to stop at one but it still adds up.  Just yesterday I succumbed to temptation as I walked by an open jar of cookies.  I will pay.  I may never feel any pay but it will make a difference.  

A fun fact for those who cheat on their diets.  If you add one life saver a day, not the whole roll, just one lifesaver, it will add one pound over a year.  Think of the un-fun facts.  Every thought that is not taken captive will make a difference.  Saying “no” to God today will make tomorrow different.  It may make eternity different.

So.  Live each day like it make a difference.  Make each decision the same way. 

Monday, September 5, 2022

Double Vision

(Pro 5:21 KJV)  For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

It is easy to forget that God “pondereth” (watches NASB) (6424) all that we do in life.  That has its good side and its bad side.  On the good side it is reassuring.  God sees what is over the next hill.  He sees that microbe that thinks it has your name written on it.  He knows the temptation that is waiting for you.  So He can prepare you.

On the bad side, he sees everything you do.  I guess I should say “we.”  He knows every thought.  And he is paying attention.

And in the center of this is your free will.  You make choices.  Sometimes God overrules them.  Sometimes He lets them stand.

So?  Work on the right choices.  It will make a difference. 

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Multiples of Ten

(Pro 4:22 KJV)  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

“I have the strength of ten because my heart is pure.”  That is a modern paraphrase of a line from a poem by Tennyson.  I have not read the poem but I know the line.  It sometimes shocks me the different physical issues people around me have had.  I sometimes wonder why I have not suffered more.  I don’t have an answer but there is a part of me that really likes this verse.  

There is a principle here but we need to be careful how we use it.  The principle is that if we live according to God’s standards we will be healthier than if we don’t.  Keep in mind that this compares you to you, not you to your neighbor.  Even a person with cancer may be healthier than he would be if he were living in debauchery.  God’s promises are true even if we apply them incorrectly.

So?  Live in righteousness.  That brings to mind things like gluttony and drunkenness, as it should.  It should also bring to mind gossip and dishonest business practices.  They are all mentioned in Proverbs.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

“Seeker Friendly” Mode

(Pro 3:31 KJV)  Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

We are drawn to those who are successful.  This is true whether it is to business seminars, churches or football teams.  What we don’t like to do is look below the surface.  I remember hearing a guaranteed way to fill your church every Sunday:  Give away a free car.  In business one way to be successful, at least over the short term, is to find suckers and take advantage of them.  In churches you have the “seeker friendly” mode which distorts the gospel and makes it easy to swallow.  Keep in mind that calling lemon drops a “fat free food” does not make them healthy.

So?  Be careful in your choice of gurus.  The best choice is to have none.  Do your own reading and your own studying.  Weed out reading that is from fools and frauds.  Make the right choices.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Antidote to Fake

(Pro 2:6 KJV)  For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

We live in the age of Fake News.  Actually it has probably always been that way.  A previous generation came up with the idea of propaganda.  Last century the problem was Yellow Journalism.  Go back to the early church and you will find things like the Gospel of Thomas.  The difference is that the voices that used to call for truth and accuracy are now part of the Chorus of Deceit.  

Part of the problem is the vast sea of information and the hailstorm of voices.  It is hard to keep up and sort out what is fact.  We often don’t try very hard.  Do you still watch the weather for more than a general idea of what might happen?  They depend on ratings just like Saturday Night Live.  Do you listen to the pastor without having your Bible open?  Is he the kind of preacher that never makes you need your Bible?  Are you Charlie Brown and you are surrounded by footballs, each with its own Lucy?  How many times does someone need to lie to you before you get the point.

So?  The only source you can depend on is the word of God and even there you need to make sure that it is an accurate translation not a project of ego projection.  Stay alert and find the truth.

Thursday, September 1, 2022


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

If you read on past verse 10 you find quite a list of activities that people will invite you to participate in.  The list given here would not be hard for me to resist but I don’t think this is a complete listing.  Satan is really good at getting us moving in the wrong direction with mild proposals that might generate a simple, “What can it hurt?”

It can hurt a lot.  If the people tempting us are sinners then that means that we are not.  It means that we march on the Highway of Holiness and their main desire is to get us off.  

So?  Beware.  Keep it pure.  Keep it righteous.  Develop a spiritual level.  The Bible is more familiar with the plumbline (KJV) or plumb line (NASB).

(Amo 7:7 KJV)  Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.
Either way.  God wants us standing tall and straight.