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, March 31, 2023


(Pro 31:10 KJV)  Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Notice the question being asked.  It might be considered poetical or rhetorical.  When I consider all the qualities he lists I am afraid it is a genuine question and if you look at the advice of his mother in verse 3, you can almost assume the answer is “No one.”

Beware the perfect.  Often in life the best is not available.  We are forced to do with better.  In life it might be that better is best.  One lesson we can get from this passage is to make sure that our measuring stick is based on virtue and righteousness.  The woman described here is not only great in so many areas, she is pure and clean in the ones involving ethics.

So?  Be the best.  Live to the highest.  Those marks may vary a bit from person to person but for you the goal is the same. 

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Who, Me?

(Exo 18:21 KJV)  Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

(Proverbs 30 also read)

It is never a bad time to think about the qualities of leadership.  This is the advice of Jethro to Moses.  It would seem here that Jethro is assuming Moses will do the picking.  Later we see that Moses passed at least some of that choosing on to the people.

(Deu 1:13 KJV)  Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.
While we are not looking at pure democracy there is a sense of the people being involved in the picking of their government.  There are four character traits that they were to look for.  I would suggest that they are good for us to look for in our choices, too.

It is always a good time to consider the kind of qualities we should show in our own lives.  We may not be called to leadership politically but all of us will be in positions where leadership is needed.  We need to live in such a way that people will at least consider us.

So?  I would hope these traits are already a part of your life.  If not, I would suggest that you pay attention to the personal priorities and choices you make.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Guilt Trips

(Pro 29:13 KJV)  The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD lighteneth both their eyes.

In a recent discussion the topic of witnessing came up.  We were concerned about people coming to Jesus and wondering about the opportunities we miss.  We wanted to do a better job of evangelism.  We were feeling a lot of guilt and I pointed out that we should not feel it is our fault if people don’t accept Jesus.

The real evangelist is the Holy Spirit.  We cannot argue anyone into the kingdom.  We forget that.  This verse should help remind us.  Two classes of people.  Both are given access to the truth.  I think we can assume that one does not respond, maybe neither, but God is being faithful.

So?  People make choices.  One of those involves accepting the message God is laying on their hearts.  You may not hear the voice speaking to them.  They might deny it.  The Holy Spirit is still working.  Rejoice that you heard and pray that they might but set aside the guilt. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Slaves to Culture

(1Ti 6:1 KJV)  Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

(Proverbs 28 also read)

This is another area where believers are being swayed by a desire to conform to our world instead of being transformed to serve in our world.  The issue is slavery.  We tend to look at it as a political or social issue.  While it may be that it is also something that the Bible has a lot to say about.  

Now let me stir the pot.  The Bible does not condemn slavery.  The Bible assumes slavery and gives us guidelines on how to live as slaves or as masters.  There is no call of Spartacus here.  The word doulos (1401) is always translated “servant” in the KJV.  In the NASB it is only translated simply “servant” once out of 127 times the Greek word is used.  There are times when it is united some way with “bond”, as in “bond-servant” but the use of slave occurs 97 times.

The word can be used both ways but the point I would like to make is that the existence of a class of people who are dependent on the whims of others is accepted as being the way life is.  In time the Biblical teaching that the slave is still a brother will break the institution down.  After all, what is the point of having a slave if you have to treat him like a brother.

So?  Be careful accepting the comforting declarations of pastors and teachers when a little reading will tell you that you need to think for yourself. 

Monday, March 27, 2023

The Joy of the Law

(Psa 105:45 KJV)  That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the LORD.

(Proverbs 27 also read)

This verse is a good example of the difference in the view that the writer of this, and other, Psalms had of the law and how the Apostle Paul looked at it.  I think the difference is important if for no other reason than balance.

In Psalms the “law” (8451) [torah] is looked at with joy.  Notice the final phrase.  Paul looked at it as a burden.  I think that one of the differences is the Paul was looking at a different body of material that David and others.  It has come to my attention recently that there was an oral tradition of the law that was not written down until long after Paul’s day.  I get the feeling that most of the nit picking nonsense we hear about was found in this oral law.  

We are taught that the Bible is the inspired word of God.  For us that does not include any oral traditions passed down.  Most of what I am aware of are the opinions of the Rabbis who kept coming up with regulations to expand the coverage of the law.  What was given to teach men how to live holy lives became a straight jacket to stifle them.

So?  Holiness is a matter of great joy.  God is not a killjoy.  He is the source of joy.  To quote the Psalm. “Praise the Lord.” 

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Windy Messages

(Psa 104:4 NAS77) He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers.

(Proverbs 26 also read)

The NASB is different from the KJV.

(Psa 104:4 KJV)  Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
The difference is a matter of choice.  “Winds” (7307) is “spirits” in the KJV and ruach in Hebrew.  Both words are common translations in both versions.  The same with “messengers” (4397) and “angels”.  I like the NASB today because it reminds me of my morning walks and how the wind blowing brings praise to my heart.  It is as if God is using the breeze to speak to me.

This entire Psalm is full of poetic language.  It is almost totally figurative.  It is inspiring, or it could be if we let it.

So?  Look around as you move through the world.  Look for the beauty.  It could be a bit of grass pushing up through a crack in the concrete or it could be a forest of giant redwoods.  Look for the hand of God and I am betting you will find it. 

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Limitation of Friendship

(Pro 25:18 Brenton)  As a club, and a dagger, and a pointed arrow, so also is a man who bears false witness against his friend.

One of the misconceptions we have about friendship is that we are always loyal above all else.  It is inferred here that some people think it would be acceptable to go to court and lie if it was to the advantage of a friend.  This makes it clear that we are not to do that.

Honesty and truth are bedrock in a culture that wants to survive and be healthy.  Even if you are alive during a time when integrity seems to have taken a vacation, you are to maintain upright behavior.  That means applying the Commandment against lying.

So?  First, it is vital to your spiritual destiny.  Second, it is necessary for your personal world.  Finally, you may be the salt that stops the wrathful hand of God so that others might be saved. 

Friday, March 24, 2023

Discover Not

(Psa 84:11 KJV)  For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

(Proverbs 24 also read)

Be careful how you interpret a verse like this.  It is full of promise.  It is truly a joy to read.  It is also a filter.  So often we get so excited about the picture of promise that we ignore the filter.  

We like the idea that God does not “withhold” (4513) the “good” (2896b) from us.  We like the idea of the kiosk of vending machines you find in Japan.  I remember on spot in the middle of nowhere.  The road had a place to pull off and beside the road, lit up and inviting was an automated market of hot and cold drinks and food.  I think you could even use your credit card.  It was all for the taking.  Some people think of God that way.

We are not so enthused about that little issue of walking “uprightly” (8549).  We get really good at ignoring that.  And then we wonder why the cosmic candy bar does not appear.

So?  It isn’t a matter of earning God’s blessings as much as applying Him to our lives.  I don’t know now many times I have tried to use my Discover at Cosco.  Eventually I realize that they want to give me all I selected but they want a different card.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Study Tools

(Psa 83:4 KJV)  They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.

(Proverbs 23 also read)

This brings to mind a couple of errors we make in understanding the Bible and applying it to ourselves.  Today those are “spiritualization” and “Replacement Theology.”  There are aspects of both that are useful and legitimate and extremes that are deceptive and misguided.

If you were spiritualizing this passage you would take a legitimate desire to understand what God is saying to use and manipulate it to make yourself look good.  If you see parallels with current forces in our culture trying to marginalize and destroy the church then you are on the right track and you can go on to teach hope, being salt and other lessons.  If you use it to justify your position on a recent local church dispute on which Bible translation to put in the pews then you might be using the technique a bit out of line.

The term “Replacement Theology” is one of those technical shibboleths like “Fundamentalist” which have a meaning to describe a specific position but is often misused to tar and feather people you don’t like.  Technically it means a belief that God has replaced Israel with the Church as His Chosen People.  In my mind it brings a picture of a computer technician pulling out the old CPU, throwing it in the trash, and putting in the newest, hottest version.  This can lead to anti-Semitism on one hand and a good degree of local church arrogance on the other.  Is God now working through the church instead of Israel?  I would say so.  Does that mean He is finished with Israel?  Not if you read about the end times.

So?  Read and study.  Keep in mind the purpose is to “show yourself approved” not to gain the pole position in the Rapture 500. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The Missing Link

(Psa 102:10 KJV)  Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down.

(Proverbs 22 also read)

This is a gloomy and depressing Psalm.  The author is in dire straights.  All is misery and suffering.  It is like he lives in the time when the prophecies of God’s wrath are fulfilled.  In the midst of this there is something missing and this verse comes the closest to expressing it.  There does not seem to be much confession or repentance in this chapter.  He describes his desperation.  He praises God.  But there is a disconnect between sin and punishment.

I am reading the writings of a dispensationalist who goes out of his way to claim that confession and repentance are not necessary.  I think he is wrong.  I think that the Bible is full of proclamations of hope and restoration but one of the conditions involves us turning away from our sins.  Grace is still the agent but God demands also.

So?  If God does not seem to be listening then maybe it is brokenness and humility He is not hearing.  There is nothing wrong with His reception. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023


(Heb 2:15 KJV)  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

(Proverbs 21 also read)

If I were a teenager reading this verse I would possibly just keep reading.  The same could be said as I moved into adulthood.  Not so much now that I am in my 70's.  Suddenly this is a reminder that I need to internalize and apply daily.

Part of it is an awareness of being old and all that involves.  I can choose to live in fear of the cough next to me.  I can wonder about each ache and pain I feel.  I can be willing to spend the inheritance of my grandchildren on a medical procedure that is iffy at best, all because of a “fear” (5401) of “death” (2288).  I might suppress it and deny it but if it stifles my joy of living then I am living in fear.  I am “subject” (1777) to “bondage” (slavery NASB) (1397).

It can also effect the way I look at my world.  Am I afraid to go out?  Do I avoid the mall because of fear?  Do I look with suspicion at people around me?  Do I dread the evening news?  There are so many forms that this can express itself in.

So?  Jesus has removed the fear of death, or He should have.  Actually, it isn’t a question of whether He removed the reason as much as our reluctance to embrace that deliverance and apply it to our daily lives.  They say that the only two things that are certain are death and taxes.  Death is not an issue and if we are poor enough taxes have a limited bite also.  Rejoice. 

Monday, March 20, 2023

Arms and Hands

(Psa 98:1 KJV)  A Psalm. O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

(Proverbs 20 also read)

Have you ever met the old sourpuss that wants to criticize everything?  When it comes to the Bible they want to be literal all the time, except when being figurative fits their narrative.  You know the type.  I have a friend who went off on a long tirade about the chorus “Majesty” because it talked about Jesus as King and King of Kings.  He claimed that the Bible does not say that.  I did not bother trying to refute him.

If people like that are going to be consistent then they are going to have problems with this chapter in Psalms.  It starts off talking about God’s “right hand” (3225) and “holy” (6944) “arm” (2220).  Since the Bible tells us God is spirit it is hard to see Him having a right hand.  Later on in this chapter you have God remembering.  Did He forget?  You have rivers clapping their hands and mountains singing.  What beautiful images.  Anyone with an ounce of imagination recognizes the existence of figures of speech and rejoices in the insights they bring.

So?  Don’t be a party pooper with demands for literal when the Bible is full of figurative.  Did Jesus rise from the dead literally and physically?  Yes.  That is made clear.  Does God have a right hand?  Only if He wants to.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Righteous Skies

(Psa 97:6 KJV)  The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.

(Proverbs 19 also read)

I do a lot of rejoicing when I take the time to sit and contemplate the world around me.  On a clear day, when the temperature is right, with a breeze keeping things interesting, it is very hard not to lift up my eyes and see the glory of God.  It can also happen on a dark night when the stars are coasting across the sky.  I can have this sense in the midst of a lightening storm and even in a hard steady rain.

I don’t know that I have ever thought of the sky revealing God’s “righteousness” (6664), but it makes sense.  I will try to remember that next time I walk.  It seems to be there for all the world to see.

So?  We are surrounded by God’s “glory” (3519b).  I need to take more time to contemplate it and think about all that it reveals. 

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Flower Praise

(Psa 96:12 KJV)  Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice

(Proverbs 18 also read)

We tend to look at expressions like these as poetic instead of realistic.  We are not pagans.  We do not believe that plants and rocks have awareness.  At the same time I wonder.  I think of fields of sunflowers I have seen that turn to follow the sun.  Rocks expand and contract with fluctuation in temperature.  I am told that fields do grow rocks.  In the process of responding to heat they somehow work themselves toward the surface.  

But what if there is some kind of awareness in a flower that responds to the holiness of God?  It is not hard for me to imagine when I walk on a beautiful morning.  I am not talking about a soul but in my crazy moments I imagine a bowl of strawberries, created to be eaten and enjoyed, calling out to me, “Eat me!”  It is what brings them joy and I am glad to help.

So?  Rejoice.  If the trees in the forest can sing for joy then it would be good to join. 

Friday, March 17, 2023

Mocking Trials

(2Ti 3:12 KJV)  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

(Proverbs 17 also read)

This is a verse that can be very scary.  At best it is disturbing.  It seems to be a guarantee that living a serious Christian life will get us “persecuted” (1377).  At times I look at the blessings in my life and it makes me wonder.

What is not stated here is the frequency and severity of the persecution.  We tend to stereotype it into lion food and the Inquisition.  While there is a witness to that I think it is more on the level of being mocked or shunned socially.  The purpose of the persecution from the Devil’s point of view is to drive a wedge between us and God.  If he can do that subtly without us pushing back then he can move us toward hell and tarnish the image of God in the pagan mind.

So?  Don’t go looking for persecution so you can get it out of the way.  Be ready to be mocked or pressured to compromise.  That is much more common.  Spend enough time with the Lord to let it run off like you were a wet duck. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Heart Prep

(Psa 94:15 KJV)  But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.

(Proverbs 16 also read)

The context of this verse is the observation that society goes through changes.  At times it seems like the forces of evil are in command.  Then God moves.  In the midst of this we are reminded of our place in things.  I am assuming that I am one of the “upright” (3477) in “heart” (3820) [leb].  I am hoping that you are too.  We are to always be in “follow” (310) mode.

That involves always being aware of what is going on around us.  It means that we are to make choices when given the chance.

Making those choices depends on us knowing the difference between truth and compromise.  We can only achieve that by study, prayer and developing habits of obedience.  

So?  Prepare for the decisions that are to come.  If your heart is right with God, then follow your heart.  If you heart is not upright then there is a decision that is already here. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Ask Me Later

(Gen 1:4 KJV)  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

(Proverbs 15 also read)

How about a philosophical question?  “Is it good because God said so?” or “Did God say it was good because it was?”  The question is not whether the statement is true but why it is true.  

The first position leaves open the possibility that God is capricious.  The light could have been neutral, waiting to be labeled.  God could have declared it evil under this scenario.  

The second question could mean that the quality of goodness existed outside creation.  The gurus tell us that means it existed before creation thus making it outside of what God had done.

My solution is to put the philosophy in a can until the resurrection.  At that point the answer may be obvious or something that even a philosopher would not care about.  My position is that the statement is true.  If by some miracle I figure out all the other things I wonder about then I will pull it out of the can and examine it.

So?  Keep thinking but it might be helpful to think about things that matter.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Psalms of Depression

(Psa 74:21 KJV)  O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.

(Proverbs 14 also read)

This is one depressing Psalm.  I did not check any commentaries but from the language of destruction it seems like this is set after the southern kingdom was deported and Jerusalem destroyed.  Not a happy time and that is reflected in the text.  I would say it is obvious that the writer is devout and faithful yet he is still immersed in the destruction.  That should say something to us today as we are concerned about the way things are going in our country.

Then you come to this verse and the back handed hope that is involved.  It would seem that we can be “oppressed” (1790) and “poor" (afflicted NASB) (6041)and “needy” (34) and still be expected to “praise” (1984b).  Not only is it expected but it is possible.  You might say it is necessary for our spiritual survival.  In my limited experience with persecution I find that spending time in praise gives you a totally different view of the situation.

So?  Get into the habit of praise and thanksgiving when things are not destructive.  It will establish a pattern and habits that can carry over into the times when things really get bad. 

Monday, March 13, 2023

Strange Choices

(Psa 92:9 KJV)  For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

(Proverbs 13 also read)

We have a hard time with the concept that there is evil all around us.  We don’t like to think about how our neighbor, who is not a Christian, is a partner with evil.  If that is true of you, it might also be hard to grasp that God has “enemies” (341).

It is hard to fathom on a human level that people would be enemies of God.  It is not God’s choice.  Jesus died for everyone, or in hopes that everyone would respond.  He died knowing that everyone would not accept Him.  He continues open to them.

It is their choice to be enemies of God.  If you think of it in political terms then consider that no vote is a vote no.  By refusing to make a choice you make a choice.  I am sure there are many ways to phrase it but if you do not move to become a friend of God, you are His enemy.

So?  I made my choice.  So have you.  I hope you are as satisfied with yours as I am with mine. 

Sunday, March 12, 2023


(Pro 12:4 Brenton)  A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband; but as a worm in wood, so a bad woman destroys her husband.

Reading different translations give interesting ideas even if you can’t count on the accuracy.  The English translation of the Septuagint is a case in point.  This verse has an interesting twist.  I found the word picture of a worm eating wood interesting.  I checked a Greek text I have of the Septuagint and the word was there.  I tried to find it in the Hebrew version by using the numbering system and could find nothing to compare.  I am assuming it is not in the Hebrew and was added by someone.

Being around certain types of people can hollow you out inside.  In this case it is specifically a certain type of wife.  I imagine the charge can go for men also but that is not the statement here.  

There is no solution given for the problem.  That gives me two insights.  Accept that some people are that way and it is not your fault.  The second is, don’t be one of those people.

So?  We have a lot to say about the kind of person we are.  If you read the description of love in I Corinthians 13 you will notice that love is a conscious choice.  It is not an emotion.  Only you know which part of the definition you need to work on.  I will do me.  You do you. 

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Early Witness

(Psa 71:20 KJV)  Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

(Proverbs 11 also read)

I don’t know how an ancient Jew would have read and understood this but it speaks to me of the resurrection.  I looked at a few commentaries and the explanation was mixed.  I understand that one of the differences between the Sadducees and Pharisees was that the former did not believe in the resurrection.  

Is a belief in the resurrection a totally hidden point of faith in the time of David?  I don’t think it was hidden.  It may have been expressed in less modern terms but I see it in different places.  The fact that Paul makes it the core of our hope makes me think it was not totally absent.

So?  The Bible has a message of hope that runs through the entire book.  It is an amazing detail that adds to its trustworthiness.  Read and believe.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Sick to Death

(Php 2:27 KJV)  For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

(Proverbs 10 also read)

In Philippians we are reading about one of Paul’s co-workers who was seriously ill.  They seemed to be worried that he would die.  I am sure that they consulted local medical experts but keep in mind that they had none of the modern life saving devices and substances available today.  When they say they were afraid he would die, it was not an idle statement.  This should be a reminder to us that even if you are serving the Lord with all your might, for reasons we don’t understand you can still get sick.  You might die.

We sometimes get the idea that we are immune.  God could make us that way.  In fact, I think He does quite a bit of immunizing.  God’s “mercy” (1653) can not only heal, it can protect.  Since God designed our immune system and we are told that Jesus holds all things together we need to accept the fact that suffering can have a value.

So?  I would say we obviously practice common sense hygiene, exercise and watch what we eat.  While we are doing those things we should also be aware of Providence.  God is in charge.  He may steer all the microbes away from you.  He may let you get sick.  We still trust and rejoice. 

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Age of Accountability

(Pro 9:7-8 Brenton)  He that reproves evil men shall get dishonour to himself; and he that rebukes an ungodly man shall disgrace himself.  Rebuke not evil men, lest they should hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

I wonder what age an immature child turns into a “man” (7563).  We are told to train up a child and to not spare the rod.  When do we stop?  It doesn’t say so I guess it is a judgement call.

I would think that independence is a factor.  When a child grows up enough to move out it may be time to back off and set the right example.  That should be done whether they have responded or not.  If your 30 year old moves back home and has no job then it might be that you have the right to give direction again.

I think you would also have more to say if there is a family tie.

So?  Sometimes every situation is different.  We need to start with clean hearts and pure motives and then follow where the Spirit leads. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Deeper, Deeper

(Pro 8:17 Brenton)  I love those that love me; and they that seek me shall find me.

We are blessed with a multitude of translations.  That wealth brings responsibility, the responsibility of being stewards of the wealth.  That means reading, meditating and comparing the scriptures.  When I compared the Brenton translation to the NASB it seemed weak.  The NASB says “diligently seek” (7836) which adds a drive that is not in the Brenton translation.  The KJV says to seek early.  When I looked at the Hebrew as compared to the Greek of the Septuagint I could see the difference in the original languages.

In this case the Hebrew brings a richness and depth that you might miss in the Greek.

So?  Some lessons are conveyed better in other languages.  It is the challenge of translation and the reward of study.  Rejoice in the wealth. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Today Way

(Pro 7:27 Brenton)  Her house is the way of hell, leading down to the chambers of death.

The Brenton translation had an interesting way of putting this verse.  Instead of the way “to” hell we read the way “of” hell.  I am not sure that it is more accurate but it certainly brings out a reality.  We are so used to seeing things and taking them at face value.  I sometimes see an advertisement for a certain brand of beer and it is full of people who are laughing, smiling, talking and generally having a great time.  It looks very inviting and makes me want to have a part of it, or at least that is the purpose.

What it does not tell you is how desperate they are to be accepted and the loneliness that drives them to that gathering.  It doesn’t point out that they can’t afford to be there or let you know what diseases are eating up their insides.  I guess the picture could be as portrayed but I doubt it.

So?  Do you want your life to be an advertisement for a beer company or filled with the inner assurance that you are on God’s eternal team?  The good news is that it is your choice.  The bad news is you have to chose. 

Monday, March 6, 2023

Rebellious Submission

(Psa 66:3 KJV)  Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

(Proverbs 6 also read)

Up to this point this Psalm is fairly typical and then suddenly we have this veering.  You don’t see it very well in the KJV which has “submit” (3584) instead of “feigned obedience”.  Yes, there is action which could be called submission but it is not the genuine submission that God requires.  This is not the lip service that we so often give at work or as children.  In social situations we can get away with saying nice things when we are thinking the opposite.  Not so with God.

God is seeking sincerity and genuine love.  He is after willing obedience rather than this kind of facade.  This reverts back to the concept of free will.  We are not animals of instinct.  We are created in the image of God.  We are to respond to Him on that level.

So?  Being genuine is within our grasp.  Don’t forget God knows what we are thinking.  We have the power of will and the power to give our love and genuine obedience.  It should not be a hard choice but it is more multitudes. 

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Fossil Treatment

(Psa 60:12 KJV)  Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

(Proverbs 5 also read)

The previous verse is about grace and dependence.  This verse is about grace in action, or you might say the grace of obedience.  Some would see the “do” (6213a) and say, “Aha!  The Law!  Works!  We are saved by works, not the Law.”  What they miss is the “through God” at the beginning of the verse.  Is that deliberate, accidental or because of fossilized theology?

This is the beautiful fullness of the good news.  God points out that we can’t do it alone and then quickly says that we can do it with Him.  

So?  Always read the next verse.  All of us tend to focus on what the gurus tell us to focus on and because of that we miss the whole truth.  Let the Holy Spirit bring the fossils to life. 

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Good Old Grace

(Psa 60:11 KJV)  Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.

(Proverbs 4 also read)

I keep having conversations where the other party claims that grace is an invention of the apostle Paul and the revelation given to him.  I only exaggerate a tiny little bit.  They would claim that the Old Testament, based on the Law, says that man must earn his way into heaven.  It is as if they believe that the Israelites were simple enough to believe that not cooking a kid in its mother’s milk was somehow going to atone for their sins.

This verse is one of many that point out, even in the Old Testament, that “deliverance” (second help in KJV) (8668) comes only from God.  It is almost like we could rephrase that question, “What part of ‘vain’ (7723) don’t you understand?”

So?  The Bible is a whole.  Don’t fall for people who want to put certain parts in a category that says you don’t need to take them seriously.  Seriously.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Now or Maybe Never

(Pro 3:5 Brenton)  Trust in God with all thine heart; and be not exalted in thine own wisdom.

The Brenton translation has an interesting way of putting this.  It talks about exalting your own wisdom.  That goes a bit further than leaning.  It adds a whole new dimension to our foolishness.  It points out that we often get things wrong and then crow about it.

Humility is a hard road to follow.  It is hard to admit we are wrong.  It is even harder to make that admission after a long term investment in being wrong.  In some ways the longer we refuse to admit we are sinners and the more we “exalt” ourselves the less likely it is we will respond.

So?  If there is something that needs repentance, it might be a good idea to think about it now.  It will never get any easier and might become insurmountable. 

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Evil Alert

(Pro 2:13-4 Brenton)  Alas for those who forsake right paths, to walk in ways of darkness who rejoice in evils, and delight in wicked perverseness;

This month I am reading Proverbs from Brenton’s English Septuagint.  It is just an attempt to get insights from a little different perspective.  One difference is that verse 12 ends with a period and verse 13 seems to start a new thought.  In these verses we are reminded of something that we keep trying to ignore:  There are people who enjoy living on the dark side.  

We like to think people are confused or having a bad day.  That may be true.  What is also true is that some people prefer giving confusion and bad days.  It is their joy in life.  Usually they are good at hiding it.  We need to be careful of judging.  We need to be aware of the possibility.

So?  We are on the side of the angels.  Some are on the side of demons.  We know who is going to win and rejoice in it.  They know how much pain they can cause and for some perverted reason, rejoice in it.  Be alert.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023


(Gal 1:14 KJV)  And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

(Proverbs 1 also read)

We read here a description of Paul’s background given by Paul himself.  He is holding up his academic credentials as being very powerful.  Later he will point out that they were not his mark of apostleship.  What I found interesting was his “fathers” (ancestral NASB) (3967) “traditions” (3862).  These are what Jesus called the “traditions of the elders” and He said it in a condemning way.  Until he met Jesus, Paul was proud of his education.  Afterwards he realized it was built on sand.

The point is not to badmouth education.  The point is to realize that much of what we learn and think is true is really just the opinions of other people.  How much of what we believe as Christians is based in the Bible and how much is rooted in our theological traditions?  It can be an important question.

So?  Traditions can be helpful.  They can also distract us from the key things we should be living and teaching.  Run what you hear and read through your Bible and then accept or reject.