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.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

You Are Not the Only One

(2Pe 3:15-6 KJV)  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

(Proverbs 31 also read)

Have you ever felt like there was something wrong with you because you could not understand what you were reading in the Bible.  In this verse Peter is sharing your pain.  He is specifically referring to the writing of the apostle Paul.

That being said, just because we don’t understand it does not mean we can’t figure it out.  Keep reading and thinking about what you have read.  Listen to others.  Sometimes they answer questions you have never verbalized.  Pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit.

So?  Hang in there.  If everything came automatically there would be no need for all those commentaries out there.  Actually, I am not sure there is any need for them anyway.  Most of what they tell you is their opinion.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Quantity Is Quality

(Deu 6:7 KJV)  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

(Proverbs 30 also read)

We see the clear statements.  

What we may not notice is that this requires spending time with them, quantity that has quality.  This is not sitting watching a movie but discussing what you have watched.  This is harder than we think.  It means we need to change our schedules.  You cannot have a meaningful discussion with your child if you are at a political meeting or taking a class for work.  Investing in your children may mean not accepting a promotion.

It may also involve getting the kids away from a lot of the activities we think are necessary.  Kids are so busy today with lessons and practice.  I wonder how many of those are because the child wants to be involved and how many are because the parents think it is necessary.  How many demands are more about our social position than developing a well rounded family?

So?  Do some serious thinking.  Each of us has to come to our own conclusions.  Be honest and prayerful.  God will supply the energy we need but not necessarily that we want. 

Monday, May 29, 2023

Surprise Ending

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

Why is the choice between anger and humor?  Both of them are the response of people who either don’t have the ability to understand or understand and don’t have the desire to admit it.  If you have a discussion with a wise man then there is a chance for real dialogue.  You listen.  He listens.  You both communicate and consider what you hear.  There is the strong possibility that you might be the one who learns something.

Which makes me wonder about how I respond to people.  My emotions tell me that I don’t always respond with the wisdom of listening.  I don’t have a bunch of examples in mind but I know the feeling.

So?  This is turning into a two edged sword I was not expecting.  That is one benefit of this kind of writing.  If done correctly it is not a lecture you give but one you attend. 

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Good and Plenty

(Pro 28:19 KJV)  He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.

On a recent drive the topic of money came up and the question is how much does it take to make some people happy.  I often remember and quote a statement attributed to various rich people:  “How much money does it take to make a man happy?  Just a little more.”  That comes into play when we look at the word translated “plenty” (7646).  There are two elements in this equation.  One is absolute and the other is relative.  

The absolute has to do with needs.  In order to be healthy we need a certain amount of food.  It helps to have the right balance of nutrients but one “expert” in the field once pointed out that with all the additives in modern foods, the odds of having a real lack are pretty slim.  We know what hunger is.  We know that we reach a point where the hunger is satisfied.

Which brings us to the second element.  Many of us keep eating when our body is aware it has had enough.  This is where the “just a little bit more” philosophy crosses over into our diet.  It effects every area of our life.  If you allow it to reign you will never reach the finish line because it will be like the carrot on a stick in the cartoon.  It will always be just out of reach.

So?  One aspect of our thinking and meditation should focus on what we really need and be satisfied when God provides it. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Beyond Nagging

(Pro 27:15 KJV)  A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.

This basic thought is repeated several times in Proverbs.  As I read it today I noticed that it had been raining and drops were forming on the gutters outside my window.  My mind went to ways in which I deal with the experience of irritating sounds.  Here the point is a nagging wife but there are other intrusions into our consciousness that can drain us.  It could be a neighbor who plays music too loud.  It could be a motel room by a noisy street.  It might be a squeak on a windy night.  

One way to deal with those things is what is called “white noise”.  I find that if the TV in another room is distracting I can turn on a fan that lulls me away from the unwelcome sounds.  Another thing that helps is to not get irritated in the first place.  This must be applied early because the more irritated you get the harder it is to ignore.  

So?  God knows how distracting our environment can be.  He will help us deal with it and will be there when you manage to get focused again.  Stay in the struggle.  The rewards are worth it. 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Words Have Meaning

(Pro 26:4 KJV)  Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

One of the contemporary terms we are all having to deal with is “woke”.  There is a lot of debate about what it specifically means.  Understand confusion of definitions is part of the strategy of the post-modern psyche.  The school of philosophy is called Deconstructionism and the way to sum it up is to divorce clear meaning from the discussion so you can win with power instead of truth.  

We are under a lot of pressure in public to turn off our minds, shut our mouths and walk away from God’s truth.  Consider the public claim of 72 genders.  My three year old grandson knows that there are only two but most talking heads will repeat the nonsense with a straight face.  We cannot do it and keep a straight soul.  Do you see the danger pointed out in this verse?  If we accept their terms and use there terms we become like them.

So?  My response is, “No thank you.”  When Jesus said He was the way, the truth and the life He was not talking about the truth as it is brought to you this week by confused servants of Satan.  He was talking about eternal truth.  Walk in wisdom. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Learn from Mistakes

(Pro 25:19 KJV)  Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

“Confidence” (4009) is a key word here.  Unreliable people cannot always be avoided.  Like a bad tooth, it may be almost impossible to work around.  Often you don’t know the pain is there until after you experience it.  Keep that in mind when someone takes you to the cleaners.  There is an old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.”  

When someone demonstrates they cannot be trusted, stop trusting them.  That does not mean you stop being courteous.  In other places in this chapter you are told to feed your enemies.  There is a certain minimum of behavior demanded of us, but we are not called to be fools.

So?  Learn from your mistakes and don’t let some bleeding heart shame you into being stupid a second time. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Sodom II

(Psa 11:6 KJV)  Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

(Proverbs 24 also read)

I am not a student of eschatology.  One reason is that there is nothing I can do to effect it and by the time it takes place my spiritual condition will be established.  Or so I hope.  At the same time, when I read passages like this I think of all those people I know who think the return of Jesus is just around the corner.  Possibly.  The prophetic books are full of colorful pictures.  One of them is the rain of fire from heaven.  This would be consistent with that.

God has used this method before.  Can you say, “Sodom”?  Is there anything really worse going on today than in Sodom?  Put that together with the treat of nuclear weapons and you get a similar picture.  Maybe this time it will be an ICBM instead of a meteor.  

So?  Be prepared at all levels.  Have a well stocked pantry and a well placed trust.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Bucket List

(Pro 23:17 KJV)  Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

Have you ever felt like everything you like to eat makes you fat?  How about all the things you think are fun being on the banned list?  To be honest, it is a bit of an attitude problem more than actually being honest.  Just what is it that you want to do that sinners are involved in?  You really want to lie, steal, murder, fornicate and work on the Sabbath?  If that is the case then the problem is not “envy” (7065) it is an inner man still in the control of sin.

Maybe you should sit down and make a list of all the things you might want to do.  Spare no expense.  Ignore your skill level.  It doesn’t hurt to write it down.  Now, assuming you were following directions, go down the list and ask yourself how many of them God has said you can’t do.  I would guess you would check very few.  You wife or mother might say no.  Your children might lock you up.  God, however, is probably good with most of them.

So?  Rejoice in the God of liberty and live life to its fullest. 

Monday, May 22, 2023

Choose Your Side Carefully

(Psa 143:12 KJV)  And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

(Proverbs 22 also read)

We sometimes get very feeling oriented when we think about the love of God.  The "mercy" (lovingkindness NASB) (2617a) being referred to here is chesed which I consider to be the Old Testament version of agape love.  The most common translation by far in the NASB is lovingkindness.  In the KJV the most common is mercy.  

It is a point to be considered that David is calling on God’s mercy to “cut off” (6789) his “enemies” (340).  A couple of observations.  First, the mercy of God is first directed toward those who serve Him.  Second, David is not playing nice or wanting a simple resolution of their differences.  Third, these people are not just disagreeing on where to go to dinner but are actively out to destroy him.

So?  I would not want to be an enemy of God.  I also think that in the long run it is dangerous to be someone attacking God’s people.  Rest assured God is watching. 

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Hoisted on Their Own Petard

(Psa 9:15 KJV)  The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.

(Proverbs 21 also read)

I think it is safe to say that the people in positions of power are laughing in God’s face, or they would be if they believed in God.  We see definite attacks on the standards and values of the Bible.  We also see God’s people targeted everywhere we look.  This is from murder in the world of Islam to shutting churches in a town near you.  

We need to understand that all of this will come back to bite them.  I can’t tell you how or when but I assure you God is watching.  He does not think they are cute.  When it comes it may not even look like God moving.  There is a long history of evil people eating their own.

I offer this word not to tickle your funny bone or giving high fives.  We are warned other places not to rejoice in the struggles of our enemies.

So?  Trust and prepare.  Prepare and trust.  Buy extra soup.  Make sure you doors are locked.  Stay out of the wrong part of town.  Make sure you don’t cheat on your taxes.  God will not be mocked. 

Saturday, May 20, 2023

The Line Is Open

(Psa 145:18 KJV)  The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

(Proverbs 20 also read)

Do you need something to praise God about?  Do you look around at the condition of the world and the church and feel despair?  Do you wonder what is wrong with young people today?  I admit there is a lot to discourage us.  That is why we need to keep our minds in gear when we read scripture like Psalm 145.  This entire Psalm is charged with encouraging insights and truths.

This one should be at the top of your list.  This is not Jesus promising the Holy Spirit.  This is not Paul sharing how power is perfected through weakness.  This is Old Testament stuff.  This is from the time when some people say an angry God is on the throne.  What does David tell us?  He is listening.

So?  Talk to Him.  Call upon Him.  Seek His word for the day.  And don’t forget to listen when He tries to answer. 

Friday, May 19, 2023

Gentle Hope

(Pro 19:18 KJV)  Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

Recently I was in a group discussion and the prevailing attitude was that the children and grandchildren were beyond the pale.  They had rejected the values of their parents.  It was not a gathering filled with “hope” (8615b).  How long can we hold out a positive attitude with our children.  I feel we have made it over that hump and the focus is now on our grandchildren.  I wish I could offer encouragement to these others.

We need to be careful.  It is easy to assume and judge incorrectly.  We all know families where one child will follow the Lord and another will reject Him.  We cannot get away from free will.  There may have been bad examples, hypocrisy and inconsistent lives.  It may just be that the sinful nature overcomes every effort to reform.

We do need to maintain the hope that is in us.  The ways in which we can “discipline” (3256) may be more limited when they move from childhood to adult but there is always hope.  Maybe the mistakes we made when they were younger can be overcome in humility and the change will lead to life.  

So?  Don’t give up on hope.  Keep disciplining but gently, gently.  Did I say gently?

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Heads or Tails?

(Pro 18:18 KJV)  The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.

A recurring thought in this chapter could be summed up at taking the long view.  We act in the present, the now.  We should be thinking about tomorrow and beyond, eternity.  What we do today moves us down the road.  In this verse we have what we might call “flipping a coin.”  Some people will tell you that you can always know the will of God.  I would say usually, not always.  On important issues I think we know more often than minor issues but I think we come to places where we don’t know.  At least I do.

The reason we don’t know is often because God, who gave us free will, expects us to make a decision ourselves.  We are free to do so with a heart that has been transformed.  Sometimes the reason is that God really doesn’t care.  I don’t think there is any eternal significance in whether I drink Ethiopian or Costa Rican coffee this morning.

So?  Do due diligence.  We all know the steps:  prayer, reading, meditation, counseling.  If you can’t find direction then flip a coin.  This says God is in charge of that too.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Turning the Tongue

(Pro 17:20 KJV)  He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.

I always have questions about what kind of language is appropriate.  The translations here of “perverted” (2015) NASB and “perverse” KJV are minority choices.  The most common translation by far is “turned”.  It is used when God turned the Nile into blood.  It is also used to change your mind or your physical direction.  

I am going to suggest today that this would refer to a tendency we have to talk different in front of different people.  Perhaps it would be the guy who is cussing up a storm until he realizes one of his listeners is a preacher and he says, “Oh, sorry Reverend.”  We might experience it when we get carried away and someone walks into the room who reminds us about that.

So?  You might as well talk as if the Lord were listening to everything you say, because He is. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Plan Accordingly

(Pro 16:17 KJV)  The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

I live in Texas.  One of the concerns of people who live here and have values is our state capital, Austin.  One man told me he was taking his family to visit San Francisco.  I suggested that he acclimatize himself to what he would experience by going to Austin and walking back and forth under the freeway overpasses.  He would find the same things that are on every street corner in the City by the Bay:  Homelessness, drugs, violence, filth.

I think of my association with Austin as making sure I stay on the Highway of the Upright.  It is possible to get through that city without a lot of risk but in order to do so you need to stay on the Interstate.  That involves planning for adequate gas, bathroom stops and possible food.  You can get through the danger if you stay on the highway.

So?  Life has parallels.  God has given us a roadmap and a mind.  It is possible that God may have some unique experiences in store for us but we can avoid a lot of issues if we simply stay on the path He has laid out.  Don’t ask for trouble.  Ask for guidance. 

Monday, May 15, 2023


(Psa 8:1 KJV)  To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

(Proverbs 15 also read)

This word of praise is repeated at the end of this Psalm.  Notice that the first “LORD” (3068) [YHVH] is a different word than the second “Lord” (136) [adonay].  This is shown by the first being in all upper case letters.  What is on my radar today is that God is so “majestic” (117) that the Jews forgot how to pronounce His name.  

In a sense this is a good thing.  It puts us a few steps away from making His name a superstitious talisman that we wave around to manipulate and substitute for obedience.  It forces us to contemplate on who God is by His actions and words.  We ultimately come to know Him in the person of His Son, Jesus.  

So?  Praise Him and rejoice in Him.  He is beyond our comprehension in one way and yet we can know Him in another. 

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Duck and Cover

(Psa 7:1 KJV)  Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite. O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

(Proverbs 14 also read)

Have you ever felt like they are out to get you?  Maybe they are.  When people tell you it is just your imagination, it could be them who are confused about the situation.

There will be times when people do not have your best interests at heart.  You may not be in David’s situation with armies breathing down your neck but the threat can be real.  There is a lot of advice in other places but here the focus is on calling on God and trusting Him.

Of course the deliverance may not be in the form you had in mind.  It may not follow your timeline.  God will respond.

So?  Take refuge and live in trust.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Hope and Despair

(Pro 13:21 KJV)  Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.

This touches on our daily lives.  Last night at church one of the people shared a prayer request for a family that had lost a baby.  As the concern was fleshed out we found that the baby was one and a half and died suddenly for seemingly no reason.  We might call it crib death or SIDS.  Then we find out the mother was living with a family that the church knew.  There was no mention of a father.  I am assuming it was a single mother that had been taken into their home.

So many unanswered questions.  So many hearts touched.  I always wonder what was going on that we don’t know about and people don’t want to share.  In this day and age I wonder if the baby was vaccinated.  I wonder where the father was and why he was not involved.  I wonder if there was abuse or possibly drugs in the past.

So?  Evil happens.  Although it can touch the lives of the righteous it is much more common on those who are not living God’s way.  This is not an excuse to be harshly judgmental of those suffering but a word of encouragement to those in the family of God. 

Friday, May 12, 2023

Praise Storming

(Psa 148:9 KJV)  Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:

(Proberbs 12 also Read)

This chapter of Psalms is a good example of a poetic spirit of worship getting carried away with praise.  The author has everything that pops into his head singing praises to God.  This verse reminds me of sitting out on my front porch, looking across the ridges of Texas hill country and feeling the same way.

Did you ever participate in the technique of “brains storming”?  You say anything that pops into your head and someone writes it down.  No evaluation or criticism is allowed during the session.  That comes later.  I think this was something like that.  Don’t try to base any scientific principles in the idea of fruit trees praising the Lord.  You will probably never be able to measure it.  You may understand why they would want to but I doubt if you could prove it in a lab.  I notice it does not have any test tubes praising the Lord.  Probably just an oversight.

So?  Live in Praise 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Testimony Time

(Psa 145:4 KJV)  One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

(Proverbs 11 also read)

It occurred to me at a recent Wednesday night service that we don’t hear “testimonies” much any more.  Remember the day?  Sometimes it could be less than inspiring.  I remember one lady who would get up and say positive words but her tone of voice, sighs and projection of feeling persecuted took the meaning out of what she said.  Others convey the joy of the Lord.

If you get a chance, share the joy of the Lord.  This is doubly true if you are older.  You have a lot of victories to share.  This brings to mind the song, “The Longer I Serve Him”.  We need to live this in front of our children.  We need to be an example to our church.  We need to speak up when some one asks us, “How’s it going?”

So?  “Praise” (7623b) Him and what He does for us. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Follow Directions

(Pro 10:17 KJV)  He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.

As I began reading in this verse the phrase “way (734) of life (2425b)” (path of life NASB) stood out to me.  It came to me that just because you are on that road today it does not guarantee that you will be on it tomorrow.  The road will not go away.  The wandering is on your part.  

There are various reasons why we get off the path.  Sometimes we get distracted.  I will confess this has happened to me a time or two.  I can’t remember if it is getting worse as I get older, but it happens.  You are cruising along, deep in a discussion with yourself, and suddenly you realize you have just passed the turn you wanted to make.  The results vary.  In Southern California there was usually another off-ramp a quarter of a mile down the road where you could correct your error.  In Texas you might need to drive a couple of miles.

Sometimes we find the directions confusing.  I will at times use the GPS feature to get somewhere.  This is only when I don’t know the route.  I find that many times the directions given by the all-knowing AI is either confusing, wrong or comes too late.  I am often forced to do what I should have done at the beginning, figure it our myself.

So?  Staying on track is part of the life of righteousness.  The Holy Spirit will cover a lot of mistakes and wake us up at times but we still need to apply ourselves if we want to arrive at our destination. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Cave Moments

(Psa 142:3 KJV)  When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.

(Proverbs 9 also read)

The more I read through Psalms the more convinced I am that David was a moody man.  Here he is on the edge of despair, again.  Of course he seems to have a reason for despair.  According to the title, which I assume is part of the Hebrew text, he is trapped in the cave by Saul.  Saul is out to kill him.  Saul has an army.  That seems like a situation where a little bit of sad face would be in tune with what is happening.

The problem does not go away while he is writing this.  All the way to the end it is a testimony of hope and trust, but no obvious deliverance.  Yet we know he survived.  He at least lived to write this Psalm.  

So?  We will have our down times.  Reach down inside for the hope that is in you and see if it doesn’t make it easier to get through the day. 

Monday, May 8, 2023

Careful about “Gotcha”

(Pro 8:29 KJV)  When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

I recently came across someone arguing against the claim of the climate change cabal that if we keep driving our cars the level of the oceans will rise and destroy our civilization.  I don’t think I exaggerate that summary much.  The disputer was quoting this verse as a proof text that God would not allow any such thing to happen.  I would like that simple explanation but it does not jive with the rest of the Bible, let alone what we think we know about history.

Remember a guy named Noah?  He seemed to deal with the oceans rising.  I don’t see any inference of automobiles and anthropomorphic climate change but there certainly was a lot of rain.  I also remember reading somewhere that the Mediterranean was 200 feet higher somewhere in the past.  Since that is the opinion of historians and scientists it is very questionable.

Read what it actually says.  God puts limits on the water but there is nothing that says He cannot make occasional adjustments.  I assume this is one of Solomon’s proverbs and I think he was aware of things like tides even if he never heard of tsunamis.  

So?  Be careful what you quote.  Don’t fall into the pattern of the pagans and start throwing out things that just don’t add up.  They lie for a living.  We stand on truth.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Go beyond the Letter

(Isa 29:13 NAS77) Then the Lord said, "Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,

(Provers 7 also read)

There is a concept here that goes beyond just writing something down or even memorizing it.  In Sunday School I was getting a bit bored so I kept reading one of the verses the teacher had thrown in, seemingly at random.  Since I can read the cross references in the center of the page I was not overly impressed by his scholarship, but the word caught my eye.  It was this verse that got me thinking.  First, you need to notice this is the NASB today.  The KJV is based on the same Hebrew but comes across differently.  Also notice that the “by rote” is in italics which means it is added for understanding.

That being said, it stuck me that what often happens in our lives is that we read and study and memorize but we never let it touch our “hearts” (3820).  It is not enough to be able to recite.  The idea is to let the word change us as we respond.

So?  Keep up the disciplines but I find I need to find ways to wake myself up from the ritual.  We each need to find out own way to do it.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

No Escape

(Psa 139:10 KJV)  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

(Proverbs 6 also read)

This is the chapter of Psalms that talks about God being in Sheol if we descend to be there.  I have always heard it quoted to emphasize that we cannot get away from God, that He is aware of everything we do and say.  That is certainly true but this verse brings out another aspect of God being everywhere.  He will “lead” (5148) us.  

That is a good thing.  It is to remind us that not only is God everywhere we go but He is still involved in being involved.  He will give us the direction we need.

So?  Relax.  He has this. 

Friday, May 5, 2023

The Act of Marriage

(Pro 5:17 KJV)  Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee.

This verse is about your sex life.  In fact a major part of this chapter is about your sex life.  That means that it is a clarion call for us to reject the standards and values of our current culture.  That was not always the case, but it is today.  The standard of the world is summed up in the soap opera line from a TV wedding, “as long as we both shall love.”  Since the love they spoke of was glandular, the duration of the marriage was guaranteed to be short.

We are called to be faithful.  Here it is specifically talking about faithfulness as opposed to promiscuity.  We are called to be faithful.  I remember a book I read years ago about marriage and the title was “The Act of Marriage.”  

So?  Keep it in the family, which means husband and wife.  It works best that way and the reason is that God designed it and set the standard.  Whom you going to trust, your cousin or Almighty God? 

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Zeus Need Not Apply

(Psa 136:1 KJV)  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

(Proverbs 4 also read)

And so this chapter starts.  It goes through many of the acts of God starting with creation.  Common to every verse is that simple ending statement.  What is key to this chapter is not the long list of actions of God but the statement about His central character.  Two English words are used in most translations I have, “lovingkindness” (2617a) [chesed] and “mercy”.  

It struck me as I read in the early morning how different the God of the Bible is from other deities.  The difference from the impersonal forces of Eastern religions is obvious but if you go through other cultures it is just as clear.  Compare YHVH TO Zeus, or any of the Greek or Roman Gods.  Night and day.  One is capable of creating the universe and the others are best known for their temper tantrums and self centered tirades.  How about Thor?  Consider the gods of the Aztec and Maya cultures.  

So?  Our God is unique.  He can be bloody but it is not the senseless destruction that you see in other religions.  He is more known for His mercy and lovingkindness.  Rejoice and worship. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

No Jeffersons Please

(1Jn 2:1 KJV)  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

(Proverbs 3 also read)

Every once in awhile I hear someone repeating the phrase “sin every day in word, thought and deed.”  When I hear this I keep wondering if such pontificaters have ever read the Bible all the way through.  Is it possible that all they do is listen to other wise heads who have not read it through either?  This verse makes a clear statement that it is possible to live without sinning.  In fact, it is expected.

This is not a claim that you never have sinned.  That is clear if you keep reading.  It is also clear if you read the rest of the Bible.

Be careful of why some people ignore or discount verses like this.  I have one friend who says that John was writing to the Jewish believers so it does not apply to us.  I love to accuse him of pulling a Jefferson but I try not to say it too often because it makes him angry.

So?  Do your own reading and thinking.  Keep your mind open to the Holy Spirit as you read so that you continually move toward a more perfect understanding of the word of God.  Don’t pull a Jefferson.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

A Rose by Any Other Name...

(Psa 115:17-8 KJV)  The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.  But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.

(Proverbs 2 also read)

I come across people who claim the Jews did not believe in what we would call “heaven”.  That word is not the best even for the New Testament but I believe that I keep seeing places that indicate they did believe that the afterlife was more than drifting through a place of darkness.  This is one of them.  

You see a contrast between this verse and the last.  In the previous verse it clearly talks about the dead, then the focus switches to the righteous.  They will be able to “bless” (1288) the Lord “forever” (5769).  This is a frequent word that the NASB translates “forever” 136x, “everlasting” 110x and “perpetual” 29x.

So?  Eternity is not just a promise that appears in the New Testament.  It is throughout scripture.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Establish a Foundation

(Pro 1:5 KJV)  A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

Yes, we will always continue to learn and grow but there is a qualification here.  We need to know the difference between nonsense and “wise counsel” (8458).  This is a different word that the “wise” (2450) earlier in the verse.  It is used mainly in Proverbs with one appearance in Job.  It is not always used of good counsel.  It is a call to discernment.

This discernment is very important in our digital media age.  There is a genuine and growing danger of revising wisdom of the past.  Words of hymns are being changed.  Dictionary definitions are being edited with wokeness.  What used to be foundational is becoming fluid.

So?  Always start with the word of God.  It might even be good advice to start with old translations such as the KJV.  Once that is established we can begin to try to make sense of the verbal stew around us.