An Idea Borrowed

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

Tuesday, April 30, 2024


(Psa 51:7 KJV)  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Here we have another picture of what it means to get right with God.  He wants to “purge” (purify NASB) (2398) us.  This is an interesting choice of words.  To be honest it forced me to look at the commentaries I have in my software because the most common translation of the word is “sin”.  One helpful comment said it means to offer up as a sin offering.  Perhaps the KJV gets it a little closer to the point.

There is often a time when the process of growing in grace can be painful.  Sometimes the pain is being forced to confront our sins.  Sometimes it might take the form of realizing we have to give up something that was important to us.

So?  The question for each of us is, “Do you want to be clean.”  God does the scrubbing but we might be the one that feels the scrub brush. 

Monday, April 29, 2024

Deep Cleaning

(Psa 51:2 KJV)  Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

Verse 2 gives us two more words for the process of being forgiven.  God can “wash” (3526) away our “iniquity” (5771).  We all know how this works in our daily lives.  We wash our clothes on a regular basis.  We wash our windows when forced to.  We wash our cars depending on our OCD status.  On many projects I would assume it might get done better if someone else did it for us.

God can “cleanse” (2891) our “sin” (2403b).  This picture is deeper than just washing.  This to me means going after the germs and inflections.  You can wash the surface but cleansing goes to the heart of the matter.

So?  God is not satisfied with the superficial. 

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Wipe Out

(Psa 51:1 KJV)  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

What does it mean to be forgiven?  We toss off the concept so readily.  We sing about it.  We testify to it.  There are many different expressions to describe what is going on when it becomes a reality.  Here, David begins to look at this.  God can “blot” (4229) out our “transgressions” (6588).  This is the first of the words used for removing our sin.  

When the KJV was translated they had something called “blotting paper”.  It was used when writing to absorb the excess ink that might run or get smeared.  That is not the concept here.  This can also be translated “wipe”.  God will take a celestial paper towel, put some cleaning fluid on it and remove the filth from our lives.  What a glorious thought.

So?  Rejoice!  God is cleaning up your act in ways that you can’t even touch. 

Saturday, April 27, 2024


(Heb 4:16 KJV)  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Have you considered the glory of this verse recently.

Repeatedly in the Old Testament we are told that we cannot see God and live.  It seems clear but there are exceptions so it must need some study.  In the NT we know God because we know Jesus.  While we should not be losing our awe of the majesty of God we are told by Jesus that if we have seen Him we have seen the Father.

When we practice the worship of prayer we need to remember that.  When we have the audacity to stand in the congregation and lift our voices to the Holy One we need to remember that.  When we watch the glory of creation it should be on our mind.

So?  There is only one God and He has revealed Himself to us.  He has given us the gift of approaching Him.  Rejoice. 

Friday, April 26, 2024


Exodus 20:2 (KJV) I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

I have been advised that the old testament is written to the Jews, and not to the church.  In this verse specifically I would be told that this is written to the Jews, because they were the ones who were brought out of Egypt.  All that is true.  I was not brought out of Egypt.  I was not in the house of bondage.  Does that mean that the Lord cannot be my God?

To paraphrase someone from the Bible, “may it never be”.

Yes, God led Israel out of bondage.  That is an historical truth.  He also paid to free me from sin. I know that truth from other scriptures, and I am free to apply it here because it is a reminder to me.

So? Acknowledge truth; remember truth; apply truth. God speaks to us in the entire Bible.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

More than Know About

(Psa 23:4 KJV)  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

I had not noticed this before, but the focus of the Psalm changes in verse four.  I was noticing at the beginning that he talked about God and in verse 4 changed it so that he was talking to God.  As I worked through the Psalm, I realized eventually David was actually talking to God instead of just about him.  That was much more personal.  And then, at the end, he goes back to talking about him again.

Interesting change.  It is also something that it would do us well to remember and emulate.  Knowledge can be factual or personal.  German uses different words for each.  In English we need to plug in our perception more.  

So?  Know God.  Don’t just know about Him.  Take the extra time to get acquainted.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Cost of Living

(Pro 4:7 KJV)  Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

The New American Bible has an interesting way of saying this.

 “get wisdom at the cost of all you have”.  
This brings to mind what we studied on Wednesday night about the pearl of great price and about the treasure found in the field.  We often explain why we don’t do something with “I didn’t have time” or “I could not afford it.”  In reality it was a case of not wanting to bad enough.

When I say “not wanting to bad enough”, I am not talking about the person who would need to go a couple of days without food to buy shoes for their child.  I am sure such people exist but I have never met one.  As a child I was raised in a family that would be considered poor.  We never went hungry or naked.  We also did not go to Disneyland or eat out much.  We tend to do and buy what we really want.

So?  What are your priorities?  Wisdom.  It is available.  Liposuction?  Also available.  Choose wisely, if you will excuse the expression. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Take a Deep Breath

(Psa 23:5 KJV)  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

(Proverbs 23 also read)

I can’t make you do it, but let me encourage you to get out your Bible and read the 23rd Psalm to yourself.  Read slowly.  Read with dramatic emphasis.  Read with your heart and mind engaged. And then when you get down to that verse that says your cup runneth over pause, and just praise God.

Keep in mind that at the beginning of the 22nd Psalm David is asking God why he has been forsaken.  The difference is not in God.  The difference is in the attitude of the believer.  God is there.  God is here.  He is where you are on a constant basis.

So?  Remember that you are the sheep and He is the shepherd.  Trust. 

Monday, April 22, 2024

Beyond the surface.

Psalms 44:3 (KJV) For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.

If you take this, literally, it sounds like Israel simply walked into the promised land, and it was delivered to them. If you read the story that is being referred to they had to fight for everything they got. The point is that ultimately it was God’s hand that brought victory not their own personal efforts.

So?  We are expected to follow in obedience and act on God's direction. God promises much but he also demands obedience. 

Sunday, April 21, 2024

All the time.

Psalms 43:3 (KJV) O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

We don’t know who wrote this psalm.  Since it doesn’t have an author given, we can assume it was David.  If you look at the context, he seems to be a bit down in the mouth and struggling.  He is being persecuted.  He offers up this prayer, asking God to send his light.

I think this is a good prayer for any time in our lives.  We tend to look at things like this as pleas for relief.  They could simply be an expression of expectation and hope.

So? Don’t be a stranger. Don’t just come around when you want to borrow a quarter. Make God a part of the celebration of life not just the seeking of help. 

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Pay Back

(Pro 20:22 KJV)  Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.

The idea of not paying back evil goes along with the other verses that say to leave vengeance to the Lord. Here is one of the places,

(Rom 12:19 KJV)  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Paying back evil and vengeance would tend to be the same thing.  That is not, however, the same thing as seeking justice.  Vengeance is rooted in anger when we do it.  It is a personal vendetta and not an attitude of forgiveness.  Justice is rooted in God’s principles and standards.  In our courts we seek justice.  

Vengeance is also different than punishment or paying retribution.

So?  Our default setting is forgiveness not payback.  Make that a matter of serious prayer.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Objects of Trust

(Pro 19:12 KJV)  The king's wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass.

Verse 12 talks about the king’s favor being like dew on the grass.  I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  Does it mean that kings favor is transitory or does it mean that a kings favor is refreshing?  At present I am going with the both/and understanding.

Don’t plan your life based on the approval of people above you.  If you follow Jesus, you will find that often the people giving you orders or setting your work schedule are not on the same page as you are.  This can also happen in families.  Make sure that you don’t put your future on the shifting sands of someone else's mood or priorities.

Also enjoy the good times when they are there.  Just keep in mind that the dew disappears when things get hot and it adds to the humidity that makes like uncomfortable.

So?  Put your confidence in King Jesus.  He is consistent and trustworthy. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Cross Reference

(Pro 18:22 KJV)  Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

This verse says that finding a wife is a “good” (2896b) thing.  You don’t need to be a Bible scholar to realize that Solomon has a lot to say about the contentious wife.  This seems like a blanket statement but the next day I read chapter 19 which has,

(Pro 19:14 KJV)  House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
Notice that here the wife is from the Lord, but you have the modifier of “prudent”.  I think you need to put these two together to get the essence of the meaning.

Mark this down as a principle of Bible interpretation.  If you have something that is confusing or does not make sense then get to work seeing what else the Bible says of the subject.  You will find that by considering the whole witness of the word resolution will come.

So?  Don’t turn off your mind.  Don’t get discouraged.  The answers are there.  Pursue them.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Pray for Our Leaders

(Psa 17:13 KJV)  Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:

We are told to pray for the president who just declared Trans Reveal Day.  We are to pray for the political class that thinks of themselves as our leaders.  One of the prayers that I think is appropriate is this verse.  We want God to “confront” (6923) those who push evil in our world.  We want God to be the spoiler, and they need to be spoiled.

We are asking God to “deliver” (6403).  I might note that there are plenty of places where God calls about delivering His people.

So?  Be His people.  Put yourself in His hands.  I don’t see any promises that God will protect one pagan from another. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024


(Psa 36:4 KJV)  He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.

Here is a thought that runs parallel to what Proverbs says, some people cannot even sleep well unless they are planning and implementing evil.  It is hard to tell how many people are this way.  I have no idea if it is an attitude that develops or it was their default.  It is still a reality.

Many of us are really good at going the extra mile and giving another chance.  I tend to have none of the gift of mercy so I understand this verse better than some.  I need to work on my sensitivity.  You may need to work on your discernment.

So?  Be alert.  Be aware.  As we demonstrate patience and kindness don’t fall asleep.

Monday, April 15, 2024

God’s Culture

(Psa 34:2 KJV)  My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

It is interesting that in this verse the “soul” (5315) is referred to as feminine.  That comes through in the KJV but not in the NASB.  We don’t personally struggle much with the difficulty of translating things from different languages.  We don’t take into consideration all the nuances that there are.  If we wanted to be shallow, we could simply say from this, that our souls are feminine, and we could go further and talk about the fact that there is a feminine mystique in each of us.

Don’t manipulate scripture that way.  While we need to take our current situation into consideration, we don’t want to force a square into a circle.  The words and tenses are usually there for a purpose.

So?  Let the Bible lay God’s culture on you.  Don’t make it fit your prejudices. 

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Schedules Reflect Priorities

(Pro 14:7 KJV)  Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.

The second half of this verse is a bit different in the KJV and NASB.  I read it this morning in the NASB and there is seems to say that I will not be able to “discern” (3045) [yada] truth when I am in the “presence” (5048) of a “fool” (3684).  My thoughts went to the many situations I might be in where the presence of others keeps me from hearing the voice of God.  There are many.  Some are just a part of life such as having young children in the home.  Others are totally avoidable.  You don’t really need to attend that basketball game.

The point being made here is that we have to make intelligent, moral choices.  We need to decide if we want to hear the voice of God or whether that is second tier.  If it is a priority we need to seek time when we can listen.  It may be only a small slice.  It may be inconvenient.  It is still necessary.

So?  God wants to speak.  He wants us to hear.  He is doing His part.  We need to do ours.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Scaring away Fear

(Psa 34:7 KJV)  The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

This is the second reference I have come across to the concept of guardian angels.  I don’t know how many times I have read this without seeing that.  How encouraging.  Just this morning I was thinking about eternity and being in the presence of the trinity.  It then hit me that my guardian angel would also be there.  I plan to shake his hand, assuming he has one.  It is good to remember and thank him for his service.

Keep in mind that the qualification is to fear the Lord.  It is also interesting that just about every time an angel appears the first words are, “Fear not.”

So?  Fear not the angel because he is an agent of keeping you from having a reason to fear.

Friday, April 12, 2024

I Heard that Somewhere

Psalms 37:11 (KJV) But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Does this verse sound familiar?  It should.  Jesus was a plagiarist.  He quotes this in the Sermon on the Mount.  The “meek” (humble NASB) (6035) here must be the meek of the KJV Matthew 5:5.  It is amazing how often things that we associate with the New Testament are found in the Old.  There is a reason for that.  They are a continuum.  The basic truth are the same.  God is the same.  One promises and the other fulfills.  

So?  Read the whole thing with a memory for what you have already seen. 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

It Will Make a Difference

(Pro 11:6 KJV)  The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.

Every time I pay attention to what is happening in our country I feel like God is readying His sword to give us a thrashing.  I don’t know if it will be the edge or the flat of the sword He will use but it is coming.  This verse reminds us that it makes a difference how we live.  Let’s not spend a lot of time debating whether we can be “righteous” (6666) or not.  That does not seem to be open to debate in this passage.  The theme we read again and again in Proverbs is that some people deliberately choose to be straight and some make a decision to be crooked.  God will treat both groups differently.

So?  Keep in mind that in the midst of every social upheaval there are people who come through it.  This is saying that God will have His eye out for those who are seeking to live in obedience.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024


Psalms 119:77 (KJV) Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law [is] my delight.

(Proverbs 10 also read)

As I continue to look into the different view of the law that David has compared to Paul, I keep coming across verses like this.  Here, David is comparing the law to God’s tender mercies.  He is saying that it his delight.

We have to accept what Paul says, as inspired scripture.  In the same spirit, we have to accept what David says as inspired scripture.  We have to come to an understanding of how God is trying to make us see both.

God’s law can be a straight jacket if understood incorrectly.  It can be a life jacket if we embrace it in truth.

So?  Embrace. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024


(Pro 9:6 KJV)  Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Isn’t this where it gets difficult?  One reason that death-bed conversions are so sought after is that they don’t require you to “forsake” (5800a).  One reason that so many fall away from the faith is this idea of giving up that which we prefer to cling to.  I wonder if one reason why so many complete the narrow road is because they are carrying so much wide baggage that they can’t get through the tunnels and overpasses without giving something up.  I always enjoy those videos that show a truck speeding under a low overpass and leaving much behind.  When it comes to salvation it isn’t so funny.  In both cases the warning are clear.

So?  Be alert for the urging of the Holy Spirit to jettison some cargo or abandon a habit.  Sometimes God can miraculously remove burdens.  Sometimes it is up to you.  Pay attention. 

Monday, April 8, 2024

Biblical Balance

(Pro 8:18 KJV)  Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.

There is a balance in the Bible that is worth noting.  It is dangerous to cherry pick favorite verses without considering the context and the total message.  If you only considered this verse you would think that the message is “Wisdom will make you rich.”  Not in the way that most people mean that.  The key word here is “enduring” (6276).  You need to read the surrounding comments to get the drift.

It is the insights and the righteous living that comes from those insights that are the “riches” (6239) being promised.  Will that generate what the world thinks of as riches?  There is a good chance of that up to a point.  That point is the balance I am talking about.  There are too extremes.  One is great wealth with little wisdom.  The other is great wisdom and starving to death.  Neither one is the Biblical balance.  

So?  Seek God’s wisdom.  Apply it in your daily life.  Part of that wisdom is working hard and being a good steward.  It will give a combination that brings the really good things of life into your sphere and allows God to bless you. 

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Messianic or Mystery

(Psa 22:16 KJV)  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

(Proverbs 7 also read)

The first verse of this Psalm brings to mind the words Jesus on the cross.  That helps to get us in a frame of mind to sit up and take notice of this verse.  To us this seems to refer to nailing Jesus to the cross.  I wonder what the ancient Jews thought of it.  I don’t see any way it could apply to David himself.  Did they see it as Messianic or was it just a mystery.

So?  There are many little statements in the Old Testament that point to Jesus.  Keep your eyes open as you read and be filled with wonder. 

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Routine Attitudes

(Psa 20:3 KJV)  Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.

(Proverbs 6 also read)

When you compare this in the King James Version with a New American Standard version you get the impression that all sacrifices are not necessarily acceptable.  In other words, the ritual is not the point.  It is just a heart condition.  You see this repeated regularly in the Bible.  Yes, there are rituals.  In the OT at least, they are to be followed.  Then there is that big “but”, it must be done with the right attitude.  

You could take the sacrifices of Cain and Abel as examples.  One was accepted, the other was rejected.  You have the comparison of the Pharisee and the publican in Luke 18:10.  Think of Simeon wanting the buy the Holy Spirit.  None of those endorse empty rituals.

The law is not a magic chant.  It is not a mystical elixir.  It is not a vending machine.  It is a way in which a living God reaches out to living humans and expects them to embrace it with love and devotion.

So?  Don’t use this as an excuse to sleep in on Sunday morning or not be a steward of your resources.  That is another extreme that can be just as dangerous.  Do the right things with the right attitude.  It is a great combination.

Friday, April 5, 2024

A Cosmic Bic

(Psa 18:28 KJV)  For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

(Proverbs 5 also read)

Notice that the NASB has “lamp” (5216) and the KJV has “candle”.  The NASB is probably more accurate but the KJV is more poetic.  Candles were historically expensive.  They would have been used in the palace of King James.  They might have had some use by David, but lamps were much more inexpensive to use.  They were powered by olive oil while candles needed bee’s wax.

Today I was stirred by the picture of God lighting my candle.  If you follow on the picture becomes even more uplifting.  I don’t know about you but I often need my candle lit.  That is why I have, in my old age, developed a routine that sets aside the morning for greeting the sun and the Son.

So?  God wants to “light up your life” as the popular song goes.  He has more than romance in mind.  He wants to make you a light that is not hid under a bushel.  Because of the drafty times we live in that means constantly relighting.  Think of Him as a Cosmic Bic. 

Thursday, April 4, 2024

The Promise of Abiding

(Psa 15:1 KJV)  A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

(Proverbs 4 also read)

Picture the historical setting.  The temple is not yet built but I assume that Mount Zion has been selected.  Worship is still centered around the Tabernacle or “tent” (168) as the NASB has it.  The NASB always translates it “tent”, the KJV uses “tabernacle” about half the time.  I assume that is when it refers to the specific tent assembled for worship and the presence of the Ark.

Even at this point in time we have the concept of abiding in the presence of God.  Jesus uses the concept in John 15.  The Greek word has a similar meaning and the teaching is the same.  We are offered the glorious chance to live in the presence of Almighty God.  It does not happen automatically.  Read the rest of this chapter in Proverbs.  There will be no surprises.  God expects us to want to live righteous lives.

So?  He has reached out.  If we trust in Jesus then we are given the Holy Spirit to enable us to continue the work of being upright.  Make the blessing real in your life. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

A Time for Ouch

(Pro 3:3 KJV)  Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

“Mercy” (kindness NASB) (2617a) [chesed] and “truth” (571) go together in a way that might not occur to us at first reading.  We usually associate kindness with going easy on someone.  We make allowances for their weaknesses and ignorance.  We hope to win them with kindness.  I am sure there is a place for that but the opposite is also true.  Sometimes the kindest thing we can do for someone is tell the the clear, unvarnished truth.  It can be painful.  It can cause rejection.  It is still necessary.

This is why “lovingkindness” is the best translation for this word.  It is better than mercy or simple kindness.  It points out that our mercy must be tempered by a love that sees eternity and realizes how close it is.

So?  Seek to know which kind of truth you need to give.  It can be a hard choice.  Ask yourself if you will be sorry how you decided.  Always be praying for guidance. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Heads You Win

(Pro 2:5 KJV)  Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
(Pro 2:6 KJV)  For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

These two verses remind us of the fact that we are supposed to believe what the Bible teaches, not a theology book.  The book may be basically true.  It is possible that each statement by itself is accurate.  It is still possible to miss the whole point.  We see here the demand that we seek, which is a form of work.  We then see that the result is that God “gives” (5414).  Both are necessary.

If you had a coin and looked at one side you might see the “heads”.  You might not think about it but all coins have another side.  If you turn it over and it is still “heads” you know that something is rotten in Denmark, or at least in the theology of the “solas” as it is usually taught.  God demands obedience and makes the choice to extend His grace.  We have to fit them together.

So?  Go back and sing the song “Trust and Obey” a few times.  Let God speak to you about the upright living He expects and bless you with the exercise of His sovereignty. 

Monday, April 1, 2024

April Trust Day

(Psa 13:5 KJV)  But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

(Proverbs 1 also read)

How is your day going?  Is it too early to know?  David was having a bad one.  I don’t find that surprising.  His days of struggle came often even though he was a man after God’s own heart.  Since none of us come closer to that title than David, it would seem that his struggles tell us we can expect to struggle too.

There is that in this chapter.  

Never forget to read verse 5 after the first four.  Here is where David shows how he is a man after God’s own heart.  Notice he did not call on the law or any of the great things he had done.  What he called on was God’s “lovingkindness” (2617a) [chesed].  You have heard me carrying on about this word before.  Don’t ever forget it.  It is why we can “rejoice” (1523).

So?  Good day?  Bad day?  God is there for both of them and will get you through.