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, May 31, 2024

Negative Pluses

(Psa 119:75 KJV)  I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

We generally think of affliction in a negative way.  We tie it to punishment in our minds.  Since that may be the reason we are going through hard times we need to consider that.  It may also simply be something we need to go through to mature or to set an example for someone else.  The point being made here is that God has a reason for the difficulties we go through.  We may not understand it but we need to believe it.

So?  That is part of what it means to live by faith.  In a time of persecution do a prayerful review and see if this is a correction or a statement of His confidence in you.

Thursday, May 30, 2024


Psalms 70:2 (KJV) Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.

As I sit here, I can’t remember where I heard it, but it seems to me that there was a general, or some kind of army man who would pray for confusion on his enemies.  We tend to think of this as our enemies but if you read the entire verse, it’s a little more focused than that.  The enemy he is talking about is the enemy who is after his soul.  It’s not just people that want to hurt him, to take his money or to break his arm, but people who want to condemn him to hell.

So?  We can be free to pray confusion and backwardness on people who are our enemies, but we need to keep in mind that the qualification is that they are spiritual enemies not just the guy in the next class who’s trying to date the girl that we like. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Evil is persistent

(Psa 64:6 KJV)  They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.

I have looked at numerous passages in Proverbs that tend to point out how tenacious the evisl in our world are.  One place in Proverbs says they can’t even sleep at night if they have not done something evil.  Here we see a similar thought.  Here it points out that they are “diligent” (2664).  It’s not just casual.  It’s not just their spare time.  They search for things to do that are evil.

This is not something where we need to sit around worrying.  It is simply a point that we need to be aware of, and do not ignore or deny.  We continue to trust.  We continue to know that God is in charge.  But we also admit that there are those who totally reject who He is and what He wants out of us.

So?  Again, trust and obey.  God has your back.  Of course they would like to stab you there too but God is alert and on guard. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Locked in?

Psalms 58:3 (KJV) The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Psalms 58:10 (KJV) The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

I find myself troubled by verse three.  It almost seems like some people are per-destined to live in wickedness.  In fact, that’s what it says.  Now the commentators use this to say that we are all born in sin and we are all wicked which I agree with, but that’s not what’s being said there.  This is a certain group.  When you go down further to verse 10 you find that there are those who are righteous.

Are we locked in from birth, or is it just an indication that it is more difficult for some to come to the Lord than others?

So?  I choose to believe that even those who start out evil can be redeemed.  They may not want it and that would settle it but they have a chance.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Literalism Awards

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

The New American Bible gets the award for literalism today.  It has us “trampling” (947) on the honey instead of “loathing” it.  That word is what got my attention.  What makes the difference between rejecting and desiring a bit of food, or many other areas of our lives?  It often comes down to our inner attitude.

Do you laugh at other people’s jokes?  Have you ever noticed that you laugh when one person makes a comment but the same words from someone else will get your hackles up?  It isn’t the words.  It is the attitude.  We assume it is the other person’s attitude but in reality it may be ours.  This is why we are told to turn the other cheek and go the extra mile.  It is why we are to forgive seven times seventy.  It is why a marriage based on the love and grace of God has so much more chance than the generic pagan match-up.

So?  It is always a good time for an attitude check.  It is always a good time to build our foundation of knowledge about God and His standards.  Learn and apply.  Today is a good day to start. 

Sunday, May 26, 2024


Psalms 56:11 (KJV) In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.

(Proverbs 26 also read)

In this entire Psalm, I don’t see any reference to the law.  I see a lot of concerns that David has about his security, and about his fears.  I see no solution found in the law.  What I see, is David expressing his trust in God.  It is so easy for us to rely on formulas and doctrines instead of having a real living trust in a real living God.  

We live in exciting and interesting times.  That means it is easy to find something to fear.  We need to keep asking ourselves that second question.

So?  Notice the similarity to the phrase on our money.  Maybe it would help if we spent time reading our one dollar bills. 

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Not You

(Pro 25:24 KJV)  It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

This was a good verse to come across for me today.  I won’t go into details but it was one of those days and the sun wasn’t even up.  Turning the other cheek sometimes means retreating as far as you can from conflict.  I will concede that at times be must stand and deliver but usually we are reacting in anger instead of responding with love and righteousness.  

People who are closest can be the most irritating.  I find that a solid time of worship makes it more bearable.  It also reminds me that I need to make sure that I am not the one doing the irritating.

So?  Remember that old saw about the pointed finger that leaves three more pointing back at you?  Don’t get on guilt trips and think it is always that way.  Sometimes it is the other person, but we need to be open to being honest ourselves. 

Friday, May 24, 2024

The Threat of Fret

(Pro 24:19 KJV)  Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked;

The New American Bible has an interesting way of expressing the first part of this verse,

“Be not provoked with evildoers,...”
The reason this is interesting is because it brought to mind the verse in the Love Chapter which says, “love is not provoked”.  I have always thought of that in the context of people I cared about.  That is where I spend most of my time.  This reminds me that agape is to be expressed to everyone, not just to family.

We are surrounded by a culture that is offensive. I am constantly grinding my teeth at actions of the government and other visible power brokers.  It is easy to wish violence on them.  We are not to be provoked.

So?  This does not mean accept the evil activities.  It means that we are not to get so stoked up that we lose control. 

Thursday, May 23, 2024


(Pro 23:21 KJV)  For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

As I read the New American Bible it used a word for “drowsiness” (5124) that I recognized but don’t use often.  The word was “torpor”.  I think that is a much better word.  I have been struggling with torpor.  I am not depressed.  I am not unaware.  I am in a malaise that keeps me from being productive.  The context here was too much food and too much wine.  A few days ago I tried to only eat when I was hungry.  I was coming to the conclusion that gluttony was dulling my mind.  So far it is making a difference.  This verse reinforces the idea.

It may not last but I am dividing my eating into three categories.  Two are positive:  hunger and feasting.  Feasting is Biblical and a part of the fellowship of family and church.  The other is appetite.  Someone like me cannot respond to our appetite.

So?  Three days do not a principle verify but I am going to work with it.  It might work for me and be totally useless to you.  May God direct you as you deal with your weak points. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

A Word of Caution

(Pro 22:19 KJV)  That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.

I am reading this month in the New American Bible.  This verse reminds me of one reason why it is somewhat helpful to look at other translations.  One of the lessons you learn is to not trust translations that are made by questionable translators.  Let me give you the translation of this verse from the NAB,

“That your trust may be in the Lord,
I make known to you the words of Amen-em-Ope”
What?  Excuse me?  I have searched in vain in my resources to find out where this came from.  The NAB has a marginal note which just confuses the issue even more.  

It does not hurt you to read Bibles written by people with an agenda as long as you compare them to more reliable texts.  This is where the KJV can come in handy.  Even if you don’t understand its archaic language at times, it still gives you a sense of truth.

So?  Seek truth not denominational oddities.  Rest assured truth can be found but I would not recommend the NAB as your go-to. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Bubble Translation

(Pro 21:6 KJV)  The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.

As I said earlier, I am reading the New American Bible this month.  It is the official translation into English of the Roman Catholic Church.  I have various reasons for reading different versions of the Bible.  One of them is to determine if they are word for word translations or more along the line of a paraphrase.  Although there are aspects of the word for word in the NAB, today tells me it has the spirit of paraphrase also.  That can be thought provoking but is not good if you are looking for accuracy and truth.  This verse reads like this,

(Pro 21:6 NAB)  He who makes a fortune by a lying tongue
    is chasing a bubble over deadly snares
A colorful picture to be sure but not quite what the text says.

So?  Read the word.  Feel free to look at paraphrases, but I would caution you to always compare it to something more accurate.  You may get a great insight.  You may miss the truth.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Stone Justice

(Pro 20:10 KJV)  Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.

As I read this today I reflected on what I see happening in our judicial system.  I see judges and district attorneys who have a political agenda that must be achieved no matter how the law is twisted the the process perverted.  People accused of murder and other violent crimes are released with little penalty.  People who anger the elites with what would be minor infractions spend months and years in jail.  This is a case of “divers weights”.  The literal translation would be a “stone and a stone”.  It implies that the merchant has two different sets of weights for the balance beam scale.   

So?  As Christians we must stand up for the rule of law.  The artistic depiction of Justice has her blindfolded.  The balance on the scale is a matter of physics.  Ours is a matter of divine truth.  Keep in mind it goes both ways.  Don’t start doing it their way. 

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Not location

(Psa 63:2 KJV)  To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

As I read this, I needed to think a little bit.  David is talking about being in the sanctuary, but the temple has not been built yet, not even close.  He must be talking about the tabernacle.

Although the tabernacle was built to God’s specifications, I somehow don’t think about it being awe inspiring.  I think about a hot enclosure.  It smells like canvas and is on uneven ground.  Yet in spite of this, David is able to worship God’s glory.  It is more important to be aware of God, and to be in His presence than it is to have a specific spot that is architecturally beautiful.

So? Worship where you are.  It is not always location, location, location.  It is always person, person, person. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024


Psalms 127:1 (KJV) [[A Song of degrees for Solomon.]] Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain.

(Proverbs 18 also read)

Noticed what this does not say.  It does not say, “Take a nap under the tree and expect God to build the house”.  It does not say, “Don’t bother posting guards”.  Both are expected, but they are empty gestures unless God is involved in it.

Too often we are looking for excuses for our sloth.  We forget that sloth is one of the seven deadly sins.  We confuse the truth that we cannot work our way into salvation with the need to work.

So?  Trust.  Believe.  Get busy.

Friday, May 17, 2024

A Pause to Think

(Psa 47:1 KJV)  To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

(Proverbs 17 also read)

This is a good place to stop and think about interpreting scripture.  If you look at this verse and the next you see a clear declaration to “all” (3605) “peoples” (5971a).  Both of these are incredibly common words and they mean exactly what they say.  This is a declaration to all men, everywhere, to rejoice in the Lord.  Of course that assumes that you know who the Lord is and believe in Him.

If you drop down to verse 3 you see a different message.  That part is targeted only on the nation of Israel and probably only in the time of the monarchy.  It is not a universal proclamation.  That should be relatively obvious but it is a thought that often passes me by.

So?  Read with your mind turned on.  If it goes into automatic then expect to be surprised next time you read something. 

Thursday, May 16, 2024


(Psa 46:10 KJV)  Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

We are to "cease" (7503) striving.  The KJV says, "Be still."  The margin in the NASB says to "let go, relax."  The idea here seems to be to admit our inadequacy and allow things to fall into God's hands.  Anxiety shows a lack of trust.  We may have an initial concern but after a chance to have the Holy Spirit speak to us, we should be able to let go.

Note in the context of the verse all of the events that are listed.  The author had many good reasons for being crippled with worry.  Yet he reminds us to not be consumed with anxiety.

So?  Relax.  Easy to say.  Hard to do.  Still the best route to follow. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Defining Grace

Luke 2:40 (KJV) And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

One of the great concepts of the Bible is grace.  We tend to toss it around without thinking.  We talk about being saved by grace.  Theologically we hear “grace alone”.  I have often heard it defined as “undeserved favor”.  I do not like that definition because it is more of a theological definition than a Biblical statement.  Consider this verse.  This does not fit the definition of grace being undeserved favor.  

I prefer a definition that says grace is “God’s love in action”.  That goes well with this verse.  Keep in mind that you don’t need to accept my definition or anyone else's.  Read your Bible and let God give you a better definition to share with us.

So?  I always loved the Biblical greeting that included grace and peace.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Love Is Today

(1Co 13:7 KJV)  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

This is a verse in the middle of the Love Chapter that roles off the tongue so fast that I often don’t stop to think about it.  As I was thinking about love not being provoked on another post, my mind went down to this verse.  This speaks about the process of not being provoked.  Notice that this verse begins with bearing all things and ends with enduring all things.  These are two very important aspects of what love is.

We are to love even when others don’t have a clue to what love is.  Love is not romance.  Love is not feelings.  Love is not never having to say you’re sorry.  It is making allowance and desiring the best for everyone involved.

So?  Implement.  Start right now.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Hunger Pangs

Proverbs 13:4 (KJV) The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

One of the reasons that we feel hunger is that we have not been eating.  Sometimes that is just a natural cycle of life.  In fact, when it comes to food, that’s probably the way it should be.  But in our spiritual walk, the same principle applies.  One reason we are hungry and feeling an emptiness towards God is because we have not been spending enough time with him.

So? Don’t wait until you get starved.  Don’t wait until you have an overwhelming hunger.  Maybe grazing is the thing you should be doing when it comes to the Lord and worship.

Sunday, May 12, 2024


(Psa 55:16 KJV)  As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.

Here we are in the middle of the book of Psalms.  All right, you are a legalist.  We are one-third of the way through.  Are we reading about the law?  Are we getting doom and gloom from one of the prophets?  Are we trying to figure out if Revelation is literal or figurative?  None of the above.  We are being reminded about the need to be saved.

While it might seem safe to think David is just talking about being pulled out of a battle or palace intrigue if you look in the previous verse he is addressing concerns about death and hell.  I would assume that you once had concerns about that, maybe more than once.  I would hope you trusted in Jesus and got it settled.  If not, there is never a better time than now.

So?  So many truths bring different responses.  When I read this I rejoice.  At one time in life it confronted me with the awareness of my eternal destiny.  Read and consider.  Rejoice, weep or call. 

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Old Grace

Psalms 40:6 (KJV) Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

The Bible is a whole.  It has consistent root ideas that might be filled out by the revelation of time, but the basics are the same.  Here we see the roots of grace.  God is speaking.  Notice what he confesses God does not “desire” (2654a).  God’s goal is not the rituals of the law.  They had a place but they were a means to an end.  If you read enough of Psalms you will come across the trust and obedience that are part and parcel of God’s people.

So?  Follow the rules.  They are there for a purpose, but the rules are not what saves you.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Fun House

(Pro 10:23 KJV)  It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.

This verse had an interesting spin in the New American Bible.

Pro 10:23 (NAB) Crime is the entertainment of the fool;
    So is wisdom for the man of sense.
The law abiding and the righteous look at crime as either an act of desperation or a shortcut to fulfilled desires.  It impossible for us to look at it the way so many criminals do.  It is fun.  It is exciting.  It has an immediate payoff.  In our current legal atmosphere it is also almost without risk.  What is not to like?

So?  Again, be aware of the world around you.  That means realizing that the lenses of your glasses may be rose colored.  Truth is not always pleasant.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Swamp Navigating

(Pro 9:17 KJV)  Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
(Pro 9:18 KJV)  But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

As I read the New American Bible I did not notice anything in the translation and the comments seemed acceptable but they made my mind go on a tangent.  I started thinking about the preaching that goes on in some churches and the teaching in some Christian colleges that ignores the truth of the Bible and instead quote pagan psychologists and philosophers for their points.  Or what if they refer to popular music without tying it into the Word of God.  They are offering  “stolen” (1589) “water” (4325)

That is on them.  Whether you accept what they say is on you.  It is also on me.  That is one reason I try to have my Bible open when someone is sharing “truth”.  

So?  Beware of the deceivers out there.  There is a lot of counterfeit “wisdom” that is masquerading as the real thing.  God has given us His written word and the Holy Spirit to help us through the swamp. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2024


Exodus 5:6-8 (KJV) 6 And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, 7 Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish [ought] thereof: for they [be] idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go [and] sacrifice to our God.

All is not always sunshine and roses. Serving the Lord does not always have a happy middle, even though we are assured of a happy ending.  Take this case of Pharaoh and Moses.

Have you been hearing about the happy endings that are supposed to be coming your way?  I have news for you.  It may not work out the way you think or at least on the schedule you have planned.  While it is true we have read the book and know who wins, God does not usually have the same sense of timing that we have.

Here Moses is working on getting Israel out of Egypt.  God says He will bring it to pass.  He also tells them there will be a lot of bumps in the road.  They don’t hear Him, probably because they don’t want to hear Him.  I find myself in that situation at times.

So?  Eternity will be wonderful but the government that seems determined to punish people of faith will keep getting in the way.  Get ready to gather your own straw, whatever that means in your world.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Walking Washed

(Rev 7:14 KJV)  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

There are certain images in the Bible that don’t come across as scientifically possible but if you think about what they mean then they can speak to your heart.  This verse is one of them.  From it we get the idea of how the blood of Jesus cleanses us.  It brought to mind a song we sing at church, or used to sing.  Here is the second verse and chorus,

Are you walking daily by the Savior's side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

    Are you washed in the blood,
    In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
    Are your garments spotless?  Are they white as snow?
    Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

So?  Either rejoice or reflect.  God wants us to live above the world while we are still in the world.  Let Him prepare you for the journey. 

Monday, May 6, 2024

Give and Take

(1Co 13:5 KJV)  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Love is not "provoked" (3947).  The KJV adds “easily”.  I am wondering if the opposite is also true, love does not provoke.  It is all very good to try to be kind and non-abusive.  That does not guarantee that the other person will respond in kind.  In fact, based on human nature, it is possible that your good attitude will encourage them to be even more provoking.

It doesn’t make any difference.  We are not called to respond to people the way they act toward us.  We are to live Christ in front of them even if they reject it and mock you.

So?  We are to set the right example, not follow the wrong one. 

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Limited vs Unlimited

(Mat 4:10 KJV)  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

We were looking at this during Sunday School and someone remarked that Satan never told Jesus to go away.  The insight had to do with the fact that Satan could not tell God to go away because God is everywhere.  I am not sure that is sophisticated theological jargon, but you get the idea.

We were reminded that Satan is not omnipresent.  In fact, he is none of the omni’s.  He is limited and our God is not.  

So?  That should be encouraging to you today. 

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Down Turns

(Pro 4:5 KJV)  Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

I am reading this month in the new American Bible.  As I came across verse five, I noticed that there are two ways that we can keep from getting wisdom.  One is to forget, and the other is to deliberately turn aside.

We tend to think that forgetting is accidental, but I’m not sure that it’s true.  Much of what we forget it’s because we don’t give it the attention that is necessary to remember.  I was introduced to someone new last Sunday.  Because the previous Wednesday I had forgotten a name, I kept repeating it until it was burned in.  

It would also be interesting to compare this to the wording of the King James, which uses the word “decline” (5186) for “turning aside”.  The word can be translated both ways but decline brings in the context of being a down hill move.

So?  Take responsibility for the choices God has given you.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Consider the Source

Psalms 3:2 (KJV) Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.

(Proverbs 3 also read)

Have other people given up on you?  Sometimes it is people who care deeply and have been pushed too far.  Other times it is people looking for an excuse.  Too often we allow ourselves to be influenced by what other people say and think about us.  I wonder if we do the same things to others around us.

If you look at the next verse, it has a whole different attitude, and that is the attitude we need to have.

(Psa 3:3 KJV)  But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
Yes, God sees our sin and demands confession and repentance.  In spite of the fact that He is aware of our failures, He still waits to be a “shield” (4043) and to life us up.  

So?  He is waiting.  If you need a pick me up don’t go to the medicine cabinet, go the Almighty God.  His cure is longer lasting and has no negative side effects. 

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Back on Track

(Psa 51:12 KJV)  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

I find this verse encouraging.  There may be times when we feel like we have walked away from God.  You can call it backsliding or being out of fellowship depending on your theology, but the point is you are not where you should be.  David here is asking what we can also ask.  He wants God to “restore” (7725) the “joy” (8342) that he once knew.

Again, you can take this to be applied wherever you are.  God has a way of meeting us and except for a few hard hearted game players is always willing to bring us back to where we should be.

So?  What an opportunity for some.  For others it is just an awareness of an emergency kit they may never need. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

A New Beginning

(Psa 51:10 KJV)  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Here is another word picture of what God does when He redeems us.  He isn’t content with just the removal process.  He also wants to “create” (1254a) something.  This is the word that is used in Genesis 1:1.  There is has the concept of bringing into existence from nothing.  That might be a good picture of what happens in us.

We were not clean.  We were polluted by sin.  Even the good deeds we did were tainted.  God takes all that, washes off the corruption and gives us a new heart.

So?  You are a new creature.  The old is gone and the new has come.  I would say it is a promising picture.