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.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Decision Day

(Pro 16:16 KJV)  How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

As I read through this chapter today the word “priorities” kept popping into my mind.  I don’t know that the word is used but the idea is there.  In this verse the comparison of worth is between “wisdom” (2451) and “gold”, also “understanding” (998) and “silver”.  Other verses make other contrasts.

We make many decisions each day.  Obviously they are not all of equal importance but all of them are based on previous experience and a set of priorities.  Even picking out my socks is based on whether I can live with holes today.  Some days it is important, others, not so much.  Clothing choices have priorities of how much we care about the opinions of others.  Shopping may depend on attitudes of stewardship and thrift.  How we treat people in our lives depends on whether we have been listening to God.

So?  Do you ever make choices or respond in ways that surprise you?  Maybe it is time to consider priorities in light of that action. 

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Pour Choices

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

I usually don’t find literal translations in my KJV but today was an exception.  When I read the marginal note for “spouts” (5042) I laughed out loud.  It said the Hebrew means “belch or bubbles”.  What a statement for the products of a foolish mouth and mind.  They tend to think they are clever, or at least cute.  Have you been around boys in that age range who think it is funny to belch at social occasions?  Perhaps you have been a judge of a belching contest.  Perhaps you have been a contestant.

I am sure that childhood pranks are fun.  There comes a time though when we need to stop paying attention.  

So?  Grow up and help others grow up.  Good humor does not need to be foolish. 

Friday, June 14, 2024

Everywhen

(Psa 84:1 KJV)  To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!

We spend millions designing and building church buildings.  Historically they were works of art and the results of years of devotion and hard work.  Buildings for worship were expected to glorify God and lift our physical senses into the heavenlies.  Or at least we used to be concerned with that.  Today it seems that any warehouse will do as long as you have a professional level set of speakers, some bright spot lights and maybe a fog machine.

I have no problem at all with people who meet in their homes or a gym they can afford to rent.  Often that is the best you can do.  Many times it is a statement of our sense of the divine along with the torn fashion jeans of the preacher and the brand name coffee cups in the pews.

Although this verse praises the place of worship as being “lovely” (3039) I think the real sentiment is expressed because of the presence of God, not the gold on the altar.  In fact the word for “lovely” is usually translated “lovable” or “beloved”.

So?  We can worship anywhere God is willing to meet us.  Great architecture can help but He is willing to join us anywhere we are that our hearts are right.  May you have joyful worship, everywhere and every when.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

About Face

(Psa 73:17 KJV)  Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

(Proverbs 13 also read)

If you read the first half of this Psalm, you find nothing but despair.  The author looks at the prosperous lives of the wicked and wonders.  Where is God?  Then he comes into the sanctuary and everything is refocused and put in a different order.

Why do we come to worship?  Obviously we come to praise God, and to lift him up.  But in addition to that there is the presence of God speaking to us, and opening our eyes to eternity, and to what God has planned for us and for His world.  When we come to worship, when we come into the sanctuary, in our day and age, when we attend church, things look different.

Is it just appearance?  Is it just our imagination?  Is it just our feelings?  No, God simply makes us more aware of who He is and what He is doing.

So? Don’t abandon the means of grace that are extended to us by coming to the sanctuary and worshiping the living God.  He will meet with us.  He will speak to us.  He will help us to see things as they are, and not as we feel them to be.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

A Resource

(Psa 83:17 KJV)  Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:

I would say that the forces of evil or justice are today as they were in the time of the Psalms.  I’m not sure I would say more active, but they are certainly busy persecuting and holding down the people of God.  At this point, they tend to have the forces of the government and the media and education behind them.  All we have of course, is our God.

That should be enough.  It is enough.  We need to pray for our government and be supportive of our government, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t ask God to confound them and trouble them so they would be full of shame and ready to obey.

So? Our concerns should start with prayer.  Our hope is in Christ and in the God of eternity, not in our political savvy. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Joyful ignorance

(Psa 71:15 KJV)  My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.

(Proverbs 11 also read)

What a great joy it is to know that we can never even begin to approach the blessings that God has for us.  Here David, or whoever is writing this Psalm, is rejoicing, in the fact that he can speak about the righteousness of God.  He can talk about his salvation.  And yet he admits his ignorance about how glorious and how eternal this is.

That’s where we should be. We should be rejoicing in what we do know, and getting excited about the things that we do not know.  And I might say that we don’t know yet, or I might even say that we will never comprehend the total of what God has for us.

So?  Are you living in joy?  Are you living in ignorance?  I am living in joyful ignorance, content in what I do know now and the Person that I know forever. 

Monday, June 10, 2024

Father Mold

(Pro 10:1 KJV)  The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

As I read this this morning, I knew that I was not reading what it actually said.  There was some thing about what I was hearing in my head that just didn’t ring true, so I looked again.  What I was hearing was that a wise son would grow up to be a glad father.  Actually the statement is a little bit different than that so take it with a grain of salt.  Consider it a preaching point.  I think it is spiritualizing.  I still think there’s some truth in it.

If we are wise fathers, then we will raise wise children.  At least I hope that’s true.  At any means having a son brought up wise, will certainly make me as a glad father.

So?  Learn to be wise.  Set an example.  You may produce a wise son, which will certainly make you glad.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

A Big Question

Psalms 8:4 (KJV) What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

I am sure we have all heard this question asked.  Have we ever really gotten an answer?  I start asking this question when I read the creation story and see that we are created in the image of God.  What does that mean?  Why were we created?

If you look at this chapter, you don’t find an answer.  Does that mean that we quit asking?  No, I don’t think so.  I think we continue wondering.  We continue thinking about the glory of God and his creative power.  He made us as a group the way we are.  He molded us as individuals as we respond to Him.

So?  Seek him daily.  Listen.  Respond.  Be the answer to the big question. 

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Worldwide

(Pro 8:16 KJV)  By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

Is there a body of knowledge which we call wisdom that is available through the entire earth, even to those who don’t know the God of the Bible?  This verse would seem to imply that.  This talks about judges of the Earth.  Now, princes and nobles might just refer to Israel, but when you say all the judges of the Earth, you go beyond those borders.

Is wisdom cross-cultural?  Is it something that God has placed in the hearts of all men?

So? There a certain principles that seem to be universal.  That should be something that makes us get along better with those who disagree with us on specifics. 

Friday, June 7, 2024

Choice ignorance

Proverbs 7:7 (KJV) And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

As I watch a lot of the political theater going on today, one of the things that stands out is the total lack of knowledge in the lives of people who are making big statements.  Much of that is because their teachers deliberately brainwashed them and kept them ignorant.  We can’t over emphasize the damage done by these people.  But there is another aspect and that is the matter of choice.

I would say that a lot of the ignorance we see is the ignorance of choice and the ignorance of sloth.  I see this because in conversations people seem to be totally unaware of what’s happening.  People don’t pay any attention to the news.  Or even worse, they only get their news from sources that are totally untrustworthy.  It is possible to get a feel for truth and for what’s happening but you have to look for it.  You have to think about what you’re reading.  You have to take it and compare it too what you already know.

So?  Don’t ignore your own responsibility for your spiritual knowledge and your spiritual life.  Part of being created in the image of God is having free will and being able to reason and to work with information.  It involves making choices.  God makes it possible it’s up to us to apply it. 

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Long term

(Psa 66:12 KJV)  Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

(Proverbs 6 also read)

Here we see both sides of the coin.  On the one side we have those times of life where it seems nothing is going to go right.  Who has not felt at times that they are going through the fire. Who is not felt like the water is over their head.

But always consider the promise.  God is going to bring us out.  It doesn’t matter how dark, dreary, hot, wet.  God will see us through.  It’s possible that he will see us through in eternity, we need to consider that.  That is not a cop out.  That is simply seeing things as they are.

So?  Are you in the fire today or are you on your way out?  Either way, you can know that God is aware of your situation and is in charge. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Because I Say So

Acts 10:15 (KJV) And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

This brings to mind the creation story.  God would produce something new and at the end of the day he would announce that it was good.  Was it good because God created it or was it good because God declared it?  Well, that is a philosophy question for another day.  The point I’m making is that God declared his creation good.  Everything he made was good before sin messed it up.

We need to look at the world around us, and realize that God created it as good.  Part of our job, given during creation, is to subdue the world.  That has even more meaning now, after the fall, than it did before.

So? Get with the program.  Start improving your world.  Start with yourself. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Pick a Path

(Pro 4:14 KJV)  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

The Hebrew used here for “path” (734) is used again in verse 18.  It is common in Proverbs.  The difference in this chapter is the type of path you will follow.  Here the warning is against following evil.  In verse 18 it talks about the path of justice.  When you look at a new born baby one of the questions is, which path will they take.  Even at that tender stage of life it seems like different infants are inclined different ways.  If you have two children you have probably noticed that they are individuals from the beginning.  Life will be full of choices.

The similarity in these verses is that your path is a matter of choice.  Although some are inclined toward a more evil path than others the Bible teaches that salvation is open to all.

So?  I assume you have made your choice.  Are you happy with it?  Are you helping the young in your life to make an intelligent and informed choice.  I guess we do so even if we are not aware of it. 

Monday, June 3, 2024

Law of the Heart

Proverbs 3:1 (KJV) My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

I think it’s important for us to consider what David is saying here, actually, it’s Solomon.  He is telling us that the law is important.  He is telling us that the commandments are important.  He is telling us to obey the commandments.  But notice the place that these demands are to be retained, in your heart.

Ultimately God‘s law is to be hidden in our hearts.  It is to reform and renew our hearts.  It is to come from our inner being and not from our outer reading.  God wants to live inside of us and He wants to do that in a way that we can work with him and be obedient to him, and let the glory of His presence shine forth.

One way in which we can witness to a pagan world is to allow the standards of a holy God be real in our lives.

So?  Internalize it.  Let it fill you.  And let it guide you.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Security

(Psa 62:2 KJV)  He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.

(Proverbs 2 also read)

Once again, I want to note that in this chapter of Psalms, David does not mention the law.  He does not mention ritual or sacrifice.  Look through the entire chapter.  You see reference after reference about his trust in God, and his faith in God, and the place of God, Himself, in our worship and trust.  You see nothing about the law.

Many people want to make the Old Testament about the law and the New Testament about grace and faith.  I would suggest that they might need to do a little bit more reading in Psalms and find out how David viewed God and salvation.

So? Trust. 

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Yard Work

Psalms 72:6 (KJV) He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.

Who would’ve ever thought that the Bible would talk about yardwork.  Here it is.  It is equating the blessings of having a righteous ruler.  With refreshing rain.  Coming down upon a newly mowed yard.  I don’t think I’ve seen that before.  It was there.  I just didn’t see it.

I don’t know that this is a command that we are supposed to get out and mow our grass.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see it being used in an advertising campaign for some lawnmower company.  It certainly could be used by your wife.

So?  The Bible really does talk about every area of life.