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, July 12, 2024

A Spark in the Lament

(Job 19:25 KJV)  For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

(Proverbs 12 also read)

This chapter in Job is one long lament and complaint.  Repeatedly he says that God has abandoned him.  There is not a drop of joy or praise.  In spite of that we find this very familiar verse sandwiched in the middle.  It is a statement of one of the great truths.  It reflects the very name of Yahweh.  He is the great I Am.  He is the one God who lives.

That makes a difference in everything that goes on.  He’s not an empty idol.  He is not a vain wish.  He is the living God.

So?  We need to live as if we believe this.  I don’t know if your day is good or bad.  I don’t know if you are rejoicing or mourning.  But God lives.  God listens.  God loves.  Love Him back.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Interesting Interpretation

(Pro 11:16 KJV)  A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

This verse has been a head scratcher for me.  It just didn’t seem to fit together.  As I have said, I am reading Moffatt’s translation this month, and he has an interesting way of parsing it.

    “A charming woman wins respect: high-handed men win only wealth.”

The first half is fairly literal, but the second half gives a spin which I find interesting.  It is a good interpretation that makes it work together.  It is a matter of priorities and values.  Honor is higher than riches.

So? Go for the best don’t settle for the least. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

A Place to Start

(Gen 1:3 KJV)  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

As I was thinking about the attributes of God, I thought of the statement "God is light”.  That brought to mind the beginning of Genesis and the creation, and the opening words of God.  He who is light started by inserting light into the universe.  He was creating.

We think of light as being the bright thing that keeps us from stubbing our toes as we walk through the house at night.  We think of flashlights and headlights.  But the light here is more in the sense of illuminating truth, illuminating justice, and illuminating all those other important issues.  It talks about a character of God in which He rejects darkness and evil.

So?  Rejoice that we worship a god of light. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

O Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

(Gen 1:1 KJV)  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

This month I am reading Proverbs in the Moffatt Translation.  As my mind wandered I got to thinking about the creation account and the question of literal vs figurative.  I thought I would take a look at how Moffatt started his work.  It was interesting because he starts off with what he claims is Genesis 2:4, “This is the story of how the universe was formed.”  I am not sure what rule of translation allows you to move verses around at your convenience but that is what he did.

That was one issue but the second act was to take an ax to the root of creation.  

(Gen 1:1 Moffatt) When God began to form the universe, the world was void and vacant,...
A verse like this is to be read with discernment.  It tells you a lot about whether you can trust the basic assumptions of the translator.  According to Moffatt’s translation the universe was already in existence when God began to work.  Troubling.

So?  Don’t ever turn off your mind, even when you are reading a “Bible”.  I guess I would say, especially when you are reading a “Bible.” 

Monday, July 8, 2024

Disgusting

(Pro 8:7 KJV)  For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

Sometimes a different translation gives you a slightly different view of things.  This month, as I have said, I am reading in Moffatt’s translation.  The word “abomination” (8441) is very common in the Old Testament.  It tries to give us an insight for how evil God feels certain things are.  Moffatt uses the word “loath” instead of abomination.  I like that.

The idea of loathing something comes up with an attitude of disgust that I think we miss with abomination.  Abomination seems to be a higher concept than we would deal with regularly.  It is out of touch with our every day lives.  Loathing is something we can understand.  We can apply it to people we know.  We can apply it to things like liver and onions.  There are many disgusting things that we can tie to it.  We are to loath evil.

So? It’s pretty simple.  If it’s disgusting turn away. 

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Perfect Fear

(Psa 101:2 KJV)  I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

The KJV uses the term perfect twice in this verse.  It uses it again later in the chapter.  In every place the New American Standard chooses a different word.  In the Hebrew all three are related going back to the same root and expressing the same idea.  We have in modern times a fear of this word “perfect”.  We avoid it when we speak in terms of theology.  We don’t mind talking about a perfect steak, but we shudder when we quote the Bible talking about perfect love.

I would suggest that instead of avoiding biblical concepts, we look a little bit deeper and try to find out what they are talking about.  It is obvious that in this case, whatever perfect means it is attainable.

So?  Work on that part of your life which is supposed to be perfect and accept the fact that David was at least as smart as you are and knew that in a very real sense perfection was impossible.  He still talked about it.  Join him.  Go for it.

Saturday, July 6, 2024

New Names

(Pro 1:7 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

I am reading this month in the James Moffatt translation.  One of the quirks I noticed at the very beginning was that he chose a unique word for the personal name of God, Yahweh.  In the NASB and KJV it is designated by all capitals, LORD.  I noticed that one of the current translations, the Legacy Standard Bible, transliterates it as Yahweh.  I like that.  Moffatt has chosen to translate it “the Eternal”.  I think that is acceptable.  It misses the personal aspect that the Hebrew conveys but it works as long as you are paying attention.

So?  When you are bored, consider what it means to be eternal. 

Friday, July 5, 2024

Patience

(Psa 95:10 KJV)  Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

As I continue to think about patience, God speaks to me.  He reminds me of why the generation was wandering in the wilderness for 40 years.  They were wandering in the wilderness because they were afraid to go into the promised land.  They were worried.  They were not willing to trust.  As a result, they wandered.

As I look at the news and listen to what’s happening in the world, I see evil on a rampage.  I see death and destruction everywhere.  I see government forces out to destroy the people of the country.  I wonder when they’re coming for me.  At that point God slaps me upside the head and says “When have I ever let you down?”

So?  God continues to be patient with me.  I need to trust in him.  The future is in his hands just as the past was in his hands. 

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Moving

(Psa 93:1 KJV)  The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.

(Proverbs 4 also read)

This is a good illustration of what it means to be either literal or figurative.  Notice the last word “moved” (4131).  Just what does that mean?  It would seem obvious but not if you think about it.

If you look at this literally, then it means that the Earth is stationary in space.  It does not move at all.  That would rule out rotation and revolution.  It would insist on the universe revolving around the Earth instead of the Earth moving through space.  We know that is not the case.

It is not hard to consider that this means that the Earth is stable and is not going to be jerked around by every little dictator that walks down the aisle.  With what we know about science now, the literal interpretation is nonsense and the figure of speech is powerful.

So?  Read the Bible as it was intended to be read.  Don’t be afraid to change your understanding as your knowledge of the world increases.  God will not be threatened by a deeper understanding of the universe He created. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Coup

Proverbs 3:25 (KJV) Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

We live in a time of uncertainty.  Many are afraid of what is happening politically and how our republic is falling apart.  All of that may be true, but we need to be reminded that our confidence and our trust is not in the government or even the constitution, but in our God.

I like the use of the word “desolation” in the King James Bible.  Really, it is what we are afraid of.  We worry about the unknown desolation that may descend upon our country if things fall apart.  Fear not, it won’t be the first time.  Israel has gone through this many times.  The people of God have gone through this many times.

We are still here.

This may not be a guarantee of your safety.  It may not mean that your bank account survives.  But it does assure you that God has you in His hand.

So?  Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Second or Third Person

(Psa 91:2 KJV)  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

(Proverbs 2 also read)

This is an interesting place to compare the King James Bible to the New American Standard Bible.  If you have a King James, you will notice that the words “he is” is not in the original language because it is shown in italics.  When you compare the New American Standard, you find that it is written in second person, as if the author is speaking to God.  The King James is third person where he is speaking about God.

While this difference does not reflect anything about the nature of God, it does make it more personal when you were directly addressing Him rather than talking about Him.  One is a praise, one is a witness.

So?  Rejoice in the flexibility of the Scriptures.  Think about what it says.  Think about the possible application and enjoy the different rabbit trail that leads you down. 

Monday, July 1, 2024

Numbering

(Psa 90:12 KJV)  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

What does it mean to “number our days?  I don’t think it just means counting how many days we have until the weekend.  I don’t think it means to sit around wondering how old we’re going to be before we die.  I don’t think it has to do with counting in any way.

I think it may have more to do with putting things in order such as numbering our tasks for the day.  I think there’s also the idea of setting priorities.  What is the first thing I will do today?  What is the last thing I will do today?

Setting our priorities may be one of the most important things we do in a day.

So?  What does God have for me today?  Where will I invest my energy?  There are only so many hours in my day.  There are only so many days in my life.  I need to use them wisely.