(#124) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:12-Which is Worse: A Savage Bear or A Stupid Fool?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 17:12: “Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his folly.”

Never, ever, come between a mama bear and her cubs! Instant outrage, savage aggression, and violent attack is sure to be the swift, certain, and deadly outcome. The explosion of fury could not be more clearly illustrated than by this image. King David’s friend, Hushai, described David’s fierceness in war to David’s son with this parallel: “you know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are enraged in their minds, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field” (2 Samuel 17:8). When Israel forgot God, He promised, “I will meet them like a bear deprived of her cubs” (Hosea 13:8). With this simple depiction, there is no doubt about the ferocity being described.

Never, ever, expect normal attitude from “a fool in his folly,” for all rules are off! First, “a fool” is anyone who doesn’t follow God’s Word; and, secondly, “folly” is any behavior that doesn’t conform to God’s Wisdom! “Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool lays open his folly” (Proverbs 13:16). Folly is “the foolishness of fools” (Proverbs 14:24); and so “he who is impulsive exalts folly” (Proverbs 14:29). And a fool never learns better from his “folly,” for “As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly” (Proverbs 26:11).  Expect a “fool” to erupt in “folly” with passion associated with outbursts of anger! Because one man raped their sister, Simeon and Levi murdered and plundered a whole city (Genesis 34:24-29,30); because the wise men did not return and tell him where the young child Jesus was, King Herod was “exceedingly angry” and murdered all boys in Bethlehem under the age of two (Matthew 2:16); while he was ignorant of Jesus Christ, Saul of Tarsus was “still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1). Every mother who rips apart her son or daughter; every father who abruptly punishes his children; every husband or wife who verbally, or otherwise, abuses his/her spouse; every intoxicated user of drugs or alcohol; and every short-fused person is, or will be, acting the “fool.” “An angry man stirs up strife, And a furious man abounds in transgression” (Proverbs 29:22).

Never, ever, stand between “a fool” and his/her “folly,” lest we are torn apart by sin!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version,unless otherwise noted.

#abuse, #aggression, #anger, #attack, #bible-study, #fool, #mama-bear, #outrage, #practical-lessons, #proverbs


(#73) The Proverbs of Solomon 13:24-It Doesn’t Take A Village To Raise A Child Who Has Both Parents!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 13:24: “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

The old “spare the rod, spoil the child” is truthful but not a quotation of Scripture. No amount of beatings can ever replace the effect of parental love, understanding, patience, and instruction. Children are to “obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1), but fathers are specifically commanded “do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Fathers must “bring them up,” not beat them down! Discipline includes instruction and enforcement of what is “right,” not dictatorial and tyrannical outbursts arbitrarily enforced with a “rod!” THIS PROVERB GIVES ABSOLUTELY NO PERMISSION TO ABUSE CHILDREN! Listen to the other proverbs on the subject: “Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction” (Proverbs 19:18); “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15); “Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die” (Proverbs 23:13); “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15); “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17). “The rod” is the last line of discipline to be applied (not the first or only line), but children must be reminded that there is a limit placed on their actions, beyond which they must not go in respect for parental authority. There is a time limit on good parental guidance, and that is “while there is hope,” or while the child is formative. It is “the rod and rebuke” that “give wisdom,” not just “the rod” without explanation and corrective instruction, but not “rebuke” without “the rod.” All the “rod of correction” is designed to do is sober up the child’s attitude and focus on the seriousness of the parent’s instruction, basically, “wipe that smile off your face!” Unfortunately, in this society filled with divorce and remarriage, custody battles, sexual relations without marriage commitment, a child is “left to himself.” The mother or father who thinks the child can handle things all alone is self-deceived and has abdicated the greatest authority on earth: nurturing a soul. They will give account on the Day of Judgment. Every child raised without proper discipline is a child raised without proper love, for discipline indicates loving care. The “father,” specifically, should be the obedience school for a child.

Every male who sires a child without a marriage commitment to its mother is: (1) profaning god’s sacredness of life; (2) disrespecting the mother of a life; (3) ignoring the God-given responsibility to properly instruct and guide the child’s life; (4) creating an illegitimate child without love (Hebrews 12:5-11); (5) and will be held accountable on the day of judgment for each and every soul he has neglected! It still requires a married couple (male and female) to properly raise every child.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#abuse, #bible-study, #children, #correction, #discipline, #family, #illegitimate, #instruction, #love, #marriage, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #spare-the-rod, #teaching, #wisdom

Where Do We Go to Heal?

My journey of faith began in a family of faith and a family of worshipers (the Bible often calls the church a “household” or “family.”). My parents loved God and made assembling with other lovers of God a priority for us. They reminded us often that it was a privilege to assemble with other Christians, that in some nations it was definitely not a right to do so. While I have discovered that some communities of faith may be more toxic than healing, healthy faith develops best in community. There are times when we may need to go alone in prayer to express our pain and hurt to the Lord, but sometimes the occasions when we hurt the most are when the church that we thought didn’t care awakens to its responsibilities. Singing with a congregation, even listening if the pain is too great to sing or the song evokes particularly emotional memories, allows other believers to speak words of grace and love. Even when one’s presence challenges others to forgive or consider whether they should allow you to participate, growth in relationship to God and his people occurs. We all sin (Romans 3:23). We all need forgiveness. Assembling together allows others to bear one another’s burden (Galatians 6:1-2) and remember that being a part of Christ’s saved people is not an exercise in isolation nor about feeling good all the time about other Christians. Romans 15:1-3 says, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.'” We worship together to praise God, but also meet together to encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24-25). We should not gather as a church to hear a speaker verbally scourge the suffering, but we should search the scriptures together and pray fervently that we may help the damaged person heal and return to active service. If a person’s (or group’s) presence threatens the spiritual stability of the congregation, then we meet and discuss face-to-face how their actions endanger the health of the community while remembering to check our preferences to see if they align with the word and will of God.

Because my parents encouraged me to make assembling with Christians a priority, when I encountered a difficult time in my life when it would have been easy to suffer alone and stop “going to church,” I kept going. I found it hard to pray at that point in my life and it was difficult to sing some songs. Some sermons were harder to hear and some well-meaning brethren just did not understand what I was experiencing. Still I kept assembling and I continued to read the Bible regularly (Strange, I think, that I found it hard to talk to God for a while but still was willing to listen to him). The small congregation embraced me and helped me to heal, using me when I was willing and my work would help others. Some told me that my presence encouraged them. I survived spiritually because that church and my family of origin loved me.

Some hurting people have hurt themselves, and as part of the healing process, must realize and articulate the part they played in creating their pain. We call this repentance and confession; both acts are essential for spiritual healing. If they have never done so before, they will need (as did the apostle Paul) to wash away their sin in baptism (Acts 22:16). Some may be unable to reverse the effects of their actions; just as a physical amputee learns to function without a hand or with a prosthesis, they can learn to function in their new reality. Other hurting people have been abused – verbally, physically, or emotionally. They don’t need more abuse. They need love, and lots of patience.

So, if you’re hurting spiritually, don’t try to solve your problems in isolation. Reach out for help to a community of faith, a church that takes God, Christ, and the Bible seriously, but that remembers also that it is the family of God and the body of Christ, an entity that heals rather harms. If you’re within such a group, and someone confesses difficulty, pain, or sin, don’t rush to ostracize. Pray and study to learn how you may help this person to heal and to grow up to become the healthy disciple God wants them to be. As Paul the apostle wrote, ” Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7). In the end, we all have fallen short, and that is why we need a family, a church, where we may heal and feel safe.

#abuse, #baptism, #church-of-christ, #confession, #encouragement, #family-of-god, #forgiveness, #healing, #recovery, #repentance, #toxic-churches

This is Just A Minute Jerry Sandusky was…

This is Just-A-Minute. Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of sexually abusing young boys but a few days later he was quoted as saying that he couldn’t understand how the jury could fault him. He didn’t feel that he had done anything wrong. He has no sense of guilt. But why should he? Psychologists tell us guilt is a hang-up from an overactive conscience. Tom Harris wrote the book, “I’m OK, You’re OK”, and proclaims “guilt is bad for you”. So we end up with a society where no one is guilty because nothing is wrong. One by one the underpinnings of civilization and decency are assailed. We are outraged at Penn. State officials who covered for Sandusky, but why? We should have seen this coming. Do away with right and wrong, guilt and punishment, God and morality and what do you have left?

#abuse, #just-a-minute, #right-and-wrong, #sandusky

Pope Benedict – Leader of the Ignorant

I read where Pope Benedict begs for forgiveness from victims for the sins of all those pedophile priests who have been sexually abusing little boys for years.

If adherents to the Catholic church would simply open their Bibles and read it for themselves, they would find that (1) a sinful pope is not needed on earth to represent Christ as His “vicar”, and (2) that celibacy is not a normal lifestyle for men. No where in the Bible do we find the teaching of celibacy for priests (1 TImothy 4:1-5). Rather, marriage is promoted – even among the apostles (1 Corinthians 7:9; 1 Corinthians 7:28; 1 Corinthians 9:5; Hebrews 13:4), for Peter was married (Matthew 8:14).

There would be none of this foolishness going on if folks in the Catholic church would just simply adhere to clear Bible teaching. If they would do that, the Catholic church would soon cease to exist.

#abuse, #beg, #boys, #forgiveness, #pedophile, #pope, #priest, #victim