4-27-2015 Hate-filled Strife

There can be no question that in the world, “hatred” is preached and practiced! Christians should leave this behind, for Paul wrote in Titus 3:3: “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.” There is a third word for “hatred” listed as a “work of the flesh” that disqualifies anyone from inheriting “the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

Only the hateful stir up strife: “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife” (Proverbs 26:20-21).

For the “love of God,” we should “keep His commandments” (1 John 5:3 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#contentious, #hatred, #strife

(#137) The Proverbs of Solomon 18:19-Can You Forgive Your Brother?

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 18:19: “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.”

Contentious statements that divide brethren are “like the bars of a castle,” that is, they defensively fortify brothers from each other. Enemies can be converted and changed more easily than a relative, and it seems the nearer the relationship, the more difficult it is to effect that change! The first brothers, Cain and Abel, were separated by Cain’s anger that his brother obeyed what was right (Genesis 4:1-12; Hebrews 11:4) but Cain was evil (1 John 3:11-12). Jacob and Esau were separated by Esau’s profaning his birthright (inheritance, Genesis 25:29-34), Jacob’s deception to receive that birthright (Genesis 27:1-46), and Esau’s bitterness and hatred for his brother. They were separated for years before they could reconcile (Genesis 33:1-15), but reconcile they did! Since the Jews come from Jacob, and the so-called “Palestinians” come from Esau, the modern-day Middle East should read the Bible and reconcile their differences as their progenitors did! Brethren in the flesh can be meaner, more violent, and destructive to each other than their enemies who are not related!

Spiritual members in a church of Christ can become as bitter as Cain, and hateful as Esau, toward their brethren. The reason is the same, they have developed “an evil heart of unbelief” and departed from the living God (Hebrews 3:12). Their contentious words become “bars” to keep them inside their castle of ugliness. “Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:13-15). This brings eternal damnation upon the contentious brother. No amount of attendances, giving, singing, or prayers can disguise the real intent of wrong brethren. “We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also” (1 John 4:19-21).

The message of Jesus Christ, to His churches of Christ, is that of “reconciliation.” “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

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

#anger, #bible-study, #bitterness, #brethren, #church-of-christ, #contentious, #family, #hate, #jesus-christ, #jews, #love, #palestinians, #proverbs

(#74) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:1-Home-wreckers Need Not Apply!

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 14:1: “The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”

“Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established” (Proverbs 24:3). It takes a wise woman to build her house (not talking about the building, but the life in it). Truly, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22). Finding a good wife means knowing her family, and this cannot be done over the Internet! Jesus gave insight into home-life when He said a “house divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25).

The “foolish” woman destroys her own house by being:

1. Foolish, that is, ignoring or challenging God’s rules for living right. Every good marriage involves 3: the husband, the wife, and God (Colossians 3:16-21)!

2. Contentious (“dissing,” chiding, scolding, fussy, fretful), a tyrant by tantrums.

“Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman” (Proverbs 21:9); “Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman” (Proverbs 21:19); “It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman” (Proverbs 25:24); “A continual dripping on a very rainy day And a contentious woman are alike; Whoever restrains her restrains the wind, And grasps oil with his right hand” (Proverbs 27:15-16). There is no relief from a leaky roof “on a very rainy day,” and so a contentious woman can literally drive her family up the wall to the attic, or out the door into “the wilderness.” She is as impossible to deal with as “the wind,” or the fragrant odor of “oil” (perfume) once it’s in the hand. She has turned against her mate who should be her support, and her children who would unconditionally love her. The home should be a refuge, not a hunting ground!

3. Selfishly Independent, that is, she must be willing to uphold her place in the home. Too many, it seems, are like young widows, not ready to settle down into being a wife and mother. “But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith. And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not” (1 Timothy 5:11-13). Some mothers dress and act like they are still in the “singles scene,” looking for a mate, not like they have taken themselves “off the market” because of responsibilities at home (1 Timothy 5:14).

Some women disrespect God’s Word by not marrying, not being a good wife, not being a proper mother, or by making her own home-life miserable!

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

#attic, #bible-study, #busybodies, #children, #contentious, #family, #foolish-woman, #gossips, #housekeeping, #jesus-christ, #leaky-roof, #marriage, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wilderness, #wisdom, #wise-woman