Stupid and ignorant: Jeremiah 51.17 VOTD

“All idolaters will prove to be stupid and ignorant.
Every goldsmith will be disgraced by the idol he made.
For the image he forges is merely a sham.
There is no breath in any of those idols.”

Jeremiah 51.17

God would punish Babylon for its destruction of the temple. Idols would be destroyed, v. 18, and the Lord would be revealed as the one who rules over all, v. 19.

What idols are we tempted to make or worship today? How will these bring us disgrace?

#idolatry #destruction #VOTD

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(#105) The Proverbs of Solomon 16:7-Real “Peace Accords”

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 16:7: “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

Obeying God’s Will toward our “enemies” is the straightest, simplest, most successful method for producing “peace” than any and every plan and method ever tried before in the history of mankind! Under Moses’ Law: “Three times in the year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the LORD God of Israel. For I will cast out the nations before you and enlarge your borders; neither will any man covet your land when you go up to appear before the LORD your God three times in the year” (Exodus 34:23-24). Israelite men had to journey three times a year to the place where God’s sacrifices were to be offered, but God promised no one would “covet” (and therefore steal) their land while they were gone to do God’s Will! After the Israelites had settled in the Promised Land, had kings, then divided, the king of the Southern Kingdom knew “the fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat” (2 Chronicles 17:10). Under the Law of Jesus Christ, though persecution had arisen against the church of Christ (Acts 8:1-4), there came a time when “the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied” (Acts 9:31). Truly, “peace” exists when God’s people obey His Will, not when world rulers sign papers!

An “enemy” is defined in the last verse in the Bible where the term is used: “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). Anyone who is antagonist against God, God’s Will, and God’s People is an “enemy!” Surely one must not rely upon encouragement from an “enemy:” “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6).

In complete contrast to everyone who follows the worldly way of human power, war, and control, all Christians who follow God’s Will would respond with good for evil, which is never better stated than when Jesus Christ taught it in His Sermon on the Mount: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:43-46) The best way to get rid of an enemy is to show him/her a better way of behavior, like God, Who gives even the wicked some blessings!

What Solomon taught is applied to Christianity by the Apostle Paul: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the LORD will reward you” (Proverbs 25:21-22); “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:18-21). The wisest way to dispose of enemies is by returning good for evil! Any enemy with conscience cannot ignore the Christian’s response to his/her ugliness. However, it is prefaced with the understanding this may not work in every case when he said, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you.” This hallmark of Christianity is easily distinguished from Islamic beheadings, Catholic tortures, or Socialist destruction.

Clearly, no one should rise up haughtily when something bad happens to an enemy: “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, And He turn away His wrath from him” (Proverbs 24:17-18). God can punish pride from His children today by misfortune passed from enemies.

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

#beheadings, #bible-study, #church-of-christ, #destruction, #enemy, #jesus-christ, #peace, #please-the-lord, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #tortures, #wisdom

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(#34) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:2-The Shame of Pride

Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Judgments Solomon made about individual cases brought to him for Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10), or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 11:2: When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.

Humility is not thinking less of oneself that is deserved, but simply the recognition that God is far greater than we’ll ever be. The more of God’s Wisdom we possess, the more we realize how humble we should be. Moses was the humblest man on earth (Numbers 12:3); who led the Israelites 40 years to humble them (Deuteronomy 8:2, 16); a lesson Solomon was called upon to repeat (2 Chronicles 7:12-14); and the Apostle Paul would show the church of God at Corinth (2 Corinthians 12:20-21). “Modest” also describes the “humble,” as someone who does not need self-promotion. It is true today, that we should: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).

The opposite of humility is “pride,” which prompts the command: “Do not be wise in your own opinion” (Romans 12:16). Pride precedes: “shame” (Proverbs 11:2), “destruction” and “a fall” (Proverbs 16:18), being brought “low” (Proverbs 29:23). It is still true that: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Jesus Christ scolded Pharisees with the statement: “”And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12). Children who are constantly told they are smarter, stronger, better than their own parents or grandparents, have been pumped up with the false attitude of “pride.” The New Testament warns against this: “And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know” (1 Corinthians 8:2). Children who think they already “know it all” will never appreciate and learn God’s Wisdom!

God brought down those who became “proud:” Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar learned this (Daniel 4:28-32), Jewish King Herod learned this (Acts 12:18-24), and Roman Governor Pilate learned this (John 19:10-12). Don’t buy into the fictional belief that we are equal to, or greater than, God! If we think our country is great and powerful because we are richer, smarter, stronger, or more productive through our efforts alone, we are as proud as Nebuchadnezzar, whom God brought down for a lesson in humility! If we think our politicians, courts, and legislators are “the voice of a god, and not of a man,” we shall be brought down, as Herod, for not giving God the glory! If we think we are more powerful than Jesus Christ, we will be brought to ruin as Pilate and the Roman Empire! No “government” is greater than God, though many keep trying to be too great to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:6).

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

#bible-study, #destruction, #fall, #government, #herod, #humility, #nebuchadnezzar, #obedience, #pharaoh, #pilate, #practical-lessons, #pride, #proverbs, #shame, #wisdom

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Studies in the Book of Proverbs #19: Don’t Jump Into The Wrong Bed!

(#19) Six Hasty Misjudgments of Youth: 6:1-7-27 – ONE AT A TIME.

6:20-35: (5) Don’t Jump Into The Wrong Bed!

There was no sexual sin listed previously in what God hates, but Solomon’s wisdom here and next clearly shows that God is adamantly against violation of His Marriage Law (Genesis 2:24), for “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

Verses 20-23: Deliverance

The purpose of parental, Scriptural wisdom is so the “son” can make his own informed, right decision. Heed, don’t rebel; make this your constant adornment; make this your own thoughts, for good judgments. To see the right way, the “son” needs lamp, light, and leading.

Verses 24-25: Damage

The woman who disregards the sacredness of sex only within marriage is “evil.” Her enticing words should be rejected (Proverbs 2:16; 5:3-4; 7:5, 21) because  “flattering lips” shows a “double heart” (Psalm 12:2-3). “Lust” is animal desire, not love! It is a serious mistake to think that it is (2 Samuel 13:1-17). One who follows lust alone abandons the human dignity which includes reason, and becomes an animal in heat or rut! Lust originates within the heart, rather than from external circumstances (Mark 7:20-23). “Her beauty” is not described, for the most alluring feature of a woman is not her physical, but her intentional design. The “allure” with painted eyes just calls attention to her interests. Focus on her evil intent, not her outer distractions.

Verses 26-33: Destruction

This type of woman is the predator, the man the prey who will pay dearly if he proceeds. How closely can a man be to fire without being burned; and how far can he walk across burning coals (NOT by the trick of walking fast, with calloused feet, or chemical protection!). Fire burns, and an “evil woman” damns to Hell! As certainly as fire burns, adultery condemns! A “thief” is still to be condemned (Exodus 20:14; John 10:10; Romans 13:8-10), yet if motivated by “starving” (self-preservation), it is understandable, not excusable. The thief must repay (Exodus 22:1-15), possibly up to 700%, all that he owns! The stupid adulterer, however, has NO self-preservation motive for his action, but only self-interest, and there is NO sympathy or pity for him, at all. He “destroys his own soul,” wounds will come to his body (whether punishments or STDs), and he loses his reputation (verses 32-33). Emphasis has shifted from the stupid man going in to a prowling woman, to a prowling man who stupidly goes in to “his neighbor’s wife.” Marriage limits are ignored in either case!

Verses 34-35: Dissatisfaction

Her husband’s “jealousy” is his rage without mercy “in the day of vengeance” (or day of reckoning). There is NO amount of repayment for this fouling of his marriage purity. He may never “be appeased” (or satisfied) though offered “many gifts.” God demanded the death of both parties in the adultery (Leviticus 20:10), which law Jesus honored by not condemning the one party brought to Him (John 8:1-11). A husband has been violated when adultery occurs and may never recover his trust in that wife again. This kind of loss of confidence caused God to condemn the southern kingdom of Judah (Jeremiah 7:8-15).

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

#adulterer, #adultery, #bible-study, #destruction, #evil-woman, #fury, #harlot, #jealously, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #seductress, #sin, #stupid, #thief, #vengeance

The Lord declared of the unbelieving Jews “their…

The Lord declared of the unbelieving Jews: “their foot shall slide in due time.” There are some obvious implications in this announcement. First, they are standing in jeopardy of falling, ever exposed to slipping and sliding towards destruction. As David said, they stand “on slippery places.” Second, their fall will arrive with suddenness and unexpectedly. Again from David “they are destroyed in a moment, swept away with terror”. Third, when they fall, it will be of their own making. No one need push them. They stand on the threshold of ruin and their sin will tip them over. Fourth, the only reason they yet stand is God’s appointed time is not yet reached. But “in due time”, God desires all to be saved, but salvation without conversion is impossible. “Their foot shall slide in due time.”

#destruction, #judgnt, #just-a-minute

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“Repentance, Not Defiance, Because of Sendai, Japan”

Some may ask, “Were the citizens of Sendai, Japan sinners above all Japanese?” Jesus’ reply would be, “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-5). These horrific “natural” destructions are not necessarily direct condemnation from God, but certainly qualify as “attention-getters.”

“’Hear this now, O foolish people, Without understanding, Who have eyes and see not, And who have ears and hear not: 22 Do you not fear Me?’ says the LORD. ‘Will you not tremble at My presence, Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, By a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, Yet they cannot prevail; Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.
23 But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart; They have revolted and departed’” (Jeremiah 5:21-23). With this statement, God called attention to His power over the seas, and though they are stirred to overlap the land on occasion, they return to their God-given boundary. Truly, only God could assign “the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth, (Proverbs 8:29 NKJV).

God has proved that all power is His, not man’s, and when He releases His power upon the earth, nothing can stop it. Do we not all take shelter from lightning; hide from hurricanes and tornadoes; seek high ground from floods; and feel the bone-chilling winter blasts? It seems that only times of extremities can remind many of us that we should bow the knee to God. Hence, the Psalmist said, it is “good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes” (Psalm 119:71).

If we have not been awed at the absolute power of God, then we must truly have a
“defiant and rebellious heart.” On the Judgment Day, “it is written: ‘As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:11-12 NKJV). Let everyone be warned of the Judgment to come, and seek shelter from our sins in the love of God in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:31-39). Each one should surrender to the Gospel of Christ (Acts 2:38), and then no “depth” will take us from His love.
John T. Polk II

#destruction, #japan, #tsunami