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(#76) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:3-You Said Wh-a-a-t?

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 14:3: “In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them.”

A fool’s mouth speaks with the empty authority of “pride,” but Wisdom had already declared   fool’s rejection with: “Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate” (Proverbs 8:13); so it should surprise no one that when pride speaks, God replies! “And Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go’” (Exodus 5:2), to which God responded: “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained” (Exodus 14:27-28). It may have been because of Pharaoh’s example that David depicted what a fool would say: “May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, And the tongue that speaks proud things, Who have said, ‘With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips are our own; Who is lord over us?’” (Psalm 12:3-4). Other proverbs deal with a fool’s mouth: “A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart” (Proverbs 18:2); “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, And his lips are the snare of his soul” (Proverbs 18:7); “Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words” (Proverbs 23:9). The reason a fool’s mouth “is a rod of pride” is because he/she has no understanding in the heart (and out of it the mouth speaks, Matthew 12:34), despises words of wisdom, and it becomes his/her own destruction with no one else to blame! God offers His Wisdom to make life better now, and best in the time to come, but all who reject this better way are fools! All who think they are smarter than God are fools, and should be avoided like a skunk on the highway!

The “wise” are preserved by their speech, for they are showing by their language that they have accepted God’s Wisdom into their hearts. This is repeated in Proverbs 15:7: “The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, But the heart of the fool does not do so.” The lips of the wise are also good for others to hear: “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your heart to my knowledge; For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; Let them all be fixed upon your lips, So that your trust may be in the LORD; I have instructed you today, even you” (Proverbs 22:17-19).

To whom are we listening?

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

#bible-study, #fool, #fools-mouth, #lips-of-the-wise, #proverbs, #wisdom, #wise

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(#61) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:23-A Fool is a Blabbermouth!

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 12:23: “A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.”

“Knowledge” is based upon facts, certainty, and insight. When “knowledge” involves Bible truths, we must all be as David, who said, “I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O LORD, You Yourself know” (Psalm 40:9). Though Peter confessed Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), Jesus was not ready for this to be widely known at that time, so “He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ” (Matthew 16:20). However, when this truth was fully revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul had “not shunned to declare…the whole counsel of God” in Ephesus (Acts 20:17, 27). In dealing with the judgments of our daily lives, the “prudent” (sensible, wise, judicious) don’t need to tell everything at once! Since “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12), this principle is applicable to Christians (1 Peter 4:8). Solomon later would say, “There is a time to keep silence, And a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7). Those with good judgment will make timely conversation, hence, Christians must “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).

When blabbing anything and everything one knows about others with the excuse that, “I’m just being honest,” one becomes a fool who is without good judgment! Other proverbs that add to this truth are: “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19); “Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool lays open his folly” (Proverbs 13:16); “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness” (Proverbs 15:2); “He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (Proverbs 17:27-28). There is a common saying based upon this truth: “Better to be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.” One who is “slow to speak” (James 1:19) is either “wise” or a fool who is mistaken as wise! Meanwhile, “a fool” will use a “multitude of words” to lay “open his folly” and pour forth “foolishness.” Running off at the mouth is never good, while shutting up the mouth in good judgment can be “perceptive!” When our heart is in our mouth, truth may be lost in the moment! God gives us a mind with which to filter what we say: “The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips” (Proverbs 16:23). Since God’s people are now the Christians, Solomon’s wisdom is timeless: “Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

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

#bible-study, #fool, #foolishness, #grace, #knowledge, #mouth, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #prudent, #seasoned, #words

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(#59) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:16-Keep A Lid On It!

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 12:16: “A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame.”

The contrast is with a “fool” who is quick to explode, and a “prudent man” who can control his temper. “Wrath” is the “shame” of the second phrase. Losing control of one’s thoughts, words, and actions makes a person a “fool,” and everything done or said in that condition shows total weakness, not strength! Policemen and Soldiers should show strength “under fire.” Road rage or foot rage, it is all the same. All athletes that erupt or benches that empty, demonstrate what weaklings they are. Whether involving an “ex,” a “former” spouse or friend, or provoked child, domestic disputes that end in violence are committed by a “fool.” Wrathful explosions are always from wimps, never from winners! Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-Nego were stronger than Nebuchadnezzar who was “full of fury” and cast them into the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:13, 19). Saul of Tarsus was “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1) until he ran up against Jesus Christ (Acts 9:3-20). Jesus Christ was the epitome of “prudent,” “who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23).

Other proverbs that express this include: “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated” (Proverbs 14:17); “He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly” (Proverbs 14:29); “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1); “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32); “A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again” (Proverbs 19:19); “Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul” (Proverbs 22:24-25); “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls” (Proverbs 25:28). Like an unprotected city, “an angry man” has no defense for what he says and does! Medals for Bravery should be given to each person who “rules his spirit,” as Purple Hearts should be given to those who have to live with “a quick-tempered man.” Don’t learn the ways of an angry man by using “harsh words,” rather master the art of “a soft answer.” This wisdom from above for Christians is summarized by James: “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).

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

#angry, #bible-study, #fool, #harsh-word, #jesus-christ, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #prudent, #quick-tempered, #rage, #road-rage, #temper, #weakness, #wimps, #wisdom

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(#49) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:27-29: A Solid Life Or Full Of Wind?

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 11:27: “He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, But trouble will come to him who seeks evil.”

This speaks of genuineness of heart. There is no hypocrisy in love. Jesus condemned the “scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:27-28). Giving only the appearance of genuine love and concern is the same as a lie. James teaches us that “the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17). Real love is never “taken back” (1 Corinthians 13:8). Love “finds favor,” that is, seeks out the best (1 Corinthians 13:6).

Proverbs 11:28: “He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage.”

Trusting in “riches” rather than in God is not only guaranteed to fail, but misses out on the real product of life: righteousness! “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19). There is a big difference between trusting in riches, and using riches with trust in God!

Proverbs 11:29: “He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.”

Anyone who causes a dark cloud throughout the house “will inherit the wind” (or will have nothing good to come from it). Later, in the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon will show the emptiness of “grasping for the wind” nine times (Ecclesiastes 1:14, 17; 2:11, 17, 26; 4:4, 6, 16; 6:9)! How empty and meaningless is the “house” (family) of anyone foul-tempered, stingy, or riddled with anxiety to stifle faith, hope, and love in all those around him!

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

#bible-study, #fool, #hypocrisy, #inherit-the-wind, #jesus-christ, #love, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #trusts-in-riches

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(#28) The Proverbs of Solomon 10:19-22-A Fool And His Money

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.

10:19-21: It is truth that the mouth speaks what is in the heart, and the heart speaks through the mouth. The more words a person uses, generally, the easier it is to sin with the mouth, and, the greater effort is being put in to hide a sin. Not an earthen heart (dirty) but a “righteous” heart produces words as precious as “choice silver.” On the other hand, if the “heart” is “wicked,” the words it uses will be of “little” value. “Lips” speaking from a “righteous” heart “feed many” (produce much good), whereas, the heart that “lacks wisdom” speaks “foolishly” (has no worth). This is a theme carried out in other Proverbs: 12:17-words of “truth” from a heart of “righteousness,” or a heart of “deceit” speaks “false witness;” 14:5-a heart of “faithful witness” speaks “no lie,” or the heart of “false witness” will speak “lies;” 14:25-“true witness” in the heart “delivers (saves) souls,” but a “deceitful” heart speaks “lies.” Lying, falsifying information, comes from within. Those known for their lying are “liars,” not just slips of the tongue. All liars are children of the Devil (John 8:44) and bound for hell (Revelation 21:8) unless they repent. Jesus absolutely taught this: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil of the treasure brings forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34-35). There are occupations that are notoriously associated with lying, such as, lawyers, used car salesmen, politicians, contractors, advertisers and journalists. One wonders why people keep putting so much trust in them without thoroughly checking out their statements! Why depend upon lawyers to establish truth in legal matters? Why re-elect politicians who are deceitful? Why buy papers/magazines that misrepresent information so? Why spend time and money on shopping trips when the merchandise is not “as advertised?” Why buy cars from those whose claims cannot be trusted without a “second opinion?” Why let contractors sell their agreements to build to others who aren’t under the original contract? When lying is accepted as “the way everyone does business,” then whom can anyone trust?

10:22: True wealth come from the LORD’s “blessing,” and He “adds no sorrow with it.” When life is lived according to God’s Wisdom, blessings abound, and there is no regret. But sorrow comes with those who obtain wealth by their standards, not God’s: Proverbs 13:11: “Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase;” Proverbs 13:22: “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous;” Proverbs 20:21: “An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning Will not be blessed at the end;” Proverbs 28:22: “A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.” Dishonest wealth “will be diminished,” that is, easy come, easy go. The sinner’s wealth “is stored up for the righteous,” that is, it will not remain in the family’s hands for long, since righteous principles are not passed along with the wealth. It is criminal for all who make it difficult, or impossible, for “a good man” to leave his “inheritance to his children’s children.” Inheritance taxes, “death taxes,” are against God’s Will!

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

#bible-study, #deceit, #dishonesty, #fool, #heart, #inheritance-taxes, #journalists, #lawyers, #lying, #politicians, #proverbs, #wisdom, #words

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Studies in the Book of Proverbs #20: Don’t Become The Sacrificial Animal!

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

7:1-27: (6) Don’t Become The Sacrificial Animal!

Verses 1-5: Family Tries

A Father’s appeal for the son to keep his “law as the apple of your eye” (the object focused upon), and have hope of knowledge. Writing a wise father’s “commands” on “the tablet of your heart” makes them easy to refer to. Treating “wisdom” and “understanding” as relatives should bring them closer for advice. The total effect is to “keep you from the immoral woman,” one of the greatest temptations for a “son” to overcome. God made man with a need for companionship only a woman could provide (Genesis 2:18-25), and only an immoral, evil woman would unfairly exploit that frailty.

Verses 6-9: The Victim

Peering through a “lattice” (a trellis), it’s easy to spot the next victim, a “simple…youth…devoid of understanding” (ignorant, inexperienced, untaught) going into a wrong neighborhood at the wrong time of night, and for the wrong purpose, entirely. Left to fend for himself, a young man is easy prey because he is completely at the mercy of the immoral woman’s desires. He has no ingrained teaching to warn him of the situation, the woman, or the problem with which he  becomes entangled.

Verses 10-23: The Vice

Verses 10-12: She, as a restless and eager aggressor with a hidden agenda, met him. She was “loud and rebellious” against the thought of her marriage limitations, thus liberated in her mind from God’s Law. Christian women should be taught to appreciate their God-given responsibilities (Titus 2:3-5).

Verses 13-15: She boldly distracts him with kisses, shamelessly displays herself as though she had religious approval, disturbs him with her personal devotion to him. It doesn’t occur to him that she is not devoted to her own husband.

Verses 16-17: She pictures her lavishly-decorated bedroom as inviting to his senses: colorful, festive, and femininely perfumed. He doesn’t know to look beyond his immediate impression to the ultimate doom (Proverbs 5:3-6; 7:27).

Verses 18-20: She offers complete satisfaction and relieves his worry with reassurance that her husband planned to be gone long enough to not discover their adultery. It doesn’t occur to him that God is watching (Proverbs 5:21), as Joseph did (Genesis 39:1-13).

Verses 21-23: Her words win him over because he obviously has no inner voice of a father’s wisdom to stop him. She “seduces” (compelled, forced by words) him by giving an answer to all his concerns, “entices” (gives a one-sided argument) him with “flattery” (words he wants to hear). “Immediately he went after her” as: an ox to the slaughter; fool to the punishment stocks; till he is shot through like an arrow in a trapped bird, too late to learn his lesson by wisdom alone. He did not realize the serious consequences of his action because he did not think far enough ahead.

Verses 24-27: The Voice

The right way, the wise way, often begins with “do not,” but now the lesson that young man learned by experience is clarified for those who will observe: DO NOT entertain the thought of going her way; DO NOT allow yourself to “stray” that way, either, for she doesn’t care how many “strong men” she has slain. Entering her house opens the door to the grave and spiritual death beyond!

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

#adultery, #apple-of-your-eye, #bible-study, #flattery, #fool, #harlot, #proverbs, #seduction

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psalm-19

Vs. 1-6 show the awesome power of God’s Creative Word;

Vs. 7-10 point to the awesome qualities of God’s Word;

Vs. 11-14 praise the awesome effect of God’s Word in a human heart.

A “Christian Evidence Textbook” simply makes observations that prove God’s existence  by pointing to unanswerable facts. The Bible is, therefore, a “Christian Evidence Textbook.” Verses 1-6 demonstrate this, pointing to “outer space” with its vastness, set stars, and searching sun. Certainly, no interior explosion (“big bang”) but the superior Power (“God”) could have perfectly placed it all. God spoke it into existence (Psalm 33:9; Hebrews 11:3; Genesis 1:16). It has taken America’s Voyager 35 years to reach what is believed to be the outer edge of our “Solar System.”

  “Launched on Sept. 5, 1977, Voyager 1 is the most distant human-made object, at about
11billion miles (18 billion kilometers) away from our sun. Launched Aug. 20, 1977, Voyager 2 is the
longest operating spacecraft, past or present. It is 9 billion miles (15 billion kilometers) away from
our sun” 10/4/12, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.                                                                  

Science is proving what the Bible has been telling us all the time: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The message is that everyone is without excuse who denies God’s existence.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known
of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world
His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even
His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20).

Psalm 19:4 is quoted in Romans 10:18 where it points to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people, both Jews and Gentiles (Romans 10:12-21). The Gospel should be preached wherever the evidence for God exists!

“The heavens” speak of God, without words, by their vastness, the “stars” by their precise place, “the sun” by its function of providing heat, none of which is to be worshiped of itself, but all of which point to their Creator. Most navigation still depends upon the fixed position of some stars, and the sun’s heat is essential to life on earth. Some ridicule, but continue to use, the description of the sun’s “rising,” but rather than pointing to movement of the sun, it describes the rotation of the earth! The sun’s “circuit,” however, has been shown to be its own “orbit” through space! These remarks were made thousands of years before “technology” could prove them! Inspired words precede “scientific fact!”

Verses 7-10 give qualities of God’s Word: 1) perfect “law” converts; 2) “testimony” educates; 3) “statutes” stabilize; 4) “commandment” clarifies; 5) “fear” motivates; 6) “judgments” secure a receptive soul. Properly understood, God’s Word is more valuable than gold and sweeter than honey! No one can do better in life than to incorporate Bible teaching into one’s heart.

Verses 11-14 show the understanding God’s Word gives: 1) ample warning of dangers in life; 2) knowledge of sin; 3) humility of heart; 4) purity in praising the awesome God!

Truly, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1).

#book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-study, #daily-devotional, #existence-of-god, #fool

Don’t Be Fooled

“Don’t be fooled,” advertisers say. Don’t be taken by charlatans selling a discounted product. It may promise to be as good as the name brand, but it will never measure up!

Judah had become ensnared by false gods that promised peace and plenty in the days of Jeremiah. They had become fooled into thinking that because the temple was still standing that God would not see how they had devoted themselves to wood and stone.

So God said, “Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It’s a lie!” (Jeremiah 7:8 NLT). It’s easy to get lulled into thinking something that isn’t true. Think about all those advertisers who sell everything from pet rocks to those longer-lasting light bulbs.

God continued, “Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”—only to go right back to all those evils again?” (Jeremiah 7:9-10 NLT). Judah was wrong if it believed it could disobey God’s word and think it could continue to flourish.

It’s amazing how the example of Judah is so similar to people in our day. Do we think we can expect the blessings of God to continue while we refuse to bridle our tongues, kill babies, mistreat our neighbors and commit some of the same acts for which God condemned Judah in the Old Testament.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you will never suffer because religious freedom exists here. Don’t be fooled into thinking people in this country can engage in immoral, detestable behavior and get away with it because no one can threaten the safety of our country. Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie and worship other gods and not expect justice?

Don’t be fooled.

#fool, #god, #thinking

Atheist's holiday? – JAM

This is Just-a-minute with Ed Boggess. How about this headline: “Florida court sets atheist holy day”. In Florida, an atheist created a case against Easter and Passover Holy days.  He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christian and Jew observance of their holy days.  The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days. The case was brought before a judge.  After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, “Case dismissed!” When the lawyer objected, the judge declared that there was already an atheist holiday: “The calendar says April 1st is April Fool’s Day. Psalm 14:1 states, ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God.’ Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that your client already has April 1st as a holiday.”

#april, #atheism, #fool, #just-a-minute