‘Abhorrent to the Lord your God’ Deuteronomy 25.16 VOTD

“For anyone who acts dishonestly in these ways is abhorrent to the Lord your God.”

Deuteronomy 25.16

Accurate and correct measures were conditions for Israel’s long life.

Honesty is necessary for the practice of justice.

#honesty #VOTD #justice

Watching the replay for ourselves

I spotted a spiritual lesson in the middle of a historic basketball game last night that was too good not to pass along.

Two players, under the goal, were vying for position when the referee whistled one player for a foul. Well, the accused player couldn’t believe that he would be guilty of such an accusation! The open hands of an innocent plea and a disagreeable disposition of unbelief followed suit…that was until the player looked up at the arena’s replay screen which clearly showed his arm locked around the arm of his opponent; hence: a foul had indeed been committed, he was guilty as charged, he stopped arguing with the referee, and he got back to work.

The lesson is this: when we look at the gospel and see an error in our lives, there’s no point in arguing with God against it – just look at the replay screen, repent, and get back to work.

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. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:19-25)

#guilt, #honesty, #repentance, #sin, #spiritual-analogies

Forty years ago Tom Eichenberg of Elk Grove…

Forty years ago Tom Eichenberg of Elk Grove, Calif., lost his wallet. He was a student in 1975 at Santa Clara University when it went missing. The college discovered it and returned it to him. It had been sitting in a wall at the student center for 33 years. A construction crew found the wallet in an air duct while renovating the student union. The wallet contained his social security card, a store membership card, a bus pass with 10 cents left on it, and a 1975 draft card. Eichenberg should be happy the workers were honest men. Too often in these days of identity theft, a person is left deep in debt and with a marred reputation. This is Just A Minute.

#honesty, #integrity, #just-a-minute, #lost-and-found

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(#198) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:24-Wanna Abet?

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 29:24: “Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing.”

Solomon has already judged against agreeing to uphold someone else’s debt (Proverbs 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 22:26-27; 27:13), now he warns against sharing in someone’s sin! The gang members, driver of the get-away vehicle, owner/renter of a meth lab house, participants in the crime, are all as guilty as the one who actually commits the sin! This proverb shows that the one who shares in “thievery,” for instance, will end up losing his/her honesty and integrity by swearing “to tell the truth, but reveal[ing] nothing.”

The truth of this proverb remains unchanged in the New Testament Law of Jesus Christ: “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22); “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11); “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:28-32). Saul of Tarsus may not have stoned the first martyr for Jesus Christ, Stephen, but Saul protected the coats of those who did the stoning (Acts 7:54-60)! This still bothered him toward the end of his spiritually-productive life (1 Timothy 1:12-16)!

Choose your associates and friends carefully; be well aware of what they’re up to; have the courage to avoid damning situations! They may actually “think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:4).

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

#bible-study, #christian-living, #guilt, #honesty, #integrity, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #sharing, #sins, #wisdom

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(#107) The Proverbs of Solomon 16:11-Governing the Government (#2)

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 16:11: “Honest weights and scales are the LORD’S; All the weights in the bag are His work.”

God expects the principle of honesty to apply in business, especially when government has set the standard for measurements. “The bag” from which a weight would be placed on a scale should have diligently been measured with honesty, so that the transaction would be completely above board. Under Moses’ Law, God commanded: “You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume. You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:35-37); “You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 25:13-16). Honesty should be followed, whether in or out of the home. An entire society that honors God’s Will could expect honest “weights and scales” as its standard. Customers should be able to pump gas, buy supplies, or wear clothes that are precisely measured by uniform standards. False labeling, deceptive packaging, short-weighted product, bait-and-switch tactics are some of the ways dishonesty is practiced. Other proverbs show God’s displeasure for dishonesty: “Diverse weights and diverse measures, They are both alike, an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 20:10); “Diverse weights are an abomination to the LORD, And dishonest scales are not good” (Proverbs 20:23).

The Law of Christ continues to apply this principle in such verses as: “Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven” (Colossians 4:1). God’s principle of “honesty” will be followed and encouraged throughout every godly society.

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

#bible-study, #honesty, #measures, #proverbs, #scales, #weights

What Are We Teaching Our Children?

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). The way that our children should go is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). What our children should never depart from is the world of God. That word will keep them strong, happy, and productive citizens of the country in which they live. More importantly, it will keep them faithful to the Father with full assurance of a place in heaven one day. Sadly though there are many parents that are teaching their children things they ought not to learn.

While grocery shopping in our local “super” mart, I happened to notice a mother with a young boy in the buggy she was pushing. They were both eating a snack size bag of Cheetos. A few minutes later I was in the fruit and vegetable section and again saw the same mother and son eating. This time however they were sharing a banana. Being thoroughly disgusted at what I had just witnessed, my thought turned to the child and what he was being taught. One thing is certain, that young boy was not being taught to respect the property of others.

According to our God, stealing is a sin. The command “Thou shalt not steal” is found not only in Exodus 20:15 but also in Matthew 19:18, and Romans 13:9. 1 Cor. 6:10 even more emphatically shows the evilness of stealing: “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” That mother in the “super” mart was teaching her child something that will keep him from gaining eternal life with God.

If a child learns that it is okay to take a piece of fruit from the store without paying for it what will keep them from stealing something else even more valuable. Once a child learns that taking what is not theirs is an acceptable way to gain possessions, then they also learn that hard work is pointless. They will learn that honesty is a trait only religious zealots possess.

Jesus taught that “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matt. 12:35). Perhaps that mother did not intend to teach her child to steal but that is exactly what she was teaching him. We must always be aware of what we are teaching our children not only by what we tell them but also by what we show them. God does care about what we are teaching our children.

In Christ, Steve Preston

http://associate.com/groups/bibletalk

#honesty, #stealing

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(#35) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:3-6-What Levels “Haves” with “Have-nots”

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 11:3-6: “The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the  perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. 4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. 5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness. 6 The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.”

“Integrity” is associated with “blamelessness” and “uprightness,” all of which are combined in terms like “honesty,” “consistency,” “purity,” “devoutness.” God described David, “a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22), to Solomon: “Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel’” (1 Kings 9:4-5). In fact, David asked God to judge him on the basis of his “integrity” (Psalm 7:8); although Job had lost everything, he kept his “integrity” (Job 2:9); and Christian “young men” should show “integrity” in doctrine (Titus 2:6-8). Other proverbs stress that a poor person who walks with “integrity” is better than a “fool” (Proverbs 19:1) or the “rich” (Proverbs 28:6), and, “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him” (Proverbs 20:7). Those who are “poor” and spend their time feeling sorry for themselves because others are “rich,” need to learn that having “integrity” makes them far more acceptable to God than any other quality! To King David, walking “in integrity” gave him confidence (Psalm 26:1).

It is pitiful to see and hear the plethora of false prophets and deceitful speakers who fan the fires of victimization, emphasizing the difference between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” when if they taught God’s Wisdom, “integrity” would strengthen the hearts, confidence, and goodness of all who would walk in it. The contrast drawn in Proverbs 11:3-6 shows that the “wicked” will fail and fall because of their own “perversity” (twistedness), “unfaithfulness” (failure to obey God), trust in the purchasing power of “riches” (1 Timothy 6:17), “wickedness” (lack of Wisdom or goodness), “lust” (narrow-minded concerns about their own desires above others). All preachers, politicians, parents, and professors should be about educating and overseeing everyone with “integrity,” and forget all about their quest for power and influence in any other way!

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

#bible-study, #devoutness, #have-nots, #haves, #honesty, #integrity, #lust, #poor, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #rich, #unfaithful, #victimization, #wicked, #wisdom