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(#195) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:14-How to be Re-elected

 

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 29:14: “The king who judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever.”

“The king” (or any government leader who thinks he/she is a “king”) represents the administration and its governance;

Judging the “poor with truth,” means that:

1) no law or court decision should favor the “poor” (Exodus 23:3, 6; Leviticus 19:15), either by taking more from the “rich” or artificially raising the minimum wage of the “poor;”

2) no law or court decision should seek to do away with the condition of being “poor,” for Jesus Christ said “the poor you have with you always” (John 12:8), and Solomon said: “The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2);

3) no law or court decision should make life harder for the “poor.” Solomon had said: “Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; For the LORD will plead their cause, And plunder the soul of those who plunder them” (Proverbs 22:22-23);

4) no law or court decision should define or describe being “poor” so as to include more as being “poor” than there really is!  “Poor” in Moses’ Law, meant one was reduced to selling off his possessions or even himself (Leviticus 25:25-48)! “Poverty” can be the result of: laziness (Proverbs 6:9-11); stinginess (Proverbs 11:24); refusal to be disciplined (Proverbs 13:18); empty talk (Proverbs 14:23); reckless planning (Proverbs 21:5); constant fun (Proverbs 28:19).

The truly wise will enjoy being a part of “the middle class:” “Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches-Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God” (Proverbs 30:7-9).

A country whose people received the condemnation of God “used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger” (Ezekiel 22:29).

“The king” who wants to be re-elected will take note and be wise.

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

#bible-study, #goverment, #king, #poor, #poverty, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wisdom

Can Enough Money be Spent to do Away with Poverty?

The following post is going to refer to words that may refer to politics, to politicians, to money, to poverty and to government programs, but this is not a post with a political agenda!

Phew, now that that’s out of the way…I received a survey in the mail yesterday from my U.S. Representative that asked questions about several random “hot topic” issues politically speaking. There was one in particular that grabbed my attention. It was, and I quote:

In Fiscal year 2012, the federal government spent $799 billion on 92 different programs aimed at helping low-income individuals and families. Yet, to date, 15% of the U.S. population remains in poverty….”

Now, I don’t enjoy numbers per say, but they do interest me when it comes to breaking down numbers that are provided to prove a point. So taking it for granted that the numbers are real, here’s the breakdown: Continue reading

#government-programs, #money, #politics, #poverty, #social-issues

People who can afford to act poor??? Please!!!

Although I could say more, all I will say is that it’s pathetic and wrong on so many levels. I don’t like to rant too much on the arrogance of the rich and wealthy but when someone has so much money that they have to spend it on “a vacation experience” to see what it’s like to be poor then I’d say they have a lot more bucks than brains and a bigger wallet than a heart.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.” (James 5:1-3)

#disgust, #poverty, #rich

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(#95) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:17-One Ingredient Makes All Food Better

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 15:17: “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred.”

Huge houses, heavily-laden tables, fancy cars, loads of recreation, none of these can take the place of “love” within the family! “Love” makes a little a lot! People who are raised in a loving home frequently comment, “We didn’t know we were poor.” Riches and poverty are states of mind, more than something in the hand! There is much more to life than working to have things, so “Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease!” (Proverbs 23:4). Solomon later will write there is, “A time to love” (Ecclesiastes 3:8), and we must love in this life, for when we die, our earthly “love” perishes with us, so we must “Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works. Let your garments always be white, And let your head lack no oil. Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 9:7-9). Without a loving home, life is empty, shallow, and vain! With a loving home, it matters little what possessions we may not have. After life’s experiences had tumbled in, Solomon wrote: “Better a handful with quietness Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:6).

No proverb says it better than Proverbs 15:17, but other proverbs emphasize this truth: “Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice” (Proverbs 16:8); “He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9); “Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed” (Proverbs 27:5); “A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 28:20).

Jesus clearly taught this Wisdom when He said, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15); and the Holy Spirit echoed it through Paul, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

Job #1 is to make our homes full of love, designed to build up each member with truth, honesty, and forgiveness. Paul’s commands surely apply within the home: “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8); “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6). No one who loves their child will say the horrible things we hear said in public. Truly “above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).  How are your meal-times?

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

#bible-study, #children, #family, #home, #little, #love, #poverty, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #riches, #wisdom, #work

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(#56) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:11-Don’t “Buy the Farm”—Yet!

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 12:11: “He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.”

The association of agriculture and hard work goes back to the Garden of Eden. God “planted a garden” (Genesis 2:8), but when man was created, he was “put in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). After sin entered the world, man was burdened with: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). Hard working farmers should be able to share in their harvest, for “he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope” (1 Corinthians 9:10). Rulers must accept the fact that, without farmers, they have no kingdom! Solomon later would say: “Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field” (Ecclesiastes 5:9). Eating “bread” is another way of saying farmers should be in the plowing and profiting business. The “hope” of hard work is profiting from it and providing for one’s family. It is hypocrisy to curse the farmer with a mouthful of food! Whatever is done to discourage farming, or force farmers to sell their farms, is destroying the entire country.

Instead of working the land when needed, “frivolity” distracts from the real task at hand. The parallel proverb shows how wrong “frivolity” really is: Proverbs 28:19: “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!” Entertainment instead of agriculture reveals one as being “devoid of understanding,” or worse, having “poverty enough!” It is senseless to neglect food production for fun and games! Other proverbs on this subject include: Proverbs 13:23: “Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, And for lack of justice there is waste;” Proverbs 27:18: “Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; So he who waits on his master will be honored;” Proverbs 27:23: “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds.” Hard work is always the answer for poor economy, and “the poor” are often that way because of a lack of effort! Only thieves and robbers would steal “bread” (from the profits) without engaging in the hard work it took to produce it! Over-emphasizing entertainment is simply spreading “poverty” instead of encouraging bread-winners!

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

#bible-study, #entertainment, #farmers, #frivolous, #poor, #poverty, #practical-lessons, #profit, #proverbs, #wisdom, #work

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(#47) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:24-25- Banking on Giving

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 11:24-25: “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. 25 The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.”

The benefits of “generosity” are summarized here with: it comes back to you. The movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” visualizes the principle of helping others in a way that helps them be able to help you back. The “one who scatters” in verse 24 is the “generous soul” of verse 25. It is the “generous soul” who is “rich,” and the one who “waters” (shares blessings) will “be watered himself.” Moses’ Law required a generous spirit to the “poor man of your brethren” (Deuteronomy 15:7-11). Solomon showed generosity to an enemy can act like punishment on his conscience: “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), which the Apostle Paul bound on Christians (Romans 12:20). Jesus Christ had extended this spirit to our “enemies” (Luke 6:27-31) ending with the words, “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” Other proverbs which teach this thought are: Proverbs 19:17: “He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given;” Proverbs 22:9: “He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor.” Isaiah prophesied of “a righteous king” who would see to it things were set straight (Isaiah 32:5-7), ending with, “a generous man devises generous things, And by generosity he shall stand.” Whenever there are “hard times,” whether caused by unemployment, marriage problems, short supply of goods, this principle of generosity will be sorely tested! Sometimes generosity is the only “line of credit” we are given that we must remember when our situation improves.

The other side is of the “one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.” This is the stingy, greedy, selfish person who sees no more than his/her own needs, and always lives lonely. The “poverty” is not only of goods, but of friendships, as well! One may become poor by holding onto whatever he possesses! Other proverbs call this oppression and mocking the poor: Proverbs 14:31: “He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy;” Proverbs 17:5: “He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished;” Proverbs 22:22-23: “Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; 23 For the LORD will plead their cause, And plunder the soul of those who plunder them;” Proverbs 28:27: “He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his eyes will have many curses;” Proverbs 29:7: “The righteous considers the cause of the poor, But the wicked does not understand such knowledge.”

Jesus Christ established this generosity for the church: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).

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

#bible-study, #generosity, #giving, #hard-times, #poor, #poverty, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #stingy, #wisdom

“Proverbs Are The Piths” (15)

Proverbs 10 is where the “pithiness” begins due to the mouthful of wisdom served on spoon sized verses. For this chapter I’ll only comment on certain verses that stand out (at least to me) instead of commenting on whole passages like I have done previously for Proverbs 1-9.  Bon appetit!

Verse 1: Interesting due to the bluntness of the statement. Building up the self-esteem of a child is an essential task of a parent, but psychologists today get it all wrong if they say any sort of guilt is bad. Solomon flat-out tells his child if he listens to his father he will make him a better child and he will make his parents proud – ignore the advice and he’ll remain a child of constant sorrow to his mother!

Verse 2: The Bible in Basic English translates this verse, “Wealth which comes from sin is of no profit, but righteousness gives salvation from death.” Reminds me so very much of what Paul said in Romans 6:23.

Verse 5: There is a time to rest and a time to work – don’t confuse the two! If only this nation’s parents taught more children this principle many of the problems that our young people face would simply fix themselves. Busy hands have a harder time getting into trouble!!!

Verse 10: When I read verses like this it reminds of how much the characteristics of sneakiness in people has not changed since the days the Bible speaks of. The devious, destructive and deterring “wink of the eye” still remains one of the quickest markers of something when it’s not what it appears to be.

Verse 12: A wonderful verse! Not only do I think so, but so did Peter and James! Peter quotes the verse directly while you can’t help but think of it when you read what James said. They were obviously both fans of the Proverbs.

Verse 13: It’s a ‘hard knock life’ for those who have a hard head – at least that’s how I’d sum it up.

Verses 15-16: Wealth is a tool! Some have more tools than others but we’re all responsible for how we take care of our own tools. Wealth does not always make things better. Use some tools with ignorance and you’ll end up getting hurt. Wealth is one of them! To the untrained heart physical wealth will replace the spiritual treasure of the heart (Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 16:1-14).

Verse 19: I quoted this verse just the other day…but I accidentally left out a word in my comment. I wasn’t following the verse per say; just made a mistake. Shutting a door and window – yeah, we’ve got that! Shutting our mouth – I wish I had it down as much as the doors and windows.

Verse 21: I think this is one of the most overlooked gems in Proverbs. How do the lips of the righteous feed others? Advice, encouragement, warnings, admonitions…it all feeds the soul.

Verse 22: Solomon has much to say throughout Proverbs about work, wealth and blessings from God. I wonder why? True financial blessings from God come without the sorrow…and the fact that all financial “blessings” are not without that issue reveals the source of some “financial aid.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10 preaches right along side with the Proverbs today as strongly as the day they were written. Solomon was a man who felt the sting of wealth and sorrow!!!

Verse 27: Accidents do happen to those who strive to live after the Lord, but foolishness happens to more people than you can shake a stick at. Watch the news! Foolishness affects our lives much more than accidents. Bottom line is a life lived in accordance with God’s will is most-often a life of wiser and more fulfilling days.

Verse 29: The Lord can be for you. But never forget that the Lord can be against if you chose to work evil! You can hear Solomon saying that we don’t want to be on the wrong side of the Lord.

Next up, Proverbs 11.

#book-of-proverbs, #foolishness, #god, #instruction, #parenting, #poverty, #proverbs-are-the-piths, #solomon, #wealth, #wisdom, #work