7-9-2015 Right Over Wrong

Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5 NKJV). A union of sinners, expressed as “join forces” (literally, hand to hand), cannot overpower God’s line of “righteousness.” God’s line between “right and wrong” has never, and will never be, changed because it was outvoted, overpowered, outlasted, or outdone! There is no strength of numbers great enough to change, alter, shrink, or erase God’s dividing line of morals! In Luke 16:15, Jesus taught: “For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.’” Celebrations, street demonstrations, or court rulings only confuse people, but have not changed God’s Word! Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

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

#court-rulings, #join-forces, #morals, #outvoted, #proud

(#112) The Proverbs of Solomon 16:19-Victory Is For The Lowly

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 16:19: “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

The way “up” is “down.” No one will ever enter Heaven by self-elevation, but by lowliness of heart in serving the Lord. Jesus warned of seeking the best seats without earning the respect of others: “So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: ‘When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, “Give place to this man,” and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, “Friend, go up higher.” Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:7-11).

“Dividing the spoil” is what is done by the proud, following a victory. Serving with the lowly means more than only counting the victories. Many World War II military veterans seem to recount more memories of their shared struggles with fellow-soldiers than they do the campaigns and victories.

Going to Heaven is not for the “proud,” and there will be no “spoil” to share. We must serve God on Earth before we can enjoy the blessedness of Heaven. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith” (1 John 5:4). “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Being of “a humble spirit” will put one in the best company on Earth. The lowly Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem in the last week of His life on earth (Matthew 21:1-9) in complete fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). Jesus invites all who will become lowly in heart to follow Him: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Christians are those who will follow the lowly Jesus: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21). As Christians, we must conduct ourselves with the attitude of our Master: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:3).

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

#bible-study, #humble-spirit, #jesus-christ, #lowly, #obedience, #proud, #proverbs, #salvation, #victory

(#100) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:25-True Home Wreckers

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 15:25:  “The LORD will destroy the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow.”

“The proud” probably would bring down their own “house” even before God would “destroy” it. “Proud” is a sin listed along with “disobedient to parents” (Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2), and home and marriage require humility (Ephesians 5:33-6:4). Since “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18), then “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 16:5). God hates this destructive attitude (Proverbs 6:16-19), therefore “the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:17). “Being puffed up with pride,” causes one to fall into the same “condemnation as the Devil” (1 Timothy 3:6). “God resists the proud” (1 Peter 5:5).

God has done as He said, whenever He has wanted to: “I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” (Isaiah 13:11). This has been done many times: the world-wide flood in Noah’s day (Genesis 6:5-8); the Babylonian Empire (Isaiah 13:17-22); the Roman Empire (Luke 2:1; Acts 11:28); the Jewish Nation (Luke 21:20-24; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16); and will be done for the end of all empires (2 Peter 3:9-13).

“The boundary of the widow” is provision for her support, so all those who submit to God in every age are aware of the provision(s) God has for “widows.” He is Jehovah, “A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. (Psalm 68:5). The hallmarks of “pure religion” for Christians are “to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). “The proud” overlook the welfare of widows, and greedily price, tax or devour widows out of existence! This proverb is still true!

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

#bible-study, #family, #home, #humility, #practical-lessons, #proud, #proverbs, #widows

(#79) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:6-God’s Word To The “Me” Generation

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 14:6: “A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands.”

The term “scoffer” describes an attitude toward truth: derision, scorn. Job expressed to his friends, “No doubt you are the people, And wisdom will die with you!” (Job 12:2) Everyone who thinks their opinion is superior to all sources of truth, will fail, now and forever: “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility” (Proverbs 18:12); “A haughty look, a proud heart, And the plowing of the wicked are sin” (Proverbs 21:4). Against the haughtiness of Babylon, God decreed, “I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” (Isaiah 13:11). An over-inflated ego: in a child, rejects parental correction (“disobedient to parents,” “headstrong,” “haughty,” 2 Timothy 3:1-5); in a “scientist,” ignores evidence for Noah’s Flood (2 Peter 3:3-7); in  wealthy people, refuse to trust in God (1 Timothy 6:17); in researchers, reject evidence for God’s existence (Romans 1:18-21); and in religious leaders, refuse to listen to Jesus Christ (Luke 16:14). “Scoffers” do not ask questions to learn truth, but to test the Teacher (Matthew 16:1; 19:3; 22:35)!

Other proverbs show how dangerous this attitude really is: “He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy” (Proverbs 17:21); “Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge” (Proverbs 19:25); “When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise; But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge” (Proverbs 21:11); “A proud and haughty man –‘Scoffer’ is his name; He acts with arrogant pride” (Proverbs 21:24); “Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease” (Proverbs 22:10); “The devising of foolishness is sin, And the scoffer is an abomination to men” (Proverbs 24:9). According to these: no father should be happy a child is a scoffer; hitting a scoffer only has a sobering, “wise up” effect on other sinners; scoffers only listen to that which inflates their pride, haughtiness, and arrogance; scoffers are the cause of contention, strife, and reproach; and scoffers are to be despised of men.

“Knowledge is easy” for anyone willing to learn. Jesus said: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). Evidence for God is easily seen everywhere in His Creation, and the Identity of God is evident throughout His Scriptures. “For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary” (Psalm 96:4-6). Don’t listen to “scoffers,” who willfully reject all avenues of truth, but rather listen to God whose Truth is easily found. Even idolaters may “seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).

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

#arrogance, #bible-study, #derision, #haughty, #practical-lessons, #proud, #proverbs, #scoffer, #scorn, #wisdom

Studies in the Book of Proverbs #18: What God Hates

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

6:16-19: (4) Don’t Jump Into The Deep End!

“The world” God loved and gave His only begotten Son for (John 3:16) was humanity, not the globe, itself! But everybody in that “world” is lost unless, they, individually, accept and obey the offer to be saved through His Son (Mark 16:15, 16), for “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19).

Verse 16: God wants no one to be lost (2 Peter 3:9), but here are seven sins that God “hates.” An “abomination” to God is something that He judges horrible, shameful, immoral, disgusting, for which He has intense dislike, or hatred. There is no way anybody can consider him/herself safe, saved, loved, or forgiven who practices these sins. In fact, God hates those who decide to practice evil (Psalm 5:4-6).

Verse 17:

“A proud look:” Having an inflated opinion of oneself so that others are “beneath.” This comes from a degraded opinion of others, for whatever reason. “The wicked” have this look (Psalm 10:4), the young can develop this (1 Peter 5:5), a “generation” can have this (Proverbs 30:13), and so can politicians (Acts 12:20-24). It fits into a whole list of sins from “the last days” of the Jews in the First Century (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

“A lying tongue:” Lying is “but for a moment” (Proverbs 12:19), therefore it is not eternal truth. Since the Devil fathers all lies (John 8:44), then all liars will be Hell-bound (Revelation 21:8). God opposes false prophets (Ezekiel 33:8-9), and those who change His commandments in His Word (1 Timothy 4:1-5), for He makes lies have consequences (Hosea 10:13). Lying is deliberate tampering with truth either by adding falsehoods to it or hiding some of the truth from honest inquiry. This is not the same as not knowing all the truth (Acts 3:12-21), which may end in sin.

“Hands that shed innocent blood:” Babies are purely “innocent,” for unborn babies have done neither “good nor evil” (Romans 9:11). The “innocent” are listed with the “righteous” (Exodus 23:7), and it is an idolatrous society who “sheds innocent blood” (Psalm 106:34-39), as the Jews proved who crucified Jesus Christ (Acts 13:26-30). Those who “persecute” Christians “do not please God” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16).

Verse 18:

“A heart that devises wicked plans:” God is ready to forgive those who are willing to repent and “be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), but never to those whose hearts “devise wicked plans” (are set on finding wicked ways). This was the prevalent attitude that caused God to destroy the earth by flood in Noah’s day (Genesis 6:5), and describes complete corruption.

“Feet that are swift in running to evil:” These are “ambulance-chasers” of sin, finding attraction to anyone and everyone who has committed evil offense against God and man. Solomon has already warned his son of these people (Proverbs 1:15-16).

Verse 19:

“A false witness who speaks lies:” Lies used against others show reckless disregard not only for one’s own soul, but for others’ reputation, character, goods, or person. This phrase includes gossip, slander, defamation, whispering, back-biting, and anything else designed to falsely place a stigma on someone else (Proverbs 25:18; Romans 1:28-32). Even the courts of the land are hostile to this, calling it “perjury.” Sound Gospel Preachers will never stoop to such an abomination, or call it keeping the church pure.

“And one who sows discord among brethren:” The Word of God seeks to bring people together in Jesus Christ (John 17:20-21; Ephesians 4:1-6) because “how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1) The sowers of “discord” are working to directly destroy what God’s Gospel can achieve. Division in the churches of Christ never happen because of what the Bible says, but because of those who magnify and exploit differences, slights, misunderstandings, ignorance, and feelings over Scriptures. Since love is the “bond of perfection” (Colossians 3:14), sowers of discord attack the very heart of churches of Christ, and must be marked and avoided (Romans 16:17-18).
 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#abomination, #bible-study, #false-witness, #god-hates, #innocent-blood, #lies, #lying, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proud, #proverbs, #sin, #sows-discord, #wicked

Psalm 138 God’s Name Works

A Psalm of David that is so typical of David’s other Psalms, full of praise to God.

Verses 1-2 God’s Name is worshiped above all gods;

Verses 3-5 God’s Name is glorified above all kings;

Verses 6-8: God’s Name reaches to all people.

Verses 1-2: (Verse 1) Praise to God should include the “whole heart” out of which we “sing praises.” David, with all the musical instruments introduced by him into worship, felt praise involved singing from the heart, in spite of others’ “gods.” In the New Testament, Christians should, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). (Verse 2) What God has done in “lovingkindness” and “truth” distinguish Him above all.

Verses 3-5: (Verse 3) David’s boldness came from God’s answering His pleas. No proof of God’s care is better than experience, and hindsight is always 20/20! (Verse 4) “Kings of the earth” quickly learn Jehovah God is mightier than they are. (Verse 5) When defeated, even they join in God’s praises (Example Daniel 4).

Verses 6-8: (Verse 6) God never loses sight of, or sensitivity toward, “the lowly.” No one is too minute or insignificant but that God will hear. But “the proud” God recognizes from “afar,” that is, God doesn’t need to have them close to know how to deal with them. “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5-6). (Verse 7) “In the midst of trouble” God “revives” (refreshes), extends a protecting “hand,” offers His “right hand” to “save.” Since Jesus said God is “spirit” (John 4:24) which has no “flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39), then all references to God’s “body” of physical characteristics obviously are figures of speech designed to help us understand Him. (Verse 8) God looks better to our cares than we can, which is why we should cast “all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). He does this out of His “mercy” which “endures forever.” “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).

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

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #god, #gods-name, #obedience, #praise, #prayer, #proud, #singing, #worship

Psalm 119:121-128 Ayin Justice In The Word

It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.

Psalm 119:121-128  Ayin                               Justice In The Word           

Verses 121-123 describe a righteous person before God;

Verses 124-125 make a request of God;

Verse 126 asks God to help with the godless;

Verses 127-128 mention good things God’s Word does for the obedient.

Verses 121-123: (Verse 121) Keeping covenant with God, man’s part is not a statement from pride (Luke 18:9-14), but from a clear conscience (1 John 3:21), and asks God to keep His part: not to abandon the obedient among “oppressors;” (Verse 122) guarantee His “servant’s” goodness; relief from the oppression of the “proud.” (Verse 123) Mention is made of a servant’s diligence with tired eyes searching God’s “righteous word” (statements which make clear what God expects).

Verse 124-125: (Verse 124) Obedience to God justly brings the hope of “mercy” in one willing to be taught God’s “statutes” (words that trace around to make clear). (Verse 125) A “servant” of God will be given “understanding” (insight, comprehension) “to know” God’s “testimonies” (proof of His good character). “Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7). “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

Verse 126: (Verse 126) The “proud” are those who think God’s “law” (words that make a straight path) is empty of force. Maybe God will choose to do something promptly that turns the godless back to the Bible.

Verses 127-128: (Verse 127) Because of the straight path, clear law, hopeful promises, and God’s character, His “commandments” (words authorizing or forbidding conduct) deserve: our greatest bond (“love”), our highest esteem (“more than fine gold”), and (Verse 128) our purest judgment (“all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right”). We, therefore, accept God’s justice and “hate every false way.” God’s command to “Hate evil, love good” (Amos 5:15) is repeated for Christians in Romans 12:9: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” Thanks to God and His Word, there is no confusion as to which is which!

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

#bible, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #justice, #obedience, #oppression, #proud, #salvation, #sin, #teaching, #truth, #work