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(#209) The Proverbs of Solomon 31:4-7-Listen to Your Mother About Wine

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 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 31:4-7: “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; 5 Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart. 7 Let him drink and forget his poverty, And remember his misery no more.”

Verses 4-5: The difference between “wine” and “intoxicating drink” was often what was added to increase its chemical strength, or the process by which it had been made. There is little, if any, difference between the two as to its dangerous effect: “forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted.” The regular practice of using alcoholic beverages dulls ones judgment and blurs both the lines created by “law,” and fair and balanced judgment of “the afflicted.” NOT ONLY ALCOHOL, but other things have the same effect, that is, being drunk with: authority; control; popularity; fame; beauty; pride; supremacy! Government officials and agents who refuse (or neglect) to obey the laws, and consider themselves above the justice they should provide (either by bribes or reputation) are openly showing they do not serve the public, but themselves, as though they were intoxicated by something.

Verses 6-7: Show proper, limited uses of alcohol: “strong drink” (more alcoholic than “wine”) to a dying patient or “wine,” (a milder level of alcohol than “strong drink”) to a depressed person. There is nothing wrong with administering pain-relieving drugs to someone dying in pain! There IS everything wrong with administering death-causing drugs to hasten someone’s death! Relieving pain leaves the door open for God to heal, causing the death is “playing God” by making that decision for Him!
Those who “are bitter of heart” have boxed themselves in with their emotions, and a mild form of alcohol (“wine”) can bring an easing of tension, thus allowing patients to re-think their problem(s).

A spiritual alternative to alcohol is seen in Hannah, who “in bitterness of soul…prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish” (1 Samuel 1:10). The New Testament tells Christians to: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Opening the Holy Spirit’s Bible is always better than opening the “spirits” in a long-necked bottle!

Truly, Wisdom still says, “do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

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

#bible-study, #government-agents, #government-officials, #intoxicating-drink, #proverbs, #wine, #wisdom

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(#208) The Proverbs of Solomon Proverbs 31:1-3-Listen to Your Mama About Women

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 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 31:1-3: “The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him: 2 What, my son? And what, son of my womb? And what, son of my vows? 3 Do not give your strength to women, Nor your ways to that which destroys kings.”

Verse 1: These have been the Proverbs of Solomon: for his son (Chapters 1-9); for his people (Chapters 10-24); for his legacy (Chapters 25-29); for his influence (Chapters 30-31). The Book of Proverbs began with a father instructing his son, and ends in this last chapter with the mother’s wise words, or “hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother” (Proverbs 1:8).

Verse 2: Almost asking: “What can I say for the best benefit for my son, my flesh and blood?”

“Son of my womb” refers to the closeness of the mother-son bond, for she was his home before he was born.

“Son of my vows” can refer to the legitimate son born after marriage vows of his parents (Malachi 2:14), or to parental commitment to raise the child “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

In any case, these words should be regarded as precious to a beloved son.

Verse 3: Two serious warnings against ways that destroy every man’s life: disrespect for marriage and disregard for authority.

To not “give your strength to women” is a major theme in Proverbs (2:16-22; 5:1-23; 6:20-35; 7:1-27; 9:13-18). Examples of what not to do are found in Samson (Judges 13-16), David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12), and Solomon, himself (1 Kings 11). Sexual satisfaction (“strength”) should be reserved only for one’s own wife (Proverbs 5:15-20).

“That which destroys kings” refers to subversive and violent methods of destroying respect for civil authority, “For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1). Moses recognized this danger (Deuteronomy 31:26-27); King Saul (1 Samuel 15:22-24); Barabbas (Mark 15:7). Solomon had said: “An evil man seeks only rebellion; Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him” (Proverbs 17:11), and Jesus said: “all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). It is never wrong to insist that rulers abide by God’s rules (the Bible) and the laws of the land (Constitution) which restricts their “authority” (as Libertarians insist), but it is wrong to advocate no authority (as Libertines claim)!

Men, listen to a godly mother!

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

#bible-study, #marriage, #mother, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #rebellion, #wisdom, #women

A Word to the Wise

The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving (Proverbs 14:8, NKJV). The word “prudent” means one is thoughtful, discerning. A prudent one will think about what lies ahead, prepares his course (path) for the journey, thinking about potential obstacles in the way, and prepares for what adjustments he might need to make before he starts. Not only does this pertain to a vacation trip (and all things associated with it), but it pertains to one’s spiritual journey. Jesus said that He is the way, and that there is no other way (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). With that knowledge the discerning man moves forward. The man of folly, on the other hand, takes no interest in the journey that lies ahead. It is not that he is unprepared for this earthly environment, because he might be very much pre-pared. He is unprepared for the journey beyond this earthly environment because he is living Satan’s lie.

#proverbs, #wisdom, #word-to-the-wise

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(#206) The Proverbs of Solomon 30:29-31-Walk the Royal Walk

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 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 30:29-31: “There are three things which are majestic in pace, Yes, four which are stately in walk: A lion, which is mighty among beasts And does not turn away from any; A greyhound, A male goat also, And a king whose troops are with him.”

Walking regally is an indication of inner confidence and fearlessness. Regality is born out of security, violence from hatred and fear. There is a reason for these four to illustrate “majestic pace” which Christians, especially, should add to their lives:

“A lion” because of strength and power. As our “adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8), so the wicked “have closed up their fat hearts; With their mouths they speak proudly. They have now surrounded us in our steps; They have set their eyes, crouching down to the earth, As a lion is eager to tear his prey, And like a young lion lurking in secret places (Psalm 17:10-12). Those who follow God should have every reason to be secure. “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge” (Proverbs 14:26); “The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1); “But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict (1 Thessalonians 2:2). Christians must realize that we are to “abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28).

“A greyhound” because of speed and agility. God hates “feet that are swift in running to evil” (Proverbs 6:18), but faithful followers of God, who are “swift to hear” (James 1:19), often receive help from Him quickly. “In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, For You will answer me” (Psalm 86:7); Answer me speedily, O LORD; My spirit fails! Do not hide Your face from me, Lest I be like those who go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You” (Psalm 143:7-8); “For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12).

“A male goat” because of place and leadership. A man was created first (1 Timothy 2:13), and should be the leader of righteousness in his home (Ephesians 5:22-24). Those who refuse this God-given responsibility are rejected by God. “For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD, But His secret counsel is with the upright” (Proverbs 3:32).

“A king” because of trust and loyalty. “If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them” (Ecclesiastes 5:8). All government officials should take care to rule with righteousness, lest their enemies come from within.

These four illustrations give a “majestic” walk to the faithful. “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield” (Psalm 115:11). “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

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

#bible-study, #christian-living, #god, #majestic, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #walk

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(#205) The Proverbs of Solomon 30:24-28-Learn From The Little People

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 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 30:24-28: “There are four things which are little on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise: The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer; The rock badgers are a feeble folk, Yet they make their homes in the crags; The locusts have no king, Yet they all advance in ranks; The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, And it is in kings’ palaces.”

It is a truly foolish person who fails or refuses to see that the living God has incorporated intelligence and wisdom into His Creation, and that there is NO TRUTH to the blind, unscientific, ungodly false doctrine of Evolution! What the willfully ignorant professors of Evolution attribute to blind chance, the Bible points out as yet another example of the wisdom of God. “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens; By His knowledge the depths were broken up, And clouds drop down the dew” (Proverbs 3:19-20). Even the least of His Creation shows us His brilliant planning. In a society bulked-up with athleticism, wisdom is often unnoticed!

“The ants” are not known for their strength (although for their size, it is tremendous!), but for the wisdom of continual preparation for the future. This intelligence shows us that we should be industriously preparing for the future with what we have at the present. “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-8).

“The rock badgers” (possibly rabbits, conies, or hyraxes) build no houses for themselves, but use the solid rock “crags” for their protection. Under Moses’ Law, an unclean animal (Leviticus 11:5), noted for living in the hills (Psalm 104:18), this is probably the “rock badger.” The wisdom of using what God provides for our protection should be applied to our soul salvation, also. “Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.’ They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed” (1 Peter 2:7-8).

“The locusts” descend upon grain fields “in ranks” and can completely consume the crops. This is done without “a king,” that is, orderliness is their “natural” disposition. They have been used by God as punishment upon a nation (Exodus 10:12-14; Psalm 105:34-35) only to be blown away by a wind (Exodus 10:19). They may also be useful for food (Mark 1:6). They show the wisdom of being organized and what that can accomplish. When people unite, they can overpower almost anything (Judges 20:11)! Voters need to realize their potential power!

“The spider” can build its webs anywhere, even “in kings’ palaces.” Artistically designed, devastatingly efficient, spiders’ webs show the wisdom of persistently applying design wherever we are for whatever we need to do, and hope for its success. Though easily destroyed, spiders’ webs will be immediately rebuilt showing us the persistence of hope, for once the web is built, the spider waits for its victim to be caught in it.

Jesus used “the birds of the air,” “lilies of the field,” and “the grass of the field” to teach us not to be anxious (Matthew 6:25-30). The wisdom in God’s Creation can provide useful lessons, if we have not been blinded by the stubborn ignorance of those who make their money promoting Evolution. Jesus said, “if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14).

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

#ants, #bible-study, #god, #kings-palaces, #locusts, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #rock-badgers, #salvation, #spiders, #unity, #wisdom

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(#204) The Proverbs of Solomon 30:21-23-The Earth Is Not Enough

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 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 30:21-23: “For three things the earth is perturbed, Yes, for four it cannot bear up: 22 For a servant when he reigns, A fool when he is filled with food, 23 A hateful woman when she is married, And a maidservant who succeeds her mistress.”

These are trouble-makers in any society, for these demonstrate a lack of essential qualities of humanity.

1) “A servant when he reigns” will have too many scores to settle! Those souls who begin their journey at the bottom of the scale, and revolt themselves to the “ruling class,” become the most merciless tyrants history has ever seen. Do the names Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Mao tse-Tung, ad nauseum, come to mind? People who believe their ancestors suffered slavery, but they must exact revenge for it, will justify their own looting, killing, and hatred because of this attitude. Learn a lesson from Zimri in 1 Kings 16:8-20.

2) “A fool when he is filled with food” doesn’t realize from where his food has come! A “fool” doesn’t appreciate or obey God, and since God Almighty is the source of all blessings (James 1:17), humility and thanksgiving are left out of this person’s character. Aptly-named “Nabal” illustrates this when we read 1 Samuel 25:2-42.

3) “A hateful woman when she is married” will only use her marriage to accomplish her wicked ways. Jezebel comes to mind, for she married Ahab and used his power for her own purposes (1 Kings 16:29-34; 18:4, 16-19, 20-40; 19:1-3; 21:1-16). A woman with spiteful intent will be the same whether married or not!

4) “A maidservant who succeeds her mistress,” whether by the mistress’s death, divorce, or husband’s adultery with the maid, the mistress has suddenly achieved “success” without following the proper channels! Hagar (Genesis 16:1-6) illustrates this attitude, and her son, Ishmael, has marked the people who claim to have sprung from his family (Genesis 16:7-16).

The general command of God that will change these people for good is: “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

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

#bible-study, #humility, #marriage, #merciless, #proverbs, #repent, #tyrant

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(#203) The Proverbs of Solomon 30:18-20-CSI for Sins

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 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 30:18-20: “There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Yes, four which I do not understand: 19 The way of an eagle in the air, The way of a serpent on a rock, The way of a ship in the midst of the sea, And the way of a man with a virgin. 20 This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, And says, “I have done no wickedness.”

“Wonder” is the temporary suspension of “understanding” when something stunning has happened. “Wonderful” simply means “full of wonder,” a name certainly describing Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6). “Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done” (Psalm 40:5). The illustrations from God’s Creation (eagle, serpent, ocean) are “mind boggling,” as is the marvel of a first-time sexual encounter, which should take place only in marriage  (1 Corinthians 7:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8).

These four are amazing to see, because they leave no trail to follow back to their origin:

“An eagle in the air” leaves nothing that could warn its pray that it is coming;

“A serpent on a rock” maneuvers silently, incredibly over the smooth surface, not leaving a path to its victim as if on a softer surface;

“A ship in the midst of the sea” breaks the surface of the water but leaves no trace behind, and therefore if the ship is not detected through other means, cannot be followed;

“The way of a man with a virgin” refers to the sighting (like an eagle), maneuvering (like a serpent), and no apparent trail of sin (like a ship at sea) in persuading a “virgin” to give up her virginity.

The other side of the coin, however, is “the way of an adulterous woman” who seems to think there is no way to detect her unfaithfulness, as if, after eating, wiping the residue from her mouth voids all after-effects! After adultery, when she says, “I have done no wickedness,” she claims there is no trace of her sin, but there is! There is her “prey” (Proverbs 7:6-23), and her own condemnation (Galatians 5:19-21; Hebrews 4:13). An “adulterous woman” has lost her conscience about marriage, purity, fidelity. The unfaithfulness of God’s people is described like this: “Can a virgin forget her ornaments, Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number” (Jeremiah 2:32). The evil of the “adulterer” is described also: “The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, Saying, ‘No eye will see me’; And he disguises his face” (Job 24:15), as if no one will know of his sin.

NO ONE can wipe clean their own souls from their path of sins, but Jesus Christ can! “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Colossians 2:11-13). Let Jesus Christ remove your “Crime Scene” by “Investigating” your heart! It’s “wonderful” to start a new trail in life!

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

#adulterer, #adulteress, #adultery, #bible-study, #eagle, #marriage, #proverbs, #serpent, #ship, #virgin, #wonderful