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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

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(#202) The Proverbs of Solomon-30:11-14-Generation D(estroyed)

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 30:11-14: “There is a generation that curses its father, And does not bless its mother. 12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness. 13 There is a generation-oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. 14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, And whose fangs are like knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, And the needy from among men.”

After Jacob had worked 14 years to “earn” his wife, his father-in-law, Laban, said, “I have learned by experience that the LORD has blessed me for your sake” (Genesis 30:27). “Experience” is a great teacher, and often, a hard teacher. It has been truly said, “Happiness will never come to those who do not appreciate what they already have.” “A generation” without the experiences of life becomes (v.11) Loveless; (v.12) Hypocritical; (v.13) Arrogant; and (v.14) Cruel, and will need few enemies, for it will self-destruct. Children whose world consists of a video screen, whose mind is filled with make-believe, and whose heart seldom connects with real people, have no experiences to help them grow, and become slaves who serve without conscience! It is a lost generation that never sees “the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied” (Ecclesiastes 3:10).

Verse 11: Those who disrespect the two who gave them life will not appreciate The God, His plan, and the life they have been given, “For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God” (1 Corinthians 11:12). Although the prevalence of divorce and single-parenthood has shattered the “DNA” of marriage, and taught successive generations this disrespect, those who turn to God’s Way will start a new generation of parental respect. It is when sin abounds that “the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).

Verse 12: It is difficult, almost impossible, for one to see one’s own sins. To such a generation, God send Jeremiah to say: “’For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, Yet your iniquity is marked before Me,’ says the Lord God. How can you say, ‘I am not polluted’” (Jeremiah 2:22-23). The Apostle Paul wrote: “For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:4). Any generation that is known for major problems with drunkenness, irresponsibility, sexually-transmitted diseases, drug abuses, recklessness, and hatefulness (Titus 3:3) has its hands full and should not be pointing fingers at the previous generation(s)! Jesus Christ condemned those who “outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:28).

Verse 13: Jesus Christ described this attitude when He said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:29-33) While a generation may protest against their parents sins, it becomes guilty of its own sins, many of which are even worse than before (1 Kings 16:25)!

Verse 14: The cruelty is seen because they don’t care about the “poor” and “needy.” Selfishness is so narrow-minded that it cannot admit, nor allow, others to benefit who have greater needs. Jesus Christ said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation” (Matthew 23:14)!

A generation may be changed if enough of them “are converted and become as little children…Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4). Obeying the command to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” will let a soul “Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:38, 40).

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

#baptism, #bible-study, #christianity, #experience, #generation, #god, #jeremiah, #jesus-christ, #just-a-minute, #life, #love, #marriage, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #salvation, #sin, #wisdom

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(#201) The Proverbs of Solomon 30:10-The Sin of Hate Speech

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 10:1-25:27 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 30:10: “Do not malign a servant to his master, Lest he curse you, and you be found guilty.”

David understood what this proverb is about: “Do not keep silent, O God of my praise! For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful Have opened against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause. In return for my love they are my accusers, But I give myself to prayer. Thus they have rewarded me evil for good, And hatred for my love” (Psalm 109:1-5).

All Christians must put away all “evil speaking” (Ephesians 4:31). All non-Christians who blaspheme Christians are suddenly put on notice by this proverb.

False accusation is the stuff of gossip: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16); “A faithful witness does not lie, But a false witness will utter lies” (Proverbs 14:5); “A false witness shall perish, But the man who hears him will speak endlessly” (Proverbs 21:28); and it is cancelled by the commandment “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Romans 13:9). No wonder, then, that “false witness” is one of the 7 things God “hates” (Proverbs 6:16-19). The unproven, unclaimed, thus false “accusation” placed on Jesus’ cross was: “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Matthew 27:37). Jesus Christ never was, nor will He ever be only “the King of the Jews,” for He is “the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15)!

A Christian is a “fellow servant in the Lord” along with Paul (Colossians 1:7; 4:7), Moses (Hebrews 3:5), John (Revelation 1:1), and angels (Revelation 22:9). What Christians believe and practice must come from the Word of God (Romans 10:17) and produce unity (John 17:20-21; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13). However, there are matters about which God has allowed for conscientiousness, where Christians must not falsely accuse one another (Romans 14:1-10). “Vegans” should not condemn those who can eat meats. No one is undermined if: a converted Catholic continued to eat fish on Fridays; a converted Jew may still do no work on Saturday; a converted denominational member still raises hands during a prayer; a converted Muslim woman still covers her head with a scarf, etc. Since Christians are “servants of the Lord,” Paul asks: “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls” (Romans 14:4), then plainly declares: “For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself” (Romans 14:7). This does not excuse anyone from continuing immoral, worldly ways into their Christian life (1 Corinthians 5:9-12; 6:9-11), for “those who are outside God judges” (1 Corinthians 5:13).

Christians must “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). God has always kept the line clear between the righteous and the unrighteous (Ezekiel 33:10-20), lest His servant is falsely accused.

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

#accusation, #bible-study, #conscientiousness, #false-witness, #proverbs, #truth

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(#200) The Proverbs of Solomon 30:1-6-The Who

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 10:1-25:27 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 30:1-6: “1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, his utterance. This man declared to Ithiel-to Ithiel and Ucal:  2 Surely I am more stupid than any man, And do not have the understanding of a man. 3 I neither learned wisdom Nor have knowledge of the Holy One. 4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know? 5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. 6 Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”

v. 1: Agur is unknown, but was a teacher to “Ithiel and Ucal.” His utterances, however, have been preserved as Holy Spirit-revealed truth (2 Peter 1:20-21) and as a Prophet with God’s Wisdom, like Amos (Amos 7:14-15)!

v. 2-3: This statement is a confession that these thoughts (Proverbs 30:1-33) are the revelation from God, like Paul later stated (Galatians 1:11-12). Humility is a hall-mark of all who submit to God: “The LORD lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground” (Psalm 147:6); “(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.)” (Numbers 12:3); “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, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:5-7).

v. 4: The answer to all of these questions can only be: God, for He, alone, has power over the Created Earth (Psalm 104), and He, alone, can inspire the writing of His Word through men (1 Corinthians 2:7-13).

v. 5-6: The Word that God has spoken and written proves to be “pure,” without any taint of untruth. David had said this: “The words of the LORD are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6). So, also, did Jesus define His spiritual family: “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:21). Paul said it is the source of faith: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Just because some choose not to believe in God’s Word doesn’t change a thing in God’s Word: “For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: ‘That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged’” (Romans 3:3-4).

Don’t believe what others say the Bible says, but receive “the word with all readiness, and search “the Scriptures daily” to find out “whether these things” are so (Acts 17:11).

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

#bible, #bible-study, #faith, #god, #proverbs

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(#199) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:27-Sticks and Stones and Intimidation

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 29:27: “An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.”

There has always been bitter antagonism between those who practice evil and those who practice good. The explanation for the first murder in the world (Genesis 4:1-15) is clearly given in the New Testament: “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4); “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you” (1 John 3:10-13).

Which is exactly why it is useless and wrong for those who follow God’s Way (the righteous) to seek the approval and acclaim from the worldly. Ungodly teachers refuse to let righteous students get good grades if they have written truthfully about the Bible, Jesus Christ, or moral goodness! Ungodly entertainers ridicule the righteous who speak out from their honest, godly convictions! Ungodly parents punish and discourage their righteous children from Bible classes or studying the Word of God! Ungodly propagandists who use overwhelming headlines to “beat back” any and every attempt of the righteous to uphold and defend the existence of God! Ungodly Evolutionists and Global Warming fanatics who falsely label as “unscientific” any and all who use scientific facts to debunk and discredit those attacks on Bible faith! Ungodly accrediting boards set materialistic standards which, when “Christian Schools” accept and meet those standards, have made “Christian schools” nothing more than another worldly school!

Jesus offered His reward to the righteous: “Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets” (Luke 6:22-23).

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

 

#antagonism, #bible-study, #evil, #evolutionists, #global-warming, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #ridicule, #righteous, #scientific, #teachers, #ungodly, #unscientific, #world

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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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(#197) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:19-21-Are We Pampered Servants?

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 29:19-21: “A servant will not be corrected by mere words; For though he understands, he will not respond. Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. He who pampers his servant from childhood Will have him as a son in the end.”

The term “servant” indicates someone who works for someone else, and though Moses was “a servant” in God’s House, Jesus took “the form of a bondservant” (Philippians 2:7), He was “a Son over His own house, whose house we are” (Hebrews 3:5-6), that is, the church of Christ (1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 1:22-23). Jesus’ obedience under Moses’ Law (Hebrews 5:8-9) is our example for obeying Jesus’ Law (Matthew 28:18-20).

It is a disobedient servant who will not follow carefully-worded instructions, so that “though he understands, he will not respond” with obedience. No one has become a servant of Christ by confessing to be saved before being baptized (buried) into the death of Jesus (Romans 6:1-7); no servant of Christ ever added mechanical instrumental music to the singing required in worship (Ephesians 5:19-20); no servants of Christ ever murdered to expand the church (John 18:37; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6); no servants of Christ enjoyed the recreation of fleshly appeals (Romans 13:13-14)!

There is no hope for “a fool” (one who disobeys God) unless he/she repents and obeys God’s Will. One who is conceited must become humbled in order to learn obedience to God: “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise” (1 Corinthians 3:18). The person who is “hasty in his words” is trying to justify him- or herself, rather than listening to what must be changed to please God. “He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him” (Proverbs 18:13). No one can “testify” their way to salvation without doing what God says!

A pampered servant will soon “think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Romans 12:3). This is why all those who have been taught that once they’re saved, they’re always saved, and cannot lose their salvation become spiritually arrogant, thinking they are “bullet-proof!” “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Paul addressed that attitude (and doctrine!) when he wrote: “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).

Jesus Christ said to His disciples: “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:16-17). Truly, as Paul wrote, “if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

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

#bible-study, #church-of-christ, #fleshly-recreation, #fool, #god, #hasty-in-words, #instrumental-music, #jesus-christ, #murder, #obedience, #once-saved-always-saved, #proverbs, #saved-before-baptism, #self-justified, #worship

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(#196) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:18-Be Happy

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 29:18: “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.”

“Revelation” (“vision” in the King James Version) refers to God’s inspired Word. As God miraculously led His people, he spoke to them through a “prophet:” “So the LORD said to Moses: ‘See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall speak to Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land’” (Exodus 7:1-2). Moses then became “the prophet” (Numbers 12:6-8) through whom God’s Law was given (Deuteronomy 34:9-12), and by following that written Law, the nation of Israel would remain separate from other peoples (Joshua 23:6-8). After Moses, unless God inspired a prophet to call the people back to that written Law, they forgot God: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). “Then the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation” (1 Samuel 3:1).

King Zedekiah is an example of what this proverb is saying: “He did evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 36:12). Even though Christ’s Law has been given, people sin when they made to think there is no Law of God that applies to them: “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15).

The New Testament is the written Law of Christ and God has not had a prophet since it was written: “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). Whatever people say to demean, diminish, or destroy their confidence in God’s Word does not change God’s Word: “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit” (Jude 17-19). Christians are admonished: “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:13-14), because God’s written Word is our Judge, for Jesus said: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him–the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

Where sin abounds is a fertile field for preaching and teaching the Word of God, for Jesus said: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mark 2:17).

“The revelation” from God is in our Bible – Be “happy!”

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

#bible, #bible-study, #gods-word, #happy, #obedience, #preaching, #prophet, #proverbs, #revelation, #vision

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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