Do all of this, and then — only then — you will understand

The world and many in Christ are stupid. So says Prov 2.1-5. When our people can sing worldly lyrics all day long, but have trouble coming up with one or two verses by memory, according to Solomon, they are stupid.

My child, if you receive my words,
and store up my commands within you,
by making your ear attentive to wisdom,
and by turning your heart to understanding,
indeed, if you call out for discernment—
raise your voice for understanding—
if you seek it like silver,
and search for it like hidden treasure,
then you will understand how to fear the Lord,
and you will discover knowledge about God.

Do you see this happening among us? With some, yes. With many others, it is not. These are seeking other things, and it shows.

Don’t be stupid. Make a scene and get wisdom. Be a mental hoarder of the word of God. Be obvious about knowing Christ. Make fearing the Lord your absolute and only priority.

Only by doing all of this will we get a handle on what it means to be a Christian.

#wisdom #seek #Proverbs #effort

A Word to the Wise

One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless. (Proverbs 14:16, ESV). Paul wrote to the Corinthians that the wise know the schemes or plans of man’s adversary (Satan; 2 Cor. 2:11). It is not because the wise servant of the Lord was privileged to set in the counsel of those who plan evil, but because the Lord’s servant is able to “smell a rat” afar off. Once the odor gets closer the plans of those who are evil becomes more exposed. On the other hand, those who have given little to no attention to the Lord’s way become reckless, careless, and trapped. In their self-confidence they step into a hole not seen.

 

#proverbs, #schemes-of-satan, #word-to-the-wise

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(#210) The Proverbs of Solomon 31:8-9-Listen to Your Mama About Words

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 31:8-9: “Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

Step up and speak up for those who are less fortunate, specifically those who have: no voice, no parent, no justice, or no necessities of life. It is emphatic and an action of mercy to help the helpless. All leaders of government should admit that: “Mercy and truth preserve the king, And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne” (Proverbs 20:28). God has always required this of His people: “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15); “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17); “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

The “speechless” are those who have no voice or ability to defend themselves. They are easily victimized by all who would misrepresent their case;

Those “appointed to die” are people without possessions or permanence. According to the Hebrew expression, these may be strangers just passing through or orphans who cannot support themselves. God is mindful of such and required this of Israelites (Deuteronomy 10:17-19). Solomon wisely ruled: “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard” (Proverbs 21:13). Never was this clearer than when Israelites were taken from their Promised Land because: “The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger” (Ezekiel 22:29);

“Judge righteously” should be the outcry of all of God’s people. All judges and legal personnel should hear this command. Jesus has said: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24), for “in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:5);

“Plead the cause of the poor and needy,” for they cannot afford their own defense. The “poor and needy” are NOT those who demand their “right” to have the same possessions as those who have worked for what they have! The essentials of food and clothing are NOT in the same category as video games, big screen TV’s, cable, Internet, cars, or brand-name clothes!

No nation or people will stand when citizens have little or no recourse for their grievances!

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

#bible-study, #government, #judge-righteously, #judges, #mercy, #poor-and-needy, #proverbs, #truth, #wisdom

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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